Tag Archives: vegetarian recipes

Mediterranean Barley Stuffed Peppers

Hi friends!

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? I was flying cross-country all day Friday on the actual holiday, but I had a chance to celebrate the Irish holiday yesterday with my parents. I’m in Jersey this week visiting family, and went to a winery yesterday with my parents that had a live Irish band playing. It made me want to be back in Ireland hanging out at pubs with my family!

So, let’s dive into the real topic at hand today: Mediterranean Barley Stuffed Peppers – an easy Meatless Monday dinner idea!

I’ve always been a fan of stuffed peppers, and for this recipe, I wanted to do something different in terms of grains. I usually will use brown rice for stuffed peppers, but this time I decided to try barley instead and loved it.

I like to make a nice sized pot of grains at the beginning of the week to use for a few different meals, so this time, I cooked up some barley and used some for this recipe, then some another night with veggie burgers and sautéed zucchini.

You can always swap out the barley for whatever other grain you feel like – such as farro, cous cous, or rice for a gluten free option.

These peppers take a Mediterranean twist with the inclusion of crumbled feta, red onion, artichoke hearts, avocado, red onion and portobello mushroom. I always love making meals Mediterranean-style because the ingredients commonly used in this type of fare are so healthy and flavorful!

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Hearty Farro Greek Salad

This dish takes a twist on a classic Greek salad with the addition of hearty farro! 

After lots of holiday cookie baking and eating, it seems like a good time to focus more on greens, what do you think?


You guys, I haven’t shared a salad recipe in way too long. I swear, I eat salad all the time – apparently I just don’t get creative and come up with new salad recipes too often. But today salad is making a comeback on Foodie Loves Fitness, and I promise you that this is one delicious meal idea!


One of my favorite healthy strategies when eating out is to order a salad as an appetizer. It takes the edge off of my hunger, and I wind up eating less of my entree (which is bound to be something heavier) and taking some home as lefties.


When it comes to at-home salad eating, I definitely have my favorite combos. I often will make a spring greens salad with shredded carrots and avocado, then top it with a black bean burger and cheddar cheese (pretty much this recipe). Greek salad is also one of my favorites.


This dish takes a twist on the classic Greek salad. It has all of the awesome ingredients incorporated into a regular Greek salad – including romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, feta, and red onion – but with the addition of farro.

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The Best of 2016: Favorite Recipes, Workouts, Adventures & More

Happy New Year!


I hope that 2017 is off to a great start for you. I’m back in California after a week and a half on the east coast for holiday vacation, and ready to see what wonderful things this year has in store for me. Since I love to reflect on the positives of the year at the start of a new one, today we’re looking back at my 2016 favorites!

Recipes. When I think about favorite recipe posts, what pops into my mind are the recipes that I shared with loved ones, made numerous times and couldn’t get enough of! My top 5 recipes of 2016 that were popular on the blog are…


Mini Pretzel Twists with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. I had a thing for soft pretzels in 2016! 


Mediterranean Feta & Lemon Hummus Dip. After creating this dip for a health coaching event, I made it several more times throughout the year. I love Mediterranean ingredients like artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes & feta cheese! 

Moving onto the sweeter side of things, these were my favorite healthy snacks/desserts of the year (all vegan + gluten free!):


Chocolate Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Squares. I like to think of these as a more wholesome, adult version of those blue wrapper rice crispy treats we’re all familiar with!  


No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cookies. Because the chocolate + peanut butter combo has my heart every year. 


Peppermint Chocolate Chip Snack Bites. I‘ve been obsessed with all things peppermint this winter! 

Travel. I got to do some awesome traveling in 2016! Here are my favorite adventures of the year:


Visiting Ireland was definitely a check off of my bucket list, and it also marked the first time that I ever spent time in Europe with my family. I met them in Ireland and got to experience the country with my parents, sister, grandma, aunts, uncle, cousin, and brother during the whirlwind trip. I had the chance to visit the Cliffs of Moher, experience some awesome Irish pub nights, and ate lots of yummy vegetarian food.

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Vegetable Mac & Cheese Ramekins

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Throughout the entire year, but especially during the holiday season, one of my main diet principles is portion control. So many people ban certain foods from their lives, only to “fall off the wagon” and binge when their willpower wanes. I promote the idea of balanced eating and moderation because it is what works in the long haul! 


Take pasta for example. Do I eat it daily? No. But do I eat it when I’m in a carb-y pasta mood around every couple of weeks? Hell yea! I just never eat a huge bowl of it (well, unless I’m in Italy…) and I try to sneak some veggies into my pasta dishes to make them heartier and more nutritious.


I recently came up with this idea of making ramekin macaroni & cheese – because ramekins are perfect for built-in portion control.


I added a few of my favorite autumn veggies into the mix with this mac & cheese: baby kale, zucchini and yellow squash.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cereal Bars [gluten free]

As a traveler, I’m not usually the person that seeks out the best shopping spots in a given area. I’m not huge into shopping and my husband absolutely loathes it, so shopping is never on our vacation checklist. While I prefer making memories, taking photos, and going on adventures while traveling, I do enjoy nabbing a souvenir that reminds me of the trip and is unique to the area.


For instance, I picked up coasters in New Orleans that have the city’s symbolic fleur-de-lis design on them. When I put my drink on one, memories from my time there come to mind.

The last time I was in Italy, I bought a bracelet from a street vendor. Every time I wear it, I think of the magic of Venice.


During my trip to Ireland a few months ago, the souvenir that I took home was a jar of locally made honey. I nabbed it at a health food store during my excursion to the Cliffs of Moher, and every time I use some of that honey, I think of the rolling hills of Ireland. Now I wish I had bought more of it!


Recently while I was spooning my Irish honey into my green tea, I got the idea to make pumpkin spice cereal bars that are glued together with the goodness that is honey.


I’ve always been a big cereal lover. I eat it with protein powder mixed in & with banana or blueberries; sprinkle it on top of my smoothie bowls; and sometimes I eat it dry with a handful of dried cherries & chocolate chips for a healthy dessert. There’s something about chocolate with oat cereals like Cheerios that is just so yummy!

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Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole {gf}

Hi friends! How was your weekend?

Highlights of my days off were visiting Temecula wine country with my cousin on Saturday, who visited for the afternoon to spend some time with me…

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…and watching the NY Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles (good for this Giants fan, and much to the dismay of my Eagles’ fan husband) + practicing some yoga on the beach on Sunday.

And I’m feeling very antsy about tomorrow’s election. During this election season, I thought I’d do a post about where each candidate stands when it comes to women’s + health issues, but it became so glaringly obvious to me which one should become president and which one is idiotic beyond belief, I decided there was little need to write that type of post.

It probably isn’t hard to guess which side I’m on in this bipartisan craziness we call the 2016 presidential race. After all, I’m an environmentally conscious woman living in California who strongly supports women’s and social rights, plus having people become president who actually have prior political experience.

In my little corner of the internet, I’d be remiss to not at least urge any of you who are on the fence with your vote to go with the person who actually believes in climate change; who has the temperament and patience of a professional, who does not feel the need to tweet nonsense at 3 AM; who has actually made positive differences in people’s lives throughout the course of their long career in public service; and who is extremely knowledgeable on many complex political topics without acting like an egotistical know-it-all.

For the love of America, don’t sit out just because you aren’t crazy about her. Get out there and vote! 


That’s my two cents on the matter. Now onto the main topic of the day: a recipe that I’ve made more times than I can count!


This spaghetti squash casserole is a favorite in my house. In fact, it’s one of my hubby’s top meal requests, and last weekend I made it for dinner one night to celebrate him finishing another one of his classes for his MBA with an A.

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Peaches & Cream Muffins [gf]

All of us have a few pretty useless talents up our sleeves, and one of mine is knowing the lyrics to about a million songs. I can hear a song once or twice and forever have the words in my vault of a brain. For some reason I’m especially good at remembering lyrics from songs that came out when I was in middle school and high school.

I attribute this partly to my strange but good memory, and partly to my musical abilities thanks to playing the piano from age 4 up.

peach muffins-2

Do you know when my lyrical memory comes in handy? When I’m driving with my hubby listening to the Pop2K and 90’s stations on Sirius XM radio. They play nonstop music from all of the 90s and 2000s, and it’s nothing short of awesome.

Usually as I rap Ashanti and Ja Rule tunes, A looks at me and shakes his head as he asks, “How the hell do you remember this song from 20 years ago?”

I may be more entertained than he is, but I find it so fun(ny) to jam out to songs that came out when I was just a kid and had no idea what the actual lyrics meant. Music has such a cool way of bringing back the most random of memories.

Enter 112’s “Peaches and Cream.” 

peach muffins-3

The song came out in 2001 when I was in 8th grade. It brings me back to the days of hanging at my grandma’s house in their computer room with my then girlfriends, giggling as we talked to complete strangers in online chatrooms and lied about our ages.

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I got away with a lot of teenage shenanigans at my grandma’s growing up, and I don’t think that these girls were the best influences on me. This was also around the time that they persuaded me to call a psychic hotline on my grandma’s landline phone, and we spent an obscene amount of money having our futures “told” – but I digress.

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I remember playing “Peaches & Cream” along with songs like, City High’s “What Would You Do” and Usher’s “U Remind Me.” I was more of a late bloomer and I’m pretty sure that these girls understood the meaning of these songs better than I did, but you better believe that I knew all the words.

I swear, I have a point! I’m telling you guys all of this because it’s how I came up with today’s recipe…

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12 Recipe Ideas for the 4th of July

Happy (almost) 4th of July weekend to all of my fellow Americans!

Despite the adversities that we as a country face (ahem, one of which is a certain person who has diarrhea of the mouth running for president), I’m proud to be an America. I’m proud to live in a country where a woman like me can be whoever she wants to be.

Looking for 4th of July recipe ideas? In honor of our celebration of independence, today I’m sharing 12 recipes that make a great fit to whip up over this long holiday weekend!

#1. Let’s kick this list off with my most patriotic looking recipe: red, white & blueberry pancakes!

July 4th pancakes-3

Made with oats, banana, and ground flaxseed, and topped with a maple blueberry sauce, fresh strawberries & shredded coconut, these pancakes are a dreamy holiday brunch idea for this weekend. {vegan + gluten free}

Lemon Twist Hummus

#2. Need an easy appetizer idea to bring to a get together? Try this yummy lemon twist hummus! Bring a batch with some pita chips & veggie dippers. {vegan + gluten free}

Mediterranean Feta Hummus Dip-5

#3. Wanna go a little fancier than lemon hummus? Try this Mediterranean dip – lemon hummus with a layer of feta + veggies on top! {gluten free}

avocado fruit salsa-2

#4. Spice up your burgers with this tropical avocado fruit salsa. {vegan + gluten free}

Greek pasta salad

#5. This Greek pasta salad is a light, easy addition to any BBQ!

bruschetta-5-1024x768#6. This white bean bruschetta is whipped up by spreading cannellini bean hummus on toasted fresh bread, then topping with a tomato mixture.

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Tomato, Artichoke & Spinach Pizza Bites


Whew, it’s been a busy week – so busy that I didn’t get to do my usual Wednesday blog post yesterday. I’ve been pretty consistent with a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule for awhile, and it’s rare that I’m here on a Thursday…well hi friends!

So shall we hop right into the topic at hand? Delicious food, of course.

Spinach Artichoke & Tomato BitesLast year I planted an herb and veggie garden, and out of everything, my tomato plant has flourished the most. It’s a total hog that has crowded the rest of my raised garden bed, and at some point last summer it overtook the zucchini plant next to it.

As it grows and spreads out of control, we continue tying it to new wooden sticks to hold its different ever-growing branches upright. Certainly no complaints here though, because it’s been producing lots of gorgeous tomatoes!

ripe tomato-feb 2016

The tomato plant growth slowed when we were hit with some colder winter weather for awhile, but ever since we had a stretch of 80 degree days and a couple of rain storms at the beginning of the year, it’s been providing me with some pretty veggies. Or fruit, if you want to get all technical.

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My homegrown tomatoes were the spark for this recipe, as I was trying to come up with some fun, new ways to use the ripe tomatoes I had just picked and thrown into my fruit basket.

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My Top 5 Hot Breakfast Ideas

I absolutely love starting my day on a healthy note, which is why my mornings always include a nutritious breakfast. There’s a reason why our morning eats are called the most important meal of the day: Breakfast breaks the fast that your body has been enduring overnight, gives you energy, and gets your metabolism revved early in the day.

In honor of February being National Hot Breakfast Month, today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite hot morning meals with you guys. Let’s get to it!

protein blueberry pancakes

1.) Protein pancakes. A week never goes by without me making pancakes of some sort! Here’s one of my go-to protein pancake batter recipes:

Combine the following in a blender just until combined, then form into a couple of pancakes on a griddle over medium-low heat. Cook until lightly browned on each side, and pair with your favorite toppers…. such as sliced strawberries, blueberries cooked in the batter, some dark chocolate chips thrown in, banana slices + peanut butter topper… the possibilities are endless!  

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 2 TBSP whole wheat flour or other flour of choice
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon
  • Dash of salt & sweetener (I use either stevia or honey)
  • ¼ TSP baking powder

avo toast with apple

2.) Avocado toast. I’m kind of obsessed with avocado, and love incorporating it into this simple breakfast: Mash some avocado on a slice of freshly toasted wheat bread, and add a squeeze of fresh lemon & a sprinkle of sea salt. I often pair it with a sliced, cinnamon sprinkled apple.

Vans waffles with baked apple

3.) Van’s apple cinnamon waffles. I first started eating Van’s waffles when I had a brief stint with trying out a gluten free diet, and ever since then a box of them can often be found in my freezer. My favorite variety is their apple cinnamon waffles, and my go-to ways to eat them are a.) with baked apple chunks and honey, or b.) with banana slices, nut butter & honey:

Vans waffles with banana & nut butter

Van’s waffles are such an easy breakfast to throw together when I’m in a rush. Yum!

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