Eggplant Quinoa Primavera

After a long day I was feeling pretty lazy and didn’t want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I decided that I was going to cook up some quinoa penne, marinara and top it with eggplant. I have been dying to use eggplant as a healthy alternative and I think this here is about as healthy as comfort food gets!

IMG_4825 copyAncient Harvest Gluten Free Quinoa Penne Pasta

The idea is easy! Grab some penne, I used quinoa penne as a substitute for noodles, boil it and strain as directed. Dice and sauté some mushrooms, onion and garlic and add them to whatever store bought marinara you like (or make your own if you want). Combined the diced veggies into the marinara and keep warm. Then prep the eggplant by slicing it into thin slices (about 1/8 inch), and start warming a pan full of cooking oil. I used vegetable oil but coconut oil and olive oil work well too. Take two bowls and fill one with bread crumbs and the other with eggs. Add salt and pepper to the eggs and whisk them so the whites and the yokes blend together. Dip both sides of your slices into the eggs and then move to the second bowl and coat with bread crumbs. Next, lay carefully into the hot oil using a fork or tongs. I prefer using a fork because tongs can sometimes pull the breading off once it’s cooked. Wait a few minutes until bottom of the eggplant has browned and then flip to cook other side. You may need to add more oil as you go to keep the bottom of the pan good and coated. Put as many eggplant slices into your pan as can fit- just be sure they are not touching or overlapping! After everything has been cooked then layer your dish: penne, sauce and eggplant on top! Honestly, this eggplant is so good you can eat it by itself! The time took about 35 minutes and I used these ingredients:

1 box quinoa penne pasta*
1 jar of marinara sauce
1/2 cup of diced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 diced onion (optional)
2 cloves diced garlic (optional)
1 sliced eggplant
2 eggs**
1 cup of bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with minced basil, cracked pepper or parmesan cheese (all optional)

*Feel free to try any type of penne out there- make it your own!
**If you are vegan you can use a cup of unsweet almond milk whisked with a tbsp of corn starch to replace the egg in this recipe or any egg substitute you prefer.


Rocket Persimmon Salad

This is so easy, healthy and delicious!

Find a great salad mix of arugula (aka rocket), kale and radicchio then put it in a bowl. Toast up some roasted walnuts in a non oiled pan- careful not to burn, they toast up quickly! Add that on top of the lettuce mix. Sprinkle with feta cheese and diced persimmons. (If you can’t find the persimmon fruit in your area, try substituting with a pear.) This is so tasty it hardly needs a dressing but sometimes I will use a dash of olive oil and some salt or balsamic vinaigrette works great too.

Booze Melon

Love a good Jell-O shot? Check out this quick video! A friend told me about this idea and I was pretty skeptical, so I had to try it. I could not find a recipe online so I had to wing it! I must say, it was a very successful try! I am very happy with how it turned out. This is a super easy and fun way to make a jello shots. Here is the run down:

One small watermelon
*If you are using a large melon, double the ingredients (below).
3 cups boing water
2.5 cups ice water
1.5 cups booze (vodka)
2 pkgs of watermelon Jello
1 pkg of geletin

Cut watermelon in half and hollow out the melon. Leave in any extra juice left in the rind. Set melon insides aside to snack on later. Mix together all ingredients and pour into watermelon rind. Place in fridge for at least 3 hours to set real good! Slice up and enjoy! Cheers!

Soup-er Butternut Squash!

This recipe is great and super simple. The best thing about this recipe is that it is all natural and you can adjust it to fit into almost any diet!
1 butternut squash (around 3 pounds)
1 onion
2 tbs olive oil
2 cups broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lemon

Coat the bottom of a large cooking pot with the oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add your broth (chicken or vegetable) and squash. Be sure the broth covers most of the squash. If it doesn’t, add some water until it does. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes. Use emersion blender to blend ingredients to a nice smooth texture. (If using an upright blender just be sure to remove the center stopper and cover with a towel when blending… it helps the heat escape without making a mess.) Mix in the salt, pepper and squeeze out the lemon juice to get the final flavors in you soup. Enjoy your healthy creation!

Amsterdam Sandwich

This is a super yummy and healthy sandwich that I make time and time again. I first had this sandwich a cafe in Amsterdam. I ordered it because the only thing on the menu I could understand was the word hummus. I knew I liked hummus so I figured it was a safe order (and this starving girl was in no mood to take chances). I am very glad I did because I have spent lots of time recreating it in my kitchen. Now I’ll never know exactly what was in that Amsterdam sandwich but that has been the beauty of it… You can really make it your own. Add more of something or reduce the amount of another veggie, to make the perfect combination for your taste buds. In the video I add a little flaxseed for fun! Here is what you’ll need to start:

IMG_01611 large portabello mushroom
2 carrots
3 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 celery stalk
1/2 zucchini
1/2 squash
1/4 onion
6 oz hummus
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs olive oil
A loaf of french bread

Super simple instructions! Coat the bottom of your pan with olive oil. Dice all your veggies and add everything except the mushrooms. Cook on medium- low for about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms last and cover. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Toast your bread and spread a thick layer of hummus on the bottom slice. Then top it off with the grilled veggies and complete your sandwich by topping it with the second slice of bread. Now, close your eyes and pretend you are in a beautiful cafe on the streets of Amsterdam. Feel that? Its not a contact buzz… its just that good!

Lone Star Salsa

Lone Star Salsa1 lime
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 of chives
1/4 onion
2 green bell peppers
2 avocados
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of kidney IMG_0103beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 jalapeño
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Grab a large bowl and a cutting board because you’re in for some choppin’! Dice up the cilantro, chives, onion, peppers and avocados. Squeeze the lemon over top and IMG_0104discard the rind. Then mix in the rest of your ingredients in the large bowl… and voilà!

Dip in tortilla chips for the perfect party dip. Other fun tips: You can use this dip to fill tacos or fajitas. Use it hot or cold. It is really just the perfect combination of healthy ingredients that taste amazing together! Its even better the next day! This is my favorite dip ever, made famous by my BF Casey’s mad cooking skills. I hope you love it as much as we do!