HealthIngredient 101UncategorizedWellness

Vegetarians and vegans are getting more recognition as of late with their specific dietary choices, but one of the most common questions that they are asked is, how do they get their protein? Protein is one of the building blocks for your body; they break down amino acids and help with cell growth and repair. Protein fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller longer than carbohydrates because they take longer to digest. On average, women should consume about 46 grams of protein a day, and men about 56. Those are baseline numbers, and they fluctuate depending on your diet and workout regime, but for the average person, these are a good estimate. While protein is often considered to just be found in meat, it can actually be found in a lot of other foods that are perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Here’s a short list of foods that can fulfill your protein intake for the day.

Green Peas

While a controversial food among toddlers, adults have found that green peas contain a fair amount of protein – about 8 grams of protein per cup, which is about the same as a cup of milk. Peas can be a side dish, added to a pasta sauce, or even blended into pesto.

Balsamic Pea Salad

Pea Ravioli with Basil Pesto

Nuts (and Most Seeds)

Nuts are high in both healthy fats and protein, which makes them a valuable part of any plant-based diet. Most nuts contain about 5 or 6 grams of protein per ounce. To put it in perspective, about 23 almonds is an ounce. Nuts as a snack are good, both as a form of protein and a way to avoid eating chips or candy. Adding peanut butter on your toast in the morning instead of slathering it with butter both reduces the amount of bad fats you’re consuming, and is a tasty way to start your day with some protein.

No-Bake Almond Joy Bars

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Butter Sauce

Eggs

For the vegetarians, eggs are a fantastic form of protein. When boiled, there is about 6 grams of protein in them. Great to have during any meal – scrambled eggs for breakfast, egg salad sandwich for lunch, or a salad with egg toppings for dinner – eggs are a great way to get your protein because it can be prepared in so many different ways.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Rice and Beans

Definitely the cheapest and easiest way to get protein, rice and beans in a meal is on par with the amount of protein in meat. There’s about 7 grams of protein per cup. Because it’s such a basic form of protein, it can be altered in so many different ways – adding lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, tofu, the list goes on. Many of those foods are also great forms of protein, all mixed into one bowl. There are also so many different variants for both rice and beans that there are thousands of different recipes that cover the simple ingredients list.

India Chickpea Stew

Red Beans and Rice

Seitan (pronounced say-tahn)

Seitan, sometimes referred to as “wheat meat” is made from wheat gluten (sorry gluten-free friends!) and has about 20 grams of protein per half cup. Seitan is chewier than tofu, and generally tastes like chicken. It can be used in any recipe that uses poultry because of its similar taste and texture.

Beef-Simmered Seitan Carnitas

Seitan Fajitas

Milk (soy or regular)

Milk is a staple in most people’s diets, whether it’s a tall, cold glass on its own, or in a bowl of cereal. Milk usually has about 8 grams of protein in a cup, both regular and soy. Be careful with soy milk: there is a controversy amongst soy milks, organic or not. There is conflicting research that regards its effects on cancer, whether it helps cause or prevents cancer from forming. Buying non-GMO, organic, unsweetened soy is suggested to avoid this controversy.

Additional Inspiration

Bembu

Spark People

One Green Planet

Greatist

Health.com

Protein is found in many different foods and can be consumed in so many various ways that it shouldn’t be a concern if you have the capability to do so. Doing the appropriate research should not be daunting whatsoever – in fact, it will surprise you how many common ingredients you probably already consume that contain protein. So don’t fear, vegans and vegetarians, there’s plenty of things to eat and more!
Image: Foodies Feed

CollegeEducationRecipesSkills

Eating well in college is hard. French fries and ice cream are always going to be in the dining hall, so how can you resist them? You’re always in a rush and need to grab something to go. Sometimes the dining hall does not serve the meals that you enjoy (maybe you dislike Mexican food, so Taco Tuesdays are not for you).

Before you get started with the cooking, purchase a mini fridge! Although it is a $100 dollar investment, you won’t regret it. You won’t have to always look for healthy food options in the dining hall or on campus cafes because you can make your own meals. Even if you don’t plan on cooking, have snacks in case you don’t have time to eat. Keep some cheese and meat in your fridge, in case you miss dinner, and frozen fruit and Greek yogurt for breakfast. Raw veggies and hummus are good options for snacks too.

Even though college is the place where you can make the worst eating decisions, it is also a place where you can establish good eating habits for life. Here are some easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner:

Breakfast

Avocado Toast With Chia Seeds

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 slice of bread of your choice
  • ½ of an avocado, lightly mashed with a splash of lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Honey to drizzle

What You’ll Do:

  • Toast up your bread.
  • Top the bread with mashed avocado, red pepper flakes, chia seeds and honey. Enjoy!

avocado

Oatmeal With Raisins and Walnuts

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)

What You’ll Do:

  • Combine the water and oats in a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Gradually stir the brown sugar, raisins and walnuts into the oatmeal.
  • Once cool enough to devour, enjoy!

1-Minute Ham & Egg Breakfast Bowl

What You’ll Need:

  • Thin slice deli ham
  • Beaten egg
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

What You’ll Do:

  • Line the bottom of 8-oz ramekin or a custard cup with a slice of ham. Pour the egg over ham.
  • Microwave on high for 30 seconds; stir.  Microwave until the egg is almost set, 15 to 30 seconds longer.
  • Top with cheese. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Grab some fruit and nuts, and if you have time, go to the dining hall and have some oatmeal or eggs, which will fuel you until lunch. Instead of a muffin, choose a wheat or whole grain bagel. If you like yogurt, go for plain Greek, because it gives you a lot of protein and has less sugar than vanilla yogurt. If it is an exam day, grapes, berries and walnuts are good for optimal brain health and focus.

Lunch

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast
  • Medium carrots, shredded
  • Diced red pepper
  • Green onions, thinly sliced
  • Reduced fat Asian-style sesame salad dressing
  • Bibb or iceberg lettuce leaves

What you’ll do:

  • Stir the chicken, carrots, pepper, onions and dressing in a medium bowl.
  • Divide the chicken among the lettuce leaves. Fold the lettuce leaves around the filling. Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 14 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (2 medium)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 16 ounce package frozen egg noodles
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (optional)

What You’ll Do:

  • In a 3-quart saucepan, combine broth, onion, carrots, celery, water, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling and then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in frozen noodles. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken; heat through.
  • Discard bay leaf.
  • To serve, pour soup into bowls. If you like, sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6. Enjoy!

chickennoodlesoup

Winter Fruit Waldorf Salad

What You’ll Need:

  • Unpeeled red apples, diced
  • Unpeeled pears, diced
  • Thinly sliced celery
  • Golden raisins
  • Chopped dates
  • Mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • Fat free orange crème yogurt
  • Tablespoon of frozen orange juice concentrate
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Walnut halves

What You’ll Do:

  • Mix apples, pears, celery, raisins and dates in a bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt and juice concentrate until well blended. Add to fruit; toss to coat.
  • Serve fruit on lettuce. Garnish with walnut halves. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Instead of getting burgers in the dining hall, eat chicken or lean meats. A salad and a soup combination or a wrap will fill you up and give you energy.

Mid-day Snack Tip

It’s that time between lunch and dinner, but you’re still in class and are hungry. Have a fruit like a banana or an apple in your bag, instead of a pastry. You can’t go wrong with raw veggies.

Dinner

Pesto Chicken Angel Hair Pasta With Herbs

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

What You’ll Do:

  • Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Cover cookie sheet with foil.
  • Put pesto and chicken in bowl. Toss until chicken is covered.
  • Bake for 20-25 min.
  • Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake another 3-5 min.
  • Serve with a box of angel hair pasta and herbs and French bread. Enjoy!

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame, and Tofu

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • ¾ cup seeded and diced red bell pepper
  • ¾ cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions and drained
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

What You’ll Do:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot.
  • Add the garlic, scallions, and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn, and tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture.
  • Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, then add the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled.
  • Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add the soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot. Enjoy!

fried rice

Parmesan Breaded Fish Nuggets

What You’ll Need:

  • ⅓ cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup crushed cornflakes
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ pounds cod fillets, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Butter flavored cooking spray

What You’ll Do:

  • Combine the breadcrumbs, cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  • Evenly spritz fish cubes with butter flavored spray, then roll in the crumb mixture.
  • Place fish on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 375 ° for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: For your biggest meal of the day, go with some chicken, steak or salmon with a side of veggies or brown rice. Going easy on carbs will help you stay focused, and you’ll get higher-quality sleep.

Late Night Snack Tip

Instead of getting a slice of pizza, Van recommends grabbing a low-fat smoothie from an on campus café. It will fill you up, and fruit is high in anti-oxidants, which are great for your skin.

Find food-spiration! 5 Instagram Foodies Worth Following:

When you look at your Instagram and see pictures of healthy food that is aesthetically pleasing, you’ll get inspired and maybe skip a burger that day for a grain and roasted butternut squash mix from the salad bar instead.

@thenakedfigChelsea Hunter finds beauty in simplicity

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.34.52 AM

@deliciouslyellaElla Woodward will inspire you daily to eat healthy

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.37.17 AM

@jamieoliverJamie Oliver has 3.3 million followers on Instagram (He calls himself a proud dad & chef. Unlike other Instagrammers who focus on a particular type of food, he posts a good range of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and sides.)

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.39.30 AM

@sarkababickaSarka Babicka is a professional photographer who makes a plate of salad look like a piece of art

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.41.06 AM

@leesamantha: Samantha Lee is a food artist (She makes food that tells a story!)

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 8.42.17 AM

Happy cooking and happy exploring!

Image: Flickr

Professional SpotlightSpotlight

We have followed Linda Kim’s Instagram for quite some time now, and it’s always fun to see her gorgeous photos pop up in our feed. Linda is a food blogger at Delish Thoughts (so many great recipes!) and an E! News Segment Producer living in Los Angeles. She takes stunning photographs (read on for her tips for great photos) and has a keen eye for food styling. It’s clear how creative and talented Linda is through her photography, recipes, and career in entertainment.

Whether you’re into food, blogging, photography, media, entertainment, or pop culture, Linda Kim has all bases covered. Linda gave Carpe Juvenis an exclusive look into what ‘Seizing Your Youth’ means to her, how young people can get involved with a career in media, and how she manages her hectic days.

Name: Linda Kim
Education: B.A. in Drama and Sociology from University of California, Irvine
Follow: Delish Thoughts / Instagram / @lindak68

Carpe Juvenis: How do you define “Seizing Your Youth”?  

Linda Kim: Seizing your youth means exploring opportunities and welcoming new adventures. It is important to live each day to the fullest and work hard to pursue your dreams.

CJ: You majored in Drama and Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. How did you determine what to study?

LK: To be honest, I wanted to study communications but it was not offered as a major. I thought drama and sociology would be a good combination to learn about society and be creative.

Linda K 1

CJ: You run the food blog Delish Thoughts. What sparked your passion for food and cooking? 

LK: I loved watching my mom in the kitchen as a young girl. I was so fascinated how easily she prepared the most delicious dishes and I wanted to learn how to cook like her. I love hosting and cooking for other people. I think food brings people together and we can share great meals and fun conversations.

CJ: What is the best piece of advice you would give a baking/cooking enthusiast? 

LK: I have learned a lot by watching cooking shows. It helps to see how things are done rather than just reading instructions.

Linda K 5

CJ: Great idea. You take gorgeous photos on Delish Thoughts and your Instagram. What are your top photography tips? 

LK: It is all about natural lighting for me. Make sure you have great lighting and try taking photos at different angles to see what looks best.

CJ: What is your favorite meal or dessert you’ve ever made?

LK: My eggplant parmesan and blueberry crumble are favorites among my friends so I will make anything my friends enjoy.

Linda K 6

Linda K 10

CJ: You are also an E! News Segment Producer. What drew you to media and what does your job entail? 

LK: I always had a love for entertainment and knew that is what I wanted to pursue. I love that there is a variety in media and you can work in different fields. As a segment producer, I cover TV and music stories, set up shoots and interviews with celebrities, and work on red carpets and events.

Linda K 2

CJ: What advice would you give to a young person hoping to set themselves up for success in the world of media? 

LK: It is important to be a go-getter and be one step ahead. I always asked for more work and anticipated needs instead of sitting around and waiting for someone to give me work.  

CJ: What has been one of the most unexpectedly interesting parts of your career to date? 

LK: The most interesting part is the people I get to meet. I love meeting new people and have had the opportunity to meet friendly celebrities and become friends with my co-workers and colleagues.

Linda K 3

CJ: Every day in your life must be different depending on your projects and the time of year, but what does a Monday look like for you? 

LK: It really depends on what is going on that day– if there is any breaking news, if I have to get in a lot of content that day, if I have a guest coming in studio, if I have to go off site for shoots. It could be a quiet Monday or a hectic Monday but I love that everyday can be different.

CJ: That’s awesome. When you do have those hectic days, what are your time management tips? How do you stay organized and efficient? 

LK: I have learned to multitask pretty well so I can do a few different things at once to utilize my time. I make sure to write a list of things to do on my planner and keep track of projects in a calendar.

Linda K 8

CJ: What is an area, either personal or professional, that you are working to improve in and how? 

LK: You may encounter unfriendly people in the industry but I tell myself not to take it personally and still keep a smile on my face.

CJ: Having a loaded schedule can sometimes be overwhelming. What do you do when you’re having a bad day and need to unwind or reset? 

LK: Having a meal with friends always cheers me up or I like to have a quiet night, lay on the couch and watch my favorite shows.

CJ: If you could have lunch with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be and what would you eat? 

LK: My grandfather. We would have the best chats when I was a little girl and I wish I could have that moment now with him. I would eat steak because that was his favorite.

Linda K 9

CJ: That sounds really nice. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

LK: To be bold and adventurous and not have any regrets. One of my biggest regrets was not taking the opportunity to study abroad in Italy.

Linda Kim Qs

Image: Linda Kim

CultureHealth

You know that moment during a meal when everyone is pleasantly full after finishing their entree, just before someone reluctantly reminds the table the restaurant is closing soon so it’s time to sign the check? That soul-warming instant when conversation flows effortlessly? This moment has a name. Sobremesa (n.) is a Spanish word meaning, “the time spent around the table after dinner, talking to the people you shared the meal with; time to digest and savor both food and friendship.” This word is the essence of why in an over stimulated, hectic world, it’s so important to make time to gather around a table for meals.

While I admit my love for the sobremesa is partially because I am a certified foodie, it’s even more so because the Sobremesa is a time for true conversation, an art seemingly dwindling in our generation. We are so used to texting and Facebook messaging entire conversations, that it’s easy to forget how beneficial face-to-face conversation is. While you might feel you know someone well, a deeper realm of connection opens upon seeing facial expressions, gestures, and all the multifaceted characteristics of speaking in real life.

There have been numerous studies detailing the benefits of “table time” in families and in any type of relationship. According to Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and countless other sources, table time strengthens solidarity in relationships (families, friends, sports teams, roommates, and so on), alleviates stress, improves conversation skills, encourages healthier eating, and broadens intellectual horizons by sharing and listening to different perspectives. All this while possibly exploring new cuisines!

At least once a month, my roommates and I plan a “roomie dinner” where we each pitch in to help; someone purchases ingredients, another provides his/her cooking skills, and another roommate sets the table and helps clean. We gather around the table, leaving all school and life-related stresses at our desks for a few hours to simply enjoy each other’s company. Most dinners, we will choose a meal theme – anything from Mexican to Italian cuisine. Here are a couple of our favorite dishes:

In college, it is easy to get used to eating quick meals while watching Hulu between classes or meetings. I challenge you, however, to take a break. Carve out a few hours of your time and experience just how restorative and forever calming a dinner and its Sobremesa are for the soul.

Image: FoodiesFeed

CultureHealth

Thanksgiving is right around the corner – are you hosting friends? Helping family cook up a feast? Bringing a dish or two to a potluck?

Having just moved across the country and begun a new job that doesn’t afford me the time or moolah to jet back across the country on holiday, I’ll be spending my first Thanksgiving away from home. I’m lucky to have a group of friends here who will also be celebrating without family, but we’re not the most experienced chefs, and most of us have never hosted a Thanksgiving party.

Many of us are vegetarians and vegans, which means a little creativity is required to whip up a meatless meal worthy of celebrating on a day that’s known for its turkey, gravy and cheesy casseroles.

Below are recipes for an easy, last-minute, vegan Thanksgiving feast that won’t have you missing meat one bit:

Appetizer

Start off with a fresh, seasonal holiday salad.

thx 1

Holiday Salad with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette – from Oh She Glows

Sides

It’s not Thanksgiving without the green bean casserole.

thx 2

Vegan Green Bean Casserole – from Fat Free Vegan

Forget the gravy, make this delicious twist on mashed potatoes.

thxn 3
Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Avocado Garlic Aioli – from Oh She Glows

 Stuffing

A delightful veggie twist on traditional stuffing.

thx 4

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout and Bread Stuffing with Apples – from Food52

 Main Dish

 Simple, protein-packed and delicious.

thx 5

Quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes – From Veggie Dream Girl

 Dessert

 Easier than pie.

thx 6

Vegan Pumpkin Dessert Bars – from The Happy Housewife

 What? I didn’t say it was a healthy, low fat vegan Thanksgiving meal. It’s just animal product-less. And it’s super delicious – click each of the links above for the recipes! Happy, happy Thanksgiving!

What are you eating for Thanksgiving? Share below!

Image: The Happy Housewife

HealthRecipesWellness

Busy people have a lot of breakfast criteria: it needs to be nutritious and filling, give us lasting energy, and be quick and easy to prepare. Sometimes taste falls by the wayside in our attempts to make something fast and get out the door.

Smoothies generally fit the “filling, nutritious and quick” criteria, but it can be hard to hit the right mark. Sometimes they’re too liquid-y and not filling enough. Other times they just taste like nastiness in a cup. It’s hard to make a good one, and I’m not going to drop $5-10 every morning for someone to make me one.

For these reasons, I’ve never been a smoothie person. Something about this smoothie, though, makes me excited to get up and eat breakfast! You can throw it in a bowl or to-go cup. It is pretty thick, though, so I recommend a spoon.

Here’s what you’ll need:

5 strawberries, fresh
1 banana, frozen
1 tbsp. almond butter
½ cup Greek yogurt or light yogurt (any flavor, although strawberry or vanilla work best in my opinion)
¼ cup oats
¼ cup spinach or kale (or both!)

To make it, simply combine all ingredients into a blender and pulse on high until your smoothie reaches a consistency you like. Then, pour it into a cup or a bowl and sprinkle a handful of oats on top. It’s that easy.

Tip: if you want a thinner consistency, try replacing the yogurt with coconut milk.

Tip: cut the strawberries in halves or quarters, and break the banana into quarters before or after freezing. This makes things easier on the blender.

This smoothie makes an awesome immune-booster, too. I drink it whenever I’m sick and it soothes a sore throat and lessens cold symptoms.

What breakfast foods get you through your day?

Image: elana’s pantry

HealthRecipes

Let’s be real, it takes energy to Seize Your Youth. When you’re feeling under the weather and all you want to do is sleep, it’s hard to make the most out of your day and be productive. That’s why you need to get better ASAP. While chicken noodle soup (with heart-shaped carrots!) is more of a meal and less of a “snack,” meals just don’t sound as appetizing when you’re sick. This chicken noodle soup will get you warmed up and feeling better in no time, and it doesn’t take too long to make. If you can’t muster up the energy to make this soup, kindly ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to do so. Get healthy fast, enjoy this soup, and get back to seizing your youth!

SONY DSC

What You’ll Need:
1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
2. 2 or 3 large carrots
3. 1 medium onion – diced
4. 2 celery stalks, cut
5. 2 stalks fresh thyme
6. 2 bay leaves
7. 4 cups of water with 3-4 tablespoons of chicken bouillon, or chicken broth (All-Natural Swanson works well)
8. 2-3 cups water
9. 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
10. salt and pepper, to taste
11. 2-3 large chicken breasts, cooked [Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and top with thyme, and cook in oven for 35 minutes] 12. 1/2 pound small pasta

Heart-Shaped Carrots:
1. Wash and peel a large carrot
2. Cut a wedge in the top of the carrot so that there is a V-shape
3. Peel around the carrots and on the sides so that it resembles a heart, with a sharp-pointed bottom – this will take a lot of peeling
4. Cut the carrot as you normally would, but instead of rounded pieces you have hearts!

How to Make Soup:
1. In a large pot combine: olive oil, carrots, onions, celery, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt.
2. Cook and stir for about 10-15 minutes until ingredients have softened.
3. Add water and chicken bouillon, with vinegar. Cook until soup is boiling.
4. Add salt and pepper for taste.
5. [Pasta]: In another pot, boil water and make the pasta until al dente.
6. In bowls,  add the pasta and shredded or diced chicken.
7. Serve the soup over the pasta and chicken.
~For extra flavoring, add another branch of thyme and let the soup sit with all the ingredients for an extra 5-10 minutes to get a richer flavoring

SONY DSC

What comfort food do you like to eat when you’re sick?

HealthRecipesWellness

As a vegetarian who hates eggs, I have to get my protein somewhere, which means I use a lot of legumes in my cooking. And, most of the time I’m too busy (read: unwilling) to cook an elaborate meal. Thus, I rely a lot on no-cook recipes to get me through my days.

Below are two of my newfound favorite bean dips that make perfect spreads and sandwich/taco fillers, veggie dips, or just meals on their own. They’re filling and delicious, and best of all, they each take under 20 minutes to make!

recipe 1

Spicy Mango Black Bean Salsa

Summer is technically over, but I live in Texas, which means it still feels pretty dang summery. So, I’ve used it as an excuse to continue making my refreshing mango salsa. This is one of my absolute favorites; I put it on tortillas to make vegetarian tacos, use it for nachos, put it on salads or just eat it plain.

1 Keitt mango (very large) or 2 medium sized mangos cut into small chunks
1 tomato, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 avocado, chopped
1 can black beans
Jalapenos (either 1 fresh, chopped, or as many pickled jalapeno slices as you please)
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Hot sauce (as MUCH as you want! Cholula is my favorite)
Red wine vinegar (just a dash)
Cilantro (a pinch)

This is so easy.

First, rinse and drain the black beans. I like to keep as much liquid out of the salsa as possible. Next, pour the beans into a large bowl with everything else, and mix it together. This recipe makes a good amount of salsa; at least three meals’ worth.

I like to play around with the amount of hot sauce/jalapenos/red wine vinegar/salt and pepper/other ingredients. Sometimes I add random spices, like paprika, and sometimes I add in corn. The point is to make it your own! Taste it as you mix, adding ingredients as you see fit.

There are a lot of different flavors involved in this one, so it makes for an awesome meal.

recipe 3

Kale & White Bean Hummus

I love this dip. I put it on sandwiches with cucumbers, shredded carrots, sliced bell peppers and chopped red onion (you could add feta and other veggies, too) and it’s so delicious. It also makes a perfect veggie dip and goes great on pita bread. This morning I ate it straight with a spoon.

2 cans white or cannellini beans
½ cup pesto
Balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Literally, pour all the ingredients into a food processor. Mix them. Done. Add balsamic, salt and lemon juice as needed once mixed. Like I said, this goes perfectly on a veggie (or meat if you’re into that) sandwich.

What smart snacks are you enjoying?

Images: Maggie Hoffman, Nora Kuby

Health

We all know the basics of healthy eating and the benefits that come with it. Unfortunately it may not be the most fun – or easiest – thing in the world to actually do. Here are five yummy recipes to try out to satisfy your taste buds and your inner health-fanatic!

Twizzler Dupe

If you cut strawberries and put them in the oven until they’re mostly dried out, they’ll become a delicious treat more yummy and healthier than Twizzlers! Throw these in a bag and bring them to the movies for the perfect snack.

Bananas and Peanut Butter

You can’t go wrong with this classic and mouthwatering combination! Try peanut butter and banana slices on toast for a yummy snack that will fill you up and satisfy your craving for something both sweet and salty!

Strawberry Yogurt Treat

If you’re looking for a refreshing snack, try cutting strawberries in half and dipping them in yogurt. Put them in the freezer until the yogurt is frozen and a savory treat is made with two completely healthy ingredients!

Yogurt Parfait

Try vanilla yogurt with your choice of fruit and some granola. This is the perfect healthy treat that can be eaten as breakfast, an everyday snack, or a refreshing dessert!

Banana Ice Cream

Banana and a little bit of vanilla extract in a blender make a delicious and guilt-free ice cream when put in the freezer! It’s the perfect summer treat when you’re craving something sweet.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtags #snacktime and #seizeyouryouth!

Image: Foodie’s Feed