Mexican Rice Bowl

This weekend I went to visit a friend for her birthday. And man did it feel good to get out of town.

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It will full of manicures and ice cream, 90’s movies and girl talk. It was just what I needed.

Now that I am back in the rush of grad school life, the recipes are quick and easy. Ain’t nobody got time for crazy recipes that take an hour for prep and an hour to bake + a million ingredients. Ain’t nooo–body got time for that.

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Except if it’s worth it or if it’s the weekend or something like that. But it’s not the weekend. It’s a Tuesday. And I’m sending an easy recipe your way.

Oh, also? Speaking of friends hanging out and doing awesome things? She decided to choose a focus for her blog, and started with the 365 days of pictures. And, because I’m a total copycat, I’m doing the same. Check it out on my Instagram.

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Mexican Rice Bowl

1/2 c brown rice
1/4 c broccoli slaw
2 mini bell peppers (or 1/2 regular bell pepper), sliced or chopped
1/4 avocado, sliced
3 tbsp salsa (or just a big dollop)
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or just a normal sized dollop)
3 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp shredded Mexican cheese

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Combine remaining ingredients.
3. If desired, microwave for 30-60 seconds to melt the cheese slightly.

Thai Quinoa Bowl

Now, I don’t meant to brag, but this is good.

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Seriously, Ambitious Kitchen. You really did it this time. My boyfriend was drooling and if we weren’t so full from the deliciousness the first time, we would have been going back for seconds.

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I guess I have been afraid of slaws. I don’t know why but they just seem… intimidating. But have no fear, people. I’m sure you don’t, but just in case… Just buy a bag of broccoli slaw! I couldn’t find cabbage, but I feel like broccoli is more nutritious than cabbage (I should probably actually know that since I’ll be a dietitian in a few years…), and it worked out perfectly.

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Gotta love Thai food. Spicy meets nutty meets delicious. I see lots of Asian food in my future. Spring rolls and lettuce wraps and who knows what else.

Thai Quinoa Bowl
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

3/4 c uncooked quinoa
2 c broccoli slaw
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 c red onion, diced
1/2 c carrots, shredded or diced (use more if broccoli slaw doesn’t include carrots)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c cashew calves

Dressing:
1/4 c crunchy all natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp ginger
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stir to combine once peanut butter is melty.
3. Combine quinoa, dressing, and remaining ingredients. Sprinkle fresh cilantro on top for garnish.

Caprese Lasagna

I’ve done it again. Something caprese and delicious.

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Something about caprese + carbs is delicious. A perfect marriage of fresh and hearty.

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When you bake this, the mozzarella gets all melty and gooey and perfect.

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Just make this, close your eyes, and pretend you’re in Italy. Maybe make a Bellini while you’re at it. And a cannoli for dessert?..

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Caprese Lasagna

4 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 plum tomato, sliced
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, torn or julienned
1/3 c fresh mozzarella
3/4 c tomato sauce
Shredded Italian cheese blend
Italian breadcrumbs

1. Cook noodles according to directions.
2. Drain noodles and lay out on a flat surface (ex: aluminum foil over cookie sheet).
3. Place tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil evenly on noodles, such as some on each end and some in the middle.
4. Roll noodles up and place in baking dish.
5. Pour tomato sauce over noodles, and sprinkle shredded cheese and breadcrumbs on top.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes on 350°F.

Tortellini Salad

So today is Labor Day.

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The last of summer, the last of white pants and neon everything. The last of picnics and days at the pool, the last of margaritas on the deck and watermelon seed contests.

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You better enjoy today because summer has come and gone and it is about to be fall, people.

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But for your Labor Day celebrations, I’ve made a tortellini salad for you. This salad can be cold and served picnic-style or it can be hot and served for dinner after a long day at the lake or pool.

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Tortellini Salad
Adapted from The Alchemist

1 package tortellini
1/3 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c black olives, drained and rinsed
1 c spinach
3 large basil leaves, julienne
1/4 c feta
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used flavored: cilantro garlic!)
1 tbsp olive oil (I used flavored: sun-dried tomato and parmesan!)

1. Cook tortellini according to directions.
2. Place tomatoes, olives and spinach in a large bowl. Top with hot pasta to allow the spinach to wilt slightly.
3. Top with feta, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or cold.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad

They have a new pumpkin line out at Bath & Body Works and I am in love.

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Things like pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin caramel latte candles are sweeping the store, and I need them.

I am on the fence about fall, though. I’m ready for school, for structure and learning and a challenge and the road to being a dietitian. I am ready to smell these candles for the rest of my life (if they go on sale and I buy them..). I am not ready, however, for jeans and falling leaves and nippy air and being cold at night. I still want to wear dresses and sip mojitos and eat watermelon on my back porch.

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I am also not prepared for being a real person. While I am not in the real world, I am having to figure out how this whole electricity, gas, renters insurance, and internet thing works. Apparently you’re supposed to allow a two weeks heads-up at the electricity company, but because there is someone still living in my apartment, I can’t set up my internet.

So I was all willy nilly, hanging out, relaxing until the 1st of August to deal with these things and then holy mackerel it’s August 2nd and I need electricity sooner than two weeks or they won’t let me in if I don’t have it and now I want to crawl in a hole and cry because WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DANG STRESSFUL?

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Let’s just hope this is one of those moments that is stressful in the moment and we laugh about later. Sound good? I thought so. Who wants feta + avocado + peas + quinoa? Cheese heals stress. Duh.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad
Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod

1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c peas
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 c feta
1/4 c pine nuts

For dressing:
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro (about 5-6 small leaves or 3-4 big ones)

1. Combine quinoa, peas, avocado, and feta.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a mini food processor, and drizzle over quinoa salad.