Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

I have more than a few soba noodle recipes on this site, but I’ve decided that THIS recipe is my new favorite. These noodles are rich, tangy, creamy, sweet and a little spicy, with loads of kale mixed in – I love meals like this for weeknight dinners. The formula is simple: sauce + noodles + seasonal vegetables. Check, check, and check. The sauce can be made in advance and the rest can be assembled fairly quickly.

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

First, let’s talk about this sauce because it’s the main component of this recipe. It’s tangy, nutty, salty, and lightly sweet. It’s sweetened with Truvia Nectar, which is a blend of stevia leaf extract and honey. It has 50% fewer calories per serving than sugar, but I have to tell you that it tastes just like honey… or maybe even a tad sweeter which means that you can use less of it without sacrificing flavor.

I usually use peanut butter to thicken noodle sauces but this time, I’ve used a mix of tahini and almond butter. You can choose to use one or the other, but I think the combination of both gives this tangy sesame sauce a rich flavor without being too nutty.

I get a lot of reader requests for recipes that use alternative sugars so I hope you give this lower-sugar recipe a try!

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

The vegetables I chose here were from my weekend farmers market haul. I picked up kale, garlic chives (you could use regular chives!), scarlet turnips, and black radishes. You can switch out the vegetables however you like (in the summer I would go for cucumbers), but I really loved the combination of these bitter root vegetables with the sweet sauce. Plus – HOW PRETTY ARE THEY?

Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles Sweet Sesame Tahini Noodles

Almost-Spring Recipes

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls

I think it’s safe to say that no matter what climate you live in, we’re all experiencing a version of spring fever. It’s been exceptionally beautiful in Austin lately which makes me want to cook (or in some cases, just assemble) meals that are light and fresh and full of green things. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve been in the mood for lately. Click on the photos or the links to go to the full recipes.

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls (pictured above)

These are packed with roasted chickpeas, broccolini, radishes, herbs, and avocado. Serve with a scoop of (nut-free) pea pesto that’s made with hemp seeds and dill.

Avocado and Mango Brown Rice Sushi

Avocado and Mango Brown Rice Sushi

One of my go-to lunches is the take-out sushi at Whole Foods, which is definitely easier and quicker than making it yourself. But I love being able to customize the ingredients – this avocado mango version with peanut dipping sauce is a favorite.

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Our spring weather has me looking forward to summer, which has me looking forward to pot luck picnics… and this broccoli salad is the perfect healthy dish to bring. It’s made with tahini instead of mayo, and it’s loaded with zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and herbs.

Lemon Edamame Avocado Sandwiches

Lemon Edamame Avocado Sandwiches

And speaking of picnics… here are some very green, very packable sandwiches, made with a creamy lemon-edamame spread.

Minty Green Shamrock Shake Smoothies

Minty Green Shamrock Shake Smoothies

A healthier way to celebrate St. Paddy’s day… or any day that you feel like a creamy green smoothie. These are made with almond butter, banana, spinach (which you can’t taste), and mint.

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh

A sweet twist on tabbouleh that uses dried tart cherries instead of tomatoes. It’s tossed with a bright lemony dressing and packed with herbs.

Roasted Artichoke Avocado Toast

Roasted Artichoke Avocado Toast

It’s almost artichoke season around here. Because fresh artichokes take a little bit of work to prep, I like to enjoy the fruits vegetables of my labor in simple ways like these elevated avocado toasts.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli

Since it’s now quite spring, I thought I’d throw a comfort food recipe in the mix. These cozy sweet potatoes are filled with sweet potato rosemary cashew cream, broccoli, scallions, and hemp seeds.

Spring Broccolini Kale & Quinoa Bowls

For more spring recipes, click here!

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

After such a positive response to this post that I wrote last month, I’m back with some more healthy little tips – this time I’m giving a little sneak peak at what my morning routine looks like. Yours might be more or less busy/hectic than mine – I work from home and don’t have kids to get off to school – but hopefully there are a couple of tidbits in here to inspire.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

1. Wake up & take a sec to cuddle with the dog.

I’m one of those people that doesn’t need an alarm clock because we have 2 hungry dogs that wake us up pretty early. After they’re fed, the little one bounds back in and lays by my head. They say dogs can help lower anxiety so before I get up to start my to-do list, I make a point to pause and take an extra minute to cuddle with the pup.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

2. Fuel up on a protein shake to start the day.

With 15 grams of plant-based protein and 4.5 servings of vegetables,* Burt’s Bees™ Protein + Healthy Radiance is a healthy way to embrace the day. Their formula is carefully crafted from a mix of pea, rice, oat, flaxseed and sunflower seed protein. I mix it with water or almond milk, or blend it into my favorite smoothie. I prefer the vanilla flavor but it comes in chocolate as well. While I drink my shake, I usually finish up that day’s blog post and take a first pass through my email.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

3. Skip the gym and go for a walk outside instead.

I have an old injury that prevents me from doing high impact workouts, but I love to walk. It’s not only great exercise but it helps me clear my head and work through whatever problems or projects I might be working on. I swear more “ah ha” moments happen during my morning walk than any other time of day. Weather permitting, I like to walk as many mornings as I can.

   5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

4. Breakfast!

By at least 10am, I’m hungry for a post-walk breakfast. It’s not always the same, but it usually involves avocados. They say that healthy fats are good for the brain and skin. I make my avocado toast with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and hemp seeds as well.

  5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5. Take a few minutes to clean up my work space.

Ok, to be honest I wrote this one here as a reminder for myself because I typically have 7 empty glasses and a bazillion post-it notes all over my desk. I’m not a neat worker, but I feel SO much better if I can take 5 minutes to tidy up my desk space before diving into work for the day. Next year’s goal will be to do this clean-up before I end the work day, but for now, baby steps.

Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Let me know!

*Based on vitamin content. 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables would be needed to reach 25% Daily Value of Vitamins A, C, E, K and the B vitamins listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Most people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I personally get most excited about lunch. People who say “I was too busy, I forgot to eat lunch”… I don’t get you. But maybe I’m the only weirdo who eats breakfast and then immediately starts counting down the hours ’til lunch?

This bowl was inspired by one ordinary day last week when I made a quick lunch for myself with kale, sweet potatoes, some other things I had on hand, and these Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites. It’s definitely an “I work from home” kind of lunch, but the whole thing came together within the 20 or so minutes that it took to roast the sweet potato cubes. I usually have most of these ingredients on-hand so this sort of bowl is a go-to formula for me.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls Easy Power Lunch Bowls

What kicks this bowl up a notch are these tasty Kale & Quinoa Bites. I think they taste like mini falafels, plus they add some good veggie protein to your bowl. They’re a yummy little addition, especially if you’re not someone who has time during your lunch break to make homemade falafel.

I marinated my chickpeas in a zippy lemon-dijon dressing and then basically smothered everything in olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini. Done and done. Now I’m off to start thinking about what’s for dinner…

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Healthier Game Day Recipes

Healthier Game Day Recipes

Ok, so aside from watching the Cubs win this year, I’m not what you would call a sports fan. I know the Super Bowl is this Sunday but I have no clue who’s playing and if I had to guess (without googling it), I’d embarrass myself by naming teams from the wrong sport. But sportsball aside, here are a bunch of taco-nacho-ey-pizza-ish recipes that you might consider serving this weekend. I’d be game to eat any of these… game or no game.

pictured above: Super Stuffed Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Healthier Game Day Recipes

pictured above: Healthy Loaded Vegan Nachos

Mango Goji Guacamole / Sweet Potato Avocado Tacos

Healthier Game Day Recipes

pictured above: Mini Potato Pizzas with Purple Potatoes & Arugula

Healthier Game Day Recipes

pictured above: Nacho Snacks with Carrot Queso / Molly’s Cauliflower Shawarma Tacos

 Portabello Tacos with Vegan Jalapeño Sauce / Kiwi Avocado Salsa Verde