Barbecue Chopped Salad

Nothing says summer quite like barbecue. And in Texas, we love our barbecue and barbecue sauces. I try to get in the smokey flavors any way that I can.

This salad is one you can take as a side to a picnic, or top it with barbecue chicken, sliced sausages, or chickpeas (like I have below) and have it as a meal. It’s an easy summer dinner that doesn’t heat up your house. Then adding the Yogurt Ranch recipe I have to it helps to give you not only the smokey barbecue flavor, but the creaminess without it being heavy and you can make it dairy free.

Barbecue Chopped Salad

  • Servings: Makes 12 cups or more, 6-8 side servings, or 4-6 main servings with BBQ chicken, sausage, or chickpeas
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Ingredients

  • 2 heads of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and then quartered
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • Toppings and Sauces
  • Avocado, optional on side
  • BBQ Sauce (I use Stubbs Original since it’s lower in sugar than most)
  • Yogurt Ranch
  • BBQ Chicken, Sausage, or Chickpeas

Directions

  1. Wash all vegetables, chop, and mix together.
  2. Top with any toppings and sauce.
  3. Enjoy!

If you are taking it somewhere, make sure to keep sauces and toppings separate so the lettuce doesn’t get soggy.

Nutritional Information
2-3 cups of Salad with 1 Roasted Chicken Breast, 2 tbsp Average BBQ Sauce, & 4 tbsp Yogurt Ranch

407 calories | 6.9 g fat | 1.5 g polyunsaturated | 2.2 g monounsaturated | 1.8 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 149 mg cholesterol | 550 mg sodium | 32 g 23.5 g carbohydrates | 3 g fiber | 15.5 g sugar | 60 g protein | 113% Vitamin A | 95% Vitamin C | 78% Vitamin K

Nutritional Information
2-3 cups of Salad with 3/4 cup drained canned Chickpeas, 2 tbsp Average BBQ Sauce, & 4 tbsp Yogurt Ranch

426 calories | 4 g fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated | 0.7 g monounsaturated | 0.4 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 734 mg sodium | 52 g carbohydrates | 10 g fiber | 20 g sugar | 16 g protein | 113% Vitamin A | 95% Vitamin C | 82% Vitamin K

Honey Dijon Chicken with Red Potatoes & Carrots (with Chickpea Version)

I love dinner recipes when everything goes in one dish! Easy to make, easy to clean, and delicious to eat! This is one of the recipes I make on a regular basis. Partly because my husband loves mustard. A little too much. And partly, because it’s a balanced meal and easy to make vegetarian/vegan. I usually make a pan for my parents and him, and then half the recipe to make a small version of it with chickpeas or garbanzo beans for me. I will be hopefully making more dishes like this for easy dinners with not a lot of clean up for weekday meals. You could also get this prepared the night before so that when you get home all you need to do is throw it in the oven.

Let’s talk nutrition for a moment. Not only is this recipe low in fat and high in fiber, there are specific things that potatoes and carrots are good for.

Red Potatoes
  • Good Source of Iron – Oxygenation of Cells
  • Good Source of Vitamin C & Zinc – For Immune Health
  • Good Source of Potassium – Heart and Muscle Health
Carrots
  • Good Source of Beta-Carotene – helps slow down the aging of cells, including cells in the eye
    • Beta-Carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the liver
    • Vitamin A is converted in the retina to rhodopsin – used for night vision
  • Good Source of Vitamin A – protects the skin from sun damage

Honey Dijon Chicken with Red Potatoes & Carrots (with Chickpea Version)

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (depending on size)
  • OR 2 cans of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup honey or agave (plus more for extra sauce to dip)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup Dijon mustard (plus more for extra sauce to dip)
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 lb. bag of red potatoes, chopped
  • 12-16 oz. bag of baby carrots
  • Salt and pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Make your sauce. Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup mustard, rosemary, and olive oil. Whisk together.
  3. In a gallon size bag, add potatoes and carrots enough to almost fill the bag. If you are using the chickpeas, you can pour those in too. Pour sauce over top. Close the bag and toss for about 3 minutes to make sure the sauce is covering the vegetables.
  4. Pour vegetables in a prepared 9×11 baking dish. Add your chicken breasts on top. Make a smaller batch of the sauce – 1/8 cup honey + 1/8 cup Dijon mustard, and cover the top of the chicken breasts. If using the chickpeas, if you need to add a little extra sauce, drizzle some on top.
  5. Put the dish, uncovered, in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables start to brown on sides and chicken juice is running clear.
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve! While it’s resting, if you need to whisk together extra sauce to dip or drizzle on top, do it now before serving.

Nutritional Information

With Chicken

555 calories | 8.5 g fat | 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat | 3.7 g monounsaturated fat | 2.2 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 204 mg cholesterol | 459 mg sodium | 59 g carbohydrates | 6.9 g fiber | 32 g total sugar | 64 g protein | 673% Vitamin A | 22% Vitamin C | 8% Calcium | 40% Magnesium | 38% Potassium | 33% Zinc

With Chickpeas

435 calories | 5.7 g fat | 1.7 g polyunsaturated fat | 1.9 g monounsaturated fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 87.5 g carbohydrates | 15 g fiber | 37 g total sugar | 13.4 g protein | 673% Vitamin A | 22% Vitamin C | 13% Calcium | 29% Magnesium | 25% Potassium | 21% Zinc

Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol

One of the main concerns that I’ve heard from people is their need to lower their cholesterol or wanting to make sure to keep their cholesterol levels in the healthy range. What are some easy things to substitute or change in your diet to help? Let’s first talk a little about what cholesterol does and then we can better understand how to take care of our levels of cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a class of lipids, or fats, that is made by the body for different purposes. For instance, cholesterol can be incorporated as part of the structure of cell membranes, used to make bile for digestion, made into vitamin D, and used to make sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. However, cholesterol can be deposited in the artery walls which leads to plaque build up and heart disease. How does it find itself there?

As you may know, water and oil don’t mix. For the fat to be transported during digestion it has to go through water based liquids, like blood. Those fats are combined with special proteins so that it can transport through the body. Lipoproteins are what those clusters are called and these include HDL and LDL. Cholesterol is a part of the cluster.

The difference in the HDL (high-density) lipoproteins and the LDL (low density) lipoproteins are the amount of fat (or cholesterol) they are transporting. The more cholesterol the less dense the lipoprotein will be. The more protein the more dense it will be. So the High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the healthier one. The Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is the “lousy” one since it mainly consists of fat. This type is the cholesterol that can be deposited in the artery walls which then can lead to heart disease.

So how can we raise our healthy HDL and lower our lousy LDL?

Lowering LDL Cholesterol Levels

Lower The Amount of Fat in Your Diet

To lower the bad cholesterol means lowering the amount of fats in your diet. The total intake of fats should not be more than 20% of your total calorie intake. For a 2,000 calorie diet that would be 400 calories, which would be a total or 44 grams of fat. That is on the HIGH end.

Healthy Fats

When you are watching your fat intake, make sure the fats you are digesting are unsaturated fats and that less than 1/2 of your fat intake (10% total calorie intake, or 20 grams) is from saturated sources. The best way to tell the difference without a label, is that unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (olive oil, avocados, most nuts, seeds, fish) and saturated fats are solid at room temperature (butter, animal fats). Avoid trans fats at all cost.

Increase Fiber, Fruits, & Vegetables

Fiber in the foods you eat has been proven to help decrease bad cholesterol. Eating more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, etc. will help.

Increase your fruit and vegetable intake to 5-9 servings a day, more being from vegetable sources. Fruits and vegetables (not canned) are our source of antioxidants which helps prevent heart disease and strengthens the body’s defense against cell damage. These antioxidants can neutralize free radicals which contribute to the build up of plaque in the arteries.

Lose Excess Weight

Just as much as a small increase of damaging factors can contribute to higher cholesterol levels, small decreases can have a good effect as well. Just a 5-10 pound decrease in weight is enough to start seeing a decrease in LDL cholesterol in most people.

Bottom Line

Lower the amount of fat in your diet and try to fill your day with low-fat whole foods rich in antioxidants and fiber. If overweight, loosing just 5 pounds can be enough to see a decrease.

Need help in lowing fat in your diet? Take my Free Nutrition Assessment to get my feedback and start getting your diet back on track!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Low-Fat & Dairy Free)

Tomato basil soup is one of our favorites and is simple to make. When I became plant based it was one of those things that was hard to find a good recipe that wasn’t too acidic that James would eat. When we were first married I made a creamy tomato basil soup with canned tomatoes with Italian seasonings, and cream cheese… that was pretty much it. It was delicious. One of James’ favorites, but couldn’t say it was nutritiously balanced. Plus the fact that both James and I are (at the least) lactose-intolerant.

So finding a dairy-free creamy tomato soup was one of my challenges. I was able to make a few here and there that were “good” but I wanted something I could make over and over again, and it be just as easy as the other recipe. And through trial and error, I’ve come up with this one! But before we get to the recipe, let’s look at tomatoes for a minute.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes is one of the few fruits/vegetables that can be more nutritious after cooking it, than before. Heat changes the chemistry of the food and for tomatoes, it’s a good thing. However raw tomatoes will have more vitamin C. Why is it sometimes better to cook tomatoes?

Lycopene is the phytochemical that gives tomatoes their rich red color, although not all red fruits and vegetables have lycopene. It’s also an antioxidant which is what helps with the oxygenation of cells that naturally occurs with aging. Scientists found that the more tomatoes were cooked, although loosing the amount of vitamin C, increased in the amount of lycopene. So what does it specifically do for us?

Lycopene

  • Antioxidant
    • Fights toxins and pesticides
  • Eye Health
    • Ability to prevent or delay cataracts
  • Brain Health
    • Counteracts future cell damage and death
  • Heart Health
    • Helps lower blood pressure, helps and prevents coronary heart disease
  • Bone Health
    • Relieves oxidative stress in bones that cause them to be brittle and weak

The other good thing about cooking tomatoes, the longer they cook, the better the flavor. Spaghetti sauce, chili, tomato soup, etc. If you are able to let it simmer for a while, even a few hours, the flavor is richer and less acidic. And now you know it will have higher levels of a powerful antioxidant.

Ready for a dairy-free, low-fat, creamy tomato soup that is easy to make in 10 minutes?

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Low-Fat & Dairy Free)

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano, undrained
  • 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can butter beans (or cannellini beans if you can’t find butter beans)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain plant-based yogurt (I use Kite Hill’s) Or you can use a plant based version that is creamy and adds fat, which is using coconut cream from the can.
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste, if desired

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender, other than brown sugar, and blend until smooth. Add to a medium pan and heat through at least for 10 minutes.
  2. If you can let it simmer for 30 minutes or more the flavors will be more combined and less acidic. If they are still acidic or you don’t want to wait for it to simmer, add in the 1 teaspoon of brown sugar to cut the acidity.

Nutritional Information

215 calories | 1.0 g total fat | 0.2 g saturated fat | 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.1 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 2.4 mg cholesterol | 1437 sodium (if not using low sodium canned goods) | 37 g carbohydrates | 8 g fiber | 15.5 g sugar | 14.4 g protein

Macro Sources

69% Carbohydrates | 4% Fat | 27% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.6 Meat Alternative
  • 0.3 Milk Alternative
  • 3.4 Vegetables

Chloe Coscarelli’s Barley Bliss Casserole

I know I have posted a few of Chef Chloe’s recipes, but these are truly some of the recipes I make at home all the time. This is a nutritious comfort dish. Yes those can exist! It’s full of vegetables, fiber, and whole grains and once it’s done, it comes out creamy and delicious! Let’s talk about barley for a moment and why it’s good for you.

Note that if you are trying to be gluten-free barley is one of the grains that does contain gluten.

Barley
For One Cup Cooked Barley:
  • 10 grams of Fiber
  • 7 grams of Protein
  • 20% Magnesium
  • 18% Niacin (B3)
  • 9% Zinc
What Barley Helps With:
  • Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Control Blood Sugar
  • Provides Antioxidants
  • Good for Heart Health

Then the added benefits of the vegetables, red kidney beans, and nutritional yeast that is in this recipe, it’s no doubt why it’s one of my favorites! I eat this with a salad for dinner and make either chicken or pork chops for the rest of my family as a meal. This does take some time in the oven so it’s better to make in fall or winter. Like I said before, this has become one of my healthy comfort foods. It’s creamy, flavorful, and the barley is gives it a great texture!

Barley Bliss Casserole by Chloe Coscarelli

  • Servings: 12 1-cup side servings, 6 2-cup main dish servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2.5 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, green peppers, and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned.
  3. Add garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper and let cook a few more minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a 9″ x 13″ pan. Gently stir in tomatoes, beans, barley, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, and water. The pan will be very full.
  5. Cover pan with foil and carefully place in the oven. Let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then remove the foil.
  6. Let bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until barley is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

For 1 cup serving:

211 calories | 3.75 g total fat | 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.4 g monounsaturated fat | 0.8 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 904 mg sodium | 36 g carbohydrates | 6.7 g fiber | 6 g sugar| 10 g protein | 185% folate (folic acid) | 283% Thiamin (B1) | 211% Riboflavin (B2) | 129% Niacin (B3) | 12% Calcium | 20% Magnesium | 15% Iron | 23% Zinc

Apple, Pear & Cranberry Cobbler

Fall and winter scream for baked desserts. Having some of my favorites like pumpkin pie, apple dumplings, cinnamon rolls, and so much more, are always on the list once the weather gets cooler, but you don’t always have to have a dessert that is all that bad for you. I was shocked, and so was the rest of my family, about how delicious and rich this was. After a serving of this we were all satisfied and full. Let’s first talk about the main ingredients in most desserts – sugar, flour, and fat – and see how this dessert, although still being calorie dense, is changed for the healthier.

The Sweetener

Sugar is sugar, is sugar is sugar. Juice, maple syrup, honey, agave, turbinado sugar, date sugar, refined sugar – it’s sugar. However, using unrefined sources for a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, and orange juice still adds sugar but is not from highly processed sources.

With that in mind, in this dessert some of the sugar is from the broken down apples and pears. They are full of natural sugar and by keeping the peels on, you also keep the fiber in the dessert. When cooking there will be a loss of nutrients, but fiber pretty much stays the same which is good when we are talking about a dessert with sugar. Fiber allows the sugar to be absorbed at a slower rate so having something sweet with fiber (like fruit naturally has) does help your body absorb sugar at a slower pace and has more time to use it for energy instead of immediately being dosed with it and storing right away because of the overload. Not to mention the blood sugar spike.

The Flour

This recipe doesn’t use any flour. I only uses oats to create a crunchy topping. So if you are gluten free, make sure to use gluten-free oats. Using oats you can keep it whole food and nothing has been processed and stripped of anything. Plus to fact that we still keep that fiber in there as well.

The Fat

As you may know there are the “good” fats and the “bad” fats. An easy rule of thumb to tell the difference is if the fat/oil is solid at room temperature.

  • For instance butter and shortening is soft, but is still solid at room temperature. This means it is saturated fat or “bad” fat. This is fat that is easily stored and is known to increase LDL cholesterol.
  • Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature like olive oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. These oils are known as the “good” fats. They are easily used in the body and can have some nutritional value because of Omega fatty acids. For instance, olive oil, has been known to decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing unsaturated fats.

In this recipe I use either canola or vegetable oil in the oat mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn and also creates a crunchy top. You’ll find that all in all, for a baked dessert, there is not a lot of oil added.

 

Apple Pear Cranberry Cobbler
  • Unprocessed source of sugar & is partly from the broken down cooked fruit
  • Oats only, no flour to keep it whole food
  • Unsaturated “good” fat, no “bad” fats

This is still a dessert and calorie dense, but it’s so worth it! Plus the added facts of it being a whole food dessert, easy, low-sodium, and the fat is good unsaturated fats. Enjoy!

Apple, Pear, & Cranberry Cobbler

  • Servings: 12 servings, about 1 cup each
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Ingredients

  • 3 apples, chopped, I use honey crisp apples
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 12 oz. bag cranberries
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup Grade A maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • OAT CRISP
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashion oats *See note
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop your apples and pears and add to a 9×13 baking pan. No need to prepare the pan with oil or butter before adding anything, leave it dry. Whisk together the corn starch or arrowroot with the water in a small bowl until starch is dissolved. Add to the starch mixture the maple syrup, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together. Pour over fruit and gently mix to coat with the wet mixture.
  3. In a medium bowl add oats, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir together. Once mixed together, pour lightly over top of the fruit and spread around to cover the top.
  4. Bake on 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until oats start to brown and the fruit is bubbling on the sides. Your house will smell wonderful!
  5. Let cool for about 5 minutes after taking it out of the oven and serve!

If you are gluten free, make sure to buy gluten free oats. I was not aware of this until a friend had told me about how oats can easily be cross-contaminated with other things that include gluten. Make sure to find gluten-free oats.

Nutritional Information

About 1 cup serving

405 calories | 11.9 g fat | 1.2 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 7.5 mg sodium | 70 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 37 g sugar | 4.5 g protein

Macro Sources

69% Carbohydrates | 26% Fat | 5% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 1.2 Fruit
  • 1.8 Grain

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

The chipotle chili in adobo sauce is something you don’t want to miss out on. It adds a smokey flavor and the smell while it’s cooking is one of those things you want to permeate the house. It’s something I keep in mind for busy days or weeks. Freezer and slow-cooker options are below as well as some of the health benefits.

 

Black Beans
  • High in Fiber
  • Good Source of Magnesium
  • Good Source of Iron
  • High in Flavonoids – which has antioxidant abilities
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Aids Digestion
  • Controls Blood Sugar
My Favorite Bean:

Like other beans, black beans have a sugar that our body has a hard time breaking down. Hence the bloating and musical notes which are the unpleasant side effects beans are known for. However, black beans have less of this sugar than other beans. It shouldn’t put you in as much discomfort (or embarrassment) as other beans will. It’s a win win for everyone at the table.

Quinoa
  • High in Fiber
  • Low in Fat
  • High in Minerals
  • Complete Plant Based Protein

Although you do not need to consume complete proteins to get the amount of protein you need throughout the day, it is good to know the sources of them. Being plant-based and soy-free, quinoa is something I regularly have in my kitchen.

Lean Ground Meat Option

You can add a lean meat like ground turkey or a lean ground beef if you feel that you need it. By using lean meats it has less unhealthy fats, less cholesterol and overall better for your heart health when compared to average ground meats. Whatever option you decide, just make sure it’s lean. The only advantage that ground turkey has is that it does have a fat-free version you can find and beef does not.

However, my family members eat this without meat and is completely full and satisfied. This would be a great “Meatless Monday” meal if you are just starting to dive into vegetarian meals and plant proteins. It won’t disappoint.

Meal Prep & Slow Cooker Options
  • Meal Prep | Freeze all uncooked ingredients before putting it in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
  • Slow Cooker | Set on low for 6-8 hours. Add an extra cup of water or broth.
  • For families of 2-4 people, this will make more than one dinner. You can freeze 1/2 of it or when prepping, make 2 separate meals. 1 to have one week and another for the next week.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

  • Servings: 10 Servings, 1 1/2 cup per serving
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked black quinoa, rinsed OR 2 lbs. ground turkey, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, if using quinoa
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (19 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper, if desired
  • cilantro & limes for serving

Directions

  1. Bring vegetable broth to boil and add quinoa. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, turn off heat and set aside. If using turkey, cook the turkey and crumble it. Once it’s cooked, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with juice, drained black beans, green and red bell pepper, zucchini, chipotle chili, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  4. You can let it simmer on low for a few hours. Adding water or broth if needed. Or you can serve with cilantro and limes.

Crock Pot Directions Add all ingredients to the crock pot, stir and set on low for 6-8 hours. If you can, you might want to stir the chili about 1/2 way and add vegetable broth if needed. I usually will add an extra cup of broth or water to the recipe when it’s going to be in the crock pot, especially for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information

Chipotle Black Bean Chili with Quinoa: 

205 calories | 3.4 g total fat | 1 g saturated fat | 2.0 g polyunsaturated fat | 3.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 363 mg sodium | 35 g carbohydrates | 8.4 g fiber | 3.2 g sugar | 8.6 g protein

Macro Sources

68% Carbohydrates | 15% Fat | 17% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.8 Grain
  • 0.3 Meat Alternative
  • 2.5 Vegetables

 

Super Greens with Clementines & Roasted Pecans

One of my favorite salad recipes! Usually dinner is the heaviest meal for me, so I like putting salads with dinner to keep it lighter. This recipe is what I usually put with spicy foods. Anytime I make something with Cajun seasoning, this is what I like to have on the side to cool it off. Not to mention it’s delicious and healthy.

Clementines
  • High in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system and promotes healthy skin
  • Aids in Digestion
  • High in Minerals
  • High in Antioxidants
Roasted Pecans
  • Healthy Fats
  • Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol
  • High Fiber
  • Energy Maintenance
  • Improves Brain Function

 

Super Greens with Clementines & Roasted Pecans

  • Servings: 4-6 servings, about 1 cup per serving
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest, or clementine zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 clementines, peeled and in slices
  • 8-10 oz. Super Greens (I used swiss chard, spinach, and arugula)
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Make the dressing. Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, olive oil, and dijon mustard. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
  2. If your pecans are not already toasted, heat a small skillet on low without anything but the pecans and let it slowly toast while you constantly move them around so that they don’t burn. Once you start to small the pecans, turn off the heat and throw the toasted pecans in a small bowl to cool off.
  3. Take your greens, clementines, and cooled toasted pecans, and toss with the dressing. Serve immediately!

Nutritional Information

234 calories | 20 g fat | 5 g polyunsaturated <1 g omega 3, 4.5 g omega 6 | 12 g monounsaturated | 2 g saturated | 0 g trans | 0 mg cholesterol | 63 mg sodium | 14 g carbohydrates | 4 g fiber | 8 g total sugar | 4 g protein | 68% vitamin C | 206% vitamin A | 278% vitamin K | 11% iron | 24% magnesium

Green Chili Enchiladas

This recipe is something I make whenever we need a special meal: officially being moved in to a new place, an anniversary, my hormones deciding I need something gooey and fattening… Whatever calls for something to be deceptively nutritious and comforting. I make this with hearts of palm and plain low fat yogurt for a vegetarian/plant-based version, but you can easily make it with chicken and a plain low fat yogurt. (If you want a little more fat, use sour cream or coconut cream from the can, only using the cream and not the water that is at the bottom of the can.) I have the nutrition information for both versions below.

High Fiber
  • Aids in Digestion
  • Aids in Detoxing
  • Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Aids in Weight Maintenance
Low-Fat

If you are watching the amount of fat you intake or just want a lighter dish than your regular creamy enchilada recipe, using the plain low-fat yogurt is a great swap!

  • Dairy-free yogurt: I’ve used the Kite Hill unsweetened almond yogurt
  • Nut-free and Dairy-free: A plain unsweetened soy yogurt should work
Easily Adaptable
  • Already Soy-Free
  • Already Dairy-Free
  • Already Plant Based
  • More Plant Based Protein: Use soy or seitan products instead of hearts of palm
  • Gluten Free: Use corn tortillas instead of whole wheat

 

 

Green Chili Enchiladas

  • Servings: 12-14 Large Enchiladas | 6+ Servings | 2 Enchiladas per Serving
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Ingredients

    Enchiladas
  • 1-2 tbsp oil, optional if using a non-stick skillet
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can hearts of palm, pulled into shreds OR 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 “chicken” bouillon cube OR use veggie broth instead of water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can low fat vegetarian re-fried beans
  • salt to taste
  • 12+ whole wheat OR corn tortillas
  • Low Fat Green Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened low-fat yogurt
  • 1 15 oz can green chili sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, if using the coconut cream
  • Toppings
  • Green Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Limes

If using the coconut cream, the best way is to buy a can of full-fat coconut milk. Do not shake the can, and if you have the time, put it in the fridge for a few hours. The coconut water will separate from the coconut cream. Most of the time it does this on its own if it’s not shaken. Use only the cream. It does not have much of a coconut taste.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9-by-13 pan.
  2. Heat oil in skillet, if using. Add onion and sautee until translucent. Add pulled hearts of palm or shredded cooked chicken and sautee for a few minutes more until the onions and hearts of palm/chicken start to brown.
  3. Add water, “chicken” bouillon or 1 cup vegetable broth, chili powder, and garlic powder and simmer with the hearts of palm/chicken mixture. Simmer 20-25 minutes making sure most of the liquid is gone and the bouillon cube is dissolved.
  4. Add the re-fried beans and mix together. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  5. Sauce
  6. Add all sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Assembly
  8. Add a few tbsp of the hearts of palm/re-fried bean mixture on one tortilla and a small bit of the sauce. If using corn tortillas, you will need to make sure they are not cold and that they are dipped into the sauce, otherwise they might crack. Repeat until your 9-by-13 pan is full. You want to make sure it’s tight and completely full if possible so the enchiladas don’t dry out in the oven.
  9. Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the sauce, making sure all corners are covered.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before eating.

Nutritional Information

With Hearts of Palm Per Serving: 

387 calories | 12.6 g fat | 1.5 g polyunsaturated | 5.2 g monounsaturated | 4.8 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 0 g cholesterol | 784 mg sodium | 56 g carbohydrates | 13 g fiber | 6 g total sugar | 14 g protein | 71% vitamin C | 31% calcium | 38% magnesium | 26% iron

With Chicken Per Serving: 

445 calories | 14 g fat | 1.8 g polyunsaturated | 5.9 g monounsaturated | 5.2 g saturated | 0 g trans fats | 36 mg cholesterol | 601 mg sodium | 54 g carbohydrates | 12 g fiber | 6 g total sugar | 25.8 g protein | 66% vitamin C | 29% calcium | 35% magnesium | 21% iron