Category Archives: Vegetarian

Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

I don’t post many salad recipes, mainly because my salads are very boring.

I generally just toss in some spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and top it with oil and vinegar. So, to prevent from boring you to death, I just don’t share them.

However, this salad is a game changer. My Mom came across this recipe back in the summer and we fell in love. Steamed asparagus is combined with avocado and tomatoes, and then tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. It is the weirdest, most fantastic combination of ingredients!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Since trying this a couple months ago I just can’t seem to get enough. This salad is, of course, best when it is fresh, but it does store fairly well. I like to make a batch on Sunday nights and take it to work for the first part of the week. It is healthy and filling and I love the mix of flavors and textures.

The salad is a cinch to prepare. It all starts with simply steaming freshly trimmed asparagus until tender. Just be careful not to overcook it, otherwise it will be mushy and you really want it to have a nice little crunch to it. Then add in some chopped tomatoes and avocados, along with a load of fresh basil, the lemon vinaigrette and a good dose of mozzarella for good measure. And there you have it! The strangest yet most fantastic salad you will ever eat!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Happy Saturday Friends!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Bocconcini Mozzarella, drained
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil asparagus in a large pot of salted water for 1½ minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook!
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, avocados and mozzarella into a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup combine the basil, oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is combined and pour over salad ingredients.
  5. Toss to coat.

 

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Recipe was inspired and adapted from Sunset magazine.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread

 The ultimate vegetarian slider packed with fresh zucchini, mini sweet peppers, basil leaves and a creamy whipped Pesto and Feta Spread! 

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread. Finally, a vegetarian appetizer that everyone will love! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Since Football season is in full swing the big question every week is “What are you making for the game?!”

As a person who is totally indifferent to football, I am kind of glad that food seems to be a big way to “get into the game” because it makes me feel like I am a true Southerner who is actually celebrating game day. So, I will gladly put on my florescent orange t shirt, make snacks, and Pinterest while my husband screams at the television.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

The only bad thing about it is that all traditional game day snacks are so darn unhealthy. I am totally up for an ooey, gooey, cheesy snack but eating it week after week is a little much. So I have been experimenting with some lighter, healthier game day options. I finally struck gold over the weekend with these beautiful Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread. Seriously, these little guys are kind of a miracle.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

It is so simple, I just toss some sliced zucchini and mini sweet peppers in a little olive oil and a few spices, cooked them in a skillet until they were tender and had browned a little bit, toasted some rolls, made this super easy spread and called it a day! You could make a pretty big batch of these in under 20 minutes. I served them with the Pesto Chicken Sweet Peppers for the perfect, filling but healthy game day snack.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Feta+Pesto Spread, the BEST vegetarian sliders ever!!

These will be making a regular appearance around our table, healthy, easy, and super easy!

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main Dish, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 4-6 rolls (I used Udi's gluten free rolls)
  • 2 medium size zucchini, sliced fairly thickly
  • 8 mini sweet peppers, sliced fairly thickly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
  • 1½ tablespoon basil pesto
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4-6 basil leaves (one or two leaves per slider)
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat.
  2. Toss the sliced zucchini and the sliced sweet peppers with the olive oil and the spices in a large ziplock bag.
  3. Lightly spray the skillet with cooking spray and add the veggies in a single layer (this may take two batches to get it all)
  4. Cook the vegetables for approximately 2 minutes on each side until they are tender and beginning to brown a bit.
  5. Remove vegetables from skillet and add the sliced halves of the rolls to the skillet to lightly toast them. Approximately 1 minute.
  6. Remove rolls from heat
  7. Combine the feta cheese, cream cheese and basil in a small blender or food process and pulse approximately 30 seconds until well combined.
  8. To assemble the sliders stack the zucchini and pepper slices on the rolls, top with basil leaves, spread a thick layer of the spread over the top half of the bun and close.

 

*I used Udi’s dinner rolls, which are pretty large for rolls. I got 5 very full sandwiches with this recipe.

If you are using something like the little hawaiian bread rolls this will make closer to 6-8 sliders for you.

 

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans

These no bake Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans are packed with oats, puffed rice, fruit, nuts, protein powder and chocolate! They are a cinch to make and give you a boost to get through the day!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

I go through fazes.

I can go from ninety to nothing in a day. I can be so totally all into one thing, then totally uninterested the next day. Urgh. I really hate that about myself. I am trying very hard to change. To be a finish what you start-always do what you say you will do-make it happen kind of person. I feel like I am about 75% of the way there, but not quite where I want to be.

Two years ago we started revamping our house. Yes, two years. We tackled the floors, tiling, painting the walls and cabinets, new furniture, and new lighting, and then I hit a wall. I didn’t want to look at paint colors, carpets, cabinets, tile, light fixtures…no, just no. I was over it.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

So our little remodel never made it past the front rooms of our house. Leaving the bedrooms and bathrooms untouched. You know what? I didn’t care. Not one bit. I just kind of thought..okay if we have house guest I will just close the doors or something. For two years my I don’t care attitude stayed. We had bedrooms with bare white walls and all was right with the world.

Until last week.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

I woke up and on my way to the kitchen glanced into one of the guest rooms. Urgh…I hate you, I thought. White walls, plain carpet, cheap blinds. I walked to the front of the house, made a cup of coffee and looked at my pretty kitchen. Everything was in its place. Everything was exactly how I wanted because I had done it. Then I remembered I had once hated this kitchen. The cheap, stained laminate flooring, the ugly cabinets, the plain light fixtures. I peeked around the corner into the living room. My nice living room with pretty barnwood floors and lovely drapes. The living room that once had dingy carpets and an Ikea coffee table. It was a nice living room because I had made it nice.

A seed had been planted.

I stood in the door way of the plain, untouched guest room, coffee in hand and the wheels started turning. Suddenly, paint colors and light fixtures seemed interesting again! The humble little room in front of me had so much more potential than I had ever thought!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

So, as I mentioned on Monday, I spent an entire weekend covered in paint. The room is far from finished. There is still a lot I want to do, but this morning I woke up, walked to the front of the house and glanced into the guest room. The pretty, freshly painted room with new furniture, new curtains, and new picture frames and I smiled.

It is pretty because I made it pretty. It is just how I want it, because I did it.

Sometimes we need to be reminded the only thing standing in our way is ourselves. Sometimes you just need to make it happen.

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

Of course a little help is never a bad thing! I made these Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans to give me something to snack on during the weekend. They take all of five minutes to make and require no baking. They are the perfect little pick me up that is totally guilt free!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans. Gluten free, no bake, and delicious! www.maebells.com

Double Chocolate Protein Bars with Coconut and Pecans
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut oil, measured solid
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oats (I used gluten free)
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies (I used gluten free)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the honey and coconut oil. Microwave for 45 seconds until the oil has melted.
  2. Add the protein powder and cocoa, stir well.
  3. Add the oats, rice, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips until well combined.
  4. Line an 8x8 pan with foil, spray with cooking oil.
  5. Add the granola mixture to the pan and spread it evenly. Using your spatula press the mixture down into the pan. (the tighter the mixture is the less likely your bars are to fall apart)
  6. Place bars in the freezer to set, 15-20 minutes.
  7. Turn bars out onto cutting board, carefully removing foil, and slice into bars.
  8. Keep cold.

 

 

 

Kale and Red Pepper Fried Rice

Jasmine rice is fried in toasted sesame seed oil along with freshly chopped onion, kale and diced sweet red pepper. A perfect, healthy meal ready in less than 20 minutes!

Fried Rice with Kale and Roasted Red Pepper...a quick, easy dinner ready in less than 20 minutes!

Technology makes me want to throw things against the wall.

One might think that since I am a blogger, I get it. One would be wrong. One would be super duper wrong.

Fried Rice with Kale and Roasted Red Pepper...a quick, easy dinner ready in less than 20 minutes!

On Tuesday and well into Wednesday my site crashed. Like big time. If you’re a regular reader (I hope you are!) you probably noticed, and just in case you were planning on making one of my recipes for dinner on Tuesday and I ruined it I am so super sorry! I didn’t mean to, I swear!

Somewhere up in the clouds Maebells just got lost for a while. Luckily, it is back up and running now. But it did make me realize how very much I do enjoy this little virtual friendship we have here. I like you guys, like a whole lot, so it kind of threw me off my game to suddenly not be able to share things with you. Super fabulous things like this crazy easy Kale and Red Pepper Fried Rice!

Fried Rice with Kale and Roasted Red Pepper...a quick, easy dinner ready in less than 20 minutes!

Last weekend I wanted something for lunch that was healthy and filling but I wasn’t feeling a salad. Fried rice totally fit the bill (when does fried rice not fit the bill?!) instead of going the normal peas and carrots route I opted for freshly sliced kale and little red sweet peppers. The result was a totally fantastic grown up version of fried rice.

Fried Rice with Kale and Roasted Red Pepper...a quick, easy dinner ready in less than 20 minutes!

This is a great vegetarian meal by itself, or you could throw in shrimp or chicken for a tasty change up. Then of course, if you want to go all out you can make it with this Kung Pao Chicken for the ultimate Asian inspired feast!

Kale and Red Pepper Fried Rice
Recipe type: Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Jasmine rice is fried in toasted sesame seed oil along with freshly chopped kale and diced sweet red pepper. A perfect, healthy meal ready in less than 20 minutes!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice (very dry, works best if it is a couple days old)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2½ cups chopped kale
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup sweet red pepper or bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ⅛ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high heat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in skillet and add minced garlic. Stir garlic approximately 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Add rice to skillet and do not stir, let it cook approximately 1-2 minutes until it begins to lightly brown.
  4. Stir rice, add red pepper and onion, let it cook another minute. Rice should be lightly browned at this point.
  5. Add kale, stirring as you go, kale will shrink up a lot as it cooks, about 30 seconds.
  6. Push rice to one side of the skillet and add the last ½ tablespoon of oil to skillet. Crack egg directly into skillet and scramble it.
  7. Mix egg into fried rice and add soy sauce.

 

Pina Colada Soft Serve

It is hot.
Like hot hot hot.

Piña Colada Soft Serve...no ice cream maker needed! Just 30 seconds and five simple ingredients!

Sunday afternoon I went to run a few errands and ended up cutting the day short because it was totally miserable outside. Make up was melting right off my face, and my car felt like it was a million degrees every time I turned it on. No thank you. I would rather do all my shopping online than deal with a heat index of 104!
I walked right into the house ready to make a smoothie but ended up making this Pina Colada Soft Serve by mistake.
Talk about a happy accident.

Piña Colada Soft Serve...no ice cream maker needed! Just 30 seconds and five simple ingredients!

This has the perfect soft serve consistency and it was loaded with pineapple and coconut flavor. Just the refreshing mid afternoon pick me up I needed! I topped the soft serve with toasted coconut which added a whole lot of flavor and a little bit of crunch.

Piña Colada Soft Serve...no ice cream maker needed! Just 30 seconds and five simple ingredients!

This makes the perfect snack size for two people or one super hungry person who needs to cool off! (um, yeah I ate both bowls)

What are you waiting for? You’re only five ingredients and 30 seconds away from tropical bliss!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pina Colada Soft Serve
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • ½ cup frozen cool whip (I used fat free)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 20-30 seconds. You may enjoy it immediately or put it back in freezer to firm up to a harder ice cream consistency.
  2. If you wish to add toasted coconut just set your broiler to low and sprinkle about ⅛-1/4 cup of shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Let it set under the broiler for 30 seconds-1 minute or until lightly toasted. Watch closely! Let it cool before adding to soft serve