Updated Cobb Salad

My dad is a huge fan of Cobb salads. I like the idea of Cobb salads but the traditional one is just way too heavy for me! The thick dressing, bacon, chicken, egg AND avocado combo along with everything else is just too heavy for my stomach. I decided to modify a Cobb salad to my lighter and healthier version. I swapped the bacon for an equally crunchy jicama, nixed the chicken for some chickpeas and switched the dressing to my lighter homemade dressing. Only about 360 calories for a large dinner serving!


Updated Cobb Salad
360 calories
serves 1

1 hard boiled egg, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped jicama
1 radish, thinly sliced
2 large handfuls of lettuce
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients into a large bowl (egg through lettuce).
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic clove and lemon juice and whisk until well combined.
3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Enjoy your healthier version I the traditional Cobb salad!

Green Monster Quinoa Dish

I made this recipe one day when there wasn’t much left in my fridge and I felt like having a light and flavorful dinner. And thus, the GREEN MONSTER was born! I love pesto. Put pesto on anything and I will eat it. I usually make my own pesto and freeze it, but you can buy some pretty good pestos at the store too.

If you want to make your own pesto, just put 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of pine nuts, 1 or 2 large handfuls of basil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil into a food processor or blender for about 30 seconds or until all of the ingredients are well chopped up incorporated together. You can add more olive oil to thin it out if you want.

This Green Monster recipe is only 234 calories for one serving and if you love pesto as much as I do, then you will love this recipe! It’s sort of like a healthier, pesto flavored fried rice. You can eat this as a main meal or you can make it a side dish to another meal.

Plus, it just looks so pretty!




Green Monster Quinoa Dish

234 calories per serving

serves 1


1/4 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tablespoon pesto

1/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup chopped broccoli (into really small pieces)

2 green onions

1 tablespoons frozen corn

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Put the quinoa into a pot and add 1/2 cup water. Cook on medium for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is done.

2.Put the olive oil into a large pan and heat to medium.

3. Add the broccoli to the olive oil and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the peas and corn to the broccoli and cook for another minute. Then turn off the heat and add the pesto and chopped green onions. Stir everything well to combine all of the flavors.

5. You can either put the quinoa down first and add the veggies or combine the veggies with the quinoa into a bowl.


I love this recipe! It’s great as a light dinner or lunch, but you can definitely add some tasty dishes to it to make a complete meal. One option might be to grill up some chicken and add it on top or cut up and put into the bowl with everything else!

Remember to take pictures of your results and tag me on Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle) or Twitter (@AutumnBates21) so that I can see how yours turned out! 🙂


Fajita style chicken lettuce wrap

This is one of my favorite recipes that my mom used to make for me when I was growing up. It’s filling without making you feel bloated or too full. I usually make this recipe when I want something flavor packed, cheap and low in calories(only 189 calories per serving)!
The reason why I love this recipe is because it’s so easy to prepare and you get a good amount of protein in from the chicken. You are also able to cut the cooking time of the chicken down by more than half for this recipe by cutting the chicken into thin strips before cooking.
Pair this recipe with some steamed or roasted veggies to complete your low calorie, protein packed, delicious meal!

Take a picture of your fajita style chicken lettuce wrap and tag me in it on Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle) or twitter (@AutumnBates21) to share your healthy dinner with me!! 🙂


Fajita style chicken lettuce wrap
189 calories per serving
serves 2
1 chicken breast
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hummus
1 cup spinach
4 romaine lettuces
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper

1. Cut the chicken into thin strips. Put 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a skillet/pan. Put the chicken into the skillet and heat to medium. Season with about a half teaspoon of salt and pepper and cook for 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces, until done.
2. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil into a new skillet. Heat to medium and add the onions and bell peppers. Season with a sprinkle of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes. Add the spinach into the mix after the 7 minutes and cook for an additional 1 minute.
3. Combine the remaining teaspoon of olive oil with the Dijon mustard, lemon juice and garlic clove. Mix well before serving. This is the sauce for the wraps.
4. Lay the lettuce leaves out and add half a tablespoon to each leaf. Add the chicken, onions, bell pepper, spinach and sauce and serve!

Banana Split made healthy(er)!!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

One of my followers requested a healthier dessert that they could make for Valentines Day, so I came up with this delicious mess! It involves chocolate covered figs, cashew pieces, a banana, dairy free ice cream, and a little drizzle of honey! A normal banana split contains high-fructose filled chocolate syrup, fattening and sugary ice cream and a whole lot more that would set you back from all your health and fitness goals!

Is it possible to still eat something decadent while staying on track? With my healthy(er) banana split, it is! I say healthy(er) because it is a definite improvement from the normal banana split that you’re used to, but it doesn’t mean that you should make this your main course. It is definitely a better dessert option than a box full of chocolates or a towering pile of cupcakes!


Banana Split

serves 2


4 scoops (or about 1 1/4 cup) of dairy free vanilla ice cream- I used Luna & Larrys Organic Coconut Bliss… AMAZING

1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

8 dried figs

2 tablespoons cashew pieces

1 banana

1 teaspoon honey (I like a raw, crystallized honey for this recipe, but you can use regular honey)

1. Melt the chocolate chips by using either a microwave or the stove. If you use the microwave, put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 20-30 seconds. If you use a stove, create a double boiler (where one pot is halfway filled with water and the second pot-with the chocolate chips in it-is placed on top of the water pot) and heat until melted.

2. Coat a plate or a bowl with coconut oil. Make sure to remove any stems from the dried figs and dip them in the chocolate so that it is entirely covered in chocolate. Place the chocolate covered figs onto the oiled plate/bowl. Repeat with the rest of the figs and freeze for at least an hour (but this can be done days in advance and kept in the freezer).

3. When the chocolate is solidly frozen, cut the chocolate covered figs up into little pieces.

4. Scoop the ice cream and put it into a bowl. Sprinkle the chocolate covered fig pieces and cashew pieces over the ice cream. Peal a banana and place it within the ice cream. Drizzle the honey over the finished product.

My boyfriend and I found this recipe to be absolutely delicious!! Make sure to try it out for a special occasion or when you just have a  really bad sweet tooth and need something to satisfy it! 🙂

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Take the time today to tell the ones you care about that you love them, including your family and friends!

Black Bean Enchiladas with Cashew Cream topping

It definitely seems like I’m a vegan from all of the recipes that I’ve been posting… but I’m not! It just turns out that vegetarian/vegan food tastes so good and I’ve been extremely inspired to make veggie filled dishes lately! But since I have a plethora of vegetarian dishes accumulated in my recipe bank now, there’s no excuse to go meatless a few days of the week! 🙂

Here’s another tasty and healthy creation of mine. The cashew cream isn’t a requirement for this recipe. I just think it’s a great addition, but not necessary. If you do decide to make the cashew cream, it does take a full 24 hours to soak the cashews prior to making the cream, so make sure you plan ahead!

These black bean enchiladas are only 316 calories per serving (and you get two enchiladas per serving!!). If you choose to add the cashew cream, it’s an additional 126 calories per serving. These also taste great the next day! The flavors all meld together over night to create an almost completely different dish!

Taste bud approved and figure friendly 🙂



Black Bean Enchiladas

serves 3


6 tortillas

1/2 cup cooked black beans

1 zucchini, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup onion, diced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/4 cup enchilada sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Pour the olive oil into a pan and turn the heat to medium high. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the zucchini and chili powder and cook for an additional 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 7 minutes, add the beans and cook for one more minute. Remove the pan from the heat once it is done cooking.

3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Fill a tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture. Fold both sides into each other to form a little tube and place the enchilada, seam side down, in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining 5 tortillas.

4. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Put in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.

5. (optional) Add the cashew cream on top of the enchiladas when you are ready to serve them.


Cashew Cream

serves 3

1/2 cup cashews

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1. Soak the cashews in water over night.

2. Drain the water from the cashews. Add the cashews, lemon juice, salt and water to a blender and blend until smooth.

Zucchini pasta with homemade easy tomato sauce

As those of you who follow me on Instagram know, I have had an excess of zucchini and tomatoes from my community service that I really needed to use. Last night, I finally used up my surplus of veggies by inviting my friends over for a big dinner! The result was a zucchini pasta with homemade pasta sauce. The homemade pasta sauce might sound a little intimidating, but it’s actually way more simple than you would imagine and your friends will be thoroughly impressed when you tell them that the sauce is homemade!
Plus… Only 277 calories per serving!! Indulge in this pasta dish this weekend without losing sight of your health and fitness goals!


Zucchini pasta with homemade tomato sauce
serves 2
1 pint of grape tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced yellow onion
2 zucchini, cut into thin, bite sized pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch strips
1/4 shredded white cheddar cheese
2 servings (depending on the pasta shape you use, the amount will change) of whole wheat pasta

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. On a cookie sheet, combine the container of tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss the ingredients together with your hands and put in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. While the tomatoes cook, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to a pan and turn the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 3 minutes, add the zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano and stir until everything is evenly combined. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Put the zucchini mixture into a large bowl when finished cooking.
5. Fill a pot halfway with water and put it on the stove at medium high heat until it starts to boil. Add the pasta and cook for as long as the packaging for the pasta says.
6. Add the tomatoes to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sauce to the zucchini mixture along with the cooked pasta and shredded cheese. Toss to combine and serve!

This is definitely more of a decadent meal than I usually post, but it’s okay to have a rich meal every now and then. One meal won’t make you fat or unhealthy so as long as you are doing well the majority of the time. Treat yourself every once in a while! You deserve it! Plus, this meal is definitely still nutritious because of the vegetables, fresh homemade sauce and whole wheat pasta.
If you’re looking for some sassy reads while you enjoy this meal, go to http://www.franklyfink.com ! My friend Jenni writes her current hates and obsessions… Definitely a must read if you have a cards against humanity type of humor!
I hope you enjoy this meal as much as all my friends and I did!

Fit Tip Friday

I believe that applying one small change a week results in many big changes over time. I also believe that these changes last longer than making one big change all at once. For one thing, you can fool your mind and body into not really realizing that a change has been made when you apply a single little change at a time. Because of this, I am going to start supplying one fitness change and one nutrition change a week for everyone to try. These changes will be EASY. So easy that you might get a little annoyed and want me to post an even bigger challenge.

Just trust me on this. Don’t try and add more on yourself. Just add my little alterations or additions. You’ll see changes sooner than you would’ve imagined if you stick with them.

For todays Fit Tip Friday:


FITNESS: Do an extra 5 minutes of cardio.

*This could be any type of cardio: running, biking, swimming, surfing, dancing… etc. If you choose to walk, do an extra 10 minutes of cardio.

NUTRITION: Have a smoothie for breakfast.

*In my opinion, smoothies are some of the healthiest breakfasts’ that you could have. You can pack in so many good for you foods, such as kale, spinach, chlorella, and fruit into one drink! My favorite is either the <a href=https://autumnthehealthyfoody.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/day-13-chocolate-smoothie-time/>Raw "Chocolate" Smoothie</a> or the almond butter banana smoothie which you can find on my Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle).

These are two very easy changes that can be implemented into your daily life! They might not seem like big changes, but a week of 5 extra cardio minutes is an extra 35 minutes of cardio per week. That means about an extra 350 calories (depending on your speed and choice of cardio) that you’ve burned that week! About 3500 calories burned is required to get rid of 1 pound of fat. That means after a month of just adding in 5 minutes of extra cardio a day, you will have lost about half a pound! From that ONE SMALL LITTLE CHANGE.

Now imagine how each weeks small changes will add up after just seeing that one change in action…

Try these out and lets start making some changes to our lives!

Happy Friday!

Mint Tea-Natural Appetite Suppressant

Ever catch yourself eating when you know you’re not hungry, just bored? Of course you have. Everyone has. If you haven’t, you probably aren’t human. This sucks because mindless eating tends to be what really packs on the pounds.
Something I’ve found to really help ease the munchies between meals is mint tea.


First of all, it’s tasty. Even if you don’t like the taste of tea normally, you’ll most likely love mint tea. It doesn’t have a strong minty flavor that you would expect and it’s not super floral tasting like most teas.

So here’s the part you really want to hear:
Mint tea has been found to reduce your appetite, aid in weight loss, alleviate digestive concerns and reduce anxiety.
Those are some pretty good reasons to sip on some mint tea in the morning and at night!


I like to make mint tea by just using mint leaves and honey.

Here’s my easy steps to making mint tea:
1. Boil water.
2. While the water boils, put a handful of mint or spearmint leaves into your coffee mug. Drizzle in a teaspoon of honey.
3. When the water is done boiling, pour it into the mug with the mint and honey. Let it sit four minutes before you start drinking it.

Sip up! Happy Tuesday everyone 🙂

Roasted Stuffed Bell Pepper

As many of you who follow me on Instagram saw, I have about 15 red bell peppers that I got for free and I need to make use of!

I haven’t eaten that many stuffed bell peppers in my life, so I decided to try throwing one together. And the results… were delicious. If you’ve never eaten stuffed bell peppers before, TRY THIS OUT. Plus, it’s only 257 calories per serving!!


Roasted Stuffed Bell Pepper

257 calories per serving, serves 2


2 bell peppers (they don’t have to be red bell peppers)

1/4 uncooked quinoa

1/2 cooked chicken cut into small pieces

1 zucchini

1/4 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup diced red onion

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the bell pepper

1/4 cup cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Wash the bell peppers and cut the top part of the bell pepper off (the stem part). Take out the seeds. Dry the bell pepper and place them, cut side down, on a cookie sheet. Drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt on the bell peppers. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove the bell peppers from the oven when done.

*The bell peppers might sag a little when you take them out, but once you stuff them with food, they will stand straight again.

3. While the bell peppers cook, put the quinoa into a pot and add 3/4 cup water. Cook on medium high until water start to boil, then reduce to medium for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is done cooking.

4. While the bell pepper and quinoa cook, chop the zucchini into small, bite sized pieces. Put the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil into a pan and raise the heat to medium. Add the zucchini, red onion, chili powder and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

5. After the zucchini mixture has cooked for five minutes, add the corn and cilantro. Turn the heat off after adding and stir for one minute.

6. Combine the zucchini mixture with the quinoa and the cooked and chopped chicken. Stir until everything is well combined.

7. Using a spoon, stuff the bell peppers equally with the mixture and enjoy!

Take pictures of your finished product and tag me on Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle) or on Twitter (@AutumnBates21) so that you can share your beautiful creation!

Enjoy the recipe and happy cooking!