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.

Ingredients:

  • 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…

 

Vegan Pesto Zoodles with Fresh Tomatoes

Zoodles are oodles of fun, especially during tomato season! Upgrade any pasta dish with veggie noodles for a healthier meal that’s low in carbs, calories, and high in fiber. This one just happens to be meatless, vegetarian, vegan, and you won’t even miss the meat or cheese one bit! I used the inspiralizer to make noodles out of zucchini and summer squash before adding fresh tomatoes and a vegan pesto that is out of this world. Ready to be inspiralized?

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Ingredients: (makes two servings)

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

Use Inspiralizer (or your tool of choice) to make noodles out of the zucchini and squash. Put noodles aside on a plate, sprinkle sea salt over noodles, and let sit to drain some of the liquid. For pesto, in a Vitamix, blender, or food processor, combine arugula, basil, nuts, avocado, 1 tablespoon olive oil, nutritional  yeast, and the lemon (remove seeds, optional to use juice or peel as well like we do.) Add a few spoonfuls of water if needed, so that mixture blends together.

Put zoodles in a pan on the stove over low heat and add remaining olive oil. Once they start to cook and soften, add pesto and cubed tomato. (For added protein and creaminess, you can also add one egg to the pan at this time.)

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Mix over heat a few more minutes until noodles are all covered in pesto and tomatoes have softened. Remove from heat and serve in pasta bowl, garnish with basil leaves. Bon appetit!

One Healthy Breakdown: There’s nothin’ wrong with a little healthy Italian.

Watermelon Basil Summer Salad

What says summer better than salad watermelon?! This salad will instantly become a summer staple. Soon, any salad without watermelon will seem…incomplete? It’s true. You’ll get it once you try it. Luckily, this one is super simple (like five minutes simple) and the color palette is sure to impress even the most critical BBQ guest. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • dark leafy greens
  • watermelon (cut into cubes)
  • feta cheese
  • fresh basil leaves
  • balsamic vinegar

Simply make a bed of dark leafy greens (we used arugula here, but as long as they’re fresh, any type of greens will do the trick.) Add basil leaves, watermelon cubes, and feta and lightly cover with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle sea salt, black pepper, and toasted hazelnuts if you want to get really fancy. This salad is so fresh, light, and summery that you’ll make it all season long.

One Healthy Breakdown: the salad that screams summer is oh so simple!

Roasted Chickpeas Two Ways

Hummus takes a back seat to these crunchy sweet and savory roasted chickpeas. Roasted chickpeas are super easy, tasty, and healthy. Chickpeas are power packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whether you like sweet or salty, you’re in luck.

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Sweet Roasted Chickpeas: top with coconut oil, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt.

Savory Roasted Chickpeas: top with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, tumeric, sea salt, black pepper, and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper (optional.)

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Simply prep your sweet and/or savory chickpeas and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and pop ’em as is for a snack (great on the go!) or add roasted chickpeas to a salad for a full (vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, meatless Monday) meal.

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One Healthy Breakdown: pass on the potato chips, opt for roasted chickpeas!

Green Cream of Cauli Soup

The simple veggie soup happens to be tasty, hearty, and oh so comforting! Forget mashed potatoes, I give you Green Cream of Cauli Soup, the dish that bridges the gap between comfort food and superfood. Adapted from OHH’s Super Spring Cleanse, it’s like a green juice in a soup. For more detox-friendly recipes and tips, get your cleanse copy now!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into pieces
  • 1.5 cups bone broth, chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large handful organic arugula
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds, nuts of choice, or 1/4 cup Greek yogurt for protein
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Here’s what I did:

  • Boil cauliflower in bone broth
  • Add garlic and basil and continue to cook on medium
  • Once cauliflower is soft, transfer entire mixture to your Vitamix or high-powered blender (you may have to wait until it cools depending on what you have)
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Serve warm, garnish with basil leaf

One Healthy Breakdown: the cleanse-worthy cream of!