Friday, August 9, 2013

Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Pears!

Finally!!! I have prepared a meal that is Pinterest inspired! It truly has been a while since I have recreated a dish that already exists! I am so glad that I decided to get back into the trend with this nutrient-packed, sweet, and rather filling dish :)

There she is! Beautiful, huh? The original version of this meal was created by, Marla Meridith who writes her own blog for families who are learning to incorporate more nutritious food selections in their diets. You can check out her recipe for this along with various others by clicking on this URL :

Let's run through the ingredients and see what this tasty meal has! In the left column I will list the ingredients Marla used in a regular font, then I will list the components I manipulated in a bold, italicized font like, this.

Ingredients by Marla: 
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dry Quinoa, cook according to package directions
  • 4 Pears
  • Lemon Juice  (Fresh Lemon Slices-Squeezed on flesh of Pear)
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • pinch of ground Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Oilve Oil)
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) chopped Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds) (I used closer to 1/2 cup Pecans) 
  • 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup (I like Grade B)
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) Dried Fruit (Blueberries, Cranberries, diced Apricots) (Solely used Cranberries) 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Coconut Flake
  • Coconut Cooking spray (Used Omeag-3 Enhanced Cooking Spray) 

  • Topping
  • Vegan Whipped Cream (Eliminated this entirely from the dish)

     So you will notice that this dish was originally prepared for breakfast or for a treat, however, I simply eliminated the whip cream and substituted the coconut oil and spray with olive oil. This change, in part, altered the dish's flavor by making it less sweet and a bit more savory instead....perfect for a mid-day meal! I also made a quick side salad for some extra antioxidants and calories :)  ( I eat a lot).

    Now here is what you need to do to make this meal at will only take 30 minutes!

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Cut pears in half. Flatten the bottom of the pears so they lay flat. Scoop out a pocket inside each half with a melon baller or grapefruit spoon. Wipe flesh with some lemon juice so the pears don't brown. Spray baking dish with cooking spray of your choice and lay pears in the dish, scoop side up.
  • Combine quinoa with 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stuff pears with quinoa mixture. Drizzle the remainder 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over the tops. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the pears are soft.

    Ta-Dahh!!! Yay for quick meals!:)
    Real quick, here are some awesome nutritional facts about the super-grain you just baked with, Quinoa!
    Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition which you can most commonly find in meat, very rarely do you ever fin them in plant foods!! In addition to its delicious nutty flavor, it is also loaded in iron and fiber and only costs you 11 calories per 1/2cup serving! Not to mention, a full stomach! Sounds good, huh? And what's even better, a bag of quinoa at a grocery store or supermarket only costs around $4.00 but holds up to 10 servings!! That is 10 cups of quinoa for only 4 bucks!!
    So log of your computer and hit the store NOW so you can make this for dinner tonight!

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    10 Minute Meal!

    Hello again, to all my fellow friends who read this blog :) I have made a few dishes since I last blogged that were mighty tasty, however, this is the most worthy of sharing with you all because it only takes 10 MINUTES TO MAKE!

    That's right, you read correctly. Soooooo, what does this mean?

    Answer: You can make a fine, light meal without any hassle!

    In a time crunch? Who isn't? Just take a deep breath, relax, and whatever you NOT give into the fast food joint that may or may not reside across the street from your house.

    After all, why get a Big Mac for around $4 when you can make this delicious meal for about $1.50-$2.00 per serving. Pierogie Salad: 1. Big Mac: 0.

    This past month I got a job at a health food store called, Earth Fare. It is similar to a Whole Foods but it is owned by a much smaller company, which enables us employees to promote healthy foods through fun activities and make deals that are great for the whole family :) Find one near you!!

    Anyway, I am bit of a "shopaholic" when it comes to healthy foods and this problem becomes most prominent after every shift I other words, I want to buy EVERYTHING in the store! MAJOR PROBLEM.

    However, I stumbled across this bag of Organic Pierogies and it brought back memories of when my Mom used to prepare some of Mrs.T's Pierogies. Yum! So I was more than excited to discover that they sold one of my childhood favorites, organic style ;) YAY.

    For those of you who have not tried pierogies, let me just ask!
    They are FANTASTIC! And not to mention low-cal and very filling! Just 240 calories per 1/2 cup! Almost like a dumpling, the pierogie consists of a pasta-like shell which encloses the magic combo: potatoes, onion, and cheddar.

    They are not whole grain, but let me tell you, if you incorporate as much fiber as I do in your daily diet....let's just say your bowels need a break, so this meal is PERFECT for such situations.

    After seasoning your perogies with your favorite herbs and a bit of extra virgin olive-oil (great addition of fatty acids), grab a generous handful of any kind of green, such as a Spring Mix:

    I added a sprinkle of sunflower seeds just for some extra flavor :)

    That is all! 10 Minutes are UP. Now go on and enjoy!

    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Light, Low-Cal, Fiesta in yo' mouth!

    I had a moment of epiphany......I am in love with FAJITA QUESADILLAS. Sadly, I did not make a fajita quesadilla, but trust me I got the next best thing!!! And, not to mention, it is very healthy as well, clocking in at around 260 calories! Wooohoo!

    The inspiration for this light meal/pre-workout snack, I dedicate to one of my best friends, Melissa, who introduced a group of us to this amazing local restaurant here in Columbus called, La Fogata. Let me just tell you, that was the most tasty birthday-dinner-place-thing EVER.

    This just goes to show that even people who strive to educate others about the importance of health and fitness, can splurge every once and a while to satisfy their cravings :)

    So, this does not look like your average quesadilla right? Your probably thinking right now, "Great, Cheyenne is telling me I am only worthy of one tortilla...I am going to starve, fabulous." STOP! I promise that is not my intention! If you feel like that extra tortilla then by all means PLEASE grab one and slap it on your own creation! I am simply trying to mimic the awesome fajita quesadilla I had at el restaraunte de La FogataOLE!

    Here, grab as many as you want!!

    Shall we start with the ingredients for our masterpiece? :) I think so!!!!!!!!

    Okay so the main component, the base, the play maker, the ingredient responsible for holding our piece together....I call it the Tortilla.

    Feast upon your eyes ladies and gents, because this is going to be your new best friend during your journey of making this low-cal, veggie filled quesadilla.

    As you can see, I am using a different type of tortilla then you maybe used to seeing in the big chain grocery stores like Kroger, Target, Walmart etc. This type of bread is called, Ezekiel 4:9, and unlike the typical tortillas we see in one of the stores above, it does NOT undergo the processing which means that it contains zero preservatives and additives. As a result, it is crucial for these bread products to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer (if you are planning on keeping it for long periods of time) until use to preserve its freshness. Not to mention, it tastes AMAZING!
    Melissa, introduced me to this bread through her blog and I was ecstatic to try it!

    To defrost this tortilla, I simply placed it on a skillet and after a flip or two, I began adding the rest of my ingredients!

    Yummy!!!!!!!!!! I added a sprinkle of two killer cheese selections: crumbled feta cheese with tomato basil, and lactose-free cheddar cheese (for those of you who might be sensitive to lactose found in dairy products). Also, you may see that I added a 50/50 spring and spinach mix for extra antioxidants, along with sauteed mushrooms and onions! Fun Fact: Mushrooms and Onions are two known foods that may help prevent women from Ovarian Cancer. So ladies, stalk up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And after 5 minutes of melting that wonderful cheese, plop your meal on a plate and add aside of salsa and wala! You have a wonderful light meal that is perfect to eat an hour or two before your evening workout! Hope you try it out for yourself, ENJOY!:)




    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Mediterranean Egg Plant Dish!

    Wow, where has the time gone? It feels as though I have not posted a recipe in FOREVER. I am so ashamed! Between school, track, and preparation for graduation I had absolutely no spare time to write about any of the meals I have made since the end of March. In my notebook of recipes I found notes on the last dish I made for this blog- it was on March 27th, I invited my cousin and friend over to try out this colorful, not to mention, antioxidant-packed dish. I call it, the Mediterranean Egg Plant Dish.

    One word: Nostima (delicious in Greek).

    Isn't she a beauty :) Alright that is weird. Sorry. Moving on...
    This dish is incredibly light and as I said before high in antioxidants and also, fiber!

    Let us move onto the ingredients to get a closer look at what super foods that are in here, shall we?

    * 1 large Egg Plant
    * 4 Roma Tomatoes
    * Feta Cheese (3/4 of a container)
    * Fresh Basil
    * Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    * Dash of Sea-Salt
    * A gracious serving of Ground Black Pepper and Garlic Powder
    * Dill

    Man it feels good to write again about delicacies such as this one :)

    Anyway, back to the dish! Not only does eggplant contain a significant source of crucial Vitamins such as B vitamins, folate and vitamin C, it also holds a special antioxidant in its peel called: Nasunin. According to the August 10, 2005 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," Nasunin has antiangiogenic abilities. I know what you are thinking, what is antiangiogenic mean? Is that word even in English? 

    The term antiangiogenic stands for the halt of new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. This may seem more harmful than helpful, however, when it comes to the invasion of cancer cells, you will be glad you ate your helping of eggplant!!

    Another ingredient that is worth talking about is Feta cheese. Yummy :) Who doesn't love Feta? Are you one of those people that love Feta so much that you could just eat the whole container? Well  I am hear to tell you that you can eat Feta and not feel guilty for doing so! Just do not eat the whole container at one sitting, okay? :)

    Do you ever notice how Feta just crumbles as you touch it? It looks like a beautiful snowfall as it is sprinkled across the dish, wouldn't you agree?

    Perhaps, I am a bit I worried though? No way. You know why?

    Feta is one of the most least fattening cheese selections out there! Woohoo!

    There is a bit of science behind the structure of this cheese. Feta crumbles because of the lack of saturated fat in it; the cheese cannot stick together
    simply for this reason!

    Not only does Feta have a low source of fat in it, but it also provides a significant source of your daily needs of calcium and even protein. In addition, the acids found in the raw sheep milk that goes into this Mediterranean cheese, helps combat Listeria, a bacteria that causes food poisoning!  

    So now that you know more about some of the health benefits this dish includes, let us take a moment and discuss how YOU can prepare it at home!

    The instructions are so easy! The inspiration for this dish came from MAZA May recipe, "Grilled Eggplant with Tomato and Feta" and it had quite the popular demand on Pinterest; it had over 100,000 repins!

    Of course, I modified the dish so I could call it my very own!

    Here is what I did:

    I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, and plugged in my family's own Panini grill contraption thing. I then painted on a thing coating of a mixture of garlic powder, dill, sea salt, pepper, and olive oil on each individual eggplant slice.

     Once those beautiful grill marks appeared I simply stacked them in a large cake pan, where I generously sprinkled the Feta, Roma tomato slices, and fresh basil leaves all across the dish :)

    After 15 minutes in the oven the dish was complete and ready to eat. For extra flavor I added marinara sauce and just a dash of Parmesan cheese to the top. And I added a small side of grilled asparagus as well just to add an extra veggie for the day :)


    Delicious and INCREDIBLY nutritious! Why go all the way to Greece (although that would be really cool) to enjoy a classic Mediterranean dish when you can make it at home!

    Hope you enjoy! Great to be back in the blogging world!

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    These are just some of Casey's favorite things :)

    How does one survive studying for an AP Biology test? You have come to the right place. A successful hard-core study sesh results from not only exercise, specifically running/lifting/aqua jogging, but most importantly from a nutrtious, wholesome meal.

                                                                          Like, WOW.

    One of my best friends asked me a couple weeks ago, and I quote, "Can you make a healthy grilled cheese sandwich, I can't get enough of that stuff."

    She clearly has an obession with these cholesterol clogging sandwiches, and as loyal friend I felt it was neccessary to satisfy her cravings, the healthy way.
    Like always, I searched on for a spark of inspiration, and I came across a link for Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. You would not BELIEVE how fast I hit the print button. I absolutely love Pesto and I thought it would add a nice touch to the simple Grilled Cheese Sandwich. So, I ran the proposal by Casey, she approved, and we got cooking! 
    The original recipe came from a couple whose blog's name is, Two Peas & Their Pod- Check it out!
    The only ingredients Casey and I manipulated was the bread (replaced french bread for whole wheat)and the seasonings added to the coating of the bread. And we also added a side of Edaname because, well, we love it!:D
    -4 slices of Whole Wheat Bread
    -1 tablespoon of melted butter
    -Splash of Curry, Dill, Rosemary, Minced Onion, and Powedered Garlic
    -4 teaspoons of basil pesto (2 teaspoons for each sandwich)
    -4 oz. of mozarella cheese (2 oz for each sandwich)

    There you have it folks, a simple easy dish that can be made either on a skillet or in a panini maker- just remember to coat the pan with a vegetable spray to avoid sticky messes!:)

    These are just some of Casey's favorite things :) Hope you enjoy!!

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    To be or not To be. Healthy Reeses Cups!!

    Ah how I love snow days :) It was almost a blessing from the skies that we got the day off, because it gave me the wonderful opportunity to cram in a little extra study time for my AP Biology test this  Friday! Perfect right?? Yes. But, that is not what ended up happening. Fail. Also, it is my soon-to-be roommate's birthday this Friday and with this test on the same day, I will have no time to make her something special the night prior to her celebratory day! WHAT SHOULD A FRIEND DO IN A TIME LIKE THIS?!?! DUH! My inner-chef was calling me, so I hopped on Pinterest and found this awesome recipe. Despite the early hour, I could not resist from driving up to Kroger (okay well, my dad drove- the roads were not quite clear at 9:00am) to get the one ingredient that I lacked for this, again, I repeat, awesome recipe.

                                      BEHOLD, THE ALMIGHTY (healthy) REESES CUP!!!!

    Yes, you read correctly ladies and gentlemen, HEALTHY Reeses Cups!

    How could you make such a delectable treat healthy?!?! The answer is quite simple. SUBSTITUTE THE INGREDIENTS!

    -Organic Dark Chocolate Chips
    -Pumpkin Puree (Canned)
    -Almond Butter (or any nut butter)

    The Result:

    Ultra-Yumminess :)

    The inspiration for this dish came from a brilliant blogger named Katie, who is known for her nutritious healthy desserts! Check out her blog, !:)

    These treats are SO easy to make too! First, melt 1/2 cup of choco chips in microwave (45 seconds should be sufficient). Next distribute this chocolate evenly throughout ten cupcake liners (thin layer) and pop in the freezer for 8-10 minutes. While they are in the freezer, mix 4 tablespoons of pumpkin with 3-4 tablespoons of almond butter, or any nut butter of your choice, and add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon! Take your little choco cups out of the freezer and pour in your pumpkin/nut butter mix (about 1 tablespoon for each cup). Next melt another 1/2 cup of choco chips in microwave and pour a thin coating on top of each cup. Once the pumpkin is no longer visible, pop them back into the freezer for 20 minutes.


    Next, just pop 'em out and place them on a plate...or directly into your mouth :) They are irresistible.

    For my friend Savannah, I added a bit of decoration:

    Okay so I am not exactly what you call an artist, but hey the taste is all that truly matters with these bad boys.

    Try them out for do not know what you are missing. Seriously!!




    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Tuna Melt or Bruschetta?

    Last night I made quite the treat for my family, I couldn't tell you what the name of this dish is because it obtains qualities of both a bold bruschetta, and a tasty tuna melt. I will let you decide:

    Oh my gosh this was so.....incredibly...DELICIOUS. I can sincerely say that it melted in my mouth. I will admit, it was not one of my healthiest creations due to the the three cheese french bread I used as the base, but trust me, it was absolutely worth the splurge :)

    Unfortunately, I ran out of tuna so only half of these delicacies had it, while the others resembled a typical bruschetta dish.

    BOTH creations were packed with an intense flavor, I can vouch for that one because I sampled one of each :) Carbo-Load? I think so.

    The inspiration for this dish, well, came from my own mother! She is the culprit of bringing home this wonderful french bread and a zesty Italian dipping oil to match.

    The inspiration for this recipe, however, came from two dishes that I found on Pinterest. The one containing tuna came from while the one without came from

    Of course, I tweaked just a few of the ingredients on both dishes in order to call it a creation of my own!

    Here is the list of ingredients I used for the tuna dish:
    *5-ounce can of White Albacore Tuna
    *1 1/2 tablespoons of Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonnaise
    *3 tablespoons of Shaved Aged Parmesan (1 tablespoon for each)
    *Dash of Sea Salt/Ground Black Pepper
    *1 tablespoon of Capers (chopped)
    *1 tablespoon of Fresh Basil (chopped)
    *3 Slices of French Bread (three cheese for an extra kick!)
    *A swipe of Zesty Italian Dipping Oil (on top of each bread)
    *Garlic Powder (as much as your heart desires)

    Simply stir mayo, garlic powder, and capers in with the tuna and place on top of baguette, which should have already have a thin coating of the olive oil on its surface. Then top it with shaved Parmesan cheese, basil, sea salt, and pepper. Make sure the pan is sprayed with just a squirt of Vegetable Cooking Spray and broil for 4-5 minutes.

    Fun Fact: Why use tuna? Not only does it have an incredible flavor but it contains a significant source of Omega-3 fatty acids which lowers the level of triglycerides in your blood (fats that clog your arteries!). In addition, it is a great source of protein and steers clear from ANY saturated fats.
    Lesson of the day- EAT MORE TUNA.

    In the original recipe, this dish called for home-made olive oil mayonnaise which sounded fantastic, however, I already had a jar of Hellman's in my refrigerator and with graduation approaching in the spring, I am trying to save every penny I can get my hands on for college!!! Can I get an Amen?!

    Also, the chef of this original masterpiece used a hard-boiled egg in her recipe and I did not, however, I did add an extra splash of flavor with that zesty dipping oil!

    The ingredients for the Bruschetta are quite simple:
    *3 thin slices of Fresh Swiss (one for each)
    *3 tomato slices (again, one for each)
    *1 tablespoon of Fresh Basil (chopped)
    *Generous swipe of Zesty Italian Dipping Oil (on each)
    *1 Tablespoon of Shaved Aged Parmesan 

    The only thing I substituted was Bocconcini (mozzarella) balls for Swiss cheese, because I had a large amount of fresh Swiss in my fridge from the Amish country!


    A special dinner for the family has been served :) Enjoy!