Did you all know that brussel sprouts are actually spelled brussels sprouts? I did not know this, but it’s because they were popular in Brussels, Belgium. (Hence brussels sprouts, not brussel sprouts, kinda nifty.)
So these brussels sprouts, as it turns out, not only have a cool name origin, but are also just super delicious. As a kid, I always ate my veggies, and I liked them, so maybe I’ve got a soft spot when it comes to brussels sprouts. Truth is I can’t help it: They’re so filling, so tasty, and when cooked just right, you totally forget you’re eating veggies.
So begins my veggie journey. I’ve been trying to cook more veggies and stay healthy, and something I learned from my recent diet is that if you’re going to pick a time to eat carbs, it should be early on in the day. Meaning that at night time, pairing whatever you’re eating with veggies is a solid plan.
I was cooking up salmon, and decided to add some brussels into the mix. It took me roughly 5 minutes to throw it all together, and then all I had to do was let it cook in the oven. So easy, and so pretty on a plate too!
Here’s what you’ll need:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
- 1 lb bag of brussels sprouts
- 1/3 cup of Italian salad dressing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash the sprouts, then cut off the hard, stalky ends, and halve the remaining sprout. (They may fall apart a bit, but that’s totally OK!)
- Line a glass pan, or oven-safe dish, with aluminum foil.
- Place the halved sprouts in the pan, and feel free to pile them onto each other. Then drizzle on the Italian dressing, olive oil, and generously coat with salt and pepper.
- Combine the ingredients with a large spoon until well coated. Feel free to use more dressing if it’s looking a bit sparse.
- Pop the pan in the oven for 25-30 minutes, and voila! Delicious crisp and tender brussels sprouts.
Yeah, so, this just happened…Have I mentioned that I was a fat kid? Well, I was, and one of my favorite fat kid foods was meatball subs. I used to get one from Subway, which was a 5-minute drive from our house and which my Mom would agree to drive me too after I whined enough. And I’d get that sub, and I would savor the shit out of it. I mean, like, worship it as if it were my last meal, and slowly eat each and every bite until I was licking my fingers. I just drooled a little, thinking about it.
The other night, I thought back to those meatball subs, and I found myself to be very very hungry. All I had were healthy things though; ground turkey, whole wheat rolls, cheese that was part skim…. And yet, the meatball sub came out really yummy, and it was incredibly filling, and way healthier. It was the same sub, but better for me, and I was still able to lick my fingers after.
Here’s what you’ll need (makes 2-3 subs):
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup sliced onions
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (if you want a stronger kick, try pepper jack cheese)
- 3 sub rolls, preferably whole wheat
- In a large bowl, crack and whip the egg. Add in ground turkey, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients together with your hands (it will feel weird and awesome!!!) and form 1 inch to 1.5 inch meatballs with that mixture.
- Take out a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add as many meatballs as will fit in the pan, let them sit on one side for 2 minutes, then flip and cover the pan for another 3 minutes, or until the meatballs looked cooked (but not totally browned, as they will be cooking more).
- Once you cut a meatball and make sure there’s no more pink inside, keep the meatballs in the pan, and add the tomatoes, half the basil, onions, and butter. Stir all of it up, and cover over low heat.
- While the tomatoes and meatballs meld together, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take out your rolls and open them up. You’re going to lightly drizzle the remaining olive oil (if you need a little more, then feel free) over the inside of the rolls.
- On a foil lined baking sheet, place the rolls open-side up on the sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees for five minutes, or until they’re warmed and toasted.
- Take out the rolls, and take the meatballs off their heat. When the rolls have cooled enough, pile on the meatball/sauce mixture, and top with the remaining basil leaves and a nice handful of shredded cheese. VOILA! Healthy, delicious, and so filling.
Why the hell had I never made stuffed peppers before? Seriously, they are so easy, they look gorgeous, and when you cut into them, it’s like a pot pie, only without all the bread. They are amazing!
I decided to make these the other night for two reasons: 1) A friend once told me that peppers are good to eat when you’re sick, and I had a cold, 2) I’ve been eating so much pasta. So much. Like, I might actually be SICK of it right now. (It will pass, trust me, I’ll be back on the pasta train in no time.)
So, I had chicken breasts, two big peppers, and a couple of other things that I scrounged out of the cupboards. I don’t know how, but it all came out SUPER tasty and I will definitely be making these again. Based off of a few recipes I saw online, this is what I ended up using:
What you’ll need:
- 2 bell peppers. I used red, but yellow or any other shade will do!
- 1 shredded chicken breast.
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock (or 1/2 cup of water).
- 1/4 cup of chopped onion.
- 1/2 cup of white mushrooms.
- 1/2 cup of canned black beans.
- 1 cup of couscous (I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat version, and it’s super easy to make).
- 1/2 a lime.
- 1/4 cup of shredded of thinly cut pepper jack cheese.
- Tablespoon of butter
- Red chili flakes
- Hot sauce to taste
- Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over low to medium heat in a skillet. While that heats up, take out the chicken breast. Place the chicken breast in the skillet and coat it generously in salt and pepper. Let the chicken sit for five minutes on that one side, then flip the chicken over. Add the chicken broth and cover, keeping on medium heat, for 10 minutes. (It’s the exact same process I use for my shredded chicken salad.)
- Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the heat and let it cool for ten minutes.
- While the chicken cools, make at least one cup of whole wheat couscous according to the directions on the box. (For Trader Joe’s, their serving size will give you more than one cup, which is great for leftovers.)
- In a large pan, melt a tablespoon of butter. Shred the chicken and toss it into the pan. Add a cup of couscous, the black beans, chopped onion, white mushrooms, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, and a few shakes of hot sauce. Squeeze half of a lime over it all. Stir occasionally over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove all of the seeds from the inside.
- Line a baking dish with tinfoil, place the topless peppers (LOL) on the foil, and fill them with the chicken skillet mixture. Really stuff them as full as you can. If you have leftovers, make sure to try a bite, because it will be damn good.
- Top the peppers with the pepper jack cheese slices.
- Bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top turns a little golden.
That’s it, now enjoy this protein rich meal! And you might want to bring a little extra hot sauce with you, in case you like a bigger kick.
It’s recently come to my attention that the new trend in Los Angeles is not cupcakes, or cronuts, or anything of the baked goods variety. Instead, when I drive down Melrose, what do I see? Pressed juicers, macrobiotic smoothie stores, and juice cleanse bars. Much like Starbucks, there’s one on every corner, and soon I imagine the two will blend and create some sort of juicery-coffee hybrid.
That being said, those kind of stores cost MONEY. I’m not talking a $5 latte kinda money, I’m saying that for one smoothie you’re looking at $9 minimum, but more like $12 if we’re being honest. (And let’s just agree to be honest, shall we?)
But we all deserve healthy juice options, which is why I started making my own at home. It saves serious bank, takes all of 10 minutes, and tastes so yummy.
Here’s everything you’ll need for a super healthy, and really delicious start to the morning:
Dairy-Free Morning Smoothie:
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup of frozen mango chunks (I get a bag from Trader Joes)
- 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (Also available at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/2 of a ripe avocado
- 3/4 cup of Almond Milk
- 1 tablespoon of golden raisins
- 8 raw almonds (or a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, if you prefer!)
- A blender (I use the Ninja!)
- In a blender, first add almond milk, banana, almonds, avocado, and raisins. (I read somewhere to put your “milk” in the blender first to make it blend easier.) Then top off with frozen mango and blueberries.
- Mix on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth. To make a thicker consistency, double the avocado. Or if you want it thinned out, add almond milk 1/4 cup at a time until desired smoothness is reached.
One of the hardest parts of dating someone who works long hours, is figuring out what to make for dinner when they get home around 8:30 at night. While I’m usually home by 6, my man E isn’t done with work until a little after 8, most nights. This means that by the time he’s home, and we’re busy doing the, “What are you in the mood for?” dance, we’re both starving.
Luckily, we’ve figured out a few meals to make that are fast, healthy, and taste enough like comfort food that it makes all that hanger* fade away. (*Hungry + Angry = Hangry)
We’ve been working on this baked salmon with mashed sweet potatoes for a while now, and it has really paid off…