Living a healthy life is supposed to be fun and filled with good food!

Tag: vegetarian

Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Breakfast Polenta: Simple, Sweet, Savory

Tired of oatmeal every morning? Try breakfast polenta as your next sweet or savory brunch alternative!   A-maize-ing Polenta Are you more of a sweet or savory breakfast eater?  Most days I crave eggs during the week, but on weekends I am ready for a […]

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Berry Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake Bites

Good things come in small sizes! Enjoy these inidividual mini cheesecake bites, bursting with berries and rhubarb, for under 200 calories!   More than a Pie Filling! We may recognize rhubarb as the perfect pairing for strawberries in pies and jams. Its natural tartness balances […]

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Try these protein-packed frittata muffins for your next brunch or meal prep for a busy week ahead in only 30 minutes!

 

Skipping breakfast due to a hectic work schedule? Or planning a summer brunch with friends? These vegetable frittata muffins are quick and guaranteed tasty! 

 

Have an egg-cellent start to your day!

These mini frittata muffins are just one example of a convenient and healthy on-the-go breakfast. Other great options include: overnight oats, whole grain toast with nut or seed butter, and a yogurt with fresh fruit to name a few. We all know skipping breakfast is a big no-no. Your hunger cues make you end up eating an excess of calories later. Who really wants to be “hangry” during the day anyway? For more on ways to include more healthy meals with less time, check out my previous post on meal prep with guest blogger, Stephanie Worth.

 

frittata muffins
Colorful swiss chard makes an excellent source of vitamins and minerals in these frittata muffins!

 

This frittata muffin recipe includes the ratio of eggs, milk, and cheese used in my first attempt at a frittata. In addition to the frittata base, I added cumin and onion powder. The recipe can easily be substituted with other favorite spices and vegetables. If you prefer a meat or other protein, like fish, or tofu, just make sure it is fully cooked prior to baking it in the frittata.  For even more on making an absolutely perfect frittata, check out The Kitchn’s post on How to Make a Frittata.

 

frittata muffins
Frittata muffins prior to baking

 

 

Make it a balanced meal

To make these frittatas a complete, balanced meal, I’d suggest adding the foods mentioned earlier, such as a piece of fresh fruit, yogurt, or toast.  Two muffins make one serving providing 175 calories and 11 grams of protein. For the picky eaters in your family, these muffins are an excellent treat for sneaking in extra vegetables. For those on-the-go, make them just before the busy school or work week. When stored properly in the refrigerator, they can be stored for up to 3 to 4 days. Want them for even longer? Store them securely wrapped in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months.

I hope you enjoy these adorable mini frittata muffins for your next breakfast meal (and those few extra minutes in the morning!).

 

 

 

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 frittata muffins

Serving Size: 2 frittata muffins

Basic Vegetable Frittata Muffins

These muffins can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or 3 months in the freezer. Due to the egg ingredients, do not leave the muffins out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs (can replace with 2 egg whites for one egg)
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup lowfat milk (or dairy alternative)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups swiss chard, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Grease a 12 count muffin tin, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk, cheese, and seasonings. Set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add the potatoes and sautee for 3-5 minutes once the potatoes start to soften. Add the swiss chard to the pan and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are wilted. Turn off heat.
  4. Transfer the vegetable mix to the muffin pans and distribute evenly.
  5. Pour the egg batter over the vegetables and fill to the top.
  6. Gently transfer the muffin pan to the oven and bake for at least 20 minutes. Using a knife, pierce the center of the muffin to see if the muffins are done (pulling out a clean knife means they are ready).
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Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

Creamy Peanut Butter Strawberry Chia Pudding

A new summer treat filled with healthy fats and protein! Try my new Strawberry Chia Pudding with a chocolate peanut butter topping!   I received free samples of the NuGo nutrition bars mentioned in this post. I was compensated for this blog post.   You could say […]

Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade

This all-time favorite dip is getting a makeover for grilling season! Try this new recipe for my Grilled Tofu and Shrimp Skewers with Hummus Marinade!   I received free samples of Sabra Hummus mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe […]

Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

Roasted Fennel and Citrus Barley Salad

This light, yet hearty roasted fennel and barley salad paired with a citrus dressing will keep you feeling satisfied this spring season!

 

The whole truth about whole grains

Whole grains are getting a bad reputation recently thanks to the hard-to-miss gluten-free food trend. But health experts can all agree, if you are not truly sensitive or allergic to gluten, or have a diagnosis for Celiac disease, why miss out on these chewy and nutritious grains?

Celiac disease is a serious and unfortunate autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of Americans. While gluten sensitivity is not something to take lightly, it is more difficult to truly diagnosis.  Gluten sensitivity can cause very uncomfortable symptoms, such as fatigue, joint pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms. If you think you could be sensitive to gluten, I highly recommend seeking your physician or Registered Dietitian for professional advice, as there is a ton of misinformation from celebrities and the internet these days. If you are one of the three million Americans with Celiac disease or have a sensitivity, aim for delicious whole grains that are naturally gluten free, like quinoa, brown rice, and amaranth.

 

 

roasted fennel
Fiber-rich barley and aromatic fennel make a perfect match!

 

 

Whole grains, whether with or without gluten, are a carbohydrate-rich nutrition powerhouse! These beautiful plants are loaded with fiber, folate, minerals like selenium and phosphorous, and protein, making them a must-have for your daily meal routine. Barley, the grain used in this roasted fennel salad, is one of the best sources of fiber among other whole grains. Packing in almost 8g fiber and 6g protein per 1/4 cup serving, this grain will make your stomach satisfied! Feel free to visit the Whole Grains Council for an excellent nutrition breakdown and background on whole grain nutrition.

Roasted Fennel and Barley Salad

My experience with roasted fennel has mainly been mixed in pasta or as a side dish with other vegetables. Fennel, in my opinion, is the main star! This vegetable has flavors of anise and licorice which makes it an excellent food pairing. Flavors from citrus and chives in the dressing make a refreshing sidekick to this all-star fennel. To save time in this recipe, roast the fennel while the barley is cooking. Or, if you prefer, cook the barley ahead of time (say yes to meal prep!).

 

 

roasted fennel
Roasted fennel brings out the natural sweetness of this beautiful bulb

 

 

Just like oats and rice, barley comes in multiple forms. Pearl barley, the most common type, is smoother and softer due to the outer hull being removed. With the outer part removed, the cooking time is shorter. Compared to the smoother pearl barley, hulled barley (hence the name) is the other type you’ll see at stores. This type of barley, thanks to being in its true whole grain form has more fiber. For more about barley, check out these helpful cooking tips and recipes by The Kitchn!

 

Roasted Fennel and Barley Salad

Roasted Fennel and Barley Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Fennel bulbs, largely chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup barley, uncooked (makes 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked barley)
  • 3 cups water or low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese or feta, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Dressing:
  • Juice of one medium orange, zest of the orange is optional
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the barley by combining the barley and liquid (water or stock) in a 3-qt saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook covered for 50-60 minutes or until tender. If you prefer, cook the barley ahead of time to reduce total cooking time for the recipe. Store chilled in a covered container if preparing more than two hours before.
  3. Once the barley has been cooking for at least 20 minutes, spread the fennel on a baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30 minutes or until desired browning occurs.
  4. While the fennel is roasting, prepare the dressing by whisking together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  5. Once the barley and fennel are both done, transfer both items to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until the barley and fennel are thoroughly coated with the dressing.
  6. Optional: Top with more chives and walnuts.
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Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Put those nutritious vegetable scraps to good use this Earth Day! Try this Healthy Spring Vegetable Lasagna and learn more about ways to reduce food waste!   I am very happy to introduce you to a new colleague of mine in the food blogging world! Jenna Gorham, a […]

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole

The warmer weather is here, and so is guacamole season! For a fresher taste this spring try this Creamy Spring Pea Guacamole!   I think we can all agree that guacamole is absolutely delicious! Is it the rich taste of avocado or creamy texture that […]

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

For a healthy take on a traditional favorite this Passover, try this vegetarian matzo ball soup with inflammation-fighting turmeric and fresh dill!

It turns out that matzo ball soup, one of the most traditional and simple dishes at Passover, is not so simple!  There are many factors involved in making the perfect matzo ball. First, the weight of the matzo ball.  Are you a fan of the fluffy floater, or the dense sinker?  Personally, I absolutely love matzo balls and will eat them either way! Another factor to consider is the type of broth, which will have a major effect on flavor.  In my home, our broth of choice is vegetarian, and that means adding lots of spices and fresh herbs to give it more taste.

matzo ball soup
Fluffy, floater matzo balls using baking soda

Perfecting the Matzo Ball

Growing up, my family was not particularly religious–my mother came from a Christian household and my father from a Jewish one.  Our holidays revolved around family traditions like decorating the christmas tree, dying easter eggs, and yes, making matzo ball soup. Traditions at home always included a delicious holiday meal, as food was always a focus. My mother was an extremely intelligent and successful woman that was a pioneer in the medical field.  She also made some very unique (and delicious) matzo balls. Instead of small matzo balls in a soup, my mother would make ostrich egg sized matzo balls with Mrs. Grass’ noodle soup mix.

 

This spring, I decided to finally make my own matzo ball soup with the same Jewish American Cookbook that my mother used during my childhood.  Instead of using matzo ball mix like we did growing up, I decided to make mine from scratch. After some researching, I came across an amazing article online about the basics of matzo ball making by Serious Eats. There is a true technique to making a fluffier matzo ball if you are not a fan of the dense version. This blew my mind! The trick is using either seltzer water or baking soda (or a combination of both). Also, simmering the matzo balls in broth instead of water will add in more flavor.  I used these different techniques in my recipe and I was really impressed!

 

matzo ball soup
Matzo ball soup with fresh dill

Turn it up with Turmeric!

To spice up the traditional matzo ball recipe, I decided to add in turmeric for a hint of color and additional nutritional benefits. You may recognize turmeric in Indian dishes such as curry, yellow rice, and even tea.  There’s a reason it is starting to pop up more and more in our favorite foods.  This magical spice may delay the effects of aging and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. More specifically, preliminary studies have shown that it may reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, and help fight inflammation. Even with ongoing research showing promising results, don’t go overboard with turmeric supplementation.  Using the spice in cooking is a healthy way to sneak in the anti-inflammatory benefit.  Just as I did with this soup broth, sprinkle it in your favorite stews, rice dishes, and even scrambled eggs. If you are feeling bold, try it in a smoothie!

 

matzo ball soup
Vegetarian stock with colorful carrots and a hint of turmeric!

 

 

Over the summer, several brands issued a recall of their ground turmeric, because of concerns over traces of lead. I highly recommend a high quality turmeric that is certified organic and free of contaminants.  For more information, visit the FDA’s website for product recalls and food safety alerts.

 

In this recipe…

The trick to matzo balls is to have the right consistency. To set the mixture, place the blended matzo batter in the fridge for at least a half hour. To save time, I prepped the vegetables for the soup while the matzo batter was cooling in the refrigerator.  Once ready, the matzo balls are best when cooked separately from the soup broth. This keeps the matzo balls from absorbing too much of the soup broth and preventing a cloudy, starchy broth. Some recipes call for boiling them in water, but I felt the broth gave a better flavor. This soup can easily be adapted based on your preferences, whether it is using chicken broth instead of vegetable stock, or making denser matzo balls without the baking soda.  For those of you celebrating Passover, I wish you a very Happy Passover and a very delicious matzo ball soup!

 

 

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Healthy Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • For the Matzo Balls:
  • 3 whole large eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, optional
  • 10 cups water (or half of liquid using vegetable broth for more flavor, about 4-5 cups)
  • Vegetarian soup stock:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the matzo balls:
  2. Stir all of the matzo ball ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set the mixture.
  3. Once matzo balls are ready, in a large pot bring 10 cups of water or vegetable broth to a boil.
  4. Using a cookie scooper or small spoon, scoop out mix and roll with wet hands to make a one-two inch ball. This prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  5. Slowly place into the boiling water. Once all of the matzo balls are in the pot, reduce to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, covered. The matzo balls should be soft all the way through (use a fork to test).
  6. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  7. For the Soup:
  8. While the matzo balls simmer, it is time to prepare the soup.
  9. Heat a 4 quart pot with the olive oil on medium high. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sautee for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Do not brown the vegetables. Add the garlic and turmeric and sautee for 30 seconds to one minute until fragrant.
  10. Pour in the water and add the salt and bay leaves. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft and the broth is flavorful. Adjust the salt and spices to your liking.
  11. Once the broth is ready turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  12. Slowly spoon in the matzo balls into the broth using a slotted spoon. Toss in the fresh dill and let the soup cool down for a few minutes before serving.
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Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Dukkah: The Ultimate Spice Mix

Does your kitchen need spring cleaning? Try this simple and versatile recipe for Dukkah!   Move over fairy dust! Dukkah, a delicious Egyptian blend of nuts and spices is pure magic! This versatile topping combines a sweet, savory, and nutty taste all in one. Use it as a crust on […]


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