Healthy Recipes to Keep You Fit and Fabulous

Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

Curry Tempeh


After returning home from a busy weekend and getting a good night’s sleep, I awoke ready to start the week on the right foot- in the gym!  I completed 20 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 25 minutes on the treadmill doing running intervals.


After my workout, I rewarded myself with a little Starbucks treat!  I stopped by and ordered a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Soy Latte:

I’m always amused by the different spellings the Starbucks baristas’ come up with for “Carly”.  I kind of wish my name was spelled the way this particular barista dreamed up today!

When I got home, I had a Lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt.


During my 20-minute lunch break, I had the exact same salad that I’ve come to love as a quick hunger-fix during the short time I have for lunch Monday through Thursday.

Butter lettuce topped with red and yellow bell pepper slices and Naturally Fresh Ginger Dressing.


Corey and I got pretty adventurous with last night’s dinner.  While grocery shopping, we came across Coconut Curry Tempeh- a soy product I’ve been curious about for a while.  I convinced Corey that it would be worth a try, and we threw it in the cart.

I started by cooking the tempeh strips in a skillet with a little olive oil, for about 2 minutes on each side, until browned.

While they cooked, I microwaved a bag of steam-able frozen vegetable medley, which had broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  Next, I microwaved a bag of Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Whole Grain Rice.  I combined the rice and steamed veggies in the skillet off the heat, and mixed with half a jar of Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry.

Although I’m not a vegetarian, I always say that I might as well just be one.  Chicken and steak has the potential to really gross me out- I much prefer eating seafood or just plain old vegetarian dishes.  Corey and I both agreed that tempeh is not something we would necessarily crave, but it was a great meat replacement. I would describe the texture as hardened rice, with more flavor, thanks to the curry spice.  If you aren’t a fan of the texture of tofu, give tempeh a try!

Have you ever tried tempeh? What do you think of it?

Artichoke Dip for One

I decided to skip a Tuesday blog post, because Monday’s meals didn’t deserve their own post.  In fact, I feel the need to apologize in advance if my posts for this week and next week are scattered and the meals aren’t up to par- this may happen due to several factors.

  • This week and next week are my final exams.
  • We’re moving this weekend and next weekend.
  • I’m too stressed to grocery shop!
Not kidding about the stress thing.  I’ve been very good about keeping myself organized and pretty stress-free throughout this semester, which has been the hardest of my life to date, but now that it’s down to the wire, I’m feeling the heat!  It is imperative that I do very well on all exams during these final two weeks, because the nursing program I am applying to is super competitive.  Wish me luck!

On Monday, we woke up early and went to the gym for a semi-easy workout.  I ran next to Corey on the treadmill for 20 minutes, completing an interval workout that he came up with.  We walked for 1 minute, ran for 2 minutes at 6.0, ran for 1 minute at 7.0, then walked for a minute at 4.0.  We repeated it up to 20 minutes.  I hopped on the elliptical for 15 minutes while waiting for Corey to complete his weights workout.
I planned to go to a spin class yesterday morning, but I went to bed not feeling like myself, and woke up feeling the same way.  I felt tired and lazy, and decided to take the day off from working out.

Monday’s breakfast was my out-of-groceries go-to meal, peanut butter on a whole wheat bagel thin:
Yesterday, I had the rest of a big tub of 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt, sweetened with Splenda and topped with a 1/4 cup of Kashi 7 Grain Puff Cereal.  I also had a big orange on the side.

Monday’s lunch came in the form of leftover Pei Wei from Sunday night.  Vegetable and tofu fried rice:
Yesterday’s lunch was in three parts.  I came home from my afternoon class starving, as usual, but, like I said, we’re low on groceries!  I grabbed the first thing I saw, which happened to be broccoli, heated it up and drizzled Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing on top.
A little later, I started getting snacky, and went in the kitchen on a mission to find something else to eat.  I settled with some chips and salsa:
I liked the whole chips-n-dip idea, and ended up creating something fabulous! I spotted a lonely can of artichoke hearts in my pantry, and decided to try making my own artichoke dip, which happens to be one of my favorite appetizers at restaurants.  I gathered up some other ingredients:
Chopped garlic, reduced-fat feta cheese, and Philadelphia Cooking Creme in Savory Garlic.
I threw the ingredients into the blender, gave it a whirl for a minute, and poured the dip into a dish.
I sprinkled a little fat-free shredded cheddar over top and microwaved it for 45 seconds.  Voila!  My own personal artichoke dip.
I served my dip with one serving (6 chips!) of blue corn chips.
*Tip*: To avoid accidentally eating multiple servings of chips, which easily adds a ton of calories, measure out the serving size, and then break them up so it feels as though you’re eating more chips than you actually are.  Besides, the dip is the good part, anyways!
Artichoke Dip

                                              Servings: 1-2 (could easily be doubled
or tripled and baked in the oven for a party appetizer)
1 can artichoke hearts
1 tablespoon reduced-fat feta cheese
1 tablespoon Philadelphia Cooking Creme in Savory Garlic (could substitute plain Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fat free shredded cheddar
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend for 1 minute.  Pour into a dish and sprinkle the cheddar on top, microwave for 45 seconds, serve!
After lunch, I headed to my night class.  I wish I had stayed home, because I spent 3 hours dissecting this little guy:
Sorry, Wilbur 😦 . I’m about 97% sure I no longer eat pork.

On Monday, I wasn’t in the mood to cook and decided to pick up Chipotle for Corey and I.  I had a chicken salad with black beans, fajita veggies, corn salsa, mild salsa and a little cheese.
When I got home last night, I really wasn’t in the mood to eat meat, for obvious reasons.  Corey made dinner- he picked up some almond-crusted chicken tenders from the Publix Ready-to-Cook section, and baked them.  I had one piece, and filled up on Steamfresh Broccoli and Rotini, instead.

For dessert, I had two chocolate chip cookies that we made over the weekend, and a glass of almond milk.
Time to hit the books!
Are you a vegetarian?  
Why or why not? 

Tofu Trial


I had plans to go to a spin class yesterday, but then I remembered that the Charlie Brown instructor teaches the Friday class, so I decided against it.  Instead, I opted to go for a nice run.

It wasn’t as nice as I planned.

I don’t know what my problem was, but I just couldn’t run the whole time.  I felt slow, I got a cramp, my legs hurt…it was sad.  I stopped for two 30-second walking breaks.  I think it helps to have someone with me, pushing me along!

Also, I’d like to thank Nike for sponsoring my 2.5 mile run around my neighborhood:




After my run, I made a filling and delicious yogurt bowl.

I topped 1/2 cup 0% Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt sweetened with Splenda with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, a sliced banana, and 1/4 cup Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs Cereal.


I was really excited about lunch.

I decided to try…drum roll please…


I tried to use tofu in a dish before, and I didn’t like it at all.  It was crumbly and soft, when I was expecting it to be firm and a little more flavorful.  Well, thanks to Lauren, my 2nd tofu trial was a success!

I saw on her blog a few weeks ago how to prepare tofu.  First, I sliced it into pieces.  Next, I placed 2 paper towels on my cutting board, topped it with 4 slices of tofu, and then topped it with 2 more paper towels.

I continued this layering until all the tofu was in between paper towels.  Then I placed a heavy frying pan on top of it, and left it there for 10 minutes.  The weight helps to press the tofu, which removes the moisture and makes it a little more firm.

I wanted to add some flavor to it, so I made an easy marinade.  I poured 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Makoto Ginger Dressing, and 2 cloves chopped garlic into a tupperware.  I threw in the tofu, covered it, and let it marinate for a few hours.

When I was ready for lunch, I placed the marinated tofu slices on a cookie sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, I flipped them, and put them back in for another 10 minutes, until they had browned.

While the tofu was in the oven, I steamed some fresh broccoli, and then microwaved the rest of a frozen bag of “stir fry” vegetables that I had in the freezer.  I put the cooked veggies in a skillet with some soy sauce and cooked it for a few more minutes.

I sliced four pieces of the tofu into bite-sizes.  I placed a portion of veggies on my plate with the tofu, sprinkled everything with sesame seeds, and then added a drizzle of Kraft Toasted Sesame Dressing on top.

This was so good.  Definitely my new favorite lunch!

When Corey got home from work, our friends Austin and Laura met us at our place, and all four of us went to Happy Hour at Mitchell’s Fish Market.

We were excited to introduce them to our favorite dip, which they loved.

Corey and I also split a wedge salad.

After having some drinks and food, we decided to go to one of our favorite places, Wine Room on Park Ave.

Wine Room is a place where they give you a sort of wine “credit card” that you place money on.  You stick the card into the top of a case of different wines, and you pick which one you want.

You can have a taste, half a glass, or a full glass, and the prices vary for each one.  There are some bottles that cost $20 just for a taste!  They also have a special room called the “Rare Room”, where the bottles cost ridiculous amounts of money.

Corey and Laura in front of the Rare Room, picking out a bottle for me.

Laura and I

It was a fun little double date!

It’s Saturday…go have fun!!

Do you like tofu?

If so, what is your favorite way to eat it? 

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with Mushrooms and Soybeans

I took a necessary bloggy break yesterday due to a HUGE test in Microbiology last night.  Glad that’s over with!

Let’s talk TUESDAY:


I woke up and went to a 45-minute spin class.  I’m happy to report that the Charlie Brown instructor was nowhere to be found.  However, I am very unhappy to report that my favorite instructor announced that she’s moving next week to CALIFORNIA!  Just my luck.  She said her replacement will be a guy named Michael.  Hmm…guess I’ll find out how I feel about that soon enough!

Spinning is all about putting your mind over matter, and really focusing in on getting the work done.  For some people, that’s all it takes for them to make it through the class without quitting.  Not this girl.  I have to have a goal.  I have to have something in my head that I picture the entire time to help motivate me to finish the class strong.  Yesterday, it was all about these three things:





Bikini Bod

I guess two out of three isn’t bad.  I can have a smoothie any day.






I pretty much had the blender going as soon as I walked in the door, and today’s smoothie was on point.

Into the blender went:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Muscle Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 7 frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Splenda

Cold and refreshing!

After breakfast, I showered and did some homework before heading to class.  My Tuesday afternoon class is really long, and my stomach keeps growling embarrassingly loud halfway through the class each week.  I think my lab partner is onto the fact that it’s me, so I decided to grab a snack to-go.

I had just enough yogurt left in my big tub of Chobani for another serving, so I topped it with sliced strawberries and chopped almonds and ate it in the car.


When I got home, I didn’t have much time before my next class, so I made a quick cheese quesadilla in the microwave!

I placed a slice of meunster cheese and 2 tablespoons of Fat Free shredded cheddar down the middle of a whole wheat tortilla, folded, and microwaved for 15 seconds.  I topped it off with some Roasted Garlic Salsa from the store.

On the side, I had an orange:

On my way there, I spotted a rainbow!

I didn’t get quite as excited as this guy, though.


When Corey and I were at Barnes and Noble over the weekend, I came across this recipe in Cooking Light magazine that sparked my interest.  I wrote down a few of the ingredients, and made an adaption of their recipe for dinner.

I bought this at store, which I substituted for the mascarpone cheese called for in the recipe, because it was less expensive:

I made sure to only use the serving size, so that I wouldn’t add a lot of extra fat to the dish.

I also picked up a can of these, which I substituted for farva beans:

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta with Mushrooms and Soybeans

Servings: 3-4


2 1/2 cups whole wheat farfalle (bow tie pasta)

8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 cups organic soybeans, rinsed

1/4 cup Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme (you could substitute Mascarpone cheese or possibly Greek yogurt)

1/2 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped


Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray and add the onion.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until everything is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the soybeans and mix together, cook for an additional minute.

Add the pasta and the Cooking Creme, and mix until everything is well combined.  Cook for an additional minute.


This is a great vegetarian dish, especially since the soybeans add the necessary protein component.


Easy Veggie Pizza

I turned into an accidental vegetarian yesterday 🙂 !


We woke up bright and early, surprisingly enthusiastic about our morning workout.  I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical before hopping on the good ol’ Stair Master for another 10 minutes.  I planned to spend longer on the SM, but I’m pretty sure it was slowly but surely breaking while I was on it.  Whoopsies! After my cardio, I did an arm workout, consisting of bicep curls, tricep extensions, front and lateral raises, and lat rows.  Details here.


As most readers have probably gathered by now, I have fruit issues.  I hate different types of fruit “touching”, I hate certain textures, etc.  Well, today I was a big girl and decided to try a BLUEBERRY smoothie!  My mom probably just fainted reading this.  

I basically used my usual smoothie ingredients, but switched out strawberries for bluebs!

Into the blender went:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk <—- Corey’s mad that I got “unsweetened”. Oops!
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Muscle Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Splenda
  • Handful of ice

It was surprisingly delish.  I think it helped that the banana and chocolate flavors kind of covered up the blueberry taste.  And I blended it up extra long, so none of the blueberry “pieces” were too big.  I might as well be in a highchair demanding ‘sghettis for dinner.


I ended up spending most of my day in the kitchen.  I went to the produce market to stock up on veggies, and by “stock up” I mean I went a little overboard.  I decided to roast a bunch of my veggie impulse buys to use in different meals this week.  I got to chopping, and then spread out a mixture of asparagus, cauliflower and brussel sprouts on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray, sprinkled on some garlic powder and roasted for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.  I scooped up about 1 cup of the veggies and topped a plate of romaine lettuce with them to make a lovely Spring salad.

I topped my salad with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat feta cheese, and a homemade mustard yogurt dressing.

To make the dressing, combine in a bowl:

  • 1 tablespoon nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons light mayo
  • 1 tablespoon water

Mix until everything is completely combined, and it has a dressing consistency.  Add more water, if necessary.



I got home super late from class, much later than usual.  I hate eating dinner close to 10 o’clock, but…sometimes, it happens!  What I love is having a quick and easy dinner idea that I don’t have to think about when I walk in the door.

I bought a tube of refrigerated Pillsbury Pizza Crust that I layed out on a cookie sheet and prebaked for 5 minutes at 400 degrees.  While it baked, I chopped up the following veggies, each into very thin slices:

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 9 white mushroom caps

I took the prebaked dough out of the oven and spread 1/2 cup of a simple marinara sauce that I had in the refrigerator (you could use pizza sauce, or plain tomato sauce- whatever you have on hand).  I spread the sliced veggies out over the sauce, and then sprinkled on 1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat feta cheese.

I popped it back in the oven for 10 minutes, and dinner was ready!


What are your favorite veggies to add to a pizza?

Nothing Better Than Cheese. Recipe: Zucchini Au Gratin

This weekend was a special occasion, because my little sister, Lauren, came to visit!  She goes to school in Tallahassee, and I knew it had definitely been a while since she had a home-cooked meal.  She had one request for the menu- zucchini!  I knew I didn’t want to just saute it, so I decided to attempt an au gratin.  Although it sounds fancy, au gratin is basically a way of making a cheesy casserole using either a vegetable or, more commonly, potatoes.  I ALMOST ruined this one by broiling the breadcrumbs too long, but I saved it just in time.  I will definitely be making this dish for Thanksgiving this year!

Zucchini Au Gratin

Servings: 4


4 zucchini, peeled and sliced into rounds







1 1/2 cups Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup Romano cheese, shredded

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoon Canola oil, divided

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon dried parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour one tablespoon of oil in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish.  Lay down a layer of zucchini rounds.  Season with 1/3 of the salt, 1/3 of the garlic powder, 1/3 of the parsley.  Top with 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1 tablespoon parmesan, and 1/4 cup Romano, all spread in an even layer.







Repeat these steps until you have 3 layers.  Mix breadcrumbs in a bowl with the remaining oil.  Spread on top of the last layer of zucchini.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Bring P.F. Changs to Your Kitchen. Recipe: Spicy Eggplant

I have a confession.  I am mildly obsessed with eggplant.  Ok, majorly obsessed.  I could probably find a way to eat it at every meal, if Corey would let me subject him to such torture.  Many people claim that they hate eggplant because it has a “weird texture”.  I think they’re just not trying to right dishes!  I consider myself an eggplant connoisseur, so anytime Corey and I try out a new restaurant and I see eggplant on the menu, I have to try it!  The other night, we went to P.F. Changs for dinner.  Normally, we splurge and get the Mongolian Beef and an order of Shrimp Lo Mein.  However, we were in the mood for something new, and then I saw my favorite 8-letter word: Stir-Fried EGGPLANT!  We ordered it, and it was simply delicious.  The sauce was thick and spicy.  It was filling enough to substitute a meat dish, and flavorful enough that Corey didn’t even realize he was eating his arch enemy.  I decided to try to recreate this dish at home, and it was so easy to do!  However, I have a feeling the restaurant version has juuuust a few more calories…just a hunch.  My version is great for a side dish!

Spicy Eggplant

Servings: 4


2 medium to large eggplant, peeled and chopped into cubes

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon corn starch

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons EVOO


In a skillet, heat the EVOO over medium heat.  Add the cubed eggplant to the pan.  Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, being sure to use your spatula to move it around so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and corn starch, until well blended together.  Pour sauce over the eggplant, and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes, until sauce thickens slightly and eggplant is cooked through. Season with red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and sesame seeds.  Mix together and serve hot.

Fiesta Night! Recipe: Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas

Mexican food is definitely one of my favorite things in the world.  I think I inherited that trait from my mom, who had me convinced at a young age that we were Spanish, thanks to her impressive second-language speaking skills.  Corey also loves Mexican food, so one of our weekend rituals is visiting different local Mexican restaurants.  During the week, however, if the craving comes upon us, I like have a repertoire of our favorite Mexican dishes handy.  This week, we decided to try making vegetarian enchiladas.  One ingredient that I really think makes Mexican food extra delicious is Queso Blanco.  I found a package of it at our grocery store, and decided to try it out.  It’s really just a salty white cheese, but it melts perfectly in the enchiladas and adds great flavor.  Ariba!

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas

Servings: 3

(two enchiladas per person)


6 Whole Wheat Tortillas, 6-inches

1 package frozen spinach, microwaved and excess moisture squeezed out

8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

6 oz. Queso Blanco, diced

2 cans Enchilada Sauce

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon Adobo

1 tablespoon EVOO

1/2 cup Mexican cheese, shredded (use Reduced Fat, if you can find it!)

salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Microwave frozen spinach according to package directions, then use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out the moisture in the spinach.  Set aside.  In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat.

Add sliced mushrooms to pan.  Cook until brown and juices release, about 5 minutes.

Add cooked spinach to the mushrooms.  Stir well, until spinach is distributed evenly with the mushrooms.

Season with chili powder, cumin, Adobo, and salt and pepper.

Add diced Queso Blanco to the mixture, and mix until well combined.  Pour about a 1/4 cup of the Enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking pan you are using to bake the enchiladas.  To assemble enchiladas: Lay one tortilla on a flat service.  Spoon the spinach, mushroom and queso mixture down the middle of the tortilla.  Fold sides in towards the middle, then place enchilada seam-side down in the pan, on top of the sauce.  Continue until you have 6 enchiladas in the pan.  Pour remaining sauce on top, until each one is fully covered in sauce (you may not  need to use 2 full cans).  Sprinkle Mexican cheese on top of each one.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Serve with salsa and Fat Free sour cream.



Hallelujah! Healthy Mac ‘N’ Cheese!

Is it true? Is there really such a thing as HEALTHY macaroni and cheese?  The comfort food of all comfort foods has been revamped, and I have to say, it is just as delicious as the full-fat, full-of-heaven version I’m used to making.  Just to put it in perspective- my “famous” baked macaroni and cheese that I make for special occasions (or when I’m depressed, lol) uses about 3 cups of cheddar cheese, a cup of cream, 2 cups of whole milk, a stick of butter…ok, I’m feeling guilty just typing it out.  You get the picture.  BUT, this lighter version swaps out all the bad stuff, throws in a veggie, and voila! A guilt-free version of my favorite indulgence.  A serving of this baby is only around 300-330 calories. Thank you to my favorite website for the inspiration for this!

Healthy Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Servings: 4


8 oz. Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni (or shells, whatever you like)

2 cups Fat Free Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1/2 cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese

1 and 3/4 cups Low Fat Milk, divided

3 tablespoons flour

1 package fresh spinach, cooked and drained

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon EVOO or Canola oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook macaroni until just before it is cooked completely, about 8 minutes, drain, and set aside.  Wilt spinach (either boil in water or steam in microwave), drain, squeeze out any excess moisture, and set aside.  Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a pot until hot.  Dissolve the flour in the remaining 1/4 cup milk until there are no lumps.  Add to the hot milk and whisk continuously until it thickens, about 4 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the cheddar, cottage cheese, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.  Add pasta and spinach to the cheese sauce, mix until well combined.  Pour mixture into an 8 X 8 pan, sprayed with cooking spray.  In a bowl, mix breadcrumbs with the oil, and then sprinkle on top of mixture in the pan.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and breadcrumbs are browned.


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