Category Archives: Sandwiches/Wraps/Burritos, etc.

Kids LOVE Red Bell Peppers!

This week was all about red bell peppers. To be honest, every week is all about red bell peppers. The kids just love them. M’s lunchbox last year had raw red bell pepper strips on average 4 out of 5 days. We eat them raw, sauteed in a stir fry, grilled in fajitas, wrapped up in a tortilla, roasted in dips and spreads and the list goes on and on.

Bell peppers just happen to be one of hubby’s favorite foods as well. His favorite recipe growing up (and still to this day) is pepper steak. His mom makes an awesome recipe using red bell peppers instead of green.It’s a nice change and works so well. That recipe contains beef steak, but you can try it using tempeh or seitan instead…or just lots of meaty mushrooms.

Red Bell Peppers are incredibly high in Vitamin C. Just one cup has over 150% of your daily needs. Vitamin A and a few of the B’s are also found in decent amounts in these red beauties. Red Bells also have plenty of antioxidants and anti-cancer benefits.

Peppers of all kinds are super easy to grow at home. My green bells, jalapeno and banana peppers are all doing so great this year. I kept waiting and waiting for my red bells to appear. Upon closer inspection….I forgot to buy a red bell plant. UGH! No wonder they weren’t growing. ¬†ūüôā

Here is how we enjoyed our red bell peppers this week:

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta


The girls and I really liked this. ¬†Hubby and son thought it was just ok. ¬† The sauce is creamier than a tomato based sauce. ¬†You could always add a little veggie stock to thin it out if you like…or maybe just leave out the cornstarch. ¬†And, if you are in a time crunch, feel free to cheat and use roasted red peppers from a jar instead of charring your own.



Veggie Tortilla Rollups


I have made these several times, usually for an appetizer for a party.  They are always a hit!  They also make a great lunch for the littles.  Easy for little hands to pick up and a nice change from the everyday PB&J.



It also makes a great lunch for a grown up…just cut in half as a wrap instead of slicing into bite size pieces.



Stuffed Peppers




I replaced the hummus in this recipe with the leftover bean spread from the Veggie Tortilla Rollups (see recipe link above) and it was delicious. I’m sure the hummus would be great too, I just wanted to use up what we had. Little did I know I would be making hummus the next day anyway. ¬†ūüôā


I served it up with a side of fresh sweet corn bought at the famers market that morning. Can’t go wrong there! ¬†Kids and hubby all loved this as well!



Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


This is so easy. ¬†I just use my favorite hummus recipe and add a roasted red bell pepper (again, you can cheat and use jarred…I won’t tell!)

  • 1-2 ¬†garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ¬†sea salt
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor.  Hummus will thicken when refrigerated.  Enjoy with raw veggies, pretzels, crackers, pita chips or a spoon!


Is anyone growing red bell peppers in their garden?  How do you use them?  Share with me in the comments section!!







The Perfect Summer Lunch

This was my go-to sandwich last summer and I’ve been craving it again the last few weeks. ¬†I have made this numerous times and just can’t get enough. ¬†You can change out the veggies to please your palate. ¬†If you pre-cut your veggies when you get home from the grocery store, this will come together in seconds. ¬†And if not, it still only takes a few minutes. ¬†I find it flavorful enough that you don’t need any special spreads or dressing, but hummus would be a great addition. ¬†You could also add some mustard or vegan mayo if you wish. ¬†Proof that eating healthly can be quick, delicious and beautiful!

The Perfect Summer Veggie Sandwich

1/2 avocado, smashed or cut into thin slices

1/2 carrot, shredded or shaved

1/4 sweet red pepper, sliced thin

4 or 5 thin slices of cucumber

2 leaves of Bibb lettuce (or spinach or kale or romaine, etc)

2 slices Ezekial Whole Wheat Bread (or your bread of choice), toasted

Layer up the ingredients on one slice of bread and top with the other slice.  Serve with some delicous summer fruit on the side.  Enjoy!


Once the radishes in my garden are ready to harvest, I will be adding those to this sandwich as well.  This would be perfect for a picnic on the go too!


Today, I used the same veggie ingredients, but opted for a spinach tortilla instead of bread.  So yummy!!



Doesn’t that look gorgeous?! ¬†Delicious!





My New Favorite Black Bean Burger

I am always trying new burger recipes, but I find myelf consistenly going back to the same black bean burger recipe that uses vital wheat gluten because it just works so well. ¬†Well, I finely found one withOUT vital wheat gluten that stays together just as well (if not better) and was so delicious. ¬†They even look more like the hamburgers that your carnivore friends would love. ¬†I “fried” these up in my new non-stick pan (that I am soooo loving by the way…absolutely no oil necessary), but they hold together so well that I am betting they would be wonderful on the grill too.

Black Bean Pecan Burgers by Namely Mary


I did add a few splashes of liquid smoke to the ingredients…smoked paprika would work too. ¬†I just love that smoky flavor.


Looks like a real hamburger, right? ¬†I’m glad this recipe made a lot because 3 of the 5 of us went back for seconds. ¬†And, I packed one in M’s lunchbox today and the girls and I had them for lunch today here at home. ¬†Yum!


I topped mine high with mustard, veganaisse, lettuce, tomato and pickles. ¬†I was going to do avocado instead of veganaisse, but my avocados weren’t quite ripe yet.



Looks super yummy, don’t you think? ¬†They come together really quick, especially if you have leftover rice. ¬†Go make up a batch today! ¬†Enjoy!

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Vegan)

Growing up with Polish relatives, I am no stranger to Golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls).  Traditionally, cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef, white rice, tomato sauce (usually made from condensed tomato soup) and cheese.  They were seriously delicious!  As a kid, while I liked the cabbage okay, it was really the filling I craved.  I remember asking my mom to sometimes make only the filling because it was obviously much quicker without having to stuff and then bake the cabbage rolls.  Yum!

Once I started my own family and started to be more concerned about what we put into our bodies this is how I saw those cabbage rolls: ¬†saturated fat, simple carbs, chemicals and cholesterol. ¬†Ugh. ¬†The good news is that you CAN have your cabbage roll and eat it too. ¬†ūüôā

Over the years, I’ve tried several different recipes with nutritious filling, but the one I tried yesterday is by far is my favorite. ¬†My 5 year old unwrapped the cabbage roll and ate only the filling (that’s still a win in my book!), my two 2yr olds ate all of it ¬†and my hubby and I enjoyed every last bite as well.



Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Vegan)

This were super easy to make. ¬†The filling came together quickly and filling and rolling the cabbage is much easier than it seems. ¬†I didn’t even use toothpicks to hold them together. ¬†My leaves were big enough that I rolled them several times and placed them seam side down in the casserole dish.


I don’t even think I need to tell you how nutritious this lentil/quinoa/kale stuffing is, but if you need more convincing, here you go:

Lentils: high in fiber, folate, magnesium, iron and protein

Quinoa:  a complete protein, good source of heart healthy fats, high in folate, zinc and phosphorus

Kale:  very high in Vitamins K, A and C, anti-inflammatory and antioxident benefits

The cabbage itself is high in Vitamins K and C and also has anti-inflammatory and antioxident benefits. And the tomato sauce will give you Vitamins C and E and of course Lycopene.

From start to finish, this recipe is a nutritional powerhouse.


Polish or not, you will love these!  Enjoy!

Vegan “Egg” Salad Sandwich

Think following a plant based diet means you can’t have your egg salad sandwich? ¬†Think again! ¬†Crumbled tofu looks, feels and tastes just like crumbled hard boiled eggs. ¬†It is also sooooo much easier than boiling and peeling all those eggs! ¬†Dress it up with your favorite egg salad fixin’s like Veganaise (mayo), mustard, pickle relish, celery, etc. and you will never know the difference…I promise! ¬†I didn’t really measure anything when I made this, so measurements in the ingredient list below are approximations. ¬†If you really like mustard, then by all means use more..same with the mayo. ¬†Don’t like carrots or celery, leave them out, or swap them out ¬†for your favorites (radish, sweet peppers, green onion, cucumber…all would be good).


Vegan “Egg” Salad

  • 1 block firm tofu (make sure it’s non GMO), pressed* and crumbled
  • 3 tbsp Veganaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp pickle relish
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place first six ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Drizzle with red wine vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Mix again and enjoy!


I toasted up some Ezekial whole wheat bread, added a little extra Veganaise and mustard to the toast, piled on the “egg” salad and topped with tomato slices. ¬†Yum! ¬†This would be great as a snack with whole wheat crackers or stuffed in a pita.


Using tofu instead of eggs saves you more than 1/2 the calories and 2/3 of the fat and ALL of the cholesterol, but this salad is still high in protein and calcium.


Take a big bite and enjoy!!

*To press tofu: Place block of tofu on a paper towel lined plate.  Place several more paper towels on top of the tofu and set another plate on top of that.  Weigh down the top plate with something fairly heavy (I usually use a few bags of dried beans).  Leave it like that for at least 30 minutes.  Your tofu is now ready to use!

Pumpkin Enchiladas

When I first saw this recipe on My Whole Food Life, I KNEW I had to try it. ¬†It took me awhile to get around to making it, but I finally did and it was delicious! ¬†I love all things pumpkin, sweet and savory. ¬†This is a wonderful savory option. ¬†I took the easy way out and used canned pumpkin and canned diced tomatoes. ¬†I simply added everything to a pot and let it simmer away for about an hour to let all the flavors blend. ¬†I’ve even made similar “cheese” sauces before without first having soaked my cashews and they turn out just fine (if you have a high speed blender or food processor). ¬†So, if you want something quick and easy, this actually could be a good option if you take some shortcuts. ¬†I think it’s just as good!

Pumpkin Enchiladas


I used enchilada sauce on the bottom of my baking dish and again over the top of the enchiladas. ¬†I also drizzled some of the “cheese” sauce over the top of that. ¬†


I did like the addition of the pistachio dust, but I don’t think it was a make-it-or-break deal. ¬†These would be great without if you don’t have pistachios. ¬†Avocado would also be a nice addition.


Mexican Quinoa Burgers

Here’s an easy one for you that’s delicious too! ¬†I love a good burger and am always looking for new recipes to mix things up. ¬†Vegetarian and vegan burgers are really easy to change and adapt to create something new each time. ¬†We ate these Mexican Quinoa Burgers with no buns…just straight up with a little mustard/Veganaise combo on the side.

This is what they looked like before they were cooked.  You can see all the goodness in there!


And after:


Chock full of quinoa, black beans, peppers and onions, these hearty burgers are full of protein and vitamins!  Click HERE for the recipe.

I’m planning ahead for our Lucky New Year’s Day feast. ¬†Stay tuned for yummy recipes featuring black eyed peas, lentils, collard greens, and cornbread. ¬†I plan to have a great year!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

I was going to link to the recipe I used as a starting point for these enchiladas, but I changed them up so much that I decided to just post my own recipe instead.  The original recipe was meat free, but not vegan.  This recipe is a healthier dairy free version.

Speaking of healthy, you can’t go wrong with Butternut Squash. ¬†This winter squash is super high in Vitamin A, almost 300% of your daily value in just 1 cup. ¬†It also has almost 50% of your Vitamin C daily value. ¬†Potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin B6, magnesium and fiber are all in this orange beauty as well. ¬†Eat up!


I saw these tortillas when I was at Whole Foods the other day and they were miraculously on sale! ¬†I’ve been wanting to try the Engine 2 brand products, so I decided to give these a go. ¬†I was surprised how soft they were. ¬†I thought they would crack as soon as I tried rolling them up, but they didn’t. ¬†No funky ingredients in these babies, not even oil. ¬†They are low sodium and have 6 grams of protein per tortilla. ¬†Very impressed!


This filling would also be great served simply over brown rice with maybe some chopped tomatoes and avocado.


You can see all the wholesome goodness in those tortillas!


My kids loved these as well, especially my 5 year old who cleaned his plate and then requested leftovers in his lunchbox tomorrow.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas, serves 6

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10-12 oz enchilada sauce, your favorite or homemade
  • 6 large tortillas (I used Engine 2 Sprouted Ancient Grains Tortillas)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Daiya mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place cubed butternut squash and onion quarters on a large baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Roast for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

In food processor, pulse the squash and onion mixture a few times to chop the onion and break up the squash a bit. ¬†You don’t want to make this into a puree. ¬†In a medium mixing bowl, combine the squash and onion mixture with the black beans, corn, cumin and cinnamon.

Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9″x13″ baking dish. ¬† Place about 1/3 cup of filling onto each tortilla and roll up. ¬†Place seam side down in the baking dish. ¬†Continue until all tortillas are filled. ¬†Top with remaining enchilada sauce and the shredded cheese. ¬†Bake for 20-30 minutes until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melty. ¬†Let cool for 5 minutes.

Garnish with avocado slices.


So many great recipes!

Well, I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. ¬†It’s been a very busy few weeks, but I haven’t been neglecting my scrumptious meals. So, here are several to get your mouth watering.


Curried Quinoa and Wild Rice Savory Cakes

These little cakes were pretty good.  I served them with a non-dairy yogurt sauce alongside green peas and roasted carrots.  Easy peasy.


Southwestern Black Bean Salad and Creamy Coleslaw

I made the Black Bean Salad and used it as a taco filling.  I topped the tacos with a little vegan sour cream and served them in tortillas.  Alongside, I made the coleslaw, which could not have been easier.  Really yummy!!


Stuffed Pepper Enchiladas

These were great! ¬†And what a great idea to stuff peppers with enchilada filling for a hearty low carb dinner. ¬†I swapped out the zucchini for corn and I used actual dairy cheese….gasp! ¬†I had some in the deli drawer because….well, there is no good excuse really….but since you know better, you will use Daiya shreds or better yet, just top it with some creamy avocado slices and you likely won’t miss the cheese anyway!

IMG_6914 IMG_6915 IMG_6916 IMG_6918

Chickpea Pesto Sandwich

I made this sandwich for lunch today after reading EVERY SINGLE blog post from Thug Kitchen. ¬†He put his sandwich filling between two slices of bread, but I chose to wrap it up in a spinach tortilla with tomato slices fresh from the garden. ¬†I have recently discovered Thug Kitchen and am in love with this blog. ¬†Not only does he post wonderful whole food plant based vegan recipes, but he is HILARIOUS as well. ¬†He uses some choice language, but it’s all in good fun….and in good health! ¬†Check it out and once you stop laughing, go make some of his delicious recipes.

IMG_6920 IMG_6921 IMG_6923


Maple Banana Bread Muffins

Delicious!  These were a huge hit with the kids too!

IMG_6847 IMG_6848 IMG_6849

Peach Almond Smoothie

I have been drinking this as I write this post. ¬†I don’t have a pic because I was too busy slurping it down, but trust me, it’s great!

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Handful of ice cubes

Blend well and enjoy!

More Lunchbox Inspiration¬†(*Disclaimer, I don’t guarantee that lunches are 100% vegan)


Whole wheat bagel w/ peanut butter and fig jelly on one…peanut butter and strawberry jelly on the other, string cheese, orange and red bell pepper slices, cubed cantaloupe and 3 small cinnamon shortbread cookies.


A2Z muffin (from My Beef With Meat), orange slices, green peas and cubed cantaloupe.  I think I served this alongside a small thermos of leftover pasta marinara.


Spinach tortilla rollups with turkey slices, cheese and bell peppers, raspberries and blueberries, wheat thins, pickle spear (in parchment paper) and cinnamon shortbread cookies.


Almond butter and banana sandwich on sprouted rye bread, sugar snap peas, red and yellow bell pepper slices, raspberries and blueberries.


Cinnamon raisin bagel, string cheese, leftover Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salad (see above post), nectarine slices and a few chocolate chips.


Almond butter on a cinnamon raisin english muffin, strawberries, cantaloupe, cucumber slices and a small piece of dark chocolate.


So, I have a confession to make….I haven’t been keeping up very well with my 30 Day Plank Challenge. ¬†I think I got to day 20 and then missed a few days. ¬†I have been running about 2-4 miles 3 days a week, walking 3-4 miles about twice a week and usually once a week I do a TaeBo DVD and full body circuit or tabata workout that I find on Pinterest. ¬†Sometimes, I do those workouts on the days that I walk, so I still generally have 1-2 rest days as well. ¬†But, I would still like to get back to my plank challenge. ¬†So, I think I will just pick up with day 20 today and finish it out from here. ¬†3 minutes is a LONG time to hold a plank and I found I just couldn’t do it the whole time. So, when I felt like I couldn’t hold it for a second longer, I would push up into downward dog for about 5 seconds and then drop back to plank and continue. ¬†That worked out to about 2-3 downward dogs in a 3 minute span.

Happy Monday!

Veggies, veggies and more veggies


I had intended to make hot cereal with farro, but when I looked in my pantry I only had about 1/4 cup left…not enough for me and the kids too. ¬†So, I opted for quinoa instead. ¬†Quinoa is considered a superfood…learn more about it here. ¬†It’s a seed, not a grain (though it’s used like one), is gluten free, high in protein (a complete protein, in fact) and low in calories. ¬† I cooked 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. ¬†Once all the water was absorbed, I added enough unsweetened unflavored soy milk to give it a creamy consistency, 1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries (I got these from the farm just down the street from us….they are known for their strawberries….so good!), cinnamon and some chopped pecans for crunch.



Our garden is overflowing with tomatoes these days and I picked up ¬†some avocados at the grocery store this weekend. ¬†I can think of nothing better on a sandwich than tomato and avocado…and a little vegan mayo. ¬†I also added some of the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from the other day cause I still had a bit left. ¬†Put it all on toasted Sprouted Sesame bread. ¬†Delish!!!



I have been craving veggies lately. ¬†We eat a lot of veggies every day, but they are usually cooked into stirfrys, casseroles, pasta sauces, burgers, risottos, etc. ¬†I just wanted to eat some veggies….unadulterated veggies! ¬†So, tonight, we started with a big healthy salad. ¬†This Pea and Sunflower Seed Salad. ¬†I left out the bacon because I didn’t have any…it was not missed. ¬†This salad was soooo good. ¬†It is reminiscent of the Layered Pea Salads I remember from my childhood. ¬†I always loved this salad…the one with lettuce, cheese, bacon and green peas in a creamy dressing. ¬†Most of the kids passed this salad right on by, but I loved it! ¬†This is the healthy version (well, the dressing is made with mayo…vegan mayo…but still it’s mayo). ¬†Then we loaded our plates with huge baked potatoes, corn on the cob from the local farm down the street and fresh green beans. ¬†I used only a tiny bit of Earth Balance spread on my corn and sprinkled some Nutritional Yeast on my baked potato, but other than that, they were just pure, fresh, wonderful veggies! ¬†YUM! ¬†I think I might go back for seconds on that salad as soon as I’m done typing this.

ImageI even broke out my super heavy glass bowl so you could see the beautiful layers.

ImageHere it is all tossed up in the bowl it’s currently being stored in. ¬† I kept the dressing separate so it doesn’t get mushy.

ImageImageThe creamy vegan dressing.



3.14 mile run on the treadmill

Rest day for the 30 Day Squat Challenge