Category Archives: Appetizers

Zesty Baked Falafel 

Yummy! I love Mediterranean food, and for me, I’d rather have a falafel than almost any meat I can think of!  I know a few of the spices here are a bit strange, but trust me, if you can find Za’atar and Aleppo Pepper, this flavor is amazing!  The fresh parsley is also a must. These were delicious and healthier than the usual fried fare when it comes to falafel! A homemade creamy tzatziki sauce keeps things from getting dry. I will be making this again soon!
You need:

2 cups mashed chick peas

-large handful of parsley, chopped well

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-2tsp tahini

-2 prunes or dates, minced

-2sp olive oil

-1 lemon rind zested/ minced 

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-1 tsp za’atar blend (try natural foods store)

-1/2 tsp aleppo dried chili pepper (subs crushed red pepper if hard to find)

Mix well in a bowl using your hands form into balls. Yields about 12. Place on parchment paper and bake at 400 for 13min.

Remove and cool.
To make tzatziki sauce combine:

-1/2 large cucumber grated

-1/2 cup plain non fat greek yogurt

-juice of 1/2 large lemon

-2 small cloves garlic minced
Serve with pita, greens or pea shoots as pictured, Hummus, and warm pita or flatbread.


Broccoli Tots

Another take on the tater tot gone cauliflower tot, now gone broccoli tot 🙂 Because everything that can be dipped in ketchup is delicious. Tastes like eating junk food, but really, nutrient packed. Win-win, if you ask me.

You need:

1 large stalk broccoli lightly steamed, removed immediately from heat and run under cold water to begin cooling, then chopped

1 large clove garlic minced

2 green onions chopped

1 yellow bell pepper chopped fine

Black and red pepper to taste

1 laughing cow light cheese wedge

1 egg

 Once your broccoli is well cooled, place it into a towel or cheesecloth. Then wring as much water out as you possibly can; this is the key to these sticking together.  Then place broccoli and all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Form into little nugget/tots and place on parchment paper.
Bake at 400F x15 min, flip, and bake and additional 10min. Enjoy!

High Protein Pizza

I’ll admit, I prefer the doughy goodness of regular pizza crust any day, but you simply cannot argue with these macros! And my guy ate half the pizza in one sitting, so that is one taste teste approval! You don’t taste the turkey in this, and it holds together really well, no falling apart crust here! One little slice packs a whopping 15g of protein for a mere 100 calories. If you are trying to watch your calories or simply build muscle, this is the pizza for you!! Would you believe that all that bubbly cheese is nothing but low fat cottage cheese? It bakes up well, not just a cold side dish with fruit!

1 lb extra lean ground turkey

1/4 tsp each onion/garlic powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp each oregano and basil
Mix well and press onto parchement paper in pizza shape of choice

Bake 375×15 min. Remove from oven and blot off extra moisture that accumulates in cooking.
Top with :

2/3 cup marinara sauce

1 large minced garlic clove

1/2 cup fresh spinach

1 small zuccini sliced, steamed, patted dry

1/2 can sliced black olives

1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts

About 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
Bake at 375 x 12 min then broil on high for 2-3 min.
Parchement paper burned a little on broil, but the pizza was perfect!
2 filling pieces are only 202 cal, 4.5 fat, 3.5 fiber, 9 carb, 31 protein!

Breaded Tofu Nuggets

Yum, these were good. True story, I like these better than their chicken counterparts, hands down. The texture of a very firm tofu is just so good, and with some great seasoning and a nice crispy finish, this tastes like junk food, but it so isn’t. Suggested serving as pictured below was with some steamed okra and roasted kabocha squash for a meal of champions. Seriously, doesn’t get any better in my book 😀

You need:

-16 oz extra firm tofu (I use the trader joes organic high protein kind in the vacuum pack, refrigerated section), cut into 1 oz cubes, pressed to remove any excess water, and patted dry

-1 egg, beaten to dip it in

-1/2 tsp each Garlic/onion powder, beaten in with the egg


-Nutritional yeast

-Red pepper

-Black pepper



-Dried parsley

Simply dip pieces into the beaten egg, and tap on the bowl to shake off excess, roll into your spices mixture. I did not measure amounts of the spices/nutritional yeast/cornmeal, because honestly it is just to taste. I did about equal parts cornmeal:nutritional yeast:spices blend. Mix it all together and the press dipped tofu firmly into this breading, turning to coat all sides well. I found that really pressing the tofu into the breading helped it really adhere and create a perfect crisp edge to the tofu nuggets. 

Bake at 475F on a sprayed foil or cookie sheet for 10min, flip over and bake an additional 10 on the other side.

Enjoy!! Recommended Sir Kensignton’s spiced ketchup. Healthy, low sugar, and so tasty! 

Pumpkin Turkey Meatballs

I know I know, sounds crazy, but honestly, you don’t taste pumpkin, you do taste that your turkey is no longer dry, but nice and moist in texture thanks to the wholesome goodness of 100% pumpkin.  So tasty and so good for you too!

You need:

17 oz very lean ground turkey

1 egg, beaten

3.7oz pumpkin purée (about 1/2can)

1tbs green onions

1tbs ground flaxmeal

1tbs wheat germ

1tsp basil

1tsp oregano

1tsp crushed red pepper

1tsp black pepper

1tsp garlic/onion powder

1/8tsp ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients well in a large bowl until all spices are well incorporated and form into 17 balls. Then cooking them is up to you.  You can bake on parchment paper (350F for 30min), simmer in marinara sauce, or pan fry.  Serve with black bean noodles or spiralized zuccini or sweet potato noodles for a gluten free, healthy option. They pack really well just baked to take for lunches and even top on salads.


1 serving of 4 meatballs is approx:

118 calories






Nom Nom Chicken Tenders

Dip these puppies in some organic ketchup and feel like a kid again 😀 Now that I’m cooking meat in order to meat my protein goals more easily, I’ve had to get creative with my chicken preparation. While I still hate handling raw meat, I’m getting pretty good at some easy yummy chicken recipes for the first time in my life. This is super duper easy and takes me back to comfort food eating back in Nashville. Just need to make a healthy tater tot recipe to go with 😀 These are gluten free.

 This one you need:
About 1.2lb chicken breast tenders

1 egg beaten (or equivalent in egg whites)

For breading simply mix nutritional yeast, cornmeal, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper
Take your tenders and one by one pat very dry. Then dip in egg whites shaking off any excess and drop into your dry breaking mix. Press firmly into seasoning mix and flip, pressing again firmly so all your crust adheres well to your chicken. Meanwhile preheat oven and spray your foil with coconut oil.

Place breaded tenders on pan and give them a spritz of oil on top for optimal crispy texture. 

Bake at 450F for about 15 minutes, depending on size of tenders. Enjoy! So good. Healthy food that only tastes like junk food 🙂

PS, if you can find this spiced Sir Kensignton ketchup, I highly recommend it with the tenders !!



Shoestring Sweet Potato Noodles

 If you don’t own a spiralizer, I highly recommend that you get one. Though they take up a little space, and are kind of annoying to clean, they make vegetables into noodles, need I say more?? Zuccini noodles raw make for great salads, very lightly cooked they are great with Italian flavors, and then there is the whole world of spiralized potatoes and sweet potatoes!!! You can cook them both by sauté and by baking. Today I went with baking to experience the chewiness of sweet potato noodles made in this manner. They take a different texture sautéed but are soft and chewy when baked. Yes please!

Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. I used 2. Then spiralized them using the larger noodle option of the 2 sizes that came with my spiralizer (I think I payed about $20 on Amazon). Then place on parchment paper, spritz with oil of choice, and then sprinkle with seasonings. I went with black pepper, crushed red pepper, and basil. Whatever you prefer! Ginger, garlic, rosemary, salt would be other nice additions. Then in preheated oven, bake at 370F x 17 minutes for chewy soft noodles! To turn these into shoestring fries, leave them in longer, being careful not to burn them…
These would be incredible for making a pad thai, even spagetti and meatballs, and of course as a delicious side item 🙂
Enjoy!! 😀












Glorious Golden Beets

Simple and beautiful, an excellent side dish or salad topper! 
All you need:

2 large gold beets, peeled and chopped

Coconut oil spray for pan and tops of beets

1tsp fresh minced Rosemary

Salt, pepper to taste 

Sprinkles of Nutmeg

Sprinkles of Ginger powder

Preheat oven to 350. Wash, peel and chop your beets into 1/2 in cubes. Spray your own with coconut or olive oil spray and place beets singe layer in your dish. Then spray again. Sprinkle all seasonings on top of beets and put in the oven for 1 hour, checking in 15 min increments for overcooking. My beets were particularly tough to begin with so used the full hour, but yours could potentially be done as soon as 30minutes in, so keep an eye out! That is it! Enjoy!


Homemade California Roll

Every now and then we’ll splurge on some fresh crab at whole foods. Sometimes we just eat it plain, and sometimes there’s some extra with which to experiment. I know it is basic, but I still love a California roll, especially one with real crab.
You need:

-about 3-4 oz fresh crab

-about 2 oz plain Greek yogurt

-1-2 tbs green onion

-Black pepper

-2 seaweed wraps

-1 cup sticky rice of choice (I used a black rice/gf steel cut oat blend– oats make the rice sticky)

-1/4 cucumber slices

-1/4 avocado sliced 
Lay your seaweed sheet on a piece of plastic cling wrap, I put mine on top of a cutting board. 

The only trick I used is a line of water on each end of the nori wrap to help it stick together.

One by one, lay a nori sheet on a piece of plastic wrap (on top of a towel to make easier to handle, without plastic sticking to anything). Spread a layer of rice (actualy optional but recommended) to desired thickness over bottom 1/2 to 3/4 of wrap. Line up veggies/fillings. Spread a line of water (just dip your finer in water (along two ends of the wrap, and roll up, starting at full end and rolling towards empty end.

Marinaded Tofu/Garbanzo Salad

This is another family recipe, adapted from one sent to me by my Aunt Cheryl. She made this as a shrimp salad, and I just veganized it and tweaked it a bit. Hers with the shrimp though is amazing, I just took what I had at home, and this did not include shrimp!  She actually adapted her recipe from one by her mother in law, who used to make this dish for fabulous parties in NYC!  So fun 🙂  We had the shrimp version with french bread and avocado. I had this version over a bed of mixed greens with green onionand avocado today. So good!

You need:

1 tbs olive oil 

3/4 tbs dijon mustard 

1.5 tbs coconut vinegar

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes

1 cup celery chopped 

1/8 c. fresh parsley chopped

2 tbs white onion minced

3tbs bell pepper, i used red

1/2 tbs ketchup

8oz tofu

3/4 cup chopped cucumber

1tbs liquid aminos

1tbs green onion

1/2 tbs water

1/2 can chick peas

Cube the tofu and press water out for about 20 minutes. While doing this, chop all your veggies and combine in a large bowl. Mix tofu in with this. In another bowl or cup, combine all herbs/sauces/liquids and whisk together until emulsified. Then pour sauce over tofu/garbanzo/veggies and toss together. The tofu will really soak up the flavor the longer this sits in the fridge, so feel free to marinate up to 24 hrs.

Spicy and tasty! Garnish with green onions and avocado! Serve over lettuce. Play around with the ingredients and enjoy!