muddy footsteps

Superfood Salad with lemon vinaigrette

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Protein by nicolejanaye on May 17, 2013

fooooodSuperfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This seems to be the perfect dish to bring to a BBQ, picnic, or just serve as part of your dinner. It’s light but filling, loaded with health benefits like protein/fats/vitamins, and is simple to make. The lemon vinaigrette is the perfect touch to bring all the flavors together. Get your grains soaking and start making this tonight!

*Follow Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats at for amazing recipes just like this one that she came up with! Thanks Kristin!!


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 orange, peeled, and segments chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper

For the lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 TBS sweetener (honey, agave…)
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil


  1. Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Once soaked, rinse quinoa extremely thoroughly!
  2. Heat up a dash of oil in a pot and add quinoa. Let the quinoa toast for 2 minutes, then add 2 cups of water and bring to a rapid bowl. Once a boil has been reached, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let sit for 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is done cooking, take a fork to the quinoa and fluff it. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the lemon vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top. Mix, serve, and enjoy!

*If you don’t have pomegranate arils, you can replace them with chopped strawberries, watermelon, or even jicama!



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Roasted Chipotle Pepper Cobs

Posted in dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Photography, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on September 24, 2012


I recently got an abundance of local produce. I try to incorporate different cooking methods with my ingredients so that I have a large variety of meals that I can eat throughout the week. I strongly believe the importance of consuming raw vegetables and fruits because of their nutritional stats and health benefits. Because of this, I try and juice at least once a day to ensure that I receive plenty of enzymes to keep my body running in tip top order! But I also realize that roasting vegetables brings out so much flavor and can transform a dish from bland to mouthwatering. Cauliflower, broccoli, red onion, and asparagus are my favorite vegetables to coat in coconut oil and roast in the oven. It’s an amazing dish to add to a diet/lifestyle, but this shouldn’t be your only method of consuming vegetables. The third method of cooking I tend to use a lot is steaming. Broccoli, green beans and artichokes tend to find their way into the steamer in my kitchen. Health wise it’s more beneficial than zapping in the microwave or roasting in the oven. I tend to steam vegetables if I’m eating them with other ingredient as one meal. For instance, my Buddha bowl would incorporate steamed vegetables, quinoa, and baked tofu. I mix it all together and place in a bowl. I tend to roast vegetables when I eat them alongside other ingredients. But it’s all your own taste! As long as you incorporate raw/cooked vegetables into your diet/lifestyle, it doesn’t really matter which way you eat it.

It’s funny to me that I write about vegetables when I’m posting a recipe on roasted corn. I guess it’s a vegetable but honestly I look at it as a starch and eat it as a carbohydrate. Either way, these roasted cobs are mouthwatering and need to be the next thing you make.

-smoked bourbon sea salt (plain sea salt will work also)
-roasted chipotle peppers (I prefer to roast my own, but you can buy them)
-garlic cloves
-coconut oil
-salt & pepper
-garlic & onion powder
-red chili flakes


1. Stick two cobs (with husk on) in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Remove from the microwave and slice off the butt of the cob. Make a slice in the side of the husk and peel off completely.

3. Cut each cob in half and place in a large bowl.
4. Mix the rest of your ingredients together, then coat and rub down your cobs.
5. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast for 30 minutes at 400.

These roasted cobs would be incredible with a creamy dip alongside. I would recommend some kind of dairy/tofu/soy based cooling dip. These suckers are spicy so the creamy sauce will pair perfectly on your taste buds! Personally, I would make a dip with tofu as the base. Play with your ingredients and see if you can come up with the perfect sauce.


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Baked Tofu

Posted in Breakfast, dinner, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on September 23, 2012

20120923-115644.jpgI used to work at a coffee shop & café when I lived further down south. We made breakfast and lunch with food items ranging from egg sandwiches on croissants, a variety of salads, apple chicken sandwiches, chili, and quesadillas. We had a great selection of meals, but one of the greatest things that interested me when I first applied there was the incorporation of vegetarian and vegan meals. Their vegan chili was excellent, hearty, and could please even the regular meat-eater. The veggie sandwiches were loaded with sprouts, spreads, cucumbers, avocado, and the rest of the garden vegetables you could think up. However, there were two dishes in particular that caught my eye. The baked tofu sandwich, and baked tofu salad were staring me straight at me. I think the idea of this foreign, white, spongy ingredient scares most people (rightfully so), but if you know how to play with the ingredients in the right combination and the correct cooking methods then you found yourself a winner.

It’s been about a year since I’ve worked there, but I’ll go in to order the salad or sandwich every once in a while so I can enjoy those meaty tofu slabs.

Servings: 24 tofu slices

-2 packages of medium firm tofu
-3 Tbs balsamic glaze
-3 Tbs liquid aminos (soy sauce works if you don’t have liquid aminos)
-2 tsp teriyaki ginger rub (combination of garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce powder, chiles, spices, and sea salt)
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp coconut oil

1. TOFU WILL NEED TO MARINADE FOR 8+ HOURS, so keep this in mind when you decide to make the recipe. I like to marinade at night so that it’s ready to bake in the morning.
2. Completely drain all liquid from tofu, press in between towel or paper towels to push more of the excess liquid out.
3. Slice each tofu block into 12 slices (slice with your knife parallel to the shorter side of the tofu).
4. Mix all ingredients, except tofu, in a bowl and then pour into a flat dish (You will be marinading your tofu in this overnight so make sure the dish is a suitable size to allow all pieces of tofu to be coated).
5. Place tofu slices into marinade and let sit in the fridge, covered, for overnight or up to 8 hours. (The longer it sits, the more flavor it absorbs. Also, the more liquid pressed out in the beginning of the directions, the more flavor the tofu will be able to absorb as well.)
6. Once completely marinaded, lay the slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.



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Garden Crustless Quiche

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on August 1, 2012

I’ve been on a spree of making these quiches lately. The cost, efficiency, and nutritional content of these suckers make them undeniably one of my favorite recipes. Once you get the basic idea and recipe down, you’ll have a bounty of ways to change up the flavors simply by altering the ingredients to what you have in the kitchen. Well that’s pretty much my take on these ‘egg baskets’ (what my dad likes to call them), use whatever ingredients you have in your house.




Garden Crustless Quiche

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 stalks kale; stripped from the stem and chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 zucchini; chopped
  • 1 Tbs pine nuts
  • Spices: Salt/Pepper, curry powder, cumin, red chilli pepper, and garlic powder
  • Coconut oil (*substitute-butter or earth balance)
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450.
  2. Take the coconut oil and rub the inside of a muffin pan so that the quiches slide out after they are done cooking.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Scoop out equal portions into the muffin pan.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes (this time may be different depending on the size of your pan-mine was a medium pan)

And that’s it! Just some of the reasons why I love these so much: Inexpensive, easy to make, nutritious, portable, delicious, the variety of flavors are endless, and anyone can make them! You can also sprinkle feta or your favorite cheese on top during the last 5 minutes of cooking.


Stay posted on the blog for the recipes for these beauties…

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Grilled Romaine Salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 27, 2012

Sometimes you just got to mix things up.

A full, raw salad just wouldn’t suffice for today’s palate. I’ve been to a few restaurants and ordered this kind of salad before and it’s a great change in flavor and texture. It’s very simple to make and with just a few key ingredients, you can transform a boring piece of lettuce into an incredible meal.

I’ll admit that I like salads loaded with ingredients from fish to strawberries, but a salad with few ingredients packed with flavor can be just as enjoyable. For this salad I whipped up a Dijon vinaigrette to drizzle on top. You can go many ways with a dressing, but the kick from the mustard seemed like a good fit.

Dijon vinaigrette

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

As for the remainder of the toppings, I used avocado, fresh basil, chopped pistachios, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. To prepare the romaine, you want to slice it in half. Brush olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the grill and cook until the leaves begin to brown and caramelize. Assemble the ingredients on top of the grilled romaine and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Enjoy!

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Veggie tacos with black bean and corn salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 17, 2012

This past weekend my aunt whipped together this incredible dinner that had me going back for seconds. It was simple, easy, and delicious. The plan was to originally have fish tacos, but after cooking the fish we decided to toss it out. I don’t think it was the freshest batch at the store. So instead of fish, she grilled up zucchini, sauteed some onions, and sliced up avocado and tomatoes. The tortillas were an artisan brand that were handmade by a lady from the store. You can taste the difference, it was so much better. I topped my tacos off with some salsa and tapatio to give it a spicy kick. Along side was the famous black bean and corn salad. You would think it’s just a plain jane side salad, but it actually had a ton of flavor and the lime dressing with cayenne and garlic gave it a freshness with a kick.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • hot sauce (add to your liking)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 avocados- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed. In a salad bowl combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onions, mangoes, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetable and beans with dressing, and serve.

*I got this recipe from my aunt who found it on the internet, so this is not my own creation. Also, the recipe yields a very large portion. I would half or even quarter the recipe if you are making this for one-two people.

Spaghetti squash and easy snacks for kids.

Posted in Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on January 21, 2012

I’m trying to get back into the blogging scene.

Instagram swept me off my feet. I was hooked from the first moment I laid eyes on him. We jumped the gun and tied the knot at the classy Vegas side strip. It’s been complete bliss since then, but I feel he is lacking some content. Maybe it’s the miscommunication, or the fact that one picture in his deep, brown eyes just aren’t enough for me. I need more.

Alright, enough of the goofiness. Truth be told, I got called out. I haven’t been the best at updating the blog and some friends of mine have noticed. (Yes, you Bre 😀 ) I’m here for the readers, to show some great food and tell you all about it.

For starters, here is what I came up with today. It’s simple, healthy and very tasty. The ingredients are minimal and it fills a craving that many people have. Spaghetti squash has a similar look to pasta and is easily replicable to any spaghetti dish. Whether you smear it with marinara, top it with pesto or simply add olive oil and salt to your dish, it’s going to taste great.


  • Spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place the cut-side down on a baking sheet and fill the sheet with water until it rises 1 inch on the squash.
  3. Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.
  4. Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to remove the ‘spaghetti’.
  5. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss until the ‘spaghetti’ is completely coated.

Along with the spaghetti squash, a vegetable wrap and glass of cranberry kombucha made its way to my kitchen table. Ezekiel has a wonderful brand of sprouted bread and wraps that they have created. They aren’t gluten-free but they do have a great list of ingredients in them that not only provides that satisfying carb craving, but is equally healthy for your stomach. If I’m on the go and in a hurry, I’ll slap some hummus and chia seeds on a wrap, fold it up and stuff it in a lunch box with some carrots and walnuts. Before I head to the gym, I’ll smear some almond butter on one side and roll it up. It’s great for kids, easy to eat and tastes great. Tofutti cream cheese or smart balance butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon and ginger is another great idea for a spread when you are thinking of snack ideas for kids.

A squirt of lemon.

Posted in Food & Recipes, Health/Nutrition, lunch, Uncategorized by nicolejanaye on January 16, 2012

It’s mid-way through January and finally feeling like winter. The sky is painted grey and a fuzzy green scarf has snaked its way around my neck. The past few days have been some of my laziest. I’ve finished three books, slept ten+ hours per night, and have been in the company of a crackling fire.

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean soup and hot chocolate are the only things making way to my table. I’ve been keeping up the juicing, getting back to green smoothies and making sure to add veggies to nearly every meal throughout the day. Kale, an incredible superfood that seems to have sparked a creative fire to many health conscious foodies as well as your everyday cook, made its way to my kitchen. Its abundance in vitamins, ability to adapt to many recipes, and its availability in farmers markets and supermarkets make it an excellent addition to any diet.

Some people might have difficulty with the texture and bitterness of the green. Fortunately there is a way to remove the bitterness and add a little flavor without heating and destroying the nutrients it contains. While preparing the kale, stripping it of its leaves, and rinsing the dirt from it, try adding citrus and a sprinkle of sea salt. Massage the kale with its seasongings for a few minutes. The combination of the ingredients seems to ‘cook’ the greens without actually heating them. The bitterness is removed and the fibrous texture is gone. Not only does it become a better product, but the vitamin C in the citrus fruit allows your body to absorb more of the iron in the kale. This goes for all iron-rich, dark, leafy greens. So the next time you make a meal with spinach, kale or another green make sure you’re adding your vitamin C to give your body a boost. It’s not just lemon, grapefruit and oranges that have vitamin C, but bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli provide an adequate amount of vitamin C as well.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to push the fresh produce behind. Be creative and switch things up with a light, spring salad. Don’t forget a squirt of lemon. 

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My Perfect Veggie Burger

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on October 26, 2011

Today marks ‘Day One’ of better time management. I came home from school today heading straight for my room to clear all the clutter, do laundry, and clean up the bathroom. Down to the kitchen to grab a spoonful of almond butter. Eating a bit of healthy fats gives me an extra push to keep my body moving. I know fats are great and essential for our bodies, but you should take that natural energy it provides and put it to good use. My goal was to add this incredible, delicious recipe on the blog and then suit up in gym gear and get some serious sweating on.

I have a fairly decent list of food bloggers that I choose to follow. Some I follow because their page is an absolute inspiration and their photos are magnificent in a way that you crave to have them printed and mounted on your wall. They write with such beauty that you would assume they’re coming out with a novel in the coming months. Regardless of the look of some blogs, these ladies or gentlemen create mouth-watering recipes that are not only healthy but unique and tasty. I do admit that not all the blogs I follow are vegan, or vegetarian for that matter. But for the reason I initially mentioned, their blogs are beautiful and the work they portray is what inspires me to keep pushing towards my future.

One of the bloggers that I have been following for quite some time is Angela Liddon at OhSheGlows . She writes a healthy vegan blog where she not only gives the reader recipe updates almost everyday, but talks about the struggles she went through in the past, how she overcame them, and the wonderful events she keeps active in her life today. It’s not surprising when you check on her website throughout the week and see a complete new set of blog posts as well as numerous recipes that she has been concocting in her kitchen. These recipes are good. They are healthy. They make you feel satisfied and can please both vegans and non-vegans alone. Angela knows what she is doing.

One dish that I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time now was veggie burgers. As you can see on her post, Our Perfect Veggie Burger, Angela and her husband are fairly picky on what is in the burgers, the texture, the taste and different ways of cooking them. Like I said, she has it down.

My moms birthday gave me a great excuse to get in the kitchen and get these burgers flipping! I showed my mom Angela’s website a while back and her veggie burgers stood out to both of us. My mom has been kicking and screaming asking me nicely to make the burgers. Finally the day was here and I headed to Henry’s to grab some extra ingredients that I needed. I altered Angela’s recipe just a bit because my mom has celiac disease, leaving her unable to process and consume gluten. Not only did I adjust the breadcrumbs but I changed up the flour as well. I had oats at home, but no processor to grind them into flour. For some reason, I couldn’t find gluten-free oat flour at the store so I took an alternative, garbanzo bean flour. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s higher in protein than the oat flour. I was just hoping it would provide the same texture in the burgers. I also made sweet potato and regular potato frieds to pair with the burger.

I graciously thank Angela for creating a wonderful veggie burger recipe to inspire me to make these gluten-free veggie burgers for my family and I. Thanks Angela! This is her recipe, I just made a couple tweaks to fit my dietary needs. You can find what her burgers look like at her website.

Yields: 8 burgers


  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt & black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Tamari (soy sauce) ; gluten-free
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
  • 1/4 cup parsley; chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds; toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds; toasted
  • 1/2 cup onion; diced
  • 1 cup carrots; grated
  • 1 cup black beans; cooked, rinsed, and mashed
  • 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free bagel chips. I used Glutino GF bagel chips, orignal flavor. I poured them into a zip lock bag and smashed them with a large pot. You can use a rolling-pin as well. This mixture will replace the breadcrumbs in the original recipe


1. In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.

3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. I made 8 medium patties.

4. Heat up the other 1/2 tbsp of EVOO in your skillet. Cook the burgers 5 minutes on each side.

The last bit is up to your imagination. Build your better burger with a variety of ingredients. I added lettuce, tomato, hummus, and mustard to my veggie burger and topped it off with gluten-free buns. I sautéed the buns in garlic ‘butter’ . Mix Smart Balance butter with diced garlic and microwave for 30 seconds. Rub this mixture on the buns and drop into a skillet. Heat up until the buns have turned a golden color. Serve this at your next BBQ and impress all your friends at how tasty a healthy burger can be!

Sprouted Veggie Wraps

Posted in Food & Recipes, lunch by nicolejanaye on September 30, 2011

I’m laying in bed right now, letting round two of these incredible sprouted veggie wraps digest in my stomach. Once I feel the stomach is ready for some intermediate action, then I’ll clip on my reflector belt, slip on my running shoes and hit the hills hard.

Since returning from Italy, I haven’t signed up for a gym membership yet. I checked out one the other day right around the corner from my house that looks promising. I’m not too picky when it comes to gyms. I’ve been a member at high-end clubs, and as much as I can agree that they are nice, I don’t need it all.

In the meantime of getting back into shape without keeping to the indoors, I’ve been doing a lot of running, especially night running. My days are filled with school and work and running at night has been fitting in perfectly with my schedule. I tend to have plenty of energy, it’s cool outside, and it ends my day on a positive note. No matter what day I went through, the people I encountered, or anything negative that could come my way, night runs always make me feel great.

Earlier today two of my good friends came over to catch up. We walked to the local Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to grab some drinks and hang out for a while. After a few hours of catching up, they headed home and I headed to the grocery store. I saw a photo of a veggie wrap in Jamba Juice when we walked by that inspired me to get creative with lunch and break out from my traditional salads.

I threw on my backpack and peddled my way to Henry’s. I grabbed Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, not necessarily for this meal, but I needed it for other dishes and drinks I use in the kitchen. Alfalfa Sprouts found their way into my bag as well. I was searching in the ‘Wrap’ department and nothing stood out to me. All the Multi-grain claims, and high-fiber wraps are a complete scam in nutritional terms. If you flip those suckers over and read the long list of ingredients, you’re bound to find they aren’t quite what they claim, and you might recognize only half the ingredients. Save your money for high quality ingredients that will fill you up with the right nutrients.

I assumed their must be something better than these wraps. I headed into the freezer section and found Ezekiel Sprouted wraps! Amazing and exactly what I was looking for. Not only is the list of ingredients minimal, but they are all organic and raw. Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Unhulled Sesame Seeds, Organic Sprouted Whole Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Whole Barley, Organic Sprouted Whole Millet, Organic Sprouted Whole Lentils, Organic Sprouted Whole Spelt, Sea Salt. You can’t get much better than that when it comes to a store-bought wrap.

So these wraps were the big staple to today’s lunch and dinner. I stuffed them with: hummus, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, red and orange bell peppers, spinach, lentils, quinoa, black pepper and a dash of kosher salt. For a thin sauce, I mixed yellow mustard, raw apple cider vinegar, black pepper, cumin, curry and cayenne. I drizzled it throughout the wrap and gobbled it all down.

These will definitely find their way into my lunches throughout the week. I can make them the night before, wrap them in parchment paper, cut them down the middle and have a filling, healthy main course for lunch.

 What kind of wraps do you like to use? Try buying wraps that have a minimal amount of ingredients for a healthier dish.

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