Apr 14, 2014

Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad


Filling and delicious – under 300 calories!

This simple slow cooker chicken taco salad is high in fiber and protein which means it's very satisfying – all for under 300 calories. Trust me, you won't miss the tortillas!

I'm on a salad kick now that Spring has sprung. Last week I whipped this salad up for dinner, and it was so good and simple I knew I had to make it again to share. I basically added chicken breasts and black beans to the slow cooker, seasoning it with taco seasonings and topped it with salsa. Doesn't get easier than that! A few hours later I shredded the chicken and combined everything for this wonderful topping to this salad.

Filling and delicious – under 300 calories!

I also whipped up some of my favorite zesty avocado cilantro buttermilk dressing for the perfect salad that's so satisfying and super easy to make.  Try this for taco Tuesday!

Apr 10, 2014

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette


I love the combination of this simple salad of asparagus, hard boiled egg and bacon tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette – it has Spring written all over it!

I've been dying for this salad all week. Asparagus and eggs are a match made in heaven, but not just for breakfast, it's great for lunch too! I always keep hard boiled eggs on hand in my fridge to use throughout the week, therefore this salad came together in less than 10 minutes. It's perfect to pack for lunch, and you can easily double or multiply the recipe to feed more. It's also very inexpensive to make, low-carb, high in protein and fiber and perfect for gluten-free and Paleo diets.

Apr 9, 2014

Carrot "Rice" Leek Risotto with Bacon


A rice-less "risotto" made of spiralized carrots with leeks and bacon

While you dig your fork into this fluffy bowl of “rice,” you won’t believe it’s not real rice. Made of spiralized carrots with leeks and bacon – it's quick, gluten-free, paleo-friendly and dairy-free. If you just bought a spiralizer and need new recipe ideas, look no further! Ali, from Inspiralized loved her spiralizer so much, she created a blog dedicated to spiralized vegetables. (By the way, this is my favorite spiralizer, Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer which you can buy on Amazon or Williams Sonoma) Please welcome her....

First off, ever since I started food blogging, I’ve been a fan of Skinnytaste. Now, I’m not just saying that because Gina kindly let me share a recipe here today. When you first start off as a healthy food blogger, you can’t help but discover Skinnytaste and immediately start drooling. Needless to say, she’s been an inspiration to me from the beginning. In June 2013, I started my food blog, Inspiralized. Inspiralized is a blog dedicated to cooking with spiralized vegetables. Yes, that’s right. All of my recipes use vegetable noodles! Imagine my happy surprise when I saw Gina’s Zoodles and Meatballs, her Asian Turkey Meatballs and Zoodles with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce and her Zoodles with Lemon Garlic Shrimp. Somewhere along those lines, she mentioned that she was on a “zoodle kick.” Welcome to my world, Gina!

Like me, Gina wanted to share that spiralized veggies (noodles made of vegetables using a spiralizer) are a healthy, Paleo, gluten-free, unprocessed alternative to regular pasta. Of course, these noodles can also similarly be made with a mandolin or julienne, if you don’t happen to own a spiralizer. Aside from spiralizing zucchinis, there are many other vegetables that can be turned into noodles. Actually, spiralizing is a great way to eat seasonally. For example, over at Inspiralized, I made a lot of butternut squash and sweet potato noodles this winter. While these veggie noodles allow us to make hearty bowls of low-calorie and low-carb pasta, they can also be turned into rice! By simply placing your spiralized vegetables into a food processor and pulsing for a few seconds, the noodles are transformed into rice-like “bits,” perfect for using as rice.

Apr 8, 2014

Egg Tomato and Scallion Sandwich


Sliced hard boiled eggs, juicy ripe tomatoes, chopped scallions with a touch of mayonnaise, salt and pepper – enjoy this for breakfast or lunch.

With Spring in the air, I thought I'd share this sandwich from the archives which I often make for my older daughter, Karina. It's inexpensive, easy to make and she loves it!

Before I left my previous job in Manhattan, there was a small cafe that served this simple egg sandwich that I was hooked on. It's so simple but the flavors just work with the tomatoes and scallions. Now that I work at home, I make it quite often for myself and my daughter as she often requests it.

Easy Tip: Keep hard boiled eggs in your refrigerator for a quick breakfast on the go, to add to sandwiches or even salads. It only takes a few minutes to boil a few eggs, here's a foolproof way to make perfect hard boiled eggs every time.

Apr 7, 2014

Superfood PB Banana and Cacao Green Smoothie


Whenever I go to my local health food store, I like to challenge myself and purchase something I've never tried before. Last week I bought a small bag of raw cacao nibs which come from the bean of the cacao plant and is rich in antioxidants, fiber and magnesium. What I was expecting when I opened the package was the bitter taste when I put a spoonful in my mouth. But after asking around on Instagram I got tons of great feedback and ideas. I realized if you combine them with something sweet, the bitterness subsides and tastes like rich dark chocolate.

I've been playing around with them all week and decided to try them in my smoothie. Here, I combined almond milk, peanut butter, a really ripe banana with a few drops of stevia along with a handful of spinach. Aside from all the health benefits associated with raw cacao which you can read more about here, this tasted great and was very satisfying.

Apr 3, 2014

Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Lemon-Garlic Spicy Shrimp


Spicy shrimp with garlic, zucchini noodles, tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon juice – I just inhaled this EASY low-carb, gluten-free, paleo-friendly dish for lunch which took less than 20 minutes to make, start to finish and it was DELICIOUS!

Today it's finally starting to feel like Spring! Before you know it, summer will be here and you know what that means.... bathing suit season! I've been diligent about working out a few times a week, but you know what they say – great abs start in the kitchen and this so true so now that winter is over, I've been cutting back on my carbs (not eliminating, don't worry!) and really making my calories count.

In this dish, rather than using pasta, I swapped it for zucchini noodles. My Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer is my all time FAVORITE cooking gadget. It's the easiest way to make zucchini noodles, sweet potato spirals, carrot ribbons and more! Prior to owning one, I used my mandolin but it's so much quicker and easier (and safer) with this fun gadget – you NEED one!!