“berry good” tossed salad with grilled chicken

Even though it’s not summer yet, I’m going to pretend it is and share with you my favorite salad–well, it was before I went veggie. Eating healthy sometimes sounds very unappealing, but I know for me at least, I tend to eat a lot more healthy if whatever healthy food that’s on my plate looks appealing and colorful. If you’re the same way, this salad is THE. ONE. FOR. YOU.

Just tossing the ingredients together really quick and throwing it on a plate or keeping the mix in the bowl is like having Picasso as your own personal chef. Could you imagine? 😍 So, if you’ve never had this type of salad (I can’t fathom that because I eat it all the time), keep reading for the recipe, try it out, and thank me later.

Ready in 15 minutes! Serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup Arugula
1 ½ cup Kale
1 ½ cup Spinach
½ Granny Smith Green Apple; thinly sliced
1/4 lemon cut into wedges
¼ cup raspberries
¼ cup blueberries
¼ blackberries
¼ strawberries (quartered)
1/3 walnuts (glazed or plain)
100g boneless skinless chicken breast halves
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1/3 crumbled feta cheese
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 390°F
Prep chicken breasts: rinse, dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a tray for cooking and spray lightly with cooking oil.
Ration out the remaining ingredients (except lemon) and place in a large bowl (bigger than you think you need) and toss.
Place chicken in the oven. Cook 4-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 165°F.
Remove chicken from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
Toss into salad
Serve with lemon wedges**, and ENJOY

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***I am not a chef. Or all that creative, let's be real. Didn't McDonald's sell this salad at some point?

get your diet organized with this diy clean eating cart

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

As I was washing the dishes after a super yummy dinner last night (wheat spaghetti with kale and mushroom and low-fat basil-pesto alfredo sauce, if you were wondering), I realized how much of a change my eating habits went through (for the better!) after creating a “clean eating” pantry cart a couple months back.

It’s super easy to do, and it’s super cheap. The whole thing can be done for less than $20 (not including groceries). You may be wondering why you need (yes, NEED) a clean eating cart if you have a regular pantry. And the reason is simple. It helps to eliminate unhealthy options especially in a household where everyone has different health goals.

For example, I wanted to eat healthier and try to be a vegetarian (which failed, btw), and my dad was content making little changes, but not changing his eating habits completely…and I couldn’t part with all the tasty snacks in our house either. So, when I redecorated the kitchen, I was determined to figure out a solution that would compliment both me and my dad.

Do you remember that saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, BOY is it true. If you keep your “clean food” next to your “dirty food,” your kale chips next to potato chips, you’re probably going to grab the potato chips…well, I would. So, I keep my kale chips in my clean pantry and my potato chips (for when I’m craving them and don’t mind feeling ashamed to go grab them) in the other pantry. Most days I forget we even keep junk food in the house.

If you think this sounds like a good idea, and want to know how I did it, keep reading for the DIY.


First things first.

1. You’ll need a storage cart. I bought the Sterlite Ultra 4-Drawer Storage Cart from Target for only $16.99, but you can get whatever one suits your fancy.

What I like about this drawer unit is that it’s clear, which allows me to see what’s in it without even opening the drawer. In my opinion, it’s inspiring to see the healthy food stored in an aesthetically pleasing way. I don’t know about you, but food has to look good for me to want to cook it or eat it.

2. Label the drawers with index cards.

Top Drawer (left side): Sweeteners
Top Drawer (right side): Snacks
2nd Drawer: Nuts and Seeds
3rd Drawer (left side): Condiments, Spreads, Sauces, and Soup
3rd Drawer (right side): Fats and Oils
4th Drawer (left side): Grains, Legumes, and Pasta
4th Drawer (right side): Beans

Here’s a list of ingredients/groceries you may want to keep on hand:
*P.S. I adapted this list off of someone else’s blog (when I find the post, I’ll link it), and also, this is just what I like to eat. There are so many other health foods that you can throw in here, so don’t limit yourself…just make sure it’s healthy. 🙂

  • raw, unprocessed honey
  • maple syrup
  • coconut sugar
  • molasses
  • dates
  • Stevia
  • Skinny Girl popcorn
  • kale, spinach, and other vegetable chips
  • homemade granola bars
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • hummus
  • pesto
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • pasta or marinara sauce
  • natural jams or preservatives
  • pure peanut butter
  • pure almond butter
  • healthy soup
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • almond oil
  • sunflower oil
  • sesame oil
  • brown rice
  • whole wheat pasta
  • quinoa
  • old fashioned oats
  • buckwheat
  • chick peas
  • black beans
  • kidney beans
  • lentils

3. Put the completed index cards on the inside of the drawer facing out.

4. Tape.

5. Stock.

6. ENJOY!

chilly fall day? here’s the perfect recipe to warm you up: 16 bean veggie soup

I thought I’d share with you lovelies a recipe I tried out last week that I fell in love with. And I mean IN LOVE with. If you’re a fan of meal prepping on Sundays for the upcoming week, consider this recipe for next week: 16 Bean Veggie Soup. It’s easy and makes 8-10 servings…the only catch is that you have to have at least a little patience for the beans to soak and soften.

Why This Recipe is SO, SO GOOD

  • It’s vegan–there’s no ham in this recipe
  • It’s all natural
  • I feel fueled for hours after eating it
  • It only takes about 3-4 minutes to nuke it in the microwave when you’re feeling hangry and impatient (I know you know how awful it feels to be staring at the microwave countdown as your tummy growls non-stop).
  • Your body will thank you for eating fiber and your daily dose of veggies
  • Perfect for chilly days


Bean Soak Time: 2-4 hours min (I left mine over night)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 60-90 Minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of 16 Bean Goya Soup Mix
  • 20 mL of Olive Oil
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced (This was the hardest part for me. My tomatoes weren’t diced to Ramsey’s standards and the soup still turned out fine.)
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste (I like mine nice and spicy)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 8-10 slices of rye bread, toasted

Prepping Directions:

  • Open bag of Goya Beans and empty into a colander
  • Sort through and check for any tiny stones or debris (I didn’t do this the first time I made this recipe, and needless to say, I chomped down on a rock)
  • Rinse to remove dirt
  • Transfer your beans to a bowl.
  • As beans soak, cut up your veggies.
  • Place enough BOILING water in the pot to cover beans by 2 inches. Let beans soak for about 2 hours until they’ve doubled in size.
    OR
  • Place enough COLD water in the pot to cover beans by 2 inches. Let beans soak for about 4 hours until they’ve doubled in size. If you’re cooking in hot weather, cover and place in fridge to prevent fermentation. You can soak them overnight to save time, and they can be soaked for up to 24 hours.

Cooking Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add all vegetables (except for tomatoes) and sweet potato, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes, stock, and water to pan. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduced heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender. Depending on how long the beans soaked for, this can take anywhere from an hour to an hour a half.
  • When soup is close to ready, add seasonings, toast bread, and cut up lemon.

Serving instructions:

  • Serve soup with toasted rye bread and a lemon wedge.

Storing Tips:

  • If food prepping, ladle out servings into smaller tupperware containers. If you’re not meal prepping, use 2 larger tupperware containers to store soup. Place one in the fridge for easy pickings, and place the other in the freezer.
  • The soup will remain fresh in the fridge for about a week; otherwise, freeze.
  • Defrost frozen soup by placing tupperware into a sink of hot water, or place in the fridge to defrost there. Do not place plastic tupperware in the microwave (This should be common sense, but ya never know).

din-din time: quinoa, sweet potato, and sautéed romaine

Since I’m in the middle of my gap year right now, my days might not be as structured as yours. I don’t have any obligations that require me to wake up at 6am. I’m not working, and I’m not in school, but I still do it anyway. I treat my Monday through Friday just as you probably treat yours–hard at work, at my desk, fulfilling my own self-requirements.

Some days go by quick while others drag on and on and on. When my day is “done” at six o’clock, there’s only one thing on my mind: FOOD.

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is perfect for night’s when you’re exhausted. It doesn’t require much effort, time or ingredients, but it’s still nutritious and god damn delicious! Bonus points: it’s vegetarian; however, if you don’t eat eggs, you can leave that part out. 🙂

Let’s get started!

Cooking Time: 45 Minutes

Serving Size: 1

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • Half a cup of dried Quinoa
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 a head of romaine; chopped or intact
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pinches of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 pinches of minced garlic (fresh or preserved; I used preserved)
  • Sea Salt; to taste
  • Ground Pepper; to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • When oven is heated, pierce sweet potato with a fork several times
  • Place in oven on a baking tray lined with foil
  • Let cook for 45 min.
  • 20-25 minutes into the sweet potato cooking, begin to cook quinoa.
  • In a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup of quinoa to 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low, and let simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
  • As quinoa is simmering, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; stir.
  • Add romaine and press it down into oil and seasoning. Cover and cook for a minute or two.
  • Crack egg on top of romaine. Toss and stir for a few minutes until romaine is wilted, the egg is cooked, and all liquid has evaporated.
  • Continue cooking longer to char romaine or until desired doneness.
  • Remove from heat.

When the quinoa and sweet potato is done, your dinner is ready! Plate, serve, and enjoy! 🙂

I’m off to eat and go watch The Vampire Diaries. If you try this recipe out, comment down below and let me know what you think!