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Matcha is a great alternative to coffee and powerful for the metabolism. Photo by Lex Sirikiat

DAO Recipes (July 14)

After going through my meal plan for each week, you will see that most of the recipes are no-brainers. Some do require more elaboration – so I will use this post to disclose my recipes for each week of meal plan. Nothing in here takes more than 5-10 minutes for breakfast or lunch, or half an hour for 3 nights of dinner.

On a weekly basis, I bring you a new meal and exercise plan. For the meal plan, I keep a digest of the recipes in this post, so bookmark it!

Favorite fitness recipe sites

Here are some other options for recipe sites, which I definitely get inspo from and value for not being too onerously difficult:

Recipes 

steamed rice and meat dish
Photo by Dragne Marius

Easy Chickpea curry Recipe from A Couple Cooks : https://www.acouplecooks.com/weeknight-chickpea-curry/

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • White or brown basmati rice, to serve

Instructions

  1. If you’re serving with rice, start the basmati rice.
  2. Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it). Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
  4. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, then add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk until fully combined, then remove from the heat. Serve with basmati rice.

Shrimp and Broccoli Recipe from A Couple Cooks : https://www.acouplecooks.com/shrimp-and-broccoli/

  • 1 pound large shrimp, deveined (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 large heads) broccoli
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (regular, not toasted)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Thinly sliced green onion, for garnish (optional)
  • To serve: rice or noodles (see notes above)

Instructions

  1. If frozen, thaw the shrimp according to the package instructions or the notes above.
  2. Chop the broccoli into small bite-sized pieces. Cut the onion into wide slices.
  3. In a measuring cup, stir together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce.
  4. In large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, onion and kosher salt and cook 5 to 6 minutes until fork tender, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. When the shrimp is just about opaque, add the sauce mixture and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Serve with sesame seeds.
grilled patties with tomato toppings
Photo by Kaitlyn Chow

Egg and turkey cups

Inspired by this recipe at SkinnyMs, all you need is a muffin pan and some eggs/veggies/protein to make this work. Here’s my version of it, with cheese of course! To make 3 cups:

  • 5 eggs/eggwhites
  • Swiss cheese (vegan option available)
  • Yellow onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Mushroom
  • Turkey

Sautee red bell pepper and mushroom, optionally with onion. Coat muffin pan with avocado or coconut oil spray. Whisk ingredients in a bowl, and then pour into a muffin pan. Heat on 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Eat the “muffins” you wanted for the meal, and then wrap the others individually in tin foil and place in a glass container for storage.

Recipes updated June 15th

Homemade Pinkberry “fro yo”

I LOVE Pinkberry. And I stumbled upon a yogurt combination that takes me right back to my favorite treat.

Ingredients:

  • Greek god black cherry yogurt
  • 365 greek yogurt
  • Swirl 1/4 cup of the black cherry yogurt with 1/2 a cup of the plan greek yogurt to have the perfect yogurt snack without the tang.

Peach greek goddess parfait

@shutterstock
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 2 dried figs
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Walnuts

Place peaches, sliced, at bottom of a stemless wineglass or regular short glass. Add layer of yogurt, then honey, then fig and walnuts s on top.

Nut butter crepe

Nut butter crepe

Nut butter crepe recipe

I realized I needed to get more excited with my nut butter sandwiches, and the other day I was in the store when I came across some sprouted whole grain tortilla. I remembered how at one point DC was consumed with crepe shoppes. So I had a flash of inspiration for a crepe recipe of my own.

  • 2 tbsp favorite nut butter (I like cashew butter and sunflower seed butter)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 whole grain tortilla (I like Tumaro’s)
  • 1 tbsp honey OR nutella

Speread the nut butter on the tortilla, and then smash the banana on top. Drizzle with honey, or spread some nutella on top.

Farro chickpea salad

brown and black food in black rectangular tray
Photo by Rahul Chakraborty

This is a great “no meat” lunch recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups farro
  • 2 cup water
  • 1/2 block feta cheese
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Olive Oil
  • Fire roasted chopped tomatoes (in can)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Jumbo spanish olives (which you can buy in bulk at Costco)
  • Optional add broccoli for extra flavor

In case you don’t know, farro is a protein grain originating in Italy. Which is why it makes the perfect base when you are trying to eat a lighter lunch. I don’t know about you, but sometimes a lunch with meat makes me feel heavy, especially in the hot weather. This is the perfect summertime recipe!

Cook farro, boiling water first and then addig farro. Once Farro is soft (I like mine al dente), drain excess water and refrigerate. Once farro is sufficiently cool, mix in a big bowl with chickpeas, feta, and sliced olives. Then add lemon and lime juice to taste. You can optionally add a hot sauce, like a light dusting of habanero, to spice it up. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of spinach leaves for extra carbs/protein/fiber. You can also add a little extra protein, like tuna.

Cumin lime chicken breast with zucchini noodle stir fry 

  • Chicken breast 
  • 365 greek yogurt 
  • Apple cider vingegar 
  • Lime 
  • Cumin 
  • Garam masala (Indian spice)
  • Zucchini noodles 
  • Red Bell Pepper 
  • Mushroom 
  • Miracle Konjac noodles 

Marinate chicken breast in yogurt, vinegar, lime juice, cumin and garam masala for a few hours before cooking. Grill chicken outdoors or on a  Ninja grill or in oven. If oven, do 400 degrees at about 20 minutes or 350 degrees at 30 minutes. A Ninja Griill will save you a heck of a lot more time!! 

Then while chicken is grilling, rinse konjac noodles. Option to boil them in hot water, but not necessary. IN a pot, combine with zucchini noodles, bell pepper, mushroom, coconut oil and coconut aminos. Serve with chicken 

Recipes updated May 12

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Sunday Scaries Cauliflower pizza 

Even though we are at home, Sunday evening is always kind of a letdown, right? Here’s what we have to make that better on Sundays.

  • Caulipower pizza crust 
  • Mozzarella cheese 
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Turkey pepperoni 
  • Mushroom 
  • Jalepeno 
  • Organic pizza sauce

Assemble frozen crusts on cardboard pan, add organic pizza sauce, Cheese, pepperoni and mushroom, and other toppings. Pair with grilled eggplant, asparagus, and/or mixed green/Greek salad.

Greek Yogurt pancakes

brown cookies with green leaf on top
Photo by Olena Sergienko
  • Kodiak cakes pancakes mix 
  • 1 cup greek yogurt 
  • ½ cup eggwhites
  • 1 egg 
  • Honey 
  • Option to add banana, apple, or dark chocolate chips 

Mix cake mix, greek yogurt, egg and eggwhites. Slowly add water or almond milk (I prefer almond milk) to achieve desired amount of thickness. I like my pancakes to be thick, and some people like them runny, so you have to do what is right for you. As long as you can stir the lumps out you are good to go. 

Then on a flat griddle spoon out about a golf ball size of mix and cook 3-4 pancakes at a time. I usually cook a bunch at once and then wrap in foil to store. 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

OK you may be getting the hint that I like caulilflower. But cauliflower rice, especially the pre-shredded, pre-frozen kind is SO easy. Here’s my recipe for cauli mac and cheese. This is one of my “Little Black Dress” meals. Meaning a meal I can make in 20 minutes on the fly and that it basically goes with any leftover protein – chicken, salmon, beans, jackfruit, even tofu. I also use the leftover cheese I have lying around from making the pizza so it rolls forward pretty easily into the next day!

Tools:

  • One large Pyrex oven safe container
  • 2 packages Trader Joe’s Cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Option to add (2 tbsp cream cheese, 2 slices swiss cheese). You can basically put any cheese you want including cheddar, non-dairy cheese (I recommend the Daiya brand).
  • Butter or Ghee

Coat pan with Butter or ghee. Add defrosted caulflower rice. On top of rice, add 1/2 of mozzarella and ricotta cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then add another layer of mozzarella/swiss/whatever hard cheese on top and bake until golden brown on the edges. Easy, breezy, cheesy!

Lemon lime salmon

My mom makes this famous salmon, and I have finally gotten it right on my own. It’s surprisingly simple – just oven baked salmon with lemon and herbs – but you have to do a few key things right so it’s good..

Ingredients:

  • Wild caught Alaskan Salmon (see my DAO of Nutrition labels for an explanation of why this is better than farm raised).
  • Avocado oil (1-2 tbsp)
  • Diced garlic
  • Lemon and lime
  • Saffron (you can buy in liquid form here, I hope my mom’s not reading this…)
  • Dried Fenugreek (which you can order here)
  • Cilantro and/or Parseley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oven safe pyrex

Thaw salmon in fridge or at room temp. 1 hr beforehand, dry salmon with paper towel and rub with salt and pepper. Coat with oil and let marinate for 20 minutes. Then top with liquid saffron and garlic. Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, and when salmon is still a little raw in the middle, place layer of chopped herbs and sliced lemon lime. If you put the herbs at the beginning they will dry the dish out.

Serrve with a slide of grilled veggies and sweet potato or a salad. This is one of those dishes I pre-bake in a large dish so we have enough to last for 2-3 dinners that week.

Lili’s Ode to Joy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Bowl

Don’t laugh at me (or do), but I was thinking lately about how freaking boring oatmeal is and determined to make it a party in my mouth. I love how it makes me feel more eneergized and full for hours. But I do not like how even the ones with some flavor are bland and grainy. I have a recipe which has foods that symbolize abundanc and happiness. Therefore, my Ode to Joy Oatmeal! (that sometimes keeps me going all day even if it gets too crazy to have time for lunch!

Ingredients

  • Sprouted grain oats (I like the One degree organic instant oatmeal brand from Whole Foods)
  • Grany smith apple
  • Medjool date (1 or 2)
  • Figs (1 or 2)
  • Goji berries (I like ordering the ones from Terra soul Foods)
  • Labneh (this is techncially a Middle Eastern cheese but really it is a super thick tangy version of Greek Yogurt that is easier to eat in a dish like this)
  • Honey (I will get to this in a minute)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Sliced almond or walnut (optional)
  • Almond or Coconut Milk

Microwave uncovered for 1 minute 30 1/3 cup of oats and almond milk (add more or less if you like it more porridg-y or al dente). You can also use water, but I like mine to be nutty creamy. Let rest uncovered while you slice the apple, date, and fig (I just tear those apart in little pieces). Spoon several heaping spoons of Labneh (only 60 calories for TWO tablespoons) and then add dates, figs, goji berries, and apple. Sometimes I put it in the microwave again just so the apples can get warm and the dates can melt a little.

Then at the end, drizzle the honey. I am probably related to Winnie the Pooh becuase I love honey so much. I recently discovered it is a superfood and great for immunty, too. But you have to but the raw kind. And after lots of sampling and ordering specialty kinds, I finally found my holy grail:

The best honey I have everr tried. Eating the honey on top of the honeycomb is the most fun part.

I really love honeycomb in my honey (and you can see the pieces if you look closely at the oatmeal. This honey is just….celestial. I have never had such good honey except maybe in Greece or when I went to the Mountains in Iran. It’s thick and fragrant and makes me Oh so happy. It’s from a small farm in Florida, and you can read more about it here,

Thai Apple Chicken Salad

I made the discovery of Kevin’s natural foods at Whole Foods the other week, which is why I put it on my Whole Foods shopping list. There are two different types of chicken breast flavors that make great, no-brainer proteins for salad – Korean BBQ (recipe below) and Kevin’s Thai-style chicken. The sauce with the Thai-style is more like a pesto, but it is still REALLY good. And it is a perfect basefor my apple chicken salad recipe.

Ingredients

  • Kevin’s Natural chicken in Thai Coconut
  • Butter lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomato (which I found out recently, you should NOT refrigerate)
  • Bothouse farms honey mustard
  • Granny smith apple
  • Goat cheese or walnuts (optional)

Assemble bed of greens and veggies. Slice granny smith apple in small pieces to distribute flavor. Heat desired amount of chicken in the sauce and let cool, then add to salad.

Sunny side up eggs with feta and greeh yogurt Harissa mix

  • Two eggs
  • Feta cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Harissa sauce

Cook eggs with Avoiado oil spray, sunny side up. Sprinkle feta cheese. On the side, have the Greek Yogurt and mix with Mina’s red harissa (dealer’s choice – spicy or mild). Serve with toast.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Tamarind Chickpea and Vegetable Mix

I LITERALLY made this up. I wouldn’t dare compete with my Indian mother-in-law’s cooking, but my husband was plenty happy for what that is worth! And this takes only 15 minutes. The game changer for me is having a Ninja Foodi Grill and an Instant Pot. Together, you can have a beautiful chargrilled piece of chicen or fish and a nice flavorful stew in no time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Saffron Road Tikka Masala Packet (see my discusssion of Saffron Road products under my Whole Foods top 10 list);
  • Raw chicken breast (or thighs)
  • Frozen Cauliflower rice and broccoli
  • Tamarind paste
  • Yellow onion
  • Vegetable broth
  • Coconut oil

In Instant pot, pour one cup vegetable broth. Add frozen broccoli and cauliflower rice, and chopped 1/2 yellow onion. Set to pressure cook for 1 min (it really takes about 10 min total on this setting.).

While vegetables are cooking, add chicken breastes to Ninja Foodi on grill function at 500 degrees F. Baste Chicken with TIkka Sauce and let grill for about 10 minutes. Add end of 10 min, pierce with fork and let it be longer if pink in center. (you may need more time if the chicken is not totally defrotsted).

Once veggies are ready, let uncover until cooled. Add 2 tbsp coconut oil and tamarind paste (which you can buy at WF or at an online Indian store like this one) and mix in.

Option to add a Jackfruit – see my Trader Joe’s Shopping list.

Koran BBQ chicken with Asian Noodle Salad

Take out 1/3 of chicken breast from pacakage and pour mix (about 1/3 of it) over chicken and pacakage of miracle noodles (rinse noodles for 30 seconds first). Microwave for 90 seconds. Then slice cucumber over red oak lettuce and add carrot ginger dressing nad a tablespoon of olive oil. Once cooled, add chicken and noodles. Sprinkle with Black Sesame Seeds.

Larb Gai Chicken Salad with Butter Lettuce

I may seem obessed with Larb Gai, but I just bought this mixture from the new specialty market, Foxtrot, which just opened in DC. It’s super easy to cook with, and I need to use t! So here’s the easiest meal ever to throw together on a weekened:

  • 1 package ground chicken
  • 365 Asian inspired mix (see Whole Foods List)
  • 2 tbsp coconut or sesame pil
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pre-chopped garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Omsom Larb gai mix

In big pot, brown onions and garlic, with chicken. Then add 365 mix, and then dress with larb gai seasoning as it is cooking on high heat. Constantly stir for 10-15 minutes. Then let cool for 5 minutes. Place leaves on a bed on a larger plate, and serve larb gai mix over it. Option to add brown rice.

Overnight chia oats

oatmeal in white bowl
Photo by Alexandru Acea
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I use Bob’s red mill)
  • 1tbsp Chia seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Granny smith apple
  • Dired figs, dates
  • Banana
  • Greek yogurt

Place one cup of oats in large mason jar, add 1 1/2 cups of almond milk and chia seeds. Stir. Steel cut oats typically take a few nights to get to be a good texture so make these about 2 days before you actually want to eat them.

Combo 1 – Oars, dates, banana,almonds, greek yogurt, honey, cinnamon

Combo 2 – Apple, fig, almonds, greek yogurt, honey

Cauliflower Larb Gai Bowl

  • Larb gai base (get it from HERE)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Chopped carrots, celery and purple onions
  • Ciliantro, basil and parseley
  • Fresh lemon
  • Black and white sesame seeds
  • Red miso paste
  • 365 honey soy ginger sauce (30 calories per tablespoon)

Defrost/microwave cauliflower rice. Add veggies to pan with vegetable broth or avocado oil spray Stir and add coconut aminos and miso paste. When everything is warm, turn heat off and assemble salad part of bowl. Add shredded iceberg lettuce, parseley, cilantro, and ginger sauce. Add hot mixure on top. If you are packing to go, keep the greens and the cauliflower rice portion in a separate divided container.

Asian noodle salad

vegetable salad on stainless steel bowl
Photo by MadMax Chef

I love this salad because it is crunchy and has noodles! You can also have this with salmon or shrimp or if you want to make it vegan just add sesame seeds and/or tofu. Miracle noodles are awesome because they basically are a bunch of chewy noodles for no more than 20 calories for a big pack. Some people are turned off by the fishy smell, but that goes away after you rinse them as instructed. You can buy them at Whole Foods and other artisanal stores or order a variety pack from Amazon.

  • Miracle noodles
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Carrots, celery and purple onion
  • Cilantro, basil and radish
  • Coconut aminos
  • 365 peanut coconut sauce (30 calories per tablespoon)
  • Bragg’s oil free apple cider vinegiarette
  • Sliced almonds

Rinse and warm Miracle noodles. Add coconut aminos and miso paste, and toss. Mix greens and chopped veggies and toss with apple cider vinaigrette. Add noodles, and then chicken. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the peanut coconut sauce, and then add sliced almonds on top. For protein, add chicken, salmon, tofu, sesame seeds or jackfruit cakes (see recipe below).

Ginger chicken caulflower rice bowl

I like to make a lot of different dishes with overlapping ingredients, so this will look a lot like my previous dishes. For this dinner dish, it’s basically chicken in a ginger sauce on top of a cauliflower lettuce bowl. Here are the ingredients and the recipe:

  • Chicken breast
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Carrot, celery and yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Miso paste
  • Coconut aminos
  • 365 Honey soy dressing
  • Fresh sugar snap peals
  • Pineapple
  • Supergreens
  • Cilantro/parsley/basil

Mix supergreens and herbs in bowl, toss with apple cider vinaigrette. Cook/grill chicken breast and slice. In a separate pan, heat up onions, celery, snap peas, and carrots, and garlic. Add cauliflower rice, miso paste, and coconut aminos and make stir-fry style. Mix supergreens and herbs. Layer mixture on top of greens, and add chicken on top. Toss all ingredients together with honey soy dressing and serve. You can also vary this recipe by substituting zoodles.

Recipes updated April 7th

Jackfruit cakes at TJ’s – a million recipes are possible. And they do NOT taste like crab at all!

Ginger jackfruit cauliflower bowl

  • 2 jackfruit cakes (from Trader Joe’s – see my shopping list)
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • Cilantro
  • Coconut aminos
  • Rice vinegar
  • Wasabi dressing
  • Black Sesame seeds
  • Micowave cauliflower rice and quinoa

Heat up jackfruits in oven for 20 minutes or air fryer for 10 minutes (let defrost in fridge overnight )

Mix cauliflower rice, sesame seed and quinoa with dressing and aminos and rice vingera for a sticky texture. Add cilantro and jackfruit cakes on top. Possible to pre-make in a big batch/pot and eat over several days.

The ultimate self-care. A foamy salted caramell latte sprinkled with cinnamon in the morning

DIY Salted Caramel Latte (only 40 calories!!)

1 tbsp salted-caramel flavored stevia powder (you can order it from here)

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup coffee

Use a milk foamer like this one for the almond milk and mix caramel stevia powder with coffee. Pour milk on top. If want it extra hot, microwave for 30 seconds or heat up milk beforehand. Sprinkle with cinnamon and or nutmeg on top.

Photo Credit: Samantha Lewis

Coconut black bean jambalaya

  • 1 packet of miracle rice or cauliflower rice mixed with 1/2 cup of black rice
  • 1 can of black beans, or 1/2 black beans and 1/2 kidney beans
  • 1/2 yellow oniion
  • Asparagus spears
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Place asparagus to grill in oven on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep temparature at 375 for 20 minutes
  • After 10 minutes, In a pan, saute onion with vegetable broth. Mix beans with miracle rice or cauliflower rice. Add 1 tbsp coconut aminos.
  • After asparagus is out of oven, drizzle with balsamic glaze
  • Option to add shrimp for extra protein. If doing so sautee thawed frozen shrimp with onions at the beginning of direcions.

Sesame Ginger cauliflower rice bowl

  • 1/2 cup cauliflower rice
  • The Jackfruit company jackfruit pouch – 1/2 pouch
  • Black sesame seeds
  • 2 cups supergreens
  • Ginger miso dressing (see this post for details)
  • Thin sliced carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Mix cauliflower rice with sesame seeds, coconut aminos, miso paste and jackfruit in a pan. Can make in bulk to have extra for the week.
  • Miz supergreen with carrots and cucumbers
  • Add heated cauliflower-jacfruit mix to bed of greens

Recipes update March 31

Whipped feta dip

  • 1/2 a cup full-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • Sea salt, basil, and mint

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl. Use as a salad topper, or eat with raw vegggies.

Zoodle Bolognese

  • Zucchini noodles (pre-spiraled)
  • Ground lean turkey
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Canned pre-sliced bkack olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow onion

Add yellow onion to large pan coated with olive oil (option to use vegetable or chicken broth). Then, add ground turkey and saute until browned. Add mushrooms and zoodles, and stire until then soften. Separately heat up fire roasted tomatoes and spice with see salt, pepper and basil. Pour mixture on top of zoodle dish.

DIY ranch dip

Combine greek yogurt with Hidden Valley ranch packet dressing. Option to add almond or other type of milk for a thinner consistency.

tomato soup on black cooking pan beside stainless steel fork and bread knife
How yummy is this for dinner? Simple to make and very scalable. Photo by Manny NB

Shakshuka omelete

This is a cross-cultural dish in the Middle East. It can be a breakfast dish, but many also eat it as a dinner because it takes a minute to make and also kind of makes me feel sleepy afterwards! But the taste is so worth it and a great option for when you are out of ideas or groceries.

  • Eggs and eggwhites
  • Premade shakshuka sauce (or make your own, with a recipe like this one)
  • Feta cheese (if non-dairy, use a vegan version of one of the substitutions below).

Pour Shakshuka sauce (I recommend the Mina’s brand) in a large pan and simmer. Add turmeric, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Distribute pockets of eggs but do not mix together. Cover with a clear lid. When the eggs start get less runny, add feta cheese and simmer until cheese softens. Serve as breakfast for dinner.

Optional additional ingredients: Griled eggplan (you have to grill it beforehand or it will just get soggy), roasted red pepper, kalamata olives and/or avocado on top to replace the feta.

Recipes updated March 23rd

Homemade Persian Herb Stew with lamb shank and kidney beans

Persian Herb Stew with lamb shank

This is one of the traditional dishes of the Persian New Year. It has this aromatic, delicious, juicy flavor and it is actually healthy. For the meat, I prefer lamb, but you can also use chuck or any other type of tender beef. If you don’t want to eat the red meat, you can also use chicken, but I would not recommend fish. If you are vegan, you can just increase the amount of beans.

I also call this stew the anemia rescue dish, because spinach and kidney beans deliver plenty of iron, and particularly kidney beans in Eastern medicine is known as “blood building” medicine, that builds up your yin.

  • Kidney beans
  • Lamb shank
  • Yellow onion 
  • 4 Dry limes 
  • Green onions (5)
  • 2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 cup spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro 
  • 1 cup fenugreek
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Turmeric

Cooking instructions

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add turmeric and stir.
  • Add lamb; cook until brown, as it is cooking, add in spices
  • In a separate pot, heat  1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add spinach, green onions, parsley, cilantro, chives, and fenugreek leaves; cook and stir until deep dark green in color, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir spinach mixture into the onion and lamb mixture. Pour in enough water to create a stew-like thickness. Add water gradually so it does not become runny.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Pour in lemon juice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer stew for about an hour, but check on it every 15 minutes
  • Pierce dried limes with a fork and add to the stew. 
  • Continue simmering for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Stir in red kidney beans. Cook until flavors combine, about 30 minutes.

Persian eggplant casserole

Ingredients

  • Avocado oil
  • Yellow onion – chopped.
  • Lamb shank or filet
  • Spices – Turmeric, salt, pepper, cinnamon.
  • Tomato paste
  • Baby Eggplants
  • Dried Persian lime (optional) -Directions

Directions

  • Heat avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped yellow onion. Saute the onion until translucent.
  • Add in the lamb or filet to the onion and sear until brown on all sides.
  • Season the lamb with the spices and tomato paste. Stir well.
  • Add water and bring the stew to simmer. Cover and let it cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until the lamb is fully cooked.
  • Meanwhile, heat some oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. Fry the eggplants for about 5 minutes on each side until they are fully cooked.
  • Once the lamb is cooked, pierce the Persian dried limes (if using) with a fork and add them to the stew. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the fried eggplants to the stew and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve on its own, or with rice or quinoa.
bread with sunny side-up egg served on white ceramic plate
There’s nothing like a nice egg yolk explosion in your mouth as you eat a juicy avocdo toast! Photo by Ben Kolde

Avocado smash

  • Smash 1/2 avocado on Ezekiel bread. Squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle salt and pepper. Add sliced cherry tomato and “mash in” avocado Either add:
  • 1-2 eggs and drizzle with hot sauce (e.g., Crystal), optionally feta cheese;
  • A few dollops of greek yogurt

Banana Bread oatmeal bowl

This high-protein dish will keeo you full all morning!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup eggwhites
  • Unsweetened coconut chips (like these)
  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • Walnuts
  • Honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt

Boil hot water or heat up almond milk. Pour over oats. In a sepaate pan, cook eggwhites (optional to microwave if time compressed). Smash eggwhites and oats togetther, let sit for a minute. Then smash banana on top, drizzle honey and other toppings.

40-calorie Salad cream dressing recipe

If you have ever been to England, you must have encountered “salad cream.”  Basically it is this delicious dressing that can make any salad taste like a creamy party in your mouth. Unfortunately, it’s not the healthiest of dressings. For example, Heinz makes and sells it on Amazon. It’s decently low in calories with 90 per two tablespoons, but you can make your own healthier version at home for less calories and just as much yummy taste. IF you haven’t had salad cream, but if you are a fan of thousand island or ranch dressings, you will still love it. 

Ingredients:

  • Shallots
  • Garlic Paste 
  • Red wine or white wine vinegar
  • Organic light 365 mayo 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper

Blend ingredients in a blender. I eat huge salads and I can make this last for about 4 servings. So you would be looking at only about 30 calories per serving. If you prefer one of the avocado oil based mayos, like from Primal Kitchen, you can use that as well.  This would up your calories to about 60 a serving. Here it would be really important to use a tablespoon measure to make sure you are not falling in the condiment caloribomb trap! 

Once you dress your salad, make sure you toss it well to get all the flavor across. I like to combine this with a chopped salad of cucumber, grape tomato, purple onion and supergreens. Then I usually have a chicken breat or DIY tuna salad on the side.

vegetable salad on white ceramic bowl
Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade

DIY Tuna Salad 

  • Albacore Tuna (Wild Planet or Safe Catch)
  • 365 Light Mayo or Greek Yogurt 
  • Celery, chopped
  • Pepperoncini 
  • Optional – hot cayenne sauce (e.g., from Crystal, or Trappey’s Red Devil sauce 
  • Optional – white onion 

Chop onion and celery into small pieces, mix with greek yogurt or mayo.

You can have your zo mein and eat it too!

Photo by Debbie Tea

Salmon tikka with zoodle lo mein

  • 365 whole salmon filets
  • Saffron road tikka masala sauce
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Canned watercress
  • Cashews
  • Miso paste
  • Preshredded carrots
  • Purple cabbage
  • Coconut aminos

Place salmon in oven at 375 degrees, skin side up, in aluminum foil misted with oil spray. While salmon is cooking, make “zo mein.” Put chopped onion, carrt, defrosted broccoli, in a pan and stir-fry. Toward the end, add cashews, miso paste, and purple cabbage. Season with cocobut aminos.

Instant Cauliflower “fried” rice

  • Frozen cauliflower rice (e.g., caulipower cauliflower rice )
  • Pre-chopped carrots, onion and celery mix (i.e., from Cascadian farm)
  • Pre-cooked chicken breast, sliced 
  • Coconut aminos
  • Liquid eggwhites and one egg 
  • Defrost the frozen veggies in either the fridge or microwave
  • Once defrosted, drain extra water in a strainer 
  • Place veggies and chicken breast in a deep bowl

Microwave for 2.5-3 minutes, covered. If adding egg, let stand for a minute then add egg, microwave for an extra 2 minutes.

Let it cool off, then add some coconut aminos and if desired, hot sauce

Shrimp with pea curry

  • 1 lb frozen shrimp, pre-peeled
  • Peas
  • Pea shoots
  • Shallots
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Curry powder
  • Avocado oil – 1TBSP
  • Lemon

Defrost peas, cauliflower rice and shrimp during the day. Add yellow onion to deep pan, saute. Add shrimp. Once they start to turn pink, add rest of the vegetables. Stir until cooked. At the end,5 minutes from serving, add avocado oil and curry powder.

bread with tomato and green vegetable
Photo by Zachary Spears

Ezekiel Turkey BLT

Do you ever just want to put your face in a big yummy sandwich? And make it healthy? Here is just what you need, my Ezekiel Turkey “BLT”.

  • Two slices Ezekiel bread
  • Turkey Bacon (applegate) or smoked turkey slices
  • 365 vegan pepperjack cheese
  • Sliced tomato
  • Baby spinach or baby butter lettuce
  • Purple Onion
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sriracha “mayo” – Melinda’s sriracha (no sugar) plus Primal kitchen avocado oil Mayo (mix together).
  • Optional: fry and egg and keep yolk soft, then put on top.

Place the turkey and cheese on bread in a toaster oven for five minutes so that the cheese melts. Add tomato and toppings in the middle to avoid sogginess. Top with Dijon mustard and “spicy mayo”.

Zoodle stir-fry with lemongrass salmon

A lot of my recipes involve “zoodles.” You can usually but them pre-spiraled, so super easy to throw into a non-stick pan and make a stir-fry Asian style or add diced tomatoes and you have “zinguine!”

Stir-fry recipe

  • Pre-spiraled zucchini noodles
  • Yellow onion
  • Mushroom
  • Green and red bell pepper
  • Miso paste
  • Coconut aminos
  • Salmon
  • Saffron road lemongrass curry

In morning, marinate salmon in container with 1/2 a pouch of the Saffron lemongrass. Place salmon in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. While salmon is baking, prepare zoodle stir-fry. In a Wok or large pan, sauté onions for 2-3 minutes. Add mushroom, peppers and zoodles. Add coconut aminos and rest of Saffron packet.

Zoodle linguine marinara

  • Pre-spiraled zucchini noodles
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes
  • Chickpeas, shrimp, or scallop
  • Purple onion
  • Black olives

Sauté onions in large pan. Add rest of ingredients and stir; once those have gelled add tomato.

Instant mug turkey cheddar omelette

  • Half cup of liquid egg whites 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tablespoons chunky salsa (not the watery kind) 
  • 1 slice vegan cheddar cheese 
  • Optional – black beans for more protein, or sweet potatoes for more carbs 
  • Slice roma tomatoes, add salt, pepper, drizzle olive oil and vinegar

In bowl, microwave egg/eggwhites covered for 2 minutes. Add cheese, then microwave 20-30 extra seconds.. Let stand for a minute. Add a layer of salsa and optional other ingredients on top. 

Green tea matcha  – hot drink 

  • 1-2 packet trader joe’s matcha green tea powder 
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • 2 tbsp of PICNIK collagen creamer (with MCT oil) or 1tbsp of coconut oil.
  • 1 tbsp of monk fruit powder 
  • Option to add cinnamon (this lowers blood sugar and helps fight sugar cravings)

Blend all ingredients then heat to have a matcha green tea latte

Green tea matcha jello shooters 

  • 2 cups almond milk – pour one in a heating pot/pan, and one in a bowl.
  •  Add 2 tbsp collagen gelatin powder to the bowl to let sit and thicken while the milk heats up.
  •  As milk is heating, add 2 tbsp monk fruit powder and 2 trader joe’s matcha green tea packets, after it is  heated, slowly pour into a bowl and whisk all of the ingredients together.  
  • Refrigerate until solid (usually take @2 hours).
  • Cut away into cubes and store in glass container. If you want it pre-divided, consider a square muffin tin tray.

Coconut curry cauliflower rice

  • 2 packages of cauliflower rice 
  • Millet or quinoa – ½ cup
  • Snap peas
  • Pre-shredded carrots
  • Pre-sliced mushroom and green pepper 
  • Coconut aminos (or as my husband calls it, soy sauce for rich people)
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Saffron road coconut curry mix
  • Protein : Grilled chicken, tofu,  shrimp, or beef filet

In a large  pot, add diced yellow onion; once it is sauteed; add carrots, cauliflower rice and snowpeas. Add a pouch of the Saffron road mix and stir in spices; add protein after those ingredients are heated.  Cook enough for 2-3 nights of food; store the uneaten portion in the pot with the lid covered in foil. Grill protein in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes; make enough to last for the week. 

KETO hot chocolate/white chocolate

Blend all ingredients in a nutribullet/blender/or just whisk. Microwave, and voila, hot chocolate.  To make it a bit thicker and foamier, add beef gelatin (which has collagen, which is extremely good for you).

Supergreens miso zoodles 

Sautee onion, zucchini, and greens in a large pan for 5 minutes on high heat add coconut aminos and miso paste at the end.  Microwave or cook jackfruit in oven. You can buy flavored jackfruit in a pouch or get jackfruit cakes from Trader Joe’s. Either way, it is a great pre-made, meatless and satisfying meal.

Turkey breast tacos (low-carb)

  • Sliced smoked turkey
  • Large leaves of iceberg lettuce
  • Vegan pepper jack cheese
  • Dijon mustard or sriracha aioli

Wrap turkey and cheese into lettuce. Dip into mustard

Spinach salad “nicoise”

  • Pre-washed and chopped spinach in bag or box
  • Canned roasted red peppers
  • Pickled purple onion
  • Cherry tomato
  • Pepperoncini
  • 1 oz feta cheese
  • 1 packet tuna (safecatch or starkist flavored pouches) or 1 chicken breast
  • Balsamic vinegar

In large glass container, add spinach and vegetables. Shake up with dressing. Add feta cheese and protein on the top. Option to sub 1/4 of avocado for cheese. Option to add grain, like quinoa or starch, like sweet potato.

Favorite fitness recipe sites

Here are some other options for recipe sites, which I definitely get inspo from and value for not being too onerously difficult:

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