layered vegetable enchiladas

Last week I was craving Mexican, but without all of the ground beef or flank steak.  I knew I had to use some creative marketing to convince BJ to forgo the meat – I was hoping that if I said “vegetables” over and over, it might just work (the man loves veggies).  I couldn’t have picked a more delicious dish to con convince my husband to eat a vegetarian dinner; Layered Vegetable Enchiladas is the perfect weeknight dinner or dinner party pleaser.

It’s easy, and it looks beautiful (so much so that I wanted to photograph it more than I wanted to eat it).

Ingredients
1 can corn (15 oz)
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3-4 limes
bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 can black beans (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
chili powder
salt & pepper
8 tortillas
3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large pot, combine corn, green/red peppers, red onion, juice from 2 limes, tomatoes, chili powder, salt & pepper, and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash black beans with cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, and salt & pepper.   Arrange 4-6 large tortillas on a large baking sheet (spray with Olive Oil or Pam).  Spread bean mixture evenly on each tortilla.  Top each with 1/2 cup of vegetable mixture and cheese.  Layer each tortilla on top of each other; top remaining tortilla with vegetable mixture and cheese.  Bake until hot throughout, about 20 minutes.  Transfer to plate; garnish with lime wedge, fresh cilantro, and serve.

Enjoy!

 

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Mocha Banana Protein Soft Serve

Hello readers! My name is Kammie and I am a healthy living food blogger over at Sensual Appeal Blog and a Fitfluential Ambassador. I live over in the beautiful city of Chicago and I’m currently a senior in college. Being a student, my life is all about balancing what’s important – school, work, hobbies, fitness, and healthy eating. I’m managing quite well and that’s mainly thanks to the accountability of the blog and preparing easy healthy recipes which I’ve been learning since starting my blog in March.

I am thrilled to be here at {will run for margaritas} to share something delicious with you guys. As you probably already know, post-workout or post-run eats are hugely important in proper recovery. My recovery meals range from protein oats, shakes, eggs, or…. soft serve. Wait, soft serve? Yes! Because I have an enormous sweet tooth and just because I like to eat healthy doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my preferences and my sweet tooth… like chocolate? No way, I could never give up chocolate. So today I am sharing with you guys my go-to quick recovery meal, a Mocha Banana Protein Soft Serve. Are you ready for this? I hope so.

I used to drink my favorite recovery meal as a regular protein shake at first. The Mocha Banana protein shake was one of my first recipes to be posted on my blog and I’ve been drinking it quite a lot ever since. I recently tweaked it to make it more decadent tasting. Because I’d rather feel like I’m eating dessert. That’s just me and my huge sweet tooth. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I hope you make this delicious vegan recovery snack/breakfast/dessert/whatever-else-it-could-count-as. It’s not only healthy and vegan, it also has no sugar added! So you can have no guilt for satisfying that mocha craving.

Ingredients (serves 1)
2/3 frozen banana
5-6 ice cubes
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Isopure)
1 tsp Inka (or instant coffee)
1 Tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1 Tbsp oat bran
1/8 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1/8 tsp agar powder (optional)
shake of cinnamon
1/3 – 1/2 cup almond milk

Instructions
Put the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Add a little bit of almond milk at a time, just to get everything going. Add more to make the mixture blend easier if it gets stuck. The outcome will be thick and creamy, of soft serve consistency. Top with cereal if desired (I used Sally’s Natural Cocoa cereal).

 

Enjoy!

cucumber “noodle” salad

It’s official: I can’t stop eating cucumber “noodle” salad – it’s seriously like a party in my mouth {BJ thinks I’m crazed} I love that I can taste every flavor (I could eat fresh mint & cilantro everyday), but at the same time, it’s the perfect blend and not-overpowering.  The best part?  It’s healthy and super easy to make!

Ingredients:
Cucumber
Red Onion
Scallion
Mint
Cilantro
Peanuts (optional)
Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Skin the cumcumber and cut into two – julienne half of the cumber (to give it a noodle-like apperance) and thinly slice the other half.  Chop red onion, scallion, mint, and cilantro.  Combine ingredients.  Add salt & pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar.  Top with peanuts.

Enjoy! 

 

Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami

Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Salami looks a lot more fancy to make than it actually is.  This dish is perfect for a quick, post-work/run dinner or dinner with friends and wine.  The flavors blend together nicely to create a dish that dances on your taste buds – salty (kalamata olives) and sweet (cherry tomatoes) – just what I like.

 Ingredients 
30 cherry tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt & pepper
8 oz spicy salami
2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 box Rigatoni pasta (8 – 10 oz)

 

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 8-10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.
2. Bring pot of salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, heat EVOO in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add salami, cook for 30 seconds on each side.  Remove salami from pan and reserve.  Return pan to heat, add garlic and saute.  Add tomatoes and saute for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add wine, simmer for 3 minutes.  Add olives.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and add the salami and parsley.  Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water for 8 minutes, until al dente.  Drain and toss it in the pan with the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Note: For all of my vegetarians, this dish is great without the salami, too.  The flavors really mesh and it’s a delicious party for your taste buds – salami or no salami.

Enjoy!

 

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

I’ve been enforcing encouraging “Meatless Monday” at the Jones household (and yes, I’m aware today is not Monday – although I’ll admit, I just barely know what day it is).  We don’t eat a ton of meat as it is, but I think it’s important to make a conscious decision to avoid it once/week.  I was originally craving Chicken Tortilla Soup, but felt that with the right spices and ingredients, this soup would flourish without chicken.  I was right.  This Vegetarian Tortilla Soup was a huge hit and full of flavor.  It’s super easy to make – it’s a real crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 can (12 oz) corn
2 cans (24 oz) black beans
2 containers (32 oz) Vegetable broth
1 large can (15 oz), diced tomatoes
1 can (4 oz) diced chilies {I use mild}
3 -4 cloves of garlic
1-2 limes, juice
Handful of fresh, chopped cilantro

Spices {be bold, add or substitute spices as desired}
Cumin
Paprika
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Oregano
Salt & Pepper
Nature’s Seasoning
Chili & Smoked Sea Salt grinder {Trader Joe’s}

Directions
In a large pot, over medium heat, saute onion, red pepper, and green pepper until soft.  Add garlic, fresh cilantro, and spices, cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the green chilies, diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, juice from 1 lime, and vegetable broth.  Cook until warmed through.

Serve in bowls garished with avocado, mexican cheese, tortilla chips and lime wedge.
{other toppings include: sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro}

Enjoy!

 

{recipe was adapted, and made my own, from various recipes that I found online}

Thai Chicken Pasta

BJ  and I have a friend that is currently living in Kabul (yes, Afghanistan).  I don’t want to get into details – but let’s just say it’s not very fun over there.  Dave is home for 3 weeks and had one request: Thai Chicken Pasta.

This recipe is full of wonderful flavors and beautiful colors.  It’s great for parties or leftovers  {it actually tastes better 1-2 days later}.  While it’s not difficult to make, there is a lot of chopping, grating, slicing involved – but it’s totally worth it!

This one’s for you Dave!

Ingredients
1 lb chicken
1/2 lb vermicelli noodles
1/4 lb snow peas or sugar snap peas
2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 head sliced savoy or napa cabbage
2 scallions minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 cup peanuts
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

chicken pasta

Cook noodles al dente as instructed on package, rinse under cold water.  Meanwhile, brown chicken until cooked (I like to cook the chicken in a light teriyaki sauce).  Chop, slice, grate vegetables.  Toss all ingredients together and dress with the vinaigrette.

Note: Add bean sprouts last & reserve some vinaigrette to be added before serving (noodles will drink up the sauce)

Enjoy!

 

Italian Wedding Soup

The other night all BJ wanted for dinner was soup or stew – specifically (and I quote) “something hearty”.  I wasn’t so much in the mood for beef stew (or the likes), so I racked my brain for something substantial enough for my hubs and “light” enough for me.

This recipe, adapted from Barefoot Contessa, was a huge (and I mean, HUGE) hit at the Jones household.  BJ talked about the soup of 8 days.  I am not kidding.  If you are looking for an easy but delicious soup, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Author Notes/Substitutions:
I used chicken/turkey/basil sausage from Trader Joe’s; I used both panko and italian bread crumbs; I used orzo instead of tubetini/stars; I completely eliminated dill from the recipe (it’s just weird)

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the soup
:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

Enjoy!

Green {or red} Smoothie

My parents have owned a Vita Mix for 17 years {one (or I) could argue that the Vita Mix is the single greatest advancement in the history of blenders}.   Every morning my mom would make fresh fruit smoothies before I left for school.  It was kind-of-a-big-deal and all of my friends would ask for “Vita Mix” smoothies, too.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that my smoothie was “healthy” – made only with natural, organic fruit and veggies.  Now that I’m an adult, I’ve wanted a Vita Mix for years – but they are really expensive and I couldn’t justify spending that amount of money on a blender.

Over Thanksgiving break, BJ and I went to Florida to visit my family.   My dad is retired Military, so we have access to the PX (post-exchange) – the perfect place for discounts & tax-free shopping.  Coincidently, there was a Vita Mix demo at the PX on the same day that we decided to shop.  Score!  The Vita Mix is amazing – it can make smoothies, sorbet, soup, bread dough, dips, butter & more.  And, it’s all healthy!  That day, Vita Mix was a offering a deal that BJ and I could not pass up – so we bought one on the spot and decided that it would be a Christmas gift to each other. We hauled that bad-boy all the way back up to Virginia and haven’t stopped making smoothies since!

This Green Smoothie recipe is the perfect (and simple) way to start your day!
{and, no, you don’t need a Vita Mix to make this recipe}

  • Handful of Kale
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1 kiwi, leave skin on
  • 1 apple, leave skin on & remove seeds/core
  • ½ cup of water
  • Handful of ice cubes

Blend on High until smooth

For a Red Smoothie, add:

  • ½ Banana
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • Handful Blackberries
  • 2-3 Strawberries

 Enjoy!

 

Favorite Snack: Wasa Crispbread {Giveaway}

I’ve been a Wasa Crispbread fan for years, so I was excited to sample three flavors that I had never tried: Fiber, Sesame and Whole Grain. If you aren’t familiar with Wasa, it’s a health food that doesn’t taste like a health food. What I love most about Wasa is the crunchy taste (think pretzel) but without all of the calories (think bagel, english muffin). For breakfast, I eat my Wasa like a bagel – with whipped cream cheese, apple butter or honey. For a snack, I eat my Wasa with hummus, veggies, or cheese. I’ve also been know to substitute or add Wasa to my breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner routine (it’s that good!).To all of my triathletes: I took the Wasa Crispbreads to my group-triathlonhouse this past weekend and it was a huge hit post-race!

Favorite Recipes

 

Peanut Butter and Banana on Wasa  
Ingredients 
1 piece Wasa Whole Wheat Crispbread

1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/3 banana, sliced

1 teaspoon dark chocolate, grated
Directions
Spread peanut butter over Wasa Crispbread. Cut the banana in slices and place on the peanut butter. Spread dark chocolate on top.

Margherita Pizza on Wasa
Ingredients 
1 piece Wasa Sourdough Crispbread

2 slices fresh mozzarella

2 slices plum tomato

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 leaf basil

Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Slice the tomato and the mozzarella and place on Wasa Crispbread. Give 20 seconds in the microwave or a minute under the broiler. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, and garnish with basil.

Yogurt and Fresh Berries on Wasa
Ingredients 
1 piece Wasa Hearty Crispbread

2 tablespoons plain yogurt (low fat)

¼ cup mixed berries (e.g., raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, fresh or frozen)
Directions
Spread yogurt on Wasa Crispbread and top with berries.

Giveaway
One winner will receive 3 packages of Wasa – Fiber, Sesame and Whole Wheat (one of each)

To enter you have to follow of my blog (leave a comment).

Extra entries (please leave a comment for each):

 

  • “Like” {will run for margaritas} on Facebook – leave a comment
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook page – link to {will run for margaritas} – leave a comment
  • Tweet this giveaway on Twitter – I just entered the @run4margaritas Wasa Crispbread giveaway www.willrunformargaritas.com – leave a comment
  • “Like” Wasa on Facebook – leave a comment 

The giveaway will run until noon EST on Friday, September 30, at which time I will close the post for comments, choose 1 winner via Random.org and announce the winner with a (new) blog post.

Disclaimer: I was provided Wasa Crispbreads free of charge.  Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review. 

Simple Summer Salad {Green Bean & Celery Salad}

I have a thing for green beans and celery.  I love the crunchiness and ease of eating – you can take them on the go and don’t have to worry about making a mess, having sticky fingers, or using a knife. I didn’t really think about eating them together, in a salad, but finding this recipe made me think twice.  All things crunchy, in a salad, tossed with a delicious homemade dressing. Don’t mind if I do!

Ingredients:
Green Beans
Celery
Shallot
Lemon
Dijon Mustard
EVOO
Salt & Pepper

Directions:
Boil 3/4 pound halved green beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes, drain. Meanwhile, chop celery and mince shallot. Combine green beans, celery, and shallots in a bowl; toss with dressing.

Dressing:
Whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, a pinch of salt & pepper and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Add 1 minced shallot, 2 tablespoons capers, a handful each of chopped parsleyand celery leaves, and a pinch of pepper.

Enjoy!


Don’t forget about my Brooks EZ T Giveaway {HERE} & my Picky Bars Giveaway {HERE}