{The avo-bean quesadilla: no real cooking required, takes less than 15min}

Summary:  I would like to dedicate this post to all of my FRIENDS and readers who say “I can’t cook” or “it looks complicated”. Anyone can prepare this -it is low budget, contains few ingredients and requires little or no … Continue reading

{Baby Heirloom Tomato Salad: and a couple of salad dressing recipes}

Summary: I want to share a little secret with you. I’ve recently become addicted to eating grape tomatoes…They are bite size, juicy and sweet…which makes them a perfect addition to any salad. This time I decided to go with a … Continue reading

{Rainbow Bright Zucchini Ribbon Salad}

Summary:  This works great as a side salad and pairs lovely with a light vinaigrette. I love to make this when I get tired of eating spinach or any other leafy green…why? Because this salad recipe has none included! This … Continue reading

{Guacamole & Red Veggie Salsa}

{Guacamole & Red Veggie Salsa}

Summary: I love Mexican food. When done right, it can actually be very healthy. And for vegetarians it’s a great way of cooking with flavors. These sides also make great appetizers. My friends love my guacamole recipe. Serve it while … Continue reading

Arugula & Citrus Balsamic Salad


Yield: 1 to 2 servings

Summary:

The peppery arugula with a spike of citrus, marinated tofu pieces with balsamic vinegar and a touch of basil make this a very savory salad. Low in calories, low in fat, low in cholesterol yet surprisingly good? I’ll take this any day of the week. This recipe makes enough salad for 2 people or one big serving worthy of being a main dish. TIP: if you are not a big fan of tofu I suggest buying the extra firm kind, it has a better consistency yet it’s still able to absorb all the flavor you add to it. I experimented with this recipe and realized that the longer you let the tofu marinate, the better! Try chopping it up, seasoning it and adding the balsamic vinegar along with the basil leaves. Now let sit for 15-20min…the result..you’ll swear it tastes like the Mozarella di Buffala in a Caprese salad. I promise. Quality guaranteed.

Ingredients:

6 oz extra firm tofu
2 cups arugula
1 cup red cabbage, sliced
1 small orange, diced
3-4 small radishes, thinly sliced
4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp extra virgen olive oil

Directions:

1. PREP THE TOFU:
Chop the tofu into 1/2 in pieces. Drizzle with all of the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the tofu absorb all of the seasoning.

2. COOKING THE TOFU:
Add the olive oil to a non-stick pan. Set on medium high heat. Add the tofu and the chopped basil and let cook for 2-3min. The vinegar may create a sizzling sound. Turn of the heat and mix gently. Set aside.

3. ARRANGING THE SALAD: the bottom layer should be the arugula, next add the cabbage, then the diced oranges, then the sliced radishes and finally group the tofu pieces in the middle of the salad. Garnish with basil leaves if desired.


Notes:
For additional dressing: I used a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

Nutritional Information:

2 cups of arugula = 50 cal.
1 cup of cabbage = 27 cal
3-4 small radishes = 10 cal
1 small orange = 45 cal or less
3oz of tofu = 60 cal for one person / 120 cal if full 6oz serving
tofu seasoning = estimated 70 cal
TOTAL = about 322 calories for this huge plate of salad

{An Ode to Red Cabbage}

I love this vegetable. You can buy a large piece without worrying that it will go bad since it has a long fridge life. In my experience it can last up to 3 weeks without going bad. If you see parts starting to get darker just chop or peel away that bad layer and you’ll find a fresh piece of cabbage waiting for you inside.

Let’s talk about how it looks…I love to use it because just as little as 1/4 cup can transform your meal and give it a bright punch of color and nutrition. Eat it raw in your salads, pitas, and wraps. Add it to your mexican dishes or incorporate it into your asian dishes. The possibilities are endless. You’ll see me using it a lot…here’s why:

(This information was obtained from the Livestrong website): “While green cabbage is the most commonly eaten variety, red cabbage offers more nutritional benefits as well as a hearty, robust flavor, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods website. Red cabbage contains a type of group of phytochemicals or compounds found in plant foods with disease-fighting properties known, collectively, as polyphenols. Polyphenols may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. Red cabbage is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber and a rich source of several vitamins.” These include including vitamins A, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and manganese. It is also rich in beta-carotene, which offers antioxidant benefits.

Additionally as much as 1 cup of raw red cabbage has only 27 calories & 0 grams of fat! So eat up! However be careful about how you cook this magnificent vegetable. As many other vegetables over-cooking it may kill many of its beneficial nutrients. So in order to retain the most nutrients it is best to cook in a small amount of water (this is why you’ll see me using this technique over and over again in my recipes). Light steaming is an effective cooking method plus it’s the best way to cook your veggies without piling up extra calories and fat.

Are you intrigued yet? Read more on: http://www.livestrong.com/article/272966-red-cabbage-nutrition-information/#ixzz24wCsURmc

Sesame & Tofu Veggie Rice

Summary: 

This is the perfect weeknight meal. The aroma of the ginger infuses the rice. The sesame seeds add a slight crunch. The brown rice and the veggies make it a whole meal.  As a habit I usually make big servings of brown rice on Mondays or Tuesdays so I can reheat and re-create quick dinners during the remaining days of the week. This is no different. Cook the rice as directed, store in the fridge, and (when ready) just follow this recipe!

Ingredients:

3 cups of cooked brown rice
6 oz extra firm tofu, drained
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup red cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the sesame oil in a large pan.

2. FOR THE VEGGIES: Chop the onions, cabbage, and carrots finely. Add to the oil. Mix on medium heat until the onion starts getting transparent and the veggies are slightly cooked. (You should cover with a lid so the veggies cook with steam. If necessary add 1 tbsp of water to speed up the process). This should take about 5-9 min. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.


3. FOR THE TOFU: after draining the water remove excess dampness with paper towels. Divide the tofu into 4 longitudinal pieces and then chop into 1/2 in. squares. Season with some pepper and all of the ginger. Do NOT add salt since the rest of the recipe contains enough seasoning.

4. ASSEMBLY: Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce plus the tofu into the veggie mix. Gently stir for less than a minute so the tofu doesn’t crumble into chunks. Now incorporate the cooked brown rice. Add the remaining soy sauce, the garlic powder and the sesame seeds. Mix gently on low heat.



5. GARNISH  with pieces of red cabbage and sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top.

Skinny Waldorf Salad

Summary:  Canned tuna is a great lean protein source. Always choose tuna in water instead of in oil to save some calories. This salad can be prepped ahead of time and kept in a sealed container on the fridge for … Continue reading