Simple Pico de Gallo Recipe

The hardest thing about making pico de gallo is chopping the vegetables. After you get over that hump, it is smooth sailing.

This simple pico de gallo recipe was taste-tested during my Om, Nom event over the weekend. First participants got sweaty in a vinyasa-inspired yoga bootcamp class, then everyone tasted my newest go-to breakfast: savory oatmeal.

On top of that lovely savory oatmeal was this vibrant pico de gallo. The recipe below nearly filled up two mason jars — which was perfect for the event. Though, if you are like me, you could probably eat an entire jar yourself.

Make it in your kitchen and tag #SHSHkitchen when you do!

Simple Pico de Gallo

  • Servings: 8-10, 2 Tbsp each
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut small

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 yellow or orange pepper

2-3 Tbsp of fresh cilantro, chopped

2-3 scallion stalks, chopped

1 lime

1/2 tsp sea salt

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Directions

  1. The worst part is first: Chopping the tomatoes. After rinsing the cherry tomatoes, chop each one into 6ths or 8ths depending on size. Use your best knife and exercise patience.
  2. After the tomatoes are chopped, move onto the onion and peppers. Chop them just as small as the tomatoes.
  3. Add all veggies to a mixing bowl. Then, add the chopped scallions and cilantro. Combine well.
  4. Juice the entire lime over the bowl,  add the sea salt and give your pico de gallo a toss.
  5. Cover and set in the fridge until serving time. Store it in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

 

4-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are amazing — there’s no argument there (I hope). One of the best things about pancakes is that they can be vegan, gluten-free and dairy free and still taste delicious. These four-ingredient protein pancakes are the bee’s knees.

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I’ve seen several protein pancake recipes on Instagram and the blogs I follow, but I thought I’d share my personal go-to. As always, you can add your personal touches, i.e. cinnamon, fruit, cacao nibs, honey, maple syrup, nut butter, etc. Opting for a breakfast that is a great mix of protein, healthy fats and whole grains keeps you full throughout the morning and prevents that crash you experience after a sugary meal.

Try this recipe and tell me how you customize it!

Protein Pancake

(Serves 1)

Ingredients

1 banana

1 egg (vegans sub one flaxseed egg)

1/4 cup quick cook oats

1 scoop protein powder (I use Whole Foods’ whey protein, use vegan if needed)

1 tsp coconut oil

Pancake batter

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mash your banana. In the same bowl, scramble your egg (or add flaxseed egg) and combine it with the mashed banana.
  2. Add oats, protein powder and any extras (i.e. cinnamon, stevia or vanilla) to your bowl. Mix well to make sure protein powder is fully incorporated.
  3. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes so that the oats absorb some of the liquid. In the meantime, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. If using a non-stick skillet, feel free to skip the oil.
  4. Pour batter into heated skillet. Flip once the pancake starts to bubble.

Serve drizzled with maple syrup or honey. Another great addition is a scoop of nut butter, fruit or cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Miso Glazed Eggplant Recipe

This miso glaze recipe is bomb-diggity. Not only is it the perfect accompaniment to this roasted eggplant, but it also doubles as a dressing for your salad or buddha bowl.

Before even thinking about this miso glazed eggplant recipe, you will need to invest in light miso paste. You can find this at your local Asian market and in some grocery stores. According to Mind of  Chef, buying in Japan is best — but buying one made in Japan might be the next best. As for eggplant, regular or Japanese works!

Miso Glazed Eggplant Recipe

Ingredients

¼ cup light miso paste

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp water

½ – 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped roughly

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp raw honey (maple syrup or regular honey works)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 eggplant, mostly peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch thick lengthwise (*or 4-6 Japanese eggplant, skin on, sliced in half lengthwise)eggplant

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. My broiler is particularly powerful, so I put it on the low setting. (The time recommendations below are for a standard broiler with one setting. But, as always, I recommend keeping an eye on things to avoid burning.)
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper — I’m always afraid it’ll burn). Rub both sides of your eggplant strips with oil and arrange on the pan with no overlap (skin side down if using Japanese eggplant). Broil for 5 minutes or until tops are golden brown.eggplant
  3. While eggplant is broiling, combine miso, vinegar, water, honey, ginger and garlic in a food processor.eggplant
  4. Remove the eggplant from the oven and brush the tops generously with the miso glaze. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, or until caramelized. Remove from the oven, brush again with the miso glaze and return to the broiler, rotating the pan for even cooking for 2 more minutes.eggplant
  5. Serve right away! (Best if served immediately, will be mushier if reheating as leftovers.)

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Baked Japanese Sweet Potato Fries

It doesn’t get easier — or yummier — than this. Seriously. When you’re looking to switch to a “clean” diet, you don’t have to give up all of the good stuff.

I’m a sucker for some crispy fries, especially sweet potato fries.  (I always spend the extra $2 to swap my fries at the restaurant.)

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In this [geeky] video, I’m slicing up a Japanese sweet potato. This particular sweet potato variety has a yellow-white flesh. Japanese sweet potatoes are also lighter and less sweet than the traditional orange sweet potato.

Below I have two recipes for you. One is a simple baked sweet potato fries recipe, and the other is seasoned with sesame seeds and aonori — a seaweed powder.

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Japanese Sweet Potato Fries

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Simple sweet potato fries ingredients

2 large Japanese sweet potatoes

1 Tbsp of olive or avocado oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Japanese-seasoned sweet potato fries ingredients 

2 large Japanese sweet potatoes

1 Tbsp of olive or sesame oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp aonori

1 tsp white sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
  2. Wash your potatoes and pat them dry. Leave the skin on, or peel if you would prefer the skin off.
  3. Slice your potatoes into fries. Do your best to make them uniform in size so that they bake evenly.
  4. Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl, then add the oil and seasonings. Toss using your hands until the fries are well-coated.
  5. Line your fries on the baking sheet with no overlap.
  6. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes, then turn your fries and bake for another 5-10 until they reach desired crispiness.  Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Vegan, gluten-free mac & cheese? Could it be?! Well, the vegan part is totally up to you. I used parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese in my batch — but you could leave it out or sub in a dairy-free option. This isn’t the first time I’ve attempted this mac & cheese, but it’s the first time I finally got it right! I mostly credit my handy-dandy hand mixer Ryo so kindly bought (so I’d make more cookies).

The key ingredients in this recipe are Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli ($1.99), sweet potato and original, un-sweetened almond milk (though any dairy-free milk will do). The brown rice fusilli has only two ingredients (Yes, TWO ingredients): organic brown rice and water. 

mac and cheeseIn addition to those three core ingredients, add all the cheeses and spices your heart desired. I added basil, oregano, garlic powder, parmesan cheese and pepper.

mac and cheeseSweet Potato Mac & Cheese

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

3/4 package of Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli (6 cups cooked)

2 cups sweet potato, mashed

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk

2 tbsp parmesan cheese (omit or use other)

1/2 tsp of each: Basil, oregano, black pepper (omit or switch it up)

*Bonus: Add some leafy greens like kale, spinach or arugula

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Fusilli according to package instructions.
  3. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave (or bake/boil) until mashable. I tossed mine in the microwave for time’s sake and peeled after letting it cool slightly. The skin comes right off the potato after microwaving — but you’re welcome to peel ahead of time.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash potato. Add almond milk and seasonings to the bowl, and then blend with a hand mixer. For creamier mac & cheese, add an extra 1/4+ cup almond milk.mac and cheese
  5. Stir in 6 cups cooked pasta and any leafy greens. mac and cheese
  6. In a non-stick or lightly-grease baking pan, pour mac & cheese, then top with a layer of mozzarella if desired.  Bake until cheese melts.mac and cheese

Honestly, you don’t have to bake it at all if you’re not melting any cheese. I was eating it out of the bowl before putting it in the oven. LMK if you try this recipe in the comment section below! Enjoy!

 

 

Cocoa Coffee Smoothie

I really love Starbucks coffee, especially their dark roast blend. On days I work from home, I typically head down to my local coffee shop and get a small cup of dark roast, add my Stevia, then sip, sip, sip. Since I use my Starbucks card so often, coffee and tea refills are on the house. Before I leave, I frequently ask the barista for my free refill  and then store that beverage in the refrigerator to use the next day.

Not only is this a great way to save a couple dollah, dollah bills, but it allows me to get a little creative with my beverage. After seeing this smoothie post from a friend, I was inspired to create my own concoction. Here we have a…

Cocoa coffee smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup of cold* coffee

1/2 banana

1 tbsp cocoa powder

3 drops liquid Stevia

Splash plain, unsweetened almond milk**

1 handful of ice

Cacao nibs for garnish***

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*Making the beverage hot isn’t out of the question, just warm the coffee and omit the ice.

**Any milk will do — even 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

***Going the coconut route? Top with shredded coconut.

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Directions

  1. Blend coffee, banana, cocoa powder and Stevia.
  2. Add ice to a glass and pour smoothie in. Add a splash of milk and garnish.

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Delicious and refreshing! Perfect for this transition from winter to spring. :)

Let me know if you try it out!

Zucchini Protein Pancakes

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I haven’t had a lazy Sunday AM in a very long time. As I lay in bed this morning, completely relaxed, I started thinking about breakfast. Today is a grocery shopping day, so we had very little in the refrigerator — no eggs, no apples, no bananas, and only one piece of bacon. Perfect opportunity to get creative!

I started looking through foodgawker.com and came across a couple zucchini recipes, unrelated to breakfast. But, then I got thinking… 1. I love zucchini bread, and 2. I have been trying to master protein pancakes for a while. This batch is a winner! I kept my pancakes simple and as clean as possible, but to Ryo’s batch I added extra sugar and some chocolate chips. Yum!

Here is a rough breakdown of their makeup:

Calories: 251 
Protein (+/-  depending on protein powder): 25g
Carbohydrates: 29.5g
Fiber: 6.5g

Zucchini protein pancakes (Serves 1)

1 flaxseed egg (1T ground flaxseed + 3T water)
1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 T Greek yogurt
2 T water
4 drops of liquid stevia
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon
~
1/4 c whole wheat flour (or preferred GF flour)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (21.5g)
1/4 t baking powder
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*Optional (… for the boyfriends/kids/sweet tooth): 1 T brown sugar, palm-full of chocolate chips 
**Alternative to flaxseed egg = 1 egg white.
  1. Grab your mixing bowl and prepare the flaxseed egg by combining  1T ground flaxseed with 3T of water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, gather your ingredients.

    Flaxseed egg, protein powder and zucchini.

    Flaxseed egg, protein powder and zucchini.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, Greek yogurt, water, stevia, vanilla and cinnamon to the flaxseed egg and combine.

    Liquid mixture.

    Liquid mixture.

  3. To the liquid ingredients, add the flour, protein powder and baking powder (plus, any optional ingredients). Mix well.
  4. Lightly grease the skillet with non-stick spray and portion your batter out into 3 or 4 pancakes. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side — or until golden brown.protein pancakesprotein pancakes
  5. Serve topped with fruit, nuts, nut butter, honey or syrup. This time around, I did honey and some warmed frozen fruit.

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Enjoy!
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Coconut chocolate chip cookies

Crazy girls be like, “Giving up cookies for New Year’s!” I’m all like, “No.”

If you know me, you know I have a super sweet tooth. As a kid, I used to eat handfuls of Chips Ahoy cookies from my family’s cookie jar after school and sneak late night snacks like the peanut butter cups from the freezer. (Those were my brother’s — he wasn’t too happy when his Reese’s went missing.) Don’t believe me? Ask my awesome boyfriend to show you a picture from my chubby days that he snapped at Thanksgiving.

Now that I have my snacking under control, I’m constantly looking for ways to make desserts a bit healthier… and that’s not changing in the New Year. Here is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that incorporates whole wheat flour and subs in coconut oil for butter.coconut

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or coconut/almond/oat flour for gluten-free)
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

1/2 cup soft coconut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 heaping cup coconut (or brown) sugar
1 egg (or 1 T ground flaxseed + 3 T of water for vegan)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 chocolate bar, or 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4-1/2 cup shredded coconut

*You might need 1 Tbsp of almond/coconut milk to bring a dryer batter together.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a another bowl, whisk/blend coconut oil, sugars, egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Your batter might be on the drier side — if so, this is where you add the milk. Start with 1 T and mix well.
  5. Finally, fold your chopped chocolate bar to your cookie batter.
  6. Chill batter in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.SAMSUNG CSC
  7. Roll cookies into balls. Place cookies on a non-stick cookie sheet (or one lined with parchment paper). Bake for ~10-15 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

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Enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Hummus (5 ingredients)

Yes, you read correctly! This recipe includes five ingredients and tastes absolutely, positively delicious. Another bonus? It’s inexpensive! One 8 oz tub of Trader Joe’s Tahini Sauce can make up to 8 batches of hummus — unless you really love tahini, then it might only make 4 batches of hummus. Either way, TJ’s sells the tub at $2.99, Garbanzo beans at 89¢ and pre-made hummus for $2.99+… I’ll let you do the math to calculate your savings. ;)

Revisiting on Jan. 5. 2015: Since people seem to LOVE this hummus, I thought I’d revisit it and kick things up a notch with ROASTED GARLIC. Another change is that I’ve been buying tubs of tahini from Whole Foods (by the nut butters), because they seem to last longer and have less ingredients.hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp tahini

1 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

3-4 cloves of garlic

Directions

  1. Roast garlic: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Peel garlic cloves and wrap them in tinfoil with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tsp). Place them in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Check at 30, and if they aren’t golden brown and soft, continue cooking.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Optional step: Peel the skin off each chickpea for super smooth hummus. This is definitely a time consuming process — proceed with patience. If I do say so myself, it’s worth it. Put the garlic in the oven and sit down with your chickpeas.
  3. Put chickpeas, roasted garlic, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of tahini into a food processor. Blend well, then add your lemon juice and continue blending. To reach your desired smoothness, continue adding olive oil 1 tsp at a time.
  4. Taste you hummus, and then add any seasonings you’d like (ex. salt, pepper or fresh herbs). In the batch pictured below, I added a little parsley.

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Vegetarian Lentil (meat)Balls

These aren’t exactly meatballs since they are lacking any kind of beef or poultry, but they are a delicious vegetarian alternative to traditional meatballs if you are looking for something to accompany your pasta. Being pescetarian for the month has led me to have some interesting cravings brought on my temptation and the simple lust for what I can’t have. The forbidden is always so desirable.

Earlier this month, I was tempted by my Aunt Karen’s famous meatballs. When I say famous, I really mean it. If she didn’t make them for a holiday or family gathering, people might riot. Real talk.

Anyways, here is my vegetarian spin on meaty, meaty meatballs. Enjoy!

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Red Lentil and Kale Meatballs

Ingredients

1/2 cup kale

1/2 small yellow onion

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp parmesan cheese

1 tsp olive oil

preferred seasonings (I used red pepper flakes, curry, chili powder. You could go all Italian with basil, oregano, garlic powder, etc.)

1/2 cup panko

1 egg

1 cup cooked lentils (1/2 cup uncooked)

palm full of flour* (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and begin by cooking 1/2 cup dry lentils according to package instructions.SONY DSC

2. Chop kale, onion, garlic, cheese and olive oil in a food processor, and then add the mixture to mixing bowl. SONY DSC

3. Add egg, panko, seasonings and cooked lentils (once slightly cooled) to the same mixing bowl and combine. Test time: If you can’t form compact balls, add a palm full of flour to the mixture. SONY DSCSONY DSC

4. Form lentil balls from the mixture (makes about 9 golf ball-sized lentil balls). Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning half way through.

Serve with pasta, rice, tomato sauce… get creative! Yum yum yum! Once January is over, I might consider adding some ground pork/turkey to these lentil balls.

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