Avocado Tuna Salad

Sometimes the best foods in life are the simplest. All you need for this protein packed meal is a ripe avocado, black pepper, lime juice, 1 can of tuna.

Dump the following ingredients into a 2 cup mixing bowl:

  • 1/2 Hass avocado
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1 6 oz. can of tuna

Smash the ingredients together until well blended. Serve on mixed greens or whole wheat crackers.

TIP: If you are having trouble mixing the avocado together add in a tablespoon of mayo to help smoothen the consistency.

Grocery List:

1 6 oz. can of tuna in water

1 Hass Avocado

Lime juice

Black Pepper

Crackers or mixed greens if desired.


Almost Vegetarian Gumbo

I make my gumbo a little different every time I fix it. You can make this soup in a stockpot but as a busy college student I don’t have too much time for watching a stove top so I utilize my crock pot whenever I can.

Begin by putting 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the base of your crockpot, (I usually do olive oil but I had some canola oil that was about to go bad in my pantry so I used that instead). Next place the chopped vegetables in the pot.

  • 1/2 cup of red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of white or yellow onion
  • 1 cup of okra
  • 1 large Brandywine or Beefsteak tomato
  • 1/4 cup of carrots
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 cans of Swanson low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of celery (optional)

Top ingredients with seasonings below:

  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 splashes of Texas Pete*
  • 1 teaspoon of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt (regular salt works fine too)

Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Serve alone or with brown rice.

TIP: Be aware that cooking times vary with crockpots.

almost vegetarian gumbo grocery list -1


Mixed Greens Balsamic Summer Salad

Mixed Greens Balsamic Summer Salad I made this salad with my dear friend Kelsey Wright who also supplied the photo above! We tossed our mixed greens with 3 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of lemon juice and spices listed below:

  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

We then topped our salads with NC local produce, Gorgonzola and drizzled balsamic reduction listed below:

  • 1 sliced yellow summer squash
  • 1 chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 small peeled and chopped cucumber
  • NC Blueberries
  • Gorgonzola and balsamic reduction to taste

Serve and Enjoy

blueberry salad grocery list -1

Harvest Vegetable Soup

Broth based soups are a great way to fill you up without filling out your waistline. My favorite are chicken broth based or tomato based which can be made pretty easily in your crock pot. I am late in uploading this recipe but this is one that I made about once a week last winter.

First gather up the ingredients below then add them to your crock pot. I like to turn on my crock pot early before I have all the ingredients chopped up so that I can throw in my veggies as I chop them to get them a little sauteed in the olive oil. Turning your crock pot on just a few minutes before you finish combining your soup can also help you get a sense of the temperature your soup will be cooking in if you are new to using your crock pot.

  • 2 cans of chicken broth ( or 3.5 cups of your own)
  • 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 chopped cauliflower
  •  1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp EVOO

Let your crockpot do its thing for 6 to 8 hours, 1 hour before you are ready to serve add in the following ingredients:

  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley


Grocery List:

2 cans of chicken or vegetable broth (or 3.5 cups of your own)

1 medium sized butternut squash

1/2 white or yellow onion

1/2 chopped cauliflower (frozen or fresh)

1 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Black pepper

Sea, kosher or regular salt

Dried basil

Dried oregano

Dried parsley

Sriracha Cilantro Hummus

I add humus to dip trays, rice bowls, sandwiches, and salads. It is easy for this protein packed snack to get boring but if you look around your kitchen you probably have a lot more than you think to spice it up. 

Today though, I had a lot of extra cilantro and I needed a way to get rid of it. First I drained and rinsed my canned chickpeas until there was no foam left on the peas and then washed my cilantro. I chopped a handful stem and all. I don’t mind the stem flavor and using it in your recipes provides extra fiber. 

  • 1 can of chickpeas (Garbonzo beans are the same thing)
  • 4 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons of Lemon Juice (you can do 1 tablespoon lime and 1 lemon if you prefer, you can juice your own lemon or buy juice too, I do both, it really depends on my budget and what I have on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin
  • 2 pinches of Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Mixed Peppers 
  • 1 handful of Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha 
  • 6 tablespoons of Water
  • 1 teaspoon of Parsley 

Add liquid ingredients slowly, when your blender starts to sound like it is working too hard pause your blender and stir ingredients and add your liquid ingredients and start again. The best hummus is made when you pause to add liquid ingredients in every 15 to 20 seconds because it creates a better consistency. 

This hummus can stay good in your fridge for up to 5 days.



Pan-seared Apple Savoy Cabbage

Although the first leaves of cabbage are always easy to use in salads and soups, the middle is not always as savory. But with a little bit of apple juice, riesling, garlic pepper, kosher salt and pepper this problem can be resolved. 


First chop the last 1/4 of your head of cabbage into 1 inch cubes (some of these cubes will fall apart but some won’t, either way it is okay, the variety of textures is one of the best parts of the recipe). Next, heat your plan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when the pan is heated dump your cabbage into your pan and add the following:


  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons of apple juice

Stir until all flavors are blended together. When the liquid on the pan has been absorbed add 2 tablespoons of riesling (or any other white wine you have on hand). Stir your cabbage again. Once the cabbage has absorbed the white wine let the cabbage cook for five minutes. Add in a splash of apple juice and more salt and pepper for seasoning as your personal preference. Allow the cabbage to simmer for three more minutes then serve.

Cooked Black Beans

I used these as an ingredient in my last post so I figured a detailed post on how to make black beans the old fashioned way was appropriate!

Growing up I always felt that making beans from scratch was an unnecessarily long process and there was nothing too unique from canned and soaked varieties. Thankfully, I have changed my mind! Canned beans are high in sodium and sugar and don’t have that mildly crunchy texture that can be found by making your own.

Start by rinsing the amount of black beans you are interested in eating. Cooked beans will stay good in the refrigerator for quite a few days so if you think you would like to use them to top on your salads or for hummus I would make some extra.

Once you have rinsed your beans you can put them in a large measuring cup. For every cup of black beans there should be a cup and a half of water. Leave the beans in your fridge for six hours.

When checking on your beans stir them with a spoon and add 1/3 cup of water for every cup of beans you have. Your beans should now be softer but still fairly crunchy. Once you have done this put your beans back in the fridge or your counter (whichever you are more comfortable with) and leave them for another six hours.

Now twelve hours into the process your beans should be fairly soft. If you are on a time crunch go ahead and put your beans in a pot on low-medium (depending on the temperature of your stovetop) your beans should simmer. You may soak your beans up to 18 hours for optimum flavor but sometimes “ain’t nobody got time for that” and twelve hours will taste absolutely fine if you cook your beans long enough.

While you are cooking your beans add in lime juice, a small squeeze of Sriracha, olive oil, pepper, kosher salt, dried basil and oregano and plenty of garlic. Remember with your beans being dried it is difficult to over-season them so don’t worry about being wrong!

Cover your beans and cook for twenty minutes, stirring every three to five minutes and adding water when necessary. When your beans are tender for your liking serve and enjoy!