Falafel with Tzatziki

I love Greek food, and I have tried many times to make falafel just to end up with a mushy mess that falls apart while cooking.  But not today.  The trick is to start with dried chickpeas.  I always assumed that these would be hard to find, but I got mine at Walmart for about a dollar.  Definitely had to stock up!  All you have to do is soak these overnight in a bowl of water, and when you’re getting ready to make dinner, just drain and dry them well.  Oh man, these turned out absolutely amazing!  Plus they’re vegetarian, full of protein, and totally healthy.  Adding this to my Greek repertoire!

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-1/3 c mayonnaise

-1 clove garlic, grated

-1 Tbsp lemon juice

-1 small cucumber

-salt and pepper

Peel, seed, and grate the cucumber.  Then combine all of the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.  You can definitely substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise if you don’t need it to be dairy free–either works great!


-1 lb dry chickpeas, soaked overnight

-1/2 yellow onion, chopped

-1/3 c parsley

-4 cloves of garlic

-2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil

-1 Tbsp flour (gluten free if needed)

-1 Tbsp ground flax*

-2 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp salt

-2 tsp cumin

-1 tsp coriander

-1 tsp red pepper flakes

-black and cayenne pepper to taste

-red onion, tomatoes, lettuce, tzatziki and pita (or gluten free tortillas) to serve

Combine all ingredients except for the chickpeas in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth paste.  Next add the chickpeas and blend until you have a mixture that’s almost smooth, but still has a bit of texture.  You don’t want it to be completely smooth or it won’t hold together well while cooking.  You also don’t want it to be too dry.  It needs to hold together in a ball but still be pretty moist to the touch.  Feel free to add a little extra olive oil or even a touch of water if you need it.  Pour this mix into a bowl and refrigerate for an hour.  Section the falafel mix into patties, 2 to 3 Tbsp in size.

Next you can either shallow fry these in about 1/4 inch of oil or bake them.  I tried both ways, and honestly the baked ones were just as good as the fried.  Preheat your oven to 450º and place your falafel patties on a greased baking sheet.  Slightly oil the tops of the falafel as well–I used coconut spray for this which made it really easy.  Bake them for 10-12 minutes, give them a flip and a slight press down, and bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Serve in a pita, tortilla, or on a salad with chopped red onion, tomato, lettuce, and tzatziki.

*If you don’t have ground flax, then feel free to substitute it with flour, but the flax adds a nice hit of fiber, protein, and omega-3s which is awesome!


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Easiest Air Popped Popcorn

We all know the story:  it’s 2:00pm, you’re starving, you need a healthy, filling snack.  Well as long as there’s a microwave around, you can make a giant, but somehow 100 calorie, sized portion of yummy popcorn in under 2 minutes.  Plus there’s no clean up.  Doesn’t get any easier than that!

Put 3 Tbsp of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag and fold it closed.  Nuke it for 1 1/2 minutes and sprinkle with a little salt.  Done!

*** Be careful to follow directions and not over cook or can catch on fire in your microwave


Buddha Bowl

While I love cooking, I typically don’t want to spend my whole day doing it.  I think that’s why so many people have gotten into meal prepping:  cook on Sunday and eat for the whole week.  I love the concept, especially when you have a busy week ahead of you, but I don’t want to eat the same thing every day!  Enter the Buddha Bowl.  

The recipe here is portioned for one serving, but you definitely don’t want to do all of this cooking for just one meal.  Lately, I’ve been cooking lots of quinoa, lentils, and vegetables and storing them away to build whatever kind of lunch I want that day.  Indian spiced lentils with spinach, caramelized onions, and sweet potato?  Quinoa with taco seasoning and grilled chicken, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and black beans?  The combinations are endless and perfectly accommodating to any and all leftovers that are hanging around the fridge.  Just make sure to add protein (both lentils and quinoa have tons of this!), lots of veggies, and any seasonings you want.

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Buddha Bowl

-1/2 sweet potato

-1 c cooked quinoa

-1/4 of an avocado

-2 c kale, chopped

-1/2 tsp coconut oil

-1/4 of a roasted chicken breast

-1/4 c roasted chickpeas*

-sliced red onion


-salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and red pepper flakes to taste

Roast your sweet potato at 400º for about 50 minutes to an hour or until it’s very soft.  (You can make this and the chickpeas at the same time)  Next add the kale and coconut oil to a pan with a little salt and pepper and cook until wilted.  Finally just add everything to a bowl and season to taste.

*For the roasted chickpeas, drain, rinse, and pat dry 1 can of chickpeas.  Then put them on a baking sheet with 1 tsp of coconut oil and a few dashes of cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Bake them at 400º for 40 to 50 minutes, shaking every 15 minutes or so.  You want them to get very crunchy–usually a couple of mine burn while this is happening, but they taste great too!  These are one of my all time favorite snacks, so I usually make a couple of cans at a time.

Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

If you are on Instagram, you have surely seen millions of perfectly staged pictures of smoothie bowls.  Never once did the thought of pouring my smoothie into a cereal bowl and eating it with a spoon appeal to me.  Just drink it like a normal person!  But finally I realized a few good things about the bowl concept.  First, you can arguably make a lot more of the smoothie–never a bad thing in my book.  You can also put lots of crunchy, delicious toppings on it, making it feel like more of a meal than just a drink on the go.  This morning I decided to take the leap.  I made one of my favorite smoothie combos slightly thicker than usual and loaded on the toppings.  The result?  Absolutely delicious.  I’m a believer.


Creamy Green Smoothie Bowl

-1 c kale (or spinach)

-1/2 avocado

-1/2 banana

-spoonful of peanut butter

-squeeze of honey

-1/2 c to 1 c almond milk

-toppings: shredded coconut, crushed plantain chips, toasted almonds (or anything you like)

Blend everything but the toppings and pour it in a bowl.  Place the toppings on–arranged in lines, obviously for Insta. 😉


Chicken Satay Spaghetti Squash with Thai Peanut Sauce

I’ve always been pretty skeptical of spaghetti squash–I don’t want my vegetables trying to pose as a big bowl of pasta.  However, I’m not one to shy away from new foods, and the spaghetti squash fad certainly isn’t going away any time soon, so I decided to hop on the bandwagon and finally give it a shot.  Caroline has always been a big advocate of the squash’s versatility, and she had lots of great tips and recipes for me to try out.  But in order for me to finally give it a try, I thought it would be best with flavors I already know and love–Thai!  I marinated and grilled a little chicken and added it to my spaghetti squash with some homemade peanut sauce, and I have to say, I’m definitely a believer now!


Satay Chicken

-2 chicken breasts

-2 Tbsp vegetable oil

-2 Tbsp fish sauce

-1 Tbsp soy sauce

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp cayenne (less if you’re not into spicy food)

-1 tsp coriander

-1 tsp tumeric

-2 tsp sugar

-juice of half a lime

Combine all of the ingredients in a Ziploc bag, and let them marinade over night or at least an hour.  Grill the chicken until it’s cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.  Allow the chicken to cool before shredding or chopping it into bite sized pieces.  Set aside.

Peanut Sauce

-3/4 c coconut milk

-1/2 c peanut butter

-2 1/2 tbsp red curry paste

-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

-1/2 tsp soy sauce

-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

-juice of 1/2 lime

-1/4 c finely chopped peanuts

Add everything to a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.  This is just to soften everything up a bit so it’s easier to mix.  Whisk it all together and set aside.

Spaghetti Squash

-1 spaghetti squash

-1/2 tsp salt

-2 Tbsp canola oil

-2 large cloves of garlic, minced

-1 inch of ginger, minced

-3/4 c shredded carrots

-1/2 c peanuts, chopped

-6 green onions, chopped, whites separated from greens

-cilantro for garnish

First, cut the spaghetti squash in half.  Remove the seeds, sprinkle it with salt, and rub it with 1 Tbsp of canola oil.  Bake it, cut side down, in a 400º oven for 30-40 minutes.  Remove the squash and shred it with a fork.

Next, heat a sauce pan over medium high heat and add the remaining Tbsp of canola oil, garlic, ginger, and whites of the green onions.  Saute until everything is fragrant.  Next add the spaghetti squash, chicken, carrots, peanuts, and greens of the green onions.  Let everything saute for a few minutes before adding the peanut sauce.  Go slowly here, adding just a little at a time until you reach your peak sauciness.  Finally plate and garnish with cilantro.  Enjoy!