Foodie Friday: Sesame Carrot Noodles with Beef, Broccoli, & Asparagus

Do you ever look quickly at a recipe and think it says one thing and when you go back and take another look, realize it’s actually something else? And then sometimes what you originally think turns out to be an even better idea.

Ok, let me break it down for you. When I was meal planning last week, I chose this sesame carrot noodles with grilled asparagus recipe. Any kind of Asian-style recipe is always a go in this house, so a sesame sauce on carrot noodles sounded like an awesome idea, right? I lie. It was actually soba noodles with a sesame carrot sauce. Still sounds awesome [and honestly, something that Nathan would go for over carrot noodles] but I was totally stuck on the carrot noodle idea. My version of this recipe was born.

Sesame Carrot Noodles with Beef, Broccoli, & Asparagus

Adapted from Clean Wellness
Serves 4

Sesame Carrot Noodles with Asparagus Broccoli and Beef

Ingredients

Carrot Dressing
– 1 cup carrots; chopped
– 1 tbsp fresh ginger; chopped
– 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
– 2 tbsp soy sauce [can sub tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos to make gluten-free]
– 2 tbsp tahini
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
– 1/4 tsp chili flakes

Noodle Bowl
– 1 lbs asparagus
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 2-3 medium carrots; spiralized
– 2 oz. black bean noodles [can sub soba noodles]
– 1 lb london broil; sliced thinly
– 2 tbsp soy sauce
– 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
– 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 green onions; chopped
– Toasted sesame seeds [Optional for serving]

Directions
Combine all dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Cook your noodles according to the directions, drain, and set aside.

While your noodles are cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Toss the sliced beef with the soy sauce and sesame oil, then add to the hot pan. Quickly sear on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add 1/2 tbsp EVOO to the pan and toss the carrot noodles in. Cook them until soft, about 5-7 minutes, and add the broccoli. Saute for 2-3 minutes before adding the asparagus. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and add the black bean noodles into the pan.

Toss about 2/3 of the carrot dressing into the pan and mix the noodles together with the veggies. Once everything comes together, add in the beef and most of the rest of the dressing, saving about 1 tbsp per serving to drizzle on top. When the beef is warmed through, divide between 4 bowls, sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds, and serve!

Nutritional Information
Per 1/4 recipe

390 Calories / 15g Fat / 22g Carbs / 6g Fiber / 10g Sugar / 34g Protein

The best part of this recipe is that it is equally as delicious without the added beef and because we’re using black bean pasta, it has a whopping 17g protein before adding any extra protein on top! I’m kind of in love with the black bean pasta; it really doesn’t have any distinct flavor so it’s perfect for adding any kind of delicious sauces. And it turns out it’s husband-approved too 😉

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

Have you ever tried black bean pasta before?
Would you swap the beef for another protein?

Pin Ups

It’s time again for another Pin It Party hosted by the wonderful Lean Green Bean, herself! I love these posts because not only do I get to share some of my more recent favorite recipes, but I get to see so many other awesome pinnable posts from other bloggers in the link up. Don’t forget to make your way over there to check it out!

You can also see my first 2 Pin It Party posts here:
Pin It Party #1
Pin It Party #2

The Lean Green Bean Pin It Party

Breakfast

Cinnamon Raisin Eggy Oats

One of my favorite breakfasts. How can you say no to oats,
nut butter, and a perfectly runny yolk?

Entree

Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Another yolk! In case you’re feeling a little breakfasty for dinner.

Sweets & Treats

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodle Biscotti

Mini snickerdoodle biscotti are great for any occasion! Maybe this should be under breakfast too 😉

Peanut Butter Cup Party Popcorn Barr and Table

This would be a great snack for the Superbowl. It’s nice a light and not too sweet.

Fudge Ems!

Some dark chocolate fudge with a glass of red wine? Match made in heaven!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did! Now go ahead and start pinning 🙂

Food for Thought

Are you a big pinner?

Link Love #18: My Top 5

Happy New Years Eve!! Wow, I can’t believe the year is over.. it seems like it just began. It’s time to wrap this baby up and look forward to creating new goals [and achieving them!], new experiences, and new memories. I usually use my link love posts to share some of my favorite posts from the blogosphere, but in the spirit of wrapping up this year, I thought I’d share my top 5 most popular posts and my top 5 favorites from this past year.

Most Popular

5. What I Ate Wednesday #4 – 5 Day Slim Down Edition!

What I Ate Wednesday WIAW 5 Day Slim Down Tone It Up TIU

That’s a tasty pineapple protein pancake!

I most certainly have some Tone It Up ladies to thank for this being up there in numbers! People seriously want to know about that slim down. It’s no joke.. you need to be really dedicated and if you are, it really works!

4. Spaghetti Squash Kugel

Spaghetti Squash Kugel Passover Recipe Barr & Table

Definitely making this again soon!

Between Passover and all of the Paleo and low carb diets, it’s no wonder this recipe was a hit! And have you ever had kugel? YUM! Give me my kitchen!

3. Recipe Remix: Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes

Barr & Table Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes About Time Cinnamon Swirl Whey Protein Powder Flax Cottage Cheese Egg White Cinnamon Almond Milk Agave Nectar Salt

Ooh baby! I almost forgot about these.

I love my sweet breakfasts and anyway I can sneak a little veggie in there makes it that much more perfect.

2. Foodie Friday: Peanut Butter Wonderful Powerballs

Peanut Butter Co White Chocolate Wonderful Powerballs Perfect Fit Protein Coconut Flax Chia Hemp Barr & Table

Everything is better with peanut butter!

My first attempt at protein bites and they were a delicious success! I definitely recommend this recipe.

1. Minty Irish Powerballs

Barr & Table Minty Irish Powerballs Cashew Butter Perfect Fit Protein

The perfect mix of chocolatey, nutty, and minty!

How do you make a protein bite better? Use your homemade nut butter 😉

My Top 5 Recipe Posts

Barr & Table Link Love Top 5 Recipes
Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Squash
Coconut Flour Pancake Variations
Homemade Cashew Butter
Buddha’s Feast
Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Tofu Burgers

My Top 5 Life Posts

Barr & Table Link Love Top 5 Life

Hitched
Dealing With Doubt
I’m grateful for…
The “S” Word
Baltimore Bucket List and Big News!

My Top 5 What I Ate Wednesday Posts

Barr & Table Link Love Top 5 What I Ate Wednesday WIAW

#44: Wine in Italy
Quick Honeymoon Update
#45: The Wedding Food
#59: Ten Years Gone
#64: The First Weekend

Food for Thought

Do you have an all-time favorite post from this past year?
Any big plans for NYE?

Foodie Friday: Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Squash

I made the best dinner last night. Seriously, it was a big, edible bowl of comfort food and it is the perfect Fall dish and it started when I couldn’t stop thinking about Meg’s Egg in a Squash. This recipe also easily adaptable for whatever veggies you have on hand which is one of my favorite ways to create a recipe!

Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Squash

Serves 2

Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients
– 1 acorn squash
– 2 tsp coconut oil
– 1/2 cup quinoa; rinsed
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup kale
– 1/2 lb asparagus
– 1/2 zucchini
– 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
– 2 eggs
– 2 tbsp shredded pepper jack cheese
– Salt and pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and coat with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in the oven to roast.

While the squash is roasting, place a medium pot on medium high. Add your dry quinoa to the pot and toast the quinoa for 5-7 minutes until it starts crackling. In the meantime, chop your vegetables into bite-size pieces. Once the quinoa is toasted, add the vegetables, water, and a little salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and let cook about 20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Once the quinoa mixture is fully cooked, remove the squash from the oven, mix in the buffalo sauce, and measure out approximately 1/2 cup of mixture per half of squash. Make sure to pack the quinoa down into the squash and make a hole in the middle for the egg to sit. Note: you may have some quinoa leftover, but be sure you have enough room for the egg.

Crack one egg at a time and place into each half squash. Top with a little bit of grated cheese, salt, and pepper, and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Devour!

I drizzled mine with a little extra buffalo sauce. And then this happened..

Eggy Quinoa Stuffed Buffalo Acorn Squash

Mmmmm the yolk!

It was so filling and really hit the spot. I can’t wait to make it again! And like I said, it’s so easily adaptable, you could definitely swap out whatever veggies you have on hand and you could also use a different squash. Butternut, kabocha, or spaghetti squash would be fabulous as well!

Nutritional Information

Per 1/2 squash

325 Calories  /  12g Fat  /  42g Carbs  /  11g Fiber  /  2g Sugar  /  12g Protein

Sprint

Food for Thought

Have you ever made a stuffed squash?

What kind of squash would you use for this?

Guest Post: The Smart Kitchen Crunchy Spinach Salad with Salty Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette

I’ve recently found a new favorite blogger and I knew when I was looking for guest bloggers that she was one I had to share with you! Sarah of The Smart Kitchen is always sharing delicious recipes and fun tidbits of her life. And she’s clearly a nut butter-lover like me.. she even has her own line of nutty butters! [Note to self: buy some soon!]

The recipe that Sarah is sharing with us today sounds so tasty I almost can’t wait to come home to make it! …..almost. 😉


Hi y’all! My name is Sarah, but the ladies of the healthy living blog world--or at least the handful who consistently read my blog–know me as Miss Smart. I blog over at The Smart Kitchen, where I spend an absurd amount of time using my food processor, shopping at every grocery store in town on the hunt for manager’s specials, attempting to figure out four thousand ways to use the same ingredient, eating an excessive amount of nut butter straight from the jar…and, literally, licking my plate in restaurants. [No. Seriously.]

I was thrilled to have Brittany ask me to submit a guest post as she is honeymooning this month, and while I would rather be honeymooning myself–heck, y’all, I’d settle for a nice boy taking me out to dinner 😉–I am happy to be able to take a little virtual vacation.

I say “submit” instead of “write” a guest post, because what I often like to do when I go ‘a-visiting’ is find and old post or recipe that deserves to see the light of day Google reader again. Today’s recipe and post is a Glee-style mash-up of a nostalgic family favorite, reinvented not once, but twice, both for my blog, and the blog of a local magazine I was writing for last spring.

My aunt Elizabeth is a master hostess. She is the kind of woman who can decide one afternoon to throw a cocktail party for 50, and by 6 o’clock, have drinks at the ready, appetizers laid out, and be dressed and ready to greet her guests with such nonchalance you’d think she’d been preparing for four weeks, instead of four hours.

So when it comes to recipes for entertaining, I always turn to her tried and true formulas--stored (not very safely) in my binder of family recipes-of ease, taste, versatility and appeal.

And there right on top, in the section labeled “salads,” is the unnamed, known only as “that salad Aunt Elizabeth makes,” deliciousness that once, at a potluck where I served it, inspired a guest to proclaim, “I don’t even like salad, and I’m going back for seconds!”The original recipe calls for a base of spinach and shredded cabbage.As all great hostesses know, what shortcuts you take are between you and the four walls of your kitchen, so you can buy bags of baby spinach AND bags of shredded cabbage and save yourself time. [The original recipe, in fact, calls for that.] Since cabbage happened to be on sale, and lasts for years in the fridge,* I went ahead and shredded half of a head in my food processor.

*I am not a certified doctor. Do not trust me on this.All that’s left to do now is chop up somegreen onions…. …and sprinkle on some sliced or slivered almonds, sesame seeds, and the dry ramen noodles (sans seasoning packet) stereotypically favored by starving artists, twenty-something bachelors, and Brother Smart when he was 15 years old.

Except I forgot the ramen.

I did, however, have a number of green apples that had accumulated in my lunch bag throughout the week as, whenever I walked through the teacher’s lounge it seemed appropriate to take another one. [They were free. They were there. I obviously subconsciously knew I would need them later.] Since I was already changing things up from the original, I decided I might as well just keep on Smart Kitchen-izing the traditional. Once I had photographed the standard salad and dressing, I added the aforementioned apples, and got to work on a NEW dressing.Instead of adding canola oil to the combination of vinegar, pepper, sugar, and seasoned salt…

Aunt Elizabeth would use Lawry’s. Penzey’s was found in my moving boxes first.

…I took a hint from the sesame seeds in the salad and added tahini (and tahini oil) instead!Now the salad was good before. But this Salty Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette concoction? Well that is the stuff of tastebud tantalizing dreams, I tell you!Before serving—and Aunt Elizabeth says to always serve a salad dressed*–whisk it up quite a bit to make sure the tahini has inflitrated the vinegar.

*Makes sense, really. You wouldn’t show up to the party naked, would you?But since this whole ‘whisking’ of dressing in a bowl concept doesn’t really do it for me, I filled up a jar and shook it out instead.

And yes, I did go back for seconds.*

*And pack thirds for lunch!

Crunchy Spinach Salad w. Salty Sweet Tahini Vinaigrette*

*Note: I’ve cut the recipe down here for a 2-4 serving size.

For the salad:

  • One half 10.oz-package baby spinach (or regular spinach, loosely chopped)
  • 2-3 cups shredded cabbage (or 1/2 package angel hair cole slaw cabbage)
  • 3 green onions, sliced (whites and light greens)
  • 3 Tbsp. sliced almonds
  • 1 small green apples, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
    Ramen noodles, dry, crumbled (optional)

For the tahini vinaigrette:

  • 4 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 1/3 cup cider or rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Layer salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl (or jar), whisk (or shake) together dressing ingredients. Just before serving, whisk (or shake) dressing again and pour over salad!


Like I said, I almost can’t wait to come home to try this salad. I have a feeling it’ll be a new go-to. Thanks again, Sarah!

Food for Thought

What is your favorite salad combination?

Pin It Party

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. I mean, really, I must have said it about 100 times on here! When I saw that Lindsay was having a Pin It Party, I knew I had to jump in.. although choosing just 5 recipes was not easy. I definitely play favorites!

Savory

Sweet

Can I throw another one in? I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself..

Don’t forget to check out all of Lindsay’s awesome posts to pin! What are you waiting for? Start pinning!!

Food for Thought

What is your most favorite recipe you’ve pinned?

Foodie Friday: Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Tofu Burgers

My recent order from Relay Foods left me with a bunch of sweet potatoes [I’m not complaining!] so I was searching for different ways to prepare them. I found tons of sweet potato burger recipes on Pinterest, including this one from The Lean Green Bean, which I thoroughly enjoyed last week.

This totally inspired me to figure out another burger recipe. I’ve also been trying to cut back on grocery costs so I loved being able to stretch all of my ingredients in burgers. Not to mention, they’re so versatile!

Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Tofu Burgers

Makes 8 burgers

Barr & Table Chipotle Lime Sweet Potato Tofu Burger

Ingredients
– 1 large sweet potato; steamed
– 1 12oz. container extra firm tofu; drained and pressed
– 1/2 cup quinoa; cooked
– 1/2 medium onion; chopped
– 2 stalks green onion; chopped
– 2 chipotles in adobo; chopped
– 2 cloves garlic; minced
– 1 lime; zested and juiced
– 2 tbsp coconut flour
– 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1/4 tsp cumin
– Salt & pepper to taste
McCormick Salt-Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning [LOVE this stuff!]

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mash together until well combined. Form into 8 patties and place on a prepped baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Enjoy on a bun with lettuce, tomato, & onion or over a bunch of roasted vegetables. Always top with avocado or guacamole.. it practically completes the burger!

Additional Toppings
Garlic-Chipotle Love Sauce
5-Minute Chunky Guacamole

Nutritional Information
Per burger

117 Calories  /  3g Fat  /  16g Carbs  /  3g Fiber  /  5g Sugar  /  7g Protein

Sprint 2 the Table

Food for Thought

What is your favorite burger?