One Pan Tofu Ratatouille

I love eggplant, but it often looks intimidating and I usually turn to more familiar squashes like zucchini or yellow squash. However, when passing it in the store the other day, I felt inspired to purchase a single eggplant and create a new dish.
Eggplant’s peak season is July-October, so while this dish is delicious year round, I always suggest focusing your meals on produce that is in season so it is freshest and often a more environmentally friendly choice.
I have never made ratatouille before, but I knew the gist of the ingredients and the texture of this signature Italian dish. I decided to add in some tofu for an added protein kick, which I added to the pan first to enhance its crispiness. The whole meal was made in about 20 minutes and all in one pan, which my boyfriend who is on perpetual dish duty was certainly grateful for.
This recipe makes two HUGE servings with are each under 200 calories, 23 grams of carbs (7.5 which are fiber) and 12 grams of protein!

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Makes 2 large servings or 6 sides

Ingredients:
1/2 large eggplant, cubed
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh organic spinach
½ container extra firm tofu, cubed (you could use any protein of your choice)
1 cup organic diced tomatoes
¼ teaspoon each dried basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin and garlic
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, heat oil and garlic. Once fragrant, add in tofu to heat. Once tofu is lightly golden brown, add sliced onion and eggplant and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring often until onions are translucent and eggplant is somewhat soft. Add in chopped bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through.

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Toss in your dark greens and mix. Once greens wilt, add in diced tomatoes and seasoning. Stir together and let mixture simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Top with chopped basil.

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Steamin’ hot!

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Poached Pesto Cod

When I want a simple, yet filling dish to cook up for dinner, I often turn to fish. Throwing it on the pan with a side of vegetables is super easy, and with just a few added steps, you can make a dish that looks (and most importantly, tastes) restaurant worthy.
Poaching sounds so daunting, but here you will see it’s actually super easy! It is also a very healthy and delicious way to cook fish since it requires no oil and instead uses indirect heat which results in tender, moist (sorry for any of you who hate that word) fish.
Here I sauteed vegetables to serve as the base for my fish and served the poached fish on top, drizzled with a pesto sauce. Make sure to use a low sodium broth in this recipe though because otherwise the sauce gets super salty when combines with already salty pesto. I recommend using Pacific/ Atlantic line or pot-caught Pacific cod as it is an ocean-friendly seafood choice due to the fact that its populations are well-managed and the fishing gear used is environmentally friendly.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ⅓ cup sliced mushrooms
⅓ cup sliced onion
2 6 oz cod fillets
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons pesto (try my low fat pesto recipe here!)

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions into the pan and stir occasionally for about 2 minutes until onions soften.
Sprinkle both sides of cod with salt and pepper.
Place mushrooms and onions to create an even later in the pan and place the cod on top.
Bump up the heat to high and pour in the broth. Next, cover the pan and cooked for 4-6 more minutes until cod is just cooked through.

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With a slotted spoon, transfer the cod and mushrooms and onions to a large serving plate and cover to keep warm.
Continue to cook the broth over high heat, uncovered for about 5 minutes, until reduced to about ¼ cup. Once reduced, turn off heat and add in the pesto. Pour this finished sauce over your fish and vegetables.

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Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

Burrito bowls are a wonderful thing. Passing on the tortilla, you’re skipping the nutrition-less carbs and focusing on a burrito’s main attraction, the filling.
While I have made cauliflower “rice” on multiple occasions, it never had occured to me until waiting in line at my local Chipotle that I could in fact use this concoction to make my own, more nutrient dense version of the standard burrito bowl.
The next day I put my idea to the test and was beyond happy with the results. Since the rice is not the star but the base in a traditional burrito bowl, replacing it with riced cauliflower truly mimics the signature texture and taste when lime and seasoning is added. While I thoroughly enjoyed my choice of toppings, feel free to get creative with whatever vegetables, beans, etc. you choose. The sky (or the size of your bowl) is the limit!

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Serves 2
Ingredients:
4 cups roughly chopped cauliflower
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro/parsley
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 large white onion onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
½ cup mushrooms. chopped
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Taco seasoning (or mix of chili, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper)
Salt and pepper

Optional Toppings:
Shredded cheese
Fresh pico/salsa
Avocado slices/Guacamole
Plain Greek yogurt
Hot sauce
Shredded lettuce
Protein of choice (I used Siracha marinated tofu)

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Directions:
Pulse cauliflower in a blender or food processor until it resembles rice. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until hot. Add chopped cilantro/parsley and lime juice to the “rice” and mix well.

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Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, and peppers to skillet until mostly softened. With about a minute of cooking remaining, add beans to heat through, about 1 minute.
Top mixture with about 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning and stir to coat.
Separate rice into two bowl and divide vegetable mixture to each of the bowls.
Top with cheese, salsa/pico, avocado/guacamole and/or greek yogurt.

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Quinoa Almond Salad

Every week on Sunday I like to make a large jar of grains to use throughout the week. I don’t really like to meal prep because I like to be inspired by what looks good at the farmer’s market or grocery store and I can’t anticipate what I will be craving a few days in advance. However, I have found that making a grain in bulk before the week picks up really cuts down on my dinner prep time and adding a few simple ingredients keeps the monotony at bay.
I generally like to rotate between lentils, brown rice, wild rice, or in this case, quinoa. Switching it up each week means I don’t get bored of the same old grain.DSCN4778
For this recipe I added a few ingredients and was pretty surprised at how gourmet it tasted! While the rosemary olive oil is optional, it really adds to the unique depth of flavor in this dish. I received this olive oil and red wine vinegar from a friend and it comes from a vineyard in Napa Valley that has amazing wine as well as oil and vinegar. You can even sign up for wine or their “Food Lover’s Club” to get these delivered.
Though I ate my creation as a side dish, it would be great as a base for a quinoa bowl or served on a bed of greens as a salad.DSCN4793

Serves 1

Ingredients:
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ tablespoon sliced almonds
1 ½ teaspoons rosemary olive oil, I used Round Pond (regular olive oil is OK)
1 ½ – 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:
Put everything but sliced almonds in a bowl and mix. Add in sliced almonds and stir to incorporate. It’s that easy!