Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad

Today’s recipe serves many a purpose aside from being my first H-E-B ConAgra Meal Maker Challenge recipe. It’s summery. It’s light. It’s healthy. It’s vegetarian. It’s vegan. It’s gluten free (oOoh, aAaAh). It’s a side dish. It’s a main course. It’s lunch. It’s dinner. It’s everything.

But fa’ real, this is some good stuff.  If you’re a member of the It’s Not A Meal Without Meat Club (have no shame, I used to be president), might I suggest that you grill up some chicken or salmon, pop it on top of this salad, and color yourself happy.

Oh! Before I forget, if you like this meal/blog/me in general, take a second and VOTE FOR IT. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t want $1,000 to spend at H-E-B.

Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad
Servings: 6 | Calories per serving: 339
Fat: 4.7 g (Sat Fat: 0.1 g) | Carbohydrate: 66.9 g | Fiber: 21.7 g| Protein: 12.4 g

1/3 C dry quinoa
2 small grapefruit
1 large jicama
1 15-oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can of corn, rinsed and drained
3/4 C H-E-B Smoky Citrus Salsa
1/2 avocado, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Begin by cooking your quinoa according to the on the package or these handy directions
2. While your quinoa is cooking, peel and segment your grapefruit
Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad | The Slender Student 3. Using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, peel your jicama and chop into 1/2″ cubes
Meal Maker Challenge Week 1: Summer Citrus Bean & Quinoa Salad | The Slender Student 4. Once your quinoa has finished cooking and cooled, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving


Note: I have received compensation, H-E-B promotional items and ConAgra products from H-E-B and ConAgra Foods for participating in this contest.

Slender Baked Falafel

Slender Baked Falafel | The Slender Student

A couple summers ago, I went to Israel with my longest childhood friend, Lauren (and about 25 other 18-22 year olds… Birthright, holla). It was a whirlwind, 10 day tour through the entire country. It was one of the most important and exhausting trips of my life, and though my persistent sleep deprivation may have not allowed me to remember the history of every site or monument we saw, I do remember one thing very clearly.

The food. OMG. Pita and hummus and falafel for days. The street food dreams are made of.

So, last week when Lauren came to visit me for a couple days in Austin, I was feeling particularly nostalgic and decided to whip up a slenderized version of this Middle Eastern staple. If you’ve never had falafel before, they’re basically a blend of mashed chickpeas, herbs, spices, and a couple of other ingredients that’s then rolled up and deep fried. After just a few edits, we now have slender baked falafel.

Slender Baked Falafel | The Slender Student

Slender Baked Falafel
Servings: 6 (2 per serving) | Calories per serving: 131
Fat: 3.6 g (Sat Fat: 0.4 g) | Carbohydrate: 20.7 g | Fiber: 4.1 g| Protein: 5.4 g

2 C kale, stem removed
1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cloves of garlic
2 T PB2
1 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t chili powder
2 T dry oats
salt and pepper, to taste
PAM Original nonstick spray

1. Preheat your oven to 375° and coat a baking sheet with PAM.
2. In a blender or food processor, blend all of the ingredients, except for the kale, until smooth.
3. Begin adding the kale in a handful at a time and pulsing until it’s well combined.
4. Scoop your falafel balls on to a baking sheet and flatten using a fork or spoon lightly sprayed with PAM to help with sticking. Slender Baked Falafel | The Slender Student
5. Bake for 20 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

recipe adapted from Nutritionist in the Kitch

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Health Warrior Chia Bar Review

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student Earlier this summer, I was sent a box of products from Health Warrior to try out. It included a bag of white chia seeds (with which I made these patriotic parfaits) and a selection of their Chia Bars. Needless to say, I was suuuper excited to have a new snack bar to try. Since I’m on campus a lot, it’s nice to have grab-and-go options as part of my meal prep. These did not disappoint.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

At just 100-110 calories, each of these bars satisfy in both taste and nutrition. Their unique flavors really come through without tasting at all artificial, as many bars tend to. Plus the combo chewy/crunchy texture from the chia seeds is something I always love. These little snacks offer good fat, fiber, and even a smidge of protein, so they really work to tide you over between meals without putting much of a dent in your calorie bank for the day. Not sold yet? Check this out:

The bars are all-natural, vegan, dairy- and soy-free. As the only bar on the market boasting chia seeds as its #1 ingredient, Health Warrior Chia Bars have 1000 mg Omega 3’s, 16% DV of fiber and only 5g of sugar.

Chia seeds pack a mighty punch in a small package: 1⁄4 the size of a grain of rice, pound for pound, Chia has more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, more fiber than oatmeal, more protein than tofu, more calcium than milk, and more magnesium than broccoli.

Health Warrior Chia Bar Review | The Slender Student

If you’re ready to become a Health Warrior yourself, see where they’re sold in your area here!

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Nutty Tofu Collard Wraps

Spicy Nutty Tofu Collard Wraps | The Slender Student I really love this meal. Normally, I find it difficult to create flavorful tofu dishes. However, this marinade comes together in seconds and infuses so much nutty goodness that comes through even after cooking. And while past attempts to wrap a meal in anything other than a tortilla have ended in (messy) turmoil, huge and hearty collard greens provide a perfectly green vessel for this meal.

Spicy Nutty Tofu Collard Wraps | The Slender Student Spicy Nutty Tofu Collard Wraps
Servings: 1 (2 wraps) | Calories per serving: 351
Fat: 20.3 g (Sat Fat: 3.1 g) | Carbohydrate: 24.7 g | Fiber: 6.2 g| Protein: 24.8 g

1/4 package extra firm tofu, sliced into strips
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T PB2
1 T water
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 oz raw cashews, roughly chopped
1/3 C each chopped veggies of choice*
2 collard leaves
PAM Original nonstick spray

1. At least a few hours before serving, press your tofu strips between two paper towels to remove some of the excess water. In a small container, combine the soy sauce, PB2, water, and red pepper flakes. Add the tofu, shake to cover, and refrigerate.
2. Preheat the oven to 400° and coat a small baking sheet with PAM. Bake your tofu for 15-20 minutes on each side.
3. While your tofu is baking, heat an uncoated skillet over medium-high heat. Toast your chopped cashews in the pan for 5-10 minutes, until they’ve browned slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Spicy Nutty Tofu Collard Wraps | The Slender Student 4. Coat your skillet with PAM and begin sautéing your veggies.
5. Place half of the veggie mix in each collard leaf, top with the baked tofu and toasted cashews. Roll up and enjoy!

*Nutrition information includes: kale, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and asparagus

Almond Butter Apple Stack

Almond Butter Apple Stack | The Slender Student

This snack not only has some serious style, but it’s also nutritionally turned up a notch from the normal apple and peanut butter. Healthy fats from the almond butter and added protein from the quinoa and Greek yogurt complement each other for a perfect pre-workout snack.

Almond Butter Apple Stack | The Slender Student

Almond Butter Apple Snack
Servings: 1 | Calories per serving: 219
Fat: 9.2 g (Sat Fat: 0.8 g) | Carbohydrate: 30.4 g | Fiber: 6.6 g| Protein: 7.8 g

1 small apple
1 T almond butter
1 T cooked quinoa
1 T fat free Greek yogurt
1 1/2 T PB2

1. Core your apple and slice into four even sections.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter, quinoa, Greek yogurt and PB2. If it’s too thick, add 1 T unsweetened vanilla almond milk. If it’s too liquid, add in an extra teaspoon of PB2.
3. Spread the almond butter mix, stack the apple slices & enjoy!

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