Roasted Chickpea Coleslaw

Coleslaw can easily tow the line between healthy and unhealthy. It all depends on how you dress it. We all know mayo gives it the full flavor, but also the full fat content. But this blog’s purpose is to find ways around the bad ingredients without sacrificing flavor. Plus, this recipe adds something unique in the form of roasted chickpeas for added protein and crunch. 


Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, 1 12 oz pack of broccoli (or cabbage) slaw, 1/4 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustards, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of agave nectar 

Directions: Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Toss with any desired spices (black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and nutritional yeast were used here). Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Broil for 5. They should have a nice crunchy yet moist consistency. 

Toss slaw mix with onion and chia seeds. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can add the chickpeas before the dressing or on top of you prefer. 


You’ll find that the mustard and vinegar provide a great tangy flavor, balanced with the sweetness of the agave. Plus the chia seeds give additional moisture once they gel. Makes a great BBQ side or a vegan meal all on its own. 

Grilled Romaine Salad

Now this one had us a bit skeptical. It sounds a little pretentious and something someone attempting to be on top of food culture would serve. Plus, throwing a green on the grill seems like a watery, wilted mess. But, turns out, it’s almost like a new veggie to throw in a sautée. And its size provides a nice base for a warm, wedge salad. 


Ingredients: romaine stalks, 1/4 onion (red used here, any will work), 1/2 red pepper, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 lemon slice, 1/2 avocado. Any protein will work: 2 pieces of bacon, 1 hard boiled egg and 2 slices of ham were used here. 

Directions: Mix the vinegar, oil and juice of the lemon wedge. Cut the romaine stalks in half. Season with black pepper and salt. Lightly distribute the dressing over the half of romaine. 


Once prepared, place romaine on grill. We have used a stove top griller but it will work the same on a normal outdoor grill. The only advantage here is allowing the onions and peppers to cook with the risk of them falling through. 


It’s best to cut piece by piece. It definitely beats a normal salad and serves as a good healthy option for summer grilling. 

Lettuce Wrapped Burrito

Happy #tacotuesday! Tacos are not the most unhealthy indulgence, but it’s the shell and certain fatty add ins like sour cream that break the meal and your diet. The good news is the dish is welcoming towards different veggies, so load ’em up!

ground beef
Ingredients: 16 oz lean ground beef (makes about 5 burritos), 1-2 bell peppers (any color), 1 white onion, 2 avocados, ), 1/2 of tomato, cheddar cheese (if desired), 2-3 stalks of romaine lettuce

Directions: Slice peppers and about a 1/4 of the onion. Place meat in a large bowl and season with cumin, garlic powder, various peppers (chipotle, cayenne and black were used here), cilantro, lime juice and salt. A dash of balsamic vinegar was also thrown in. In a greased pan, sautée peppers and onions until browned. Add meat and dice with spatula. Cook for about 15 mins. 

pico de gallo
Pick de gallo: Dice about half of the tomato and half of the onion like shown above. Season with cilantro, chipotle and salt. Mix thoroughly. 

romaine leaves
For lettuce wraps, we have found that it’s best to double up the romaine leaves for support. Plus, it adds to your veggie intake. We have layered the wet ingredients first, followed by the meat and some leftover quinoa, a bit of shredded cheese and finally the diced avocado. 

Lettuce Burrito
Try to secure an additional romaine leaf on top of the wrap to give it a burrito feel. The final product is hearty and requires two hands. It will make you forget all about Chipotle or Moe’s!

Blazin’ Burgers over Coolin’ Quinoa

Coolin' Quinoa and Blazin' Burgers
Happy Memorial Day! MDW officially kicks off summer, so that summer body better be ready! It’s kind of ironic: we kill ourselves in the gym and with keeping a healthy eating plan, only to spend the summer eating fatty cuts of processed meats, nutrition-less fried startches, and washing it down with adult beverages. Then, it’s a sleigh ride into the holidays and their indulgences so we can start over again next January. Vicious cycle. 

But there are ways to stay on track even when attending fun events like BBQs and beach parties: BYOS (Bring your own sides). While hotdogs and hamburgers aren’t exactly tofu, the proteins aren’t the biggest culprits. Mayonnaise based sides like potato salad and cole slaw and heavily processed potato products like chips and French fries are the real culprits for the extra belly fat. Well, that and the beer (we’ll let you know when we find a comparable substitute for that one ;).

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad
Quinoa: 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cucumber, half of a large tomato, quarter of a red onion, bunch of cilantro, 1 lime

Quinoa is usually described as a good fill-in for rice, but it’s actually more flexible in that you can serve it either warm or cold. In this case, we are using it as a nice, cooling base for our sizzlin’ hot burgers.

To cook, 1 cup of the quinoa was combined with 1 1/2 cup of water in a pot and boiled until all the water was absorbed. Quinoa does not have much of a taste on its own, so normally we heavily season it to give it a flare. In this case, we added a quarter of the lime and cilantro into the boiling water to add some zest to it. Once cooled, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, and the juice of the remaining lime were added. Put in refrigerator to chill. 

Cilantro, Lime, Tomato, Red Onion, Cucumber
burgers on grill
Burgers: For our meat, we choose 1 lb organic, grass fed beef (makes about 5 burgers). It will give you all the flavor of a regular hamburger without the nasty, processed extras. 

To compliment the chilled quinoa, we went extra spicy with our seasonings. Cayenne, chipotle, cumin, black pepper, salt, a pinch of raw sugar, and a dizzle of balsamic vinegar for moisture were added, so these bad boys are anything but flavorless. They were cooked on a stove top grill for about 10-15 mins each side. 

Blazin' Burgers over Coolin' Quinoa
Garnished with avocado and green peppers, the meal has a southwest yet All- American feel. This goes to show you that BBQ food doesn’t have to be fatty and repetitive. Happy summer! 

#Leftoverremix: Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad

Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad
We have already covered how spaghetti squash makes for a great low carb alternative to pasta. But, that can’t possibly be its only reason for being. What’s great about spaghetti squash is that it’s texture and thickness are applicable to both a hot or cold dish, so adding a bit to a salad gives you a fun new throw-in to keep your salads vibrant and unboring.

We have taken a leftover half of squash from the previous entry using pesto and steak (which also includes instructions on cooking the squash). After forking out the goods and placing it on top of spinach, we added chicken, bacon, blue cheese crumbles, hard boiled egg, avocado, tomatoes and onions. Now, you may say that a cobb salad is not exactly the most healthiest of options, but the fattiest ingredients have been added in moderation (you got to live a little, even with a healthy lifestyle :).

Chicken Cobb Spaghetti Squash Salad 2
You’ll find that the squash is a good absorber of dressings or just the cheese and bacon. So the next time you’re whipping up a Greek, Caesar, or Chef for guests, give them a little yellow shock by throwing in a bit of spaghetti squash. 

#Leftoverremix: Cashew Chicken Broccoli Slaw

Cashew Chicken Broccoli Slaw
Another #leftoverremix for when your stomach, taste buds, and soul just can’t do the same meal a fourth time in a row. In the fridge, we still had leftover broccoli slaw, chicken, sugar snap peas, and zucchini. Despite how delicious the Zucchini Pillows turned out, we opted to create a nice chopped salad with the remaining ingredients. 


First of all, if you are a raw food eater or seriously interested in a healthy diet at all, investing in a salad chopper (or a pizza cutter, but remember what you bought it for!) would be highly beneficial. It makes salad much more bite size and also helps to mix around dressings and ingredients. 

Ingredients: chicken, broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cashews, sesame seeds, soy sauce/sesame oil/pinch of organic sugar mixture as dressing (Braggs’ Amino Acids will substitute well)

Directions: Place all dry ingredients in a salad bowl. Use salad chopper until ingredients are at desired size/consistency. Add dressing. Chop again. Quick & easy 🙂

Additional throw-ins, like edamame, rice noodles, or any other leftover veggies, will fit right in. Feel free to get creative and share your results! 

Watermelon Feta Kale Salad

 Watermelon Feta Kale Salad Now, I will admit: I have not always been on board with inter-flavor pairings (call me old fashioned). I never got why people dipped their French fries in milk shakes or why salted caramel was so sought after. But, in discovering how real, natural food can compliment each other, I have grown to appreciate a little sweet with the tangy and that is exactly what this salad bring to the table. 

  
Ingredients: One Cucumber; One half of a Seedless Watermelon (or a quarter of a regular); pack of Feta Cheese; 2 tablespoons of Chopped Walnuts; Black, Seedless Grapes; Few Bunch of Kale; Bunch of Mint Leaves   

Watermelon Kale Directions: Finely chop mint leaves. Break apart kale and lightly sprinkle about half of the mint throughout. Ball melon and cut apart grapes. Add to salad. Add feta crumbles and walnuts throughout. Sprinkle the remaining mint on top. For the cucumber, we have “veggetti’d” (or spiralized) it and placed it on the bottom. This can also be chopped and added normally. 

You’ll find that between the watermelon and cucumber, dressing is unnecessary. This salad is a friendly battle of flavors, while also being cool and refreshing. Remember, especially with temperatures going up, it’s not just water that can hydrate you.