Thursday, September 27, 2018

Easy Salmon and Veggies Meal Prep

Easy Sheet Pan Meal Prep! 
With Oven Baked Salmon, Potatoes, and Green Beans.  

This is my go-to meal prep, it is the easiest one to prepare while still packed with flavor, and very balanced! I meal prep every Sunday for 4 lunches that I bring to work (the coworkers and I always eat out on Fridays for lunch cuz you gotta treat yo self ;)). But for the other four days I always bring my lunch, and it is so easy to make them all on Sunday and have them ready to go in the fridge! 

Meal prepping is essential for everyone with busy work schedules that still want to eat healthy meals on a budget! I go to the gym everyday after work and what I eat for lunch is a huge impact on how my workout will turn out that day. I try to keep my lunches balanced with a significant amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, so I have enough energy for a great workout later that day! 

Also, for this particular meal I baked everything on one sheet pan so the clean up was a breeze! 

with 3 oz of salmon per serving, 1/2 cup green beans, 1/2 cup potatoes and with the seasoning and garnish the nutrition facts are as follows: 

400 Calories 
22 g Fat 
6 g Polyunsaturated Fat 
11 g Monounsaturated Fat
4 g Saturated Fat 
23 g Carbohydrate
4 g Dietary Fiber 
27 g Protein 
50% DV Vitamin C 
35% DV Vitamin A 

Salmon and olive oil are excellent sources of essential fatty acids like Omega 3 which works as a great anti-inflammatory to improve heart health ! These foods are also excellent sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are our "good fats". The potatoes and green beans are a great source of fiber which can also improve your heart health and digestive health as well! 

12 oz salmon filet 
2 cups baby potatoes (sliced in half) 
2 cups fresh green beans 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
salt & pepper 
dried basil & oregano 
red chili flakes 
1 lemon (cut into 4 wedges) 
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves 

How To Make It: 
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil.
2. Place the full filet of salmon on the sheet (skin down). 
3. Place the sliced baby potatoes and green beans on the sheet  pan as well
4. Season with the olive oil, herbs and spices 
5. Bake for 30-45 minutes (until salmon and veggies are fully cooked) 
TIP: also take into consideration you are likely to be reheating this meal in a microwave or what have you, this will also cook the meal so to prevent your salmon from becoming dry do not over cook, if anything under cooking at this step is recommended. 
6. Remove from over and portion the salmon and veggies into four containers (i prefer glass), then finish with a wedge of lemon (which you squeeze on after you reheat it) and a couple sprigs of cilantro. 

Enjoyyy :) 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Dark Chocolate Almond Energy Balls

These energy balls were inspired by the month of Ramadan. During this month Muslims are supposed to fast from before the sun rises until it sets. Most people will wake up before the sun comes up and have something to eat at whats called "suhoor".  Hopefully what you choose to eat at this time will help sustain you for as long as possible. Thus this recipe came about! These are very nutrient dense and a great balance of fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats. The insoluble fiber will help to keep you feel full, the healthy fats will help you during the ketosis (fat burning) state you will be in during the fast and the protein will help to prevent losing muscle mass. You can make these ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator for up to one week! 

The base of these energy balls comes from whole rolled oats, a great whole grain that is naturally gluten free and provides great fiber, vitamin B complex, and can help to lower cholesterol levels. 

The almond butter, chopped walnuts, and chia seeds are a great source of healthy fats providing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids along with omega 3 essential fatty acids. 

Vegan protein powder will provide a great source of lean protein and 2 servings of fruits/veggies. 

The unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon will provide great antioxidants. 

The unsweetened almond milk will provide vitamin D and Calcium. 

1 1/2 c Whole Rolled Oats (I use Bob's Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats)
1/2 c vegan protein powder ( I used Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Original Flavor) 
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds 
1/2 c Nut Butter (I use Trader Joe's creamy unsalted almond butter)
3 Tablespoons Honey (I used Wild Raw Wildflower Honey)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 c semi sweet chocolate chips 
4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Almond Milk

How To Make It

1. Combine the Oats, Protein Powder, Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, and Chia Seeds 

2. Add the Nut Butter, Honey, Vanilla, and Chocolate chips ( I ended up doing this next step in the food processor it combined it much better) 

3. Add one tablespoon at a time of the almond milk and mix until it becomes lumpy and able to form balls without cracking or falling apart. 

5. Form the balls and Optional: roll them in chopped walnuts or almonds.

6. Once done refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and enjoy for up to one week. 


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mediterranean Baked Eggplant

Mediterranean baked eggplant in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with arabic 7 spice quinoa, tomato slices, toasted pine nuts, and fresh mint! This recipe stems from a popular Syrian baked eggplant dish typically made with ground beef, I wanted to try making this dish vegetarian and I used quinoa in place of the ground beef. The flavors all came together so nicely and afterwards I topped the eggplant with a nice dollop of garlic greek yogurt, which is a must!! The finished product came out super packed with flavor and was light but still very filling! This dish can be vegan if you are just don't add the yogurt sauce and instead you can add tahini paste and garlic or just more olive oil! 

By adding the quinoa this dish is packed with plant based protein, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. The eggplant is rich in phytochemicals, Beta Carotene, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Tomato sauce is high in the powerful antioxidant Lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Pine nuts provide some plant based protein, poly and mono unsaturated fats (healthy fats), and vitamin E. The yogurt sauce with provide great probiotics and protein. Garlic throughout the dish provides powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Overall this dish is properly balanced with lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats! 

1 large eggplant sliced longwise 
1 can tomato sauce 
4 garlic cloves 
1/2 c Quinoa 
1 c veggie/chicken broth
1 c greek yogurt 
fresh mint leaves 
1 tomato sliced 
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 
salt & pepper 
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 
2 teaspoons arabic 7 spice 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

How To Make It: 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 

2. Make the tomato sauce: pour 1 can of tomato sauce in a saucepan along with 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of arabic seven spice, 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then place in a long dish. 

3. Slice the eggplant longwise about 2 inches thick and place eggplant into the sauce. 

4. Drizzle olive oil on top of the eggplants and pour 1/2 cup of water over the whole dish. Place the tomato slices on top of the eggplant and then cover with foil. 

5. Bake the eggplant covered with foil for 30 minutes 

6. Make the quinoa: bring 1/2 cup of quinoa, veggie or chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon arabic 7 spice to a boil then put on low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

7. Carefully remove the eggplant from the oven and put the quinoa right on top of the eggplant to make it appear "stuffed". Top with toasted pine nuts and fresh mint leaves.  (P.S. I removed the tomato sliced and then put them back on after)

8. Make the yogurt sauce: combine 1 cup of greek yogurt (I prefer full fat), 1 crushed garlic clove, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

Put everything together and you're all set! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Homemade Hummos

Hummos is a nutritious and flavorful middle eastern dip made from garbanzo beans (or chick peas), tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Super simple and easy to make in a food processor! I am sure many of you love hummos and just purchase it pre made from the store. However, this recipe only takes 5-10 minutes and tastes better than any hummos you would purchase in the store. It is also free of any preservatives, and will be lower sodium than store bought. Hummos can be paired with fresh veggies like celery, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. enjoyed with crackers, pita bread, a dip for meats or on a sandwich, or the base of a dressing/sauce.  

The garbanzo beans (chick peas) are an excellent plant based protein packed with fiber, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin B6, and manganese. 
Tahini or sesame seed paste is actually said to be one of nature's super foods, it is very nutrient dense packed with essential oils, plant based protein, calcium, and several other vitamins and minerals. 
Garlic is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent working to detox the body of free radicals and reduce inflammation throughout the body! 
Lemon juice is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C and helps to strengthen the body's immune system and fight free radicals (carcinogens) in the body. 
Olive oil is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, poly and mono-unsaturated fats and helps to raise the good cholesterol (HDL). 

1 large can (30 oz) of garbanzo beans drained (but save the liquid, see picture below!!) 
1/2 cup of tahini paste 
2 lemons 
2 cloves of garlic 
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
himalayan pink salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
paprika for garnish 

How To Make It: 

1. In a food processor place the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic cloves and mix until it forms a thick paste. 

2. Add the drained garbanzo beans and begin mixing, then gradually add the olive oil one tablespoon at a time. 

3. If you find the hummos is still too thick gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of the garbanzo bean broth to thin it out a little. 

4. The final product should be thick and creamy with some lumps, if you would like a smoother hummos you can remove the shell layer from the garbanzo beans, personally I like the texture with the garbanzo beans whole. Salt to taste I added approximately 2 teaspoons, the salt is important for it brings out the flavor of the lemon juice and garlic! 

5. Plate an garnish with paprika, sesame seeds, and olive oil! 

Enjoy :) 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)

Muhammara is a flavorful Syrian dip typically eaten as a mezze with pita bread. Muhammara is heart healthy, vegan, and packed with lots of flavor! I have had many different versions of this dish but I will always like the way my grandma makes it the best. Some people prepare this much spicier which is also delicious if you like a nice kick! Muhammara is typically found in Aleppo, Syrian cuisine and in Turkish cuisine as well. I garnished it with some paprika and extra virgin olive oil and served it with some of my favorite crackers (Mary's Gone Crackers original), pita bread heated on a gas stove, kalamata olives, arugula, and walnuts.

The red peppers provide vitamin A, antioxidant Beta Carotene, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B-6.
The walnuts provide an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (anti-inflammatory), polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (healthy fats).
Antioxidants from the pomegranate molasses and fresh garlic.
More vitamin C from the lemon
And more anti-inflammatory from the garlic, Aleppo pepper, and paprika. 

3 Red Bell Peppers 
1 cup Walnuts 
1/4 cup Tablespoon fresh made bread crumbs 
1 Tablepoon pomegranate molasses 
1-2 cloves of garlic 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 
1 teaspoon aleppo pepper 
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular) 
1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt 

How To Make It: 

1. Half the peppers removing the seeds inside and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Low broil for about 15 minutes in the oven. Once roasted, let them cool for about 10 minutes before adding to processor. 

2. In a food processor prepare bread crumbs using one slice of bread, I used a cracked wheat sourdough bread slice and toasted it a little before processing. 

3. Remove bread crumbs from processor and set aside. Next, Add in walnuts, lemon juice, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses, garlic, lemon zest, paprika, pepper, salt, and cooled roasted red peppers. 

4. Blend together and slowly add the olive oil as it blends. If you notice the mixture is not to your desired texture you can add more breadcrumbs to thicken, or more olive oil to thin out. Also the dip will thicken a little more when put in the refrigerator after preparation.

Serve with your favorite bread, veggies, etc. and enjoy!