cinco de mayo inspiration

When we were in Thailand (I know, I need to fill you in!) we fell into a consistent schedule of breakfast–>beach–>lunch–>pool–>snack–>sunset-at-beach bar–>shower–>dinner. Notice a theme there? Lots of food. It was totally my kind of vacation. And while I absolutely loved the fresh shrimp salads I ate on a daily basis (usually during the snack portion of the day) I was really craving/wanting avocados. Precisely chips and guacamole.

I was hardly in a place to complain, so I didn’t. (Ok, maybe like once.)

But when we came back to LA, I was allllll about the Mexican food. And avocados of course, but that’s standard. I’ve been researching chilaquiles, I’ve been researching burritos and I’ve been craving the old-school tortillas + refried beans + cheese that my old roommate and I used to eat all the time. Note: “researching” in my world means I’ve been eating a lot of the aforementioned foods and you’ll probably hear about them soon. 

So naturally, the combination of cinco de mayo recipes everywhere + my current food focus means I’ve been drooling over pretty much everything on the internet right now. I wanted to share some of my favorites – both light and… not-so-light.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sip: Any good cinco de mayo celebration includes margaritas and I love this one because it’s made with all fresh ingredients. It’s been deemed the “best margarita you’ll ever have” and bonus – it’s less than 200 calories per drink. ¡Salud! Recipe and image via Cookie & Kate.

Guacamole Bar | A Nutritionist Eats

Spread: Guacamole bar. This is a really old post (sorry!) of mine, but a really fun – and delicious – idea that allows everyone to personalize their own guacamole. And…bacon!

molettes3final-1024x742

Simple: Mollettes are SO simple, but satisfying and delicious nonetheless. Especially perfect if you’re feeding a crowd or picky people.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sea: Fish tacos are kind of mandatory in my book and these Spicy Fish Taco Bowls fit the criteria perfectly. (And I can pretty much guarantee this version will be much easier to eat.) Image and recipe via Pinch of Yum.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Splurge: Tijuana Fries don’t really need much of an explanation. Ok, I’ll give you the short version: chipotle carnitas + salsa + queso +avocado topped fries. It’s a lengthy recipe (everything is made from scratch) but I can bet that the results are worth the effort. (And the GIF is amazing!) Recipe and image via Half Baked Harvest.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Sweet: Finish off your celebration with light and flavorful Mango-Lime Ice. Churros are no doubt delicious, but this will hit the spot. Recipe and image via Epicurious.

Cinco de Mayo Inspiration | A Nutritionist Eats

Soooooo cute: these diy mini cactus piñatas make me want to have a party and do crafts. And I’m not even a crafty person. Image via Oh Happy Day

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? I want to live vicariously through you…

 

5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less!)

5 Trader Joe's Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

I tend to shop based on proximity, but the store has to have the natural and organic selection of foods I’m looking for or it just won’t work. In my current neighborhood (West Hollywood!) there are quite a few options within walking distance. I tend to visit most of them (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms) on a pretty regular basis to see what new foods are out there, but Trader Joe’s is, without a doubt, a weekly stop for me. I can find most of the things I need – and for a pretty reasonable price – but I’ve got to admit that I love the frozen and convenience foods that Trader Joe’s offers. (If you’re ever wondering how something is, just ask. I’ve probably tried it!)

Recently, my friend Lynn and her husband came up with this super-clever buzzfeed video featuring Trader Joe’s mashups:

I loved the video and the premise –  it’s absolutely what inspired this post!

I started brainstorming some of my favorite trader joe’s combinations that fit the following criteria:

  1. under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
  2. fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
  3. include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
  4. delicious (again, because every meal should be!)

Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:

Classic Southern Dinner:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Let’s start with an easy, classic meal: bbq chicken breast, mac & cheese and collard greens. Prepare the mac & cheese and bbq chicken as directed and lightly steam or saute the collard greens. *I really like their “reduced-guilt” mac & cheese, but have yet to try the gluten-free variety!

Palak Paneer Eggs:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Why have I not combined Indian food with eggs before? Ah-mazing. Top cooked palak paneer with a fried or poached egg and serve with hot naan. This will definitely become a regular in our meal rotation – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Tortilla Pizza:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats
Tortilla pizzas are one of my favorite meals and considering that I’ve eaten them on  regular basis for years, it was a no-brainer. When topped with sauce, arugula, cheese and turkey meatballs, this is a particularly filling pizza. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp, top with sauce, cheese, arugula and warmed meatballs and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)

Chimichurri Rice & Sausage:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Chimichurri rice is a somewhat new item and I’m so glad I finally put it in my cart – it’s delicious (so is the kimchee rice!).  When it’s combined with chicken sausage and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced dinner that comes together in minutes. Slice and saute the sausage and rice as directed while you roast the broccoli in the oven.

Pasta with Mushrooms & Parmesan:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

This vegetarian meal is delicious and simple. And absolutely OUTSTANDING if you add a drizzle of truffle oil or sprinkling of truffle salt. Simply prepare the pasta and mushrooms as directed and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Use your favorite pasta variety.

Got any favorite quick meals to share? 

P.S. I’m really sorry if you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s! Come visit and I’ll take you on a tour. :)

5 plant-based (vegan) recipes

With Earth Day right around the corner, I’m making a conscious effort to think about my impact on this amazing earth of ours. I grew up in a family who recycled religiously, reused sour cream containers (and sugar bags for lunch bags – which was SO embarrassing!) and even composted. So at a young age, it was instilled in me that leaving as little of footprint as possible was of the utmost importance.

These days, I make the best effort I can to reuse, reduce and recycle. (And I’m proud that I’ve almost kicked my plastic water bottle habit!) But there is always room for improvement and that’s what is important to look at. In the coming months, my goal is to buy more local food – preferably straight from the source through a CSA membership or more frequent visits to the farmer’s market.

So why the plant-based recipes? It seems that every spring, I’m drawn to more plant-based foods and less meat. The term ‘plant-based eating’ has been growing in popularity but the phrase is a bit confusing – and I think that’s the idea. The short explanation is that it’s a vegan diet (while some may consume a limited amount of animal products like eggs or dairy) and it seems to me that it’s a vegan diet without the vegan junk food and without the (sometimes polarizing) vegan label. It’s real, whole, unprocessed food – full of plants – and most of the time it’s beautiful. (Learn more about plant-based diets here.)

But it’s not just about me. (Wait, what?!) A diet with more plants and less meat helps to reduce our ecological footprint (animal products require a lot of land, water and resources). As Mr. Pollan so wisely tells us, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And also? It’s delicious. Here are 5 plant-based (ok, vegan!) recipes that are so tasty and gorgeous that even the most stubborn of carnivores won’t miss the meat.

 

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

1. This Vegan Green Chili Mac and Cheese has been on my list of recipes to make since…the first time I laid eyes on it. And while we typically think of mac and cheese falling into the junk food category, this cheese, made with cashews, is anything but. (image & recipe via Minimalist Baker)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

2. I know. I’m craving tofu now too. This Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu is much easier than it seems – simply toss and bake – and enjoy. (image & recipe via Heartbeet Kitchen)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

3. Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad is just that. This colorful salad is filled with fresh veggies and nutritious buckwheat noodles for a meal that screams spring to me. This post also gives some great insight on not giving yourself a vegan label and I pretty much love it.  (image & recipe via Eating for England)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

4.  These Not-So-Sloppy Tempeh Joes made such a satisfying lunch, I’ve got to make them again soon. Don’t be put-off by the steps and ingredients, it’s worth it! In fact, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. (image & recipe via Chickypea)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

5. No matter the label, almost all of us love dessert and I think that Banana Split Ice Cream Pie is the perfect way to end things. (Both a meal and this post.) I mean, bananas are roasted and then turned into banana ice cream which is laid into an almond flour crust and topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Come on! (image & recipe via The First Mess)

What is your favorite plant-based recipe or meal?

daily eats: 4.2.14

Not to be all, “I’m so busy!” because everyone is, but what a crazy few weeks it’s been. After our trip to Mexico, we had Richie’s parents visiting (which kind of was like being on vacation in LA – and tons of fun!), my brother was here for a few days and now we’re getting ready to go on another trip next week. It’s all been a really fun and enjoyable “crazy” so in other words, I’m trying to balance vacation eating and drinking with lots and lots of kale. (And I managed to eat kale at all three meals on Monday!)

workout: 50 minutes on the treadmill (3.65 miles). It honestly felt great to get back to the gym. Even though I worked out using dvd’s last week, it isn’t quite the same for me. 

beverage: coffee + 1/2 and 1/2

breakfast: the most random breakfast known to (WO)man. Almonds + carrots + cheese stick. I didn’t really pack a breakfast this morning and my green smoothie was frozen solid so I snacked my way through it!

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

lunch: salad greens + 1 Tbsp olive oil dressing + 3.5 oz deli turkey + 1 Tbsp of a fun mayonnaise recipe I’m working on. This lunch was simple, light and tasty.

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

snack: I had an afternoon appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor so after that was finished, I headed to the natural foods store across the street to pick up some of the items she recommended and…let’s be real. I love perusing health food stores. I picked up some kombucha (on sale!) and drank half of a bottle on the drive home. When I arrived home I snacked on some sweet potato hummus (didn’t like) + pita chips.

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

dinner: glass of wine + 2 chicken drumsticks + green beans + raw sauerkraut  + scoop of cookie butter for dessert

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

approximate nutrition stats: 1,483 calories, 76 grams fat (51%), 88 grams carbohydrates (26%), 18 grams fiber, 26 grams sugar, 76 grams protein (23%)

thoughts: It’s a lot different from my last daily eats post, that is for sure! I think this is a good example of how some days are higher calories and others (like this one) are lower in calories. After a week+ of eating and drinking more than normal, my body doesn’t want and/or need as much food. Oh, and fiber is low! 

question: I’m thinking about creating a few meal plans (general ones) for my site, is that something anyone would be interested in? If so, what type of meal plan would you be looking for (vegan, gluten free, paleo, weight-loss/1800 calories, etc.)?