Easy Turkey Rollups

In my last post titled, “Lean Abs“, I mentioned making good choices for meals and snacks. My easy turkey rollups are perfect for snacks, lunches or picnic finger foods. Not only are these rollups great for children, they are great for children to assemble. Fun, easy, and healthy? What is there to lose? I used Tofurkey for the demo, but feel free to use carved turkey, or any other sliced meat. They can also be wrapped in lettuce. Check out this quick video on how to put them together:

Spicy & Romantic Pesto Pasta

If I had to sum up romance in a sentence, I would say it is taking that which is familiar and ordinary, and continually making it extraordinary through the expression of love. This is eternally true for all aspects of life, and in my case– cooking.I wanted to come up with a delicious recipe that could be used to celebrate Valentine’s day by making others feel loved. If we can put love into the details of what we do by thoughtfulness and creativity, we will never grow bored. With this dish, you have familiar ingredients, with added spice to surprise the taste buds, and undoubtedly, the lucky receiver of this incredible dish!

I rule-bend  a lot in the kitchen, because following traditional recipes leaves me unsatisfied. The chemist in me questions high calorie ingredients and pushes to explore and find new ingredients that don’t skimp on the flavor. Trust me on this: leave nothing out! This has got to be one of the most sensual and delicious dishes I’ve had in a while, and no reservation was necessary!

Serves 7

You will need:

  • food processor (If you do not have a food processor or a good blender, skip the pesto step and buy pesto already made. Sun dried tomato pesto is preferred)
  • 1 box of whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 1tsp 21 seasoning salute
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 3 large jalapenos
  • approximately 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 or 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • red pepper flakes, add as desired
  • black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 3 red bell peppers (washed, seeded and cut into thin strips)
  • 5 sun ripened tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • the juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tsp cilantro
  • Your choice of protein (My recommendation would be shrimp for this dish, but you have many options spicy Italian seitan was used for mine)

1. Cook pasta according to al dente instructions. We want our pasta nice and hearty and able to be tossed with ease.

2. For spicy pesto, add the following ingredients to your food processor: fresh basil leaves, 2.5 jalapenos, 1/8 cup olive oil, garlic, sun ripened tomatoes, pine nuts, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, Parmesan and cilantro. Also, add salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1/2 tsp of salt and a dash of pepper.

3. Pulse food processor until the ingredients are minced finely and almost the texture of puree.

4. In a large skillet, use about 1 TBSP olive oil and brown your protein on medium high heat. I used a dash of salt and pepper, and 21 Seasoning Solute generously.  ). Once protein has browned, add bell peppers and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. For additional spice, finely chop additional jalapeno and add to saute. Add baby spinach last, as it wilts the fastest. Remove from heat.

5. Add cooked and rinsed noodles to skillet of protein and vegetables and toss well. Add pesto sauce and serve with additional basil leaves as garnish.

Spicy Pesto Pasta with Italian Seitan Sausage

Nutritional info per serving:

(without protein added)

Calories: 320  Protein: 10g  Fat:10g

I will follow up with a very spicy dessert. Click the button above to subcribe!

Cool Edamame & Garbanzo Salad

If you’ve met my bestie, you know she doesn’t eat sushi without edamame. In fact, one might argue on some days she actually tolerates the sushi just to have the edamame! Like me, she eats a ton of salads to accommodate her  busy yet active lifestyle, so I thought I’d make a recipe that works for her and many others. This Asian-inspired salad is great for on the go meals as it can be eaten lukewarm, but is also a great side dish or first course when entertaining at home.

Edamame are  bright green legumes known as soy beans. Just like all pod-growing beans, they are rich in nutrients such as fiber, protein and iron and they are a great option for vegetarians and vegans, people who need more iron, or anyone looking for a low cholesterol form of protein.

Chickpeas were paired with the edamame for variety in texture and color. The recipe feeds two as a main course meal, but may feed more if the portions are smaller as a side dish. To save time, it is recommended to use frozen shelled edamame and canned garbanzo beans (after rinsing). The recipe is light on oils and salt, allowing the onion, cilantro and lime to bring the flavors together. The pinch of sugar really makes the sesame flavor stand out as well. Enjoy!

Salad

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup edamame, boiled and cooled
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 3 tsp red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped.

1. Before adding chickpeas and edamame to the mixing bowl, remove peas with imperfection and loose hulls.

2. Combine all contents in a large mixing bowl.

Dressing

You will need:

  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of sugar

3. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Be careful not to smash any of the peas.

Portion salad into bowls and drizzle with lime juice and sesame seeds. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Fresh Mex Salad

Beans are a great source of healthy fat and provide a great serving of fiber and protein. They are found in many types of  cuisines and one of my favorites is the role they play in Mexican cuisines. Usually pinto beans are used for refried beans, but the are also fantastic cooked and drained. Beans in the canned form can shave significant time off your cooking preparation. I used organic canned beans for this recipe, but that should not deter you from cooking your own if you have the time. This cool salad is an antioxidant-packed blend of the flavors most of us have come to know and love when it comes to Mexican cuisine.  The great thing about this salad is that it can  also work as a dip. The colors and flavors are bright, explosive and fresh.

You will need:

  • 1 15oz can of Pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp Cotija Cheese
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion diced
  • 2 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz Sliced black olives
  • 1 medium jalapeno finely minced (Use bell pepper if you do not like spicy food)
  • 1 tbsp Mexican green onions finely minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  1. In  a medium-sized bowl, start with pinto beans and mix in diced tomatoes, yellow onion, black olives, and jalapeno.

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small splash of water to help liquify if needed

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and set to “liquify”. Alternately, leave out avocado, and just whisk together ingredients.
  2. Toss individual salad servings with 1 tsp of dressing, top with cotija cheese and then  with finely diced green onions.

* The more avocado you use, the creamier the dressing will be. You will only need a very small dab for each serving of salad. This dressing can also be used to top tacos. We used this to top shrimp & soy chicken tacos.