my lunch this week – black bean avocado enchiladas

courtesy of the garden grazerwpid-20150607_134724-1.jpg


  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups of corn (thawed, if frozen)
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 8-10 large whole wheat tortillas

For the sauce

  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Rinse and cook quinoa according to package.
  2. Meanwhile,  make the enchilada sauce: in a small bowl, add flour and spices. In saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once warm, add tomato paste and floor and spices.  Cook 1 minute,  whisking. Whisk in broth,  and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook until thickened,  about 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, dice avocados,  and slice green onions.
  4. In large bowl,  add black beams,  corn, green onions, and cumin.  Add cooked quinoa,  and stir.  Add avocado and combine gently.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°.
  6. In a lightly sprayed 9×13 baking dish, pour a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom. Evenly distribute the black bean/quinoa mixture to center of each tortilla,  roll up,  and place seam side down in the dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. wpid-20150607_135517-1.jpg
  7. Bake 25 minutes.

Kalyn’s stuffed cabbage casserole via skinnytaste

Kalyn’s stuffed cabbage casserole

When I decided to make this for dinner, I was a little worried we wouldn’t like it.  I knew I liked cabbage, but I was concerned the cabbage taste would take over the entire dish. I was pleasantly surprised when the cabbage only complemented all the other ingredients. It mingled well with the tomatoes, onions, and rice.  And, the cheese on top was perfect.

courtesy of skinnytaste



  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 heads green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat large skillet on medium heat. Brown the ground beef. When thoroughly cooked,  remove meat and set aside.
  3. In the same plan,  add one tsp of the olive oil and the chopped onion.  Cook until the onion is translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, and smoked paprika. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, ground beef,  and water.
  6. Simmer until it’s hot and slightly thickened,  15 to 20 minutes.
  7. While beef and tomato mixture simmers,  cut,  core, and chop cabbage into 1″ pieces.
  8. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven.
  9. Add cabbage and cook over medium-high heat until cabbage is wilted and about half cooked,  turning it over several times so it all wilts and cooks.season with salt and pepper.
  10. When the meat and tomato mixture is finished, add the cooked brown rice. Combine thoroughly.
  11. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray.
  12. Starting with the cabbage, layer half the cabbage on the bottom, them half the meat mixture. Layer the remaining cabbage, and then the remaining meat mixture.
  13. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  14. Remove foil and sprinkle on cheese,  bake for 15 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

This dish freezes well.

chipotle chicken sausage with mango pineapple salsa

Today was a fantastic day. Nothing special happened,  I didn’t win the lottery, I didn’t save the world, but I did have a most excellent day.  It was like all the planets aligned, I was at peace at work and home.  You know what I’m talking about, it was just a peacefully, great day. Nothing could ruin it.  I got 20 thousand steps in, that’s ten miles, and I feel good.

And what a way to finish the day, but of course, a little Caribbean inspired goodness. And it was quick and easy to make,  which is always a bonus!



  • 1  12 oz pkg spicy cheddar jack chicken sausage, 4 links cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 Tbsp  olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can of mango chunks, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can of pineapple chunks, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups mild salsa
  • 1/2 cup endamame
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Jasmine rice, prepared


  1. Prepare rice according to directions on package.
  2. Heat skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Saute sausage for 2 minutes.
  4. Add beef broth and cook 2 more minutes.
  5. Add mango and pineapple, saute for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add salsa, endamame, and black beans, saute for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve over bed of prepared rice.

rainbow chopped salad with avocado basil dressing

There is a lot of chopping to make this salad,  but it is truly worth it.  I was a little sad when the bowl was empty at lunch.

I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow!

courtesy of the garden grazer



  • 1/2 small head red cabbage,  coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and chopped in quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans,  drained and rinsed

(for the dressing)

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1 – 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt


To make the dressing:

  1.  Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place in the refrigerator and make salad.

To make the salad:

  1. Chop all the vegetables and place in large bowl.
  2. Toss to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. wpid-20150531_110309.jpg

greek orzo salad with spinach, feta, and tomatoes

Greek Orzo Salad with Spinach, Feta, and Tomatoes wpid-20150531_175758-1.jpg

slightly modified from garden grazer


(for the salad)

  • 1 lb. Orzo pasta
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 6 green onions
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 jar sliced greek kalamata olives

(for the dressing)

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil


  1. For the dressing, combine the vinegar,  garlic,  and basil.  Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.
  2. Cook the orzo in salted water, according to package.
  3. Meanwhile, halve tomatoes,  slice the green onions, and roughly chop spinach. Place in large bowl.
  4. Add olives. Toss gently to mix.
  5. Drain orzo and immediately add to large bowl of spinach. Toss gently. The heat from the orzo will lightly wilt the spinach.
  6. Pour the dressing on top, toss to combine.
  7. Add feta and toss gently.
  8. Eat immediately or refrigerate to serve cold.