veggies

Eggplant Parm Frittata from Whole Foods Market

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I feel like February often gets a bad wrap. It's dark and cold (if you're in the Northeast like I am), and there doesn't seem to be much going on. But in reality there's lots to celebrate! It happens to be my birthday month, and for everybody else, there's Valentine's Day with that special person in yourself life (or Galentine's Day if you choose to celebrate with your closest gal pals). Plus, Whole Foods Market has an entire other, delicious reason to celebrate!

February is the month of Parmigiano Reggiano at Whole Foods Market, which just so happens to be one of my favorite cheeses! This year marks WFM's 10th anniversary of their traditional Parm Crack event. At this event, Whole Foods hand selects the highest quality wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano from defined creameries in Northern Italy. At 3 pm ET on February 24th, each store will simultaneously crack wheels of cheese, and there will be demonstrations and tastings for customers. If that weren't enough, Parmigiano Reggiano will be on sale from 2/23-2/25 at $5 off per lb. 

To celebrate this delicious event and give you a fun way to put that Parmigiano Reggiano to good use, I'm bringing you one of my favorite frittata recipes - eggplant parm.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
-1/2 medium eggplant, sliced
-4 eggs
-1 Roma tomato, sliced
-6 fresh basil leaves (2 chopped, 4 whole)
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-Splash of milk of choice or water (optional)
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-1 tbsp EVOO

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Heat up the EVOO in an oven-safe pan on the stove top over medium high heat.
2) Add in the eggplant slices, and cook 2-3 mins/side.
3) Add in the chopped garlic and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
4) In a bowl, whisk the 4 eggs with a splash of milk, 2 chopped basil leaves, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper.
5) Spread the tomato slices throughout the pan, layering with the egpplant. Sprinkle the Parmigiano Regianno throughout the layers, and top with the remaining cheese.
6) Pour the egg mixture over the top, and top with the 4 basil leaves.
7) Cook, covered on the stove top, for 3-5 minutes until the sides are cooked.
8) Move the pan to the oven on broil, and cook until golden brown (~5-7 minutes).
9) Remove, and cut the frittata into two halves.
10) Plate, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!

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Make sure to head into your local Whole Foods Market to pick up that delicious Parmigiano Reggiano and experience the Parm Crack event for yourself! If you're local to Northern NJ, you can find more information here. And as always, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Winter Veggie Baked Ziti from Whole Foods Market

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The holiday season is very much upon us, and that has me in the mood for all of the holiday party dishes! Naturally, I headed to my local Whole Foods to pick up some fresh and seasonal products to make a dish that I'll be serving at my holiday dinner this year, a winter veggie baked ziti. They had everything I needed from organic pasta to sauce to seasonal fresh veggies and cheese. Plus you can even order online at the Whole Foods Market E-Store! We all know how hectic the holiday season can be, so WFM is making it as easy as possible.

For this dish, I decided to go with some of my favorite seasonal veggies - brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and mushrooms. They all remind me of this time of year and would make for the perfect healthier baked ziti dish. Mix in some pasta, sauce, and cheese, and you have yourself a a veggie-packed meal that even the kids will love! It really is the perfect easy-to-make main course for any holiday gathering.

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Here's What You'll Need:

-1/2 head cauliflower cut into florets
-1 bundle brussels sprouts (~20-25), halved
-8 oz baby bella mushrooms (~10-15)
-2 cups kale, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 lb box ziti
-25 oz jar marinara sauce
-1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
-1 cup ricotta
-1 egg
-2 tbsp and 1 tsp avocado oil, separated
-3/4 tsp dried oregano, separated
-3/4 tsp dried basil, separated
-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Toss the brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms with 2 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp basil, sea salt, and pepper, spread the veggies on a baking sheet, and roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. Once done, decrease the temperature to 375. 
2) While the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.
3) In a large pan on the stove top, heat up 1 tsp avocado oil over medium high heat. Add in the 3 cloves of minced garlic and 2 cups of kale. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
4) Reserve 1 cup of marinara sauce from the 25 oz jar.
5) In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the cooked pasta, roasted veggies, sauteed garlic and kale, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, marinara sauce (minus the 1 cup), egg, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano, sea salt, and black pepper.
6) Pour the mixture into a large, greased baking dish. 
7) Top the mixture with the reserved cup of marinara sauce and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella. 
8) Bake the dish in the preheated 375 degree oven fro 30-40 minutes until fully cooked through. 
9) Serve, and enjoy!
 

I hope you enjoy this veggie-packed, healthier version of the classic! It's sure to be a crowd pleaser this holiday season. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to check out your local Whole Foods Market or the Whole Foods Market E-store for all of your holiday food shopping needs!

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Baked BBQ Tofu Veggie Salad - Vegetarian + GF

Do you ever picture something as just mediocre in your head? You don't really have expectations either way. Sure, it could be good but probably nothing to write home about. That's kind of how I was imagining this salad. I love all of the ingredients, and I knew they'd taste good together. But this was literally a throw together meal that I had no intention of posting the recipe to. Well, I had the first bite, and it was immediately apparent that this bad boy was going on the blog!

Not sure why I even doubted it in the first place. It's got Brussels, sweet potato, avocado, and my absolute favorite condiment - BBQ sauce. So there was really no going wrong. Plus it's vegetarian (easily made vegan by swapping the dressing) and gluten free, so it's the perfect fit for anyone in your life!

Here's What You'll Need:

-8 oz spinach or spring mix
-1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 in cubes
-2 tbsp avocado oil, separated
-14 oz block of firm tofu, pressed and cut into pieces about 1/2" in thick and 1 in long
-1 bundle of Brussels sprouts (about 2-3 cups), bottoms removed and halved
-1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 avocado, cubed
-1/2 tsp sea salt, separated
-1/2 tsp black pepper, separated
-1/8 tsp tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp chili powder
-1 cup Simple Girl Sugar-Free Carolina Style BBQ Sauce
-1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used this one)
-1/4 tsp dried cilantro
-1/4 tsp lime juice

Serves 4

Instructions:

1) Marinate your tofu in the BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes.
2) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
3) Toss your sweet potato pieces with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the garlic powder, and the chili powder. Spread on baking sheet.
4) Toss your Brussels Sprouts with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
5) Place your marinated tofu on a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, and top each with a little of the extra BBQ sauce. Save extra BBQ sauce (there should be a decent amount).
6) Bake the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and tofu in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
7) Remove the tofu and sweet potato, and continue to cook the Brussels for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly browned and softened.
8) In a bowl, mix together, 1/2 cup of the remaining BBQ sauce, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice to create the dressing.
9) Either mix together the spring mix, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl, or split each evenly between 4 serving bowls.
10) Top with tofu, and drizzle on the dressing.
11) Serve and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

"Chicken" Zoodle Lo Mein (Vegetarian + GF)

One of my favorite easy and guilt free go to meals recently has been cauliflower fried rice. It's super easy to make and great for you without sacrificing flavor. So I figured, why not try another Chinese food classic, lo mein?

I was recently introduced to Quorn's meatless soy free and gluten free products, and I've been trying to make a lot more of my meals vegetarian (if not vegan) throughout the day. So this seemed like the perfect time to utilize their Chik'n Cutlets (which are also available vegan).

The ingredients are straight forward, simple, and take about 10 minutes to throw together, so there's really no excuse to not get in this veggie packed meal. Plus you can eat the entire giant serving which is always a plus in my book!

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 zucchini, spiralized
-1/2 tbsp EVOO OR sesame oil
-1-2 cloves garlic (I go with 2, but feel free to reduce if you prefer)
-1 cup frozen carrots and peas
-1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
-1 Quorn Chik'n cutlet, cooked according to instructions and sliced
-2 tbsp Bragg Live Foods liquid aminos (or Tamari)
-1 tbsp Fix Hot Sauce sriracha
-1/4"-1/2" ginger, grated (I used 1/2", but again feel free to reduce based on preference)

Instructions:

1) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
2) Once hot (but not smoking), add in the garlic, and cook for about a minute.
3) Add in the frozen peas and carrots and cook for about a minute.
4) Add in the shiitake mushrooms and cook the vegetable mixture for about 2 minutes mixing regularly.
5) Add in the zoodles, and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until they soften.
6) Add in the Chik'n Cutlet slices, and mix in the liquid aminos, sriracha, and ginger, cooking for an additional minute or so.
7) Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!

I topped mine with some green onions for some freshness, but feel free to skip if you prefer. The taste is slightly different than standard lo mein because I skipped on the sugar aspect, but it tastes pretty darn close and pretty darn delicious if you ask me! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Mixed Potato and Veggie Hash with 4th & Heart California Garlic Ghee

I was about to call this recipe "The Best Damn Breakfast Potatoes You've Ever Had", but I decided to hold off and let you decide that one for yourself. But SPOILER ALERT, they might just be the best damn breakfast potatoes you've ever had. Potatoes in all shapes and sizes are something I love, probably a little too much. From sweets to reds, mashed potatoes to home fries, I just really like potatoes. I don't necessarily eat them all that often, but they definitely hold a special place in my heart especially when it comes to brunch. 

So when I decided to take on breakfast potatoes, I knew I had to do it right. I wanted them packed with flavor, so I knew using 4th & Heart's California garlic ghee was the only way to go. Just heating up the pan with this stuff makes your mouth water! Add in both sweets AND russets plus some other flavor packed ingredients, and I knew I had the side that can't be beat for your next brunch!

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 medium sweet potato, cut into about 1/2" cubes
-1 small russet potato, cut into about 1/2" cubes
-1 cup baby arugula
-2 cloves garlic, sliced
-1 medium tomato, cut into about 1/2" cubes
-2 tbsp 4th & Heart California garlic ghee, separated
-1/4 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp chili powder (optional)
-1 tbsp shredded organic parmesan (optional)

Serves 4-6 

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees on convection.
2) Heat up 1 tbsp of the ghee in a cast iron skillet on the stove top over medium high heat.
3) Once the ghee is melted and the pan is hot, add in the sweet and russet potato cubes, sea salt, pepper, and chili powder (if you're using it). Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often until the potatoes soften.
3) Mix in the 2nd tbsp of ghee for about a minute until it is completely melted.
4) Mix in the arugula, sliced garlic, and tomato cubes so that everything is evenly dispersed.
5) Toss the skillet into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until the tops of the potatoes begin to brown a bit. Sprinkle the parmesan over the entire skillet about 2 minutes before removing it from the oven (so at about 8-10 minutes depending on cook time). 
6) Let cool for about 5 minutes, serve, and enjoy!

I served mine alongside an egg and some sauteed veggies, but feel free to brunch as you please! The combination of the garlic ghee with both the sweet and russet potatoes is just perfect. Plus that added taste of the roasted tomato and fresh garlic just takes these potatoes to the next level. I'm dying to hear what you think in the comments below, so definitely let me know once you give them a try!