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Kale Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

This was my first adventure with eating raw kale.  It has always only seemed appetizing cooked since it’s tougher then other greens like spinach, but, this recipe proved me wrong.  This was pretty quick and easy for a weeknight while still packing a lot of nutrition!

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Kale Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta- adapted from littleleopardbook

Serves: 6

12 oz whole wheat spaghetti

3/4 cup kale pesto (see below)

6 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 cups grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved

 

Kale Pesto

6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 cups kale, washed and chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare kale pesto by combining kale, garlic and cashews in blender or food processor until smooth.  Next add salt, pepper, olive oil and water and blend until well combined.  Finally, stir in parmesan cheese and pulse for a few seconds. Note: This recipe will make slightly more then needed for the pasta.  Save and mix into a vegetable dish or as a spread on sandwiches for later in the week.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain the pasta and mix in 3/4 cup kale pesto.
  3. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and grape tomatoes.  Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 240 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated), 27g carbohydrate (4.5g fiber), 6.5g protein

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa salads because they are so easy and friendly for those who eat gluten free.  This one is probably best served at room temperature, so you also don’t have to worry about keeping it hot while the rest of your food cooks.  Feel free to alter the nuts or exchange the raisins for cranberries or whatever you happen to like best!

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Serves: 6

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked

1.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:

1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place cubed and peeled sweet potato on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool and set aside.
  3. Using the same cookie sheet used to cook the sweet potato, place chopped walnuts into the oven for about 6 minutes until toasted.
  4. Cook quinoa according to package directions in vegetable broth.  Once cooked, cool and set aside.
  5. Mix all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
  6. Combine sweet potato, toasted walnuts, golden raisins, fresh parsley, and quinoa in a medium sized bowl.  Coat with dressing and mix well.

Nutrition Facts (per side serving): 330 calories, 19g fat (2g saturated fat), 34g carbohydrate (5g fiber), 6g protein

Crock Pot Rice & Bean Burritos

I am happy to announce that my clinical rotations are officially over. With only a few projects and site rotations to go in the next four weeks, I feel like I finally have my life back! Graduation and taking the RD exam is just around the corner. I am slowly going to get back into my old Monday/Thursday posting schedule, and I’m so excited to start experimenting in the kitchen again. Let me tell you, it was a long couple of months of staple recipes and leftovers, and I. Am. Bored.

This one was so so easy and tasty. Rice and beans provide what we call a “complimentary protein source.” What this means is that together the two provide all of the amino acids required to make a complete vegetarian protein source, equivalent to a meat source. It’s also a crock pot recipe which is great for nights that you just need a break. Enjoy and thank you for still reading!

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Crock Pot Rice & Bean Burritos
Serves: 6 (2 tortillas each)

1 cup brown rice
1 14.5oz can no-salt added black beans
1 14.5oz can no-salt added pinto beans
1 14.5oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
Water (see instructions)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
6 oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt
6 oz salsa
12 6-inch flour tortillas

Instructions:

1) Rinse and drain pinto and black beans
2) Drain diced tomatoes with the remaining tomato juice draining into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill measuring cup with water to reach the 2 cup line.
3) Place 1 tbsp. olive oil in bottom of crock pot, pour in rice and mix into oil. Next add beans, tomatoes, tomato juice/water mixture, and all seasonings. Heat on LOW 5-6 hours.
4) When crock pot is finished, divide bean mixture evenly between 10-12 tortillas. Add even amounts of diced red onion, avocado, Greek yogurt and salsa to each burrito. Roll up and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 470 calories, 11g fat (8g unsaturated), 75g carbohydrate (13g dietary fiber), 19g protein

Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad

We have a winner! I loved the mixture of sweet, crunchy and slight heat in this salad. The prep is really easy too, so make this on Sunday and enjoy for lunches throughout the week. This recipe is a great way to get protein, fiber and healthy fats into your meal. So, enjoy!

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Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad
Serves: 6

1.5 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well-rinsed (buy fair-trade!)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/3 cup un-salted walnuts, chopped
4 medium radishes, sliced
3 scallions, white & green parts, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

Ginger-Apple Vinaigrette
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
1) Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2) Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until blended.
2) Once quinoa is cooled, mix with above ingredients. Pour vinaigrette over top of salad and mix well. Serve or chill in refrigerator to serve later.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 289 calories, 17g fat(2g saturated), 30g carbohydrate(3.5g fiber), 7g protein

Broccoli-Olive Pizza Puffs & Veggie Enchiladas

I wanted to make note of these two recipes because they were great.  I only made very small alterations though so I will link you right over to the original recipe.  I hope that you might like these too :)

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Broccoli-Olive Pizza Puffs

I made these for the Superbowl last weekend and I thought they were a great way to satisfy a pizza craving with the addition of vegetables while cutting out some of the high-sodium sauce.

My changes: substituted black olives for green olives and used a low sodium marinara sauce.  I also made them in large muffin tins, so it made 10 servings.  I didn’t have enough mini-muffin tins to accommodate the recipe, but if you have them I would recommend doing it that way since they will be more bite-size.

Veggie Enchiladas

I seem to have misplaced the picture I took of these but they were deeeelicious!  We loved them.

My changes: I used one whole red bell pepper instead of 1/2, I omitted the cilantro, and used flour tortillas instead of corn.  I just find them easier to roll up for enchiladas.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauce

Before I start I have to admit that my posts are going to be a little sporadic for a while. I love blogging recipes that I find to be successful to share with all of you, so it won’t be goodbye.  Unfortunately, I am in my internship full time until May.  The unfortunate part is that I am not paid to do it, so I have to work some nights and weekends on top of my full time hours just to get by.  Effectively, this doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for trying new recipes.  What I do promise is that as I find them, I will post them.  It just may vary from my usual schedule.  I hope you can bear with me during this time, because I appreciate every single person that stops by my blog.  It makes me love doing this even more then I already do when I see a “like” or a “comment” on a post. :)

In other news, this was my first attempt at a homemade ravioli, and I’m happy to say that it won’t be my last!  Folding the ravioli’s up did take a little bit of time so this is probably best left for the weekend, but it still wasn’t that time consuming.

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauceslightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 5

1.5 lbs butternut squash, pre-diced or scoop and dice yourself
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons Smart Balance, melted (or other light buttery spread without hydrogenated oils)
5 tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
30 frozen wonton wrappers, thawed out
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. garlic powder
1.75 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 quarts water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place diced squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and dried Italian seasoning.  Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool.
  3. Combine oregano, squash, and smart balance in a large bowl.  Mash together with a potato masher. Stir in 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with beaten egg; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, squash mixture, and egg. Cover ravioli loosely with a wet towel to prevent drying.
  4. Place garlic powder, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, spinach, basil, and 2 tablespoons walnuts. With processor on, slowly pour 2 tbsp. oil, broth, and lemon juice through food chute. Process until well blended. Place pesto in a large bowl.
  5. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Add half of ravioli; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli. Top ravioli with pesto and serve.  Suggested serving: 6 ravioli per serving with a side of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 286 calories, 15g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 8g protein

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Lately I’ve noticed I’ve been giving you a lot of pasta dishes, so I will have to work on my variety.  I guess I’ve just been craving it lately.  This one is very similar to Ellie’s Skillet Mac & Cheese with cauliflower that I posted a few weeks ago.  I get excited for any way that I can make a traditionally terribly fatty dish a little bit healthier.  I don’t have kids yet but I would hope that if you chop the broccoli up smaller then I did, you might be able to fool them.  Follow the link over to skinny taste’s blog as I only made a few changes to the recipe (see below).  Good luck fooling the kiddies (or husbands)!

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Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Changes-

2 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar & 1 cup reduced fat aged gouda cheese

1 tbsp butter & 1 tbsp. light butter 1 tbsp. light butter & 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup white onion, diced 1/2 cup white onion, diced

Added-

1/4 tsp. ground mustard (this is key!)