Confetti Quinoa and Chickpea Lettuce Wraps (Vegan)

This makes an absolutely gorgeous, healthy lunch! Replacing tortillas with lettuce leaves reduces your carb load and adds an extra boost of health!



2 cups cooked quinoa
1½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup shredded kale
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp hemp oil (olive, avocado, flax, or sacha inchi oils are also fine)
1 tsp dijon mustard
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
16 romaine lettuce leaves

Read the entire recipe and directions at The Full Helping.

Grilled Veggies with Lemon-Basil Dressing

This is an absolutely delicious recipe for a warm summer night, plus the leftover vegetables are amazing on sandwiches or in pasta!


2 sweet bell peppers, cut in half, cored and halves cut in half
2 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise in half or into thirds or sliced on a diagonal into ½-inch slices.
1 medium eggplant, trimmed and sliced crosswise into ½-inch slices
1 red onion, cut cross-wise into ¼-inch slices

Lemon-Basil Dressing: (this makes a lot of dressing, but if you cut it in half the blender doesn't have enough stuff to blend well):
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 small garlic cloves
¾ cup basil leaves
½ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Read the entire recipe and directions at Pamela Salzman's Blog.

Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes

These whole grain, high protein pancakes are a great way to start the day, and are a perfect accompaniment to a relaxed Saturday morning!



Dry ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

See the entire recipe and directions at Ambitious Kitchen.

Chopped Chickpea Greek Salad

This fresh salad is bursting with flavor, and the added chickpeas give an extra boost of protein and fiber!



For the salad:
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
15 grape tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 medium cucumber, sliced and quartered
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled or cut into 1/2 inch cubes

For the dressing:
1 tablespon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

Read the entire recipe and directions at The Ambitious Kitchen.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad

This salad is perfect for an evening out on the patio enjoying an early summer evening!


1 medium eggplant
3 ears corn
2 medium zucchini
2 small or one medium summer squash
1 whole red onion
1 bunch asparagus
1 red pepper
¼ cup herb infused oil, for grilling
2 pounds mixed grape, cherry and mini sunglow tomatoes (or any of your own favorite varieties)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a thin chiffonade
4 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

¼ cup herb infused oil
Zest of half a lemon
Juice from one lemon (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at A Family Feast.

Strawberry, Spinach, and Asparagus Salad

All three of these ingredients can be found at our local farmer's markets! The Palos Heights Farmer's Market is on Wednesday mornings at the municipal lot at 122nd and Harlem!


2 cups fresh asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
2 heaping cups fresh spinach
2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced in half
1 large spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup pea shoots
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at Spoonful of Flavor.

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese

This is a delicious dairy free alternative to the classic macaroni and cheese- it's healthier too!



2 cups raw cashews
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large jalapeño, chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shell pasta (or any kind of gluten free pasta you’d like!)

To garnish:
Jalapeno slices
Freshly ground black pepper

Read the entire recipe and directions at Ambitious Kitchen.


Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins make a tasty and healthy breakfast or snack!


1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup oats old fashioned or quick-cooking
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup diced fresh strawberries

See the entire recipe and directions at The Lemon Bowl.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

This recipe is made especially delicious with the fresh spring asparagus that's available now! It can also easily be made gluten free by substituting gluten free pasta!


8 oz. penne pasta, uncooked (gluten free if desired)
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced purple onion

For the dressing:
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (if dairy free, substitute Tofutti sour cream or blended tofu)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at I Wash, You Dry.

Snap Pea and Lettuce Soup

Doesn't that recipe title sound crazy? This makes an absolutely delicious springtime soup!

lettuce soup.jpg


2 leeks, sliced (white and green parts only)
1/4 c. butter
8 c. chicken stock
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 lb. snap peas, trimmed
2 romaine hearts, chopped
3 tbsp. fresh tarragon
1/2 c. Buttermilk (or substitute non dairy milk with 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice or vinegar added)
kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at Country Living.

Springtime Quinoa Salad

This is a perfect spring salad that's simple to make!




1 cup uncooked quinoa
2-3 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup feta cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil and cilantro
1/2 cup almonds, pulsed in a food processor until crushed


1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 large juicy lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
a few tablespoons honey (I did 3, but adjust to taste)

See the entire recipe and directions at Pinch of Yum.

Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup

The cauliflower in this soup helps to make this a nice, substantial soup while still being low in calories. Plus the recipe is both Paleo and vegan!



5-6 cups of cauliflower florets (about 3-4 cups when "riced'). See notes.
2- 3 tbsp curry powder or curry seasoning (turmeric should is usually included in the curry seasoning/powder)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
2-3 tbsp olive oil for roasting
3/4 cup red onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
8 kale leaves with stems removed and chopped
2 cups (5oz) chopped carrots
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken if not vegan)
1 cup almond milk or coconut milk (the drinking kind works best and is smoother).
1/2 tsp red pepper or chili flakes (use less if you don't want as spicy)
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste after cooking

See the entire recipe and directions at Cotter Crunch.

Perfect Paleo Lemon Bars (GF & Nut Free)

These are a delicious, fresh tasting treat for gluten-free and Paleo diets! They're definitely a crowd pleaser!

lemon bars paleo.jpg

1/4 cup raw honey
1/3 cup ghee room temp*
1 egg room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/8 tsp sea salt
grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice about 4 lemons
Grated zest of one lemon
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp raw honey
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp coconut flour

See the entire recipe and directions at Paleo Running Mama.

Spring Risotto with Brown Rice and Asparagus

Spring is nearly here, and delicious young shoots of asparagus can be found in the grocery store! This is a wonderful risotto recipe that uses whole grain brown rice instead of the processed white rice found in most risotto recipes. It makes a great side dish or light dinner!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)
¼ cup 1% milk
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces using only the top ¾ of stalk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at Tastefully Julie.

Delicious Lentil Salad

Lentils are the queen of legumes- they're quick cooking, don't require soaking, and are incredibly versatile! They're also a fantastic source of fiber and vegetarian protein! This salad makes a fantastic lunch or light dinner! The recipe uses feta, which can easily be disregarded for dairy free and vegan diets. I'd definitely recommend doubling the recipe so you have leftovers!



1 cup  dried green lentils (or other lentils) (Note 1 for canned)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (or water + 1 bouillon cube, crumbled)
1 1/2 cups water
1 large garlic clove, smashed
Lemon peel (about 1.5 x 5 cm / 3/4 x 2")
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 rib celery, broken into 3 or 4 pieces (or just a handful of leafy fronds)

8oz cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 cucumbers, cut into quarters then diced
1 red onion, finely diced
¼ cup coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
3 oz feta, crumbled (or more!)
2 handfuls rocket/arugula lettuce (optional - bed for salad)

Lemon Dressing:
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup / 85 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sugar, optional
½ tsp salt + black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at Recipe Tin Eats.

Blueberry Quinoa Smoothie Bowl

I was reading something that said how Smoothie Bowls are the hottest thing- then, since I had to look up what a "smoothie bowl" even was, came across an article that said, "Smoothie bowls are SO 2017"! Well, before today I had never heard of them, so maybe I just live under a rock. They do sound neat though, a smoothie that's a little more filling, that you eat with a spoon rather than a straw- sounds good to me!

My coworker, Liz, loves smoothies for breakfast, but personally, I feel like I need something I can chew a little. Well, smoothie bowls are the perfect happy medium (plus they're a great way to get more fruit in your diet), and since this recipe contains quinoa (a great high protein grain), it can help you to feel more satisfied than a plain fruit smoothie.


This recipe makes 4 servings


For the quinoa:

1 Cup Quinoa uncooked
2 Cups Almond Milk  

For the smoothie:

2 Cups Almond Milk
4 Cups Frozen Blueberries

For topping:

1/4 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Almond Milk
1/2 Cup sliced almonds, toasted 

See the entire recipe and directions at the Food, Faith Fitness Blog.



Coconut Flour Chocolate Chunk Bars (GF, DF, & Paleo)

These healthy dessert bars are gluten free, dairy free, and suitable for a Paleo diet- plus they're absolutely delicious!



1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 oz your favorite dairy-free dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes, optional

Slow Cooker Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Red lentils make such a delicious, flavorful soup, while also being a fantastic source of vegetarian protein! This is an amazing soup to make early in the day so you can come home to a beautiful hot meal simmering away!



1½ cups red lentils
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
½ a bunch of kale (about 4 leaves) stems removed and chopped
2 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
½ an onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
6½ cups vegetable stock

See the entire recipe and directions at Sweet Phi.


PB & J Overnight Oats

These are absolutely delish and can be made the night before for a fast and healthy breakfast- it's great for kids too!



1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Greek yogurt*
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons no-sugar-added strawberry preserves
2 to 3 strawberries, chopped

*To make dairy free substitute with a dairy free yogurt, blended tofu, applesauce, or pureed bananas

See the entire recipe and directions at Rachel Ray's blog.

Mean Green Detox Vegetable Soup

This is a fantastic soup for the new year! It's delicious and has a unique blend of healthy ingredients This soup is best when the vegetables are slightly crisp, so take care not to over simmer your soup (like I usually do with most soups).



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek halved + sliced
4 carrots chopped
4 cloves garlic minced or grated
1 inch piece of ginger grated
kosher salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup green lentils
4 cups roughly torn kale
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 head purple cabbage shredded
zest + juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley plus cilantro


See the entire recipe and directions at Halved Baked Harvest.