Chickpea Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Basil (Caprese)


If you are looking for a comforting meal with refreshing Spring flavors made with lots of fresh ingredients this this Caprese inspired Chickpea Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil is just what you need.  Dressed with a balsamic olive oil blend for a tangy and robust bite.

It’s super easy to make and can be made in advance to eat as a side dish with meat or fish, on top of a greens salad or a cozy pasta dish in itself.



2 cups cooked pasta (I used Banza Cavatappi Chickpea Pasta)

2 cups cherry tomatoes halved

2 cup fresh mozzarella cut 1 into 1/2 inch chunks

1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted & slices in half lengthwise

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil & olives in a medium bowl.  In a separate small bowl blend together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Add additional salt and pepper if needed to adjust flavor.



Nutty Grain Salad with Citrus Dressing


This grain salad is nourishing, healthy and refreshing and can be customized to your liking.  I used buckwheat groats to make this but works perfectly with any other type of grain.  Bulgur, Farro, Brown Rice and Millet are some of my top choices or you can get exotic and use Freekah or Sorghum.  The choices are endless.  Can be used as a side dish, on a green salad as stuffing for a veggie boat or eaten on its own.  If you are not a fan of chickpeas you can use black beans or white beans instead and if you are allergic to pine nuts, almonds or walnuts can be added instead.




2 cups buckwheat cooked** or sub any other type of grain (bulgur, farro, brown rice)

**(Bring 3 cups water or stock to a boil add 1 cup buckwheat groats reduce heat to simmer until groats are tender and fully cooked.  Drain excess water and rinse in a strainer.)

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks

1 bunch scallions, greens and whites finely chopped, about ½ cup

Handful flatleaf parsley roughly chopped, about ½ cup

½ cup pine nuts

Salt and pepper to taste


For the dressing:

½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

In a medium bowl add the buckwheat, chickpeas, carrots, scallions and parsley and combine well.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a separate small bowl make the dressing.  Combine olive oil, orange juice, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  Combine well until fully blended and pour over the buckwheat mixture.  Mix to combine and let sit for at least 20 minutes for flavors to absorb.

In the meantime toast the pine nuts.  On the stove top heat a small pan on medium high heat until hot.  Add the pine nut tossing constantly until they start to brown.  Remove from heat and add to salad mixture for a toasty nutty crunch.



Atkins Nutritionals – Eat Right, Not Less


I am a big fan of the Atkins shakes because as a busy mom of 3 kids I don’t always have the time to eat and prepare meals, even if meal prep is involved. While I’m running errands, driving around, taking the kids to after school activities or going to the gym it’s much easier to drink something than it is to eat with a fork or spoon. The Atkins Mocha Latte Shakes fit perfectly with my healthy lifestyle and help crave my sweet tooth. Each shake contains 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of fiber and only 160 calories. They are creamy and delicious. Perfect for that moment when I’m feeling hungry and just don’t have time to eat.

You can find more information about Atkins shakes here:


Choosing a low glycemic eating approach is beneficial to our health because the control of blood sugar and insulin levels is one of the keys to reducing our risk of heart disease and diabetes. This approach to eating is also useful for controlling your appetite – and for those interested in weight loss, it helps there too.


“Glycemic” means “relating to the sugar or glucose in the blood.” The glycemic load simply estimates how much a food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it. The greater the glycemic impact of a food, the greater and more rapid its impact is on your blood sugar level—and that may cause your body to produce greater levels of insulin to return your blood sugar to a normal level.


Eating foods with a lower glycemic index not only can help you to live heart healthy, it may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or suffering a stroke.


Celebrate The Big Game Day with Whole Foods Market!

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We all know that the Super Bowl is not just about the game but also about the food!  My local Whole Foods Market and their amazing catering menu makes it easy.

There menu offers a large variety of delicious choices to choose from including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, making it super convenient to please every type of eater!  Honestly I spent a good 45 minutes trying to make up my mind what I wanted to order because of all the options.


I am all about the Thai Lettuce Cup Platter which includes all the proteins, veggies, sauces and toppings.  Everything is freshly prepared, individually packed and ready for your guests to build there own lettuce cup creations.  It also looks very appetizing and appealing set up on your table and will have your guests impressed.

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My carnivorous husband on the other hand likes to stick with the traditional favorites like buffalo wings, sliders and deli sandwiches so when he saw the Lower East Side deli platter on the menu he had to have it.  All the fresh baked breads and fixings are included plus I know the meats are nitrate free and sustainably sourced so the quality is at its best!


Order your Big Game Day catering spread today!  Trust me you will see exactly what I am talking about!

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Lobster Salad with Chickpea Pasta


This Lobster Salad recipe can be used by itself without the pasta and served on a buttered toasted roll with potato chips and a pickle on the side, on slider buns, on top of a greens salad or with crackers as an appetizer.  It can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge up to 5 days.



4 Lobster tails 4-5 oz. each

Extra virgin olive oil

garlic powder

1/2 pound chickpea pasta (or any other pasta of choice)

2 stalks celery chopped (about 1/2 cup)

scallion bunch chopped (about 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons red onion finely chopped

parsley bunch roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)

fresh dill bunch roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

3-4 tablespoons good mayonnaise

juice of 2 lemons

fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Slice down the center of each lobster tail with a sharp knife and split crack the tails so meat is exposed.  Place each tail on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Season with garlic powder, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.  Wrap each tail with the foil slightly loose giving a little room to steam within the foil packet.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until lobster is pink and tender.

While the lobster cooks prepare the pasta.  Bring pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and let cook until tender and slightly al dente.  Drain a toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.  Set aside to cool.

Remove the lobster from the oven and set aside to cool.  If you like the claw meat  and prefer a full steamed lobster follow the same steps as the preparing the tails except reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes.  Once the lobster is cooled remove as much meat from the shell as possible using a claw crackers or a nut cracker if necessary and add to a large bowl.

Break up the lobster meat leaving some large chunks.  Add the celery, scallions, red onion, parsley, dill, lemon juice and mayo and combine well.  Season with ground black pepper.  Stir in pasta and season with sea salt.  Add the cherry tomatoes as desired and serve.  Serves 4


Celebrate the Holidays with Whole Foods Market’s Better For You Options!


Let’s face it.  The holiday’s are a busy time of year and as much as we love to entertain our family and friends sometimes you need some help.  I am all about healthier and flavorful when it comes to my meals.  Don’t get me wrong, we all need to indulge sometimes but serving up the most tasty yet healthy side dishes keeps everyone pleased.  Serving fish and meats is always a must but the vegetarian and vegan side dish options can always satisfy any type of diet.


I know I can always rely on my local Whole Foods when it comes to my healthy holiday side dish options.

Always veggie packed and filled with so many delicious flavors. All the choices are tasty and made with all natural clean ingredients like this Chili Lime Cauliflower and its gluten free and vegan!

Cauliflower helps reduce the risk of cancer, improves digestion and detoxification and helps to fight inflammation.  It provides high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K.  Cauliflower is also very versatile and can be used to make cauliflower crust and cauliflower rice for a healthy low carb. option.


And as for these Feta Oregano Sweet Potatoes I have no other words but finger licking delicious!! That’s right I said FETA OREGANO SWEET POTATOES! Yummy Yum Yum!

Sweet potatoes contain Beta Carotene and are an excellent source of vitamin A. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.  Another gluten free option.


THEN there is the Lentil Mushroom Stuffing.  Another amazing tasty and delicious vegan option.  What are the holiday’s without a good stuffing?  A nice change from the traditional all bread stuffing’s. Lentils + Mushrooms + Stuffing….UMM YESS PLEASE!  Plus lentils include beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins and are low in calories and contain barely any fat.  


One of my favorites is the Sauerkraut Roasted Rainbow Carrots.  The carrots are roasted to perfection and the sauerkraut gives them a delicious tangy bite.  Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and contain high sources of antioxidants such a Beta Carotene.  They help protect against cancers and heart disease.

Sauerkraut is an anti-inflammatory food packed with benefits. It’s loaded with probiotics and a good source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. This colorful side dish option is a win win for all of your guests!


NOW don’t even get me started on the Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts!  Anyone can throw some brussels on a sheet pan, drizzle with a little EVOO and roast away but THESE brussels are taken to a whole another level.  Perfectly charred with a sweet and spicy glaze and the addition of crunchy pumpkin seeds for the finishing touch.

Brussels Sprouts are probably one of the most nutritious veggies you can eat.  These cruciferous veggies are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of nutrients including folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids.

For more healthy tasty options check out the full Whole Foods Holiday Catering Menu here:

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Nutritional Information Sources: