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Posts tagged ‘healthy’

Grits with a Twist:  Roasted Veggies & Cheesy Grits

I know what you are thinking.  It is okay.  There are days I can’t believe it either & I wanna know what the hell am I doing putting vegetables in a dish that should contain a protein that runs and jumps.  

Lately, I have been eating less meat.  Truth be told, I feel a whole lot better now that I have consistently eat more vegetables.  I don’t feel sluggish.  I have more energy than I had when I was in college.  I’m kinda liking what I see in the mirror.  My stomach isn’t so flabby.  My legs are shaping pretty good. 

In order to NOT miss meat, I am remixing my own recipes.  My key to eating more vegetables is seasoning.  You can go from Cajun cauliflower to lemon pepper cauliflower by simply changing spices.

This flavor remix is to my Shrimp & Cheesy Grits recipe.  Instead of shrimp, I turned the flavor on an array of roasted vegetables 🙂 and black beans.

Roasted Vegetables

1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Head of Cauliflower
1 Small Green Zucchini
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion & Herb Seasoning

ONEPreheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
TWOClean veggies & cut into small pieces.
THREEPlace veggies in a bowl.
FOURAdd EVOO & seasonings.
FIVEToss until all veggies are well covered.
SIXPlace veggies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
SEVENRoast veggies in the oven for about 15 minutes or until veggies are browned.

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies

Black Beans

1/2 cup canned vegan black beans rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

ONEAdd oil to a skillet on medium heat.
TWOSauté garlic & shallots until translucent. Be careful to not burn the garlic.
THREEAdd beans to skillet & sauté for about 5 minutes.

Cheesy Grits

1 1/2 cup shredded aged white cheddar cheese
1 ounce cream cheese
2 cups water (plus a 1/4 cup of water set to the side)
1/2 cup grits

ONEAdd water & grits to medium saucepan.
TWOCook mixture on medium heat.
THREEWhisk mixture to prevent from sticking.
FOURAs mixture thicken, turn heat to low.
FIVEAdd cheese to mixture & continue to stir until all cheese is melted.
NOTEAdd a little extra water if necessary prior to adding the cheese. If grits look dry, add a little bit of water.

Assemble Roasted Veggie & Cheesy Grits with Black Beans

ONEAdd grits to a bowl.
TWOAdd beans.
THREETop with roasted veggies.

Roasted Veggies & Cheesy Grits with Black Beans

Roasted Veggies & Cheesy Grits with Black Beans

Happy New Year: Simply Raw Zucchini with Sunshine Cool Breeze Dressing

We are well into a new year. I hope the year is bringing you laughter and smiles thus far. With January, comes New Year’s resolutions. I don’t like the word ‘resolution’. I don’t keep resolutions; but the word improvements is an on-going process that gives me an opportunity to succeed. So I will use the word improvement 🙂

One of the improvements that we make concerns improving our health. Whether we set out on the journey to eat healthier or lose weight, we need to equip ourselves with tools that we will be able to sustain in the long run so that we can reach our goals. Great tasting healthy options will keep us on track to better health.

Last year, I made a lifestyle change that I have been able to sustain and carry me into the new year. The change I made was to incorporate more raw vegetables into my day. Eating raw vegetables on a consistent basis doesn’t mean that you are eating raw carrots and celery or the traditional lettuce, tomato, and cucumber salad. There are a host of vegetables that will ensure you do not get bored with eating a dish packed with vitamins and high in fiber.

One of my favorite vegetables is zucchini. I love it sautéed, steamed, and raw. Truth be told, raw zucchini is boring and taste like cardboard. By adding the refreshing dressing below, the zucchini is kicked up to new heights.

Sunshine Cool Breeze Dressing

juice of 1 small lemon
1 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
8 fresh mint leaves chopped fine
1 pinch cayenne pepper

ONECombine all ingredients in a bowl with lid or bottle with a cap.
TWOShake vigorously to combine all thoroughly combine all ingredients.
THREEPour over your favorite vegetables. Toss the vegetables to make sure they are evenly coated.

I julienned one medium sized zucchini. I tossed the zucchini in the Sunshine Cool Breeze Dressing. I then served the zucchini over a bed of baby spinach and baby arugula for extra vitamins. Yuuuuuuumy!!

Raw Zucchini w/Sunshine Cool Breeze Dressing

Raw Zucchini w/Sunshine Cool Breeze Dressing

Veggie Porn: Salad I

Last night I was too lazy to sauté some chicken or fish to add to the salad I made last night. I looked in my pantry and found a can of black beans. Don’t judge me, I had to eat some protein, right. Well I was pleasantly surprised because I was able to wake up on a Saturday before 10am and get quite a bit accomplished. Yeah, it was just one meal; but that meal wasn’t heavy and loaded with chemicals. Starting yesterday, my last meal of the day will be light and packed with vegetables.

Veggie Porn—Salad I:

Veggie Porn: Salad I

Veggie Porn—Salad I

Salad I Ingredients

Salad I Ingredients

The Stars—Salad I Ingredients:

Spinach NOTE: I chose spinach. You can use whatever green leafy vegetables you like. If I wasn’t allergic to kale, I would use kale.
Yellow Corn
Shredded Carrots
Hearts of Palm NOTE: I used canned hearts. I drained the water from the can.)
Cooked Black Beans NOTE: I used canned bean. I drained the water from the can. I also rinsed the beans with cold water in a colander.
Habanero Cheese NOTE: I buy mine from Rise-N-Roll bakery in Indiana when they to the city.

ONECombine all ingredients.
TOWRefrigerate leftovers.

NOTE: I simply combined everything in a bowl. If you are making this salad for a get together. Have fun with the presentation. You can leave the ingredients separate on a platter. You can also place the spinach in a large bowl and add the additional salad ingredients individually to smaller bowls (To reduce reactions to food allergies, add serving utensils to each bowl). You can even add the spinach to the container and add the additional salad ingredients in small circles or skinny rectangles on top of the salad.

Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

The Sidekick—Citrus Vinaigrette:

1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Trader Joe’s South African Smoked Seasoning Blend

ONECombine all ingredients in a container with a top. NOTE: I prefer something with a wide opening so I can wash it and reuse it.
TWOShake to mix ingredients well.
THREEStore in the refrigerator.