Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos {vegan}

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos 1

Yesterday was such an off day – eating wise and just in general.

I was beyond exhausted by the time I got home from work. I held down the couch for 30 minutes or so to gain a second wind for the evening. Where’s this second trimester bliss I hear pregnant women raving about? I was also starving all day and all I wanted was sugar. This is all the more ironic because it was also my once monthly diabetes cooking class where we whipped together a beautiful spinach salad and a potato salad made with avocado instead of mayonnaise. Healthy samples, followed by French onion soup (with cheese and croutons…mmm) and a scoop of blueberry cobbler. Why does the cook torture me so? Sometimes working in a kitchen is such a curse…

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When I got home, Mr. Prevention was starved. He wolfed down SIX tacos while I munched on 2 of them, wishing all the while that I could be slurping up some soft serve. I even considered baking off just a few break and bake cookies straight from the freezer. I talked myself out of it, but before long, I was asking Mr. Prevention to run out and get me soft serve as I was already in my jammies.

Having talked myself out of soft serve and letting him off the hook (mental note: husbands will sometimes do really nice things for their pregnant wife…), I went to the pantry to find what was available that was sweet. There was the Almond Joy frosting my friend Kristen got me for Christmas. I know that’s trouble waiting to happen. There was M&M’s but those weren’t sounding appealing. There was all of Mr. P’s favorites that don’t interest me – Twizzlers, Reese’s Pieces, etc.

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos 3

 I ended up with Teddy Grahams…dipped in Biscoff cookie spread. I should’ve ended up with the bing cherries that are oh so fabulous right now, but…ugh. I guess we all have those days…pregnant dietitians or otherwise. I vow to make today a healthier day!

One recent meal we enjoyed that was extremely healthy and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber were these Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos. They were met with some resistance from husband, of course, but as with most things Mexican-esque, they were enjoyed by all. This type of meal is perfect for the abundant summer produce that will be consuming us all casinos in usa in the coming weeks – squash, zucchini, onion, and so much more. This time of year should be chock full of fruits and vegetables, Nicole.

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos 4

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (2 tacos each)
Next time, I may use a white potato vs sweet potato so the sweet flavor doesn't overpower the spice, but that's just personal preference! These were great!
  • 1 yellow squash, ¾-inch diced
  • 1 zucchini, ¾-inch diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, ¾-inch diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and ¾-inch diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz) can original Ro-Tel (tomatoes + chiles)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set side.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, zucchini, onion, bell pepper, potato, and olive oil; toss to coat. Arrange veggies in an even layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes, stir, roast another 15 minutes, stir again, and roast one more time for 15 minutes (45 minutes total).
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the black beans and Ro-Tel tomatoes over low heat to heat through. Add cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano, mix well.
  4. Once through roasting, stir the roasted veggies into the skillet with the beans and Rotel, stir to combine. Serve the hot vegetable and bean mixture in corn tortillas with desired toppings.
Recipe from Recipe Girl
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 281 Fat: 6.7 Carbohydrates: 47.7 Sugar: 7.7 Sodium: 526 Fiber: 10.0 Protein: 7.7 Cholesterol: 0

 Ready for the sun again…where’d it go? :)

Be well,


Avocado Brownies {gluten-free}

Avocado Brownies 1

I heard that there was going to be an avocado shortage this year and I freaked out. I was having flashbacks to the fall when all the pumpkin crops were damaged by the floods. I vividly remember only being able to find pumpkin in HUGE cans (we call these #10 cans in the food biz…13 cups each) at GFS and stocking up on, like, a case (6) of them. Mr. Prevention was not happy with my going pumpkin crazed, but wouldn’t you know, all that pumpkin was consumed before its expiration date. Much sooner, in fact. I love, love, love pumpkin. Pumpkin anything, much to my mother’s disbelieve.

So when avocados were 5 for $5, I stocked up. Big time.

Avocado Brownies 2

I was making salads and smoothies and then got into baking with avocados…they’re great in salad dressings and with eggs on toast. You name it – avocados are incredibly versatile and of course, they’re packed with heart-healthy fats and that creamy goodness that leaves you in awe as to how something soooo delicious could be so good for you, too. Why aren’t there more foods out there like that, right? Totally.

It probably goes without saying, but the green frosting may be a bit much for some people. In fact, it was for me. Not that the frosting wasn’t delicious…but these brownies are rich, as many gluten-free baked goods tend to be. So, in the recipe posted below, I omitted the frosting.

Avocado Brownies 3

As I recover from my 24 hour (48 hour?) stomach bug (last night was UGLY), these brownies are calling my name. It’s probably a good sign that something other that Sprite and crackers are calling my name, but I do believe I will heed the advice of my midwife and keep with my BRAT diet today (grumble).

I’ll try to refrain from brownies for breakfast, but…no promises. Able to tout healthy fats and a bit of fiber along with their rich fudginess, they’re hard to resist!

Avocado Brownies 4

Avocado Brownies {gluten-free}
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
I omitted the frosting in my version below (so rich!), but you can find the recipe here.
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and pit removed
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate chips, melted
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the avocados using a fork against the side the bowl. Mash until no longer lumpy.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt 8 ounces of dark chocolate in the microwave on high, stirring every 15-30 seconds; allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the avocado and add the sugar, hazelnut spread, eggs, vanilla, and canola oil. Next, add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
  6. Bake brownies for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe from The Spiffy Cookie, adapted from How Sweet It Is
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 brownie (1/16th recipe) Calories: 285 Fat: 19.5 Carbohydrates: 25.7 Sugar: 21.4 Sodium: 59 Fiber: 2.4 Protein: 4.5 Cholesterol: 27

 Hard to believe it’s almost Friday already…I guess a short work week and a day away for an exam (passed!) will do that. No complaints!

P.S. Thanks for all of your love for Baby Shea :) We’re so excited!! I plan to post soon on all of my bizarre pregnancy symptoms ;)

Be well,


Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan + Weekly Menu

Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan 1

When you don’t have kids of your own, predicting what’s kid-friendly and what’s not can be quite challenging. I often come to my conclusion based on whether or not Mr. Prevention would eat xyz food and that’s usually a pretty good indication of how kid-friendly it truly is.

That said, some kids are really good about eating vegetables. Some kids LOVE salads. Some kids, like my husband, do not LOVE salads…but we feed it to them once in awhile anyways.

Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan 2

As you know, I don’t post an abundance of salads on my blog. I kind of think of them as no-brainer throw-together type recipes and the dressing is really what makes them great anyways. I’d say this is true in many instances, but sometimes, there’s salads that have that wow-factor. When you’re going back for seconds and thirds, you know something extraordinary is going on with that heap of raw lettuce (other than abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fiber).

Though I knew this salad would be a hit, Mr. Prevention wasn’t sold. He wanted to add pizza along side. If he was willing to do the leg work and clean-up, I was not going to stand in his way (P.S. I did see to it that he cleaned up the dishes and pizza pan afterwards.)

Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan 3

Lo and behold, the pizza was a huge hit with Mr. P. I had halved the recipe, it was gone, and I was wishing that even for just the 2 of us, there was more to go around. For once, the pizza was the side and the salad was the main event. Huh. Faaascinating…

I know, pick my battles…

An upcoming dinnertime battle sounds like Buffalo Wild Wings will be involved. One is coming to our town this fall and judging by the stupid grin of over-excitement smeared across his face, nothing I make will compete with Buffalo Wild Wings…or at least until the novelty wears off. Sooner rather than later, let’s hope.

Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan 4

Italian Salad with Prosciutto, Peperoncini, and Parmesan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (large side portions)
This indulgent salad is salty and full of flavor. A favorite for sure!
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 romaine hearts, washed and chopped
  • 8 peperocini, stems removed, finely chopped
  • 3 oz prosciutto, torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup (1 oz) shredded Parmesan
  1. To prepare the dressing, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves (in their peels) and toast until skins begin to blacken, turning often, about 5 minutes. Peel and mince garlic; transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in remaining dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Mix salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over the top and toss well. Serve within 1 hour.
Slightly adapted from The Way The Cookie Crumbles, as seen on A Taste of Home Cooking
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙th recipe Calories: 271 Fat: 23.3 Carbohydrates: 10.5 Sugar: 2.7 Sodium: 784 Fiber: 5.7 Protein: 9.8 Cholesterol: 19

 Weekly Menu: March 23th – 27th

I’m hoping to see Divergent today — loved the book!

Be well,


Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing

Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing 1

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows.

I woke up still plagued with a headache that was going on day 2.5 and I was just…over it. I peeked outside (into the pitch black – ugh) and gasped over the reality of 6+ inches of snow falling overnight. I hate when the weather reports don’t lie. Or exaggerate. Even a little. It was the kind of snow that weighs approximately 43 pounds per cubic inch, too.

Needless to say, I opted out of snow blowing and gunned the gas pedal to not only get over the mound at the end of my driveway, compliments of the plow, but also to get off of my street and onto the main road. I nearly didn’t make it. I committed the cardinal sin of snow by putting the car in reverse and retracing my tracks with more force…but it worked.

Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing 2

I sat at my desk most of the morning with a cold rag on my left temple, my eye watering under the pain of the headache. Is there anything worse than a headache at work? There is, actually. A headache when you have to teach a cooking class. You know, throw on that smile and talk about diabetes and cooking like it’s what you bounded out of bed (in pain) to do that day.

It must have been the powers of RD’s from around the world (yesterday *was* National RD Day, after all) who allowed for my headache (with the help of a Tylenol) to fade for the first time in days. Not gone, but diminished to a point to which I could function. And teach. And smile. Because wouldn’t you know, snow and all, that all RSVP’ed attendees showed…plus another good handful. It has taken me 18 months to grow a class that is poorly-ish attended until a terrible snow storm in March. People have got to be thinking, hell or high water, they’re getting OUT of the house…it’s time, 2014. I’m not complaining, the class was wonderful. As was the food.

Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing 3

When I got back to the hospital from teaching, the RD powers wore off and returned again did my headache. But at least I got over the hump for the day. I even managed to peel out early-ish, pop another Tylenol, pound the treadmill some, and throw together dinner. No cooking, just throwing together.

I had leftover dressing from when I made this salad a week ago and I’ve managed to keep from drinking the delicious concoction for the very purpose of having a quick, easy, delicious, and HEALTHY meal. The fact that it was RD day was just the icing on my non-existent (and super healthy, of course) cake.

Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing 4

Salad with Blueberries, Grapes, and Almond Honey Mustard Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Almond Honey Mustard Dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ Tbsp raw honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large head Romaine, chopped
  • 2 cups grapes, halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) crumbled feta
  • ⅓ cup almonds
  1. In a mini food prep, food processor, or blender, combine all dressing ingredients and process to combine until smooth. Add water to adjust consistency, if needed.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Serve dressing with salad.
Recipe from Pinch of Yum
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 281 Fat: 17.5 Carbohydrates: 26.0 Sugar: 15.5 Sodium: 373 Fiber: 7.8 Protein: 9.5 Cholesterol: 10

Mr. Prevention gets home from Italy today…excited to see him :-D

Be well,


Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon

Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon 1

I didn’t wear a jacket to work yesterday…for the first time in, like, forever. At least 7 months, which is about 3-4 months too long.

We had the windows in the kitchen at work open. The breeze was refreshing and crisp. I was crawling out of my skin, anxious to leave work for the 50 degree weather…and I’m never the one sitting at work, needing to be done for the day. Being the doting dog mommy that I am, I also know that the dog has been yearning for sunny weather that’s warm enough for her to nap on the porch in total doggy bliss. She’s turned into a little cat napping around the house, changing locations to be placed into the various sun spots throughout the house.

Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon 2

I raced home and offered the dog the great outdoors and…she quickly shared that it was not quite warm enough to be outside at length. She somewhat quickly wanted back inside and I was stuck playing tug-of-war with the cabin fever-ridden dog for the next hour which was followed by her begging for a bite of anything as I made dinner and then ate dinner.

She’s lucky I’m such a good sharer. I can’t deny that pouty face and the sad eyes.

Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon 3

I was probably in a bit of denial yesterday…it’s not quite spring. Yet. Yesterday was more like fall and today and tomorrow…back to winter. March in the Midwest is living up to its historic unpredictability. DARN. As far as I’m concerned, we can watch the snow melt away and jump right into summer. That’d just be…stupendous.

You may not agree with that, but maybe you agree with me when I say that apples and cinnamon are always in season. As is pumpkin, but we’ll save that debate for another day. These baked steel cut oats are perfect with the apple and cinnamon flair, but really, the sky is the limit with how this recipe can be adapted. Enjoy!

Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon 4

4.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups uncooked steel oats
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and mist a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in medium skillet and add oats. Stir until lightly toasted. Put oats in a large mixing bowl and pour boiling water over. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until oats are tender and cooked. Stir oatmeal before serving and then add toppings as desired.
Recipe from Garnish with Lemon
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ~1⅓ cup Calories: 299 Fat: 5.8 Carbohydrates: 51.8 Sugar: 15.0 Sodium: 459 Fiber: 7.3 Protein: 6.0 Cholesterol: 5

 Why do I feel like this week is going to DRAG? :-/

Be well,