One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl

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Inspired by my passion for one-dish meals and Mind Over Munch‘s One-Pot Taco Quinoa, I present to you an easy Bitchin’ one pot of power. I subtracted ingredients from Mind Over Munch’s version that I didn’t have on hand and the result is a kids-pulling-on-my-legs-and-blood-sugars-are-dropping super simple One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl. It got 6 out of 6 flavor stars at my house, and 6 out of 6 clean-up stars for the kid who was on dish duty that night!

One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 red (or other color) bell pepper, chopped
1 green (or other color) bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
2 (15-oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks or slices, for topping
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped, for topping

In a medium pot over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cover to cook through, about 20 minutes.

Serve with avocado and cilantro.

Nutrition info for 1/6th recipe (about 1 heaping cup): 395 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat, 62 g carbohydrates, 16 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g protein, 6% calcium, 34% iron.

Share in the comments below your favorite one-dish meals. We need more! 🙂

Making Raw Hemp Milk Couldn’t Be Easier – Video!

Raw Hemp Milk
Makes 4 cups

1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
4 cups filtered water

Blend, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add to smoothies, pudding, desserts, soups, or cereal. High in protein, fiber, and Omega-3’s. Yum!

 

5 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions that Last

you got thisDid it get you again this year? Something like…  “THIS year is going to be my year! I’ll be at the gym every day, I’ll lose 20 pounds, I’ll do yoga at home, and I’ll start juicing daily because I’m ready to live this life!” Well cheers to that, resolution people!! Here are some tips to ensure that your magic number really IS 2016 and that this will hands-down be your golden, platinum and diamond year:

1. Make a list of why you are making healthy changes, and refer back to it every day. Aside from your doctor wanting you to get healthier, make a list of 10 reasons why eating healthier, exercising, and adopting healthier habits is on your New Year’s Resolution list. Do you want more energy? Better sleep? To fit into your old clothes? Or maybe you’re just tired of saying “I need to get healthier” and making excuses for why it’s not a good time. You’ll be surprised how great you feel after a few simple changes. And that feeling is often the motivation you need to keep going too!

2. Remove temptations. The best way to avoid overdoing it on high-fat, high-sugar foods that are going to hinder your New Year’s goals, is to remove all temptations. I like to call this the “Pantry Raid.” Throw out or donate foods that aren’t going to help you meet your goals and replace them with healthier options. Popcorn is a better option than chips or pretzels, dark chocolate squares are better than cookies or cakes, and low-calorie drinks like Honest Tea and seltzer water are better than sodas or juices.

3. Make changes slowly. Rather than going full speed out of the starting gate on January 1st with a juice cleanse, an intense exercise routine, and a detox from all the foods you love, make one simple change per week. This will increase your chances of actually sticking with that new healthy habit. For example:

Week 1: Drink more water. Try for 10 glasses every day. At first, you’ll be in the bathroom a lot. But then things will even out as your body gets used to the new, hydrated you.

Week 2: Eliminate fried foods. Try grilled, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and baked for lower calorie options when it comes to cooking. And, if you’re a fried food lover, treat yourself with something small at the end of the week.

Week 3: Walk 20 minutes every day. Go outside, or use a treadmill inside to get your 20 minutes done. You can even step up and down on a small stool while watching your favorite TV show. Just move those feet and get your heart rate up in a healthy way.

Week 4: Eat more veggies. Add a serving of raw or cooked veggies to lunch and dinner every day, and eat them as the first part of your meal. You may find that you’re less hungry for the more calorie-rich foods when you get your veggies “over with” first. And you may even start to crave them!

Week 5: Eat beans or lentils instead of meat one night per week. Meatless Mondays have gained a lot of momentum lately, and for good reason. Skipping meat usually means you’re eating more fiber, which fills you up faster and is great for portion control. And rather than replacing a burger with a meatless cheese lasagna (which may actually have MORE calories), try to replace the meat with a plant protein like black beans in a burrito, lentils in a stew or pasta sauce, or a veggie chili loaded with kidney beans and pinto beans. Keep this habit going to keep variety in your week.

4. Track your progress and celebrate every small victory. If losing 50 pounds is your goal, track your weight on a weekly basis and celebrate every ounce lost. Even if you don’t lose weight one week, look back on what progress you’ve made in other ways since the beginning of the year and congratulate yourself. Maybe you’re able to walk without getting out of breath for 10 minutes instead of 5. Celebrate that progress! Heck, celebrate every. single. minute! 

5. Talk about your New Year’s Resolutions. If your coworkers, friends, and family know that you’re working on new, healthy habits, they can motivate you and make sure you stay on track. If you keep your goals a secret, it’ll be harder to say no to the cookie tray that appears in your work area. And perhaps you can find a buddy who shares the same goals as you do. You can motivate each other and swap new, healthy recipes, go on walks together, and even initiate your own “biggest loser” competition if you want.

Keep in mind that any healthy change is an important one, and while change can be difficult, once you pass the magic 21 days, your habits will become more solidified. You’ve got this, people!

Zucchini Overpopulation Solution Project

Is your garden giving you more zucchini (zucchinis?) than you can handle? Take this hummus out for a spin! The tahini gives it a whopping punch of a bunch of different nutrients. Filmed by my 9 year-old daughter, a movie-maker in the making.

Zucchini Hummus
Makes about 2 cups

2 medium zucchini, diced
¼ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients until creamy. Perfect for a sandwich spread, dip for veggies or crackers, or for just eating with spork on a rainy Tuesday. Reduce the fat content by 5 grams per serving by eliminating the olive oil.

Nutrition info for 1/4 of recipe: 193 calories, 17 g fat, 9 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 4 g protein, 30% daily vitamin A, 10% daily vitamin C, 20% daily copper, 26% daily manganese, 12% daily iron, 12% daily magnesium

Breakfast in Dessert Clothes

Choc Chip Protein

If you’re a busy parent, busy person, or night owl, this is one of the best quick breakfasts that has ever come out of my Bitchin’ Kitchen. Make a batch on a slow morning or weekend, freeze individual portions, and booyah! when the natives (or you) get restless and hungry. I went into the kitchen with my lab coat on specifically trying to invent a lower-carb, higher-protein, cravey (crave-able?) breakfast for my type 1 diabetic 5 year-old in prep for his upcoming kindergarten year — using stevia-sweetened protein powder to both boost and sweeten it. But now, we have something that is a family staple for the whole team. Best thing is, it tastes like dessert! Why not get the chocolate river flowing first thing in the morning? You only live once!

Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
Makes 12 large bars
325 degrees, 40 minutes

WET INGREDIENTS: Stir to combine
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup milk (I use vanilla soy)
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

DRY INGREDIENTS: Sift together in a separate bowl
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 scoop Plantfusion protein powder or other protein powder providing ~20 grams protein per scoop

COMBINE WET & DRY, THEN STIR IN:
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal, or ground or whole chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds, ok to use other seeds or leave out)
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9X9-inch pan.

Stir to combine wet ingredients in a large bowl, and in a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine, and then stir in flax, hemp seeds, and chocolate chips.

Bake in a 9X9-inch pan for 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

NUTRITION FACTS PER BAR: 227 calories, 8.5 g fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 6 g protein, 9% daily iron.

Mason Jar Salads: Lunchin’ Munchin’ for Smart People

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So I’m a little late to the party, but figured maybe some of you haven’t even gotten on the subway yet!? BuzzFeed posted these 18 great mason jar salads back in December, and not only are they pure genius, but they’re nice to look at, easy to make, store, and transport, and they are all about Operation: Fit Into Last Summer’s Clothes.

But what I love more than any of those things is that you can make your week’s worth of lunches in about TWENTY minutes! What’s 20 minutes? That’s about how long I spend trying to figure out why I just walked into the dining room. I could be making salads!

So, what you do:

It’s Sunday. Line up five 24-ounce mason jars, grab a bunch of ingredients, a cutting board and a knife, and get all assembly line-up in the kitchen. Everybody clear OUT! The salad belt has been turned on. Stuff your jars in this order:

Start with Dressing: Either something bottled (like TJ’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette) or 2 T rice vinegar plus 1 T olive oil plus 1/2 tsp salt.

Next, fill with Protein: Tofu cubes, beans, tempeh cubes, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and shelled edamame beans are some of my favorites. They’ll marinate in the dressing. Genius again!

Next up, Chunky Veggies and/or Grains: These are ones that can afford to get a little juicy with dressing: Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, jicama (is that a veggie?), corn… and quinoa, wild rice, pasta, roasted potatoes…

And Finally: Greens and herbs. Spinach, kale, mesclun, basil, dill, cilantro…

Optional Salad Toppers: Croutons, cranberries, sunflower seeds, those Asian noodle thingies. Not necessary, but oh so good.

Stick those 5 pieces of gloriousness in the fridge and take one each day for lunch (or have for dinner if that’s where healthy food prep time is at a minimum). Either shake it while IN the jar, or if it’s too jam-packed, empty the contents into a bowl and toss to coat dressing. No more excuses people!

What’s YOUR favorite salad stack?

Eggless Eggs Still on the Menu

Even with news of chicken eggs back on the cool list, Eggless Eggs are still a family favorite, a hometown staple, and a great way to enter into tofu addiction — no matter if they’re stuffed into a burrito, alongside toast, or eaten solo by the Paleos. Make a big batch on the weekend and choose your method of delivery on the day of. To breakfast! (Or dinner!)

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs
Makes 4 servings
Prep and cooking time 20 minutes

Searching for scrambled eggs without all the fat and cholesterol? Take this creation out for a spin, and you’ll find yourself singing its praises from the hilltops. Serve with fresh fruit and toasted 100% Whole Grain Fiber Bread. Compared to a 2-egg omelet, a serving of Eggless Eggs has 150 fewer calories, 11 fewer grams of fat, 450 fewer milligrams of cholesterol, and 2 more grams of fiber. Eggs never tasted so good.

1 (15-oz) block extra firm tofu
2 tsp olive oil
1 green onion, or 1 Tbsp diced onion
½ red bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
½ green bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
1 medium carrot, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric (optional, makes the “eggs” yellow)
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1 Press Tofu: Place 6 paper towels on the counter. Drain tofu from package. Place block of tofu on the paper towels. Place a cutting board or baking sheet on top of tofu. Place 2 or 3 cans of beans or similar weight on top of the cutting board, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. This process gets excess water out of the tofu, allowing it space to soak in other incredible flavors.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté veggies, spices, and salt until tender, about 5 minutes.

3 Crumble tofu into the skillet; continue to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4 Serve warm topped with black pepper and hot sauce if desired.

5 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per serving: 161 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 298 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15.5 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 54% vitamin C, 19.5% calcium, 13.5% iron

Strawberry Lemon Tart Reunion

Strawberry Lemon Tart from "Skinny Dish!"

Strawberry Lemon Tart from “Skinny Dish!”

Now that you successfully decluttered your closet and possibly enjoyed the world’s tastiest latte on Day 8, it’s ok to add a little dessert back in without needing to detox again. When I wrote my Trader Joe’s Skinny Dish! cookbook, I really really wanted to master a cheeseless cheesecake eventhough I never understood the draw, and frankly never understood the point of dessert that wasn’t chocolate. Well, I failed! But, out of the laboratory, this tart was born. Free of chocolate and so totally good (huh?!?) that your engine might just start on its own. Embrace your success and celebrate! And call me crazy, but it totally rocks with green juice :>) xo

Strawberry Lemon Tart
Makes 12 slices
Prep time: 20 minutes
Hands-off cooking time: 35 minutes plus 1 hour for chilling

This far-out dessert started as a cheese-less cheesecake and morphed into a ridiculously delicious tart. It will wow you again and again.

Cinnamon Graham Crust
3 cups (about 90) Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies, or about 8 oz graham crackers
1/3 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, or other non-hydrogenated margarine

1 Preheat oven to 350° F.

2 In a blender or food processor, blend cookies until they’re crumbs. Add margarine and process until evenly mixed.

3 Press mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round pie pan so the edges come nearly to the top. The filling will only reach halfway up the pie pan, so the crust doesn’t need to come precisely to the top.

4 Bake crust for 5 minutes, and let cool completely before adding filling and baking further.

Lemony Filling and Strawberry Topping
1 (8-oz) container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, or other non-dairy cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
10 medium strawberries, stems removed and sliced lengthwise (preferably organic)

1 Blend together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and cornstarch until smooth.

2 Pour filling into cooled crust and bake for 35 minutes, until the filling puffs up completely and has a golden glimmer. Let cool in the fridge for about 1 hour to solidify the filling. (If you can’t wait, at least let it cool to room temperature, and then top with strawberries. It will be a bit gooey, but still incredibly delicious.)

3 Arrange sliced strawberries on top and enjoy right away.

4 Store leftover slices (if there are any) in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per slice: 208 calories, 10 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 169 mg sodium, 27.5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 26 g sugar, 2 g protein, 0% vitamin A, 11% vitamin C, 0% calcium, 2.5% iron

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies

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Ever thought to put veggies and beans into brownie mix and then turn them into cookies? Wait, that’s not what you think about as you lie in bed at night? Oh. Well, I’ve taken on the age-old question and attempted an answer: How do we make brownies a complete meal? Announcing the High & Mighty Brownie Cookie. High in nutrients, mighty in taste and energy. And while I still serve them for dessert, they can certainly pass for a side dish or maybe even a main squeeze…

High & Mighty Brownie Cookies
Makes 48

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
Large handful kale, about 2 cups chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (the canned type)
1 box brownie mix
1/2 cup coconut flour, almond meal, or cashew meal

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Blend or food process beans, kale, and pumpkin into a smooth, olive green glop (probably not wise to taste-test this…).

Stir glop together with brownie mix and coconut flour (or almond or cashew meal).

With slightly wet hands, form into 1 1/2-inch round balls (slightly smaller than golf balls) and drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.

Press down gently with a fork in a criss-cross fashion.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and chow down!

Nutrition Information Per Cookie: 74 calories, 1 g fat, 36 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 1 g protein, 21% vitamin A, 3% iron.

Now you (or at least I) can rest soundly. Cheers to chocolate! xo

Anytime Apple Crisp

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When the Reilly kids go apple-picking, they take it to the extreme. I kid you not, they picked 100 pounds of Fuji apples in less than 15 minutes! Of course, they had to taste-test an apple before deciding Fuji was the one they wanted, and I *have* read that an apple can energize you more than caffeine….

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So other than eating them, handing them out to everyone we see, and making a lifetime stash of addiction-worthy Pumpkin Apple Butter, what will we do with all these apples? First on the list, an apple crisp so tasty and balanced, that it qualifies as a complete meal. My oldest mini chef played a key role in the super simple prep…

Anytime Apple Crisp
Makes 8 generous servings

FILLING
8 apples, unpeeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon, or about 2 Tbsp lemon juice

TOPPING
1 cup oats (I use gluten-free rolled oats)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup almond flour, cashew flour, or coconut flour
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup melted non-hydrogenated margarine, or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss to combine all FILLING ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 9 X 13-inch baking dish.

In the same bowl (no need to rinse), stir together the TOPPING ingredients. Pour evenly over apple combo, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes to let the topping brown.

Nutrition Info Per Serving (including walnuts and chia seeds): 292 calories, 14 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 21 g sugar (mostly apples!!), 5 g protein, 10% iron.

How do YOU apple up? xoxo

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