Lunch

Grilled cheese with roasted red peppers and avocado

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado

A good grilled cheese sandwich is a bit like life. It not always pretty, it can be messy, fall apart and be all over place, and sometimes the inner components don’t hold together well, but in the end with that first bite, everything comes together. The flavors meld, the messiness is forgotten and thus balance is created, as the inner components compliment and come together to create this beautiful satisfying sandwich.

Beet ginger coconut soup

Beet, Ginger and Coconut Soup

This is a BIG year for Marin mama! I’m going to be finishing up Natural Chef school in March, and I therefore need to figure out my next career move before I finish school, YIKES! It’s super scary, but exciting at the same time, but a little more on the scary side, as I’m not sure what’s out there for little old me. I’m going to be spending the next few months researching, networking and getting a feel for what’s out there career-wise for me. I have some ideas brewing, but I’m not entirely sure yet what’s the best path, so I’m just going to keep following my heart, intuition and gut and see where it leads me. I will be sure to keep you all updated on where I’m heading.

One pan Mexican quinoa wraps.

One-Pan Mexican Quinoa Wraps

I’m SO crazy for these wraps, like totally insanely crazy for these, and I’ve been making them non-stop for the past 3 weeks. Marin mama might need to be committed! They’re honestly my new favorite lunch and/or dinner, and the bonus is that Zoe loves them as much as I do. Yay Zoe! I’m working on Eli, as he likes these wraps, and will totally eat them, but he doesn’t crave them the way Zoe and I do. I do have to remember that he’s only 10, and his palate hasn’t totally evolved the way Zoe’s and mine has. So Eli, I’ll give you a few more years to be lukewarm to my healthy recipes! Just kidding cutie!

Quinoa with tomatoes and cucumber and parsley and mint

Quinoa with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Parsley and Mint

This is the perfect healthy summer salad! It’s chock-full of fresh herbs, cucumbers and tomatoes, which are at their ripest in the summer months. I used heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, and let me tell you, this salad was BURSTING FULL OF FLAVOR! I might even say that it was a bit better the next day when all of the flavors had a chance to meld together!

Broccoli rabe pizza

Broccoli Rabe Pizza

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! How I love pizza! I truly do! Pizza is one of my favorite things to chow down on! I’m a total carboholic and cheese fanatic, so with pizza, I get the best of both worlds. Also, you get to be creative with pizza and top it with whatever your heart desires, and these past few weeks we’ve been desiring roasted broccoli rabe! That’s not such a bad thing, right?

Cold pesto pasta with chicken and sundried tomatoes

Cold Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The combination of pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives is amazing! It’s the perfect pasta to bring to a picnic or potluck, and an easy weeknight dinner as it can be made ahead of time. I love it when I can come home after a busy day, open the fridge and have dinner all ready to go. All you have to do is pair this pasta with a salad and a baguette, and you have yourself the perfect meal for a hot summer night.

Farro and chicken salad with dates and cranberries.

Farro and Chicken Salad with Dates and Cranberries

Farro is a bit like kale in the sense that it sits well for 3 days and makes the perfect make-ahead lunch, dinner or potluck picnic fare. I love the chewy and nutty flavor of the farro paired with the sweetness of the dried cranberries, dates and champagne vinaigrette. The Marcona almonds and Manchego cheese help balance out all that sweetness.

Quinoa wrap with black beans, feta, and avocado displayed on a table.

Quinoa Wrap with Black Beans, Feta and Avocado

What makes this wrap so good? Well, you take our favorite avocado-tahini dip, mix it in with some quinoa, black beans, a bit of melted Monterey jack and feta, throw in some sliced avocado, some spinach leaves, and wrap it all in a whole-grain tortilla, and oh my goodness, you have yourself one amazing wrap that’s not only healthy, but full of flavor.

Vegetarian banh mi with siracha mayo

Vegetarian Banh Mi Sandwich with Sriracha Mayonnaise

I’m sure there are those of you that have never heard of a banh mi sandwich before, am I right?  You’re probably thinking what the heck is a banh mi sandwich.  Well, I didn’t know what one was either until this past spring when my friend Carolyn showed some photos on Instagram of her fixings for a banh mi sandwich.  Since then, I’ve seen these sandwiches popping up everywhere, it’s like my eyes were opened.  Banh mi is the perfect combination of french bread combined with Vietnamese ingredients like cilantro, pickled vegetables, and chilies.  Banh mi’s can be made with chicken, pork, beef, tofu, eggs and salmon and the sauces or spreads vary with each sandwich.  I chose to make a vegetarian version with roasted tofu from my miso kale salad recipe, and a sriracha mayonnaise sauce that our family loves.  This sriracha mayonnaise is also a great dip for fries, onion rings and as a topping for burgers.

Simple egg salad sandwich

Simple Egg Salad

Spring is around the corner and it’s the perfect time for cold sandwiches like egg or chicken salad. Egg salad is such a simple weeknight sandwich to whip up, especially if you have a batch of hardboiled eggs ready to go. Most egg salad recipes contain mayonnaise, but I love this one because it uses Greek yogurt in lieu of traditional mayonnaise.

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