Baked Veggies and Goat Cheese


My first clean meal! Exciting right? Actually, this is a meal I have made many times and in many different ways, but this was the first time I made it Clean. It is quite delicious and very simple. You could use all sorts of vegetables, I used what I had on hand.

According to the research I have done, clean eating is all about balance. Combine a carb and a protein with some vegetables and you are set!

Vegetable: Broccoli, bell pepper, leek, carrot
Carb: Potato
Protein: Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 3 people

  • 4 small red potatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers
  • 2 small leeks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons died basil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine potatoes, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and leeks in a square baking dish.
  3. Add olive oil and stir to coat the veggies.
  4. Add dried basil and pepper.
  5. Mix everything together well.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, until veggies are tender
  7. Enjoy!

Here is something new I will be doing with my recipes, providing nutritional facts using

Clean Eating - The Beginning


Well it has happened. I have fallen for a "diet" and I could not be more excited about it!

Looking back at my eating habits over the last several months, I have seen a major decline in the healthy-ish meals and habits I once consumed and maintained. This is largely do to the general increase in "stuff" that I do on a daily/weekly basis. Is that a valid excuse? It doesn't matter, I am using it anyway. The important thing, is that I recognize I am no longer where I want to be health wise and that I need to get back on track quickly.

I have done a bit of research into diets and found most results to be quite discouraging for a vegetarian like myself. I started with the popular ones:
  • Paleo - I am a vegetarian and allergic to most nuts, making this diet very difficult
  • Weight Watchers - I do not want to pay to have a phone app and count points
  • Ketogenic (Atkins, South Beach) - Again the not eating meat thing makes this one difficult
  • Juicing Diet - I like to eat solid food, end of story.
  • Clean Eating - ding, ding, ding! This one makes sense!
Clean eating will work for me because I already know and follow many of the "diet" guidelines. I wrote "diet" because eating clean, as I understand it, is really more of a life change. Here are the guidelines for the "diet" that I am familiar with or currently practice.
  1. I do not eat much processed food
  2. I try not to consume toxins and added chemicals
  3. I eat whole grains -- if the word whole is not there, something has been taken out of it
  4. I never miss a meal -- I enjoy food too much to skip a meal
  5. I try to eat small portions -- but I really enjoy sweets and bread and cheese and vegetables and, well, food
  6. I know I should drink at least 8 cups of water a day -- doing it is more difficult
  7. I know I should eat 5-6 meals a day -- again doing this is challenging

This brings me to the point of this post. As I was researching diet options, I realized that most are not geared toward vegetarians or vegans. The clean eating "diet" is really no exception. I read the reviews for the Eat Clean Vegetarian Cookbook, and was surprised to find out that Tosca Reno, does not have a background in nutrition and does not understand vegetarianism or veganism. So here I am, attempting to show other vegetarians how to eat clean. I also do not have the nutrition background, but I understand being a vegetarian, as I have been one since I was 11 years old (that is 16 years). I am going to dive right into this life changing "diet" and I am going to document the progress with recipes, meal plans and my workout routines. I am not a pro, but I will be doing a ton of research, learning as I go, and posting everything for you all to enjoy and hopefully use.

You should know that I will be relying on the following books, blogs and websites to become the healthy person I want to be:
I noticed that having a place to post the wonderful food that I am making encourages me to make more of it! So enjoy and stumble through this lifestyle with me.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

I am going to start by saying, I have been doing a lot of extra cooking this week! I love it!

Last night, I was making muffins for a morning staff meeting at work. Tonight I am making appetizer type food for an art reception. I am on the Board of Directors at a local art gallery, 1078 Gallery, and tomorrow there is an art reception for one of our amazing volunteers/MFA student/community artist, at which, Board members always bring/donate food items to serve to the guests.

I usually bring bread and cheese, because you cannot go wrong with that! But, I had some left over pumpkin puree from yesterday's muffin baking and wanted to use it up. I was thinking of making pumpkin pie bites, as I made them in October and they were amazing, but stumbled upon this Pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe from Kitchen Corners and could not pass it up!

Of course, I changed it up a bit. One day, I may actually try a recipe before I mess with it...maybe...
The changes I made:

  • I used more pumpkin -- I feel like pumpkin foods often lack in pumpkin flavor, so I always add more
  • I used whole wheat pastry flour -- I never use regular flour, I always use whole wheat and I always receive compliments on my baked goods. 
  • I used baking powder instead of baking soda and cream of tartar -- They did not flatten, but they taste amazing!! :)
  • I made smaller cookies -- I did this simply to have more cookies to go around at the reception.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 32 small cookies

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Cream together the pumpkin puree, butter, and sugar
  2. Add the egg and mix well
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix well (dough will be thick)
  4. Cover the mixing bowl and put the cookie dough in the fridge to chill for 1 hour
  5. Preheat the over to 400 degree F.
  6. Grease a cookie sheet
  7. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
  8. Take about a tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into a ball.
  9. Roll the cookie dough ball in the cinnamon and sugar mixture
  10. Place on the greased cookie sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie
  11. Repeat steps 8, 9, & 10 until the cookie sheet is full
  12. Bake for 10 minutes
  13. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet
  14. Place on a baking rack to cool
  15. ENJOY!

Yummy, Healthy Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

I love muffins and pumpkins and pretty much anything containing quinoa. So when I stumbled onto this muffin recipe at Fork and Beans, I was quite thrilled to try them out!

Of course, I never follow a recipe to a tee, so the following is my adaptation of Fork and Beans' recipe.

Healthy Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22-25 minutes
Makes: 8 muffins

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg (for vegan muffins use 1 tablespoon flaxseen meal and 2 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1/3 cup milk (for vegan muffins use 1/3 cup hemp milk and 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar -- allow this mixture to sit for minutes before adding it to the muffin batter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine olive oil, canned pumpkin, honey, vanilla, egg, and milk in a large bowl. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves to the pumpkin mixture
  4. Grease muffin tin cups with olive oil.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes
  7. Enjoy!!

Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Each month at our all staff meeting, someone volunteers to bring a snack for everyone at the meeting. Today, April 3rd, it was my turn to bring a snack to share with my coworkers. I had no idea what to bring. The meetings are at 9am, so I wanted to bring some sort of breakfast food, but I did not want to get to work early to reheat something before the meeting and I certainly did not want to get up early and cook something before work. I settled on muffins. But I could not bring myself to make regular, everyday muffins, so I did some internet research and came up with two great ideas. The first, is below, for the second, please visit Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins (Gluten Free).

I found this recipe at Butter Baking, but tweaked it a bit. Below are the changes I made.

  • I used whole wheat flour instead of plain flour -- I never use plain flour and everything always tastes amazing.
  • I used almond meal instead of wholemeal flour -- I wanted to make it a bit healthier, and I think this did the trick.
  • I used 3 frozen bananas instead of 2 ripe bananas -- in my experience frozen bananas lose some of their flavor and I did not have ripe bananas on hand. If you do not have either frozen or ripe bananas, you can use under ripe bananas, just make sure to use 3 of them.
  • I used plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of regular plain Greek yogurt -- Greek yogurt is the new "in" thing with cooking. This was my first time using it and it is pretty great. But, I do think that regular plain yogurt would do much of the same thing.
  • I doubled the cinnamon -- I just love cinnamon and wanted the flavor to really be present!
  • I left out the milk -- I did not have milk, so I left it out. Everything turned out just fine without it.
  • I did not use paper muffin cups -- I feel these are a waste of money and paper. I never use them, I just coat the muffin tin cups with olive oil before I add the batter.

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 14 muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (use 3 bananas if using frozen or not overly ripe bananas)
  • 2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (bittersweet chips work well too)
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine bananas, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in a bowl. Mix until blended well.
  3. Add whole wheat flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking power, sugar, salt and cinnamon, and mix until incorporated
  4. Mix in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
  5. Coat muffin pan cups with olive oil
  6. Pour muffin mixture into muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
  7. Bake in preheated over for 15-20 minutes
  8. ENJOY!
A healthy muffin heart!

The completed snack (minus the orange juice)! How did I do?