Why Your Children Should Be in the Kitchen + Recipe: Lenox’s Apple and Pumpkin Spice Muffins

One of the most important things we can do for our health is to cook at home.  Involve your kids, and you’ll be setting them up for a healthier lifestyle.  It’s never to early to include your kid in the kitchen to learn to bake sweet desserts and cook delicious dinners.  I have been cooking and baking with my niece and nephew from at least 18-months on.  They love the independence of being able to contribute to making their food.

The good thing is, letting them make a mess is well worth it.  Getting kids hands-on in the kitchen may lead to healthier eating behaviors, more positive feelings, and tendency to try new foods, several studies suggest.  Cooking and baking with kids teaches them real-life skills, something they will need when they eventually leave the house.  Besides this, involvement in cooking may improve a child’s diet quality.  In one study, children who were involved in home cooking, aged 10-11 years old, on average consumed an extra serving for fruits and vegetables per day compared to their peers who were not involved (Li Chu et al,  2013).  Another study, involving kids 6 to 10 years old, reported more positive emotions and feeling of control in children who participated in cooking their own meals (van der Horst et al, 2014).

Children who are involved in food preparation may be more likely to try new food, a parents and caregivers dream.  In a Spanish study by Allirot et al, 2015, children aged 7 to 11 years old were randomly divided into two groups, those who got to participate in cooking and those who did not.  Kids in the cook group got to prepare unfamiliar foods such as apple and beet juice, zucchini and egg sandwiches, and spinach cookies.  When the children got to chose between these unfamiliar foods versus those more familiar (i.e. orange juice, potato and egg sandwich, and chocolate chip cookies), the kids who cooked the unfamiliar foods were more likely to eat them.  They were also more likely to enjoy them.

Feeding children can be challenging, but involving them in the process from a young age may lead to healthier eaters and eaters more likely to try new foods.  When I bake or cook with them I ensure the foods are appropriate, fairly new, and safe for them to be involved.  When they are mixing and pouring in the ingredients, I see the sense of pride in their little faces when they do.

Baking seems to be easiest for my toddler niece and nephew both aged almost 3 years.  On Monday, my niece Lenox and I made these apple muffins.  Her brother Zander, 3 months, was quietly observing on the scene.  We used apples from Sunday’s apple picking venture with my nephew Nolan and his Mia, 3 months (yes we are a close family).  While we were baking, I taught her about some the ingredients and why we were using them.  My favorite was when I told her we were using flax seeds to make a flax egg, she seemed quite confused.

We made up the recipe “together”, so they rightfully deserve the name “Lenox’s Apple and Pumpkin Spice Muffins”.  She did a lot of work, like mixing and spilling the flour (this step is not included in the final recipe so I hope it works out for you).  This recipe has a lot of love in it, from the hand-picked apples from Nolan to the hand mixing by Lenox.


  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour (or whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 egg (or 1 additional flax egg)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup raisins



Yield ~ 16 muffins

  1. Set oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with liners.  In a large mixing bowl combine spelt, almond flour, baking soda, and pumpkin spice.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine flax meal and water and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes.  Then add egg, soy milk, sugar, and vanilla and whisk together.
  3. Add apples and raisins to the dry ingredients and mix together before adding the wet ingredients.  Fold together the wet and the dry mixtures just until completely incorporated, do not over mix.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, fill muffin tins leaving about 1/4 inch space at the top of each muffin tin.
  5. Place in center rack in the oven and bake for ~25 minutes.
  6. Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool.
  7. Eat on its own or serve over


Berge, Jerica M., et al. “Family Food Preparation and Its Effects on Adolescent Dietary Quality and Eating Patterns.” Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 59, no. 5, 2016, pp. 530–536., doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.06.007.

Do Your Eating Preferences Need a Label? + Recipe: Curried Chickpea, Tofu, and Quinoa Burgers

Throughout my relationship with food, I’ve labeled myself many things.  Some of these include vegetarian (solid few years), vegan (solid few months), gluten-free (solid week), dairy free (solid day or so).  I bounced around from label to label, always craving the food I gave up.  I thought I was being healthier, better and wiser in my food choices.  In reality, I was restricting my body from the foods I loved and craved.

Lately, I’ve been thinking, with my preferences of all different foods, do I need a label?  Can I just be a person who eats what she wants, or do I need to call myself something?  Is this is a food lovers version of a midlife crisis?  Why am I questioning these things at this point in my nutrition education?

What I realized is I don’t need to label myself anything.  As I become more connected to myself, learn more self-love and self-care, and connect deeper with my body,  I am better able to understand what it needs.   The beauty in food freedom is I can just be me without judging myself or needing to be something I am not.  I eat how I want to eat when I want to eat it.  Some meals its tofu, legumes, seitan, veggie burgers or tempeh.  Other meals it’s steak, eggs, chicken, fish or sausage.  It’s always what I want.

While I eat everything, my vegan days made me LOVE vegan food, a lot.  One of my favorite blogs is a vegan blog from one of my former classmates at Columbia called The Full Helping.  I made her Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric and Kale Soup, a recipe my fiancé and I highly recommend. To complete the meal with some muscle building plant-based protein,  I created a chickpea, tofu and quinoa burger with curry powder to complement the spices of the soup.  When going vegetarian or vegan with plant-based proteins, its ideal to combine different source to create a complete protein that includes all essential amino acids.  Animal-based proteins naturally contain all essential amino acids, which are needed for optimal muscle building power.

These patties hold up nicely when pan-fried with olive or coconut oil.  They can also be baked in a tray, though I did not try this method of cooking.  The tahini sauce, in my opinion, is a must.  For a heartier meal, after a tough day of training and workouts, these would be great in a wrap or whole grain bun with tahini and crisp greens.  I’ve also thrown these on top of a big, fall kale salad for a light lunch.


  • 1 cup of dry quinoa, cooked
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 block of tofu, regular or firm *do not use extra or super firm
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed or almond flour)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil, coconut oil or other for cooking


  1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa in a small saucepan according to the package.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, remove excess water from the tofu by patting it with a paper towel or kitchen rag.  It is not necessary to draw out all the water.
  3. In a food processor add tofu, chickpeas, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Run the food processor until the mixture is completely smooth.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Once the quinoa is cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes and then add to the chickpea and tofu mixture.  Add the cilantro and combine all ingredients.  Add salt, pepper, spices, and lime to adjust flavor as needed.
  5. Heat a large saute pan on medium-high.  Add a small amount of oil to the pan once heated (I like using a spray canister like a Misto or spray olive or coconut oil).  Scoop 1/4 cup size of the mixture and form into a burger.  Cook about 3-5 minutes or until crisp on each side.
  6. In a small bowl add tahini, cumin, water, lemon, salt, and pepper.  Mix until creamy and throw a dollop on top of the burgers.

My Top 5 Meal Prep Shortcuts + Meal Prep Recipe: Fall Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

Whether you are back to school or work around the year, finding easy meal prep solutions can be a game changer.  While meal prep can seem intimidating by the perfectly portioned meals into dozens on containers on Instagram, it doesn’t need to be that complex.   By taking the perfection out of meal planning and prep, you’ll be able to be prepared for the week ahead of you.  When planning and prepping meals for the week, you want to ensure they hit three key points:

  1. They are balanced.  Meals contain a fruit or vegetable, a protein source, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  2. They contain enough food to keep you energized throughout the day.  Sometimes it’s better to overestimate your hunger than to not have enough or pack some extra snacks just in case it’s a hungrier day.
  3. They are practical for your environment and resources.  This involves having access to a fridge or microwave and where you will consume the food.  Food safety is key, so investing in a freezable lunchbox or ice pack is handy.

By using prepared foods and snacks, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more of your weekend relaxing.  While it sounds nice to make everything from scratch, for many of us that concept is a distant fantasy.  Try some of these simple solutions to make your busy life a bit less chaotic (and a little more nutritious too!).

#1 Premade sauces and marinades.  Barbeque sauce, pesto, Thai sauces, chimichurri, salsa, and tomato sauces can pack a flavorful punch and knock off a lot of time in the kitchen.  Use them to marinade tofu, chicken, steak or fish, to flavor rice, pasta or quinoa, or as a spread on your wrap.

Easy meal idea: Whole wheat wrap with pesto grilled chicken, tomato, greens and an extra drop of pesto on top.

#2 Salad kits.  In a pinch, these are perfect to have on hand for a quick dinner or lunch.  Trader Joe’s has a fairly large variety of salad kits that are full of crunchy veggies, toppings, and tangy dressings.

Easy meal idea: Throw together your favorite salad kit, toss in your favorite protein and cook up a side of whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, bulgur or farro for a complete meal.

#3 Rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies burgers, or pre-marinated tofu.  It’s Sunday night, it’s late and you have nothing for lunch tomorrow (and you really don’t want to buy another $20 skimpy salad).  Rotisserie chickens, frozen veggie burgers and pre-marinated tofus are available at most grocery stores, are packed with flavor and can be a game changer to your last minute meal prep.

Easy meal idea:  Cook up some brown rice and roasted cauliflower and make a grain bowl with the chicken, burger or tofu.  Top with any sauce from above (pesto or chimichurri sound good!).

#4 Store bought hummus or guacamole.  While these are better homemade, store bought can save you time to do other things (like catch up on the latest episode of 90 Day Fiance).  The week isn’t right without your favorite dips and spreads.

Easy meal idea: Try for a savory breakfast toasting an English muffin, topped with guac or hummus and some deli turkey.

#5 Pack the snacks to make a meal. Have nothing prepped and short on time?  Strategically packing snacks to make small meals can be helpful in a pinch.

Easy snack meal ideas: 1) yogurt + protein bar + fruit + handful of cereal, 2) carrots + peppers + guac + whole grain cracks + turkey, 3) cheese + pita + hummus + grapes + snap peas.

If you are looking for something a little more robust than a boring salad, try this easy fall kale and sweet potato salad, right in time the cooler weather and apple season.  This is one of my go-to favorite salads dressings throughout the year, swapping out the veggies I use season to season.

Fall Kale and Sweet Potato Salad

  • 1 bunch curly kale, chopped (~4 cups)
  • 1 cup cauliflower rice
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large sweet potato, cubed and roasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lines a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss cubed sweet potatoes with ~1 tbsp olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper.  Roast for ~30 minutes
  2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the salad.  Finely chop the kale and add it to a large bowl.  To the kale and the cauliflower rice (raw), chopped apples, and cherry tomatoes.
  3. In a small bowl make the dressing by combining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and salt and pepper as needed.  Adjust as needed to your preference.  Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are done, allow them to cool before added them to the salad.
  5. Top with any protein your choose (chicken, turkey, tofu, beans, burgers, etc).

Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownies (Vegan, Gluten Free, Bomb AF)

I remember looking at the food pyramid as a kid and being really upset that the tiny tip of the triangle was how much sweets I “should” be having.  I was rebellious and I never let that food pyramid stop me from my dessert.  As the carefree nature of kid wore away and my health-conscious mind took over I knew there had to be a way to have my cake and eat it too.

The internet is an amazing thing.  It introduced me to this idea of healthy baking that has been a passion of mine for the past 8 years.  Lots of trials and plenty of error have gone into baking the perfect black bean, vegan, dairy-free brownie.  While I am not personally vegan or dairy-free, I am a little selfless when I am baking and cooking.  I think about the people (you) reading this blog and what your needs may be when seeking recipes.  Many of my clients and followers keep kosher and dairy-free desserts are useful.  Other followers are looking for vegan or lower fat options, others may want more healthful ingredients.  Whatever you are looking for, these brownies will satisfy most dessert lovers (I say most because there are usually outliers, it’s the scientist in me).

Tip: never tell people they were made with black beans.  Put it on the table, say they are brownies (not a lie).  If they ask just say it’s a secret recipe.  If they don’t ask, don’t tell.  Keep it a secret.  I know you’ll get excited and want to say “did you like them? they are made with black beans!”.  People get weird about that stuff, I learned to just not share details and let people enjoy healthful treats.


  • 1 can black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp soy/almond/coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips + extra to sprinkle on top (dairy-free if needed)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 6 tbsp water


  1. Set oven to 350 degrees and oil or line a 9×9 baking dish.
  2. Grind flax seeds and combine into 6 tbsp of water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  This acts as the egg, adding fiber and healthy fats.
  3. In a food processor or high powered blender, add black beans, peanut butter, cacao powder, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, baking soda, milk, and flax egg.  Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
  4. Remove the blade and stir in the chocolate chips.  (If you need to transfer to a bowl and mix in, do not mix with the blade.
  5. Transfer to the baking dish, sprinkle some extra chocolate chips on top and bake in the oven for ~35 minutes.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before digging in.  They will be yummy and gooey.


Recipe: Cucumber and Tomato Pita Salad with Herb Baked Tofu

We still have a few warm days left a summer, chances are weeks.  While I love the chill of the fall, summer still lives to be one of my favorite times of the year.  During the summer, life is semi-carefree and the food some of my favorite (besides fall).  This is probably one of my last summer recipes and quite frankly one of my favorites.  I whipped this up for Labor Day last week and have found a new staple for warmer weather to come (or really any time of year you wish).


A simple cucumber and tomato salad with chunks of pita mixed in.  I really love panzanella salads, with chunks of Italian bread that soak up the flavor from the dressings and veggies.  Here I used pita as it went with the Mediterranian theme of this salad.  The only thing missing is tahini, so add it on if you must.

This tofu recipe is super easy and can go with almost any salad, it is pretty much my go when I have little time to prepare some healthy protein.  It is best to let it marinade for a little time, but if you don’t have the time it won’t hurt to throw this right in the oven.  I prefer fresh herbs but when I am in no mood to chop, which is most of the time, dried herbs still satisfies for flavor.  Feel free to mix up the herbs and experiment with your own combos.


For the salad:

  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 3 scallions, greens and whites chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pitas, torn into pieces
  • 4 cups of arugula

For the tofu:

  • 2 packs extra firm tofu, drained of excess water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil


  1. Set oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Cube up drained tofu and place in a medium mixing bowl.  In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, and basil.  Pour over the tofu and let it marinate for at least 5 minutes.  Place on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until your desired crispiness.
  2. Chop all the vegetables and place the cucumber, tomato, scallions, parsley, and arugula in a large salad bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Pour over the salad and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Toss in torn pita piece.  Serve with warm tofu and feel free to drizzle on fresh tahini.

Enjoy 🙂

Recipe: Citrus Farro Salad with Parsley, Mint and Radishes

I’ve been creating content for a nutrition workshop I am kicking off this weekend.  I was writing about whole grains when I thought up this farro salad (this is how my brain works).  I kept seeing radishes on everything and I never eat radishes like ever, but I thought maybe I will give this a try.

I never took a liking to radishes due to its bitterness, BUT I thought maybe with a nice citrus dressing they will be tasty.  I was pretty right on that point.  There are a variety of different types of radishes and for this dish, I used “Easter Egg Radishes”.  I was looking for watermelon radishes (they look dope) but found these instead and tried it out.

I also really hate food waste, like a lot (I thank my Professors at Columbia University for that!).  I even eat the core of my apples (no apples have ever grown in my stomach from this).  Most root vegetables like radishes, carrots, and beets have greens on top.  I’ve seen these chopped into salads or even carrot greens turned into pesto.  For this dish, I washed and chopped up the radish greens on top and added them to the salad.

This is part of my “try new foods instead of eating the same 5 veggies over and over again and listening to your own advice” experiment.  It worked and I now have a recipe with radishes I like and my (new) fiancé enjoyed as well.  We had this salad with grilled steak, cauliflower, and yellow squash for dinner.  This would be great with any meat, fish or tofu/tempeh you have or thrown on top of salad greens for lunch.


Yield: 4, 3/4 cup servings.

  • 1 cup farro
  • 4 cups vegetable/chicken/turkey stock/broth or water
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 radishes sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts


  1. On high heat, add whichever liquid you choose (I used turkey bone broth for extra nutrients and flavor) and farro to a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Drain and allow to cool slightly.
  2. While the farro is cooking, chop your onion, radishes, garlic, parsley, mint and radish greens (optional).
  3. To a large mixing bowl (large enough for the whole salad), add orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup and olive oil.  Flavor with salt and pepper.
  4. To the dressing, add in the chopped red onion, sliced radishes, parsley, mint, radish greens.  Let this sit until the farro is ready.
  5. When farro is done and cooled for about 15 minutes, add into the dressing and veggies mixture and allow this to chill in the fridge until cooled and then add the pine nuts (best toasted).  Add salt to taste, adding a pinch at a time.

I personally enjoy this much more cool than hot, but feel free to have it whichever way you prefer.  If you do make this be sure to tag me in a photo on Instagram @nutritionbygabby.

Meal Planning + Prep: Turkey Meatballs, Tahini & Basil Lemon Quinoa, Cruciferous Salad and Roasted Cauliflower


I recently launched my meal planning guide (click here to get it!).  While meal planning and prepping may seem overwhelming, this guide it breaks it down for you.  I’ll show you how I used this guide to plan and prep 4 days worth of dinner meals using a total of 2.5 hours of my time (including planning, purchasing, cooking, cleaning and storing).

STEP 1: How Many Meals?

Here I decided to make enough for 4 meals, planned for Monday-Thursday.  Planning and shopping were done Sunday and cooking was done Monday.  This works for my schedule.

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STEP 2: Choose Foods and Amount for Each Meal

I know my personal portion needs, so this is for me and is not generalized.  You may need more, you may need less.  I listed out all the foods, portions, and total amount needed.  The recipes for this are at the bottom of this post.

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STEP 3: The Extras

Here, I listed all the other ingredients needed for cooking such as oils, herbs, dressings, and spices.  I had all these, so I did not need to buy any.

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STEP 4: Make a list and go food shopping! 

The (not so) fun part, especially at Trader Joes on a Sunday.  I’m the type where if I don’t make a list, I miss one thing and get pissed about it.  For my salad, I really like the Cruciferous Crunch mix as it can hold the dressing well without getting wilted.

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Then its time to cook!  Check out the recipes below.  Make all or just make the ones you like.  I am listing the recipes in the order I made them as I shared some pans to make the prep clean up less cumbersome.

Turkey Meatballs

Yield: 8, 2-oz meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 cup shredded kale
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper


  1. Set oven to 350 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Place a medium saute pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add vegetable oil to the pan and then add the onion, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the kale and garlic until kale is completely wilted.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a metal bowl, add ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and kale mixture and thoroughly combine.
  4. Divide meat until 8 even balls using a 1/4 measuring cup and place evenly spaced on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.

Tahini & Basil Lemon Dressing (For salad and quinoa)

  • 4 cups greens (as noted, I enjoy kale or Cruciferous Crunch from Trader Joes as they hold well in the fridge)
  • 1/4 tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Whisk together the tahini, lemon, vinegar, maple syrup, water and olive oil.  Add in basil and garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve 1/4 cup for the quinoa and pour the remainder of the dressing over the greens.


  • 1 cup quinoa cooked (yield ~3 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of kale, shredded
  • 1/4 cup tahini & basil lemon dressing


  1. Cook quinoa as directed.
  2. Using the same saute pan from the meatball recipe, wipe it out and add 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the kale until the kale is completely wilted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Add the kale and onion mixture to the quinoa, along with the dressing.  Fold all the ingredients together.  Add salt and pepper as needed for desired taste.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Up the oven temp to 375 F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (I used the same as the meatballs with a new sheet of parchment).
  2. Combine cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Next, spread the cauliflower over the sheet pan.
  3. Place in the oven and cook for ~20-25 min, or until lightly browned.  If you like them more cooked leave in a little longer.

And that’s it! Protein, carbs, healthy fats and 2 veggies.  Four meals for you to chow down on throughout the week.  If you need to hold longer than 4 days, the quinoa and meatballs can be frozen and reheated (I don’t recommend anything else).

Recipe: Protein-Packed Banana Bread

I always have a few browning bananas in the bunch which either get frozen or thrown into some recipe.  This recipe worked, pretty well, to make a protein-pack banana bread.  The recipe uses egg white powder to amp up the protein factor and avocados to replace higher fat oils and butter.  Fiberful, healthy fats and heart carbs are also pulling strong in this bread.

While I do not always advocate my sweet treats to be protein packed, it is nice knowing I can have some cake for breakfast and be okay.  With the addition of the egg whites, this banana bread takes the texture somewhere mixed between a moist cakey bread and a fluffy sponge cake.  This makes for a nice hearty breakfast, snack or dessert.


Serving size: ~ 1-inch slice, 9-inch loaf pan


  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup mashed avocado
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup egg white powder
  • 1/2-3/4 chocolate chips or chunks.


  1. Set oven to 350 F.  In a medium bowl, mash bananas with avocado then add whole egg, vanilla extract, and milk.
  2. To the wet mixture, add oats, almond flour, baking soda, salt and egg white powder.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.  I prefer mixing 1/2 cup into the batter and saving 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top.
  4. Bake in a 9-inch loaf pan for 30-35 minutes.  Test by sticking a knife in the middle of the loaf and cook until a knife comes out dry.

Recipe: Gochujang Korean BBQ Sauce Chicken Tacos with Lime Slaw and Ginger Cucumber Salad

Things I don’t have time for anymore: meals made 100% from scratch + cleaning 50 pots and pans.  Even if I did, I really don’t want to.  After my trip to Cali full of tacos, I was ready to put my own spin on some pulled chicken tacos.  My boyfriend and I whipped up this meal together (along with firing up the grill, hanging out, cooking steaks, taking photos and setting the table) in about an hour.

The Gochujang BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, with very little heat (I am not the biggest heat fan, but I am not afraid of it).  I purchased mine at Whole Foods, but have seen several brands on Amazon and in a Korean BBQ sauce in Trader Joe’s.  If you cannot find this specific BBQ sauce, feel free to replace it with another flavor.  The slaw and cucumber salads are a must for these tacos, adding freshness, flavor, and crunch.  Feel free to ditch the tortilla (though I don’t recommend doing that) and have as a salad.  Mix it up as you like!


Yield: 10 tacos

For the chicken tacos:

  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup Gochujang BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 10 corn or flour tortillas

For the Slaw:

  • 4 cups purple and green cabbage mix
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the cucumber salad: 

  • 1.5 cups of cucumber slices
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinade chicken with 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce.  While the chicken marinates, prepare the salads. (feel free to marinade chicken overnight and throughout the day)
  2. For the slaw, combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss until the cabbage is completely coated.  For the cucumber salad, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until cucumber are completely coated.  Place both in the refrigerator until it is time to eat.
  3. Grill or bake chicken until completely cooked through.  A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees F.  Remove chicken from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  On a large cutting board, use two forks to behind to shred the chicken.
  4. Once the chicken is shredded, transfer to a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add chicken, remaining 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, and soy sauce.  Cook over heat for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Heat corn tortillas over a grill, in the oven or microwave just until soft.  Fill each taco with a generous serving of chicken, slaw and cucumber salad.  Enjoy every bite!

Recipe: Raspberry Lemon Oatmeal Bake

I love the combo of lemon and berries in baked goods.  My mom makes a lemon blueberry cornbread that is one of my favorites.  I created this out of wanting cake for breakfast, knowing well that I really shouldn’t eat cake for breakfast.  Adding Greek yogurt and eggs to the batter gives this breakfast treat a moist cake-like consistency while adding much-needed protein.  To eat, I add an extra scoop of Greek yogurt for extra AM protein.  Recommendations for protein for active individuals is around 0.4-0.55 g/kg/meal!

If you try this recipe tag me @nutritionbygabby


  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (~1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (~1 lemon)
  • 1/4 almond/soy/other milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz frozen raspberries


Heat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, combine all in the ingredients except the raspberries, thoroughly combine.  Add the raspberries and gently fold in until evenly distributed.  Transfer to a 9×9 lined or greased baking pan and place in the oven.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until slightly firm in the center.

Allow to cool and cut into 9 equal squares.  Enjoy!




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