Plant-Based Pesto Quinoa

If you follow me on instagram, you know that I set two goals for the month of September: 1. better meal prep and 2. daily meditation. Truth be told, the meal prep is going pretty well. Why it’s more difficult to find the time to  literally sit still than it is to exert effort into things like shopping, chopping, and cooking is beyond me. Meditation is a work in progress…but at least the meal prep is going well. Hey, nobody’s perfect, right?!

Anyway, I typically meal prep on Sundays and I usually roast some chicken and a ton of veggies. Last Sunday, I was a little sick of chicken, so instead made a big batch of quinoa to have throughout the week. I didn’t want the quinoa tasting like bland leftovers, so I decided to mix things up and pesto-fy my quinoa….because anything with pesto is delicious, no?! Plus, not that I’m into labels or anything, but this baby also happens to be vegan/plant-based, gluten free, dairy free, and choc-full of all of your macro-nutrients. Yup, you’ve got protein, carbs, fat, and a serving of greens too – all in this one super simple dish.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, or sub for parmesan cheese if desired)
  • 1/2 cup organic corn

*note: all of my ingredients were organic, but if you’re going to go organic on anything, corn is the most important because conventional corn is so highly GMO. I use frozen organic corn and just thaw it out beforehand.

Cook quinoa (cook however you like to cook your quinoa. I cooked it on the stovetop in 2-3 cups water and a pinch of sea salt.) While quinoa is cooking, make the pesto by combining arugula, basil, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts, and nutritional yeast in food processor (I use a Vitamix.) Toast the other tablespoon of pine nuts, but be sure to watch them because they toast fast! (Truth: toasting nuts usually takes me two attempts because I forget about them and burn them the first time. Don’t do this.)

Turn heat off, but leave pot on the warm stove and stir in pesto, corn, and pine nuts. That’s it! Enjoy for lunch or dinner…all week long!

One Healthy Breakdown: Meatless Monday…and Tuesday…and Wednesday…


The Freshest Shrimp Tacos

Inspired by fresh local produce at the farmer’s market, Deirdre created a light, colorful summer recipe for one of her very favorites: tacos! These shrimp tacos pack tons of flavor and freshness!

IMG_5708Ingredients: (makes 4 tacos)

  • 8 oz. shredded red or green cabbage (or mix)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, washed, peeled, and deveined
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange
  • 3 Limes
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 ears of corn, raw cut right off the cob
  • 2 heaping table spoons of Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • A handful of resh cilantro, chopped
  • Cayenne pepper, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, and hot sauce to taste

For the cabbage corn slaw, combine the following in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • Diced jalapeño to taste
  • Few splashes of hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • A dash of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Corn

Mix and set aside.

For the shrimp, combine:

  • Shrimp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Few dashes of hot sauce

Heat a non-stick pan on med-high. Add a splash of olive oil and sauté shrimp until opaque. Build your tacos on warm tortillas of your choice or top a bed of greens for a taco salad! Add avocado, chopped cilantro and hot sauce (optional.) Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: fresh enough for taco Tuesday or taco any day!

Fresh Corn Salad

This fresh corn salad is perfect for late summer and early fall dinners.



  • 8 ears corn, shucked
  • 3/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 5 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook corn 3 minutes. Drain and immerse in ice water to stop cooking. When cool, cut kernels off cob.

2.In a large bowl, toss corn kernels with diced red onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt and a good amount of freshly ground pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Serve at room temperature.

One Healthy Breakdown: keep that sunny feeling alive with this fresh summer salad.

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

Light Up the Grill, it’s BBQ Season!

It’s barbecue season, baby! In addition to soaking up the sunshine, take advantage of grilling outside. Everything just tastes better on the grill, doesn’t it? Light it up and bring on the bbq’s!


Burgers and dogs aren’t the only things to barbecue, there are so many yummy, healthy options. Grilled veggies taste amazing and are super easy too. All you need is a grill pan. Here’s how:

Eggplant: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried herbs for more flavor. Flip periodically. Grille about 10 minutes.

Zucchini/summer squash: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Use a grill pan.  Grille about 5-10 minutes each side.

Asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts: cut if needed, drizzle with olive oil, and grill away. It’s that simple and SO delicious! Shake them up so that they grill evenly. These smaller veggies only take about 5-10 mins.

Lettuce or cabbage: drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice or red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Romaine works great, it’s a simple delicacy! For cabbage, cut into four wedges and grille sides evenly for about 10 minutes. Lettuce only about five minutes.

Mushrooms: drizzle mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and a little oil. Grille for about eight minutes, flipping halfway through. Place over a salad or use whole grilled portobello mushrooms in place of burgers. Talk about a healthy upgrade!

Onions and peppers: slice onions and/or peppers. Drizzle olive oil and flavor with salt and pepper. Grille in tinfoil or on a grille pan. Great as a side with fish or sausage.

Corn on the cob: Brush with olive or coconut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. If you like a little spice, add cayenne pepper and fresh lime juice. Grille for 15- 20 minutes total.

Garlic or scallions: Using whole bulbs, cut the root end off and brush bulb with olive oil. Grille for about 10 minutes until skin in brown. The perfect addition to flavor any dish.

One Healthy Breakdown: Grab a cold drink and light up the grill. No heavy sauces, no complicated recipes. Just fresh veggies meet grille, nothin’ better.