Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Arugula and Pear Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

It's springtime! Right? Okay, yeah, there's still snow on the ground here in the DC area. Nevertheless, we had gorgeous weather this past Saturday, and I think it was a little hint of prettier days to come. It may have been in the 30s today, but in my mind, spring will be here for good very soon. It's all about positive thinking, right? When the weather gets warmer, I love to make salads. This is when salad ingredients are in season and extra flavorful. Since it is still chilly today, I decided to compromise and make a hearty-ish salad. It will leave you feeling satisfied but not overly full. 


-1 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-2 cups arugula
-1 pear, sliced in to thin strips (see photo)
-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (the grocery store I visited today didn't have goat cheese, so I had to make do with feta. It was still good!)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss chickpeas, 1 tsp olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl, then spread onto a baking sheet. Roast chickpeas for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients and toss. Divide into two bowls. Enjoy, and please don't forget to check out my fund-racing page!

Nutrition information per serving (serves 2):

Calories: 337 | Fat: 20g | Protein: 12g | Carbs: 33g | Fiber: 5.6g

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sauteed Cabbage and Potatoes

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I have to admit, I don't have much experience making Irish food. While my heritage is mostly German and African American, I do have a bit of Irish heritage, and as of October of last year, I have an Irish last name! I love a good challenge*, so I figured St. Patrick's Day was the perfect occasion to try creating an Irish-themed recipe. Feeling lucky? Try it out:


-1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
-2 cloves garlic, sliced
-1/2 yellow onion, sliced
-2 medium red potatoes, cubed
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-Kosher salt, to taste
-black pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes in water until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cabbage, onions, and garlic. Saute until cabbage is tender and onions are translucent. Drain potatoes and add to cabbage and onions. Mix well, adding salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving (serves 4):

Calories: 144 | Fat: 4g | Carbs: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fiber: 3g

*Speaking of challenges, I just signed up for my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon! I'll be fundraising for an organization very dear to my heart, Back On My Feet. BoMF works by encouraging those experiencing homelessness to  use running to achieve personal goals such as finding employment and independent housing. Please consider supporting this awesome organization by checking out my fundraising page here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Honey balsamic chicken

What is it about sugar that makes it soooo stinkin' addictive? I've always had a sweet tooth, and try as I might, I can't seem to kick the habit for good. These days, I'm trying to go with the good old moderation route, not completely eliminating sugar from my diet, but also not giving into every single craving I get for something sweet. It's all about compromise, right? This honey balsamic chicken is a pretty good example of compromise. It's slightly sweet, but still healthy, and definitely not sweet enough to cause...

It's also super easy to cook! If you can find flavored balsamic vinegar, it's fun to experiment with that, as well. I used fig balsamic vinegar and it was quite tasty.


1 lb chicken breast tenderloins
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
3 cloves garlic, sliced
olive oil spray

Whisk together vinegar and honey. Stir in garlic. Pour into a ziploc bag and add chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. 

Spray a pan with olive oil spray. Add chicken and marinade and cook over medium high heat until completely cooked through. Enjoy!

Nutrition information (serves 4):

Calories: 205 | Fat: 3g | Carbs: 18g | Protein: 25g | Fiber: 0g

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bison chili

Oh hai there! It's been a loooong time since I've updated the blog with a new recipe. At the beginning of my hiatus, I was frantically getting the last details of my wedding together, getting married, and then dealing all of the fun stuff that goes with changing one's last name. After that, though, I have no excuses. In addition to having some pretty bad writer's block (blogger's block?), I was just plain slacking all around. Well, except for when it came to playing Battlefield 4. I definitely wasn't slacking there.

Anyway, I think the day after New Year's Day is as good a time as any to get back on the blogging wagon! This time of year can be tough, because while many of us resolve to eat healthier and get in shape, it can be hard to find the motivation to go outside when it's cold, and your body still longs for warm, hearty foods. This bison chili is luckily both hearty and healthy, and the recipe makes enough for plenty of leftovers. Bison is even leaner than lean ground beef, and it's relatively easy to find at your regular grocery store. I also added a little cinnamon to this recipe. Cinnamon aids weight loss and helps prevent diabetes, and it adds a delicious kick to this recipe. Don't worry, it's not overpowering and it doesn't make the chili taste sweet.


1 lb ground bison
1 yellow or white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz can diced green chilis
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese (optional)
1/2 cup water (optional)

Spray a pan with cooking spray and brown the bison over medium heat until cooked through, then drain. In a separate pan, spray cooking spray and cook onions on medium high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add bison, onion, garlic, and remaining ingredients (excluding the cheese) to a large pot. You may choose to add 1/2 cup water if the chili is too thick. I did, and it did not compromise the flavor at all. Heat chili over medium heat until it boils, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Top with 1 Tbsp cheese per serving.

Nutrition information per serving (serves 8):

Calories: 237 | Fat: 6g | Carbs: 28g | Protein: 21g | Fiber: 5g

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mango Coconut Lassi with Chia Seeds and Cardamom

We've had some cooler weather in DC, and with autumn being my favorite season, I'm all for it! I love watching the leaves change color, I love pumpkin/pumpkin-flavored anything, I love cute fall clothes, and I'm getting married this fall (woohoo!) I spent this past weekend in Savannah, GA, and the weather there quickly reminded me that it is, in fact, still August (hmmph!) The hot weather got me thinking about lassis, and a recent lunch date with my mom to an Afghan restaurant had me determined to use cardamom in my next blog recipe. The result? A mango coconut lassi with chia seeds and cardamom! What's a lassi, you ask? It's a smoothie-type drink from India, combining yogurt, fruit, and spices, and it is soooo delicious and refreshing. I decided to add chia seeds for a little extra flavor and nutrition. Here's how you make it:


3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla or plain works)
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (again, vanilla or plain)
2 Tbsp unsweetened, reduced-fat coconut (the brand I used is called Let's Do Organic)
1 Tbsp chia seeds
cardamom, to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the chia seeds and cardamom in a blender. Pour into a cup and stir in chia seeds and as much cardamom as you like. Enjoy and cool off in these last few weeks of summer!

Nutrition Information (makes one serving):

Calories: 265 | Fat: 8g | Carbs: 34g | Fiber: 6g

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Copycat Korean Salad

Korean BBQ is one of the most delicious discoveries I've ever made. I tried it for the first time shortly after moving to the DC area, and I was not disappointed! The unique blend of spices and flavors make this cuisine irresistible. My very favorite Korean BBQ restaurant has this amazing salad that they serve before they bring out the meat. It's so delicious that I fill up on it before the meat even arrives. Then I'm super disciplined and don't eat any meat or rice! Just kidding. I have zero self-control when it comes to Korean food. The bright side of my gluttony is, I ate enough of the salad to figure out how to make it on my own! Here's how I do:


2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes (I used the ones pictured, which I found at an international market)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seeds

Toss ingredients together in a bowl. Divide between two plates and serve!

Nutrition information (serves 2):

Calories: 109 | Fat: 8g | Carbs: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 1g

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vanilla Berry Smoothie

When it's a bazillion degrees outside like it has been these past few days, there's nothing like a nice, cold, refreshing smoothie to cool off. Smoothies can make a great breakfast, snack, or (if you're lazy like me) a quick and easy lunch. If you haven't tried adding spinach to a smoothie before, I strongly encourage you to include it when making this. It's an easy way to get in some great nutrients, and you can't even taste it (promise!)


3/4 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 banana
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Muscle Milk)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 handful spinach

Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 277 | Fat: 8.5g | Protein: 17g | Carbs: 10g