Happy Sunday. Today I’m so excited that Neda Varbanova from @healthywithnedi is BACK!
A little backstory: When I first met Neda she was at Cipriani in New York City eating a cucumber salad, ahi tuna, & enjoying a few Nedi Martinis ( head to this post for the recipe ). It was so random- we ran into each other after following each other on Instagram. Instantly we became fast friends. Sure, she’s BEAUTIFUL! But she’s also really fucking cool too.
So cool that she even just launched a cardigan in collaboration with Raffi- it’s called The Nedi. & let me tell you it’s so good, I can’t even deal. It’s kind of like a sweater-jacket type peice that everyone needs in their wardrobe.
I have it in black & it’s just perfect to take with you if you’re traveling this winter. But it’s also perfect for lounging at home. Or going out shopping. Or meeting friends for cocktails- like, you could literally wear it anywhere.
ANYWAY, Nedi is on The Skinny Confidential today to share her favorite fall recipes that are EASY. These are my kind of recipes- think apple cinnamon loaf, paleo pumpkin donuts ( WITH icing ), gluten-free turkey meatballs & a green goddess quinoa salad. YUM.
With out further ado, let’s welcome Neda back to the blog.
Green Goddess Quinoa Salad
This green salad with quinoa is absolutely to die for. I love a good, fresh salad with lots of veggies in it. I came up with this recipe when I was visiting my grandma in Greece this summer. I had a craving for something green, so I went to the local market to pick out vegetables. I got what they had in season at the time. This salad is extremely adaptable & can be made with whatever veggies you like. It can be served on its own or as a side to grilled chicken or halibut. ( Serves 6 ).
♡ 1 cup quinoa
♡ 1 bunch asparagus, steamed and cut into 2-inch pieces
♡ 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
♡ 1 zucchini, grated
♡ 2 cups baby spinach
♡ 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
♡ 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
♡ 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
For the Dressing:
♡ 1 lime, juiced
♡ ½ cup water
♡ 1 cup basil leaves
♡ ¼ cup Greek yogurt or unsweetened coconut yogurt
♡ ½ avocado
♡ sea salt to taste
+ STEP 1. Cook quinoa as per box directions & set aside to cool. To save time, prepare the quinoa the day before.
+ STEP 2. In a large mixing bowl, add the steamed asparagus, steamed broccoli, grated zucchini, baby spinach, cucumbers, scallions & cherry tomatoes. Toss well.
+ STEP 3. Add all of the ingredients for the salad dressing to a food processor & pulse until well combined. Pour over the salad, mix well & serve!
Gluten-Free Turkey Meatballs
These turkey meatballs make the perfect appetizer or topping to a salad or pasta. They are light & juicy. The vegetables add extra antioxidants & fiber. They are gluten & dairy free, great for those with allergies. ( Makes 35 meatballs ).
♡ 1 zucchini, chopped
♡ ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
♡ 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped
♡ 1 garlic clove
♡ 1 tbsp chives, chopped
♡ 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
♡ ¼ tsp turmeric
♡ ½ tsp black pepper
♡ 1 tsp sea salt
♡ ¼ cup almond meal
♡ 1 pound organic lean ground turkey
♡ 1 egg
♡ cherry tomatoes
+ STEP 1. Preheat oven to 375 F or to 190 C.
+ STEP 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
+ STEP 3. Place the zucchini, bell pepper, jalapeño & garlic in a food processor. Pulse until they break into small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients & pulse until well combined.
+ STEP 4. Using a cookie scooper, scoop out the meat & place the meatball on parchment paper. Repeat until the mixture is finished.
+ STEP 5. Bake for 15 minutes then take out of the oven. Top the meatballs with shredded mozzarella cheese & place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt.
+ STEP 6. Serve in a serving dish that is lined with tomato sauce. Top meatballs with cherry tomatoes & enjoy.
Nedi’s Tip: The meatballs can be frozen after they have cooled & stored in freezer for up to 3 months.
Paleo Pumpkin Donuts
I used to love donuts when I was a little girl & completely cut them out of my diet when I began my health journey. The best thing about following a healthy lifestyle is that I get to recreate recipes & make them with a healthier twist. These paleo donuts are free from gluten, dairy, & refined sugar. I used monk fruit sweetener in place of sugar to keep the sugar low. Monk fruit sweetener matches the sweetness of sugar, helping you fill your kitchen with a healthy cup-for-cup alternative to ordinary baking & cooking ingredients. ( Makes 6 donuts ).
♡ 1 ¼ cup sifted almond flour
♡ 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
♡ ½ tsp baking powder
♡ ¼ tsp baking soda
♡ 1 tbsp chia seeds
♡ 2 tbsp chocolate chips
♡ 2 tbsp monkfruit sweetener
♡ 2 eggs
♡ 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
♡ 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
♡ 2 tbsp almond milk
♡ pinch of salt
For The Glaze:
♡ ½ cup Sukrin Icing sugar
♡ ½ tsp cinnamon
♡ 2 tbsp almond milk
+ STEP 1. Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.
+ STEP 2. In a large bowl sift the almond flour using a fine mesh strainer. Add in the rest of the ingredients & mix until well combined.
+ STEP 3. Lightly grease the donut molds with cooking spray. Pour in the mixture evenly into the forms.
+ STEP 4. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
+ STEP 5. Set the donuts aside to cool for 15-20 minutes.
+ STEP 6. Combine the powdered sugar, cinnamon & almond milk. Mix well, add more almond milk if needed. Dip the donuts in the mix on one side & place on a cooling rack.
Apple Cinnamon Bread
This homemade apple cinnamon bread is the ultimate comforting dessert for fall. I chose to make this recipe with monkfruit sweetener to keep the glycemic index low. If you don’t have monk fruit at home, honey or coconut sugar can be used as well. Serve this apple bread with a cup of your favorite tea & enjoy freshly baked out of the oven. It can be stored on the counter for two days or in the fridge for five days. The bread can also be frozen & stored in the freezer for three months. Make sure to let it cool completely, place in a Ziplock bag & in the freezer. ( Serves 8 )
♡ ¼ cup Swoon liquid monkfruit or honey
♡ ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
♡ ¼ cup organic almond milk
♡ 2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
♡ 2 eggs
♡ 1 tbsp vanilla extract
♡ 1 large organic apple, chopped
♡ ¼ cup cranberries
♡ 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
♡ ¼ cup monkfruit sweetener
♡ 2 cups almond flour
♡ 1 tsp baking powder
♡ 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
♡ 4 tbsp monkfruit sweetener
♡ 1 tsp cinnamon
♡ ¼ cup almond meal
♡ ½ cup chopped walnuts
♡ 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
For The Glaze:
♡ ½ cup Swerve powdered sweetener
♡ 1 tbsp organic almond milk
♡ 1 tbsp Swoon liquid monkfruit or honey
+ STEP 1. Preheat oven to 350 F or 160 C. Lightly spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray & set aside.
+ STEP 2. In a mixing bowl, add the liquid monk fruit, coconut oil, almond milk, coconut butter, eggs, & vanilla extract. Whisk with a fork.
+ STEP 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the chopped apple, cranberries, cinnamon, monk fruit, almond flour, baking powder & walnut.
+ STEP 4. Scoop the batter into the loaf pan & spread the crumb toppings on top.
+ STEP 5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the loaf pan.
+ STEP 6. In a small bowl, whisk together the powder sweetener, almond milk & honey ( or monk fruit sweetener ). Drizzle the glaze over the loaf & let it set. Remove the loaf from the pan & slice.
Can’t wait to try those turkey meatballs with zoodles. What fall recipes are you guys loving right now? Share all your faves below.
Be sure to follow Neda on Instagram @healthywithnedi where she’s always sharing TONS of recipes & hot new grocery store finds. She is such a pro when it comes to healthy swaps & recipe modifications.
+ scope all the benefits of celery juice.
++ all natural candies that need to be in your pantry.