Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

I hope everyone had a good weekend! I have been looking to make some vegetarian meals to offset some of the more meat centered meals we usually have (and Kevin loves). I got a little bit of resistance that this recipe did not have any meat, but Kevin and I both thought the tacos were yummy and filling!

It is good to have some meals that are more plant based in our diet, and you cannot go wrong with yummy veggie and bean tacos. Check out the recipe below!


Recipe via avocadopesto.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced red onions
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • handful cilantro, diced
  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • lime, to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a bowl toss together squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, paprika and salt. Bake in preheated oven on aluminum foil lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until soft.
  • Heat pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add red onions and chipotle peppers. Cook for a couple minutes and add the black beans. Add cumin and salt. Cook for a few minutes, mixing occasionally.
  • In a blender or food processor combine avocado, lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.
  • Heat corn tortillas on skillet for 10-20 seconds per side.
  • Top tortillas with squash, black beans, avocado crema, squeeze of lime juice and cilantro.

I hope you enjoy it!

– A –

 

Simple, Smart Dinner Swap-out

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I hope you were able to enjoy the long holiday weekend while remembering those who served our country. I was working some of the weekend, but was still able to enjoy some sunshine and spend time with family and friends.

Lately, I have been consciously trying to make healthy swaps in my diet that don’t compromise taste. A few weeks ago I purchased the Vegetti and I have been using it to make zoodles (zucchini noodles) in place of pasta in multiple recipes. The Vegetti is user and budget friendly and can turn multiple vegetables including zucchini, sweet potatoes, or carrots into noodles. I wanted to share one of the recipes I made last week with zoodles. My dad used to make this recipe often and I was craving it, but didn’t want the carb load from the pasta. So without further ado, here is the recipe, enjoy!

Simple Chicken & Veggie Zoodle Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken breast
  • 3 peppers (I used one of each: orange, red, and yellow)
  • 1 container mushrooms
  • 4 zucchinis
  • Mediterranean Dipping Oil (or similar Mediterranean olive oil)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Romano cheese

Directions

1.Begin by cutting chicken into small strips. Cook chicken in olive oil coated pan on medium until cooked through. Season with garlic pepper, pepper, and salt while cooking.

2. Using the Vegetti, turn the zucchini into zoodles. I used the thick setting for this dish. Set aside.

3.  Cut peppers into small strips. When chicken is done cooking, remove from pan and set aside. After adding more olive oil, cook peppers and mushrooms.

4. While peppers and mushrooms are cooking in one pan, use another pan coated with olive oil to cook zoodles on medium. Season with salt and pepper and turn zoodles regularly to ensure all zoodles are cooked evenly.

5. When veggies are done cooking, replace chicken back into pan with peppers and mushrooms and heat while zoodles finish cooking.

6. Finally, top zoodles with chicken and veggie mixture. Drizzle with desired amount of Mediterranean dipping oil and top with romano cheese.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! What is your favorite vegetable noodle recipe? I would love to add more recipes to my collection! Have a great week!

– M –

 

Apples Galore

Good Morning! I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend. I unfortunately had to work all weekend, but I was able to enjoy a trip to Erwin’s Apple Orchard with Nick on Thursday. It was beautiful outside and we picked some apples before treating ourselves to a donut and cider. No, we did not plan to match, but it made for a cute picture!

togetheratheart_apples

togetheratheart_apples

We came home with over two dozen apples including a huge bag of my favorite, Honeycrisp. We weren’t able to pick the Honeycrisp since they are so popular and were already picked, but we snagged an already bagged bunch from the cider mill before heading home.

togetheratheart_apples

Now you ask, what do I do with this many apples? While I do love an apple with peanut butter as a snack, I have recently tried some recipes that incorporate this delicious fruit (with some help from Pinterest of course) that I want to share with you today.  If you don’t have a bunch of apples on hand, here is your excuse to go get some while they are still in  their prime season.

Apple Pie Bites

togetheratheart_apples

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 8 oz can Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).
  3. Unroll crescent dough and separate the pieces of dough laying them flat on baking sheet.
  4. Mix brown sugar and apple pie spice and sprinkle mixture evenly on each dough piece.
  5. Sprinkle each piece of dough with pecans.
  6. Slice apple and dip each apple slice in butter.
  7. Place one apple slice on each dough piece at the thickest side and begin to roll each dough piece where the apple is placed.
  8. Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter and sprinkle with apple pie spice.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crescents are golden brown.
  10. Enjoy warm and add vanilla ice cream to get the a la mode effect!

(http://theblondcook.com/2014/11/apple-pie-bites/#_a5y_p=3786077)

Fall-Inspired Salad

togetheratheart_apples

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 apple
  • Spring mix lettuce
  • 1/8 onion
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon craisins
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon Panera Fuji Apple Vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

  1. Chop apple into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cut onion into slices.
  3. Place desired amount of lettuce into bowl.
  4. Add all other ingredients and top with dressing.
  5. Enjoy!

– M –

Tailgate Chip Dip

Happy Monday! I hope you all had an exciting, football-filled weekend like I did! I attended the MSU vs Oregon football game on Saturday. Not only did the Spartans pull out a victory (GO GREEN!), but I had a great time tailgating and celebrating with friends and family!

Along with tailgating comes yummy food, drinks, and getting excited for the upcoming game. I’m always looking for new recipes to try and came across a delicious chip dip because someone was serving it at their party. It is always a good sign when everyone is surrounding and devouring one specific dish, and I loved it myself. My mom and I have made it a few times now, and every time it is completely gone and numerous people have asked for the recipe. Bonus that it is packed with veggies and beans so you don’t feel super guilty eating it. I hope you all enjoy it as much as everyone at the tailgate did! Beware it is highly addicting!

Veggie and Bean Chip Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 15.25 oz can corn
  • 1 15 oz black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 packet good seasons dressing mix

Directions:

  • Place corn, beans, and chopped veggies in a medium bowl.
  • Mix oil, vinegar, and seasoning packet.
  • Add liquid dressing to veggie and bean mix.

togetheratheart_dip

I intended on taking a picture of the dip at the tailgate, but the fun and craziness got the best of me, oops! When my mom, and I make it, we dice the avocado smaller than what’s shown in the above picture.

(Picture from http://www.rachelcooks.com/2011/07/01/black-bean-and-avocado-dip-or-salad/)

– M –

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Hello my friends! I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Today I want to share my favorite smoothie recipe with you. To be honest, I make this smoothie on a weekly basis (I may be addicted). It is the perfect post-workout treat as it has protein, fruit, and is refreshing. It is also a great way to beat the heat on these summer days and perfect to enjoy poolside or at night as dessert. I will share the recipe based on one serving, but it is easy to double or triple the recipe to share with friends.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tablespoons of PB2 powdered peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt (I use Dannon Light & Fit vanilla flavored)
  • Almond milk- start with 1/4 cup and add more until it reaches a smoothie-like consistency

togetheratheart_pb&bsmoothie

Directions:

Cut bananas into slices and freeze in Ziploc baggy prior to making a smoothie. Add frozen bananas, PB2, greek yogurt, and almond milk to blender. Blend ingredients together adding more almond milk as necessary until it reaches your desired consistency. Pour into cup of your choice and sip away!

togetheratheart_pb&bsmoothie

This is such a simple and healthy recipe to enjoy anytime of the day. When we purchased our Ninja blender last summer I was constantly experimenting with smoothie recipes. As soon as I created this recipe I was hooked! The most challenging part is adding the right amount of almond milk. I don’t exactly measure the almond milk but instead I eyeball it and add more as the ingredients blend together.

togetheratheart_pb&bsmoothie

I usually enjoy my smoothies in this mason-jar like cup from Target that has a lid and straw so it keeps my smoothies cold (and I can’t resist a cute mason jar). I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do!

Talk to you soon.

M