Veggie Mac and Cheese

This meal was inspired by our very own What I Ate Wednesday hostess, Jenn @ Peas and Crayons!

Though her Confetti Mac is fancy, mine could be eaten (and made) by a child.

Perf, if you ask me. 😉

Plus – I used boxed mac and cheese from Trader Joe’s, so at least it was whole grain pasta, right? I was glad to get my veggies in on this easy Friday night meal.



  • boxed mac and cheese
  • 1/3 cup baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, heated
  • 1/2 cup frozen broccoli, heated
  • 1 tsp garlic power
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cook mac and cheese according to directions on the box.

Stir in veggies of your choice.

Season and stir again.



macandcheese2 veggiemacandcheese1

Yum. A classic with a healthy spin.

Mediterranean Quinoa

A few weeks ago, I went on an oven-roasted- tomato-making binge that left me trying to come up with new dishes to serve them in.

I’m glad I can always count on my trusty friend [quinoa] to pull through for me.

This Mediterranean Quinoa is the perfect transition from summer to fall because it is light but flavorful at the same time.

I think it’s great as both a side dish or meal – especially scooped up into pita chips! 😉


This recipe was based on one from HERE.

Serves 2-4


  • 1 cup oven roasted tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup onion, diced 
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives, diced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup quinoa (I used tri-color)


Cook (and rinse!) quinoa.

Prep ingredients – including the tomatoes, which need an hour and a half in the oven!

Mix quinoa and ingredients together.

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.


MediterraneanQuinoa3 MediterraneanQuinoa

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday! 


Banana Bread

This recipe happened on a “I feel like baking something” kind of Sunday morning.

I had some extra bananas that were starting to get a little gross and didn’t have anything for breakfast.

Perfect solution: banana bread.

First time banana bread baker, right here.

I started dumping everything into the bowls and mixing it all together until I opened the fridge and realized – SHIT – no eggs.

I think Tuna was craving banana bread just as much as I was, because he saved the day and went to grab some eggs for me. 🙂


This recipe was adapted from HERE.

You will need: bread loaf pan


  • 4 overripe bananas
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Mix together mashed bananas, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, oil, sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.

Pour one bowl into the other and stir.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes.

Cool for a few minutes before removing bread from pan.


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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Here’s a good example of my weird taste buds.

I don’t like raw cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, so Tuna and I were both surprised when I loved the oven roasted tomatoes his sister made for us at a family function.

I was even more surprised when I asked her how to make them, and the response was that they are SUPER EASY.

These tomatoes are also quite fancy because Tuna’s sister is a foodie, so now whenever we make them we feel very important.


You will need: baking sheet, aluminum foil


  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried basil
  • olive oil


Preheat the oven to 250°F-300°F.

Rinse and dry tomatoes.

Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half and put them peel side down on a rimmed baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried basil.

Bake for 1.5 hours until they are dried out and slightly caramelized.





I’ve already served them at a dinner party and they’re also great in salads.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Healthiest Blondies Ever

I’ve had these babies on my Pinterest board for ages, but couldn’t bring myself to make them because I was wary of its secret ingredient.

healthiestblondieseverThe secret ingredient?


They look delish though, so you don’t even need to close your eyes in order to trick your senses.

From now on, whenever I need some guilt free sweet stuff, I’m going to pull out a can of garbanzo beans.

You should try them. I swear that if I like them, you will too!


These blondies were inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie’s.

Recipe makes an 8x8in pan.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips until very smooth (I used a hand mixer).

Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into 8x8in pan.

Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Don’t worry if they look a little undercooked – they will harden up once they cool.

healthyblondies4healthyblondies3Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Old Bay Crab Burger

This is officially the best burger I’ve ever eaten.

Okay, I admit: I think I’ve had about two hamburgers in my whole life (I’m not a huge ground beef fan). But this meal may have changed my whole outlook on burgers.

I found the recipe in the most recent edition of Runner’s World and switched up the flavoring from curry to Old Bay.

The article explained that crab has a lot of vitamin b12, which apparently helps with red blood cell production, therefore carrying more oxygen to your muscles.

Not going to lie – this dinner seriously tasted like it was from a restaurant!



Makes 2 burger patties.


  • 8 oz lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat chipotle mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


Mix together ingredients in large bowl.

Form into 2 burger patties with hands.

Grease large skillet and grill about 5 minutes on each side.


We gobbled our burgers down on toasted whole wheat sandwich rolls and topped them with homemade guacamole. Omg.

Tuna got a whole photo flip book of the tasting.

crabburger1crabburgereating2crabburgereating3crabburgereating4 Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When Tuna woke up on Saturday morning and wanted to make pancakes, I wasn’t about to try and change his mind.

Because it meant I would get pancakes too.

Tunes got even more points for makin’ them right – i.e., with chocolate chips.

He based his healthy chocolate chip pancakes off of THIS recipe.



  • 2 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil, and milk.

Stir wet ingredients into dry (keep batter a little lumpy).

Grease a skillet (I used Pam) and heat on medium.

Pour 1/2 cup of batter at a time onto skillet.

Let cook for several minutes and flip when bubbles start to appear on top of the dough. Cook on second side for several minutes until golden brown.

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healthychocolatechippancakes5Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Baked Vegetable Pilaf

I know for a fact that this main dish/side dish is super healthy because I found it in my Eat-Clean Diet book.

I’m so glad I did because it is most definitely delish. Did I mention this recipe is also sups easy to make?

The perfect trio.

I am really liking these quinoa bakes, if you can’t tell!



  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot,chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (any color, I used red and green) chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray casserole dish with olive oil.

Cook couscous and the quinoa.

While the grains are cooking, heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add onion, carrot, celery, pepper, and corn. Cook until onion is translucent.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked grains and veggies. Stir in vegetable stock and salt. Pour mixture into casserole dish.

Cover casserole dish with lid. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Grains are cooked when all water has been absorbed.

bakedvegetablepilafThanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Broccoli and Cheddar Quinoa Bake

I was nervous about this one.

Why? Because it was an experiment.

I need to keep experimenting with food….because this recipe is AWESOME – if I do say so myself.


Looking at Pinterest gave me the usual inspiration that it does with recipes like this one and this one.

I subbed out some of the ingredients that I don’t like (parm, cream of mushroom soup), with some like cheddar and vegetable stock.

When it went in the oven, I wasn’t so sure.

broccoliquinoabake3But I’m starting to think that anything with cheese on it is going to be good. So it turned out alright.

broccoliquinoabake5Actually, it turned out like I’m going to be baking it and devouring it quite often.

This dish screams coming back for thirds seconds.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack)
  • 10 oz vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat chipotle mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp wheat bread crumbs


Cook quinoa.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Spray a shallow 9×13 glass Pyrex casserole dish (that’s just what I used, you could probably use any pan) with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the vegetable broth, mayonnaise, milk, 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese, Splenda, and pepper until mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.

Pour mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/8 cup cheese on the top and bake for 30 minutes.

Take out the dish, sprinkle 1/8 cup cheese and bread crumbs on top for some crunch. Put back in the oven and take for 10 more minutes (40 minutes total).

broccolicheddarquinoabake4Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bites

So in true CNG style, this is basically the easiest “recipe” ever.

Step 1: Take a dark chocolate chip.

Step 2: Shove it inside of a raspberry.

And you’re done!

I used big ol’ chips that broke apart the raspberries a bit, so next time I shall use the mini kind.

darkchocolatechips These yummy bites aren’t even a guilty pleasure because dark chocolate is good for you.

darkchocolateraspberrybites2They were the perf little snack to bring to book club last week and disappeared shortly after my arrival. 🙂

choclateraspberrybitesThanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!