Meatless Monday Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

In my opinion, an Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad is SUMMER ON A PLATE!  It’s a simple little salad to put together, but the key is to find the freshest ingredients you can to make it taste amazing!

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

Organic tomatoes, freshly-picked basil leaves, high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, buffalo mozzarella, as well as sea salt & freshly ground pepper all make a difference.

We planted tomatoes a little late in the season this year, so the ones I used today are beautiful fresh local heirloom tomatoes from our local market. I’m SUPER excited that I HAVE BASIL in my garden this year!! We didn’t plant any basil last  year, but this year we have 3-4 plants that are doing well. I LOVE going out & picking out a few big, fragrant leaves to include in my summer salads. Ahhhh, summer on a plate for sure!

For the past several years, I have enjoyed going out to my garden and picking beautiful heirloom tomatoes and basil to make this salad. I have experimented with different cheeses over the years, but this is my favorite version.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes (I used yellow & red ones above)
  • 8-10 basil leaves, chopped
  • Buffalo mozzarella, sliced thinly
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (best quality you can afford — you only need a couple of capfuls)
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (again, good quality makes all the difference)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Slice tomatoes and arrange on a plate. I find that a big serrated knife does the best job slicing tomatoes.
  2. Add a thin slice of mozzarella in between each tomato slice. Sprinkle the chopped basil leaves over the salad, then add a little sea salt & freshly ground pepper.
  3. Using the cap from your bottle of olive oil, add a capful to each row of the tomato combo on your plate.
  4. Finally, drizzle a small amount of balsamic down the center of each row & you are ready to feast!

This salad serves 3-4 people. I always serve with a sweet French baguette. Enjoy!! 🙂

Caprese Salad | thewellnessscientist.com

SO TELL ME …

What are your favorite summer salads? Do you grow lettuce, tomatoes, and other herbs/veggies in your yard? 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup: Elegant Egg Dishes

Since I moved to California, I’ve become a little spoiled with the open-air grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets that are in no short supply! Fruits, veggies, and herbs that were freshly picked the same day? Yes, please!!!

Menlo Park Farmer's Market  thewellnessscientist.com.jpg

Shopping local for fresh ingredients reminds me so much of the European way of life, which is my opinion is “LIVE EVERY DAY!”

I particularly like simple French-inspired egg dishes such as quiches, that you can whip up in no time for friends and family. They can look very elegant, and are a perfectly balanced meal especially when paired with a salad of fresh greens!

Here are a few of my favorite meatless egg dishes in honor of Meatless Monday.

This Spicy Veggie Frittata is a Pinterest favorite, still scoring loads of views & repins every day!

Spicy Veggie Frittata | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Next is a Broccoli & Cheese Quiche. I make this one pretty often and always hope there are leftovers so I can steal some for breakfast too!

Vegetarian Broccoli Cheese Quiche

 

 

Next up is my Low-Fat Asparagus Quiche. I made this one a little lighter so you can try both varieties. You can add pretty much any veggies you like to these — hard to go wrong!

Reduced Fat Asparagus Quiche Recipe | thewellnessscientist.com

 

And finally, my new favorite, my Fingerling Potato and Kale Frittata! This one has delicious roasted potatoes & healthy greens. I think it looks so elegant, and it was so easy to make in this cast-iron skillet!

Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

SO TELL ME …

Do you have a favorite egg dish that you like to make for dinner? Is it a quiche, frittata, or something else?

 

Meatless Monday Roundup: Use Those Leftovers

If you’re like me, you hate throwing away leftovers. As if the waste weren’t bad enough, think of all that time you put into grocery shopping, food prep, and cooking just to toss the leftovers away. Ugh, I hate that!

Stop the madness! Today, I’m showing you 5 Easy Ways to use stuff you probably always have in the fridge to make a great breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snack.

Everyone's Favorite French Toast.jpg

1. Got half a leftover baguette or biscuits from last night’s dinner? How about whipping up French Toast for breakfast or brunch? This recipe is a huge crowd pleaser. As someone who order French Toast every single time I see it on a menu, let me tell you … this recipe makes a mighty fine breakfast or brunch. Got fruit or berries in the fridge too? Perfect! Toss on top for an extra nutrient boost!!

Savory Quinoa Cakes

 

2. If you’re a vegetarian who is always looking to add a little more protein to your meals, then you probably cook quinoa pretty often. Like rice, we tend to cook more than we may use in one serving. Tired of just reheating & eating leftover quinoa? How about trying these awesome Savory Quinoa Cakes? I whipped these up one night before friends were coming over for a cocktail. Even the meat eaters went back for seconds!

Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

 

3. Usually grab a bowl of instant oatmeal for yourself or make hot instant cereal for the kids? Forget about instant today and try heating up leftover quinoa and topping with yogurt, honey, and berries to make this super fast, easy, and protein-rich Quinoa Breakfast Porridge. So so good!

Slice of Fritatta on a Plate

 

4. Got leftover veggies or raw veggies with a short shelf-life? Fritattas are a great way to get a good source of protein (from eggs) as well as nutrients from any veggies you have lying around. The Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta in the photo used leftover potatoes as well as some kale I had in the fridge that I threw in for even more of a protein boost. The most popular recipe viewed on this blog with loads of Pinterest pins & likes is the Spicy Veggie Fritatta. Again, this is a great way to use up eggs that are nearing the expiration date, whip up a quick dinner, and use some veggies that won’t last much longer in the fridge.

Talk about using up leftovers… if you make this for dinner, you may even have enough to take with you to work for lunch the next day. Heats up in a minute, unlike those frozen dinners that take 8 minutes in the microwave. I’d much rather be eating than wasting ten minutes heating up something full of preservatives in the microwave!! As Sweet Brown would say, “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!!!!”

Sweet Brown

 

5. What about bananas? I don’t know about you, but I like my bananas just after they turn from green to yellow. Once they have spots, I have GOT to hide them in a protein shake, something I’m baking, or transform the ingredient (as they say on Chopped 😉 into something more palatable!! Voila! Try these Sweeter Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Full of beta-carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A), these sweet potatoes have a little brown sugar for taste, but you can easily add stevia, raw honey, or anything you prefer for natural sweetness.

Sweeter-Mashed-Sweet-Potatoes.jpg

 

I hope you found this Meatless Monday Recipe Roundup on How To Use Those Leftovers helpful! I’m always looking for ways to use up veggies & other leftovers.

SO TELL ME…

Have you got your own favorite ways to use leftovers? Leave me a comment below & share your tips & tricks!!

 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Magical Breakfast Cream

I’ve always been a little enamored with the French lifestyle. The language and the accent were always very attractive to me, which is probably why I continued studying French after high school. The women I met always seemed so confident (and THIN!) as well.

Now, after visiting France, I can say that some of the romantic imagery in my head is true — the open air markets, the calm, “go with the flow” attitude — and others not (not every woman is stick-thin and walking around town with a snobby poodle).

Most of the food is wonderful and people take time to enjoy what they eat, even if that means not rushing back to the office within 30 minutes (GASP!)

A few weeks ago, I started looking for easy & tasty dinner recipes and I stumbled upon the French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook written by once-CEO of the famous Veuve Cliquot champagnerie, Mireille Guiliano.

French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook

I highly recommend this cookbook (which you can find here) for a multitude of fabulous recipes!!

One of my favorite recipes in the French Women Don’t Get Fat cookbook is for breakfast … the tantalizing Magical Breakfast Cream recipe. This is extremely tasty, filling, and highly addictive! I’ve been making this just about every morning for the past two weeks, and I can’t get enough. It has also helped reduce the sweet cravings I was having during the day.

I’m excited to share this one with you for Meatless Monday! Here’s what you need to make one serving.

Magical Breakfast Cream Recipe

Preparation Time: 10-15 Minutes

Ingredients

1/3 cup yogurt (I used lowfat Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
2 tablespoons finely ground cereal (with no added sugar — I use Udi’s Au Naturel granola)*
2 teaspoons finely ground walnuts*

Directions

1. Mix yogurt and oil in a bowl. Add lemon juice and mix well then add the honey and mix well. (It is important to add each ingredient one at a time, mixing well between additions to obtain a smooth, creamy texture.)

2. Add ground walnuts and cereal to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Serve at once.

* You can finely grind the cereal and walnuts using a small food processor or mortar and pestle.

Mireille’s notes:

* You can do a week’s worth of grinding cereal/nut mixture and keep it refrigerated so in the morning it will take just an instant to mix together!

* Flaxseed oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, have no fear, you will not taste the oil in the fine creamy blend.

Very simply and oh so tasty! What’s your favorite healthy breakfast recipe?

Meatless Monday Recipe: Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta

Happy Monday! I’ve been feeling really tired lately, and I’ve realized that one possibility is that I am not getting enough protein in my diet. I don’t think I did a great job upping my protein intake when I was training for my last half marathon, so I’m make a conscious effort to track my intake more carefully before I start training for my next run.

Part of the problem is making sure that I have prepared food on hand to fuel up in the morning & after runs, otherwise I get lazy and just grab what is available. Can anyone relate to that scenario?

One of my goals is to start including Nutritional Info with all of my Meatless Monday recipe posts, so if you are trying to keep track of your nutrient intake it will be a little easier for you as well 🙂

My Spicy Veggie Fritatta was SO popular, I decided to create another fritatta recipe. Fritatta’s are tasty, easy to make, and great for leftovers because you can serve it warm or at room temp. Today’s fritatta recipe is a

Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta

I think you’ll enjoy it!

Fingerling Potato & Kale Fritatta Recipe

Here’s what you need for about 8 servings.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes
  • Olive oil, 4 tbsp. (1-2 tablespoons are reserved for roasting your potatoes; if you are using leftover roasted veggies, you only need 2 tbsp. of olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

This is a GREAT way to use up leftover roasted vegetables like potatoes that you have in the fridge. If you don’t have any leftover veggies, check out my Easy Peasy Roasted Vegetables recipe to roast the fingerling potatoes for this recipe.

Roasted-Potatoes-sm

After you have roasted potatoes, proceed as follows.

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the kale and minced garlic and cook until greens are wilted.
  3. Add the roasted fingerling potatoes to the skillet and toss to combine.
  4. Preheat the oven broiler.
  5. While the kale, garlic, and potatoes are cooking, beat together the eggs, shredded cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes (DO NOT STIR!!)
  7. Remove from stovetop & place in the oven broiler (about 6 inches from broiler) for3 to 5 minutes, until eggs are just set & frittata has started to brown/cheese has started bubbling.
  8. Watch closely so that your frittata doesn’t burn!
  9. To serve, top the frittata with the fresh herbs and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper.

Nutritional Information:

Nutritional Data provided by Wellness Science

Nutritional Data provided by Wellness Science

Slice of Fritatta on a Plate

Question: Do you have a favorite veggie fritatta recipe?  Share it with us below!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Super Clean Green Smoothie

 

Does the idea of choking down a glass of liquified lettuce and kale make you more than a little queasy? I have to admit, I have tasted a green smoothie or two that was truly awful! Enough to turn me off completely until I found this one … the Green Smoothie from Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse. It’s yummy enough that I want to drink it all the time, not just during a cleanse.

Dr. Oz Detox Smoothie

Photo courtesy of www.doctoroz.com

It’s super easy to make, and if you despise one of the raw ingredients (like I despise raw celery)  just leave it out!! In my opinion, the pineapple and coconut oil are what make this smoothie a winner, so try to include these if at all possible!

Here’s what you need …

How To Make A Green SmoothieIngredients:

  • 4 celery stalks
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup kale leaves
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened pineapple chunks

Preparation:

Simply add all ingredients to a blender, blend well, and enjoy!

Green Smoothie Recipe

 

 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tomato-Basil Pesto Pizza

Good morning, peeps! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I’m cheery today because I’m taking a well-deserved rest day from my half-marathon training schedule. The race is less than two weeks away — yikes! After completely almost 10 miles yesterday with my partner-in-crime & race buddy, Courtney, I’m confident that we’ll have a strong finish in Palmetto Bluff!

Now, on to food! 🙂

Today I’m sharing a modified version of a pesto pizza recipe from Budget Savvy Diva. This girl has some recipe pics that literally make you run to the market to grab the ingredients as soon as you glance at them!

Tomato Basil Pesto Pizza-sm

 

 

Here’s What You Need …

  • 1 Roll of Whole-Wheat Refrigerated Pizza Dough (I used the Pillsbury Artisan dough)
  • ¾ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 ounces of Goat Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1 Cup of Broccoli florets
  • 4 ounces of Goat Cheese
  • 1 medium heirloom tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher Salt, pinch
  • Freshly-ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven and pre-bake dough according to the instructions on the pizza dough package.
  2. Using the microwave, steam broccoli florets until fully cooked. The cooking time depends on your microwave. Mine were done in about 30 seconds.
  3. In a food processor – combine ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese, pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, olive oil, ⅔ cup of basil leave and cooked broccoli. Process until the mixture reaches pesto consistency.
  4. Spread pesto on the pizza
  5. Sprinkle goat cheese and the rest of the parmesan cheese on the pizza
  6. Place tomato slices on the pizza
  7. Bake for about 14 minutes. Keep an eye on the crust so it doesn’t burn.
  8. Garnish with the rest of the basil leaves, serve, and enjoy!

 

Meatless Monday: Valentine’s Day Champagne Fondue

Champagne Fondue recipe

I don’t know about you guys, but after the last few years of going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day I am SOLD on “Valentine’s-Night-In.” Don’t get me wrong … I love going out for dinner … but there are only a handful of restaurants that I really enjoy and between the service & lack of parking on that particular night — OY!

One of my favorite cozy & romantic “date-night-in” things to eat is fondue.  And since it’s Valentine’s Day, why not add in a little bit of one of my other favorites — CHAMPAGNE!!!

I remember once that I was preparing a Martha Stewart recipe that called for red wine. One of Martha’s tips was to never use wine in a recipe that you wouldn’t otherwise drink. I have NEVER EVER forgotten this, and I think it has made a huge difference in the flavor of my food. In other words, don’t buy something super cheap to cook with just because you aren’t going to drink it. The flavor from the wine (and champagne in this case) will be infused into the food you are cooking. Makes sense, huh?

choose-a-wine-for-cooking.001

Let’s talk fondue pots… I personally use a stainless steel fondue pot, which I have been very happy with. It cleans up easy, and the cheese doesn’t stick as long as you don’t leave it unattended. You can also use one of the newer electric fondue sets (very practical!),  a clay fondue pot or a ceramic one — totally up to you!

You’ll also need a heat source. Some say that you can use a candle to melt your cheese. I say, unless you want to wait until NEXT Valentine’s Day to eat, opt for fondue fuel. The gel-based ones work perfectly!!

champagne fondue

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Emmentaler cheese
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese
  • 1 cup extra dry champagne
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • freshly ground pepper
  • bite-sized vegetables (I use baby carrots, broccoli, and red/yellow bell peppers)
  • a nice, crusty baguette cut into cube-sized chunks

How to prepare:

  1. Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the cut surface of the garlic clove.
  2. Coarsely grate the two cheeses and add them to the pot.
  3. Add champagne, lemon juice, and cornstarch and stir over medium heat until cheese melts.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the cheese from getting stringy.
  5. Stir in the pepper and cook a little longer, until the cheese is smooth and creamy.

To serve:

Spear veggies or bread onto fondue forks and dunk them into the cheese. Allow the fondue to continue to simmer during the entire meal.

Pour yourselves a glass of champagne and enjoy your delicious date-night-in!!  Cheers!

 

 

Meatless Monday Roundup: 5 Meatless Italian Favorites

 

Meatless Monday Roundup: Your 5 Favorite Italian Recipes
Italian food is one of my favorites, and judging from all of the LIKES and REPINS on Pinterest, you love some of these Italian meatless dishes too.

For today’s Meatless Monday post, I’m featuring the FIVE Most Popular Italian Recipes on my blog based on feedback from InstagramPinterestFacebook, and Twitter.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Tomato-Basil Pizza with Gluten-Free Crust

(you’ll NEVER guess the secret ingredient in this crust!)

Gluten-Free Tomato Basil Pizza | The Wellness Scientist

Gluten-Free Tomato Basil Pizza | The Wellness Scientist

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Vegetarian Lean Lasagna

lasagna-photo

Linguine with Arugula and Tomato Sauce

Linguine with Arugula and Tomato Sauce

Which one is your favorite? Tell me below in the comments!

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Linguine with Arugula and Tomato Sauce

linguine-with-arugula-and-tomato-2

 

Happy Monday! Last week I wrote about my great-grandmother’s homemade biscuits, this week I’m thinking about the homemade marinara that my Italian grandmother used to make. Any time we went over on Sundays, she always seemed to have a pot bubbling on the back of the stove. This is a super simple pasta recipe that you can make any night of the week, so it is perfect for Meatless Monday! The only time consuming part is just giving the sauce the right amount of cooking time. I recommend one hour of simmering, and there is plenty you can do in the rest of the house while that sauce is simmering, right? Or a free hour of weeknight Pinterest fun 🙂  I won’t tell!

 fresh arugula

 

I made this on Sunday night since I always get nostalgic on Sundays for some good old-fashioned home cooking. I always try to make things a little bit healthier than the original, but I don’t think you’ll notice a difference 😉

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and sliced thinly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • One 28-ounce can organic diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces boxed linguine
  • 5 ounces fresh arugula
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Throw in the sliced garlic & chile flakes and cook for about 3 minutes. Careful not to let it burn!
  2. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, season with 1 teaspoons of salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Turn the heat up and bring the sauce to a boil
  4. Once the sauce is boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the sauce simmer for about an hour.
  5. Before you are ready to serve, grab a potato masher and use it to crush up the cooked tomatoes. If you don’t have a potato masher, a wooden spoon will work just fine!
  6. When your sauce has been simmering for about 45 minutes, grab a pot for your linguine and get the water boiling.
  7. Once the water is boiling, throw in a little salt and then add your pasta. Linguine takes about 10-11 minutes before it’s al dente (you don’t want to overcook your pasta!)
  8. About a minute before your pasta is done, throw the fresh arugula right on top of your pasta so that it starts to wilt.
  9. Grab a colander and drain your pasta/arugula mix, then throw right on top of your tomato sauce.
  10. Toss and serve with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Pasta with arugula and tomato sauce

Linguine with Arugula and Tomato Sauce