Mango Salsa

1B6EA128-6EBB-4727-B386-C7404BFB7D33This week, I wanted to try and bring lighter flavors into my dishes. I decided to alter my homemade salsa recipe to include one of my favorite fruits, mangos!! When I was doing my grocery shopping this week, I was so happy to see that mangos were on sale. Not only are they delicious, but you can do so much with them! This salsa recipe is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! I am going to share two different preparations depending on how you’d like to utilize this salsa!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes on the vine finely chopped
1 1/2 jalapeños finely chopped
1 mango cubed
1/4 red onion finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lime (squeezed for juice)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Chunky salsa preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a roasting pan, put 1 tsp olive oil on the two tomatoes and roast for 15 minutes.
3. Carefully remove the tomatoes and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. Once cooled, chop the tomato and place it in a medium sized bowl.
5. Add the chopped jalapeños, red onion, cilantro and cubed mango to the bowl.
6. Squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Then, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a spoon mix all ingredients together.
7. Place in the fridge covered, until ready to serve.

Smooth salsa preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a roasting pan, put 1 tsp olive oil on the two tomatoes and roast for 15 minutes.
3. Carefully remove the tomatoes and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. Once cooled, roughly curt the tomato and place it in a food processor.
5. Add the chopped jalapeños, red onion, cilantro and cubed mango to the food processor
6. Squeeze half a lime into the processor. Then, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until your desired texture is achieved.
7. Place in the fridge covered, until ready to serve.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even do a combo of both preparations (pictured above)! 

 

 

Fiesta Stuffed Peppers

53F08B81-8CCA-4C0D-AA87-271F27957FEB

This fun take on stuffed peppers was created from hispanic influences. I LOVE tacos, but I always have leftover taco meat when I cook them. This recipe allowed me to utilize a leftover, while making a hardy meal that is quick, easy and takes very little effort! These stuffed peppers can also be prepared even if you don’t have leftover taco meat! That being said, unless you’re making 12 peppers, you won’t use a whole pound of meat. However, I have some awesome ideas for some additional taco inspired recipes that will be coming out in the next few days! Stay tuned…

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Ingredients

6 bell peppers
1/2-1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 gluten-free taco seasoning packet (low sodium when possible)
1 cup of cooked white rice
1/2 can of whole kernel sweet corn
1/2 can of black beans
1 cup of Mexican style shredded cheese
1/4 cup of salsa or 1 diced tomato

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse and cut the tops off of your 6 bell peppers. Remove seeds, so the inside of the peppers are hollow. Set to the side in a baking dish.
  3. Prep and begin cooking your white rice.
  4. While the rice is cooking, brown 1 lb. of meat, then follow directions provided on the back of the taco seasoning packet. You can also use leftover taco meat in place of this step.
  5. Once rice has finished cooking, measure 1 cup of cooked rice and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Place 1/2 lb. of seasoned meat into the mixing bowl with the rice.
  7. Add 1/2 can of corn, 1/2 can of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and either 1/4 cup of salsa or 1 diced tomato to the mixing bowl.
  8. Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
  9. Grab your baking dish with the hallow peppers and begin adding filling into each pepper. Push down ingredients lightly to maximize the amount of filling that is being placed in each pepper.
  10. Place the dish in the oven for 30 minutes covered with foil.
  11. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and add the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese to the tops of each pepper. Bake for another 5 minutes, uncovered.
  12. Remove and serve.

This recipe makes 6 servings.

Berry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

3ECEEA1C-F4B5-4DF6-9D6E-4BEA5CE268F8

As a woman that suffers from Endometriosis, inflammation is something that I struggle with on a regular basis. This week I had my first flare up in months. That being said, because of my diet changes, I noticed that my pain levels were much more manageable than they’ve been in the past. This smoothie is my go to when I need antioxidants!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

Ingredients

1-1.5 cup coconut milk
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries frozen
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 sliced banana fresh
1/4 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
1 tbsp coconut flakes
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp coconut flakes
Optional: 1/4 cup ice

Directions

1. Add the coconut milk, spinach, frozen berries, 1 tbsp of coconut flakes and 1 tbsp of chia seeds (optional: 1/4 cup ice) to a blender.
2. Blend till smooth. If the consistency is too thick add small amounts of coconut milk until desired texture is achieved.
3. Pour smoothie mix in bowl.
4. Top with sliced fresh banana, berries and 1 tsp of coconut flakes

This recipe serves 1.

Gluten-Free Fried Rice

244D8BBC-38AF-4CA4-9BC4-AEFDEE59677B

I love Asian inspired flavors. I wanted to take on a gluten-free option of one of my favorite dishes, fried rice. Before I found out I was gluten intolerant, I always thought the high sodium and oil content was what made me sick. However, since gluten-free is a little challenging from many Asian food establishments, I decided to take on my own healthier version to meet my dietary and weight loss goals. Every time I make this dish, I feel like I’m cheating on my diet. I fulfill my bad food cravings without impacting my waist line!

I created this recipe as a plant based meal. However, your favorite protein can be switched out for the garbanzo beans as an alternative for my carnivore friends. Additionally, you’ll see egg is added to this recipe. To make it vegan, simply remove the egg.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1.5 cups of cooked white rice
1 cup of chopped white onion
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 bag of your favorite frozen stir fry veggies (I used Season’s Choice)
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce (low sodium if possible)
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp of sesame oil

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a wok or large fry pan over medium heat.
2. Scramble two eggs in a bowl and add them to the wok. The eggs will cook very quickly, so be sure to stir the eggs so they don’t burn.
3. Once the egg is solidified, add your chopped onions, garlic and cooked white rice to the wok. You want the rice to heat up to prevent it from getting soggy from the sauce. The oil will help to stiffen the rice slightly.
4. After a few minutes, add in 1/8 of the gluten-free tamari soy sauce along with the rice vinegar and sesame oil. Stir and evenly coat the rice mixture.
5. After a minute or so cooking, add the frozen stir fry veggie mix and the garbanzo beans to the wok. Stir occasionally.
6. Once the veggies are cooked through, add the remaining 1/8 cup of gluten-free tamari soy sauce to the wok. Stir. Let cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

This recipe makes 3 servings.

Cajun and Jalapeño Potato Hash

905A3916-A4FE-4CD5-8D49-346BF6CB8E48

Yum! This dish was created out of pure creative necessity. I opened my fridge and saw that my spinach and mushrooms really needed to be depleted, otherwise I would risk them going bad. I also had some jalapeños that were left over from a previous recipe. I hate food waste, so I immediately thought, “How could I put these together?” I love breakfast “bowls.” I’m not someone that needs my food separated. If anything, I feel each ingredient enhances the flavor of every bite. I decided to grab a potato and go to work. This recipe was made for myself, so it can be doubled and so on for more people.

I’m all about simple recipes. This hash is very easy to make if you have a little time in the morning or on the weekend. What you’ll need to get started:

Ingredients:

1 potato cubed (I used a red potato)
2-3 cups of spinach
2/3 cup chopped mushrooms (I used white mushrooms)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeño chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1 egg or 1/3 cup chopped bacon

There are so many variations to this recipe to suit your dietary needs. It’s important to highlight that this dish can be made vegan, vegetarian or for our carnivores out there. Heck, if there aren’t enough veggies to suit your liking, you could even add fresh peppers or broccoli to this dish. Spice isn’t for everyone either. You could easily remove the jalapeños to tone down the heat level or substitute the Cajun seasoning with herbs. Whatever you chose, this dish is hands down amazing!

Directions:

1. Add oil to fry pan and heat over medium.
2. Add cubed potatoes to the pan with 1tsp of Cajun seasoning and salt/pepper to taste. Stir occasionally to ensure the oil and seasonings are evenly spread throughout the potatoes. If you’re going to add bacon, I recommend adding it during this step.
3. Once the potatoes are browned, add the red onions, jalapeño and spinach to the pan. Stir occasionally to ensure the seasoning and oil coat your veggies!
4. When the spinach starts cooking down (you’ll see it shrinking) add the mushrooms.
5. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to serve. Top with egg if desired.

This recipe serves 1.

 

Meal Planning = $avings

IMG_2700

Image Link

One area where I know I rule my budget is in the grocery category. I’m a boss at meal planning and I wanted to share how simply planning meals can help eliminate unnecessary spending when you go grocery shopping. I live on my own, so realistically I only need to cook 2-3 “types” of meals and I eat leftovers for the rest of the week. Some of you will go through groceries faster and can have more variety. This week was one of those times where I knew I wasn’t really going to be home much so I opted for larger portions of a few easy meals. Feel free to adjust this plan to your lifestyle and try it out before your next shopping trip. By knowing your menu and ingredients for the entire week, you’ll be able to go to the grocery store with confidence and not buy items that aren’t on your list. It’s important not to over plan. When I first began meal planning, I scheduled it like I had to cook every night. You don’t; just be aware of how many servings you’re preparing and I promise you’ll spend way less.

Here is my Meal Plan for the week:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Breakfast Smoothie Smoothie Smoothie Smoothie Waffle w/ peanut butter and fruit Waffle w/ peanut butter and fruit Smoothie
Snack Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter Apples and peanut butter
Lunch Veggie fajita bowl Chickpea avocado salad Chickpea avocado wrap Veggie fajita salad Chickpea Avocado Wrap Large Salad Large Salad
Snack Carrots, Celery, hummus Broccoli, grape tomatoes, hummus Carrots, celery, hummus Broccoli, grape tomatoes, hummus Carrots, celery, hummus Broccoli, grape tomatoes, hummus Carrots, celery, hummus
Dinner Large Dinner Salad Veggie fajita wrap Large Dinner Salad Chickpea Avocado Wrap Large Dinner Salad Asian Stir-fry Asian Stir-fry

 

Now that you’ve had a chance to see my meal plan, I want to break down what all of these meals will cost.

Meal Totals for the Week:

  • Day 1: $5.78
  • Day 2: $5.52
  • Day 3: $4.90
  • Day 4: $5.98
  • Day 5: $4.81
  • Day 6: $4.06
  • Day 7: $4.10

Weekly Meal Cost = $30.34

By using this planning method, your entire week will cost you $30.34! You could spend that going out to dinner for only one night! Your grocery shopping trip will realistically cost more than that because some of these items, like condiments, tortillas, etc. will last longer than the one week period. Happy planning!