Lentil Sloppy Joes

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With the semester in full swing, I’m on the hunt for recipes that are both nutritious and quick. After a long day at school, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. With that being said, today I will be sharing with you one of my favorite recipes that is packed with plant-based protein and comes together in under 30 minutes- lentil sloppy joes. Growing up, I remember my mom making sloppy joes during a busy weekday as it was quick, delicious, and sure to fill us up. When I was playing around with some dinner ideas, I immediately thought back to that recipe and decided to replicate it but to substitute lentils in place of the ground beef. As I’ve mentioned before, I personally enjoy eating mostly plant-based as I find that is what keeps me feeling the most energized and focused throughout the day. Additionally, lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are loaded with fiber and iron as well. Lentils are one of those foods that I feel are completely underrated as they are loaded with nutrients but also make a great substitute in many recipes that call for ground beef. I always have lentils on hand and typically try to eat them in some form or another at least once a week. Before  I ramble on for too long I’ll cut it short and simply say that whether or not you are a vegetarian I am certain you will enjoy this recipe. My boyfriend who is incredibly picky couldn’t get enough of this and enjoyed the leftovers the following days which is huge because he is not a fan of leftovers. Now, let’s get into what you will need to make these delicious lentil sloppy joes.

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My Journey to Becoming an RD

my journey to becoming an RD

Hi guys!

I hope you are having a wonderful week! I mentioned about a week ago on my Instagram that I wanted to start being more personal on here and share more of my experiences to give you a better sense of the person behind the blog. So I figured I would talk about how and why I decided to pursue a career in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The road that has led me to the career path of a registered dietitian has not been linear, to say the least. Just like every other first-time college student, I was overwhelmed by all the potential career choices I had right in front of me and at the age of 18, I could not pinpoint what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I always knew that whatever career path I chose had to deal with helping people because that has always brought me such joy and fulfillment. However, with so many careers that do just that, I was lost as to where to begin. I knew I was fascinated with the human body & all of its complex processes as I had taken an Anatomy & Physiology class right before graduating from high school but I didn’t know how that was going to translate into a career. I knew I was not interested in becoming a nurse because for one I am super squeamish with needles/ blood and two I am way too emotional to be a nurse. When the time came to put in my college applications, I decided to go with the major of Biology since I figured that could translate to just about any career within the healthcare field.

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5 Minute Peanut Butter & Chocolate “Cookie Dough” Bites

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When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle one of the most important factors is preparation. Preparation is key to making sure you set yourself up for success as it can mean the difference between having healthy snacks at your disposal or buying on a whim snacks high in sugar or sodium. By keeping healthy snacks on hand, not only do you manage to save yourself some extra money, but you can also save yourself some extra calories by being sure of what is in your food. The recipe I will be sharing with you today is made up of simple ingredients most of which you probably already have on hand, and when put together yield a nutrient-rich snack that will be sure to hold you over in between meals. These 5-minute “cookie dough” bites are high in fiber, protein, and B vitamins which will help to keep you energized throughout the day.  You can add in nuts, dried fruit or really anything else to change up the flavors and to keep things interesting.  I encourage you to get creative in your combinations so that you don’t get bored and aren’t tempted to spend money on the overly processed choices at the store. Now let’s get into the recipe!

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Flatbread Two Ways

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Superbowl Sunday is fast approaching and if you’re hosting the party, chances are you’re looking for ideas on what to feed your hungry guests. Well in combination with my panko crusted cauliflower wings,  I think these flatbreads will be the perfect appetizers to serve your guests. Not only are they vegetarian-friendly, but they are also packed with flavor so that even your picky eaters will never notice the difference. Flatbread has been a recipe that I have been playing around with for such a long time and after going back and forth between using whole-wheat flour & regular flour, I ultimately decided to stick with all-purpose because nothing else compares.

Now, as much as I talk about making healthy choices and their importance of contributing to a long and healthy life, I also want to be sure to share with you the importance of balance. I’m someone who does not restrict and if I feel like having a piece of cake or a cookie, I let myself have it. Why? Because when you allow yourself to have little indulgences here and there, it helps to prevent you from going overboard. So for that exact reason, I don’t feel bad about sharing with you this delicious recipe for flatbread that is not whole-grain but sure does make you feel good inside.

Just because I decided to stick with traditional white flour for this recipe, that does not mean that this recipe is not healthier than flatbread you would get at a restaurant. Instead of focusing on making a completely nutrient dense crust that would have probably tasted very similar to cardboard, I decided to deduct some extra calories by being more mindful of the amount of cheese and oil I used as well as by using my own marinara sauce. By making your own flatbread at home, you are able to control the amount of cheese and oil you put into it because it is your own version. I am so excited to share these with you as they were definitely a crowd pleaser! Now let’s talk ingredients.

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Gluten-Free Lemon Basil Pasta Salad

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In about 2 weeks, I will be heading back to school to complete the last few classes I need to apply for my master’s program. As time is of the essence, I’m on the hunt for recipes that are quick, easy, and nutrient dense. If you can relate, then I think you will appreciate this recipe because it takes under 30 minutes to make, is loaded with a variety of nutrients, and won’t break the bank. The recipe I will be sharing with you is my gluten-free lemon basil pasta salad.

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Marinara Sauce

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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend! Today I wanted to share with you a quick & easy marinara recipe that was a result of not having gone to the grocery store to pick up my usual premade sauce. About 2 weeks ago, I was in the mood for pasta but realized I had no sauce on hand. Usually I would have gone to the store but I have made it a goal of mine this year to avoid going to the store for just 1 item. As I rummaged through my pantry I found some fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, tomato sauce &  few other spices and figured I would give it a shot at making my own sauce! That was hands down one of the best decisions I could have made because it was well worth it. This sauce tasted so much better than any store bought variety I had tried & was so cheap to make. You can use this sauce for pasta, pizza, meatball subs or really just about anything your heart desires! Now without further ado let’s get into the recipe!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers


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Hi guys!

Welcome back to Life at the Mesa, it sure feels good to be back with another recipe after taking some MUCH needed time off. After taking a break for a while I feel so inspired and have so many new recipes in mind as we move forward. One thing about me that should be pretty apparent by now is that I am a creature of habit. When I come up with a recipe, I like to figure out how many different ways I can make it work so that way I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and so that I don’t get bored with my meals. Today’s recipe is no different as it will be featuring one of my all-time favorite recipes and that is my Mexican Quinoa. Quinoa is so incredibly diverse and also incredibly healthy for you. It is hands down my favorite grain because as I have mentioned previously, it is one of the few plant-based options that is considered a complete protein. For more info on protein click here to read more about the different types and sources of protein.

This recipe was created last week when I was in a hurry to make dinner but was craving something really hearty and satisfying. As I was looking through my pantry thinking of what I could make the first thing that came to mind was my Mexican quinoa as I also had the necessary pato sauce on hand. As much as I love the Mexican quinoa just as is, I wanted to make something different so then I came across some bell peppers in the fridge that I needed to use along with some zucchini and then this creation was born. These stuffed bell peppers are out of this world delicious and so incredibly easy to make. From start to finish it can be done in under 30 minutes and the toppings are endless. It’s a really great recipe to throw in any veggies you may have lying around that you need to use. Not only is it insanely good but of course it is loaded with a variety of nutrients but the most notable being protein, fiber, and vitamin C. Now, without further delay, let’s go ahead and jump into all the items you will need to make these delicious stuffed bell peppers!


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Authentic Chicken Enchiladas

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Hi guys!

I am so excited to be bringing you another recipe after what feels like forever! The last month or so has been so incredibly chaotic as I get that much closer to wrapping up the prerequisites necessary to apply for my Master’s program. As much as I have been itching to create content for the blog, first and foremost I am attempting to finish up my schooling so that sooner rather than later, I will be an accredited RDN able to help you all in much greater detail with all your health and wellness needs. Also, let me say that because I take so much pride in the content that I put out, I will only ever share a recipe with you that I 1000% standby. I refuse to share a mediocre recipe just for the sake of posting because this blog was started with the purpose of showing you how fulfilling, satisfying, and delicious a healthy lifestyle can be.

With that being said, today I have a very exciting recipe for you as I have been attempting to perfect this one for quite some time. Today I will be sharing with you my authentic chicken enchiladas made of course with homemade enchilada sauce. A few weeks back as I was craving my mom’s homemade enchiladas I gave her a call to ask her for the recipe.  As she listed the ingredients, I was surprised that she used flour and lard. For those of you who do not know what lard is,  it is solidified pork fat that is high in saturated fat, If you want to know more about the different types of fat, check out my Facts on Fat post here.  After going over the ingredients, I knew exactly why her sauce was so addictive. Lard is very calorie dense which sends signals to our brain that makes us want to eat more. So I decided I would play with the recipe a bit to make something with some healthier ingredients. Mom, if you’re reading this please know I love your enchiladas, but we are definitely going to be swapping my enchilada sauce out for yours!

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Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

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September has officially arrived and I am so excited because fall is my favorite time of year! Even though here in southern California we don’t get much of a fall, I still look forward to having weather below 100°.  With cooler weather comes warm drinks and hearty, comforting meals and today I’ll be kicking off our fall-inspired meals with my lentil shepherds pie. Traditional shepherd’s pie is made using ground beef, a variation of veggies, and topped with creamy mashed potatoes. This recipe is only different in a few of the ingredients but all the flavors come together to produce an incredibly satisfying & hearty meal. It sounds so much fancier than it actually is because all of the ingredients are very humble and easily accessible to everyone.

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Watermelon & Lime Water

watermelon & lime water

A few weeks ago when I was doing my grocery shopping, I came across a product in the juice section that caught my attention. The product is called Watermelon Wtr and it is a cold-pressed of watermelon juice that contains the natural electrolyte potassium which plays an important role in fluid balance.  I was intrigued to buy it but then I looked at the price and quickly walked away. At my local Ralph’s a 12 oz bottle cost about $3.50 which is pretty steep for such a small amount. After scanning the nutrition label and researching the product, I realized that with a few tools some watermelon, and some extra flavors you could essentially get the same product at home for a MUCH more affordable price. Ever since I first started playing around this recipe, I have been obsessed with it and have made it almost every single week. It is so refreshing and the perfect alternative to store-bought juices and sodas as it completely free of added sugar. The key to this drink coming out so delicious is all about choosing your watermelon.  I found a great article to help you pick the sweetest watermelon which will be linked here. The riper your watermelon is, the better your watermelon water will taste so be sure to take your time choosing the perfect watermelon.  Before I get into the few ingredients you will need, let’s first talk about what makes watermelon such an awesome fruit!

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