• Feeds

swiss chard quesadillas

We headed out to Toast in Hull, MA for a Father’s Day breakfast yesterday morning! 

The have a great breakfast menu with a lot of different options.  I ended up with a Breakfast Sandwicheggs, pepper, onions and cheddar cheese on an english muffin.

With a Fresh Fruit Cup.

Once I was back home in Southie, I whipped up some dinner – Swiss Chard Quesadillas!

I started by chopping up the swiss chard stems.

And, sauteed them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 7 minutes.

Then, I roughly chopped the leaves.

And, sauteed them in a little olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  After sauteeing for about 1 minute, I covered the pan and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.

The reason I cook the stems and leaves seperately is because they both cook for different amounts of time.  Both the leaves and stalks can be eaten and are delicious!

Afterthe chard was cooked, I made up a quesadilla.  I took a whole wheat wrap and spread on a layer of cheddar cheese, then chard leaves and stems, then a black bean burger and goat cheese.

Then, grilled the quesadilla for a few minutes on each side until the cheese was melted.

I cut up the quesadilla and served it with hot salsa on top.

It was spicy and delicious!  The chard was really good in the sandwich.

Then, we headed out for a walk to get ice cream!  A great Sunday night activity. 🙂

grow your own herbs & veggies

This morning I did something really fun.  I planted a bunch of veggies and herbs on my porch!

I love having an assortment of herbs at my disposal whenever I want to use them.  It sure does beat buying them at the grocery store everytime you need them!  Plus, it will save you a few bucks in the long run.

Herbs and spices can make or break a recipe.  They add wonderful flavors to a dish.  Fresh herbs taste so much better and have so much more flavor that dried herbs.

This year, we are growing a variety.

Basil, Sweet Basil, Thyme and Dill

Chives, Rosemary, Parsley and Stevia

Two varieties of tomatoes – Herloom and Pineapple!

And, Peas!!!

We had our very first peas last night!  I picked 3 off of the plant. 🙂  Yummy!!

Can you spot the peapod?

After planting, I got right to breakfast.

Baked Apple Oatmeal!!!

I measured out a serving of my pre-made Steel Cut Oats and mixed in a dash of milk and a shake of cinnamon, then heated it in the microwave for 30 seconds just to take the chill off.

Meanwhile, I chopped up 1 apple and mixed it with cinnamon.  I then mixed 1/2 of the apple in with the oatmeal and put the other 1/2 on top with another shake of cinnamon.

Place in the oven (I used my toaster oven) at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes until the apple is soft and hot!  Note: I used an oven safe bowl so that I didn’t have to dirty too many dishes.

Drizzle with real maple syrup.

Enjoy!

This was really really good!  It tasted like a baked apple that I grew up loving.  Next time, I would add some walnuts.

It’s almost lunch time!  I’m ready to break out some leftovers from last nights Sprouted Quinoa with Strawberries and Lime.

Have a great afternoon.

banana scramble sandwich

This morning I wanted something different for breakfast, are you surprised?!?!

I whipped up a Banana Scramble sandwich that I had seen on Ashley’s Blog.

It is a great vegan option to an egg sandwich!  Here’s what to do for one serving.

Take the following ingredients:

  • 2/3 banana
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or milk of your choice)

You can switch up these ingredients as well and add other stuff!

Mash up the banana and mix everything together until it basically resembles scrambled eggs.

Then, pour the mixture into a small pan sprayed with a little olive oil over medium heat and cook until warm and browned.

While my banana scramble was cooking, I toasted a Sprouted Wheat bagel.  Once cooked, I spread a little crunchy peanut butter on one side and plopped the banana scramble on the other side.

Put the bagel sandwich together and enjoy!

The banana scramble sandwich was awesome!  The banana and coconut flavors really came through.

It is a quick, easy and delicious breakfast!

Lunch was also something new – a Veggie & Bean Wrap.

I keep a bunch of cooked beans in the freezer so that I can use them whenever (instead of using canned beans), so I defrosted some black beans and chickpeas with tomato paste and oregano.

I took a whole wheat wrap (Whole Foods brand only has a few ‘real’ ingredients!) and spread a few tbsp’s of guacamole hummus on it.  Then, I layered on some green leaf lettuce, 1/2 of a local tomato, the bean mixture and some goat cheese.

Then, I wrapped it up!

I served my Veggie & Bean wrap with and apple.  Surprisingly, it stayed together very very well!  And, was really really good.

an oatmeal day

What is the perfect breakfast on a rainy and chilly morning?  Oatmeal!


That was all that I was craving when I woke up.  But, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to cook my favorite steel-cut oats, so I quickly made some oatbran instead.  I stirred in 1 medium banana, 1 tbsp flax meal, 1 heaping tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla while cooking.

Topped with apple butter, pistachio butter and chocolate cherry almond butter (which was later discarded because it tasted WAY too sweet for me…ick!).

Hit. The. Spot.

But, it didn’t hold me over very well, so mid-morning I had some mint tea and dried fruit.

Then, lunch time came around a little later than usual.  I had put together a similar lunch to yesterday, but with different salad toppings to change things up.

Today’s salad was on a bed of romaine and topped with cucumbers, marcona almonds (with rosemary – and the most delicious almonds ever!!), goat cheese and tomato basil raw crackers (which were also really good!) drizzled with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

I also had my yogurt and saved the orange for my afternoon snack.

Lots of mint tea went into my body today…it feels so chilly out!

Before dinner, I snacked on a homemade granola bar because Brant and I headed out to the Harpoon Brewery for a special tasting!  Harpoon is such a fun, low-key place to go.

Tonight was an event for Friend of Harpoon, which you can sign up for for free on their website, so we headed up to the tasting room, mingled and tasted a few brews.

Harpoon is apparently the biggest craft beer brewery in Massachusetts!

Once home, we decided on a quick dinner – veggie burger for me, chicken sausage for him, broccoli for both of us.

I bought these new (to me) veggie burgers the other day.

They are made by hand in Portland, Maine – Blue Mango Veggie Burgers.  They consist of only 6 ingredients: onions, black beans, spinach, rice, panko breadcrumbs and spices!  When I read the ingredient list, I knew that I would love them.

They are more expensive than other brands, but you know what?  It’s worth it.  They are made by hand and contain only whole ingredients, no fillers whatsoever.

So, how did they taste?

Delicious!  It was like I had just made them up.  I loved it.  Fresh and pretty moist for a frozen burger.  They are each individually wrapped, which I think definitely helps.

I served my veggie burger on a sprouted hamburger bun (FFL ingredients -Organic Sprouted Wheat, Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Filtered Water, Fresh Yeast, Sea Salt) with 1/2 sliced avocado and ketchup.

With roasted broccoli on the side, sprinkled with some salt, pepper and essence to give them a little kick.

This was a great weekday meal that only took us about 20 minutes to throw together!

the weathermen were right…

…about the snow this time!!  We only got a few inches, but it is always so pretty when the snow is falling…until I get home to Southie and people have marked their spots with cones and chairs, etc!  UGH!

But I got home, found an unmarked parking spot and was ready to make dinner.

I felt like some delicious green veggies tonight, so I roasted some asparagus and brussel sprouts, and cooked up some barley which I seasoned with lemon and herbs.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made roasted brussel sprouts in mustard sauce again, since they were such a big hit the first time around.

I cleaned up the brussel sprouts.

Then, mixed them with mustard, brown sugar, sesame oil, salt and pepper and spread them out on a cookie sheet to bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.

Yum!  They came out caramelized and crispy and even better than last time!

Roasted Asparagus

  • 20 asparagus stalks
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • handful of grated parmesean cheese

Lay out your asparagus on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on parm cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 10-12 minutes, or until roasted.  I already had my brussel sprouts baking, so I just popped this cookie sheet in when they had about 10 minutes to go.

This is such a quick and easy way to cook asparagus.  My husband and I love it!

Tomato & Barley Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked barley, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2-2.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (use fresh if you have it!)

Directions:

  • Boil 2 cups of vegetable stock.  Add barley, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  I have found that the cooking times with barley really vary for some reason!  Check your barley every so often.  You may need to add more vegetable stock if the barley is not tender enough.  I cook long enough so that it is al dente.

  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add chopped garlic and onion.  Cook until onion is tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add grape tomatoes and cook until warmed through.

  • Once barley is cooked, remove from heat and add to the onion/tomato mixture. Stir until combined.

  • Add lemon juice and zest to the mix and stir to combine.  Then, add thyme and mix.
  • Serve with roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts, or your veggie of choice!

This was a great dinner.  I adore vegetables and grains, so anytime I have a meal combining the 2 is phenomenal in my book.  I make sure that everything has a lot of good flavors, but that they don’t overpower each other.  The barley salad was very lemony, which worked well with the mustard brussel sprouts.  And, the asparagus was so simple, that it could be served with anything.  Loved this meal!

Wow!  An all around great day of eats. 🙂

healthy & fitness laps of the week – fruits, veggies & weights

It is week 2 of my laps of the week posts!  Hopefully you will find them helpful!

Healthy Lap of the Week – Eat more fruits and veggies!

Source

This is something that we should all be doing, but sometimes it is easy to forget during the holidays and when we eat out so much.  Aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.  A serving is much less than most people assume – one serving = one cup.  Examples of one serving are a small apple, a small banana, 16-20 grapes, 12-15 baby carrots, etc.  I try to eat a piece of fruit and a serving of veggies with every meal.

They both contain essential vitamins, minerals, and lots of fiber which our body needs!  By substituting fruits and/or veggies for other less nutritious, higher calorie snacks you will feel better and it may ultimately result in weight loss.  The fiber will fill you up and keep you satisfied longer than a candy bar.  Choose a small apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter as a snack, instead of that snickers bar!

Fitness Lap of the Week – Lift more weights!

Source

Many women, in particular, are so concerned with burning calories that they forget that lifting weights is extremely important for us in the long run.  It is important to do cardio in order to burn fat and calories, lose weight and to help our bodies feel better, but lifting weights will help boost our metabolism and ultimately allow us to burn more calories and fat while working out.

Lifting weights will help prevent injuries by making our muscles and bones stronger, which will also prevent against osteoperosis as we get older.  It will tone our bodies.  Sure, cardio will make you lose more weight, but lifting weights will provide that definition in your arms.  And, your arms (as Jillian Michaels says) are the one part of your body that almost everyone will see naked at some point, so why wouldn’t you want to make them beautiful, strong and toned?!

Aim to target different parts of your body 3 times per week with weight training.  You will feel yourself getting stronger and more confident in no time!  Check out my weight lifting goals for 2010 here.