Lunchbox Series Part 3: Pepper, Corn, and Chile Quinoa Bake

Happy Friday! It’s time for another post in the Lunchbox Series. Today I’m sharing a Pepper, Corn, and Chile Quinoa Bake! This dish is deliciously simple, and comforting with a bit of spice.


I made this dish on the weekend and had the leftovers for lunch every day for a week. I served it atop of a bed of greens and ate as is, but adding a little tahini, hummus, or guacamole on top would make this even better!


Pepper, Corn, and Chile Quinoa Bake

Serves 7-8

3/4 cup quinoa

1 can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained

1 can of red kidney beans

1 cup corn

1 cup bell pepper, chopped

2 oz. fire roasted diced green chiles (half a 4 oz. can from Trader Joe’s)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once the quinoa is done cooking stir in 2-3 tsp of any seasonings you’d like to give the dish a little extra flavor.

Next, start layering all the ingredients into the dish. On the bottom spread the can of fire roasted tomatoes.

On top of the tomatoes spread the beans, followed by the corn, bell pepper and diced green chiles.

The top layer will be the seasoned quinoa. Spread over the dish evenly and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the entire dish is warmed through. Serve warm for tastiest results! Enjoy!


What I Ate Wednesday #97

For today’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m going to do something a little different. This time I’m doing What I Ate Wednesday: One year ago today! At this point last year I was stressed and exhausted in preparation of finals for grad school. Which essentially was papers, papers, and more papers. My how things have changed in a year! I’m so glad I’ll never have to stress over finals again. It’s a great feeling.


So here is a look into what I ate one year ago. Breakfast was a jar of overnight oats. 1/3 a cup of old fashioned oats, ~2/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 small sliced banana, some raisins, some pecans, ~ 1 tbsp of chia seeds and some cinnamon. I haven’t had overnight oats in a few weeks and this is a nice reminder of another yummy breakfast option.


For a snack I had a pumpkin spiced chocolate chip cookie. I had forgotten about these! They were so good!


Lunch was a whole wheat panini with goat’s cheese, beets, arugula and stone ground mustard. Man, I’ve got to try that again soon.


A handful of apricots for a snack.


Dinner was Fire Roasted Bell Pepper Tempeh Enchiladas with Salsa Verde. What a delicious day this was!


I also had a glass of Triple Ginger Brew from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes it’s fun to go back and see how much or little my eating habits have changed over the year. This recap has reminded me of some other good dishes to make again!

As always be sure to stop on by Jenn’s page!



What I Ate Wednesday #96

Happy Wednesday all! Today I’m sharing my eats from yesterday, a typical day at work and home at night!


My morning started off with a smiley plate of a whole wheat english muffin and a banana. One half was spread with almond butter, the other half with a honey, walnut, fig cream cheese. Deeelish.


Midmorning at work I snacked on a piece of my Homemade Cranberry Walnut Bread. So good!


Lunch was a Mexican Quinoa Casserole bake served atop of a bed of kale. Recipe to come shortly!


I also had some red grapes with lunch as well.


By afternoon I was hungry again, and unfortunately didn’t have anything left to eat. Some days I don’t pack enough food! Luckily the Outpost Foods storefront at work was still open, and I snagged this heavenly brownie. It was so decadent! I ate half.


After work I had an appointment and by the time I got home was starving. I had a fabulous butternut squash and black bean burrito. The mix was made of squash, beans, and brown rice, and I served it on a whole wheat tortilla spread with tahini, BBQ sauce and topped with arugula. Seriously scrumptious. And so easy to make!


I also had some leftover sparkling grape juice.


Ended the night with some Top Chef and Flax Flake cereal with raisins and vanilla cinnamon sunflower butter with coconut milk.

Don’t forget to stop on by Jenn’s page over at Peas and Crayons!




Homemade Cranberry Walnut Bread

Today I’m sharing a recipe that has been a family favorite for years! I’ve made a few little tweaks to the original recipe, but the essence of my Grandma’s cranberry nut bread is still intact. Around the holidays my Grandma always made a cranberry nut bread and an applesauce pumpkin loaf, but since we don’t live near each other anymore I haven’t had her delicious bread in years!


A few weeks ago I started thinking about holiday baking, and her cranberry nut bread came to mind. I was craving the sweet and tart, dense dessert bread!


I couldn’t get that bread out of my head, so I got the recipe from my Grandma and made a few substitutions to make it a bit healthier. It turned out wonderful! The smell of this bread baking in the oven is heavenly and brings back all my childhood holiday memories. Hope you enjoy this moist, dense, crunchy and comforting bread as much as I do!


Thank you for the delicious recipe, Grandma!

Homemade Cranberry Walnut Bread

Makes one loaf

1 cup of whole wheat flour

1 cup of oat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 tbsp of brown sugar

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp of water)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp coconut milk

2 tbsp hot water

Juice from 1 and 1/2 large oranges (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Prepare your flax egg by mixing 1 tbsp of ground flax with 3 tbsp of water. Place mixture in freezer about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and becomes gel-like.

In a medium size bowl mix the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Add in the flax egg, coconut milk, coconut oil, water and orange juice, then stir to combine.

Next fold in the cranberries and walnuts.

Pour batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining tbsp of brown sugar on top. Bake ~50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Enjoy!

Cheese and Jam Sam: Cranberry Smoked Cheddar Melt

Yes! It’s the Cheese and Jam Sam!


Four ingredients create the most wonderful, savory and subtly sweet sandwich! The crunchy toasted bread paired with the silky smooth melted cheese adds to the blissfulness of this sandwich as well.


For an easy Monday meal (you could eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner), simply grab the few ingredients and combine! Bread. Kale. Smoked Cheddar. Jam. Enjoy!

Cheese and Jam Sam*

Serves 1

Two slices of whole grain bread, toasted

A handful of chopped kale

1-2 tbsp of jam ( I used a cranberry raspberry jam)

Smoked Wisconsin Cheddar

Toast the bread in a toaster oven if you have one with the cheese placed atop the bread so it melts as the bread toasts. Spread the jam on the slice of bread without the cheese, add kale and you’ve got yourself a sandwich.

* I’m referring to this as a “Sam” and not a “Sand” because 1. sam rhymes with jam, and 2. because people always say “samwich” anyway.

What I Ate Wednesday #95

Happy Wednesday all. Hope your day is filled with happiness and positivity! And good food! It’s the first WIAW of December and I’m recapping my eats from Thanksgiving weekend. It was a much needed long weekend of rest, relaxation, family and hearty foods.


Sunday morning was a breakfast of banana walnut pancakes with cocoa nibs and peanut butter drizzle. Yum yum.


Lunch was leftovers of the dish I made for Thanksgiving: Lentil Walnut Balls with Cranberry sauce. So good. I ate it atop a bed of greens. To drink I had a glass of sparkling grape juice.


Mid-afternoon I had a piece of toast with this honey walnut fig cream cheese I found at Trader Joe’s the other day. It was scrumptious.


Dinner was leftover vegan and gluten free “ricotta” veggie lasagna that my Stepmom made. Delicious! Also had steamed veggies on the side (courtesy of my Dad), and some fresh fruit.


Dessert were three of these dark chocolate triple ginger cookies. I found these at Trader Joe’s my first year of grad school out in NYC and I have bought a box each December since! Tis the season!


Also had some dry multigrain o’s cereal before bed. A crunchy classic.

And that was my day! Make sure to stop on by Jenn’s page to see where this party gets started.




Lunchbox Series Part 2: Roasted Root Veggie Salad

If you’re in need of another simple, delicious, work-friendly lunch idea, I’ve got just the recipe for you!


As part 2 of my Lunchbox Series (see link here for part 1), I’m sharing a Roasted Root Veggie Salad. A comforting, warm salad for cold winter days!


Beets and sweet potatoes are the heart of this salad, but fresh arugula and kale, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic and tahini are necessary ingredients as well!


For a simple to assemble weekday lunch, prepare a big batch of the roasted veggies on the weekend and then quickly throw together this salad the night before work. Enjoy throughout the week!

Roasted Root Veggie Salad

Serves 1

A few large handfuls of greens ( I used a mix of arugula and kale)

1 small sweet potato, roasted and chopped

3/4 a cup of beets, roasted and chopped

1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes

2 tbsp tahini

1/2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Classic Homemade Cornbread (vegan and gluten-free)

Morning all! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving that was filled with good food, family, and friends! If you still have holiday celebrations coming up this weekend, here is a delicious vegan and gluten-free cornbread recipe to enjoy.


It’s a slightly sweet and buttery cornbread dish!


Classic Homemade Cornbread (vegan and gluten-free)

Recipe adapted from The Simple Veganista

Makes one 8×8 pan

Dry Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup of oat flour (grind up gluten-free oats in a food processor to get oat flour)

3 tbsp organic brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp chia seeds

Wet Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees and greasing an 8×8 baking dish.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Next, in a smaller bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.

Incorporate wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.

Pour into baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Enjoy!

What I Ate Wednesday # 94

Happy Wednesday all! Hope for many of you this is your ‘friday’ of the week as tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I’m stopping in to share some recent eats as it is Wednesday, after all, but my eats may seem a little lighter than normal since I haven’t felt too well the past few days and couldn’t stomach much. Here’s a look into WIAW: bland and digestible edition!


Breakfast was a jar of overnight oats, I hadn’t had overnight oats in ages and thought it would be a soothing option for an upset stomach. In this combo was 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, 3 tbsp plain greek yogurt, a chopped up banana and unsweetened coconut milk. I did add a little pb to the oats in the morning.


All throughout the day I snacked on Ritz crackers. I haven’t bought Ritz for years but was totally craving them to help settle my stomach.


Lunch was a bit of arugula topped with a chickpea salad. The most veggies I ate all day!


I also snacked on a pear, which actually tasted quite good.


And later in the afternoon snacked on dry cornflakes cereal.


Dinner was a bit of unpictured lentil soup and some plain naan bread. Notice the plain pattern here? What do you guys eat to help settle an upset stomach? If you celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you have a wonderful holiday and eat some delicious food!

Please make sure to stop on by Jenn’s blog, who hosts this lovely get together week after week!



Lunchbox Series Part 1: Roasted Butternut Chickpea Salad with Tahini and Balsamic

When a co-worker of mine recently asked whether the recipe for the salad I was eating for lunch was up on my blog, an idea came to mind for an opportunity to start a new mini-series here on the blog. The salad she inquired about wasn’t posted, and it made me realize that although I pack some sort of salad for lunch a majority of the time, I rarely post the recipes here on the blog. I thought starting something called the Lunchbox Series would be a great platform to share all the different types of quick and easy meals I throw together to bring to work. They may not be fancy, but I ensure you they are as delicious as they are healthy.

IMG_4198With this series I could also finally share some of the fabulous salad combinations I’ve had recently. Often people hear the word salad and think ‘boring,’ but I’d like to share a variety of amazing salad combinations that are not only full of flavors and textures, but are satiating and healthy to boot.

IMG_4197So without further ado, I present lunch number one! A Roasted  Butternut Chickpea Salad with Tahini and Balsamic.

IMG_4196Super simple. Super lovely. You don’t need to add much to this salad because all of nature’s goodness does the work for you!

Roasted Butternut Chickpea Salad with Tahini and Balsamic

Serves 1

Arugula (I used a couple of large handfuls)

~ 1 cup of diced, roasted butternut squash

1/2 cup of chickpeas

1-2 tbsp tahini

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Assemble this salad by laying a foundation of arugula and topping it with the butternut squash and chickpeas. Drizzle with tahini  and balsamic, and enjoy! I preferred this salad warm, but you could eat it chilled as well.