Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy Mexican Salad Three Ways at Once - Whole30, Vegan, Vegetarian!

Easy Mexican Salad Three Ways at Once - Whole30, Vegan, Vegetarian!
(*Picture to come!)

This one is easy to throw together and satisfy three different audiences - Whole30 adherents, vegan/no dairy peeps, and vegetarians/'fickletarians' (as I affectionately call my little picky eaters).

Ingredients (makes 4 total servings - assumes 1 Whole30, 1 vegan, 2 vegetarian):

Base salad-

1 bag of your favorite greens from TJ's (I like green leaf lettuce mixed with shredded carrot and radicchio)
1 zucchini, diced
1/3 white onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Garlic powder to taste
Paprika to taste
4 large mushrooms, sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Juice of half a lime

Additional options based on eating style-

3 oz. Whole30-compliant meat of choice (cooked chicken or steak/brisket works well), reheated and chopped
1/2 can cooked black beans
1/2 can cooked corn kernels
Handful shredded TJ's Mexican cheese blend
2 handfuls broken tortilla chips (I save the small bits at the bottom of the bag for this purpose!)
Handful raw pepitas
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 habanero, finely diced

Non-Whole30 dressing-
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


1.  In a saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and zucchini.  Sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika, mixing well and stirring regularly.  Continue for a couple of minutes and add onion and lime juice.  Continue stirring and cooking for several minutes until soft, then remove from heat to cool down.  (You can then cook the bell pepper the same way if you want to keep it separate from the other veggies because your fickletarians don't want it touching their other veggies; if they're cooler than mine, then you can cook the bell pepper along with the zucchini and onion.)

2.  Combine greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, radishes, cilantro, and avocado.  Mix well.  Once cool, add zucchini/onion mixture and mix well.  Be careful to overmix at any point because avocado will get smushy and thereby render itself inedible for fickletarians.

3.  For Whole 30 option, remove serving from main bowl and put in separate bowl.  Top with meat and half of pepitas (and some habanero, if desired).  (Add 1/2 cooked bell pepper here if you're being held hostage by fickletarians.)  Drizzle with Whole30 compliant dressing, such as olive oil and lemon juice.  

4.  Add corn and beans to main bowl and mix.  Mix dressing ingredients separately and stir into salad.  

5.  For vegan option, remove serving from main bowl and put in separate bowl.  Add rice, remaining pepitas, and habanero if desired.  (Add bell pepper here if you've given over your life to fickletarians.)

6.  For vegetarian/fickletarian option, set tortilla chips on a large plate and sprinkle with cheese.  Microwave for approximately 15 seconds.  Mix 'nachos' into salad and serve. Watch fickletarians pick through the salad with their grimy little fingers, scooping out the chips and cheese until you beg, plead, and cajole them into eating the rest of it.  As they do, watch their faces as they realize with horror that this is a salad that they actually LIKE!  ;)

Thursday, July 16, 2015



It's healthy, it's easy, it's absolutely DELICIOUS!

It may not look like much, but it packs a flavor punch!


1 cup fresh or frozen peas (thawed)
4 tablespoons walnuts
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. tahini
4-8 mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt (or less if using salty crackers like Ritz)
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.  You may need to add a bit more olive oil or lemon juice to get the right consistency.

2.  Serve with your favorite crackers or veggies.


*Perfect appetizer or potluck item.

*Great way to get kids to eat veggies (if they like garlic).

*Packed with nutrients and protein.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015




1 piece of toast (recommend Ezekiel/sprouted/whole grain/whole protein)
1/4 avocado
Few drops of lemon juice
Smoked paprika
Fresh ground pepper


Spread avocado on toast, sprinkle with lemon, pepper, and paprika.


*Add a sliced hard boiled egg for additional protein.




1 piece toast (recommend Ezekiel or other whole grain/sprouted/whole protein bread)
1 tomato, sliced
2-3 Tbsp. non-fat ricotta cheese
Few fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper


1.  Spread with ricotta.

2.  Sprinkle with pepper and olive oil.

3.  Layer on one sliced tomato and a few torn basil leaves. Voila!




1 yellow squash, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
Few Tbsp. olive oil
Garlic powder, to taste
1 tsp. coriander
2 Tbsp. dried cilantro
Sprinkle chili powder
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 tomatoes, diced
Spinach (1/2 bag, or two handfuls)
Tortilla chips
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
Fresh cilantro for garnish


1.  Sautee squash and onion in olive oil for 3-5 minutes.

2.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, cilantro, coriander, and chili powder.

3.  Douse with lime juice and add stir in corn, beans and tomato and cook for a few more minutes.

4.  Add spinach, turn off heat, stir until spinach is wilted.

5.  Serve over brown rice, topped with crumbled tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro and jalapeno.


*Leave out jalapeno if you're feeding kidlets, and consider sprinkling with shredded cheese or vegan cheese. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014



One pie pumpkin from Trader Joe's (or 2 cups canned pumpkin)
1/2 large jalapeno
1/8 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. crushed garlic
1 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 small Meyer lemon, halved and seeded
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon


1.  If using fresh pumpkin, slice in half lengthwise, dispose of stem, seeds and strings.  Place halves face down in small glass dish, covered with foil, with 1/4" water in 375 degree oven for 1 hour.  Allow to cool slightly and scoop pumpkin out of shell.

2.  Add all ingredients except lemon to food processor and blend well until smooth.  During blending, add juice of the lemon and half of the lemon peel.

3.  Serve with hearty chips, such as blue tortilla chips.


*Pumpkin is unbelievably good for you!  See, e.g.,

*You may like this even if (like me) you're not a huge hummus fan.

*Careful not to overdo the coconut milk, tahini or olive oil; you'll taste it more than any other flavor.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


(OK, may be closer to 310 calories)

Well, they said it would happen, and it finally metabolism seems to have slooooowed down.  Gone are the days of piling noodles high on a plate with all manner of sauces and cheese and whatnot.  Gotta start cutting the calories, but I'm definitely not cutting the flavor.  So, without further ado, my first calorie-conscious recipe..

(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cups dry Trader Joe's Brown Rice Fusilli
Splash of olive oil
1/8 cup Trader Joe's Basil Pesto Sauce
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 dried red chili peppers, chopped or torn into small bits
2 fresh basil leaves, cut or torn into small bits
2 medium tomatoes (I like Campari from Costco), chopped
Shake of black pepper
Shake of garlic powder


1.  Bring pot of water to a boil, adding a splash of olive oil.
2.  Add pasta, stir, cook for 7 minutes stirring frequently to unstick pieces.
3.  Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
4.  Place pesto in pot and stir in pasta.
5.  Split evenly between two plates and sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp. cheese, pepper, garlic powder, 1 tomato, 1 chili pepper, and 1 basil leaf.


*Pair with a low-ish calorie protein for a complete dinner meal.

*To be honest, this alone is not likely to fill you up (unless you have a remarkably small tank!).  But it gives you the chance to have some of what you really want (pasta!  pesto!  cheese!) and then supplement with a piece of fruit or vegetable (spinach is an easy, healthy and low-cal choice) and still stay under a respectable 400 calories.

*Kids can rinse the pasta, stir the pesto, or tear the basil.