Guacamole on Plantain Chips!

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Is there anything better than guacamole? Nope… didn’t think so!  I seriously crave this delicious dip around the clock! Since I am still recovering from being sick these past two weeks I thought I would treat myself to what could possibly be my favorite appetizer of all time! Or you could make it your whole dinner! It is guacamole topped plantain chips with sliced clementine! I know it’s a flavor explosion in your mouth!

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First thing’s first the guacamole! Ok here is what you need:

  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 Ripe Tomato seeded and diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic diced
  • 1 Fresh Lime
  • 1 Jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. First mash all avocados in a bowl.
  2. Add fresh squeezed lime juice.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste.

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Then time to make the plantain chips! Baked of course! 🙂

What you need:

  • 2 Ripe Plantains
  • Spray Coconut oil
  • 1 Fresh Lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Slice plantains very thin or use mandolin
  3. Place on greased baking sheet and spray with coconut oil
  4. Season with salt and pepper. You could also use cumin, corriander or cayenne pepper!
  5. Bake chips for 10min. then flip and bake another 10min. on other side.
  6. Squeeze fresh lime juice when done!

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Don’t forget to slice and peel your clementines too!

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Put it all together!

Place 1 tablespoon of guacamole to each chip and place small slice of clementine on top of that and enjoy!

I love that this appetizer is gluten free, dairy free, no saturated fats and it’s vegan! Your family won’t even notice!

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To learn more recipes like this or customized meal plans contact me at jessica.cook04@gmail.com

 

Easy Low Carb “Spaghetti” Dinner

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Who wants spaghetti with meat sauce?! 😍🙋🍝 Well not exactly! 😉 This is a healthier, vegan version also lower in carbs by using spaghetti squash! 😊👊💥 I honestly love spaghetti squash there is so much you can do with it… Mac n cheese, pad Thai, stir fry 😱 Yummy!! This was part of my meal prep for the week and was super easy! 😋

I sautéed these veggies first:

1/2 diced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 diced yellow pepper (my fave)

1 large sliced zucchini

Saute in extra virgin olive oil

Then add tomato sauce, spaghetti squash plus herbs. I prefer to use organic, no sugar added tomato sauce with few ingredients and low sodium then added roasted spaghetti squash with chopped parsley and basil! 🍅🍆🍃

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I usually roast my spaghetti squash cut side up at 425 degrees for 45 minutes then remove with a fork! I can’t wait to eat this for lunch today!! Once you start making half of your meals veggies you automatically look for svelte!

You could add almond mozzarella cheese, part skim mozzarella or parm. Other veggies that work in this dish are mushrooms, spinach or kale! For more protein you could even vegan or low fat turkey sausage or meatballs! Enjoy!

Quinoa, Kale & Hemp Protein Cakes with Avocado Salsa (Vegetarian, vegan, GF)

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I am not sure if any of you are aware, but I love makes little cakes of deliciousness preferably with vegetables and protein. This yummy cake variety is vegetarian and can be modified to be vegan as well. Not to mention they are so tasty, filling and the avocado salsa is to die for!! 🙂

I made this recipe with red quinoa which is full of fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and protein. I also added kale which is rich in vitamin K, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The avocado salsa adds so much flavor and includes vitamin C, phytonutrients, omega fats, potassium and fiber! Almost like deconstructed guacamole… and who doesn’t love guacamole right?! duh! Avocados are a huge food trend right now not only due to their buttery and creamy texture, but also because they are heart healthy and work to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL), which prevents heart disease. ❤

I use these cakes as part of my lunch meal or can be used as a snack during the day to ward off that crazy hungry feeling many of us get mid-afternoon! If you want to vary the cakes you can always switch the different types of peppers, use swiss chard instead of kale or use a different variety of quinoa. Also, to make this recipe vegan use a flax egg in substitution for the egg, which is 3 tsp water to 1 tsp Flax seed or you can use chia seeds… both of which are rich in omega 3 fats, which have been shown to lower triglycerides (the nasty fat in your blood!)

Ok here goes:

Ingredients:

1 Cup Cooked Red Quinoa

3 Cups Raw Kale

2 Tbsp. Hemp Protein Powder ( I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Egg (or flax egg)

1/2 Yellow Pepper diced

1 White Onion diced

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 Ripe Avocado

1 Diced and Seeded Fresh Tomato

4-5 Sprigs Fresh Cilantro

1 Lime

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Jalapeño

3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

1. Wash & rinse kale then remove from stems and chop.

2. Cook quinoa following directions. You will only need one cup cooked for this recipe.

3. Dice 1/2 white onion, 1/2 yellow pepper and 1 glove garlic.

4. Heat skillet to medium heat and add 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. Saute onion, pepper and garlic for 3 minutes until softened.

5. Add kale, cumin, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and italian seasons and sauté kale until tender.

6. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup cooked quinoa with cooked kale, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp hemp protein powder and additional seasonings if desired.

7. Form 4 patties out of quinoa and kale mixture and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set up.

8. While patties are chilling prepare avocado salsa. Add diced avocado, diced jalapeño, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1/2 diced white onion, diced fresh tomato (seeded), juice from one lime and chopped cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

9. Remove quinoa and kale cakes from refrigerator.

10. Reheat skillet to medium heat and add 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.

11. When skillet is heated through add quinoa and kale cakes to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes until heated through.

12. Place cakes onto a platter and top with 2 tbsp. Avocado Salsa.

13. Squeeze extra lime juice if desired and devour! 🙂

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Nutrition Facts:

Makes 4 Servings

Nutrition per Serving: 195 calories, 10g fat (18g Monounsaturated, 5g polyunsaturated and 5g saturated fat), 20g carbohydrates, 7.5g protein, 7g fiber, 52.5mg cholesterol

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Love,

Jessica

Low Carb Vegetable Moussaka

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I have been craving this delicious comforting moussaka for so long I decided to re-create with a vegetable twist. Now I love traditional moussaka with delicious lamb in a tomato sauce with creamy potatoes, béchamel and crispy eggplant, but now that I have gone into a phase where I’m consuming low carb, vegetarian meals I needed to revamp this recipe.

This recipe was adapted from the Mediterranean Cooking Cookbook by Jacqueline Clarke and Joanna Farrow, which is a great book filed with yummy, authentic mediterranean dishes! Check it out! But like I said I wanted to lower the carbohydrates just a tad.

This dish is loaded with fiber, lean protein, vitamin C, potassium and iron. Not to mention it is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day. Not that I have those in South Florida, but you get the point!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 eggplant sliced

1 16oz can low sodium canned chickpeas

2 8oz cans tomato sauce

2 zucchini

2 yellow squash

1 cup baby bella mushrooms

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

3 eggs

1 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek Yogurt

2 carrots

1/2 yellow onion

2 tsp herbs de provence

Salt & Pepper

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1tsp cinnamon

1 tsp garlic powder

1tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

2. Slice eggplant crosswise and salt in a colander to release liquid

3. Dice onion, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and squash

4. Heat large skillet to medium high heat and add 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

5. When skillet is heated add onion and carrots and sauté for 3-5 minutes until tender

6. Add spices, salt & pepper and add zucchini, squash and mushrooms to skillet

7. Saute vegetables until tender about 5-7 minutes

8. Remove eggplant from colander and dry with paper towel

8. Heat another skillet with extra virgin olive oil and sauté eggplant slices 1-2 minutes per side

8. Add 2 cans of tomato sauce and add canned chickpeas after they are drained and rinsed with cold water and cook until warmed through

8. Make sauce mixture by combining eggs, pepper, salt and Greek yogurt then set aside

9. Add one layer of sliced eggplant to 13 x 9 baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil spray top with cooked vegetable mixture

10. Add another layer of eggplant and top with rest of cooked vegetable mixture

11. Pour bechamel sauce over vegetables and sprinkle with parmesan cheese

12. Bake moussaka for 45min. until golden brown

13. Let moussaka cool for 10-15min before serving

14. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Facts:

Makes 12 servings

Nutrion per serving: 139 calories, 6g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 9g protein, 61mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber.

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Have a great day!

Love,

Jessica

Mushroom & Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

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Alrite not sure if you are aware, but I am absolutely OBSESSED with spaghetti squash! I make it will pesto, marinara sauce, vegan meatballs, curried, baked… ok you get it! It’s so delicious and a great low carb, high fiber substitute for pasta. Generally, I slice the spaghetti squash open, scrape the seeds out, spray with olive oil and bake for 45min at 400 degrees. Then scrape out the squash with a fork to create delicious strands of “spaghetti” and add which ever flavors you desire!

Today I decided to do a classic mushroom, lemon, garlic and white wine sauce on my spaghetti squash and added artichokes for extra yummy flavor. I served this dish with steamed green beans, but add whatever vegetables or a salad if you like!

This vegetarian dish provides fiber, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B-6, potassium, manganese and niacin. Plus it is low on the glycemic index and is perfect to serve people that may have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Using low sodium vegetable stock versus chicken stock helps to reduce cholesterol in the dish, but without sacrificing flavor!

Recipe is below:

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash

1 Lemon

1 can Artichokes (quartered and packed in water)

1 tsp Fresh Rosemary

1/2 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms

2 Cloves Garlic

1/2 White Onion

1/2 cup White Wine (I used Sauvingon Blanc)

2 tsp. Italian seasonings

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit

2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out inner seeds. Place squash on foiled baking sheet. Spray squash with olive oil spray and season with salt, pepper and italian seasonings.

3. Roast squash for 45 minutes until tender. Scrape out the squash with a fork and set aside.

4. While squash is roasting dice onion and garlic gloves.

5. Clean baby bella mushrooms with damp paper towel and slice.

6. Spray non-stick skillet with olive oil and heat on medium high.

7. Saute onions and garlic for 3 minutes until tender. Then add sliced mushrooms.

8. Drain artichokes and slice into smaller pieces.

9. Add white wine to pan to deglaze after onions, mushrooms and garlic have sautéed for about 8 minutes.

10. Let wine cook for about 2 minutes then add lemon juice and vegetables stock.

11. Add rosemary, artichokes and cooked spaghetti squash.

12. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

13. Warm all vegetables through and add parmesan cheese if desired.

14 Serve & Enjoy! 🙂

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Nutrition Facts:

Serving size 2 cups:

189 calories, 5g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 11g protein, 4g fiber, 26mg cholesterol.

Might just snack on some of this cold out of the fridge tonite! haha…. Happy cooking!

Love,

Jessica

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad

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Because brussel sprouts are is season I’ve decided to do a little twist on the average roasted side of sprouts! This salad hits all the notes, savory, tangy, crunchy and sweet! Brussel sprouts are not only insanely delicious but are only a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which has shown to have cancer preventative effects. Also brussel sprouts are packed with fiber and vitamin K, which helps in blood clot formation.

The yummy accoutrements include dried cranberries, walnuts, lemon juice and dijon mustard which add texture, tons of flavor along with omega 3’s, fiber, iron and vitamin C. Plus consuming walnuts on a regular basis has been shown to reduce risk of developing type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Yes please!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pound cleaned brussel sprouts cut in half

1/2 lemon

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit

2. Clean and cut brussel sprouts in half

3. Mix balsamic, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss in brussel sprouts.

4. Place brussel sprouts on baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes until tender.

4. While brussel sprouts are roasting place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 5  minutes until you can smell walnuts.

5. Remove brussel sprouts from oven and add juice from half a lemon, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

6. Enjoy! 🙂

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Nutrition facts:

Makes 4 servings

Per Serving: 215 calories, 26g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 5g protein, 5g fiber and 0mg cholesterol.

Love, Jessica

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

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This recipe is so delicious I can’t even begin to tell you! If you love, love, love Italian food as much as I do you MUST try this recipe! Since eggplant parmesan is typically fried and covered with high fat, high calorie cheeses I decided to lighten it up for guiltless pleasure!

I do recommend using an organic marinara sauce for this recipe as many store bought marinara sauces have tons of sodium, preservatives and added sugar. Organic does cost a little more, but trust me it is worth it and will make your recipe taste sooo much better! I do recommend organic dairy foods as well which are anti-biotic and hormone free, but again are more expensive, so that’s your choice.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant

1 block part skim mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 jar organic marinara sauce

1 egg

Olive oil cooking spray

Black Pepper

Italian seasonings

Fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds and add salt to both sides. Let eggplant sit on wire rack for 15 minutes in order to release moisture.
  2. Combine panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese with black pepper and Italian seasonings on a plate for dredging.
  3. Mix egg with 1 tbsp. water in a bowl for dredging
  4. After eggplant has been sitting for 15 minutes rinse under cold water and pat dry.
  5. Dredge eggplant slices into egg mixture followed by panko and parmesan mixture and place of baking sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Then spray each eggplant slice with olive cooking spray before baking to help crisp them up in the oven.
  6. Bake eggplant slices for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Remove eggplant from oven and top Eggplant slices with 2-3 tbsp. organic marinara sauce. Then place one slice of part skim mozzarella cheese over each eggplant slice.
  8. Return eggplant slices to the oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.
  10. Enjoy!

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Nutrition facts:

Makes 4 servings.

3 slices per serving.

Nutrition facts per serving: 305 calories, 11g fat, 31g carbohydrates, 21g protein, 7g fiber and 40mg cholesterol.

Ciao my lean, svelte community!

❤ Jessica