Salmon and Quinoa Bowls with Kale and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Hello all!

I hope you had a great Halloween weekend! Special shoutout to my dad for dropping 19 pounds over the last 3 months! Amazing what substituting fruit and nuts for unhealthy snacks, and avoiding simple carbs can do! He also attributes the weight loss to doing the diet with friends from work. It always helps when you have other people keeping you accountable. Here is another recipe he, and you can hopefully use as a nutritious dinner meal! Of course, it uses 10 ingredients or less, and takes less than 30 minutes. I personally recommend getting wild atlantic salmon for the recipe. I’ve bought frozen salmon from Trader Joe’s and it worked just fine!


This recipe and pictures are courtesy of


  • Four 4-ounce sockeye salmon fillets (skin on)
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 bunch of kale, thick stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white quinoa or brown rice
  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup tahini paste
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Total Prep Time- 30 minutes

Serving Size- 4


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, then let stand covered for 10 minutes off the heat. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. With clean hands, toss the kale until very well coated in the lemon and oil. Add the cooked quinoa to the kale along with the chickpeas. Mix until well-incorporated and taste for seasoning.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet. Pat the salmon dry and season with salt. Cook the salmon skin-side down over high heat until nicely browned, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook for another 2 minutes, until opaque up the sides.
  4. Divide the quinoa between 4 bowls and top with the seared salmon.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce until smooth. Add more water as necessary to make the sauce drizzle-friendly. Spoon over the fish and serve immediately.


5 Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread

Wellness Tip- When opting for iced tea, look for the unsweetened varieties. Presweetened iced tea can have as much as 20 grams of sugar already in it. I would rather add my owner sugar or sweetener (like Stevia) to control the amount of sugar I’m consuming


My Italian heritage is apparent in the fact that I don’t like to waste food. My mom is extremely creative in using all parts of food, like when she uses all parts of the chicken and bones to make her amazing chicken soup.

Do you have bananas with brown spots on the outside? Looking to put them to use instead of tossing them in the garbage? Bananas are at their sweetest when they are overripe. One thing that sometimes deters me from baking (other than my wife being a fantastic baker), is the amount of ingredients and spices needed. In spirit of this blog, there are only FIVE ingredients you need to bake this great banana bread. It makes for a great breakfast, snack, or post-workout food. My favorite part about the banana bread is the texture. It’s the moist inside, along with the slight crunch if you add walnuts.

This can also be a great gluten-free snack if you use gluten-free oats! I’ve made this banana bread 3 times in the last 3 weeks with slight variations, and it just keeps getting better!

This recipe and cover picture is courtesy of


Time- 30 minutes


  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Optional Ingredients
    • 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon flax or chia seeds
    • 1/4 cup nuts (I’ve used walnuts)
    • 2 scoops protein powder (I’ve used chocolate)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place oats, maple syrup, baking soda, eggs, bananas, and any optional ingredients into a bowl
  3. Use a hand mixer, kitchen aid, or blender to mix all of the ingredients together. You should still be able to see some of the oats, but the eggs and bananas should be crushed. I mixed for about 30 seconds.
  4. Spray a 9×5 loaf baking pan with Pam or other cooking spray
  5. Pour all of the batter in the baking pan
  6. Bake the banana bread for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take out of the oven, stick a toothpick in the center. If there is minimal batter that shows up on the toothpick, then you are done. If there is significant batter on the toothpick, place back in the oven for up to 3 minutes
  7. Let the banana bread cool for 15-20 minutes, and then enjoy! Place in the fridge for storage

Homemade Greek Yogurt Parfait

Wellness Tip- When food shopping, start on the outside of the store and work your way in. You’ll see that the healthy produce and vegetables tend to be on the outside aisles of grocery stores, while the snacks, cookies, and junk food tend to be located in the middle. Make a list of your favorite healthy foods and do your best to stick to it!

Following the theme of healthy, quick breakfasts, I am writing today about a high protein breakfast with over 20 grams protein that requires virtually no preparation. If you remember one of my previous posts about frozen bananas, you’ll remember how great and versatile frozen fruit is. Flavored Greek yogurts tend to have over 15 grams of sugar in each container, which can be more than some candy bars! I recommend creating your own flavors by buying 0 or 2% plain Greek yogurt (I like Trader Joe’s, Chobani, and Fage). I tend to buy the bigger containers so you can use bigger serving sizes, and it’s more economical. Then, I’ll buy bags of frozen mango, berries, and cup up and freeze a few bananas overnight.

In the morning, I scoop out 1 cup of Greek Yogurt, put in a few handfuls of frozen fruit, and top it off with chia seeds, sun flower seed kernels, or peanuts. If you want your fruit to be softer, you can pack it in a Tupperware the night before to give it time to thaw. The result is a large, filling, nutritious breakfast/snack with over 20 grams of protein and is still under 500 calories! Feel free to add things like pure maple syrup, cinnamon, or honey if you need to add some sweetness.

As a bonus, you can pack this the night before and bring it in a container for a snack/lunch during the day!



1 cup 0% or 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 handful each of various frozen fruits (bananas, berries, mango, etc.)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Optional- 1 teaspoon raw honey, pure maple syrup, cinnamon

Optional- 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped almonds, unshelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), raw sunflower seed kernels


1. Scoop out one cup of Greek yogurt into a bowl

2. Chop frozen fruit and place in bowl

3. Top Greek yogurt with chia seeds, desired sweetener, and nuts.

Peanut Butter Banana Rice Cakes

Wellness Tip- Break up your meals into more frequent smaller meals. I plan on having a snack or small meal every 3-4 hours. Now that I am in an office, I pack a few different snacks like fruit, peanuts, and rice bowls. Eating more often gives your body the chance to break down the foods, and prevents you from overeating!


Breakfast is the most important, and my favorite meal of the day. It really helps set the tone and helps start productive, early mornings for me. When I think about making breakfasts for during the week, it has to be quick, filling, and healthy. I also like a little crunch. This breakfast has been a staple for me for the last 2 years. After telling my sister about it, she has also had it for breakfast habitually. The whole grain rice cakes provide a nice crunch and when combined with peanut butter and bananas (obviously my favorite combo), it holds me over until lunch.This can also be a great pre-dinner or post-workout snack.

I like to use Trader Joe’s brown rice cakes or quaker oats lightly salted rice cakes The important thing is to check the sugar content of the rice cakes. The only ingredient should be brown rice. The other flavors tend to have 3-5 grams per sugar per rice cake, which is unnecessary since you’re going to add honey (a more natural, unprocessed form on sugar). Enjoy!

Picture courtesy of wholeearthfoods!


Servings -1

Time- 5 minutes


1-2 lightly salted rice cakes

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (I like Smuckers or Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon of raw honey (or enough to drizzle on top)

1 banana


1. Spread the peanut butter on the rice cakes

2. Cut up the banana in thin slices. Spread out among the 1-2 rice cakes

3. Drizzle honey on the top of the rice cakes

Thai Peanut Chicken bowl

Wellness Tip-Worried about going up for seconds for dinner? Leave your serving dishes on the stove so you have to get up to get seconds. It makes it more of an effort rather than just scooping it from the table.

Growing up, we mostly got Chinese food as take out. It wasn’t until college that I first tasted Thai food. It’s no coincidence that I love it based on my love for peanut butter. Lately, this is has been my go to meal if I’m not sure what to make. It gives you a good amount of protein, carbs, and vegetables. Feel free to adjust the amount of water in the peanut sauce based on how think you want it.

Picture courtesy of

Servings– 2

Cooking Time– 25 minutes


  • 2 medium size chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 handful shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 small lime


  1. Boil 1 cup of water. Once it is boiling, pour in rice, turn heat down to low, cover the rice, and cook for 25 minutes
  2. Cook the chicken breast. You can grill, bake it, or pan fry it. I personally grill it using my George Foreman grill
  3. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic and about 2 tablespoons of warm water (more or less based on how thick you want the sauce).
  4. Cook the broccoli and edamame. I steamed the broccoli for 7 minutes in a pot, and cooked the frozen edamame in the microwave for 5 minutes.
  5. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl, mix, and top with peanuts.

Quick and Easy Balsamic Chicken

Wellness tip-Get up and moving! It is easy to lose track of time at work and wind up sitting down for 8 hours straight. Set an alarm or reminder on your calendar/clock to get up and stretch every hour to avoid cramps and pain.

balsamic chicken.jpg

Hello friends! While I can write about peanut butter and breakfast recipes for days, I’ll switch things up and give you a quick and easy balsamic chicken recipe that requires minimal hands on preparation. I’ve adapted this recipe from a few different balsamic chicken recipes I’ve used. You can service this chicken with pasta, brown rice, or potatoes.

Serves 2

Time 30 minutes


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or oregano and basil if you don’t have rosemary)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the ingredients (not including the chicken) in a small bowl
  3. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and spray with PAM (or similar cooking spray)
  4. Place the chicken on the baking sheet
  5. Cover both sides of the chicken with the mixture. Let it marinade for 10 minutes
  6. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes (or longer depending on the thickness of the chicken
  7. Serve with sides such as broccoli, rice, pasta, or whatever you choose


Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal

Wellness Tip- not all fats are bad fats! Food with healthy fat like avocado, olive oil, and nuts raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and are heart healthy!


Fall is in the air! Pretty soon the leaves will be turning orange and red, and quarter zips will be broken out of the closet. My favorite part of Fall is all of the pumpkin, butternut squash, cinnamon, and other heavenly smells. This week I’m posting one of my favorite oatmeal recipes that will be made many times this Fall. It is a healthy breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. Enjoy!

Serves 1


3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or one apple diced into small pieces)

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

1/4 cup crushed pecans, walnuts, or almonds

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)


1. Bring almond milk to a boil in a small pot

2. Reduce heat to low and add all of the ingredients

3. Stir and cook for 10 minutes

Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

Wellness tip- Add colors to your dishes. While it’s great to eat your greens, you want to mix it up and add other colored vegetables like orange (carrots), red (beets, peppers, red cabbage), and yellow (peppers, squash). This ensures you are receiving a good balance of the nutrition you need!


As I mentioned in my last post, early Fall is my favorite time of the year. With early Fall comes NFL games, tailgating, my new job as a teacher, and much much more. After a long day of work, I usually head straight to the fridge for a snack. Just a little something to hold me over until dinner. Lately, I’ve been making a Peanut Butter Fruit Dip for apples, bananas or berries. The combination of the fiber from the fruit and protein from the Greek yogurt and peanut butter keep me full until dinner. I’ve also brought this dip to BBQs, which has been a big hit. It’s something I can easily whip up to bring over to a friend’s house to watch football.

This recipe and pictures are courtesy of



1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter

2 (5.3 oz) containers of plain Greek yogurt (or 1 cup if you use a large container)

1 Tablespoon of honey


Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Serve with fruit such as bananas, apples, raspberries, or strawberries. Store in the refrigerator.



Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Wellness tips for eating out at restaurants- Eating at home gives you more control over what and how much you eat. However, there are occasions where it’s best to go out to dinner with loved ones or friends. Follow these tips to help you eat healthy when at a restaurant: request dressing and sauce on the side, look for items that are broiled, grilled or baked, research the menu beforehand to avoid bad choices, avoid picking at chips and bread before the meal, eat your veggies first, order soups to fill you up, cut your meal in half when you first get it to take half home.

Early Fall is my favorite time of the year. Growing up on the east coast, it’s tough to beat the early Fall foliage and pumpkin flavored everything. Fall also means watching football! I don’t like going to a friend’s place empty handed, so this is a low card, healthy dish that still packs the buffalo flavor! The photographs are courtesy of



  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite buffalo or bbq sauce (I used Dinosaur bbq sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Line the baking pan with foil to minimize clean up
  2. Cut off the cauliflower stem. Break up the cauliflower head into individual florets (bite sized pieces)
  3. Mix the cauliflower and sauce in a ziploc bag. Place the bag in the refrigerator while the oven is preheating
  4. Place the cauliflower onto the baking pan and bake for 20 minutes

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Wellness tip- Have you committed yourself to going to the gym, but can never find the time? Do you constantly have things come up so you can’t go? If you have the time, morning workouts should solve your problems! It makes getting into a routine so much easier, considering there aren’t many things that pop up before work or school. You can even sleep in your workout clothes so you can roll out of bed in the morning!


A few weeks ago, I posted about my new fascination for overnight oats. I love how you can prepare the night before, roll out of bed, and enjoy breakfast. However, my inspiration for oatmeal breakfast recipes started with this classic peanut butter banana hot oatmeal. It only takes about 10 minutes, and tastes much better than traditional microwaved oatmeal. I enjoy the creaminess that the peanut butter and milk provide. I used to make the mistake of making oatmeal with water. It make a HUGE difference when using non-dairy milks like almond milk or soy milk. This oatmeal recipe should give you the kickstart to your day, and keep you full until lunch!

This recipe and picture is courtesy of Minimalist Baker


Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 large very ripe banana, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2-1 tsp chia seed (or ground flax)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • toppings choices: heaping 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, nuts, cinnamon, pure maple syrup

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, cook the banana oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, and add the oats, chia, milk, and spices. Whisk well until combined.

3. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring often for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. It is important to bring to a low boil so the oatmeal won’t stick to your pot!

4. Scoop into a bowl and top with peanut butter, nuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup.