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

ingredients:
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

directions:
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

VOTE FOR MY SUMMER CITRUS BEAN & QUINOA SALAD HERE!

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

ingredients:
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

directions:
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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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

ingredients:
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

directions
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

Portobello Turkey Burger

I’m all about good hamburgers. I’d eat every meal at Hopdoddy if I could. Slapping a fried egg on a hamburger definitely qualifies as breakfast in my book. Adding cheese is a great source of calcium, and you don’t need to be a nutrition major to know that caramelized onions are a vegetable. Duh.

When it comes to making burgers at home, though, I’m a little (ok, a lot) more conservative. I opt for lean ground turkey instead of ground beef to cut saturated fat and calories. And when you consider that your average store bought hamburger bun has about 120 (empty) calories, it’s time to start thinking about other options. Popping your patty between two portobello mushrooms is a great way to slender your burger down without sacrificing any heartiness.

Portobello Turkey Burger | The Slender Student

Portobello Turkey Burger
Servings: 1 | Calories per serving: 267
Fat: 8.0 g (Sat Fat: 2.5 g) | Carbohydrate: 19.5 g | Fiber: 4.0 g| Protein: 31.7 g

ingredients:
4 oz lean ground turkey
1 T liquid egg whites
1 T barbecue sauce (Stubb’s is my sauce of choice)
1 T minced garlic
2 portobello mushrooms
salt & pepper, to taste
PAM Original nonstick spray
optional: balsamic glaze, avocado, other toppings (I added avocado and a slice of roasted eggplant to mine)

directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix together your ground turkey, egg whites, barbecue sauce, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper. Form into a patty shape and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat your oven to 400°. If desired, drizzle a little balsamic glaze over your mushroom caps and then bake them in the oven for 10 minutes.
3. In a small skillet coated with PAM, cook your burger on either side over medium heat until the juices run clear and the inside is no longer pink.
4. Slide your turkey burger between your mushroom caps, top as you wish, and chow!

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Meatless Monday: Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

I’ve been standing on a sack lunch soapbox for a couple weeks now. I feel like it’s a pretty surefire way to slender down. Yeah, it might take a little more prep and planning than it does to stand in line at the campus Chik-Fil-A, but if you’re not willing to put forth that extra bit of effort, then you must not be that serious about making changes for your health.

Ooh, it’s like I’m getting all Jillian Michaels on you or something.

Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad | The Slender Student

Despite my tough love, I do want to make this as easy as possible. That’s why I wrote Slender Essentials: Sack Lunch, which contains links to all of my portable meal gear, as well as Take It To Go, a post with sample meals and a grocery list.

Use today’s recipe to keep on keepin’ on with your slender lunch packing. I made this kale salad Sunday night and then divvied it up between my lunches last Monday through Thursday. Having a nutritious side dish ready to go really helped me out when I was spending my time online shopping instead of studying for my accounting and nutrition exams. Time management, y’all!

Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad | The Slender Student

Makes: about 4 cups | Serving size: 1/2 cup | Calories per serving: 42.9
Fat: 2.3 g (Sat Fat: 0.5 g) | Carbohydrate: 4.7 g | Fiber: 1.4 g| Protein: 1.9 g

ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
3 T chopped onion
2 T minced garlic
1 T olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 T shredded parmesan cheese

directions:
1. Thoroughly rinse and dry your kale. Chop into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together your onion, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese.
3. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage with your hands for a minute or two until the leaves are slightly wilted.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before eating to allow the kale to absorb the flavor.

Recipe inspired by CookSmarts.

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