Chia Seeds Are Blowing Up

Literally – these little suckers expand like nobody’s business. They’ve even been featured recently in the New York Times... the true measure of whether or not a seed has ‘made it’. 

So what’s up with their explosion on the health food scene?  Here’s a crash course on why these little powerhouses are good for you (+ my favorite chia seed recipe).

1. Oodles of Fiber

These incredible ‘super seeds’ contain 11 grams of fiber per ounce (2 tablespoons) – which is 42% of your recommended daily value of fiber in a single serving.  

Bonus tip: Since fiber slows digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract, it can be a great way to start your day, especially if you’re trying to lose weight! 

2. Rich in Omegas

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential and most of us are not getting enough of them.   Chia seeds give you a boost of both.

Bonus tip: Omegas can also help you clear away that nasty brain fog that sets in every afternoon.  Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds to a glass of water to get your fill.

 3. Healthy Fats

We’ve been down this road together before, but let’s go there again.  Fats are absolutely necessary in a healthy diet.  Chia seeds pack 9 grams of fat per ounce, which can be as much 15-20% of your daily required value.

Bonus tip:  If you want to get the skinny on fats, check out What’s Fat Got To Do With It from the archives.

4. Fill’er Up

Have you ever had a chia pet?  You know how it plumps right up when you add water?  That’s all because of the chia seeds.   When mixed with water, chia forms a gel. Why do you care?  Research suggests:

When this happens in your stomach, the gel may keep you feeling fuller longer.

The gel acts as a natural detoxifier, by grabbing and flushing out toxins in your system.

Bonus tip: The chia gel also allows you to make a super healthy & yummy dessert that satisfies in under 2 minutes prep time.

Chai Chia Seed Pudding

chia seed pudding
chia seed pudding

Prep Time: 2 minutes Wait Time: 2 hours Serves: 2-4 people

1 cup cooled decaf Chai tea (brewed strong) (sub: ½ cup Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk for a creamier texture) ½ cup chia seeds 1.5-2 teaspoons maple syrup (to taste) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Dash Himalayan sea salt (to taste) 1 cup of your favorite fruits and nuts (optional).  I like: -Mixed berries & pistachios -Diced pears & cashews -Mashed banana & peanuts

Mix chai, chia seeds, 1.5 teaspoons maple syrup, and vanilla and refrigerate for 1 hour.  At 1 hour mark, stir the mixture and add in any additional maple syrup (taste first).  Refrigerate an additional 1 hr+, top with sea salt, fruits and nuts & enjoy!

Stupid Simple Lentil Lime Salad

Things have been pretty hectic in my house lately.  I’ve been working a ton and my husband is studying for a pretty big professional exam... this leaves no one to pick up the slack.  To get off the take-out wheel of doom, I’ve been on the hunt for simple, quick recipes that are perfect to grab and go.

Meet this delectable Lentil Lime Salad.

simple recipes
simple recipes

I shared this recipe on Facebook last week and people went nuts for it.  I think you’ll love it, too!  It’s healthy, protein-packed, Reset-approved, and beyond easy to make. 

I used packaged, pre-cooked lentils (I just learned these exist) to make it even easier.  If you go this route, make sure you rinse the lentils well.  If you’re making your own lentils (also very easy), you should plan to soak the dried lentils for 24-hours before cooking. 


Lentils (and a whole host of other foods) contain anti-nutrients – the lentils way of protecting itself against being eaten.  Anti-nutrients can wreak havoc on your GI system, which is why some people have issues with grains, beans, lentils, and even potatoes!

But – fear not!  Lentils, when soaked for 24-hours, release up to 93% of their anti-nutrient properties.  Sad lentils, happy tummy.

Lentil Lime Salad

1 cup cooked lentils

1 medium carrot

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ tsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (to taste)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste; optional)

¼ tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a medium and toss gently to mix.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to let flavors blend, then enjoy!

Yep – that’s literally IT.  Tell me what you think of this simple salad in the comments.

What to do with ALL THAT TURKEY?

Tired of the post-Thanksgiving obligatory turkey sandwiches and piles and piles of mashed potatoes? I rounded up some of the yummiest, most fun Thanksgiving leftover recipes on the internet.  

There is so much WINNING with this "recipe" - granted it's not a step by step guide, but it's a great inspiration.  Imagine, all your favorite Thanksgiving fixings wrapped up in a nice, warm burrito.  You can also take a tip from my favorite veggie burrito recipe and bake the burritos for a nice crispy touch.

I WANT THESE SWEET POTATO WAFFLES RIGHT NOW.  They are absolutely mouth-watering and I love the versatility in the ingredients - no dairy?  No problem!  Gluten free?  Got you covered!

I love the idea of sweet potato "buns" for this fun Paleo Turkey Sandwich recipe, and you know me, I'm pretty much sold on anything with brussels sprouts.  

This Israeli cous cous salad is something I'd make even without leftover turkey.  My stomach is growling just reading the recipe:

I was first introduced to tostadas just about a year ago... they're a bit tough to eat, but oh so yummy!  Check out this simple turkey tostada recipe.  You could even sub a fresh tomato for the canned ones here and eat this cold, majorly cutting down and the cooking time.  (PS- PLEASE ditch the canola oil!

There are few things easier than a stir-fry and the Asian-flare will have your leftovers feeling brand new.  Use whatever veggies you've got on hand for this one - you really can't lose.

For an interesting twist on a frittata, try this recipe for a Banger's and Mash style baked egg casserole. Happy THANKSGIVING, ya'll!

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata Recipe

Why It Sucks to Be an Egg: You only get laid once, you only get hard once, and when you DO finally get hard, it takes under three minutes and you're already in hot water. Source: Comedy Central Food Comedy

Also, if you're in my house, you're likely to be in my belly VERY soon.

frittata recipe
frittata recipe

If you're trying to clean up your diet, but you're short on time and or funds, incorporating eggs is a great choice for you.  Decent quality eggs (cage-free, vegetarian-fed, organic) can be found in pretty much any grocery store for less than $5 a dozen.  If you REALLY want to step up your egg game, invest in pasturized eggs from a local farmer.

This summer, I participated in an egg share, which meant a farm-fresh dozen eggs every week, so I've done lots of egg-speriments.  I've scrambled, fried, boiled, and baked 'em.  What I've learned: no matter how you cook eggs, its crazy-quick and easy and they can easily be paired with practically anything in your fridge to make a more complete meal.

Bad Rap Busted

Eggs, especially the sweet little yoke, have been getting a bad rap for quite some time - too high in fat, too high in cholestorol - but recent research shows these claims to be unfounded.  

In fact, eggs are nutritional powerhouses - filled with protein, healthy omega 3 fats, and a whole host of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, Selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B5, Phosphorous, Iron, Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B2.  And, get this- a study at the University of Connecticut found that the fat in egg yolks actually helps to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol).

As far as cholesterol goes, the real threat is saturated and trans fats, not dietary cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended limit of dietary cholesterol is 300 milligrams for people with normal LDL (bad) cholesterol levels; one egg (yolk and white) contains 185 milligrams of dietary cholesterol.  The problem isn't the egg, it's how you're cooking it and what you're eating it with.  My suggestion: ditch the butter and bacon and add in fresh veggies instead.

(Note: if you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease in your family, talk to your doctor about how much cholesterol you should have.)

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata Recipe

Serves 4

8 eggsSplash of unsweetened almond milk or water (approximately 1/8 cup)Potential Clean Out the Fridge Add-Ins:

Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, chard, kale)OnionPeppersGreen or yellow squashBroccoliBasilWhite or sweet potatoesTomatoes, Salsa, or Tomato SauceMeat: Chopped Ham, Turkey, or SausageCheese: Feta, Grated Cheddar, Mozz, or Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400F2. Whisk eggs and almond milk3. Fold in veggies, herbs, cheese, etc.4. Pour egg mixture into 9" glass pie plate5. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm

This week I made swiss chard, red onion, & green and red tomato frittata, served with a large (1/2 plate!) green side salad.  The pairing is perfectly refreshing.  The frittata can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference.  Leftovers double as a great grab-and-go breakfast.

What's your favorite "egg-cellent" recipe?

The Best Veggie Burrito Recipe

This is the best veggie burrito recipe around.  Hands down.  Ok, I might be a little biased because it's my husband’s special recipe and I’ve been eating it for years... you’ll have to try them and let me know. Before I met my husband, I’d never had burritos made this way: bakedBut the crispy tortilla is a nice compliment to the soft refried bean and veggie filling

As with most of my recipes, you can sub the veggies I have listed here for your favorite veggies.  In the past we've added cucumbers, sprouts, peppers, onion - you name it!  I love versatile recipes - they keep things fresh but not overly complicated in the kitchen.

These are super easy to make – they can be prepped and in the oven in 15 minutes!  You definitely have time to try this veggie burrito recipe out.


Hubby’s Veggie Burrito Recipe

Serves 2


1 tsp pre-minced garlic

1 16 oz. can vegetarian refried beans

1 medium green or yellow squash

2 cups spinach or kale

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 burrito-sized tortilla shells

1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar (optional)

1 tbsp white wine or water


  1. Chop squash (quarter-sized pieces) and greens
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic
  3. Add white wine or water to prevent garlic from burning
  4. Add squash and greens and sauté until mostly soft
  5. Add refried beans, mixing all ingredients and heating thoroughly
  6. Stir cheese into veg and bean mix and remove from heat
  7. Nuke single tortilla shell for 30 seconds.
  8. Stuff shell with quarter of bean mixture, wrap, and place in baking dish
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 for 3 additional burritos
  10. Bake at 375F until tortillas brown on the edges (about 15 minutes)

These come out of the oven HOT – so make sure to let them cool for at least 5 minutes.  Top with your favorite salsa or pico de gallo and guacamole and you are good to go!

Healthy Pasta Alternative: Pesto Squash Pasta

A couple weeks ago, I got home late from work and was dragging my feet on making dinner.  You know the drill… busting your butt all day and the idea of doing just ONE MORE THING is enough to make you want to just curl up on the couch and order in. Well, I fought the urge to do that, because I really wanted to try out this healthy pasta alternative.

Pesto Squash Pasta
Pesto Squash Pasta

I’m so glad I did!  This ended up being super easy to make, was done in 20 minutes, and was a real crowd-pleaser.  Dish load was low, too – I only used a cutting board, frying pan, knife, spoon, serving plates and utensils. 

Now, your average internet foodie blog would tell you that you must mince your own garlic and really should make your own pesto, too, but WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?  My philosophy is all about making healthy meals both EASY and QUICK… so, yes, I use pre-minced garlic and jarred pesto.  No shame in my game.

Pesto Squash Pasta

Serves: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 medium to large yellow or green squash (I prefer green because of its smaller seeds)

1 clove garlic or 2 teaspoons pre-minced garlic

2 handfuls cherry or small heirloom tomatoes (optional)

15 jumbo shrimp, thawed and deveined

2 tablespoons jarred pesto

  1. Peel shrimp and rinse under cold water
  2. Mince garlic (as necessary)
  3. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic
  4. Once garlic begins to sizzle and brown, add shrimp and sauté approximately 2 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat and set aside
  5. Wash, chop off ends, and peel squash
  6. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer (note: my mandolin slicer scares me, so I went with the veggie peeler!), peel squash lengthwise into long, thin strips.  As squash pieces get small, peeling becomes difficult – just try to get the pieces as small and thin as possible so they cook evenly.
  7. Return shrimp pan to medium heat and add squash, stirring occasionally, until squash is heated thoroughly (approximately 5 minutes)
  8. Wash and chop tomatoes in half
  9. Stir in pesto and tomatoes, remove from heat, plate, and serve

You can serve with a nice green side salad for some extra veggie power and shrimp can be replaced with chicken, if that floats your boat.  It doesn’t get much easier than that.

In the comments, tell me what you think of using squash as an alternative to pasta.  Do you have any other go-to pasta alternatives?

Drop the Lean Cuisine... a One-Pot Solution to Your Dinner Problem.

I love cooking, but I rarely have the time or energy to cook a big meal after work.  On weekdays, I am all about ease and efficiency, but I like to stick with something home-cooked and loaded with healthy proteins and lots of veggies. This one-pot recipe is beyond simple, but can be diversified so easily that it’s a real crowd pleaser!  It’s also a no-frills introduction to quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) for anyone new to the stuff. 


One-Pot Quinoa and Veggies

  • 1 cup quinoa (washed)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 bag favorite frozen veggies
  • 2-3 cups chopped or ‘hand-torn’ hearty leafy greens (spinach, kale, collards, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)*

* the coconut oil brings a little extra nutty flavor 

Combine quinoa, water, frozen veggies, and coconut oil and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes (until quinoa is soft and a white ring develops around grains).  Just before quinoa finishes (1-2 minutes left), throw in the greens and cover.  Remove from heat, stir, and serve!

You can totally stop there, but if you're looking for something more:

    • For a Korean (bibimbop) take, top with a fried egg and add some sriracha. 
    • For a little Mexican flare, add some salsa and avocado. 
    • Toss in your favorite lean protein (note: quinoa is a great stand-alone source of protein). 
    • Double the recipe and fridge or freeze the extra for ultra ease

No matter what modifications you make,always keep it simple and easy – it tastes better that way!

Have you tried quinoa yet?  Tell me what you love or fear about quinoa in the comments. 

It's Easy Going Green.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard someone referencing “green drinks” – green smoothies and juice.  With proponents like celebrities Dr. Oz and Oprah to wellness warrior Kris Carr singing the green smoothie’s praise, it’s hard not to be intrigued.  If you’re not riding the green smoothie train yet, here are 5 reasons why you should be:

1. Great On the Go

Ditch other grab-and-go options…  few meals can be quicker or more convenient than a green smoothie!  I use the Big Boss blender, so that I can blend in the cup and go (limited cleanup!).  For an even quicker turnaround, I load all my ingredients in my blender cup the night before so I only have about 2 minutes of work to do in the morning at mealtime. 

If morning routines aren't your thing, green smoothies will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, so you can make a big batch and be ready to go for almost half the week.

2. Increase Fruits & Veggies

The daily recommended value for fruits and veggies if 5-13 per day.  Based on a 2009 survey by the Center for Disease Control, less than 35% of Americans are eating 2 or more fruits a day while only about 26% eat 3 or more vegetables a day.    Are you getting enough?  Adding a green smoothie is a fast and easy way to add fruits and veggies to your daily diet.

3. Alkalize Your Diet

High stress levels and foods and drinks like meat, dairy, coffee, and alcohol cause the body to become acidic and, over time, can wreak havoc on your body.  Additionally, in response to high acid levels, the body creates fat cells to store the acid, increase your percent body fat. Green smoothies help to alkalize the body (neutralizing the acid) and can, as a result, prevent weight gain.

4. Easy to Digest

Your digestive system needs to do very little to break down the contents of a smoothie, since, by nature, a smoothie is already broken down.  This gives your digestive system some much needed R&R!  Further, unlike green juices, green smoothies contain fiber which aids in healthy digestion and keeps you fuller longer.

5. High in Vitamins & Minerals

Leafy greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E, and K.  They’re also loaded with good-for-you folic acid and chlorophyll.

Here's my Go-To Green Smoothie recipe:

1 banana 1-2 handfuls of your favorite organic greens (romaine or baby spinach are great starters; kale, swiss chard, or collards have a stronger taste) ¼ medium cucumber (peeled) ¼ avocado 1 ½ cups filtered water or unsweetened almond milk

My favorite add-ins:

Shakeology Chia seeds Green tea powder Substitute ½ teaspoon coconut oil for avocado Handful of your favorite berries (raw or frozen)

Blend until smooth! And then get your green mustache on.

If you don’t like the taste, start with less veggies and more fruit.  Play with the proportions until you have more veggies than fruit and a drink you’ll love to enjoy several times a week!

Are you getting your green on?  Share your thoughts in the comments.