Roast the Rainbow – Veggie Delight

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Having just returned to school after a diet-busting spring break filled with fried shrimp, whipped cream, carrot cake and of course piña coladas (I was in Destin after all!) I felt like making myself something lean, clean and green. I’ll credit my mom as my source of inspiration for this recipe – one of my favorite dishes as a kid was her olive oil roasted veggies (yes, maybe I am a little strange). But seriously, I love roasted veggies – they’re SO healthy for you and easy to make. Now you can eat and taste the rainbow…while actually having something that’s good for you and your waistline! (sorry Skittles)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 TBSP EVOO (or extra virgin olive oil spray to cut out extra fat)
  • 4 TBSP red wine (I used Malbec)
  • 1 TBSP dried rosemary (or fresh)
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • veggies to your liking!

MAKES 5 servings

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This recipe is great because you can make it so many different ways. Choose the veggies that you prefer and start by chopping them up. Just to give you an idea, I used 6 large carrots, 1/2 carton of mushrooms, 5 stalks of asparagus, 1/2 sweet onion, 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 red onion and 1 small zucchini. A recommendation I have if you use onions is to cut them in semi-circles as opposed to dicing, I just think it tastes better. Baby carrots would also be great in this, I just happened to have large ones!

Now comes the fork in the road. You can choose to make a beautiful rainbow array of veggies (like I did) or the faster route.

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If you’re pressed for time, mix all of the ingredients (olive oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt & pepper) in a large bowl and add in all of your veggies, coating them with the mixture. Then pop them into the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, switching your oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to add a bit of crispiness.

However, if you need more color coding in your life, start by mixing the olive oil, wine, rosemary, salt & pepper in a large liquid measuring cup. Start by pouring out a little of the mixture (about 1/8th of the total) at a time into a separate bowl. Add the first “layer” of veggies and coat them in the dressing. Then line them up on a baking sheet and repeat until the sheet is covered!

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Voilá! The perfect roasted veggies – I love eating these as a light lunch, a side with dinner, in a salad, or even with pasta and a little extra olive oil. If you’re looking to cut down on fat content, instead of using regular olive oil, you could use olive oil spray (no mixing bowl required – just drizzle the wine on top of the baking sheet and spray!) Enjoy!

-SkinnyGirl

zesty quinoa

Zesty Quinoa Salad

With the new year officially in tow (Happy 2014!) I’m sure many of you are looking to check a few resolutions off the list – some of which might include adopting a new healthier diet or dropping a few post-holiday pounds. In my opinion quinoa brings you the best of both worlds – it is a superfood packed with nutrients that stays low in calories and as a bonus is super tasty! It is a complete protein (supplying you with all 9 essential amino acids) AND is cholesterol & gluten-free! No wonder it was called “the gold of the Incas” 😉

Zesty Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad won’t disappoint. It’s full of color and flavor that packs a punch. Fresh ginger and garlic add a spicy note while golden raisins add a touch of sweetness for the perfect combination. Get excited – your path to this deliciousness begins now.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 2 tsp.  ground cayenne
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBSP Extra-Virgen Olive Oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 3/4 c. (1/2 can) chickpeas
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1/4 c. (handful) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 c. (handful) golden raisins
  • salt & pepper

MAKES 2 SCRUMPTOUS SERVINGS

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Start by cooking the quinoa – preferably in broth of some sort for added flavor. Next, chop up the fresh ginger, garlic, red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and scallions. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, combine it with the veggies (except the scallions) in a large bowl. Add in the EVOO, lemon juice and ground cayenne. Pour in half a can of chickpeas, mix it all up, and top it off with scallions, raisins and a touch of salt & pepper! Delish and super easy to make – eat up and enjoy 🙂

Click here to see the nutrition facts

Don’t forget to subscribe for more healthy recipes & comment below if you try this one out! For another way to enjoy this tasty superfood, take a trip to the Caribbean with my Pineapple Quinoa Salad!

xo SkinnyGirl

Get Him to the Greek Meatballs

Greek Meatballs

I just had to slip a pun in the title, I couldn’t resist. But really, everyone should get to enjoy these greek meatballs. This is a recipe I made probably a month ago but am just now getting around to posting – this semester really has been BUSY. Regardless, this is probably my favorite recipe yet! It has everything anyone could ever want: fresh mint, greek yogurt, lemony goodness and feta cheese. Yes, it is essentially like taking a little bite of heaven.

I got inspired after watching a cooking show on PBS about making meatballs. According to the all-knowing woman on television, the secret to a delicious meatball is to have both cheese and breadcrumbs in the recipe and I’m glad I took her advice. Even though this a low-calorie meatball, it doesn’t come out dry at all. Now believe it or not, but one serving of these magical meatballs (3 of them) is only 226 calories which is seriously amazing.

Get your taste buds ready. You’ll need:

  • 1 lb 99% fat free ground turkey breast
  • 3/4 c. fat free crumbled feta
  • 1 slice of whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt & pepper
  • 1 packet of fresh mint (about a handful), roughly chopped
  • 2 oz. plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

*MAKES about 12 meatballs

I decided to make this meal with a side of the Near East blend of brown rice and bulgur. Just to make it extra tasty, when I popped it into my handy dandy rice cooker I added a slice of red onion and about a cup of mushrooms. Another secret: always cook your rice in chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarians)! The flavor is so much better and it barely adds any calories.

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While the rice cooker works its magic,  start the meatballs by toasting a slice of your favorite whole grain bread. Once it’s toasted, destroy the slice like you’re a kid that just discovered play dough (totally rip it apart). Voilá – homemade breadcrumbs! Set them inside a large bowl and add the spices, ground turkey, HALF of the fresh mint, egg, chopped shallots and feta cheese.

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Again with the playdough references, squish together all the ingredients and begin to shape them into about 1.5 inch meatballs. Spray non-stick spray onto a cookie sheet and pop the meatballs into the oven at 350 degrees.

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After about 10 minutes turn the meatballs over and put them back into the oven so the other side gets to bake for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix together the juice of half a lemon and about 2 oz. of plain greek yogurt to make the yogurt sauce. This is what you end up getting:

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Looks pretty darn fancy huh? Just top off the meatballs with a stripe of the yogurt sauce and the remaining fresh mint. Delicious, and perfect for amping up your Instagram game 😛 Enjoy!

Click here for nutrition facts! 3 meatballs = 1 serving

Pearl Couscous

Herbed Pearl Couscous

It’s been a crazy back to school season and all I want to do is go back to summer. However, one of the upsides to school starting means that I’m back in my own apartment with more people to cook for, and my own little basil plant! I decided to make good use of it so I whipped up this pearl couscous salad and let me warn you – it’s highly addictive. If some of you have never cooked with pearl couscous before, it is essentially normal couscous on a much larger scale. It looks like little balls of pasta and it tastes like pasta – so even if you don’t like normal couscous you would probably like this.

Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 5 tsp. EVOO
  • handful of basil (about 15-20 leaves)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice from one lemon
  • handful of chopped red onion (about 1/4 c.)
  • salt & pepper

YIELDS 2 side dishes or 1 main dish

Start by cooking the pearl couscous according to its instructions. Then put your lemon juice, garlic, basil, EVOO and rosemary into a food processor and blend!

Herb Mixture

Herb Mixture

Just stir the herb dressing over the couscous and add in chopped red onion. You’re done – easiest recipe ever.

Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous

Everything tastes so fresh and flavorful in this couscous salad, which is why I love it so much! Eat it up at 304 calories a serving! This would be a great side to pair with baked fish or grilled chicken!

Click here for nutrition facts

Tropical Fried Rice

Tropical Fried Rice

fried rice

Today I’m sharing one of my very favorite recipes! I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can eat ridiculous amounts of fried rice. When I go to Benihana I eat more than should be humanly possible. In homage to my love for the stuff I came up with this healthy version so that I no longer have to feel bad about eating an absurd amount of food. Also, spice lovers rejoice: I’m heating up the kitchen with this one, get ready.

You’ll Need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 c whole grain brown rice (I used organic)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- 2 habanero peppers finely chopped (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • ½ onion diced
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper (I used green) diced
  • 6 tbsp soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or canola oil)
  • ½ pineapple core, diced into chunks (or 1 can of pineapple chunks)
  • 1 small mango, peeled & diced
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped in florets
  • 3 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP sriracha (OPTIONAL)
  • 3 c. chicken stock (OPTIONAL) for rice

Makes 8 good-sized servings

Click to view nutrition facts

Start by cooking your rice. I like to cook my rice in chicken stock because it give the rice a richer flavor & chicken stock is very low in calories. If you read my last post then you know my favorite brand to use is Pacific Foods.

After you’ve got the rice going, chop up your veggies, peppers, pineapple & mango, & mince the garlic.

Heat up your skillet & pour in one tablespoon of grapeseed oil, then season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and 2 tsp of cayenne, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook the seasoned shrimp in the skillet with 2 teaspoons of the minced garlic. After cooking the shrimp for about 2 minutes, add in the remaining vegetables & fruits – including the rest of the garlic.

fried rice

In a smaller, separate skillet scramble the 4 eggs with salt & pepper. Your rice should be about done now so you can pour it into the shrimp skillet & add the eggs once they are finished cooking.

Add the remaining cayenne & garlic powder (1 teaspoon, each) into the skillet & stir. Mix in 6 tablespoons of soy or tamari sauce (I happened to have tamari so I used that) & sprinkle with salt & pepper.

If you really want to set your mouth on fire add the optional tablespoon of Sriracha (I’m obsessed with the Rooster). However, be warned – this will be VERY spicy! Only add the extra spice if you REALLY REALLY LOVE spicy food like myself 🙂

This recipe is so full of flavor and healthy! The great thing about spice is that it kicks up the metabolism & can actually help you lose weight – so eat up & enjoy the fruits & veggies. The amazing thing about this recipe is that the whole thing only has 1 tablespoon of oil, but trust me, you will LOVE it! Each serving is only 329 calories so fill up that plate 😉

Don’t forget to join the cool kids club: subscribe on the left to stay updated on all the healthy recipes & tips that I’ve got to offer! Happy cooking!

-SkinnyGirl

Spinach, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Salad

This recipe is perfect for summertime – light, fruity and containing goat cheese (I’m obsessed with the stuff). It’s really simple to make and is just great for the occasional day where you might be feeling a salad for lunch.

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 3-5 pieces of tangelo, sliced into 1/2 in. pieces
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • 3 oz. blackberries
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 oz. spinach

This yields about 2 servings or 1 extremely hungry person serving

First you can make the dressing by mixing the first 4 ingredients.

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Whisk until evenly mixed.

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Next place the onion slices, tangelo pieces, blackberries and goat cheese in a bowl.

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Pour over the dressing and voilá! Eat up and enjoy

SkinnyGirl

P.S. Check out the stats on this recipe: only 164 calories for eating half of this recipe (2 smaller salads)

blackberry goat cheese salad nutrition facts