Mango Bean Salad

Mango Bean SaladOkay folks, here’s a super easy and delicious lunch idea with lots of protein to keep you going all day. I give you: Mango Bean Salad! I put it on a bed of spinach and spring lettuce, but I could see this as a good topping for a veggie burger or as a quick side dish.

Ingredients:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained (in the summer you can use corn from the cob)
1 red bell pepper, cut up into small pieces
2 medium avocados, sliced into small pieces
1 large mango, cut into small chunks
1 tsp olive oil
dash of salt to taste

Directions:
Mix all ingredients. That’s it!

Mango Bean Salad<

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Gourmet Grilled Cheese – Gluten Free

Grilled Brie and Fig Sandwhich

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had with going gluten-free is finding good bread – which is why I’m so psyched to have discovered a bread that makes a good grilled cheese! I like Udi’s Whole Grain Bread – it seems dense and heavy when it’s in the package, but don’t be fooled… Once grilled or toasted, the texture becomes soft and light, and, as you can tell from this picture, gets the perfect crunchy toasted deliciousness on the outside.

For this version, I used brie (my favorite is St. Andre’s) and Trader Joe’s Fig Butter. I also plan on making this using real fruit slices – apples? pears? yum!

How do you make your grilled cheese gourmet? I’ll be looking for new options with my new bread!

Carrot Soup with Ginger, Cumin and Thyme

Hurricane Sandy swept through New Jersey this week  – which meant it was time to use up anything perishable in the refrigerator while we still had power. I had almost two pounds of carrots in my fridge, because every time I go to the supermarket I convince myself that carrots could become my favorite afternoon snack… which it never does. This soup, on the other hand, is much more appealing – the ginger, cumin and thyme add a depth in flavor that makes boring old carrots more exciting. And it’s a warm, hearty soup for a cold, rainy day. Stay safe, everyone!

Carrot Soup

Ingredients:


1 3/4 pounds carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock or broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 small sweet onion, chopped into small pieces
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to broil.
2. Place carrots and half the olive oil in pan, mix, and place in the oven. Broil for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
3. While the carrots are cooking, bring the broth to boil. Add the ginger, thyme and cumin and simmer.
4. While the broth is heating up, brown the onions in the remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and brown.
5. When the carrots are ready, combine the carrots, onion and garlic and broth mixture.
6. Use an immersion blender to combine the mixture until smooth.

Creamy French Onion Mac and Cheese – Gluten Free

I must admit something to you, blogworld: Despite my love for fine food, my favorite meal is still the same as most four-year olds’. To say I love macaroni and cheese is an understatement. For my entire first grade year, I refused to eat anything but macaroni and cheese for both breakfast and lunch. My more mature second-grade self made the sacrifice of adding PB&J into the mix now and then (in the name of nutritional balance, of course) but I have never tired of this delicious comfort food. This recipe uses three types of cheese, including one that is infused with French Onion flavor to give it a unique and savory taste.

Creamy French Onion Mac and Cheese

Creamy French Onion Mac and Cheese

2 servings quinoa pasta shells (or any pasta will do)
2 ounces swiss gruyere, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp cream cheese (gluten-free)
1 wedge Light French Onion Laughing Cow cheese
3 tbsp half and half
1 tsp butter

  1. Cook pasta as directed and drain.
  2. Place pasta back in pot.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pasta and cook on low, stirring continuously until all ingredients are melted and evenly distributed. If your sauce is too thick, add more half and half as needed.

You can also add some great mix-ins to this classic mac: caramelized onions, broccoli, peas, stewed tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. What’s your favorite mix in?

Gluten-free mac and cheese

Cilantro Cumin Potato Salad

It’s not very often that I am inspired by a meal I have during a meeting at work, but today was an exception. An outside caterer brought us a salad in a cilantro cumin dressing, and it was such a great combination that I had to make my own version. Here is a southwestern spin on the classic potato salad, made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to save some calories and add protein.

Cilantro Cumin Potato Salad

Cilantro Cumin Potato Salad

2 sweet potatoes, cubed
6 red potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 avocados, cubed
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved long ways (I also squeezed the juices out)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Dressing Ingredients
1 5.3 ounce container of Greek yogurt
2 tbsp half and half cream
1/4 tsp cumin
5 tbsps fresh cilantro, minced
1 tsp minced garlic (you may want more, but start with this)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro Cumin Lime Potato Salad

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Put the red potatoes and sweet potatoes in a roasting pan. Cover with the olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and slightly brown on the edges.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients and whisking until smooth.
  4. When potatoes are done, combine all ingredients, cover with dressing, and mix until evenly distributed.
  5. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Mini Ve(d)getable Frittatas

I love breakfasts foods – but as someone who is perpetually running late, I never seem to have time to make a real meal in the morning. I like these mini frittatas (made in a cupcake tin) because you can make a week’s worth ahead of time and warm them up each morning (or take them for lunch). The recipe below includes some of my favorite fillings, but you can really use any vegetables or cheeses that you like.

Mini Frittatas

Mini Veggie Frittatas

7 eggs
1/3 cup lowfat milk
1/4 head of broccoli
1/2 cup spinach
10 grape tomatoes
1-2 ounces gruyere (this is a perfect cheese for quiches and frittatas – white cheddar as a less expensive substitute that also works well)
1-2 ounces smoked mozzarella
Italian seasonings

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare fillings by cutting into bite size pieces.
Chopped fillings

3. Combine eggs and milk in bowl. Whisk.
4. Add fillings and a few dashes of seasoning to egg and milk combination and mix until evenly distributed.
5. With cooking spray, generously coat the cupcake tin.
6. Fill each slot until almost full.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a knife comes out nearly clean.

**Tip: while still warm, take a butter knife and circle the edges to make sure the frittatas don’t stick to the sides. After five to ten minutes, you can take them out and cool them on a plate. Refrigerate until ready to warm and eat.