avocado

Gluten Free Avocado, Strawberry, and Arugula Waffles

Waffle Wednesday, we meet again, and I couldn't be happier. Seriously, this is like my favorite food day of the week. It makes me want to open a brunch place specializing in waffles. The waffle maker has officially become my favorite kitchen appliance to play around with. So what do we have this week? Gluten free avocado, strawberry, and arugula waffles, and you will not be disappointed.

The idea stemmed from a couple of places. I see all sorts of fun and creative things on Instagram, and recently I've been seeing a lot of avocado toast topped with strawberries. So that got me thinking. It's really not that weird when you think about it. A delicious summer salad could be topped with both of these. That's where the arugula came in. It's like a summer salad in waffle form. And who isn't wishing for summer in this unseasonable 40 degree April weather?

Don't have quinoa flour? No problem! Swap it out for the flour of your choosing. Whole wheat is a good option of you aren't gluten free, or really feel free to use whatever suits your fancy!

Here's What You'll Need:

-3/4 cup quinoa flour (or the flour of your choosing)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 egg
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
-1/4 cup water (you can use all almond milk or all water if you prefer)
-1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
-Pinch of sea salt (optional)
-1/4 cup baby arugula
-1/2 avocado
-4 strawberries, chopped

Instructions:

1) Heat up your waffle maker.
2) Mash the avocado half in a bowl using a fork.
3) Add in the flour, egg, baking powder, almond milk, water, salt, and coconut oil and thoroughly mix together.
4) Fold in the strawberry chunks and arugula.
5) Pour half of the mixture into your waffle maker and cook according to your makers' instructions.
6) Repeat with the second half of the mixture. 
7) Serve each waffle and top with desired toppings.

I topped mine with an additional strawberry and Bushwick Kitchen's Bees Knees Spicy Honey, and I would HIGHLY recommend this. The honey is the perfect flavor addition to the avocado, strawberry, and arugula. Plus is has that nice little kick.


Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Apple Tuna Salad

As it starts approaching the end of the week, my fridge starts looking a little sparse. Fortunately, I was really feeling a simple salad, but just spinach and tomatoes weren't cutting it. Then I remembered the tuna in the cabinet and started thinking of ways to kick it up a notch.

Something I really love to do with tuna salad is throw in apples (see my Tuna Zucchini-Pasta Salad). I know at first that sounds a little weird, well a lot weird, but trust me, it's delicious! The salty tuna with the sweet apple is so unbelievably good! So I decided to replace the celery in your average tuna salad with some apple, throw in red onion, and cut back on the mayo by using some avocado.

Here's What You'll Need:

-4 cups spinach
-15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
-2 cans tuna (in water)
-1 tbsp Just Mayo (which is vegan and non GMO, but feel free to use whatever mayo you prefer)
-1/4 avocado
-1/2 Granny Smith apple, chopped
-1/4 cup red onion, chopped
-sea salt and black pepper to taste
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-2 tsp olive oil

Instructions:

1) In a bowl mix together the tuna, mayo, avocado, apples, onion, sea salt, and pepper.
2) In two bowl split the spinach and top each with half of the halved tomatoes.
3) Top each bowl with half of the tuna salad.
4) Drizzle on 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tsp of olive oil onto each salad. Top with additional sea salt and vinegar as desired, and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to sign up for e-mail updates!

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Shrimp has been one of my favorite foods since I was a little kid. It has a nice flavor, provides protein, and is still light and low calorie.

I knew that I had shrimp at home and was really feeling a nice salad. I started going over the things I had in my fridge and literally couldn't think of anything. Then I thought about the bacon I randomly had leftover from a couple days ago (random because I never buy bacon). Shrimp wrapped bacon? That sounds delicious but not exactly what I was looking for.

I sifted through the limited other ingredients I had lying around, and each one fit perfectly into a summer-inspired lighter cobb salad. Instead of heavy bleu cheese or ranch, I could make a nice citrus vinaigrette and cut out the cheese.

Here's What You'll Need:

For the Salad:
-4 cups of baby spinach
-10 cherry tomatoes cut into thirds
-1/2 avocado, chopped
-1 ear of corn, kernels removed from cob (or 1 small can of corn, drained)
-2 slices of bacon
-2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
-6 oz shrimp
-1/4 tsp of paprika
-salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:
-The juice of one lemon
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 tbsp white wine vinegar
-1/2 clove garlic, minced
-1/8 tsp oregano
-salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) If you haven't already, cook your bacon slices in a pan or microwave until they are crispy, and chop them into small pieces.
2) If you haven't already, hard boil your eggs (you may also buy them already cooked). Chopped up the eggs.
3) Add the paprika, salt, and pepper to your shrimp and cook on a grill or in a pan on the stove. If you are using pre-cooked shrimp, I still suggest adding the seasoning and just heating up the shrimp a bit using either method.
4) You can either add all the ingredients into one large bowl or split ingredients in half and serve separately.
5) Mix together the dressing ingredients, add to the salad(s), and enjoy!

If you are hesitant about the dressing, please try it! It is seriously delicious in the salad. It balances so well with the egg, shrimp, and bacon and gives just that extra bit of added flavor to this meal. Let me know what you think, and feel free to subscribe below!


Spiralized Zucchini Summer Salad with Balsamic Chicken

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If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a huge fan of grilling. I'd probably be just fine (if not really happy) grilling most of my meals. It's pretty simple. You can make a delicious marinade and just let your ingredients soak it up the fridge for a bit before throwing it on the grill, or you can just add some seasoning and throw it on.  Then you flip it over a couple of times, and, voila, a delicious, flavorful meal. Plus, in the meantime, you can prepare whatever else you need for your dish.

As August is creeping by (it's somehow almost half way over), I want to utilize that grill as much as possible. I decided to use another of my favorite tools, the spiralizer, to make a fresh, summer-inspired salad.

Here's what you'll need:

-3 chicken breasts (the nutrition info accounts for 5 oz chicken breasts)
-1 1/2 large or 2 medium sized zucchini, spiralized (I used the ribbon blade but any will do)
-1/2 avocado, cubed
-1 ear of corn
-1/2 large tomato, cubed
-1/8 red onion, chopped
-1 granny smith apple, cubed
-6 tbsp feta

For the marinade:
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-A dash of Himalayan sea salt
-A dash of black pepper

For the dressing:
-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1 tbsp olive oil
-3 tsp spicy brown mustard
-1/2 clove of garlic, minced
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag, add the chicken, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour (the longer the better).
2) Heat up the grill.
3) Peel down the husk of the corn (without removing) and discard of the corn silk. Pull the husk back up to cover the corn, and toss it on the grill. The corn will cook for a total of 20-25 minutes (rotating every 5 minutes or so).
3) After about 5 minutes, add the chicken to the grill. The chicken will cook for about 7 minutes on each side.
4) In the meantime, chop up your ingredients if you haven't already done so, and make the dressing.
5) Remove the chicken and corn from the grill when they are done cooking.
6) Let the chicken sit for about 5 minutes, and then cut it into slices.
7) Cut the corn kernels off the cob.
8) You can either mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl or create individual bowls. I tend to do the latter. Add the raw zucchini noodles. Top them with apple, onion, tomato, avocado, corn, feta, and finally the chicken. Add on some dressing, and enjoy!

The mixture of the raw zucchini plus  the fresh tomatoes, apple, and onion mixed with the grilled chicken and corn is the perfect summer meal. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and let me know what you think below! Also feel free to sign up for (free) e-mail updates on new posts.

Spiralized Zucchini and Bell Pepper Taco Bowl

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Mexican food is one of my favorites. I love the spice it can bring. I'm also a sucker for cheese and carbs, so I sometimes struggle to make healthier choices when it comes to Mexican food. That's not say Mexican food is automatically unhealthy; it can just be harder to make good choices when cheese and tortilla chips hold the keys to your heart.

I was craving something with a kick, but I wanted to try to combat my unhealthy ways with Mexican food. When I make fajitas or tacos, I love throwing in zucchini, bell pepper, and onion. However, my boyfriend HATES onions, so the onions were out. But I decided that I could turn the remaining two into a base for my dish.

I like to use ground turkey when I make tacos. Unfortunately for me, Whole Foods was behind schedule the day that I went, and there was an hour wait for ground turkey. I decided to try ground chicken, and it ended up turning out great.

Top it all off with some fresh avocado, cheese, and salsa, and we have ourselves a meal!

Here's what you'll need:

-About 1 lb of ground chicken or turkey (the package I used was .91 lbs and was perfect)
-2 zucchinis, spiralized
-1 red bell pepper, spiralized
-8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
-5 tbsp salsa (I used Muir Glen organic black bean & corn)
-1/4 cup + 3 tsp Mexican blend shredded cheese
-1 tbsp sriracha
-1 tsp Mexican seasoning
-1/4 tsp cilantro
-1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
-1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
-1 clove garlic
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/4 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

1) Heat up a pan, add cooking spray, and toss in the ground chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, mixing around regularly. This will take about 10 minutes total.
2) Simultaneously, heat up a second, much larger pan. Add in the olive oil and garlic and let cook for about a minute.
3) Add in the spiralized zucchini and bell peppers along with the mushrooms to the second pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, mixing regularly.
4) Add sriracha and cilantro to the meat, and continue mixing for about a minute. Remove from heat.
5) Add 2 tbsp of salsa, Mexican seasoning, ancho chili powder, and sea salt to the vegetable mixture. Mix and let cook for about a minute.
6) Add 1/4 cup of cheese to the vegetable and mix for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
7) Dish out the vegetable mixture into 3 bowls, and top each with ground chicken.
8) Add 1/3 of the avocado slices, 1 tbsp of salsa, and 1 tsp of additional cheese to each bowl.
9) Enjoy!

Feel free to top with some fresh cilantro or plain Greek yogurt for some added flavor. Let me know what you think, and feel free to subscribe below!