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Recipe Blog

Filtering by Category: vegetarian

Sliced Apple Snacks

laura lomax

apples 1.jpg

Apples, nut butters, and lets be honest chocolate chips are a staple in our house making this recipe easy to prepare at a moments notice. Apples are a great source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and are a perfect canvas for a variety of toppings. The apple slices provide a gluten free option that works great for snack or as part of meal. While this recipe uses a few options for toppings feel free to be creative and use your favorite nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and spices of your choice. 


4 large apples, sliced

1/4 cup natural peanut butter 

1/4 cup almond butter 

1/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt 

2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp. raisins

2 tbsp. sunflower seeds

2 tbsp. chia seeds

2 tbsp. granola (pictured is Bear Naked)

2 tbsp. walnuts  

2 tbsp. raspberries



1. Wash and dry the apples. Slice the apples in on two sides discarding the ends. 

2. Top the apples with spread of your choice. 

Several of my favorite toppings for apple slices include natural peanut butter, almond butter, and Greek yogurt.

Several of my favorite toppings for apple slices include natural peanut butter, almond butter, and Greek yogurt.

3. Sprinkle toppings of your choice on the spread. Combinations used in this recipe.

  • Almond butter + Raisin

  • Almond butter + sunflower seed + dark chocolate chips

  • Almond butter + granola

  • Yogurt + granola

  • Yogurt + sunflower seed

  • Yogurt + raspberry + chia seed

  • Peanut butter + walnut

  • Peanut butter + dark chocolate

  • Peanut butter + raspberry + crushed walnut

Additional Combos:

  • Cottage cheese

  • Plain or strawberry cream cheese

  • Sunflower butter

Additional toppings

  • Pistachios

  • Hemp seeds

  • Dried fruits

  • Fresh fruit slices

Popular Combos

  • Cottage cheese + peaches

  • Strawberry cream cheese + pistachio

  • Sunflower butter + blackberries +sprinkle of cinnamon

4. Enjoy! 

apple 3.jpg


  • When slicing the apples you will have additional pieces left.These can be topped and used for smaller apple snacks. If you prefer to only use the large apple slices then chop the apples and they work great added to salads, pancake toppings, added to oatmeal, or to snack on alone.

  • Another option when slicing the apples is to use an apple corer. Core the apples then slice top to bottom.



Colorful Texas Caviar

laura lomax


One of the recommendations I make to clients seeking advice on navigating healthy options at parties or family gatherings is to bring a healthy side dish to the party. Filled with plant based protein, fresh tomato, avocado, bell pepper, and jalapeno this dish is a good source of fiber, potassium, and unsaturated heart healthy fats. This colorful Texas Caviar isn’t just a great party side, but is a wonderful meatless meal. As a meatless meal try:

  • Pair with wheat crackers and a fresh fruit

  • As a lettuce wrap served with 1 ounce of nuts and fresh fruit

  • Wrapped in a corn tortilla served with a fresh fruit

For a quick and delicious high protein meal combine with a packet of albacore tuna.


TEXAS CAVIAR  (vegetarian, dairy free)

Total time: 10-25 minutes

Prep time 10-25 minutes (depending on equipment)

Yield: 6 servings (1/2 cup per serving)


1 (15.8 ounce) cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 -1 fresh jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds and stems)

1/2 white onion, chopped

1/2 Green bell pepper, chopped

1 Medium Avocado, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of one lime

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Bag Blue corn chips


  1. Rinse and drain black eyed peas and set aside in bowl.

  2. Using a chopping tool or by hand chop tomato, jalapeno, onion, green bell pepper, and avocado.

  3. Add the chopped vegetables to the black eyed peas.

  4. Add olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Combine lightly.

  5. Can be served at room temperature, but taste best after refrigeration. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve with blue corn tortilla chips.


I love my onion chopping tool. It was under 20 dollars and makes chopping a breeze. With a chopping tool this recipe can be prepared in under 10 minutes!  

Blueberry Walnut Spinach Salad

laura lomax


Blueberry Walnut Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serving per recipe: 8



2 Bags or bundles of spinach, washed 

1.5 cups blueberries

2/3 cup walnuts

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped


1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup. Red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. Perfect Pinch Salt free seasoning

Salt and Pepper

Place mason jar in middle of salad bowl to form wreath shape. Add spinach to the bowl, then top with washed blueberries, tomatoes, and walnuts. For dressing combine all dressing ingredients in a measuring cup or bowl then pour into the mason jar. Pour dressing over salad when ready to eat.   


To round out as a full meal top with protein of your choice. Grilled chicken, tofu, sauteed shrimp, baked salmon, lean beef, beans, edamame, or tuna are all great option.

Roasted Purple Potatoes and Carrots

laura lomax


Servings: 4                                                           Serving Size: 1/2 cup 


4 Carrots, pealed and sliced 

4 Purple potatoes, peeled and sliced 

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper 



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Add sliced carrots and potatoes to a bowl and toss with olive oil. Spread evenly across the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place into the oven and cook ~ 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. 


Freezer Friendly Bean Burritos

laura lomax

Filled with flavorful slow cooked black beans, melted cheese, and roasted broccoli these freezer friendly burritos are a must add recipe to add to your meal prep rotation! 

Filled with flavorful slow cooked black beans, melted cheese, and roasted broccoli these freezer friendly burritos are a must add recipe to add to your meal prep rotation! 

I am a huge fan of freezer friendly meals. I mean honestly who doesn't love having home cooked meals ready and waiting after a long day?!? Working with families with inflammatory bowel disease one of the biggest challenges are finding recipes that respect food tolerances and dietary restrictions that the WHOLE family can enjoy.  Being a mom with Ulcerative Colitis I definitely relate to this challenge.  It is difficult to prepare multiple meals for multiple family members based on food preferences and dietary modifications. That is one of the many reasons I love this recipe. Since the burritos are single severe each family member can modify the foods they prefer or tolerate in their burritos and have them prepared and labeled for an easy weeknight meal that simple needs to be microwaved. When it comes to burritos the combos for ingredients are endless so feel free to be creative when you prepare your own. This recipe takes you through preparing homemade beans, but canned low sodium beans can be substituted to save time. Additional ingredients that work well include chicken, rice, and a variety of vegetables. 


Prep time (not including soaking): 15 minutes for beans + 20 minutes for burrito building 

Cook time: 4-5 hours 

Serving size: 15 burritos (5 cups of beans)



3 cups water 

5 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock 

16 oz bag black beans, *quick soaked or overnight soaked*

5 cloves of garlic, sliced 

2 onions, chopped 

1 tsp. salt 

1 tsp. cumin 

1/2 cup cut cilantro leaves, chopped (not packed)

Roasted Broccoli

3 3/4 cups broccoli, chopped

1-2 tbsp. olive oil 

Salt and pepper  

Additional Ingredients:

2 cups cheddar, Monterrey Jack blend or diary free cheese  

15 tortillas 

Freezer Prep Materials: 

Wax Paper, 12 - 12 x12 inch pieces 

Foil, 12 - 12 x 12 inch pieces 

Permanent marker 

1-2 freezer bags 


*Soak beans overnight or with quick soak method. Before each method sort and rinse beans.  For the quick soak: Boil ~ 8-10 cups of water then add beans. Allow beans to boil for ~ 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let soak for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse under fresh water. For overnight method: Add the beans to ~8-10 cups of water and allow to soak overnight. In the morning drain water and rinse beans. Soaked beans are now ready to be prepared* 

fresh beans.jpg


Take the soaked beans and add them along with the water, chicken broth, garlic, onions, salt, cumin, and cilantro to the cooking pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and allow to cook for 5 hours. Beans will thicken as they cook.  Beans can be served whole or mashed for more of a "refried" appearance. 

As the beans finish cooking (~ the last 30 minutes of cook time) prepare the roasted broccoli. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place broccoli on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. After tossing spread broccoli across the baking sheet leaving space between each piece. Roast vegetables until vegetables are slightly soft with a small bit of charring. Cook time ~ 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Once beans and broccoli are cool begin burrito building. Warm tortillas slightly to prevent cracking. Add 1/3 cup beans, 1/4 cup broccoli, and 2 tbsp. cheese to each tortilla. Fold to secure filling. Wrap burrito in wax paper followed by foil for freezing. Label each burrito with date, filling, and preparation instructions with sharpie marker.  For freezer organization place all of the wrapped burritos in a freezer plastic bag to secure burritos in one place and create ease in freezer friendly meal inventory. 

When ready to enjoy remove burritos from freezer, remove foil and waxed paper, and wrap loosely in a papertowel and heat for 1-2 minutes.  



Black Bean Pasta with Vegetables

laura lomax

Protein packed black bean pasta with colorful broccoli and orange bell pepper for the perfect vegetarian one pot meal!  

Protein packed black bean pasta with colorful broccoli and orange bell pepper for the perfect vegetarian one pot meal!  

I am always excited to try new foods and recently we have been hooked on black bean pasta. While I don't think it taste like traditional pasta, it has a unique taste that is wonderful! I feel this is similar to almond or soy milk, while I enjoy both I don't think they necessarily taste like traditional cows milk.  Here are some of the amazing nutritional facts on black bean pasta. First its a great gluten free alternative to traditional pasta. It is also packed with protein, high in fiber, and lower in carbohydrates than traditional pasta. On average black bean pasta per 2 ounce serving has 14 grams protein, 15 grams fiber, and 35 grams carbohydrate compared to traditional pasta with 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 41 grams of carbohydrates. Combined with colorful broccoli and orange bell peppers you have a perfect vegetarian one pot meal.   

Total Prep and Cook Time: 25 minutes 

Servings per Recipe: 4 


2 cups Black bean pasta 

2.5 cups broccoli, chopped (you can also use frozen broccoli) 

1 Orange bell pepper, chopped 

1.5 tbsp. olive oil + 1 tbsp olive to drizzle 

4 cloves of garlic, chopped 

1 tsp. salt 

1/4 tsp. pepper


Fill a medium pot with water and lightly salt the water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Once water is boiling add pasta. Gently stir the pasta intermittently and cook for 8-10 minutes (careful not to overcook). Remove pasta from heat, drain, and set aside.  Lightly rinse the pot used to cook pasta as wit will be used to cook the vegetables. Over low to medium heat saute garlic in 1.5 tbsp. olive oil and add the broccoli and orange peppers. Saute for ~4 minutes. Next add pasta to the pot. Lightly drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and combine pasta and vegetables. Add salt and pepper as listed or to taste. 

*For an extra boost of flavor top with grated Parmesan cheese***

Black bean and Broccoli Enchiladas

laura lomax

Total Time: 45 minutes.  Prep 20 minutes. Bake 25 minutes.

Serving Size: 3 (serving size = 2 enchiladas)


1 can (15 ounces) low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped broccoli (I used frozen broccoli measured out to 2.5 cups before defrosted after chopped and defrosted ~ 1 cup)

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

6 100% whole wheat or corn tortillas

3/4 cup Enchilada sauce

1 cup reduced fat cheddar or Mexican blend cheese


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. In a large skillet sauté the garlic and olive oil for 1 minute. Then add the beans, broccoli, onion powder, cumin, cilantro, and salt. Cook for ~ 3-5 minutes on low heat. Spoon ~ 1/2 cup bean mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place in a greased 8 x8 inch baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.  

Sweet Apple and Spinach Quesadillas

laura lomax

Total cook time: 25 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes, cook: 15 minutes

Yields: 4 servings   


8 Whole wheat or corn tortillas

1 1/3 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

2 cups baby spinach

2 Fuji Apples, cored and sliced thin

Butter, for coating the pan


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium to high heat and lightly butter. Place tortilla in pan and add 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 sliced apple, 1/3 cup cheese. Press another tortilla on top to make quesadilla and let cook until cheese melts cooking for 2minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and slice into 4 wedges. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.

One Pot Cheesy Gnocchi

laura lomax

This super simple meatless dish is ready in under 30 minutes with minimal mess and without missing out on flavor.

This super simple meatless dish is ready in under 30 minutes with minimal mess and without missing out on flavor.

I am a proud Italian so when it comes to quick and most important delicious dinners I tend to favor my Italian roots.  Gnocchi are soft dumplings that can be made from a variety of ingredients such as flour, spinach, ricotta, and probably most common potato. This meatless masterpiece takes ~ 20 minutes to prepare,  quick clean up, kid friendly, and most important taste wonderful.   

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serves: 5- 1.5 cup servings 


2- 16 oz Box Gnocchi

1 bag spinach

4 cups frozen broccoli, defrosted

4 Tbsp olive oil

2 cup Pasta Sauce 

1 cup Shredded mozzarella Parmesan blend 

8 Fresh Basil leaves 

Salt and Pepper 


1. Boil salted water in a deep skillet (for 1 pot recipe) or in a pot.  Add gnocchi to boiling water and cook for ~3-4 minutes or until gnocchi float to the top. Drain gnocchi. 

2. Utilizing the same skillet add olive oil and saute spinach and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. After a few minutes add gnocchi, pasta sauce, and basil. Cover and cook on low for ~ 5 minutes. Turn heat off, add cheese and cover to allow cheese to melt.