Posts in Mains
Three Bean Mexican Salad

We arrived home a couple of weeks ago from celebrating my birthday (which happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo) in Mexico. You only turn 30 once, right? So better enjoy it.

Enjoy it I did. But when I came back I was very ready (or at least my body was) to eat good food again. I came home craving fresh veggies and lentils (oh my, I even sound like a dietitian).

Beans are my favorite post-vacation "cleanse" food because they are yummy and so, so healthy. In the spirit of healthy eating, I'm bringing a little Mexico back with me and am excited to share a little of why I love beans so much.

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Curried Red Lentils with Fried Cauliflower and Peanuts

I just returned home to Colorado from Sunny Southern California. The average temperature there was in the 60s. Today the high is 38 freakin' degrees - which is about 30 degrees warmer than it's been in the last week.

Winter, I'm kinda over you.

But if you must snow me in and prevent me from manufacturing my own vitamin D from the beautiful sunshine, I'll celebrate the season by sharing this oh-my-god-I-didn't-know-lentils-could-be-this-good recipe with you.

Unlike a couple of my other favorite lentils dishes (see: Lentil Frito Pie and Mujadara, for example), this recipe uses red lentils.

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Strawberry Mango Spinach Salad

This day calls for a dish as bright as my own mother. Something healthy, sweet, and simply beautiful. Something fresh and wholesome. And what could be better on a beautiful spring Mother's Day but a crisp, colorful salad?

While the word "salad" often conjures up visions of dreary pieces of rabbit food covered in white sauce (sometimes called "dressing") this need not be so. Choose the right type of greens for your dish and add a few complimentary ingredients and you'll have a healthy side (or main!) that has everybody coming back for seconds!

Before sharing my latest springtime favorite, let's talk about the basis for most salads: The Greens. A good rule of thumb for determining the nutritional quality of your fruits and veggies is simply to observe the color; the darker and more vibrant the color, the more nutrition the food likely has! Lettuce is a great example of this.

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Lentil Tater Tot Casserole

My best friend married a vegetarian.

This might not sound like a big deal to you, but in college Meredith was a meat and potatoes girl through and through.

Luckily for her, she had foodies for best friends and learned to love quality. Now she eats all kinds of veggies and makes some of the most brilliant creations at home. (Check out her guest post recipe Buffalo Chickpea Salad for another great idea!)

Meredith has brilliantly creative food ideas. She was the inspiration for this post (side note: when I scroll through our text message history, 75% of the pictures are of food one of us has created).

Sometimes I like to share nutrition tidbits with your when I give you new recipes. Today, though I'm going to talk about creativity.

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Guest Blog! Buffalo Chickpea Salad

My favorite memories with my friend Ann Scheufler have always involved food. It’s not to say that we haven’t had great experiences traveling, hiking, singing, and just living together, but the best times have always been in the kitchen.

Fast forward to when I met my husband Jason, who (as luck would have it) is a vegetarian! After three years of marriage we have found a happy compromise when it comes to food. While I cook mainly vegetarian fare, there are certain foods I crave, and buffalo wings are definitely one of them. Thus, with a little creativity in the kitchen, Buffalo Chickpea Salad was born.

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Brown Rice Bowls with Roasted Carrots and Broccoli

This is a post about veggies & friendship.

When I was in college, I met some of the best friends of my life. Work, distance, and families keep us from staying in frequent contact, but every year since we graduated we've managed to take a weekend for an annual girls' trip.

We haven't embarked on any extravagant vacations (because half of us have been in grad school and are thus quite poor), but it never really matters where we are. It's all about community, laughter, and (of course) great food.

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Gourmet Pizza Dough

I love pizza.

I mean, I love vegetables (haven't you heard?) and I couldn't live without lentils, but there is a special place in my heart for that hot mess of cheesy goodness, topped with salty toppings on a bed of crispy, golden crust.

I don't discriminate against pizza. I love it all. Veggie pizza and meat-lovers pizza. Plain cheese pizza and fancy pizza with artichokes and eggplant. Classic tomato sauce and rich basil pesto pizza. Homemade pizza and (ahh, I can't believe I'm admitting this publicly) frozen pizza.Pizza is my favorite food.

The best pizza by far? The pizza at the local joint we find on the way home after a 4-day-long backpacking trip during which we only ate tuna, cous cous, and way too much trail mix. That pizza is hella good.

Let's be honest, though - while all pizza might be good, it's definitely not always good for you. So, as I often do to rectify the cognitive dissonance of loving the deliciousness of my favorite food with my great need for fueling my body with quality nutrition, I like to make pizza at home.

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Savory Eggplant over Rice

When I was in college, I had the life-changing experience of studying abroad in Spain. I lived with a Spanish host mother named Manuela, who was an excellent cook.

She prepares a mean paella (a very traditional Spanish rice dish), and her guisantes con jamón (peas with ham) quickly became one of my favorite dishes. She also introduced me to new foods that I (mistakenly) thought I didn't like, such as alcachofas (artichokes) and berenjena (eggplant).

Manuela deep fried her eggplant. She sliced it thinly, dipped it in olive oil, then flour, and then fried it. This is my all-time favorite way to eat eggplant. It just melts in your mouth. Divine.

I've tried making eggplant with less fat - sautéing it like zucchini. It just isn't the same.

Which brings me to the question of fat. We've explored carbohydrates and protein. The very popular fat-free craze of the mid-to-late 20th century did a great job of demonizing this essential nutrient, but it's now making a comeback. Hold onto your hats, folks; I'm about to tell you why.

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Lentil Frito Pie

Oh, I am SO excited to share this recipe with you today. It's an oldie-but-goodie recipe, and one that I often recommend for lentil newbies. Yes, that's right. Another of many lentils recipes that I'll share with you. Oh, how I love lentils.

Lentils are one of my favorite sources of vegetarian proteins. I've talked about how great are the carbohydrates found in lentils (very complex, full of fiber), but I sort of skimmed over their high protein content.

Growing up on a farm, I always assumed that meat was a vital part of every meal. After leaving home, studying nutrition in college, and getting married young, I realized that this isn't necessarily true. We started eating a lot of vegetarian meals - mostly because we were poor and vegetarian proteins are cheap and healthy.

 

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