sweet pepper

Thai Rice Bowls

Buddha bowls are a super trendy thing now.  The name for this grain based bowls inspired by Buddhist monks and nuns, have been eating this way for over two thousand years.   I'm feeling grateful for this super healthy, balanced meal inspiration, which always offers a colorful balance of plants, additional fiber, healthy fats and protein!

 
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What You'll Need:

For the dressing:
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter (no Jiff here guys, like for real)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
squeeze Sriracha

1 block tofu, sliced lengthwise and pressed*
2 c cooked brown rice
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
2 c cabbage, thinly sliced (use purple cabbage to make this plate pop even more!)
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
2 c lettuce greens, chopped


1/4 c peanuts


*Press tofu by layering on a plate: tea towel, tofu, tea towel, something heavy-ish. Allow it it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator.


Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare and arrange ingredients in a large bowl or dinner plate.  Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with peanuts, and DIVE IN!

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Serves 4.

Four Bean Salad

This dish comes together in minutes, and is a perfect balance of healthy fats, protein and fiber.  Our toddler loves it, too!   Courtesy of my sweet Aunt Sharlene. 

 
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4 cans beans, any variety, drained and rinsed (I usually do chickpea, black, kidney and green)
1 chopped purple onion or 1 large shallot
1 chopped sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)

Dressing:


2/3 c balsamic vinegar

1/3 c olive oil
Healthy squeeze of honey


Serves 8.

Vegetable Pasta Salad

This is our favorite go-to pasta salad. Perfect healthy option to take along with you to picnic celebrations all summer long!  If you do this right, you'll end up with a giant, flavorful, chopped salad, with some pasta tossed in!

 
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What You'll Need

4 c dry pasta (choose brown rice pasta, OR for a protein punch, chickpea pasta!)

3/4 c olive oil
1/3 c fresh basil, sliced into thin strips

1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

8 c fresh veggies, chopped (anything goes here--broccoli, peppers, cukes, edamame, summer squash, spinach or other greens...) 
3 medium tomatoes, OR 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 c kalamata olives
1/4 c fresh parsley or additional basil

1 c shredded parmesan cheese, right from the block


Bring water to a boil for the pasta. 

Meanwhile, mix basil and olive oil from. Basil will begin to infuse the oil. It will be awesome. 

In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Wisk.


Then, chop up those veggies and toss into a large serving bowl.

Drain and rinse cooked pasta with cool water. Add to veggie bowl.

Add dressing and basil infused oil. Top with Parmesan and toss.

Trust me when I say you will never make another pasta salad with bottled Italian dressing again. Ever.


Serves 8-12, perfect as a picnic side, main, or to have in the fridge for lunch all week.