Recently, my parents came back from about a week long trip to Alaska where they spent the majority of the trip on a boat fishing and enjoying all the natural beauty Mother Nature has to offer. One of those days spent on the boat was spent fishing for halibut and after a very successful catch, they ended up freezing and transporting 15 pounds worth of wild caught Alaskan Halibut! Me being the foodie that I am couldn’t have been more excited to get my hands on the fish and right away I made my Crispy Fish Tacos with the fillets. Safe to say they were the best fish tacos I have ever had in my life and I do not mean that as an exaggeration. I have never had fresher more tender fish and now I don’t know that I can ever go back to conventional frozen seafood. But for now that I am being spoiled with the fresh fish, I decided to come up with some other yummy recipes. Last week I was looking through my fridge and pantry and noticed I was starting to run low on quite a bit of my staple items. Instead of making a run to the grocery store, decided to make due with what I had and with that this recipe was born. I started by defrosting the fish about 30 minutes ahead and started working on the marinade. After throwing some ingredients to a bowl and whisking it together this soy and honey marinade was born and let me just say that this recipe was a huge hit in my household. Adrian, my boyfriend, is not the biggest fan of fish but he devoured this meal and kept praising me for how good this was. I decided to serve the fish alongside some zucchini and shredded carrots that I tossed in a small amount of soy sauce, garlic powder, and sriracha all atop some white rice. This recipe is incredibly simple and can be used on just about any protein source but I find it goes really well with fish. Fish is a great lean protein source that is also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids which is particularly important for cardiovascular health. With the weather being so dreadful and many of us wanting to spend as little time a possible in the kitchen, this recipe is ideal because dinner can be on the table in no time if you prep the marinade in advance. All you need is 30 minutes to marinate and about 6-7 minutes to cook. Now let’s get into the details of what you will need for this recipe.(more…)
Green Enchiladas + Chile Verde Recipe
If I had to pick one of my favorite Mexican dishes, it would have to be enchiladas without a doubt. While I will never pass up a good taco or chile rellenos, I think enchiladas are usually my go-to dish. My mom makes the absolute best red enchiladas I’ve ever had in my life and since I already recreated that recipe here, I decided to take a whack at the green enchildas. When I was a little girl, I actually did not like green enchiladas and it wasn’t because of the taste or anything, but just because they were green and at that an odd shade of green. Well, fast forward to now and I can’t get enough of them and here I am all these years later making a recipe for them. Who would have thought? One of the reasons I made these was because of the abundance of tomatillos I have growing in my garden along with the poblanos I have coming in. I have started to plant vegetables and fruits that I utilize quite a bit so I can save myself some money and so far it definitely has. Anyways, back to these delicious enchiladas. Before we get into the ingredients, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of tomatillos–the star of the recipe.(more…)
Pea Pesto Pasta
Today is such an exciting day for me as I have been patiently waiting to share this recipe with you! After so much trial & error I finally came up with a recipe I am proud to call my own. I will be sharing with you my recipe for the perfect pesto pasta that is not only delicious but loaded with a variety of nutrients. Pesto is one of those foods that I know so many people love but it can typically be pretty price to make at home all because of the very pricey pine nuts. Not only is pesto a little pricey to make at home but it is also not the healthiest. Pesto is is typically loaded with olive oil & Parmesan cheese which contributes quite a bit of calories in just a small amount. In order to make this pesto healthier & more cost-effective I made a few changes.(more…)
Stuffed Zucchini (Two ways)
In the last few weeks, I have spent so much time working on various recipes but sometimes they take longer to develop than others. The process of running a food blog is that of trial and error. I would say most of the time, the process of creating recipes is fairly straight forward but that’s not always the case. The last few recipes I have tried to nail have been an absolute headache, but I wanted to put out something I knew would be easy and delicious and that is how these zucchini boats came to be. Now, I personally tend to eat more vegetarian style on a day-to-day basis but I wanted to give you a healthier option that also contained leaner sources of protein because I realize not everyone centers their meals around veggies. So with that being said, I have provided a recipe with both a vegetarian option and a ground turkey version so that way no matter how you eat, you can find something that works for you and your lifestyle. In addition, these are also great if you are being mindful of your carb intake which can be important if you are prediabetic or full-onset diabetic. However, even if you’re like me and obsessed with everything carbs, you will love these because they are absolutely delicious and definitely do not taste “healthy”.
These zucchini boats are so incredibly easy and more importantly packed with tons of flavor. They come together in 30-40 minutes and are perfect to prep in advance for a busy week ahead. I packed them to take to work a few days in a row just because they were so easy, filling, & nutritious. I didn’t bake the zucchini for too long because I wanted them to maintain their shape so you could eat it like a taco if you want. That’s how I ate them and I basically shoveled them into my mouth one after another because they’re that good. I definitely think they’re worth a try and keep in mind like all my other recipes, you can sub whatever veggies you have on hand. Now that I’ve rambled on long enough, let’s get into what you will need to make the 2 variations of these zucchini boats.(more…)
Soy & Lime Veggie Skewers
Since the weather has warmed up, I have been taking advantage of the relatively nice weather and grilling outside. During the warmer months, I prefer to grill because it helps to avoid heating up the house by using the oven. Also, the fact that it gives food a perfectly smokey & delicious char is an added bonus. Adrian & I have been on a grilled corn kick and the other day when we were waiting for it to finish up, I started thinking about how good skewers would be charred on the grill. I feel like skewers or kabobs scream summer and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show you yet another way to incorporate more veggies into your diet in a non-boring way. Since these skewers do not have meat, I knew that meant I needed to do something to these veggies to make them burst with flavor so that is when I started playing around with marinade ideas. I wasn’t really sure what kind of flavor I wanted them to have, but I just started combining flavors I knew would be delicious. First, I added soy sauce for that umami/salty flavor and then proceeded to add in minced garlic because I can’t think of a time where garlic & soy sauce ever tasted bad. To cut the saltiness a bit, I added in some lime juice for some acidity and lastly included some organic raw honey for sweetness. As I whisked away I continued to taste it to make sure everything was balanced and before I knew it, I had created the perfect balance of sweet & savory. This marinade can really be used for anything but I highly recommend you try marinating mushrooms for these skewers because it will change your life! Since mushrooms are so porous and spongelike, they absorb the marinade very well and pack a lot of flavor into each mushroom. The longer you marinate these for the better they taste so I would recommend leaving them for as long as you possibly can to maximize the flavor. Now with all that being said, let’s get into the details of this recipe.(more…)
Falafel + Yogurt Sauce Recipe
I hope you have all had a wonderful and refreshing weekend after what I’m sure has been a busy week for everyone. I myself have had quite the last two weeks so I made sure to spend some time pampering myself this weekend. One of my favorite things to help me decompress is to develop new recipes. When I’m in the kitchen it’s like all of my sources of stress disappear and I find myself to be calm, cool and collected. This weekend I had a flood of recipe ideas that I can’t wait to share with you because you are going to LOVE them! For today, I will be sharing with you one of the recipes I finally perfected after much time and that is my beloved falafel recipe. The first time I had falafel was in a local Greek restaurant in the form of a pita sandwich. I loved how filling and fresh it was and couldn’t stop thinking about it for a while. I decided to give making them at home a shot with one major modification– I would avoid deep frying them in oil. One of the best parts about falafel is the crispiness of the falafel itself, but I figured I could make them just as delicious by simply pan-frying them instead. After making a few tweaks to the recipe I finally landed on a winner and today I get to share it with you. These falafels can be used to make lettuce wraps, pita sandwiches, salads, and so much more as they are extremely versatile. They provide a healthy serving of fiber and plant-based protein along with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. These falafels require very minimal heating which makes them great as we dive deeper into the warm weather season! I especially like to make these at the beginning of the week to keep them in the fridge so I can quickly make a meal. The necessary ingredients are very minimal which also makes this recipe incredibly budget-friendly! Let’s get started by getting into what you will need to make this recipe.(more…)
Lentil Sloppy Joes
With the semester in full swing, I’m on the hunt for recipes that are both nutritious and quick. After a long day at school, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. With that being said, today I will be sharing with you one of my favorite recipes that is packed with plant-based protein and comes together in under 30 minutes- lentil sloppy joes. Growing up, I remember my mom making sloppy joes during a busy weekday as it was quick, delicious, and sure to fill us up. When I was playing around with some dinner ideas, I immediately thought back to that recipe and decided to replicate it but to substitute lentils in place of the ground beef. As I’ve mentioned before, I personally enjoy eating mostly plant-based as I find that is what keeps me feeling the most energized and focused throughout the day. Additionally, lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are loaded with fiber and iron as well. Lentils are one of those foods that I feel are completely underrated as they are loaded with nutrients but also make a great substitute in many recipes that call for ground beef. I always have lentils on hand and typically try to eat them in some form or another at least once a week. Before I ramble on for too long I’ll cut it short and simply say that whether or not you are a vegetarian I am certain you will enjoy this recipe. My boyfriend who is incredibly picky couldn’t get enough of this and enjoyed the leftovers the following days which is huge because he is not a fan of leftovers. Now, let’s get into what you will need to make these delicious lentil sloppy joes.(more…)
Gluten-Free Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
In about 2 weeks, I will be heading back to school to complete the last few classes I need to apply for my master’s program. As time is of the essence, I’m on the hunt for recipes that are quick, easy, and nutrient dense. If you can relate, then I think you will appreciate this recipe because it takes under 30 minutes to make, is loaded with a variety of nutrients, and won’t break the bank. The recipe I will be sharing with you is my gluten-free lemon basil pasta salad.
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend! Today I wanted to share with you a quick & easy marinara recipe that was a result of not having gone to the grocery store to pick up my usual premade sauce. About 2 weeks ago, I was in the mood for pasta but realized I had no sauce on hand. Usually I would have gone to the store but I have made it a goal of mine this year to avoid going to the store for just 1 item. As I rummaged through my pantry I found some fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce & few other spices and figured I would give it a shot at making my own sauce! That was hands down one of the best decisions I could have made because it was well worth it. This sauce tasted so much better than any store bought variety I had tried & was so cheap to make. You can use this sauce for pasta, pizza, meatball subs or really just about anything your heart desires! Now without further ado let’s get into the recipe!(more…)
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Welcome back to Life at the Mesa, it sure feels good to be back with another recipe after taking some MUCH needed time off. After taking a break for a while I feel so inspired and have so many new recipes in mind as we move forward. One thing about me that should be pretty apparent by now is that I am a creature of habit. When I come up with a recipe, I like to figure out how many different ways I can make it work so that way I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and so that I don’t get bored with my meals. Today’s recipe is no different as it will be featuring one of my all-time favorite recipes and that is my Mexican Quinoa. Quinoa is so incredibly diverse and also incredibly healthy for you. It is hands down my favorite grain because as I have mentioned previously, it is one of the few plant-based options that is considered a complete protein. For more info on protein click here to read more about the different types and sources of protein.
This recipe was created last week when I was in a hurry to make dinner but was craving something really hearty and satisfying. As I was looking through my pantry thinking of what I could make the first thing that came to mind was my Mexican quinoa as I also had the necessary pato sauce on hand. As much as I love the Mexican quinoa just as is, I wanted to make something different so then I came across some bell peppers in the fridge that I needed to use along with some zucchini and then this creation was born. These stuffed bell peppers are out of this world delicious and so incredibly easy to make. From start to finish it can be done in under 30 minutes and the toppings are endless. It’s a really great recipe to throw in any veggies you may have lying around that you need to use. Not only is it insanely good but of course it is loaded with a variety of nutrients but the most notable being protein, fiber, and vitamin C. Now, without further delay, let’s go ahead and jump into all the items you will need to make these delicious stuffed bell peppers!