Sassy Peanut Lettuce Wraps

Yes, I said sassy. Because these are. This is a one-pan, super delicious, high-in-flavor, low-in-calories (under 400!) meal that is great for spring and summer.

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I just made cabbage wraps but lettuce wraps are so.much.easier. There is no steaming or boiling, you just rip off the leaves, stuff them, and enjoy.

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On an unrelated note, I had some chocolate the other day. It’s up for debate if chocolate/cocoa powder is FODMAP-diet approved [I’m 99% sure they just determined it isn’t, which just ruined my whole life], but I gave it a try. Well, my boyfriend got 72% dark chocolate for me and I guess the caffeine got to me because I was wired.

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I “banged out” part of my paper between 8pm and midnight, and I was still rearing to go at 11:59pm. I called it quits due to my 8am, but if you need a chocolate fix AND are pulling a late-nighter? Grab some dark chocolate.

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So back to lettuce wraps. I am loving these. I am all about food you can pick up. It’s just so cute and fun. I also love eating on the floor. I used to hang out on the floor a lot back in the day – listening to music, writing papers, studying – so since this is an Asian dish, and some cultures eat on the floor, I thought I would eat it on the floor. Totally awesome.

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Sassy Asian Lettuce Wraps

1/2 zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 squash, finely chopped
1/4 c finely chopped carrots
1/3 package extra firm tofu, in small cubes
1.5 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbsp peanut butter
Lettuce leaves

1. Over medium heat in a medium or large skillet, add 1 tsp sesame oil to a pan. Add zucchini, squash, and carrots. Stir and allow to sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. In a small or medium skillet, sauté tofu with the remaining 1/2 tsp sesame oil.
3. In the vegetable skillet, add soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and peanut butter. Stir to combine.
4. Once tofu has a slightly crunchy exterior, add tofu to vegetable skillet and stir to combine flavors.
5. Cook for a couple more minutes, and then serve on lettuce leaves.

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Healthy Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have been running the last week and a half straight. STRAIGHT.

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Okay, not straight, but a lot. Between work, school, homework, and volunteering, it has been a whirlwind and all I can think about is swimsuits and margaritas [ahem, come onnnn summer].

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And chocolate. Because when times get tough, chocolate understands. Chocolate doesn’t judge – chocolate understands. So, I made these healthy vegetable and fruit muffins and studded them with some chocolate chips. Because muffins (and life!) are better with chocolate.

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I like to mash these bad boys into my oatmeal in the mornings. Is that weird? If you’ve added muffins to your oatmeal, then I applaud you. If you haven’t, make these and add to oatmeal. And eat as dessert. And snacks. And all day every day.

Healthy Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Make 7 muffins

1 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 egg white
1/6 c brown sugar
1/4 c + 3 tbsp + 1 tsp (or 1/6c + 2 tbsp) milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1/2 zucchini, grated
1/2 banana, mashed
1/3 c dark chocolate chips

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg white until completely mixed.
3. Whisk vanilla, milk, and Greek yogurt into bowl, then fold in zucchini and banana.
4. Slowly add flour mixture into wet ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
5. Fill a greased muffin tin and pour in mix until 3/4 of the way full.
6. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Spicy Orange Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry

I was out of power from Friday morning to Sunday night. And let me just tell you. Power is one of  those things you REALLY don’t appreciate until it’s gone.

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I mean, I seriously take power for granted. Hot showers? Having light in the bathroom? Seeing the time on the microwave? These are luxuries, people. I essentially moved my entire refrigerator to my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t think it’s ever seen that much food.

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Let’s just say after a few days, I have been itching to cook something hot, fresh, and delicious. I worked a double shift at work today, doing schoolwork on my Spring Break (rage! not..), and all I could think about was this stir fry.

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This isn’t the first time I’ve made this stir fry. For good freaking reason. This chick is genius. Cornstarch (or maple syrup?) gives this sauce a delicious thickness that clings to the contents of this stir fry. Seriously. Favorite Asian sauce ever. If not all-time favorite sauce ever. Yes, it’s that good.

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I urge you to make this. NOW. You can make it with chicken, shrimp, beef… whatever your heart desires. You can also add rice or quinoa to serve as a bed for this delicious concoction. I’m making muffins tonight, so I didn’t want to carbo-load – since my body hasn’t run an inch in years, carbo-loading is a thing of the past. This would also be delicious with mango or pineapple chunks. OR BOTH. Go crazy.

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Spicy Orange Vegetable and Tofu Stir Fry
Adapted from Vegan Richa

4 tsp cornstarch
1/4 c warm water
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
Zest + juice + pulp from 1 clementine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed and pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small squash, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds

1. Whisk together cornstarch and warm water. Then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, zest, juice, and pulp from clementine. (For pulp, just take a fork and gently rake out the pulp after you have squeezed the clementine.)
2. Over medium-high heat, sauté the tofu, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in the oil for 6-8 minutes, turning to allow browning on all sides.
3. Turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, vegetables (except green onion), and sauce. Allow to cook for a few minutes, then turn the heat back up to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened and the sauce has thickened.
4. Serve topped with sesame seeds and green onions.

Feta Zucchini Cakes

I am empowered.

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It’s the day after Valentine’s Day. Instead of raiding Target’s 50% off candy selection, I am practicing self control. I have done two Tone It Up workout videos (legs and booty + yoga), as well as some crunches, planks, and pushups, had some blueberry green tea, and eaten a delicious and healthy lunch.

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Guys. Bikini season is coming up SOON. Well, not that soon but soon enough that the swimsuits are out at Target. Uh. Totes not ready for that. So, I’m dedicating the next few weeks (+ months) as total body workout season. I’ve also created a Visions board on Pinterest, complete with pictures of delicious and healthy foods and goals that I have (30 pushups in a row by March 1; spin class once a week; yoga once a week).

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These feta zucchini cakes are delicious and nutritious. I have eaten them on salads, with roasted vegetables, and alongside eggplant parm. The options are essentially endless.

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Who’s on board for a healthy few months until summer starts? I know it’s hard to get motivated when it’s 34°F outside and all you want to do is drink cocoa and read Harry Potter in your sweatpants under a blanket, but you can at least fool yourself because it’s sunny and all that snow is starting to melt.

Feta Zucchini Cakes
Adapted slightly from Sweet Little Blue Bird

1 zucchini, shredded
1 egg
1/4 c feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c breadcrumbs
2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp lemon juice
Olive oil

1. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the zucchini in a paper towel.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
3. Form patties.
4. In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and cook patties until golden brown on each side, 4-5 minutes or so.

Buttery Herb Zucchini Spaghetti

Remember how I was so determined to finish all 7 Harry Potter books this summer?

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Doesn’t that feel like a long time ago? I am about 3/4 of the way through the 6th one and … well, that being said, I haven’t touched it since August. Until yesterday. And I don’t remember a dang thing that’s going on. I am NOT going to reread all 600 pages that I’ve already accomplished – that’s for sure – so I’m trying to skim random places throughout the book to remember. It’s not exactly working.

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Despite my inability to remember anything (seriously need to work on this as a dietetic student), I feel like zucchini spaghetti would totally be something they would serve at Hogwarts with their dragon milk cheese and pumpkin juice.

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Something about turning a vegetable into a noodle is the COOLEST thing since sliced bread. Literally. It’s practically magical. I mean, the options are endless. The first time I ate it, I actually ate it with marinara. But then I ran out so I decided to whip up a buttery herb sauce. I don’t ever cook with butter but when I do, it is soooo good.

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Do your belly a favor. Eat your vegetables the buttery noodle way.

Buttery Herb Zucchini Spaghetti

1 zucchini, spiralized
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp butter
Feta for taste

1. Saute zucchini noodles and garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat.
2. Add herbs and continue to stir until cooked through and slightly wilted.
3. Add butter and stir until butter has melted and caramelized the noodles slightly.
4. Top with feta.