Healthy Homemade Dinners {WIAW}

Happy Wednesday!

I have to let my inner dance geek out for a second because this morning in my Dance History class we got to watch Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Alvin Ailey is an AMAZING modern dance choreographer and Revelations gives me chills every time I watch it.

Beautiful.

A much better way to start the morning than Bizarre Foods. By a million.

I also had a nice 4 mile run after my Best Body Bootcamp workshop. My tendon is still hating me a little, but things are slowlyyyy getting better. I think I’ll be spending lots of time getting EMS therapy at the injury clinic this week. Gotta soak up all that free-ness while I still can.

I can already tell my muscles are going to be SORE in the morning. I secretly love that.

And because it’s Wednesday…

(Thanks Jenn!)

Remember one of the goals on my 21 before 22 list was to make a real dinner because I’ve been relying on eggs and frozen veggies way too much lately. Well apparently that goal set me on a dinner making roll. My meals are by no means elaborate, but I’ve taken time to cook dinner everyday this week, which is a major accomplishment.

This Wednesday I thought I’d share some of those dinners with you (even though you got a glimpse of them the other day!). Just a warning, I’m on a big eggplant kick lately.

vegetarian dinner

Roasted sweet potatoes, spinach, onions and tomato, with a side of eggplant.

kale salad

Kale, mushrooms, roasted sweet potatoes and eggplants.

kale salad

Kale, sweet potatoes and lots of curry powder!

roasted eggplant and sweet potato

Roasted eggplant and sweet potato

dinner5

Sauteed spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli (okay the broccoli was frozen, but so cheap!) and tempeh.

dinner6

And tonight’s dinner! Sauteed eggplant (I told you I’m on a kick!), mushrooms, onions, garlic and roma tomatoes over a bed of kale. Yummy.

My dinners seem a little light and lacking in the protein department, but I snack a lot through out the afternoon to power through class so I’m all about light meals when dinner time rolls around.

And time for a few snacks!

popcorn

Air-popped popcorn with coconut oil and cinnamon. That was a mixing bowl full of popcorn and I ate every last kernel. So. Good.

protein cake

Microwave protein cake. 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 3 tbsp egg whites and a little (actually a lot) of cinnamon. Came out a little dry and chewy but noting a little peanut butter can’t fix 🙂

Do you usually cook dinner from scratch? Or do you rely on convenience foods? Or both?

What’s you’re go-to dinner on busy nights?

Do you like eggplant? What’s your favorite way to cook it?

Spring Time {MIMM}

Happy Monday!

Can I just say that there’s nothing more wonderful thank waking up to beautiful, sunny, 65 degree weather on a Monday morning? Talk about starting the week off right.

(Thanks Katie!)

Marvelous is… Art crawl. Lots of good art, lots of good food. Not to mention I got a free handmade cup from a gallery featuring clay pieces, I’m actually drinking coffee out of it right now (of course!).

handmade clay cup

Marvelous is… drinks with friends on a Friday night.  I’m not your typical party-obsessed college student, and I prefer quieter nights with friends than a wild and crazy party, but sometimes a little bar hopping is necessary to your college experience.

Photo0980

The bartender convinced my friend that the 32oz beer was a much better deal than the pint, which it was, it was also the size of her freaking head (don’t worry mom and dad, mine’s the normal sized beer in the bottom of the picture).

shots

Shots, shots, shots!

I asked the bartender for the least-sweet shooter they had, and I’m pretty sure he lied because it tasted like straight up limeade. Bummer. I got drink redemption with a Jim Bean on the rocks later on in the night. I’m such an old man, I don’t play with that fruity stuff.

Marvelous is… this freaking dessert:

cinnamon sensation macados

A cinnamon roll the size of my face topped with vanilla ice cream. Whattttt. So. Good. I’m pretty sure the restaurant pumps the smell of cinnamon into every corner of the restaurant to make you want to order one of these bad boys. Sometimes a little gluten is worth it.

Marvelous is… hiking trips with fellow group fitness instructors!

glen burney trail waterfall blowing rock nc

glen burney trail waterfall blowing rock nc

We had plans to go to Hawksbill Mountain in Morganton, but only 4 of us were able to make it so we stayed closer to Boone and tried the Glen Burney trail in Blowing Rock. I’ve done the hike once before and it’s a nice little hidden gem in Blowing Rock. The hike is about 1.5 miles ending at a super gorgeous waterfall. It’s quite the workout because you hike down to the waterfall, which means the return hike is uphill the entire way. My booty got a serious workout on the way back!

hiking

All four of us! I promise I’m not that short, the rock we were on was slanted.

Marvelous is… taking time to cook a REAL dinner. Or as real as a college dinner for one can be. I’ve been in an eggs + frozen veggie rut and it feels good to get creative in the kitchen again!

kale salad

Kale salad with lacinato kale (my first time trying it and I think I like it better than curly kale, it tastes less grass-y), baby portobella mushrooms, roasted sweet potatoes and eggplant, lemon juice, garlic, curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper and that last couple drops of my bottle of Bragg’s liquid aminos. So fresh and clean tasting.

kale salad

Kale, sweet potato, curry powder, and apple cider vinegar

roasted eggplant and sweet potato

Roasted eggplant and sweet potatoes (I think I see a theme happening…)

vegetarian dinner

Cinnamon and curry roasted sweet potatoes, sauteed spinach with onion and tomato, with sauteed sliced eggplant on the side.

Not much protein happening here, but dinner’s usually finished up with a cup of greek yogurt to balance things out.

Marvelous is… today’s special guest lecturer in my Dance History class. He came to talk with us about the history of musical theatre and he was quite the character. He would randomly start singing parts of the lecture and danced through half of it as well. I imagine if Mr. Rogers had a doctorate in Dance History and gave college lectures, it would go something like that. He was quite the character.

Oh Mr Rogers, I still miss you dearly.

We also watched a Broadway documentary narrated by Julie Andrews, everything with Julie Andrews is marvelous. Everything.

Marvelous is… SPRING WEATHER. In Boone. FINALLY! It felt amazing to walk out the door this morning and not have to grab a jacket.

I love beautiful days in Boone because all the hippies, slack-liners, and puppies come out. Not to mention Boone is absolutely gorgeous when the weather decides to cooperate, there’s no better place to be.

What made your Monday marvelous?

Do you like hiking? Where are your favorite places to hike?

What’s you’re favorite thing about spring? Flowers, beautiful weather and my birthday!

Easy Peasy Meals.

As a college student, and a busy (or let’s be honest, sometimes lazy) I definitely appreciate a quick and easy meal.

I also like meals that dirty a minimal amount of dishes. Doing dishes sucks, and my roommate gets cranky if I let them pile up in the sink. I know what’s her problem?

So to keep the peace, and quickly tame the hunger beast here are two easy recipes for yummy vegetarian, gluten-free and nutritious meals.

They’re so quick and easy that calling them recipes might be a stretch, but let’s not worry about that detail.

Eggplant Pizza  – Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegan (with modification)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant or 1/2 of a large eggplant
  • Approx.1/2 cup of pizza sauce (I just use Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce)
  • 2 cups chopped veggies of choice (I used bell pepper, onions and tomato)
  • Cheese to your hearts content (or Daiya if you want to keep things vegan)

To Make:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the eggplant into about 1/2″ thick slices, it’s important that they’re fairly thick or they’ll turn to mush before the cheese melts.
  3. Place eggplant slices on a greased baking sheet and layer on the remaining toppings. I typically put the cheese on last because it holds the toppings on the pizza better, but that’s definitely not necessary. The topping possibilities are limitless, so layer to your heart’s content.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until all the cheese has melted and the eggplant has begun to soften. Dig in!

Using half of a large eggplant I made a pretty hefty portion that was plenty for me. The serving size can be easily adjusted to fit your needs.

This meal is a little low on the protein side, it could be nice to incorporate some tempeh, tofu or other plant based protein into the toppings.

And if you’re not an eggplant fan, portobello mushroom caps make a very tasty substitution.

Teriyaki Tofu Slaw Salad – Vegan and Gluten-Free (with slight modification)

A light but satisfying salad, that I might have already made for lunch 3 days in a a row.

Ingredients:

  • 1/5 block of Firm Tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Broccoli Slaw
  • 1/4 of a medium cucumber, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce separated (head’s up, teriyaki sauce usually not gluten-free so if you have serious gluten allergies substitute with Tamari, or a similar certified gluten-free sauce)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp (or to taste) Sage
  • Pepper, to taste

To Make:

  1. Mix tofu with 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce and set aside to marinate (I’m impatient and only waited a couple of minutes, but it will be more flavorful if you let it sit a little longer)
  2. Place the tofu in a frying pan over medium high heat
  3. Flip the tofu every 5 or so minutes until it is browned on all sides
  4. While the tofu is cooking, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining teriyaki sauce with the oil, lemon juice and seasonings and whisk until combined.
  5. Place broccoli slaw and cucumber in the bowl with the teriyaki mixture and tossed until evenly coated.
  6. Add the tofu.
  7. Enjoy!

This recipe is pretty wide open as far as flavors and vegetables go. I like how the teriyaki mixes nicely with the crispiness and freshness of the broccoli slaw, but feel free to have some fun with the ingredients. I don’t make anything that’s easy to mess up, because let’s face it, if I did I totally would.

The recipe makes one serving, but can be easily scaled up.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t have this for lunch again tomorrow.

It’s important to mention that while I try to maintain a gluten-free diet, I do NOT have celiac’s and I’m not bothered by small amounts of gluten. If you do have celiac’s or any other serious gluten allergy, please be sure to double check that all of you’re ingredients are certified gluten-free.

See? Easy Peasy.

What’s your go to quick and easy recipe?