One of the biggest challenges I hear people face is genuinely being motivated to eat a healthier diet, but struggling because they’re so busy with work, family, school, or other commitments. Even if someone does have the time, unless they absolutely love cooking, chances are they’d rather be spending that time elsewhere. This is a big reason so many people give up on a healthy lifestyle and settle for fast food, microwave dinners, and all forms of processed foods. Luckily, when you know the right strategies, eating whole food meals can actually be faster, cheaper, and even better tasting than the processed “fast food” options.

PANCAKES

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs

For the Batter 

  • 2 tablespoons of flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut powder
  • A small handful of hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (we LOVE that combo!)
  • 1 tablespoon of protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • A few thin slices of apple or pears
  • Pumpkin puree (organic)

Topping Ideas

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Cherries, strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Sugar and lemon juice

AVOCADO PESTO TOAST

Safia Berrada

Toasts

  • ¼ cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ⅔ cup (1 ounce) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 4 slices of Organic Bread 

Optional Accompaniments

  • Cooked eggs (fried, poached or scrambled, your preference)
  • Halved cherry tomatoes (1 small handful per serving)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and/or flaky sea salt

Instructions 

  1. To toast the pepitas, pour them into a small skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until they are making little popping noises and starting to make little popping noises. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. To make the pesto, pit and halve the avocados and scoop the insides into the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the toasted pepitas and basil leaves and pulse until the pepitas and basil are broken down into very small pieces and the mixture is well-blended. Taste, mix in more salt if the mixture doesn’t taste totally awesome yet.
  4. Toast the bread, then spread a generous amount of avocado pesto over each slice. Serve as is, or with eggs and/or tomatoes. Sprinkle lightly with freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes (for heat) and/or flaky sea salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

CHOCOLATE SHAKE

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. firm tofu
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (almond, soy, or coconut milk)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar (or Stevia)
  • 1/2 cup ice

Instructions

  • Add everything to a blender and blend until smooth.

GREEK SPAGHETTI SQUASH TOSS

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ½ cups Easy Baked Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 cup baby spinach, torn
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high.
  2. Add onion and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add chickpeas, thyme, and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. 
  3. Add spaghetti squash, spinach, and salt; toss gently to combine.
  4. Cook 2 minutes or until spinach is just wilted. Sprinkle with cheese.

WHOLE WHEAT BERRY MUFFINS

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup berries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with silicone liners or use a nonstick or silicone muffin pan.
  2. In a large measuring cup, use a fork to vigorously mix together the plant-based milk, flaxseeds, and vinegar. Mix for about a minute, until it appears foamy. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk mixture. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla to the well and stir together. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are moistened (do not overmix). Fold in the berries.
  4. Fill each muffin cup three-quarters full and bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a knife inserted through the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Let the muffins cool completely, about 20 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edges of each muffin to remove them from the pan.

RAINBOW VEGGIE FLATBREAD PIZZA

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2-piece) Stonefire naan
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, homemade. 
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 4 cups chopped colorful veggies (I used broccoli florets, green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, grape tomatoes, red onions and thinly-sliced purple potatoes)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • Optional toppings: grated Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes)

Instructions 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbles begin to rise (and pop) at the surface. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  2. Serve warm. Or you can also freeze this to use later. (I love freezing it in ice cube trays so that you can choose how much you want to thaw and use later!)

PAPAYA BOAT

Safia Berrada

Ingredients

  • 1 medium papaya, ripe
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup homemade/organic granola
  • Raw honey to drizzle/optional

Instructions:

  1. Slice papaya in half lengthwise.
  2. Spoon out seeds and scrape away just a bit create a small bowl.
  3. Fill each side equally with yogurt, fruits, and granola. Enjoy!