Tag Archives: avocado

Loaded Mediterranean Avocado Toast [vegan]

Hola!

While I’m in Mexico eating what’s sure to be an abundance of guacamole, today I’m sharing with you a recipe that revolves around the illustrious avocado, but isn’t really Mexican-themed…

Mediterranean Avocado Toast

I’m blessed to have my husband for many reasons – one being that he’ll try whatever dish I put in front of him.

Whoa, when I typed that I just realized that I totally sound like my mom, who loves that A will eat (& usually enjoy) almost anything. She loves when we visit and he eats her leftovers!

But I mean, what type of cook doesn’t like having a loved one around that’ll try all of their creations?  Even though A isn’t a vegetarian himself, he’s open to trying my many vegan and vegetarian dish experiments without complaint. That’s why when I received a rare critique from him recently that I was making Mexican dinners a little too much, I got my act together and got a little bit more creative in the kitchen. I believe his exact words were:

“Babe what’s for dinner tonight? Quesadillas? Enchiladas? Perhaps some tacos? [smirk]”

Mediterranean Avo Toast-2Enough said hubby! I definitely had been relying on my go-to Mexican dinners a lot, and since we had an upcoming trip to Cabo San Lucas planned, I didn’t want him to go to Mexico already feeling over Mexican food. So, recently I toned down my love for Mexican food and started making more of my other beloved cuisines – mainly dishes with Italian and Mediterranean flairs.

Recent dinners that have gotten big thumbs up include linguine with asparagus in a white wine lemon sauce, homemade pizza and rosti potatoes with spinach & feta. And then there’s today’s recipe: the ultimate avocado toast.

It’s no secret that I love avocado. An abundance of the ripe fruit is one of the reasons why we’d been eating so many Mexican dinners. For this recipe, I decided to take avocado toast to the next level. It’s simple, it’s nutritious and it’s definitely delicious.

Mediterranean Avo Toast-1 Continue reading

Tropical Avocado Fruit Salsa + BUBBA’s NEW Veggie Burgers

This post brought to you by BUBBA Burger. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Foodie Loves Fitness.

One of the many things that I love about summertime is how it’s the prime season for grilling. I find it so relaxing to throw some delicious food on my grill, sprawl out on a recliner in my backyard and sip on a glass of wine while it’s cooking, then enjoy a leisurely meal on my patio.

chardonnay on the patio

Sipping a glass of chardonnay on my patio, with a puppy photobomb as per usual

Lately I’ve been a grilling fool – throwing everything from corn and asparagus to peaches and zucchini on my grill. One of my favorite things to grill is veggie burgers.

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Of all the types of veggie burgers out there, black bean burgers are definitely my favorite kind. What I love about black beans is that they’re hearty and filling. They’re rich in fiber, protein, folic acid, and a slew of vitamins and minerals, making black bean burgers a great vegetarian alternative to regular burgers. I’ve been known to bring black bean burgers to friends’ BBQs to ensure that I have a healthy,  veg-friendly meal option available.

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One new black bean burger on the market this season is from BUBBA Burgers.  I love that the BUBBA Veggie Burger is only made with ingredients that I immediately know, like diced green pepper, broccoli, corn, edamame, brown flax seed – and of course, the first ingredient is good old black beans. Here are some stats about BUBBA’s new meat-free burgers:

  • No GMO’s
  • All natural
  • Excellent source of Vitamin A & C
  • Gluten freeundefined
  • Vegan friendly
  • Low fat
  • Cholesterol free
  • No Saturated Fat
  • Multigrain
  • Good Source of dietary fiber
  • 2.5 grams of fat
  • Four 3 oz. burgers per box
  • Frozen, with no thawing necessary

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Avocado & Chickpea Salad Cups

Happy Friday!

I’m very much looking forward to the weekend, because later today my hubby and I are heading out on a little weekend getaway. It’s a place just a few hours away from home that we’ve never been to before….

Palm Springs

Palm Springs! Just a couple of days full of what will hopefully be fun: relaxation, hiking, good food and exploring a new area. But first, onto today’s recipe!

avocado cups-3

This recipe will provide you with a good dose of produce. It’s vegan, gluten free, nutritious, and simple to throw together. Call me a nut, but it seems kind of fancy to me because it involves scooping the salad mixture back into the avocado skins. avocado cup ingredients

And speaking of nuts, recently Blue Diamond sent me a few boxes of their Almond Nut Thins to play around with. They’re gluten free nut & rice crackers, and for some reason I immediately thought of scooping avocado with them. Almond Nut-Thins

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Avocado, Spinach & Walnut Pesto Pasta

Good old St. Paddy’s Day is tomorrow, and while I didn’t make any Irish soda bread last weekend or have a blast celebrating at any parades, I wanted to share a green recipe in honor of the holiday.

avocado pesto pasta-1

My heritage is part Irish, and I have lots of St. Paddy’s Day memories: my family getting together at my grandma’s house (who was Italian, but loved any excuse to celebrate!) for corned beef & cabbage (hold the corned beef for me), potatoes and Irish soda bread; and day drinking at many Irish parades in Jersey as a college kid.

2009 St. Pats Day

Celebrating with my college roommates Marla & Meaghan

I kind of would like to be wearing green shamrock stickers on my face and day drinking with my girlfriends right about now actually, but any who… here’s a fun little holiday tidbit: The color green being associated with Ireland dates back to at least the 1600s.

A sign I saw at an Irish bar in Italy

A sign I saw at an Irish bar in Italy

And speaking of green… helloooo pesto – a veggie-packed, vegan pesto pasta dish to be precise.

pesto ingredients

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Avocado Walnut Pesto Tofu Salad

When I was younger, I didn’t eat nuts — no cashews, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, nada. I can’t decide which came first: me deciding that my tastebuds weren’t a fan, or me putting them on my silly can’t-eat-because-of-the-high-fat-content-list. Well my friends, I’ve gotten older and wiser, and now am a firm believer in including heart-healthy fats in my diet on a daily basis. Nuts (and most definitely nut butters!) are a frequent part of my eats. I’ll throw a half-serving on top of my yogurt, or eat a serving as a snack here and there.

So when California Walnuts contacted me asking if I’d like to try a bag of their walnuts to play around with in the kitchen, I gladly accepted. The nuts came in a kind of earthy feeling burlap sack, which I thought was a cute touch. To check out some of the benefits of eating walnuts, visit the company’s nutrition page.

Walnuts

When thinking of what to make first with my walnuts, the idea of pesto came into my head.

Separately, after seeing a friend of mine post a vegan “chicken” salad picture on Instagram, I picked up a container of tofu to make something similar with.

tofu pesto salad-2

I’m kind of iffy with tofu. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t, and when I don’t like it, I usually take a tofu break…. but then a few months later, a tofu container winds up in my shopping cart, and I’m back testing it out in some new way.

This recipe is my walnut pesto and tofu “chicken” salad ideas rolled into one. At the last minute, I threw some avocado into the mix to spice it up even more.

pesto tofu salad-1

A few things to note about this recipe:

If you want the tofu salad to be more pesto-filled, you can just reduce the amount of tofu you use. I used the entire 14-oz container and liked the light pesto flavor, but if you like a stronger pesto taste, I’d reduce the amount of tofu by 25-50%.

This recipe includes parmesan cheese, but you can easily make it vegan by using nutritional yeast instead.

pesto tofu salad-3

Avocado Walnut Pesto Tofu Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 oz avocado
  • 7-14 oz of extra firm tofu, depending on how strong of a pesto flavor you prefer (I used the entire 14-oz container)
  • ½ cup natural walnuts
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese*
  • 2 TSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • ¼ TSP salt, plus more to taste
  • ⅛ TSP pepper
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend together the basil, olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, 2 oz of the avocado, ¼ cup of walnuts, salt, pepper and the garlic clove. Pulse until well combined.
  2. Take the block of tofu and crumble it into a strainer, squeezing out excess water as you crumble. Place the tofu in a large bowl.
  3. Chop the remaining ¼ cup of walnuts and cube the remaining 1 oz of avocado. Add chopped celery, walnuts and avocado to the tofu.
  4. Mix the pesto into the tofu bowl. Stir the mixture together, and season with additional salt to taste.
  5. Enjoy warm or cold with crackers, on a sandwich, in a tortilla, or all on its own!
Notes
*To make the salad vegan, sub nutritional yeast for the parmesan cheese.

 

As I mentioned in my WIAW post yesterday, I enjoyed the salad with some Van’s gluten free crackers. A few days later, I wrapped some pesto tofu salad in a tortilla.

pesto tofu salad-4

Foodie fact of the day on walnut production in California: More than 99% of the walnuts in U.S. are grown in California’s Central Valley. Internationally, California walnuts supply 3/4 of the world’s walnut trade. That’s a lot of walnut growing in this beautiful state that I’m living in!

This Vegetarian’s Wednesday Eats

Good morning!

I’m switching up my day a little and blogging on this Thursday morning, instead of my usual nighttime blog action.

First off, in the past couple of days I’ve made some blog changes I’d like to point out. For one thing, I’ve updated my recipe page. My recipe list was getting too extensive to be on one page, so the recipe tab you see on my menu bar above is now a drop down list, so you can check out whatever category of recipes you want to look at in separate pages. I think this makes it easier to view.

I also have added a “work it out” tab in the menu, which contains links to workout related posts I’ve written. Feel free to browse. 🙂

Lastly, I also added access to my Instagram on the blog, and it’s now on my sidebar under my Twitter feed. I haven’t really been too active on Instagram thus far, but I’m now starting to get into Instagram mode and post pictures on a daily basis. If you use Instagram, let’s follow each other!

Now onto food…

WIAWLet’s talk about what a day in the eats of this vegetarian looked like yesterday:

Breakfast was a colorful one – a huge bowl of yummy fruit!

fruit-bowl

For lunch, I made pumpkin cinnamon pancakes:

Pumpkin-Pancakes

I doubled my recipe, and the batter turned out looking a bit runny, so I added an extra TBSP of wheat flour – this did the trick! I topped the pancake with a Laughing Cow cinnamon cream cheese wedge and crumbs from the bottom of my Kashi Go Lean! cereal box.

pumpkin-pancakes-2

A couple of hours later, my pre-workout meal was an English muffin with mashed avocado, a slice of provolone cheese, and a few tofurky deli slices:

eng-muffin-sandwichAfter a nice gym session, a few hours later I made a simple healthy dinner – asparagus drizzled with a touch of balsamic glaze + olive oil, and a serving of quinoa brown rice mix:

Quinoa-Asparagus

quinoa-2

A little while later, the munchies hit me and I had a piece of dark chocolate + a peanut butter oats bar from TJs.

PB-bars

dark-choc

And that’s what my 1,400 calorie day looked like yesterday. I could have gotten more veggies in my eats, but overall it was a pretty healthy day. I’m planning on eating a big salad this afternoon to get more veggies in today though!

I’m off to get some work done. Have a wonderful rest of your day!

 

Strawberry Avocado Sunflower Seed Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Hi there! My weekend has been filled with fun and gorgeous weather. Yesterday I researched some hiking spots in the area and we ventured out to explore one of them. Though we wound up not getting to the trail we had originally been aiming for, we still found a pretty area to get some exercise in.

hiking-420

I think I’m almost getting used to having cows roaming around near me. We saw a couple of pretty deer frolicking in a field, and on our way back saw a man riding a BULL. I had no idea that riding a bull on the side of the road is a thing that people do nowadays. In response to this comment, Adam said, ”Well at least one guy does…” Yes I suppose!

Today we had our first real beach day since moving to the Bay Area. We went to Santa Cruz, and there was not a cloud in the sky. When we got home from our afternoon of sunbathing (and my applying and reapplying of lotion yet still getting burnt!), both Adam and I were hungry for dinner. I quickly threw together a yummy salad using some strawberries that were about to be overripe, while Adam cooked some chicken to throw in with his:

avo-strawb-salad-1

avo-strawb-salad-3

I hardly ever use prepared salad dressings anymore because I find it so easy to just combine a few ingredients to make a healthy, tasty more homemade one myself. Recently I’ve been doing an olive oil + lemon juice + balsamic glaze dressing, but for tonight’s dinner, I wanted to try juicing some strawberries to pair my fruity salad with a bit of a fruity dressing. The result was a simple 3-ingredient salad topper that went perfectly with my salad combo.

Strawberry Avocado Sunflower Seed Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  • 1 cup strawberries, plus ½ cup more for dressing
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1.5 TBSP balsamic glaze
  • 32 g roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • ⅛ TSP sea salt
Instructions
  1. Chop lettuce and place in a large salad bowl.
  2. Slice 1 cup of the strawberries, avocado, and cheese and mix in with the lettuce.
  3. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the salad.
  4. Place the remaining strawberries in a juicer, putting the juice in a small bowl.
  5. Add balsamic glaze and sea salt to the strawberry juice, whisking together to combine.
  6. Pour dressing evenly over the salad, tossing to combine.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 400, Fat: 27 g, Saturated fat: 8 g, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Fiber: 9 g, Protein: 15 g, Cholesterol: 30 g

avo-strawb-salad-2

avo-strawb-salad-4

Sunday Night Dinner: Mexican Casserole

As usual, the weekend has zipped by and Sunday night is already here. I’m hanging out with my little family in my living room this evening, watching football with our Christmas tree lit. I’ve had so many winter-themed candles  burning today, it smells like a mix of peppermint, sugar cookies, mocha and pumpkin in my house — quite a yummy combo! My hubby and I just enjoyed this meal…

Can you tell that I’m in a Christmas kind of mood? 😉

I’ve had a package of veggie protein crumbles (aka the vegetarian version of ground beef) in my fridge for a bit, waiting for a recipe idea to come to mind to use it for.

I found that inspiration in a recipe for vegan enchilada casserole on the Oh She Glows website. I adapted her recipe to make my own casserole creation. This dish is the perfect meal for a healthy Mexican-themed dinner night!

I enjoyed the casserole with some tortilla chips + sour cream:

Mexican Casserole
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 package of Lightline Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 TBSP taco seasoning
  • 1-14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¼ TSP pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mince red onion and green onion. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop bell peppers and jalapeno. Add the veggies to the skillet. Crumble the veggie crumbles into the pan and pour the diced tomatoes in.
  4. Add the taco seasoning to the mixture and mix together well. Let it cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Combine the rice with the veggie/crumbles mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Evenly distribute into an 8x11 baking pan. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
  7. Allow the casserole to cook until the cheese bubbles, 15-20 minutes. In the mean time, dice the avocado.
  8. When the casserole is done cooking, remove from the oven and top the mixture with avocado chunks.
  9. Enjoy the dish with sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips, etc.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 280, Fat: 9 g, Carbohydrates: 33 g, Sugar: 3 g, Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 19 g

Holy Guacamole!

When it comes to healthy eating, a big piece of the puzzle is moderation. If you’re trying to trim down or just aiming to eat healthier, it doesn’t mean that you can never treat yourself. What it does mean is that you need to be mindful of the foods you eat and watch your portions.

Giving into your food cravings here and there is perfectly conducive to losing weight, but here’s the catch: If you want something, let’s say ice cream, eat a cup. It won’t wreck your diet. But don’t bring a gallon of it to the couch with you and dig in with your spoon until you’re stuffed. And if you do wind up going with the latter option, once you’ve eaten it, be done with it. So many people, myself included, will overdo it one night, but instead of moving on and forgetting about it, have a tendency to beat themselves up over it. This attitude can potentially turn just a less than ideal meal or night of eating to a week or month of it, and that’s no bueno.

Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of being super strict with your diet, then completely crashing and eating whatever you want all the time, aim to adopt a healthy diet that you can sustain – a lifestyle.

Today is a good example of this principle for me. All day I was craving something salty, and I happened to have planned on going food shopping. I could have easily bought a jumbo bag of potato chips and inhaled half of it while sitting in traffic on the way home, but I opted for a healthier approach to satisfy my yen. I decided to do a Mexican themed dinner, and made my go-to guacamole recipe to enjoy with multigrain chips and a veggie & cheese quesadilla. I measured my eats and had one serving of chips, one serving of cheese and one serving of guacamole. And guess what? I felt perfectly content post-dinner and got my crunchy, salty fix – with no guilt involved.

 

The beauty of controlling your portions is that it makes you realize that you don’t need to eat a huge amount of anything to feel full and satisfied. I’m not saying that it’s necessary to measure out every morsel you put in your mouth, but using common sense and being conscious of how much you’re eating can go a long way.

The guacamole I always make is so easy to throw together. It’s great to make as a quick appetizer for hungry people, or in tonight’s case, one starving hubby. Avocado is packed with healthy fat and vitamins, and when you eat a serving of the recipe below, you’re nourishing your body with 2 servings of produce. So good!


My Go-To Guacamole
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium avocado
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 1 TSP fresh lemon juice
  • Mixed up salt & pepper to taste (regular salt works too)
Instructions
  1. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado flesh out. Mash it, then place in a bowl.
  2. Mince the red onion, then add to the avocado.
  3. Pour olive oil and lime juice on top. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Mix the guacamole well, then enjoy with tortilla chips, veggies, fajitas, crackers, quesadillas, tacos...the possibilities are endless!
Notes
*You may want to double this recipe to have extra guac on hand*
Nutrition Information
Calories: 140, Fat: 13 g, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 2 g

Heirloom & Avocado Bruschetta on Focaccia

My favorite kind of weekends are those that have a good balance of busyness and relaxation. These past few days were just the right mix of things. Highlights of the weekend include mountain biking, checking out the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, house hunting (yes, we’re looking!), hanging out at the beach for a couple hours and watching football.

I also completely unplugged from my computer for a full 24 hours. Between working from home, blogging, and social media, I feel like I’m always on my laptop. It’s nice to have a day every so often when I don’t even turn my Mac on!

Another fun part of my weekend was the NY Giants bandana I ordered for Harley arriving. She completely hates it and keeps biting it, but I can’t stop cracking up at how funny she looks with it on:

Seriously, how can that not make you laugh? I decided I’ll only torture her with it on game days.

This weekend I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen, but tonight’s dinner creation is one definitely worth sharing:

I spotted asiago and garlic focaccia at the farmer’s market a few days ago, and decided to nab it and see what I could come up with. When I later came upon some heirloom tomatoes and avocado, I knew they’d be a perfect pairing with the focaccia, and so I made a tasty bruschetta dish with an avocado twist. While bruschetta is most often an appetizer, these focaccia were the main event of my dinner.

To start, I preheated my oven to 350 and popped the focaccia in the oven to bake until golden brown. Meanwhile, I cubed my avocado and chopped my tomatoes and red onion:

I combined everything in a large bowl, added fresh basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and tossed it all together:

Once the focaccia was done, I removed it from the oven and cut into 6 slices. I then spooned the tomato mixture onto each focaccia slice evenly, sprinkling with additional salt and pepper, then enjoying! The precise recipe is below:


Heirloom & Avocado Bruschetta on Focaccia
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large focaccia bread (55 g), I used an asiago & garlic flavored one
  • 6 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 2 TBSP fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ TSP salt, plus more for sprinkling to taste
  • ⅛ TSP pepper, plus more for sprinkling to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place the focaccia on a large baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, around 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and red onion and cube avocado. Place everything in a large bowl.
  4. Roughly chop basil and add to the bowl. Add salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar in. Toss well to combine.
  5. Once focaccia is done baking, remove from oven and slice into 6 pieces.
  6. Spoon the tomato mixture onto each slice evenly. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
If you don't have focaccia available, you can swap it for sliced Italian bread. The focaccia I used serves 6 and has the following nutrition info per slice: 170 calories, 8 g fat, 21 g carbs, 5 g protein.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece, Calories: 250, Fat: 14 g, Carbohydrates: 29 g Protein: 6 g