Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


It’s time to break out the salad bowl!

And it’s time to switch things up a bit. Yes, romaine is good and so are tomatoes and all of the other “usual” salad suspects, but why not try something new? What would you say to Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette?

“That’s too fancy!” Is that perhaps your answer? I sure hope not because that’s just not true. Yes, it may sound fancy, but the ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy. See, not fancy at all!

My new salad obsession just happens to begin with my favorite green, baby arugula. There’s just something special about that little green leaf. It’s just so….spicy and interesting. And I like my food spicy and interesting! When you pair arugula with dried chopped apricots (for a little sweetness), sliced apples, pistachios, feta cheese and champagne vinaigrette, you’ve got a unique salad that is incredibly interesting (and nutritious).

So bust out that bowl and salad tongs and get mixing!

The Pretty Pictures of My Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette:

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Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Arugula tastes divine tossed with dried apricots, pistachios, fresh apple and a crisp champagne vinaigrette!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula, washed (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium apple, cored and sliced into thin strips or julienned (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped (1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar. Pour in the olive oil and whisk until combined. Stir in the dried thyme.
  2. To a large salad or mixing bowl, add the baby arugula along with the apple, apricots, feta cheese and pistachios. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  3. Portion onto plates and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make it meal! Just add sliced chicken or garbanzo beans.
  • Recipe makes about 3 tablespoons dressing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 171
  • Fat: 12
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 14
  • Protein: 4
  • Cholesterol: 8

Easy Freezer Burritos

Do you have 15 cents?

Of course you do!

Here’s the deal, you could spend 50 cents on a lackluster burrito, or you could spend half that and have a tasty burrito loaded with nutritious ingredients. If you’re like me, you’ll choose the 15 cent burrito. Not sure how to make this amazingly inexpensive, delicious burrito? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. My Easy Freezer Burritos recipe is below and some pictures in case you need inspiration or instruction.

The Pretty Pictures of Easy Freezer Burritos:

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Easy Freezer Burritos


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Don’t buy burritos anymore! Make them yourself with delicious, nutritious ingredients to fill you and nourish you.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prepared quinoa*
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
  • 12 whole wheat or sprouted whole grain 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, corn, salsa and cheddar cheese.
  2. Lay tortillas out onto a clean work surface then spread 1/4 cup bean mixture down the middle of each tortilla.
  3. To roll: Fold one end of the tortilla to meet the other. Gently push back the tortilla and ingredients so they are tight. Fold outside edges inward, then roll until burrito is closed. Repeat the process with the remaining burritos.

To freeze

  1. Tear 12 sheets of foil. Place a burrito in the center of each piece of foil and tightly roll up. Place foil-wrapped burritos in a freezer bag. Label and date them before storing them in the freezer.

To enjoy

  1. Remove burritos from foil and place on a microwave-safe plate. Cover and cook on high heat for about 1 minute. Check and add more time if necessary. If you’re unsure, use a food thermometer and cook until internal temperature reaches 165’F.

Notes

  • Makes 12 burritos
  • *Of course I wouldn’t leave you hanging! Here’s how you prepare the quinoa: https://www.sarahaasrdn.com/freezer-quinoa/

Nutrition

  • Calories: 2886
  • Sugar: 10
  • Sodium: 1271
  • Fat: 46
  • Saturated Fat: 20
  • Unsaturated Fat: 21
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 503
  • Protein: 115
  • Cholesterol: 89

Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Chickpeas are your new best friend…

Why? Because they are awesome for you nutritionally (high in fiber, plenty of amazing vitamins and minerals, vegetarian protein, etc) and they taste great so many different ways.

Think I’m just pulling a crazy dietitian stunt on you?

No way! I love tasty food just as much, if not more, than you do. I would never recommend a food that I didn’t deem “tasty.” Now way!

But why chickpeas Sara?

Chickpeas are the underdog in the bean world seeming to only really be appreciated for their necessity in making hummus. Boo to that I say! Chickpeas belong front and center and here’s just the dish that does that.

Meet my Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing!

This salad is booming with flavor and it’s not only craveable, it’s addicting. Nothing beats lots of fresh parsley and lemon and when you add in creamy tahini, you’ve got a dressing that really shines.

So here you go my friends, my Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing!

 

And here are the pretty pictures:

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Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A refreshing, yet hearty salad made with chickpeas, bell peppers, parsley all tossed in a tangy lemon-tahini dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1cup)
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a mixing bowl whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and honey. Add the olive oil and continue whisking until combined, then add the water. Toss in the chickpeas, bell pepper, red onion and parsley and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Notes

  • Makes about 3 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 198
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 237
  • Fat: 8
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 28
  • Protein: 7
  • Cholesterol: 0

Cacao Pretzel Snacks

Cacao.

It’s a fun word. Say it. Seriously, say it out loud. Super fun, right?

Fun and popular, cacao sure is sitting pretty these days. It’s trendy and it’s hip…even though it’s really nothing new.

Nope, cacao has been around for awhile. Never heard of it? Sure you have, it’s also known as cocoa, the more modern-ish term we typically use here in America. Cacao (and cocoa) refers to the dried beans from the cocoa tree. Generally, cacao is synonymous with the unroasted or raw version of the cocao bean, with cocoa being the roasted and sometimes more processed cacao bean. Cacao can be turned into everything from “nibs”( essentially broken pieces of cacao beans) to powder.  

If cacao isn’t new, then why this surge in popularity? Well my guess it’s because people are looking for all kinds of ways to add a nutritious boost to their smoothie bowls, oatmeal, shakes and everything in between. Cacao is a good choice then as it’s got a pretty nice nutrition profile, containing several antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and iron. But like anything, enjoy in moderation.

Looking to try cacao beans? Then try my recipe below for Cacao Pretzel Snacks. They are super easy to make and provide a nice introduction to cacao. 

And a big thank you to the Recipe Redux!  This recipe was inspired by this month’s theme of building a recipe using an ingredient I’ve never used before. 

And the Pretty Pictures of Cacao Pretzels Snacks:

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Cacao Pretzel Snacks


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple snack made with whole grain pretzels, Greek yogurt and cacao nibs.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
  • 20 whole grain pretzels twists

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the yogurt and cacao nibs in separate small bowls.
  2. Dip half of each pretzel in the yogurt, then the cinnamon sugar mixture and finally in the cacao nibs. Place coated pretzels on a clean sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from the freezer and enjoy.

Notes

  • Mix it up! Add a dash of cayenne pepper to the sugar mixture or add crushed nuts to the cacao nibs. Have fun by coming up with your own, unique flavors!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 124
  • Sugar: 2
  • Sodium: 520
  • Fat: 1
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 25
  • Protein: 3
  • Cholesterol: 0

 


PB&J Granola Parfait

Surprise! It’s Recipe Redux time. 

This month’s theme was to find a cookbook and “Redux” the recipe on page 54 or page 154. “Alrighty then…let’s see how this goes”, I thought to myself as I eagerly reached for Jackie Newgent’s new cookbook, The All Natural Diabetes Cookbook (the night before my “Redux” was due)! “Please Jackie, please let page 54 hold a recipe that I have most of the ingredients for…and let it be a breakfast dish!” I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I turned to page 54, because there, on that beautiful page was not only a good recipe, but a GREAT recipe! Her Homemade Granola-Raspberry Parfaits! If she would’ve been here, I would’ve given her a huge hug. Success!

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Super Simple Tomatillo Salsa

You’ll wonder why you’ve never made tomatillo salsa before…

I know, you’re doubting me when I say that, right? Why make it when you can buy a perfectly decent canned version? Hear me out! Besides being fun to play with (I mean, how awesome are those papery skins they come in?), tomatillos are a breeze to work with. And I have to say, fresh tomatillo salsa is darn good! I mean, really good. So good you’ll want to add it to everything you make. From scrambled eggs to chicken salad, it’ll be your new favorite condiment!

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A bean burger with a Mediterranean twist! Check out these easy and delicious Mediterranean Veggie Burgers! @cookinRD | sarahaasrdn.com

Mediterranean Veggie Burger

When life hands you lemons…

There was this time a few weeks ago when I really thought I had it together and then, poof, it all collapsed.

I felt great, I had this fantastic veggie burger recipe all queued up and then, life hit me. Not a literal punch in the face, more of like a “hey, stop biting off more than you can chew!” kind of way. Hence, the delayed post and hence why I have yet to update and face-lift my little blog here. But you’re here and I’m here now, so let’s celebrate that little victory, shall we?

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Red Curry Quinoa Soup

Why I made this recipe: Because “soup season” has officially begun in my household and because I really enjoy a bold-flavored, hearty soup like this Red Curry Quinoa Soup.

Why I love this recipe: Well, for the reasons I made this soup and for a few more too. First, quinoa is one of my favorite grains, not only is it nutritious, but it cooks super fast. That means this soup comes together fast too! Why else, you ask? Because it’s totally satisfying. There’s nothing I dislike more than a weak, bland, watery soup. This one is none of those things! 

How this recipe is healthy: Oh, that quinoa! Not only does it cook fast, but it is so nutritious! A perfect source of vegetarian protein and loaded with fiber and iron, it’s a delightful alternative to rice and other grains. And how about that red curry paste! Never heard of it? Well, let me introduce you to your new kitchen staple. This stuff is simply magical. Typically used in Thai cooking, it adds serious depth of flavor to any dish you make, plus a little heat. All of that flavor doesn’t even come at a caloric cost either! The ingredients, usually chili peppers, garlic, galangal (or Thai ginger), shallot, spices and kaffir lime are foods that are loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients, that also happen to be amazingly flavorful. A true culinary and nutritional gem.  

And here are the pretty pictures:

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Red Curry Quinoa Soup


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A hearty soup made with earthy, robust red curry paste, fresh vegetables and quinoa.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Sea or Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper and sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, curry paste and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the quinoa and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.
  3. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.

Notes

  • Cut the potatoes into half-inch cubes, this helps them to cook more quickly. And don’t worry if they’re not exactly a half-inch, just about that size is perfect! 🙂
  • Portion is a generous 1 cup.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 164
  • Sugar: 2
  • Sodium: 637
  • Fat: 4
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 26
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 0

Basic Black Beans From Scratch – Recipe Redux

Looking to “amp-up” your freezer-meal arsenal? Have no fear, because my Basic Black Beans are here!

Ok, so that was a little hokey, but it’s true! This month’s theme for the Recipe Redux was to share one of our favorite freezer meals. Immediately, I thought of my favorite recipe for basic black beans. How many times have they saved my life? More than I can count, let’s just say that.

What’s so great about these beans? EVERYTHING!

I’m not joking. They are just an all-around hero in my house and let me tell you why. First, they are made from scratch and that makes for some pretty perfect beans. Oh, I hear you mocking me about that, but hear me out. When you cook beans from scratch, you get to flavor them and control their firmness. Have you ever tried to eat a bean from a can, just by itself? It’s not that great, right? Generally flavorless and slightly on the mushy side, right? Well, those beans have their purpose, but not when I just want to sit down and eat a bowl full. Second, these beans are freezer champions. Meaning, you can stick these beauties in the freezer and then break off bits and pieces when you want them. It’s amazing and such a time saver!

Oh, I can almost hear you now…”Sara, this is great, but what the heck am I going to do with all of these beans?”

Don’t freak out! I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! There’s sooooo much you can do with these. First, you can literally just eat them out of the pot like soup. Top a bowl of black beans with Greek yogurt, a little salsa and cheddar cheese and you’ve got an amazing meal. Or, drain them and add them to tacos or burritos. Still not buying it? Try mashing them up and putting them in a quesadilla or on top of a piece of whole grain toast along with some avocado. Sound good? Whew…now go make them and see for yourself!

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Basic Black Beans From Scratch


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

With just a little planning, delicious black beans can be yours to be used in any meal. These beans freeze well, so enjoy some now and stick them in the freezer to have later.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Instructions

The night before

  1. Place the rinsed black beans in one or two large, sealable container(s) and pour enough water over them to cover by a few inches (they’ll expand a little, so give them room!)

To cook the beans

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds, stirring and cook an additional 1 minute.
  2. Drain the beans from the soaking liquid (you can toss the soaking liquid) and place in the pot with the onions and cumin. Add the water, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover partially with a lid. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, Add the salt and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until the beans are tender, but still holding their shape.
  3. Remove beans from the heat and stir in the Mexican oregano.
  4. Serve as is for the perfect side dish or drain and add to tacos or quesadillas. They can also be served as soup and topped with Greek yogurt, chopped tomatoes and fresh cilantro.

Notes

  • Makes about 6 cups drained black beans.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12
  • Calories: 146
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 8
  • Fat: 2
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 25
  • Protein: 8
  • Cholesterol: 0

 


Easy Pizza Toasts

I know you and I know you love pizza.

You love it so much that you insist on ordering it at least once a week from your favorite pizza place. While that’s fine and good, it’s um, actually not. Many pizza places load on the heavy toppings and leave you feeling like you just ate a vat of oil topped with a salt lick. Yuck. Ok, well, maybe it tastes good at the time, but it can leave you feeling pretty gross. But don’t worry, I have a solution! My famous (or soon-to-be-famous) Easy Pizza Toasts.

Yes, pizza can be yours and it can taste good and leave you feeling awesome!

What’s the trick? There isn’t one! Yup, it really is easy. Let me explain. Start with some yummy whole wheat bread then slice it thinly. Cook up some yummy veggies (this toast I made with onions and squash) – hint, cut them up small so that they cook fast (this also makes them look super cute on your toasts). Spread a little marinara on top of those bread slices, top with a little cheese (a good, flavorful sharp cheddar is my favorite), then add the veggies. Slide them into the oven for about 10 minutes  and you’ve got Easy Pizza Toasts!

So, no more heavy pizza for you (ok, have it every once in awhile), instead enjoy the crispy, crunchy, veggie-goodness of these Pizza Toasts!

 

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Easy Pizza Toasts


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Quickly sautéed veggies piled high on whole grain bread topped with cheddar cheese then toasted in the oven.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 loaf, 15-ounce whole wheat baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion (about 2 1/2 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 medium yellow squash (about 5 ounces), diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup canned or jarred marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400’F. Line a 9×13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. (You may need to adjust the heat to prevent burning.) Stir in the zucchini, squash and salt and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and oregano and cook one more minute. Remove pan from the heat.
  3. Spread marinara sauce evenly over bread slices, then sprinkle with cheese. Top each slice with some of the squash mixture. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.
  4. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 20 pizza toasts. A great appetizer or main dish!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 5
  • Calories: 476
  • Sugar: 7
  • Sodium: 1034
  • Fat: 23
  • Saturated Fat: 11
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 50
  • Protein: 20
  • Cholesterol: 49