1. Recipe: Palak Paneer
Homemade Indian, never order take out again! 
2 	 	Tbs Ghee
2 	 	cloves garlic, chopped
1 	 	onion, chopped
1 	 	Tomato,chopped
1 	 	Tbs Fresh Ginger, grated
1 	 	t Coriander Powder
1 	 	t Cumin Powder
1 	 	t Turmeric Powder
1 	 	t Red Chili Powder
1 	 	t Garam Masala Powder
1/2 	Cup 	yogurt
6 	 	Bunches Spinach, chopped
12 	oz 	Fresh Paneer, cubed
Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium heat and add chopped garlic, ginger and chopped onion, saute until the onion becomes golden brown.

Add turmeric, coriander, red chili, Garam Masala and cumin powder, continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Add chopped spinach and tomato to the mixture and cook till spinach is tender. Add yogurt. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Heat a small sauce pan, add paneer cubes and fry until it become golden brown.

Drain and add to the Spinach mixture and serve!
  2. Recipe: Spanish Brown Rice
So easy you will wonder why you have not made it before! 
What do you do when all the refrigerator contains is an onion and maybe a stray carrot?  You make rice! I am rounding the corner towards finals week and unfortunately have not made it to the grocery store. I started this meal by dicing the onion and throwing the remains along with any overly frozen vegetables I have into a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and you have a quick homemade broth! 
I use brown rice in this recipe to add a little fiber to my diet and make this a more nutritious meal. If you are one of those people who hate brown rice, give it a try and I bet you cannot tell the difference. The substitution of brown rice nutritionally will provide your body with 3.5 grams of Fiber, 5 g of Protein, along with the % DV of 12% Thiamin (Vit B1), 15% Niacin (Vit B3), 21% Magnesium, 14% Vitamin B6, and a whopping 88% of Manganese in a 1 cup serving [1]. Still not convinced? Ok, it also contains 603 mg of Omega-6 Fatty acids and 27.3 mg of Omega-3 FA. These Omega Fatty acids cannot be produced by our bodies and are essential in keep our brains functioning, regulating metabolism and maintaining bone health [2]. Worried about heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or colon cancer? Eat a cup of brown rice and rest assured your body will thank you. 
1 Tbsp Olive Oil1/2 medium Onion, chopped3 Garlic Cloves, minced1/2 cup Organic Brown Rice4 oz Tomato sauce or Canned Diced Tomatoes1 cup Vegetable Broth1/3 cup Organic Peas, frozen1 tsp Oregano, ground1 tsp Cumin, ground (optional) Salt and pepper to taste
Start off by adding the oil to a sauce pan, bring to a medium heat. Add add onions and garlic, saute till they start to become translucent.  Add the rice, stirring frequently, making sure it does not burn. Cook till the rice also starts to become translucent and golden brown.

Add tomatoes and broth, stir to evenly distribute.

I like to add the frozen peas on top, you can also add chopped carrots!.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes, till rice is tender.  Once the rice is tender add the ground oregano, salt and pepper.

Heat some black beans and you have a meal!
1. Self Nutrition Data, Know what you eat
2. Omega-6 Fatty Acids, University of Maryland Medical Center
  3. Recipe: Millet Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
1/4 cup Millet1/2 cup Vegetable Broth2 large Portabella Mushrooms, stems removed and cleaned1 Tbsp Olive Oil1 Onion, chopped1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped2 Garlic Cloves, mincedSmall can of Black Olives, sliced1 cup Feta Cheese1/2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped1 Lemon, juiced2 tsp Cayenne PepperSea Salt to taste1/4 cup Parmesan cheesePrepared marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Place millet in a dry pan and bring to a medium heat. Let millet toast, agitating pan every so it does not brown or burn.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, let simmer covered for until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes, fluff with fork. Remove from heat and set aside covered.
Add olive oil to a pan and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, saute about 10 minutes. Add millet and olives, mix well. 

Transfer to a large bowl.  Add feta, thyme, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Gently toss, season with salt.

Stuff mushroom caps and top with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the mushrooms caps are tender.  Serve with your favorite marinara sauce. I paired these with a butternut squash sauce and they were divine! :P
  4. Recipe: Endive Salad with Gorgonzola and Walnuts
I am trying to be adventurous and incorporate foods I ‘believe’ I do not like, into my diet.  Walnuts and Gorgonzola for example, I do not enjoy the strong taste of either.  I set out to find a recipe pleasing to my taste buds and this was it!  The walnuts in this dish are rich in omega-3’s and are a heart healthy food.
Endive Salad with Gorgonzola and Walnuts1/2 cup Walnuts2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Flax Seed Oil2 teaspoons White Balsamic Vinegar salt, freshly ground pepper to taste2 heads Belgian Endive1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbledPreheat oven to 350ºF.
Roast walnuts in a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool.

Whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together. Set aside.
Carefully remove 10 or so outer leaves. Arrange in a radial pattern on plate.

Chop up the remainder of the endive head. Place in large bowl.  Crumble walnuts into pieces and add to bowl along with crumbled gorgonzola and toss with dressing.

Mound mixture in center of whole endive leaves and serve.
  5. Shrimp in a Garlic Lemon Basil Broth
1 lb Shrimp, uncooked
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tomato, chopped (keep juice also)
1/2 cup Basil, chopped
1 tsp Butter
Marinate shrimp in lemon and 3 garlic cloves.  Leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  In a sauce pan add olive oil and heat on medium.  Add garlic, cook till becomes transparent.  Add tomato, cook till they start to break down, about 3 minutes.  Add shrimp, when shrimp starts to turn pink add basil and butter. Cook till shrimp is pink all over.

Remove from heat and serve with fresh chopped basil.
  6. Whole Wheat Strawberry Scones
I have been craving scones for the past few weeks and decided to  try my hand at it.  The result was perfection!  I used half wheat flour  to incorporate the benefits of fiber and to be honest it barely affected  the final product.  I served these to friends and they raved over them  and could not even tell they were made with whole wheat flour!
1 cup Strawberries, chopped3 Tbsp Sugar1 cup Whole Wheat Flour1 cup White Flour2 tsp Baking Powder1/4 tsp Salt6 Tbsp  Butter, in cubes, slightly softened2/3 cup Half-and-Half or Milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle fruit with half the  sugar; set aside.
Combine  remaining sugar with flours, baking powder and salt, whisk together.

Add  butter, using a pastry cutter turn mixture into a fine meal. 

Fold  in fruit then milk. Be sure to not over stir. 

On  a lightly floured surface knead dough just enough to combine  ingredients. Form small round balls of dough and place on a lined baking  sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and enjoy!
  7. Mushroom, Feta and Spinach Casserole
This one is inspired from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I’m a big fan of her blog and recipes. I decided to try my hand at a breakfast casserole and I was not disappointed. These are so easy to make and perfect for on the go. 
1 Large Shallot, sliced1 Clove Garlic, minced8 oz Mushrooms, sliced4 oz Feta Cheese3 cups Spinach10 Eggs3 Tbsp Milk
Nutritional Information:
5 Servings302.81 kcal19.05 g Protein7.51 g Carbohydrate22.33 g Fat
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Spray sauce pan lightly with olive oil, add shallots and saute.  When these become translucent add sliced mushrooms. 

Cook till tender.  Add mushrooms and shallots, to baking dish. 

Add feta on top of mushrooms and shallots.

Add garlic and spinach to the same pan, cook about 3-4 minutes, till the  leaves have softened.  Add the spinach to the baking dish. 

Mix eggs with milk then poor over layers in dish.

Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes depending on how you like your eggs done.
  8. Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes
I served these over a bed of lemon pepper pasta with a light drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.  
Ingredients:3 Tbsp Olive Oil2 cups Button Mushrooms, chopped1/2 cup Onion, diced3 Garlic Cloves, chopped1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese1/2 tsp Salt1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper2 Artichokes1 Lemon, juiced
Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a sauce pan, add garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Cook till the onions become translucent.  Set aside in a bowl to cool for a about 5 minutes.

Clean artichokes by cutting the top and bottom 1/4 off. 

Remove any old leaves and trim to remove thorns. Expose the center and remove the prickly center if present. On older artichokes scrape out the cavity.  Coat with lemon juice to reduce oxidation.

To the mushroom mixture add cilantro, Parmesan, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. 

Open the artichoke by spreading all the leaves wide. Stuff spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture in between each leaf till full.

Place artichokes in the sauce pan, add an inch of water to the bottom of the sauce pan and lemon juice. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of oil over each artichoke.

Bring water to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, till the artichokes are tender. Serve immediately.
  9. Sautéed Shrimp with Warm Tropical Fruit Salsa
My version of a wonderful recipe from Simply Recipes
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes1 lb Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined3 Tbsp Olive Oil1 Mango, peeled and diced2 Kiwi, peeled and diced1/4 cup Green Onion, finely diced1 tsp Sugar1/4 tsp Chili Powder1 Lime, juiced1/8 tsp salt3 fresh Mint Leaves, juliennedFresh Ground Pepper
Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add coconut flakes, stirring constantly. When flakes start to brown on the edges, remove from heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
In the same pan add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil, heat to medium heat,  add diced onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add mango and kiwi and  cook until bubbly and softened, about for 1 minute. Poor into a bowl, add mint, sugar,  chili powder, salt and lime, mix together.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan to medium heat. Add shrimp, cook for 2 minutes each side or until cooked through. 

Serve shrimp on a bed of rice or alone.  Pour on the tropical salsa on top of the shrimp.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and fresh ground pepper.  Enjoy!
  10. Quick Allagash Mushroom and Leek Soup
2 Tbsp Butter2 Leeks, trimmed cut into rounds4 Garlic Cloves, minced1/2 medium Onion, chopped10 Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped10 Brown Mushrooms, chopped1 cup Allagash White4 cups Vegetable BrothInstructions:
Melt butter in a sauce pan, add leeks and garlic.  Cook till they become soft and translucent.

Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown.

Add beer and boil 1 minute.

Add broth and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes.
  11. Steamed Artichokes with Dill Caper Dip
1/2 cup Low Fat Mayonnaise 2 Tbsp Dried Dill 2 Tbsp Chives, chopped 2 Tbsp Capers, drained and chopped 1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard 4 large ArtichokesInstructions:
Combine mayonnaise, dill, chives, capers olive oil and mustard.  Set aside or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Clean artichokes by cutting the top and bottom 1/4 off.

Remove  any old leaves and trim to remove thorns. Expose the center and remove  the prickly center if present. On older artichokes scrape out the  cavity.  Coat with lemon juice to reduce oxidation.

Place artichokes in the sauce pan, add an inch of water to the bottom of the sauce pan and lemon juice.
Bring water to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, till the artichokes are tender. Remove artichokes, place dip in center and serve immediately.
  12. Quinoa and Feta Salad
If you have never had quinoa then your life really is incomplete! It is an excellent source of protein, complete in the essential amino acids. Also it will provide you with iron, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin,  thiamin, magnesium, zinc, copper,  manganese, and folate.  Not convinced?  Just try this recipe and serve with black beans & humus then you will be asking for thirds!
1 cup quinoa1 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water1/2 tsp butter1/2 tsp cumin3 green onions, chopped1/2 red onion, chopped1/2 jalapeño, minced1 lemon, juiced1 Tbsp olive oil1/2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar1/8 tsp cumin1/8 tsp white pepperSea salt2 oz feta cheese
In a medium saucepan add broth, quinoa, water, salt, butter and cumin, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for  about 15 minutes, till tender.  Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 15 minutes.

While quinoa is setting, chop the onions and jalapeño.  Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, cumin, pepper and salt.  Set side.
Add chopped ingredients into quinoa and toss with dressing. 

Can serve warm or let sit overnight, sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.

Can be served chilled with warm black beans and a dollop of hummus as an dip for pita chips!
Nutritional Information:
Kilocalories: 250.38 kcal (14%)Protein: 8.87 g (15%)Carbohydrate: 33.32 gFat, Total: 9.29 gPFA 18:2, Linoleic: 1.65 g (14%)PFA 18:3, Linolenic: 0.18 g (16%)Riboflavin: 24%; Vitamin B6: 23%; Folate: 23%; Magnesium: 28%; Zinc: 22%; Iron 13%
  13. Recipe: Twice-Baked Cauliflower
Cauliflower we all know it, and very few of us like to eat it.  So what did our mom’s do when we didn’t want to eat our vegetables?  They covered them in cheese of course!  Not only will the cheese make you smile but the cauliflower will supply you with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, fiber, potassium and vitamin B6.
1 Large Head Cauliflower, chopped3 Cloves Garlic, minced1 Tbsp Butter1/2 cup Low Fat Sour Cream1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese1 tsp Sea Salt1 tsp White PepperInstructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Steam cauliflower till it is slightly tender. Drain well in a colander, be sure to remove as much water as possible. Mash with potato masher into a chunky mash, add butter, garlic, sour cream, green onions, salt, pepper and 3/4 of Parmesan cheese. 

Toss together till thoroughly mixed.Spread in a casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  14. Spicy Cabbage Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Peanuts
You’ve heard of the cabbage soup diet, how about the cabbage salad diet?  After eating this salad I promise you will want to eat it everyday for at least week! Red cabbage contains 36 different anthocyanins which have been studied for their fat fighting potential, cancer protection and improvement of brain function. One cup will also give you 85% of your daily value of vitamin C.  
2 cups Red Cabbage2 cups Green Cabbage1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped1/4 cup Peanuts, chopped1/3 cup Mandarin Oranges, drained if canned
2 tsp Garlic, minced1 tsp Chili Paste3 Tbsp Brown Rice Vinegar1 Tbsp Nama Shoyu2 Tbsp Almond butter2 Tbsp Flax Seed Oil2 tsp Toasted Sesame OilJuice from half a lime
Instructions:Mix together all the ingredients for dressing and set aside.

Remove outer leaves from cabbage, cut out core, and cut into thin slices with a mandolin. Add cabbage into a large bowl along with green onions, cilantro, and peanuts, toss throughly.  Add oranges and serve with dressing.

If you omit the oranges this salad is the perfect accompaniment to a side of ribs or with pulled pork!
  15. Leek, Cannellini Bean & Couscous Soup
A wonderfully healthy recipe just in time for the winter months!  Cannellini beans are known as the white kidney bean or the great northern bean.  When cooked they have a nutty flavor and are rich in protein, iron, magnesium and fiber. 
Nutritional Information:
Calories: 371.99 kcalCarbohydrates: 63.71 gFat: 5.42 gProtein: 13.03 gFiber: 64%Vitamin A: 97%Potassium: 18%Vitamin B6: 18%Magnesium: 17%Iron: 15%
Ingredients:2 cups Cannellini Beans, dried1 Tbsp Olive Oil4 Garlic Cloves, minced1/2 Med White Onion, finely chopped1 Leek, chopped2 tsp Sea Salt1 Tbsp Cumin1 tsp Cayenne Pepper6 cups Vegetable Broth1 cup Whole Wheat Couscous
Rinse then soak cannellini beans overnight. Dump soaking water, rinse again and refill pot about 2 inches over beans. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 45 minutes or until slightly tender. Do not overcook.  Drain and set aside.In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onion and leeks till tender.

Season with salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

Add beans and broth, bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and add couscous, stirring well.

Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the couscous to cook.  Serve immediately.
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