recipes

Simple Seven-Ingredient Tuna Burgers

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I know that tuna burgers may not be the most glamorous idea around but this recipe takes them up just a notch, adding lots of flavor, a little texture, and a simple weekday or weeknight meal! I discovered tuna burgers in college, actually. We had a recipe for one in my food science class and my group was in charge of making it. After my very reluctant first bite I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I liked it and, not only did I like it, but I realized I would actually look forward to eating something like this on a regular basis. These tuna burgers, with a few easy adjustments, began to be a college dinner staple for me. In the hot Texas summers I could get home and easily cook up two or three or four of these so I would have leftovers to reheat for the week. Because it was so hot this particular summer, I would make a huge crisp cool salad with mango and bell peppers and some feta and place this warm tuna burger right on top. The flavor combos were perfect! Sometime after college and on into grad school I lost the recipe and stopped making the burgers. However, this past year, looking for more quick and simple meal ideas, I remembered these burgers and began pairing ingredients together to make my own version and bring it back. This is my new tuna burger recipe. It’s an easy source of protein with a little carbohydrate and just the right amount of flavor that makes it perfect any night of the week. You can incorporate it in a salad, on a burger, or on its own with a couple of simple sides. It’s super easy, super versatile, and something everyone might like, from the parent to the young athlete to the adult athlete. So, here you go, the recipe for these Simple Seven-Ingredient Tuna Burgers.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

SIMPLE SEVEN-INGREDIENT TUNA BURGERS:

A Quick Recipe for You & Your Young Athlete

Makes 2 patties

INGREDIENTS

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  • 8 oz canned light tuna

  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic

  • 1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup plain bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup diced white onion

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line a medium baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.

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3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together the tuna, eggs, Dijon, garlic and bread crumbs.

4. In a medium skillet, heat the 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat.

5. Add the onions to the heated skillet and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have started to brown.

6. Add the cooked onion mixture to the tuna mixture and stir to combine all ingredients.

7. Heat the last two teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat in the medium skillet that you cooked the onions in.

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8. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the tuna mix , shape into a medium-size patty and place on preheated skillet. Do the same with the remaining tuna mixture. If not enough space in your skillet, you can cook the patties one at a time.

9. Cook the patties in the heated skillet for about six minutes per side until browned on both sides.

10. Place patties on lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 4 to 6 minutes.

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11. Remove from the oven and serve as burgers with your favorite toppings and sides.

12. Enjoy!

Make It Again!

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These tuna burgers can be served lots of different ways, which is one of the reasons that I love them! Serve over a crisp cool salad in the summer or serve them like a burger bar, providing lots of different toppings to choose from. I love them simple with lettuce, tomato and maybe mustard or I have served them with a Greek Ziziki sauce, which has also been excellent! Or, you can choose to keep it really simple and serve on their own with a few yummy sides!

My Go-To Hearty Kale Salad

If you have been following along lately, you know that I have been throwing together a lot of salads. They are just so quick and easy and versatile. You can throw anything in them and run out the door. And, I’m not one that can always go out to lunch, so it’s great to have this ready to go at work. I always include one or two things with it, like an apple or a yogurt, or a granola bar or crackers and hummus, but this salad really helps satisfy me and keep me energized for the rest of my day.

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To me it’s hard to prep salads ahead of time because so many of the lettuces like spinach and mixed greens can get wilty (is that a word? I’m goin’ with it) really quickly. The great thing about kale is that I can go ahead and wash it, chop it and throw it in a bowl, or put together and dress my salad completely and it will still be good in a couple of days! For all of these reasons, I have been loving this kale salad. This is the variety I typically make but I put a few other varieties at the end of this post. You can either prep the greens and toppings and store separately, allowing for more variety during the week or go ahead and throw it all together in one large bowl! When I use this creamy tahini caesar (which I tell you in my post is by Cookie & Kate) I usually store it separately. If using a balsamic or some sort of vinaigrette, I’ll often go ahead and massage the dressing into the kale. It helps break it down a little bit so it is not so tough when it’s time to enjoy it.

Today I’m sharing this tasty, fueling and satisfying go-to salad with you. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor



My Go-To Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Caesar Dressing

Makes about 4 entree-salads (if using about 2 1/2 cups per salad)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Balsamic Roasted Portobello mushrooms (recipe and 3 ingredients in this post)

  • 1 batch of Tahini Caesar Dressing (recipe & ingredients in this post, original recipe by Cookie & Kate)

  • 7 cups chopped Lacinato kale (about 1 bunch)

  • 5 cups lightly packed Romaine lettuce

  • One 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional but I LOVE adding these!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven and roast mushrooms according to directions linked above.

  2. While the mushrooms roast, whisk together the ingredients for the Tahini Caesar dressing in a small bowl (recipe linked above). Keep in the bowl or pour into a small mason jar (or other airtight container) to store and use throughout the week.

  3. Add the pumpkin seeds to a small skillet and heat on medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes until the seeds begin to “pop”, brown and you start to smell their rich nuttiness. Yum! You don’t need to add any oil to the skillet because seeds naturally contain oil that will start to come out as the seeds begin to heat up.

  4. Add the kale, romaine, chickpeas, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, roasted chopped portobello mushrooms and pumpkin seeds to a large mixing bowl and toss together with tongs or salad spoons to incorporate all ingredients.

  5. Store the salad and dressing in the refrigerator separately to use throughout the week. Or, if serving for a group immediately, add dressing to the salad and toss until all well-combined. I would start with about 1/4 cup of dressing and toss all together. Add more dressing as needed or let your guests add it separately at the table!

  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition Notes:

Kale: Did you know kale is a non-dairy source of calcium?! I try to incorporate it into any of my athletes meals that don’t eat dairy but will eat kale (that’s not often, ha, but I’ll take it when I can!) This leafy green also contains, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.

Tomatoes: vitamin C, lycopene, fluid, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium

Chickpeas: protein, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, manganese

Pumpkin Seeds: protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats & some omega 3’s, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc

Tahini: protein, thiamin, phosphorus, monounsaturated fats and some omega 3’s, copper, manganese

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Balsamic Roasted Portobellos

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I am such a fan of portobello mushrooms. They add a meatiness to dishes, they bring out the flavor of other ingredients in dishes, and, I think, you can really add any flavors to them that you want to them. They are so easy to roast and they can be stored in the refrigerator to incorporate in dishes later throughout the week. You can stuff them, add them to pasta sauces, make them a burger if you don’t eat meat and so much more. The other day I decided that I needed something more for my kale caesar salad and pretty quickly these portobellos came to mind. I’m sharing this super simple recipe with you guys today so that you can throw these together for an easy side dish, salad topping, entree and more any night of the week!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor



Simple Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

Makes 2 mushrooms

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

  3. Using a basting brush (I love my silicone one that we got as part of a wedding gift), lightly brush the olive oil on both sides of both mushrooms. You don’t have to use all of the olive oil.

  4. Using the same basting brush, brush the balsamic vinegar on both sides of the mushrooms. Use as much of the balsamic as you can. I try to make sure it gets in the ridges (or gills) of the underside of the mushroom.

  5. Now place the mushrooms gill-side-up on the lined baking sheet.

  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

  7. There will be liquid in the well of the mushroom. I just pour that out into the sink. If you are adding the to a pasta or other dish, add that liquid into what you are cooking for extra flavor!

  8. Leave the mushrooms whole or dice them to add to sides, salads, pastas and more.

  9. Enjoy!


NUTRITION NOTES:

Mushrooms are great for their meatiness and their ability to bring out the flavors of foods they are paired with. They are also packed with nutrients like niacin & riboflavin (B vitamins that help the body make energy), selenium, phosphorus, copper and potassium, which are all important nutrients in helping our body function properly.



Creamy Tahini Caesar Dressing

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Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you know it was a harder weekend for me. I can’t say that each year the weekend gets easier for me but I can say that I’m learning how to honor it, how I respond to it, and what I need to get me through it. It’s certainly a process but I’m learning and it is nice to be able to be honest with myself and allow myself the time and the space to reflect and fill my mind and time with things that nurture and continue to help me heal. For anyone who has lost someone close to them, I know we all have a different journey. This is part of mine and I just wanted to share a little of that with you this morning as it is a part of what makes me who I am today.

TODAY, however, is the start of a new week and I want to share with you a dressing that I have been loving lately. I typically always make my salad dressing from scratch because, with the right ingredients, you can make a dressing yourself better than anything you can buy off the shelf! My husband and I tend to like simpler dressings and my usual go-tos are a balsamic vinaigrette, a honey Dijon vinaigrette, or a champagne vinaigrette. Which dressing we use depends on the items in our salads. I’ve really never been a huge Caesar dressing girl and my experimenting with making homemade Caesar dressings has left me with the same final conclusion - just not a huge fan. HOWEVER, I discovered this Tahini Caesar dressing in my Cookie + Kate cookbook a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a staple on my lunch salads that I take to work! I’m sure it could also make a great addition to other entrees or side dishes or to my Vegetarian Sweet Potato that I published a while back. I highly recommend you visit her blog, which I have linked below. I believe you can find this dressing there (not positive b/c I got it from her cookbook). I really wanted to have the recipe in this space and be able to share it with you and so I have included it below. I talk about this cookbook a bunch because it’s another one of my go-tos when I want a hearty vegetarian option for dinner or lunch. I highly recommend you visit her blog or get her cookbook (this is not sponsored, I just really like her cookbook)!

I’ll be enjoying this dressing later today, but before I head out to the office, I’m sharing this dressing with you here.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor


Tahini Caesar Dressing

By Kathryn Taylor (Cookie and Kate blog)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, and salt.

  2. Whisk until blended, then add the water and whisk until you have a smooth, blended tahini sauce.

  3. Season generously with black pepper (about 10 twists).

  4. The dressing should be tangy, like classic Caesar dressings. If it’s overwhelmingly tart or too think to pour, whisk in an additional tablespoon of water. Mine was pretty thick so I ended up whisking in probably about 2 more tablespoons of water.


Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon

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I was definitely not a salmon lover growing up. Other than fish sticks and fried catfish, I really didn’t care for fish at all. That is, until high school when I started trying more foods and then college where I started cooking, learning about nutrition, and experimenting with different recipes. Now I love it and, because it is recommended to include fatty fish like salmon or tuna in your weekly diet, I have been trying to figure out a way to keep salmon on our weekly menu. It try to mix it up to keep it from getting boring.

Why include fatty fish like salmon and tuna, you may ask? Well, both of these fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which, studies have found and continue to find, can improve our heart health, aid in brain health, and fight inflammation in the body. This is important for pretty much everyone, from the infant needing the DHA and EPA for brain development to the child continuing to grow and develop to the young and adult athlete in states of inflammation after hard practices, games and competitions to the older adult potentially struggling with arthritis or other inflammatory diseases. Plus, it can help all of these groups mentioned maintain a healthy heart! And, if that is not enough, salmon can be a source of vitamin D, which is super hard to get from the diet and its fat helps the body digest the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A, D, E and K.

SO, for all of those reasons, let’s start incorporating more fatty fish into our diets, shall we?! I have a few other salmon recipes on the blog including my simple lemon dijon salmon and my spinach & feta stuffed salmon, and I’m excited to add this one to our family list. If you don’t like ginger, it might not be your thing, but if you don’t mind it, then I certainly recommend giving this recipe a try! Here you go. The recipe for my Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

MISO GINGER GLAZED SALMON

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets

  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (I used the Light yellow miso that I found at Central Market)

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oli

  • 1 teaspoon grated, minced ginger

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Brush some of the sauce over the salmon filet, covering the top entirely.

  3. Save any remaining sauce to spoon over the cooked filets, if desired.

  4. Cook the salmon for about 15 minutes or until desired level of doneness.

  5. Serve each salmon filet with your favorite veggies, a crisp green salad and fluffy rice and enjoy!

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Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups

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Hello! How is everyone’s week going? Mine has been quite packed, but the good kind of packed that keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking. So much going on in January in the world of Wellness and I’m also staying pretty busy with sports nutrition items as well.

Today, however, oh my gosh, I’m excited to finally get to share with you one of my newer recipes, these jazzed up mac and cheese cups.. This is one of my favorite recipes yet. It’s so savory and cheesy and easy to eat. It’s basically mac & cheese with a few surprise ingredients in a cup! And a bonus - made with milk and cheese, each cup packs in some calcium, which we know everyone needs, especially the young growing athlete. I actually created these about a year ago, but it took me a few times to get the recipe just the way I wanted it and then I, of course, had to have friends and family give them a try and earn their stamp of approval. You can prep these ahead and then store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake which, if you know my recipes, you know I love. They also store and reheat nicely, which is great because the recipe makes 12. I store them in a big airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. They can be an easy option to take to school or work or enjoy as a late night dinner or post-practice snack. What makes them jazzed up? Well, I substitute some of the pasta for roasted cauliflower and add in sun dried tomatoes, which gives it a whole new level of deliciousness. And, honestly, you may not even realize it’s cauliflower in there if you are not paying attention. I seriously love these and I hope you do to! So, here you go, the recipe for my Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

JAZZED UP MAC & CHEESE CUPS

Makes 12 cups

INGREDIENTS:

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  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup macaroni noodles (will use 1 1/2 cups cooked)

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon flour

  • 1 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard

  • 1 whole egg, whisked

  • 1/2 cup rehydrated (according to package directions) and chopped sun dried tomatoes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped cauliflower with the olive oil and salt.

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Spread cauliflower on lined baking sheet.

Roast cauliflower in preheated oven for 15 minutes, stir the cauliflower, and roast for 15 minutes more.

While the cauliflower cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil and, once boiling, add the macaroni, cooking about 7 to 8 minutes until tender. When done, drain the cooked macaroni into a large colander and set aside.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

Now, increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees F.

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Prep a 12-muffin tin (or two 6-muffin tins) by spraying lightly with cooking spray and then, using about 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese, sprinkle on the bottom of each muffin tin.

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Heat the same large pot you used to cook the noodles in to medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of flour. Whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the flour to cook and start to brown.

Add the milk, whisking slowly as you pour it in, and continue to cook, whisking occasionally, until the milk begins to warm almost coming to a simmer.

Add the cheese to the warm milk and whisk in until the cheese melts into the milk and the mix is smooth.

Take pot off the heat and add the Dijon and egg and stir to incorporate all ingredients together.

Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked macaroni, the sun dried tomatoes, and the cauliflower to the pot and fold it into the cheese sauce.

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Spoon mac and cheese mixture into each muffin tin (about 1/4 cup mix per tin).

Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove cooked mac and cheese cups from the oven, sprinkle tops of each with remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided equally between every cup.

Turn oven to a broil and broil on low for about 1 to 2 minutes until the tops start to brown and crisp a little.

Remove cups from the oven.

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Allow to cool about 10 minutes so that the cups will keep their shape when you take them out of your tins. After they cool a little, I run a knife around the edges of each muffin tin to help get each mac and cheese cup out smoothly.

Serve immediately or store to enjoy later in the week!

Serve It Again!

As I mentioned earlier. Wrap each individually in foil or plastic wrap to pull out and take with you as a part of lunch. Or reheat them as an easy side with dinner another night of the week. OR grab one after an afternoon or evening practice as an easy source of protein, quality carbohydrate and calcium!

NUTRITION NOTES

Just one of these scrumptious cups contains 210 mg of calcium!

Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal

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This month I have decided to focus my thoughts and recipes mainly on calcium and vitamin D for the athlete. This is probably the topic I talk about with young athletes most frequently. I know calcium and vitamin D probably do not seem like a big deal when new to your sport or injury-free, but it can really be a big deal if you are cutting it out of your diet completely! Not getting enough calcium can lead to low bone mineral density, and not only osteoporosis later in life, but stress fractures now if the athlete is overtraining and not resting and eating adequately.

When I meet with athletes, the hardest meal to pack nutrition into always seems to be breakfast. So, for that reason I started looking at what I eat for breakfast and what clients eat for breakfast most frequently and then see if I could make these breakfast choices more valuable to an athlete’s nutrition and training plan. Today’s recipe is an oatmeal recipe. I am an oatmeal fan because you can easily pack a lot into it. This oatmeal can be made the morning of or prepped the night before and then heated up in the microwave while getting ready for work or school in the morning. I love it because it’s hearty, it’s super satisfying and it packs in protein, quality carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats in just one little bowl. For those athletes who have morning practices, it can also be stored in a small airtight container in a lunchbox with a cooler and heated up in the microwave after practice. I have really been enjoying this for breakfast these last couple of months and hope you enjoy it as well. I use a sunflower butter typically but, of course, you can use any nut or seed butter that you prefer. Here you go - the recipe for my Sunbutter Banana & Chia Seed Oatmeal…

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

SUNBUTTER BANANA AND CHIA SEED OATMEAL

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Makes 1 bowl

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup dry rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed or chia seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Sunbutter (or nut or seed butter of choice) + about 1 teaspoon more drizzled over the oatmeal*

  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1/2 medium banana)

  • The other half of the banana, sliced over cooked oatmeal

  • Dash of cinnamon, to sprinkle over the top after cooked.

    I like this Sunbutter and this Sunbutter because they are super simple and doesn’t have added sugar and lots of other added ingredients (not sponsored at all. I’ve just discovered these to be my preferences after lots of trial and error of different products).

DIRECTIONS

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  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a cereal bowl or travel container and stir together.

  2. Microwave 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

  3. Stir in the mashed banana until well incorporated.*

  4. Microwave another 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  5. Stir together and top with sliced banana, extra bit of nut or seed butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

  6. Enjoy!

  • If taking to the office or school, you can go ahead and add the mashed banana in with step one. I think it just mixes in better if you add it once the oatmeal has cooked some.



NUTRITION INFO (per bowl)

294 cal; 10.75 g protein; 6.38 g fat; 48.5 g carb; 6.6 g fiber; 22.75 g sugar; 1.38 mg iron; 205 mg calcium; 0.53 mg zinc; 250 mg vitamin A; 50 IU vitamin D; 27 mg magnesium; 22 mg phosphorus, 326 mg potassium; 1 mg sodium; 20 ug folate



A Simply Stress-Free Christmas Brunch

Hello friends! It’s pouring here in Memphis and dad and Kyle are at the duck club, which makes it a perfect day for writing and recipe testing. Thought I would do a little post to tell you about our Christmas brunch and how I tried changing it up this year to keep things stress-free and with more time to sit around the Christmas tree!

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Usually for Christmas my family drinks coffee and exchanges gifts first thing in the morning and then we tidy up and start making brunch. This year, however, I decided to try mixing it up a little and seeing if we could enjoy breakfast and each other’s company around the table in the den while doing our gift exchange, leaving more time to sit and chat and not hear our stomachs growling while we open gifts! After thinking about what I could prep ahead, I landed on my Crustless Sage and Sausage Quiche. Because it’s only me, dad and Kyle on Christmas morning, we don’t need to go overboard on the food and so we bought some in-season fruits and our favorite whole grain bread to pair with it. The fruits I selected included grapes, oranges and pears and they were so sweet and juicy diced up as a fruit salad. Our bread of choice these days is Dave’s Killer Bread and it was hearty and nutty, toasted up and served with butter. And that was our Christmas brunch! Both dad and Kyle loved the quiche and I’m assuming they were telling the truth because it was almost all entirely gone by the end of Christmas morning!

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The quiche is super savory and so really complemented the sweet winter fruits served along side it. I always have a starch of some sort with a meal and the toasted Dave’s Killer Bread was perfect. I love having home-cooked meals at the table but I don’t think everything has to be homemade, especially if that means sacrificing time with family or friends. I know I could have made some homemade biscuits or bread or sweet rolls but dad doesn’t eat many sweets, and I didn’t want to spend all of my Christmas Eve in the kitchen. So the quiche was my home-cooked item that I prepped on Christmas Eve and placed in the oven Christmas morning and the other items were easily assembled Christmas morning while the quiche baked. It was a fun, relaxing and delicious Christmas morning.


And What About the Leftovers?

That’s another great thing about the quiche! It can be refrigerated and reheated for breakfast, lunch or dinner on any of the days to follow. I cut the remainder of the quiche into small squares, wrapped each square in plastic wrap and stored half of them in the refrigerator and half in the freezer so dad can have a quick protein-packed breakfast once Kyle and I are back in Dallas.

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Nine - Ingredient Yummy Stuffed Sweet Potato: A Vegetarian Prep-Ahead Meal

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Hi there! So, last week was a busy one! Lot’s of projects due and presentations and program wrap-ups and then we went to Scottsdale for one of my best friend’s wedding. I’m so glad that I did my meal planning the weekend before because there certainly wasn’t lots of brain space left to figure out dinner. One thing to note about my meal planning - there is nothing cookie cutter or perfect about them. I have a general plan that I could follow, but most weeks I actually go off course. This week my stuffed sweet potato was on the menu but I had actually planned to use slightly different ingredients. Then, when Monday came around, I had leftovers from dinner with friends the night before and, with that, a new idea. That is how this recipe came about that I’m sharing with you all today. It’s so SIMPLE!!! And it’s super tasty. It uses ingredients that, years ago, I would not have normally put together. However, after our trip to Israel this year I have become a little more adventurous with food and flavor combos.

This dish is a vegetarian option. However, it’s still packed with great stuff like complex carbs, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, some healthy fats and protein. I talk to so many people who think you have to eat meat to get your protein. Newsflash, you don’t! There are lots' of ways to get protein without eating meat. You may have to eat a little bit more of those foods because plant protein is not as easily absorbed in the body as animal protein, but, it can be done! For example, the 1/2 cup of chickpeas here provides about 7 grams of protein. then there are a couple of grams in the dressing and a gram or two in the potato. So, here is the recipe for my Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

NINE-INGREDIENT YUMMY STUFFED SWEET POTATO

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/2 cup of Prepared Slaw (see recipe below)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tbsp hummus

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

SLAW INGREDIENTS (from Ina Garten):

  • One 10 oz. package of cabbage slaw

  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a knife or tongs of a fork and place on a baking sheet. I usually use a fork and poke the holes in a line down the center (longways) of the potato, where I will end up slicing it once cooked.

  3. In a large bowl mix together the slaw, fresh dill and white wine vinegar. Cover and let sit, allowing all of the flavors to meld together. This can be done a day in advance. And for any of you who read my previous posts, this is from Ina Garten’s DELICIOUS salmon taco recipe.

  4. When the oven is preheated, place the sweet potato in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until when you poke the potato with a fork, the tongs come out easily and clean.

  5. You can either allow the potatoes to cool at this point and then wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator, or go ahead and prep them to eat.

  6. To continue prepping, whisk together the hummus, water and lemon juice in a small bowl.

  7. Open the potato so that there is room to pile the toppings on top.

  8. Add about half of the humus dressing followed by about a 1/2 cup of the slaw followed by the chickpeas followed by drizzles of the remaining hummus dressing. Serve and enjoy!

  9. If serving this later in the week, I prep my potato the night before or morning of, opening it and adding the slaw and chickpeas. I package the hummus dressing separately. At the office, I heat up the potato and then add the dressing once heated through. Easy peazy!

NUTRITION NOTES:

Sweet potato: vitamin A

Chickpeas: protein, folate, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Hummus: protein, healthy fats…

Slaw: fiber

Pesto Chicken Panini: Making Use of Leftovers

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So, I made this sandwich a way long time ago and realized I never posted it! I came up with the quasi - recipe when I was trying to figure out what to do with my remaining Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad. I love the chicken salad on it’s own but wanted to find some other way to mix up the recipe. That’s when this sandwich was born. I made it for me and my husband and we both enjoyed them! This can be a lunch or dinner item. Packed with protein, complex carbs, fiber, some calcium, and vitamins, including B vitamins and vitamin K this one sandwich packs a nutritional punch! The pesto and roasted red peppers keep this sandwich moist and full of flavor and adding the melty mozzarella takes it up another few notches. I always remind clients and friends to not overthink meals. If you can get three out of the five food groups at a meal, excellent! The sandwich can be easily overlooked, but if we take a closer look at this guy, we see that you get the “3 out of the 5” in just this one item! Whole grains, dairy, and meat are all here. Plus there are just a few little veggies snuck in there as well! The next time you toss together my Seven Ingredient Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad, make sure to plan for this grilled panini with some of the leftovers. It won’t disappoint!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

PESTO CHICKEN PANINI

Serves 1

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 slices hearty whole grain bread (my go-to’s are Dave’s Killer Bread, Seeduction bread from Whole Foods, and Flax & Chia Seed bread from Central Market)

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of my prepared Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad

  • 3 thin slices of mozzarella cheese (you could also sprinkle on shredded, if desired (about 1/4 cup shredded)

  • About 3/4 cup fresh spinach

DIRECTIONS:

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  1. Lightly toast the two slices of bread.

  2. Preheat a panini press or heat a small skillet oiled with about 1 teaspoon of butter over medium heat.

  3. Place prepared chicken salad on one of the slices of toasted bread.

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4. Lay mozzarella slices over the chicken (or sprinkle if using shredded

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5. Top mozzarella with fresh spinach leaves.

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6. Make sure your skillet or panini press is preheated and top the layered ingredients with other slice of bread.

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7. Place sandwich in panini press, press down and cook until the mozzarella cheese is softened and melty and the bread is crispy.

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8. Serve and enjoy!