Simple Salad

This is my go to salad when I want a quick, delicious, filling lunch. It's easy, nutritious, and most importantly makes me want to eat some more. The veggies are super healthy and you get a nice protein boost from the garbanzo beans and egg.

Simple Salad

Lettuce (romaine, spinach, spring mix, whatever you like)  
1 hard boiled egg (you can just use the whites if you want)
black olives
red onions
garbanzo beans

For the dressing:
balsamic vinegar
white wine vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper

Throw all the salad ingredients into a bowl. Drizzle with a little EVOO (a little goes a long way. I actually spray mine with an olive oil sprayer), then with balsamic, white whine vinegar, and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up and enjoy! 



Black Bean Yam Soup

This. Soup. Is. Amazing. The first time I tried it, my mom had received a jar of it homemade from a friend. It was love at first bite. I begged her to get the recipe, and when she did, we made it right away. Its thick, warming, and has an incredible taste. Served with a piece of fresh, crust multi-grain bread, it's pure perfection.

Black Bean Yam Soup
1 tsp Extra Virgin Oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 red/ green pepper, chopped
1 dry chipotle pepper, coarsely chopped  (use red pepper flakes if you don't have this)
2 cups Vegetable Stock or broth
3 cans (15.5 oz each) Black Beans, undrained
1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Roasted Garlic & Onion
2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled, diced 1/2-inch
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove (or more) garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp Hot Cocoa Mix
2 Tbsp Honey
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

 Heat oil in medium stockpot on medium-high. Add peppers & onions and chipolte pepper. Cook, stirring, 3-4 min until soft, but not browned. Add stock, beans and liquid, tomatoes, yam, vinegar, garlic, cocoa powder, honey, chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, 25-30 min or until beans are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a crusty piece of bread. Yum.




I'm kind of obsessed with fruit and yogurt parfaits. I have one for desert almost everyday after dinner. They consist of a container of Yoplait light yogurt (Chobani greek yogurt if I'm insanely lucky) blueberries, and a topping. I used to use crunched up Honey Bunches Of Oats, which tastes great, but my true love is granola. The nutrition facts make me weary of buying too much, however, so I decided to try to make my own the way I wanted it. I wasn't sure how well it would work but it's delicious. I made it for myself and sure enough its almost gone. And I've eaten it once. Thanks mom and dad.

Maple Cinnamon Granola 

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cups brown rice crisp cereal
1 T (at least) ground cinnamon (I love cinnamon. Use it to taste)
1 tsp sea salt (make sure its sea salt. Every few bites you'll get a delicious salty crunch)
1/2 cup fruit puree (I used a half of an apple and a half of a banana blended together)

1/2 t maple extract (if you don't have, omit. But if you can get your hands on it, its worth it or sub maple syrup, but that adds sugars)
drizzle of honey (optional)
1/3 cup truvia, splenda, or stevia (brown sugar if you want sugar)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup whole almonds (or other nuts of your choice although the almonds were delicious)
1/2 cup dried  fruit (cranberries, raisins, blueberries, currants, etc)

Preheat the oven to 300 F .
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 kinds of oats, rice crisp cereal, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir to mix well.
In a medium bowl, combine the fruit puree, honey (if using), truvia (or other sweetener), vegetable oil and vanilla extract and maple extract. Stir to mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and mix until completely blended (it's best to use your hands to get everything evenly coated.)
Spread the mixture out evenly between the two prepared baking sheets. Squeeze clusters of granola together with slightly damp hands, allowing for space between the clumps in order for air to circulate while baking. Make the clumps as big as you like. They will stay the way you make them.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over the granola with a large spatula and add the almonds. Bake for another 30 minutes (or more, depending on how thick the layer of granola) until completely dry and just golden brown.
Let cool on baking sheets, and store in an airtight container when completely cool. Add in the dried fruit. 

Split Pea Dal

Mmmmm....I love Indian food. I would eat it everyday if I could. It's so full of complex and interesting flavors. I ate this particular dal everyday for lunch until it was gone. And then I wished for more.

Split Pea Dal


3 1/2 cups water, divided 

1 cup dried yellow split peas

1 bay leaf

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

3-4 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon cumin seeds or powdered cumin 

1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cube chicken bullion (DO NOT simply omit this to make it vegetarian. Replace with some other similar seasoning)

4 cups torn spinach 

Combine 2 1/2 cups water, peas, and bay leaf in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 50 minutes or until tender. Add 1 cup water, cauliflower, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat . Add onion, ginger, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (cumin through cloves); cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to pea mixture. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until thick. Stir in spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts.

I ate this with a whole wheat pita  sprayed with olive oil and crisped up in a pan. You can eat this with naan (my favorite), roti, or simply a pita. I highly recommend crisping it up in a pan. The outside gets nice and crunchy and the inside stays soft.