My go to comfort food is always some form of Italian- it’s simple, yet so delicious. I’m not sure if it’s the carbs, olive oil, or garlic, but they all sound sooooo appetizing. At the same time I really strive to be healthy, even if I go for comfort food…
When you think about the food you buy at the grocery, whether it’s processed or pre-prepared… it begs the question… what’s actually in my food?
I am not saying you should ditch your pasta, because ease is sometimes necessary when you find that your days are overly busy. It’s also amazing- pasta with marinara sauce is so yummy! But If you have a free weekend you should definitely try your hand at making your own pasta. I tried making gnocchi because it was so simple to make and I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.
I had some sweet potatoes left in my apartment so I decided to try my hand at home-made gnocchi. Most people add some ricotta cheese to enhance the flavor a bit, but I didn’t have any cheese in my fridge so I did without. Surprisingly, gnocchi was simple to make and was pretty good! Next time I want to try regular potatoes with marinara sauce. Another alternative with sweet potato gnocchi would be some type of brown butter sauce, I think it would really enhance the sweetness of the sweet potatoes!
-2 medium sweet potatoes
-S & P (~1/4-1/2 tsp) …chicken…
-2 large chicken breasts (cut longways- “chicken finger style”)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-juice from 1/2 lemon
-1 tsp minced garlic
-S & P (~1/4-1/2 tsp) …balsamic brussels sprouts…
-2 cups brussels sprouts (quartered)
-3/4 cup red onions (sliced)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
-1/4 tsp S & P and red pepper flakes
-4 cloves garlic minced
Begin by preparing your chicken and marinade by placing all ingredients in a gallon baggy, mixing it up, and placing in the fridge for at least two hours.
For the gnocchi, use a fork to poke holes in each sweet potato and microwave until they are soft. Peel the sweet potatoes and put the soft insides in a small mixing bowl. Then crack an egg in the bowl and mix until it reaches an even consistency. Add S & P and mix. Slowly add flour while you turn the gnocchi dough over itself. I did not have an exact measurement for the amount of flour I used, I just kept adding it little by little until it reached a firm and non-sticky consistency. Then divide the dough into three small chunks and roll each out like a long snake to about 1/2 inch width. Cut each piece about 3/4 inch to an inch- I just tried to make mine bite sized! Place your uncooked gnocchi pieces in a bowl and set aside.
Begin to boil water while you cut your brussels in to fourths (if they are larger cut hem into sixths), then chop your onions. Heat olive oil in a pan to medium heat and add your brussels sprouts and onion.
When your water begins to boil add your gnocchi (this may take a few rounds), cook until the gnocchi pieces rise to the surface. The cook time for gnocchi is very short, mine took maybe 3-4 minutes! Scoop your gnocchi pieces out with a spoon, draining all the water, then place in a bowl.
When your brussels and onions become very tender add the garlic and balsamic vinegar. Then combine your gnocchi and brussels sprouts into one pan, turn off heat and cover with a lid.
In a separate pan cook your chicken on medium to high heat about 3-4 minutes on each side. Pour all the marinade into the pan to make sure the chicken becomes extra flavorful. Cut into a piece to see if the chicken is fully cooked. Grab a plate and put the gnocchi and brussels mixture on first, then top with the balsamic chicken. Enjoy!
Every time I log onto pinterest or google and type ‘healthy meals’ in the search bar, stuffed bell peppers almost always pop up- and for good reasons. They are easy, healthy, tasty, and last well in the fridge.
When it comes to my daily schedule I live by this “healthy in a hurry” mantra, because I always look up and find my time is cut short. I don’t like opting for an easy fix like take out- it costs extra money and is not the healthiest choice. That’s what makes these stuffed bell peppers amazing for meal prep!
The color is what make this dish so pretty- bell peppers are so vibrant and packed with flavor and nutrients. The mushrooms were my meat substitute, but can easily be replaced with tofu, chicken or beef! Just make sure that if you use chicken that it is precooked.
These would be great for a group of people, they’re easy to pick up, you can make multiple at one time, and they’re hassle free. After making them I realized why they are so ‘trendy’ on social media as far as healthy recipes- they make the whole ‘healthy in a hurry’ motto very possible.
I’m actually not entirely sure how you are supposed to eat these stuffed bell peppers, but I definitely used my hands… as if it they were burritos! They definitely pack a Mexican flavor so I figured it was acceptable! Anyway you choose to eat these tasty stuffed bell peppers, I hope you enjoy them!
-3 large bell peppers
-1/2 cup farro (dried)
-1/3 cup red onions (chopped)
-1/2 cup mushrooms (chopped)
-1/3 cup bell pepper (chopped)
-optional: cheese for toppings
-2 Tbs olive oil
-2 large cloves garlic (minced)
-1/2 tsp roasted ground corriander
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-S & P to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On the stove begin cooking your farro (or if you prefer quinoa or rice that’s okay too) according to package directions. Cut the tops off of all three bell peppers and cut out the seeds, place in a baking dish and set aside. Take the remaining bell pepper and chop it into small pieces. Put these bell pepper pieces in a bowl and add chopped mushrooms and chopped red onions. When the farro (or your grain of choice) is done cooking, add it to your bowl of chopped vegetables. Pour the olive oil, garlic, and seasonings over the farro and veggies then stir until all ingredients are evenly mixed. With a spoon, scoop the farro mixture into each bell pepper cup until they are full. Place in the oven and cook of about 20 minutes or until the cell peppers looked slightly wilted. Remove from oven and drizzle olive oil ontop or add some shredded cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Breakfast… the most important meal of the day! I’ll admit, sometimes we get in a food rut and make the same boring eggs every morning. Probably due to ease or that you may be under a time crunch. Either way, you shouldn’t settle for less!
In my opinion, if your food has had a life then it is probably nutritious and good for you. This sweet potato & quinoa breakfast bowl takes a bit of prep, but you can make a larger batch ahead of time and have a few breakfasts for the week.
When I make this breakfast I put a big scoop of sautéed kale, sweet potato hash, and quinoa into the bowl. In the meantime I cook an egg and get some salsa and avocado.
I love the way this dish looks after it’s complete, and it tastes even better! It’s what I like to call healthy “comfort food”. It’s lean, packed with protein, and delicious!
Ingredients Sweet Potato Hash
-1 large sweet potato (cubed)
-1 red bell pepper (chopped)
-1/2 cup crimini mushrooms (sliced)
-1/3 cup red onions (chopped)
-3 cloves garlic (minced)
-1/2 tsp salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, tumeric, cumin …the rest of the bowl
-2 cups kale (uncooked)
-1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
Extras (side): avocado & salsa
Directions Sweet Potato Hash
Begin by preheating the oven to 425 degrees. Chop up you sweet potato, bell pepper, red onion, crimini mushroom, and garlic. Mix all of these together in a cooking dish with some olive oil. As far as the amount of olive oil goes, I used about a 1/4 cup. Toss all the vegetables until they are evenly coated with olive oil. Put your veggies in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potato cubes are soft. Quinoa
Go ahead and start the quinoa, that way your veggies will be done cooking at about the same time. Follow the direction on the package and do not add any seasonings to the quinoa. Sautéed Kale
Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat. Use about 1 Tbsp olive oil and add the 2 cups of raw kale. Sauté until the leaves are a little soft, yet still fibrous and firm- about 4-ish minutes (watch these closely, cook time is short). I don’t cook them all the way in order to preserve the nutrition. When they are done quickly remove them from the heat and add about half of the sautéed kale to a bowl.
… at this point you vegetables and quinoa may be done. Go ahead and put a few scoops of sweet potato hash and quinoa into your bowl with the kale. Begin cooking your egg and in a small bowl mix together all of your seasonings. Sprinkle some of your seasoning mixture in your bowl of hash, kale, and quinoa, then mix evenly. Once your egg is finished place it on top. I always eat this dish with avocado and salsa- enjoy!
Kale can be a tricky vegetable to eat; it’s tough and very earthy tasting, but there are a few ways you can prepare it to make it taste great! I find I buy kale much more often in winter because all the other leafy greens at the grocery are always starting to rot. Kale is a veggie that tends to do well in cooler weather so it’s definitely one of my go-to’s this time of year. I love to do one of two things with kale- sauté it with garlic and olive oil or let it soak in dressing for a few hours or even a day. I made a yummy recipe for a make-ahead kale salad that you can let sit in the fridge for a day or two!
-1 bag kale
-1 cup shredded carrots
-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
-1/3 cup red onion (chopped) dressing
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 Tbs dijon mustard
-2 large garlic cloves (minced)
-1/4 tsp salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
Start by removing the thick, tough stocks from your kale and chop the leaves. Add them to a large mixing bowl. Then add your shredded carrots, quartered cherry tomatoes, and chopped red onion. In a separate jar add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Shake the dressing until it is fulling mixed. Pour over the top of the kale salad and mix well. You can eat the salad immediatley but I recommend letting it sit in the fridge for about an hour or until the kale softens a little. You can even pack it for lunch the next day! Enjoy!
-1 lb. ground turkey
-1 cup bread crumbs
-1 egg (beaten)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup red onion (finely chopped)
-1 tsp salt & pepper
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 large cloves minced finely)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make bread crumbs by blending a few pieces of bread in a blender. In a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, beaten eggs, olive oil, bread crumbs, and red onion. Then add all seasonings and mix well until the entire mixture reaches an even consistency. Spray a baking dish with non stick spray. Use your hands to create spheres that are about 1.5-2 inch tall/across. Place in the baking dish and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until done. To ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through I use a cooking thermometer. For poultry a meat thermometer must read 165 degrees. Once the meatballs are done cooking you can eat them place, on a salad, or with spaghetti and meatballs- Enjoy!