Category Archives: Lunch

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{Slow Cooker} Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup

Is your life as crazy as mine?  I bet it is.  Between being a single mom to three munchkins, trying to start a new business, baseball, softball, gymnastics, girl scouts, church, yada, yada, yada…..Sound familiar???

We are all super busy and that’s why we all love slow cooker recipes!

My three kids loved this, even my four year old who only eats maple cream of wheat, jelly sandwiches, and chocolate milk.

First things first!  Haul out that slow cooker and plug it in!

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Then peel the potatoes and chunk them up.  Add in the broccoli, milk (I used unsweetened almond milk), veggie stock, some salt.  Set it and forget it. Give it  stir every once in a while if you are home, if you are not home don’t give it stir.  Either way it will be fine.

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When the vegetables are tender, place everything in the blender and give it whirl.

(Side note: If you use almond milk like I did the soup might look curdled, but just blend it up and it will turn out great! If you used regular milk, forget I said anything.)

Pour the soup back into the crock pot.

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Chop up some broccoli pretty fine and add it to the soup.

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Next up grated cheddar cheese!!! Yum.

Give the soup another 15 minutes or so to melt the cheese and soften the chopped broccoli a little bit.

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Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
{Slow Cooker} Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup
 
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{Slow Cooker} Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • ¾ pound broccoli
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 cans vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of milk (almond, soy, cow)
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop the potatoes, add to the slow cooker.  Chop the broccoli and add to the slow cooker, reserving about ⅓ of it. Add the vegetable stock, milk, and some salt.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high 4-6 hours.
  2. Once vegetables are tender, place everything in a blender and blend it up.
  3. Pour back into slow cooker.  Chop remaining broccoli very small and add to the soup.  Stir in the grated cheese. Let cook for 15 more minutes to melt the cheese and soften the chopped broccoli.
  4. Eat!

Calories per serving: 470 (but you could easily cut the cheese in half without sacrificing much flavor and save 115 calories per serving)

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Quinoa with Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

Ok, I know, I know.  I need to cool it with the grilled vegetables.  But really once the warm weather hits, they are such  a staple in my diet and should be in yours too!

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This is another great way to use up all your grilled veggies!  Plus, this salad is delicious cold or at room temperature. Perfect for BBQ’s (mayo free!) and something a little different that everyone will love.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa with Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
 
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Quinoa with Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chopped grilled vegetables
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix together grilled veggies and quinoa.  Dress with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.  (Sometimes I don't even use the oil!) Taste it and see if you need to add a little more. Crumble goat cheese and carefully fold in.
  2. Eat!

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Open Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

Any vegetables left over from yesterday?

Ok good.  Make this sandwich.

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So simple, so yummy, and so good for you.  I like to make my sandwiches open faced so save on calories from the bread, as well as carbs.  Believe me when I say that second slice of bread won’t be missed. Be forewarned that this is a knife and fork sandwich!

Happy munching!

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Open Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
 
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Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 slice good quality bread
  • ½ tablespoon light mayo
  • Assorted mixed grilled vegetables
  • Sliced tomato and peperoncinis
  • 1 slice of cheese
Instructions
  1. Spread the mayo on the bread then layer on your grilled vegetables. I used zucchini, yellow squash, red and yellow bell peppers, asparagus, and grilled onions.  Use what ever floats your boat.  Then add the tomatoes and peperoncinis.  Top with the slice of cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and light golden brown.

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Mexican Quinoa Bowls

Wanna know the best way to eat mexican quinoa?

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This way.  No recipe needed. Just mix together some mexican quinoa, black beans (I like the cuban style ones from Trader Joe’s), finely chopped onion and cilantro, and feta cheese. (Then if you are like me, douse the whole thing in Lindy’s hot sauce but it has to be green).

I seriously think I’ve eaten this every day for the past 8 days at least.

To make vegan, just leave out the cheese or use a vegan alternative.

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Mexican Vegetable Medley

This mexican vegetable medley is so versatile. It can be used as a taco filling, burrito filling, enchilada filling, or as taco salad topper. Its great to use up any vegetables you have floating around in your fridge too.

You start by chopping and dropping all of your vegetable into a large skillet.

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I used chopped onion and garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper, canned black beans, and frozen corn.  Then just season it up with chili powder and cumin.

Stir around and continue cooking until all of the veggies are crisp tender.

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I like to eat it over some lettuce with some cherry tomatoes thrown in topped with spicy ranch and salsa.

I make a whole pan of this and then leave it in the fridge and eat salads, quesadillas, or quick burritos all week.

I also like to vegetarian chorizo to the mix to amp up the protein, but Trader Joe’s has been out of it for months!

Mexican Vegetable Medley
 
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Mexican Vegetable Medley
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add in olive oil and then the rest of the ingredients.  Cook until the vegetables are crisp tender. Serve over lettuce, inside a taco or quesadilla, or use a  burrito filling.
  2. Eat!

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Tuna Salad

How do you take your tuna?  This is how I like to eat mine.

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I like to use solid white tuna packed in water.  Then I add chopped celery (with the leaves please, so much flavor there), dill pickle relish (not sweet!), and chopped red onion.

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Then I add just enough light mayo to bind it all together.

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This is great over lettuce with whatever veggies I have in the fridge thrown over the top and equally as good in a sandwich.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tuna Salad
 
Tuna Salad
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 5 oz can solid white tuna, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon light mayo
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Eat!

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Annette’s Awesome Salad

Is everyone in a candy coma from Halloween yesterday? This is a quick and easy (and healthy!) salad. Just add some grilled chicken or fish on the side and you are good to go.

My mom’s sister Annette is known for her salad.  It had a place a the table at every big event in our family: baby showers, birthdays, holidays.  If my family is together this salad is on the menu.It has everything a salad should:tartness from the apples, sweetness from the cranberries, crunch from the pine nut, and creaminess from the swiss cheese. Now, I can’t stand swiss cheese but pairs perfectly with everything else in this salad.  Even swiss cheese haters will love this salad.

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Start by peeling and chopping an apple and then toss it will a little bit of lemon juice to keep if from going brown. I used a Fuji apple, but really any kind will work.

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Then get the rest of the salad toppings ready: grated swiss cheese, pine nuts, cranberries, apples.

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Chop up your romaine lettuce, place in a bowl, and sprinkle over the toppings.

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For the dressing mix together: sugar, lemon juice, grated onion, dijon, some salt, and the poppy seeds. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking.

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Pour the dressing over the salad and lunch or dinner is served!

Annette's Awesome Salad
 
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This salad helps complete any meal.
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 10 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup grated swiss cheese
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • For the dressing:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup of lemon juice
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the lettuce in a serving bowl and top with the pine nuts, apples, cheese, and cranberries.
  2. Mix together all of the dressing ingredients, except for the extra virgin olive oil. While whisking drizzle in the oil.
  3. Pour over the salad and toss.
  4. Eat!

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Autumn Squash Soup

Have you guys tried the Autumn Squash Soup at Panera Bread?  It is soooo good.

I can’t afford to eat there every day so I knew I would have to come up with my own recipe.

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Start by chopping up a small yellow onion,

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and cooking it in some extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot.

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Then to deal with the butternut squash.  I like to chop off the top and bottom, and then cut it in half to make it more manageable.

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Then take your knife and cut all of the skin off.  The cut your peeled halves in half (does that make sense?), scoop out the seeds, and cut into one inch cubes.

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Add the cubed squash to the onions.

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Then add in some sliced carrots.

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Stir in your apple juice and chicken stock, and cook until very tender over medium low heat. About 45 minutes. It will depend on how small you cut your squash.

Once its very tender blend until smooth. Then stir in one can of pumpkin puree.

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Then add the curry powder, cinnamon, and honey.

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Stir in your cream and the juice of half a lemon.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread.

Delicious.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Autumn Squash Soup
 
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Autumn Squash Soup
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup cream
  • pumpkin seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook onion over medium heat in extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot until tender.
  2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, apple juice, and stock. Cook until tender.
  3. Blend with an immersion blend until very smooth.
  4. Stir in canned pumpkin puree, curry, cinnamon, and honey. Heat thru.
  5. Add the cream and lemon juice. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.
  7. Eat!

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Pumpkin Quesadilla

Now I know this sounds weird but hear me out.

Just try these pumpkin quesadillas and you will be hooked.

Another quick and easy lunch idea.

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Mix together some pumpkin with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

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Spread about a 1/4 of a cup of the pumpkin mixture on a quesadilla, then top with goat cheese, and pecans.

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Top with another tortilla and cook in a skillet sprayed with non stick spray over medium high heat

until heated thru and golden brown on both sides.

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Slice up and eat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Quesadillas
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped pecan
Instructions
  1. Mix together the pumpkin puree, cumin, chili powder and some salt and pepper.
  2. Spread ¼ cup of the pumpkin mixture on a tortilla. Top with 1 oz goat cheese and 1 heaping tablespoon of pecans.
  3. Top with another tortilla.
  4. Repeat until you have 4 quesadillas.
  5. Spray a skillet with non stick spray. Heat to medium high heat.
  6. Cook the quesadillas until heated thru and golden brown on both sides.
  7. Eat!
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Hummus Wrap

I never know what to make myself for lunch.  Its seems like I get stuck in a rut or wait until I get too hungry and get fast food.

These hummus wraps are just as fast as fast food, but much better for you!

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Start with these flatbread wraps from Flatout.  They are so great, have only 90 calories, and are very flexible (even right out of the refrigerator)

I’ve never had one crack on me.

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Get your veggies ready.  I used lettuce, tomatoes, onion (I would have liked red but only had white), and peperoncinis.

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Smear your flatbread with hummus,

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Add your veggies, plus a sprinkle of feta cheese. I also like to drizzle on some light balsamic dressing.

Be sure to start building your wrap on the bottom third of the flatbread so you have somewhere to roll when you are done.

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Roll it  up and eat!

Hummus Wrap
 
Hummus Wrap
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 flatbread or tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • chopped veggies (as much as you would like) for example lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peperoncini's, shredded carrots, corn, etc.
  • feta cheese
  • light balsamic dressing
Instructions
  1. Spread the hummus on the flatbread or tortilla, what ever you are using.
  2. Line up your chopped veggies on the bottom third of the flatbread.
  3. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle with balsamic dressing.
  4. Roll it up.
  5. Eat!