Mediterranean Quinoa Bake
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When I’m short on time or I’m running low on fresh vegetables, I like to combine fresh veggies with canned ones for a quick and easy meal that still helps me meet my nutritional needs. When buying canned ingredients, I compare different brands and choose the one that is lowest in sodium, preferably no salt added, if possible. I also drain and rinse my canned beans and veggies that do have salt added to help further decrease the sodium level. If you like to use a lot of canned ingredients I would suggest investing in a little mini colander so you can easily rinse off your canned beans and veggies without having to use your bigger one. That way you can save precious dishwasher space and you may be more likely to actually take the time to rinse them off :)

 

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

 

 

This week was pretty busy so I wanted to make a really easy, healthy and delicious meal that would be able to feed both me and my husband for two nights. Throwing veggies, beans, and whole grains into a pan and baking it seemed like a really good way to accomplish my goal. I also wanted to do a vegetarian dish because 1) I love vegetarian dishes, 2) Adding meat seemed like an unnecessary extra step, and 3) My friend Stephanie is a vegetarian who loves casseroles/bakes and is always looking for healthy recipes…so this recipe was partly for her. I chose to use mediterranean flavors in this recipe because I love them… annnnd I also happened to have a can of artichokes in my pantry I wanted to use. So if you like easy healthy recipes, veggies, chickpeas, and quinoa, this recipe is just for you.

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

Mediterranean Quinoa Bake

Ingredients 
1 Cup Uncooked Quinoa
1 Can (16 oz) Reduced Sodium Chickpeas- Drained and Rinsed
1 Can (14 oz) Quartered Artichoke Hearts- Drained and Rinsed
1 Can (12 oz) Roasted Red Peppers- Drained and Rinsed
3 Cups Raw Baby Spinach
4 Plum Tomatoes – Sliced
1 Cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3/4 Cup Reduced Fat Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

Directions
Cook quinoa according to package directions and preheat oven to 350 degrees. While quinoa is cooking, add remaining ingredients except for feta cheese and balsamic vinegar to a large mixing bowl. Toss ingredients together mixing well. After quinoa is done cooking, spread quinoa evenly in a 9×13 inch glass baking pan. Top with veggie mixture. Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until veggies are warm and soft. Remove from oven, sprinkle feta cheese and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top of casserole. Place back in oven for about 5 more minutes until cheese is warm and slightly soft. Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!
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Easy, Healthy and Gluten Free
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The Super Bowl is next weekend so I thought this would be a great time to post a chili recipe. Chili is super easy to make and there are thousands of variations. If you are having people over to watch the Super Bowl, a chili bar with various toppings could be a fun, no fuss, self service way to feed your guests. Just make sure you have healthier topping choices such as avocado, jalapenos, hot sauce and reduced fat cheese or reduced fat sour cream.

In my turkey chili recipe I use lean ground turkey, reduced sodium canned beans, canned tomatoes with no salt added, fresh veggies and spices. I like using a combination of fresh and canned ingredients because chili should be an easy, hassle free recipe where you just combine everything and let it cook. The turkey, beans and veggies make chili full of protein and fiber which can help you feel full and satisfied (and then maybe you won’t munch on all those potato chips during the game 😛 ). You can also check our my “Game Day” board on pinterest for more recipe ideas. And for all the vegetarians out there, I do have a Hearty Veggie Chili recipe you can check out.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients
Cooking Spray
20 ounces Lean Ground Turkey
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Chili powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Chipotle powder
1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne
1 16 oz Can Reduced Sodium Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 15 oz Can Reduced Sodium Black Beans
1 28 oz Can No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
1 Jalapeno – Diced, seeds removed
1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion

Directions
Spray bottom of a 5 quart Dutch oven with cooking spray and turn heat up to medium. Add ground turkey and spices to pan. Cook until turkey is browned, about ten minutes. Add peppers and onion. Cook for another 5 min, mixing well.  Add tomatoes and beans (don’t drain liquid) and cover. Continue cooking on medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 10- 20 more minutes to cook down the liquid to desired thickness.
Easy, Healthy and Gluten Free!

 

 

 

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Lentil Vegetable Soup
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Good morning everyone! It has been awhile since my last post because I recently had a baby and things have been a little crazy around here. We are both healthy and doing well so far, although I am a little sleep deprived, but that was expected.

Prior to giving birth I did make some meal preparations because I knew it would be difficult to make healthy meals while dealing with a newborn’s eating and sleeping pattern….I feel like my life is currently in two hour increments. Having some prepared meals in the freezer have been really helpful and I’m super glad I had the foresight to prepare a variety of foods. I highly recommend stocking your freezer with some prepared meals if you know you are going to be very busy in the near future.

One of the meals I decided to prepare and freeze was a lentil veggie soup. Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber and adding any type of vegetables is always a good healthy choice. I also used unsalted vegetable stock and no salt added canned tomatoes so I could control the amount of salt that I wanted to add. My husband did add some hot sauce to his bowl so that is always an option too if you like a spicier bolder soup. Anyways, this recipe is super easy and freezes well and I hope you enjoy it!
 Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentil Veggie Soup

Ingredients
4 Cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Uncooked Lentils, Rinsed
1 Can (14.5 oz) No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Zucchini
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
3 Cups Raw Chopped Kale – Ribs Removed
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Add all ingredients except for the kale, salt and pepper to slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add kale and stir in until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or allow to cool and freeze in smaller containers for future use.
Slow Cooker Lentil Veggie Soup
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