Breakfast Quinoa

I made a batch of quinoa for an appetizer I made and thought I would look on Pinterest to see what other ideas I could make with it. As a new mommy, breakfast is a hard thing thing to make/eat every morning. I saw a bunch of overnight oatmeal recipes on Pinterest and thought I could do something similar with my quinoa. The best part about this quick dish is that you can top it with anything you like! I basically went into my pantry picked out my toppings below and it turned out to be so good! I really had to hold myself back from adding chocolate morsels…

Breakfast Quinoa

breakfast quinoa

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 quinoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon of any nut butter (I used maple almond butter)
Toppings:
Sliced almonds
Shredded coconut
Cinnamon
Honey
1 sliced banana

Directions
Cook the quinoa per instructions on the box, substituting the water for the coconut milk. After the quinoa cooks, mix in the vanilla extract, nut butter and cinnamon. (You can melt the nut butter in the microwave to incorporate it easier). Add any toppings you’d like, I added the ones listed above. Drizzle with honey, and enjoy! You can serve warm and it will keep well in the refrigerator to heat up the next day too!

Recipe source: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2012/04/breakfast-quinoa/

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Pasta with Romesco Sauce

I had this pasta with romesco at a restaurant near my house so I was determined to learn how to make it! I found a recipe for romesco sauce and put my skills to the test and low and behold, it was just as amazing! I feel like romesco sauce is a healthier, much quicker, version of old fashioned tomato sauce.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

pasta with romesco sauce

Ingredients

1 lb pasta of your choice
2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity olive oil

Directions

Boil water, and once it is boiled add a good amount of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes.

Grind the almonds in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily.

Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

romesco sauce

Once the pasta is cooked, strain and then add the romesco sauce to the pasta and stir. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/romesco-sauce-recipe.html

Linguine with Avocado-Arugula Pesto

My love for avocado continues with this avocado pesto combination! Adding avocado to pasta is my all-time favorite thing. Adding pesto to that mix just makes this dish heavenly!

Linguine with Avocado-Arugula Pesto

linguine with avocado arugula pesto

Ingredients

1 pound linguine pasta
2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, and seeded
3 cups baby arugula leaves (3 ounces)
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Cook’s Note)

Directions

Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place in a serving bowl.

Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together. Add the cheese and almonds and toss together until coated, adding the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/linguine-with-avocado-and-arugula-pesto-recipe.html

Whole Grain Spaghetti With Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

This recipe takes a healthy vegetarian spin on your typical pasta dish. Adding my favorite brussels sprouts, and mushrooms create a yummy veggie meal! If you like brussels sprouts, this is just another great dish to use them in!

Whole Grain Spaghetti With Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

whole grain spaghetti with brussels sprouts and mushrooms

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound whole-grain or whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced (I used a food processor to chop up my brussels sprouts)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, such as cremini, button or shiitake, cleaned and chopped (I used a food processor for these also)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup creme fraiche, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup vegetable broth (I used chicken broth because I that is what I had on hand)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 large lemon)
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted*

Directions

*Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup cheese.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, onions, mushrooms, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, vegetable broth, lemon juice and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture forms a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the almonds and toss until coated. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/whole-grain-spaghetti-with-brussels-sprouts-and-mushrooms-recipe2.html

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Turkey Bacon

One of my favorite, and easiest salads to-date! I am now officially obsessed with turkey bacon. This is a must try! The best part about salads is that you can adjust the ingredients depending on your preference. I added chicken to mine (and extra turkey bacon)!

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Turkey Bacon

kale and brussels sprouts salad with turkey bacon

INGREDIENTS:

For dressing:
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp finely minced shallot
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/8 tsp kosher salt
Pinch black pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

For salad:
2-3 c kale (approx 1/2 a bunch)
1 lb brussels sprouts, shredded using a mandolin or sharp knife
3-4 slices turkey bacon, baked and chopped (I added 6 or 7 slices)
1/4 c almonds, sliced
1/2 c Pecorino cheese, finely grated

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix. (Alternatively, I sometimes throw everything in a mini food processor and let it do the chopping.) Add in olive oil, whisking (or processing) until combined.

Mix sliced kale and shaved brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Throw in bacon, almonds, and cheese. Pour dressing over the top and toss salad until all ingredients are distributed throughout.

Note: I added chicken breast into my salad for extra protein. And as usual, I made double the amount because  this salad was just as good the day after!

Recipe Source: http://www.sugarandgrace.com/2013/05/02/kale-and-brussels-sprouts-salad-w-bacon-and-pecorino/

Whitefish with Olive-Almond Relish

Beware! It’s about to get healthy!

Eating lighter is the thing to do for spring. I love fish, and this recipe follows my “fresh and easy” motto. I also love olives, and almonds so this dish couldn’t have sounded any yummier! The original recipe called for striped bass, cod, or halibut, but either those types of fish were unavailable at my local grocery store, or it they were too expensive. I used tilapia as my whitefish and it was so delicious! The olive and almond “relish” is to die for! Next time I am making double the relish so I can eat it with other things! It is a must try spring addition to your weekly meals!

5 minute meal alert!!!

Whitefish with Olive and Almond Relish

whitefish with olive and almond relish

Ingredients

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup large pimiento-stuffed olives (about 12)
1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 6-ounce pieces striped bass, cod, or halibut fillet (I used tilapia)
Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place the parsley, olives, almonds, lemon juice and zest, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped, 3 to 4 times.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the olive relish.

**Tip**
To make sure your fish doesn’t stick to the pan when cooking it, make sure there is enough olive oil to coat the pan before dropping in your fish. Feel free to add more oil if you feel the fish sticking.

Recipe source: http://www.yumsugar.com/Fast-Easy-Recipe-Striped-Bass-Olive-Almond-Relish-10917475

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage with Toasted Almonds and Shallots

This recipe takes my love for brussels sprouts to a whole new level! This healthy side-dish/salad is by far the tastiest! I even ate the leftovers cold the next day and it was just as good.

You can adjust the ingredients based on what you have on hand or add more of the ingredients you prefer most. As you can tell I used a lot of cabbage and brussels sprouts, and less of the almonds.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage with Toasted Almonds and Shallots

brussels sprouts and cabbage salad

Ingredients

2 cups of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
2 cups of purple cabbage, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of oil
¼ cup of slivered almonds
¼ cup of diced shallots
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan oven medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts. Cook the sprouts for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown.

While the sprouts are cooking, heat up the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the shallots. Sautee for 3-4 minutes until clear and then add in the almonds and garlic. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until everything starts to brown, but be very careful not to burn the almonds or garlic. Remove from the heat.

Once the sprouts have started to brown, add the red cabbage and continue to sauté until the cabbage is tender. Turn off the heat and add the toasted almonds and shallots. Give it a good toss and then season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Recipe source: http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2012/11/sauteed-brussels-sprouts-cabbage-with-toasted-almonds-and-shallots/

Brussels Sprout Salad

I LOVE brussels sprouts! This salad just became my most favorite salad ever. It is so easy to prepare and is a different twist on a plain green salad. I am pretty sure I turned my husband on to the beauty of brussels sprouts after this salad.

Best.Salad.Ever. Oh, and it’s a Giada recipe 🙂

Brussels Sprout Salad

brussels sprout salad

Ingredients

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 cups baby arugula
1 head Belgian endive, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted* see Tips
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Salad: Using a small paring knife, remove the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. (See tips for another use for the cores). Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprout leaves and cook for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water, then transfer to a colander to drain. Put the Brussels sprout leaves, arugula, endive, and almonds into a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss together. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Tips:
*To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.
*The unused core of the Brussels sprouts can be used in soups and stir-fries.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/brussels-sprout-leaf-salad-recipe.html

Apple Nachos

By far the BEST girl’s night snack! Healthy finger food to curb any dessert craving! And just as easy as normal nachos!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can really make it your own. If you are allergic to nuts (like my sister) you can omit the almonds, pecans, and peanut butter, and drizzle carmel on top instead. Or if you don’t like coconut (like my husband) you can simply omit the coconut flakes all together!

This really isn’t a recipe that needs to be followed precisely. The lemon juice is simply so the apples won’t brown, and if you don’t like a lot of nuts, you can put as many or as little as you’d prefer. I am leaving all the optional “toppings” in the list below so you can pick and choose which strike your sweet tooth!

Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos

Ingredients

  • 3 crispy and slightly tart apples (honeycrisp is the best!)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp runny caramel
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

Slice up some apples into wedges. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the apples to keep them from browning too fast.

Melt some peanut butter (in the microwave, or in a pan over the stove works just fine)–until it’s super runny–and drizzle it all over the apples. Next, top the apples and peanut butter with any of the toppings of your choosing (I like chopped almonds and chocolate chips).

And eat up!

Recipe source: http://www.allysonkramer.com/2011/10/apple-nachos/