Easy Veggie Bowl Inspired By Bibimbap

Bibimbap -Style Vegetable Bowl

This veggie bowl is loaded with vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A), vitamin C, calcium and folate, while also offering fiber, protein, healthy fats  and a spicy kick! And the best part? It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. This is my new go-to dish for busy weeknights!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1/2 C brown rice, cooked (I like to make a lot of rice at once and keep it on hand for dishes throughout the week – just heat it up before everything is finished cooking!)

1/4 C extra firm tofu, cubed and drained (remove excess water by squeezing in paper towel or cloth)

2 carrots, sliced (or about 1/3 C)

1 C spinach, raw

1/2 onion, chopped (or feel free to use shallots or scallions)

1 large egg

1 Tbsp oil

3 Tbsp hot sauce (I like Cholula)

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Dash ground black pepper

Almost ready - now just top with egg and hot sauce!

Almost ready – now just top with egg and hot sauce!

Directions:

1. Warm oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Steam carrots (you can do this by covering them in a bowl and placing in the microwave for about 1 minute, or steaming them over the stovetop).

3. Add tofu to onions in saucepan. Add spices and mix all ingredients together. Cook until tofu is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp hot sauce, stir ingredients together and cook another 1-2 minutes.

4. Spray small pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray and warm over medium heat. Crack egg into pan and sprinkle with dash of pepper. Cover with a plate and cook until egg white is cooked, leaving the yolk slightly runny (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside.

5. Add spinach to saucepan with onion and tofu and stir 2-3 minutes, until spinach is wilted.

6. Place rice in bowl. Top with tofu and vegetables. Add egg to bowl and drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp hot sauce over entire dish. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 434 calories, Total Fat 24 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 186 mg, Carbohydrates 37 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 19 g, Calcium 158 mg, Sodium 385 mg

A More Nutritious Bowl Of ‘Spaghetti’

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Cheese

This winter squash is a great alternative to pasta for those who are looking for a more nutritious bowl! With less than 200 calories per serving and packed with fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A) and vitamin C, this dish is filled with good nutrition and satisfies a carb craving for the starchy stuff!

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Ingredients (serves 5):

1 3-pound spaghetti squash

1 tsp canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

1 C tomato sauce (I like 365 brand tomato and basil pasta sauce from Whole Foods), or feel free to make your own!

4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Now just turn the squash face down and bake in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Remove pulp and seeds with a spoon. Pour oil in your palms (make sure they are clean!) and rub hands together so that oil coats your hands. Next, rub the oil on the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle dash of salt and pepper on top of squash and turn squash over (face down).

3. Bake spaghetti squash for 25-35 minutes. When the squash is cooked, you will be able to pull the “spaghetti” strands with a fork, but it will be able to hold its form. Continue to do this until all of the squash is out of the skin (I like to pull the strands into a large bowl). Once all squash is in the bowl, pour sauce over squash and stir. Top with cheese. You may need to heat the squash in the microwave for a minute to warm the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork - it forms 'spaghetti'!

This is how the spaghetti squash should pull apart with a fork – it forms ‘spaghetti’!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 167 calories, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 12 mg, Carbohydrates 22 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 9 g, Sodium 399 mg, Calcium 411 mg

Now just stir together and serve!

Now just stir together and serve!

Winter Veggie Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Winter Veggie Soup with Turkey Meatballs

This soup is great as a meal on its own, or as a hearty snack or side, and is packed with winter vegetables, like kale, parsnips, turnips and carrots. This winter veggie soup offers tons of antioxidants, like beta carotene (which is converted in our bodies to form vitamin A) and vitamin C, along with nutrients like folate, potassium and vitamin K. Also, this soup contains fiber and lean protein, which is perfect for filling you up, without filling you out! In fact, this hearty soup contains less than 250 calories per serving! I like to make a large pot of this soup on Sunday and enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner during the work week, when things are more hectic.

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Ingredients (serves 6):

3/4 small onion, chopped

1/2 C mushrooms, chopped

2 C baby kale, raw

1 1/2 C carrots, sliced (pieces should be about 1/4″ thick)

2 medium parsnips (about 6″ long), sliced

1 medium turnip (about 4″ in diameter), chopped

2 small yukon gold potatoes (about 2″ in diameter), chopped

16 oz lean ground turkey breast

5 C low-sodium vegetable broth

6 C water

1 Tbsp butter or Smart Balance

1 large egg

1/4 C whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp olive or canola oil

1 small bunch dill, rinsed

1.5 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper, plus a dash

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Ready to bake the turkey meatballs in the oven!

Ready to bake the turkey meatballs in the oven!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 9″ x 13″casserole dishes with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Empty ground turkey breast into large mixing mixing bowl. Crack egg in separate, small bowl, scramble and add to large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, garlic powder and onion powder to mixture and combine. Form small meatballs (about 1/2″ in diameter) and place in casserole dishes (4 rows x 6 columns). There should be about 48 small meatballs in total. Bake in oven 15-20 minutes.

3. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and oil and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale, dash of salt and ground black pepper and sauté until soft and slightly wilted, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Add carrots, parsnips, turnips and potatoes to large pot. Cover with vegetable broth and water. Add turkey meatballs, remaining salt salt and a 1/8 tsp ground black pepper. Add dill (remaining on stem). Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil about 45 minutes (covered), until vegetables are soft. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook another 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Sautéed kale, onions and mushrooms. Now just add the rest, bring to a boil and simmer!

Sautéed kale, onions and mushrooms. Now just add the rest, bring to a boil and simmer!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving

Calories 232 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 78 mg, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 23 g, Sodium 787 mg, Calcium 78 mg

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A Squash-Filled Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce with Summer Squash, Eggplant and Mushrooms

This homemade, chunky, vegetable sauce is a cinch to whip up and combines all the best flavors of summer. This sauce is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber, and skimps on fat and salt, so you can feel good about taking a few heaping spoonfuls. Use it as a topping for pasta, chicken, fish or toss with a whole grain (such as brown rice or quinoa) and enjoy a lower-sodium, fresher tasting sauce than store-bought varieties.

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Ingredients (serves 6):

1 large zucchini, sliced into quarters

1 large yellow squash, sliced into quarters

1 small eggplant (about 5″ in diameter), diced

1 medium onion, diced (try to find visalia onions if you can – they’re sweeter and are only available in the spring and summer!)

1 C chopped mushrooms (I like white button mushrooms)

Roasted veggies - ready to mix into the sauce!

Roasted veggies – ready to mix into the sauce!

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped

10 roma tomatoes, cut into eighths

3 basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp olive oil

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Sauce one way: I poured my sauce over chicken and served it with broccoli - yum!

Sauce one way: I poured my sauce over chicken and served it with broccoli – yum!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Transfer vegetables to baking sheet. (*Note: You may want to use 2 baking sheets)

3. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil over vegetables. Add spices. Combine well with hands and spread vegetables in a thin, even layer. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until vegetables are slightly browned and soft (about 20 minutes), mixing occasionally.

4. After vegetables have been baking for about 10 minutes, warm remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook for about 7-8 minutes, until chunky sauce forms. Reduce to low heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are in oven are cooked.

5. Add vegetables and basil to saucepan and stir. Cook another 10 minutes over low-medium heat. Serve over your favorite dish!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 107 calories, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 302 mg, Calcium 32 mg

Sauce another way: I mixed it in with whole wheat pasta!

Sauce another way: I mixed it in with whole wheat pasta!

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

Watermelon and Feta Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

Summer isn’t over yet – and thank goodness! This simple summer salad is too good to pass up! This low-calorie salad is a perfect dish to serve while entertaining as a sweet, refreshing appetizer that won’t fill your guests up too much before the entrees. Watermelon contains hydrating water for hot summer days and spinach offers up folate, vitamin K, vitamin C and iron. And the best part? This salad takes less than 5 minutes to prepare!

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Ingredients (serves 2):

2 C watermelon, cubed

1 oz (about 1/4 C) reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese

2 C spinach, raw

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

*Entertaining? Just keep doubling the recipe until you have enough – this recipe is super simple to make for 1 person – or 20! 

Directions:

1. Divide spinach evenly into two bowls (or small plates).

2. Top each plate with 1 C watermelon and 1/8 C crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar over each plate. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 96 calories, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 4 mg, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 225 mg, Calcium 86 mg

Southwestern Salad

Spinach Salad with Black Beans, Grilled Chicken and Avocado

This simple salad is a must-try for summer. I am always trying to make my salads interesting by using different textures and flavors. Black beans and chicken add protein and flavor to this bed of veggies, while avocado adds satisfying texture. Also, this Southwestern-style salad has a kick to it – perfect for the summer heat!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz grilled chicken breast, grilled with spices (chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper) *This is a great use of leftovers. No leftovers and don’t feel like cooking a chicken breast for lunch? I like Applegate Farms Fully Cooked Southwestern Style Grilled Chicken Breast  strips

2 Tbsp cooked black beans (*If canned, look for Low-Sodium or No Salt Added varieties and rinse in a colander)

1/4 avocado, chopped

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber slices

2 C spinach, raw

2 Tbsp sweet corn kernels (*I like to use frozen sweet corn kernels and simply microwave them or thaw them before use)

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 Tbsp roasted red pepper dressing (I like Greenway’s Organic Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette)

Directions:

1. Place spinach in medium-sized bowl. Add avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, corn and red bell pepper.

2. Warm black beans in microwave (about 25 seconds). Add to salad.

3. Warm chicken in microwave (about 1 minute) and chop. Add to salad.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 342 calories, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 56 mg, Carbohydrates 30 g, Fiber 11 g, Protein 29 g, Sodium 362 mg, Calcium 114 mg

A Very Veggie Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Veggie Black Bean Quinoa Burger

A veggie burger is a great meatless alternative for summer days, but they can sometimes be loaded with breading, fillers and oil and actually be less healthy than other burger options. This version is made with good-for-you ingredients and is held together with red quinoa – a tasty whole grain. Fill up with protein, fiber and a handful of vitamins from this lightened-up veggie black bean quinoa burger!

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Ingredients (serves 8):

1 C red quinoa, dry

1 zucchini, sliced and sliced again into quarters

1/2 C chopped white button mushrooms

1 small onion, chopped

1 can (15 oz) black beans (*Note: Try to find a “No Salt Added” variety and drain beans under water in a colander.)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1.5 Tbsp olive or canola oil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

IMG_1305Directions:

1. Cook quinoa according to box directions (you will likely need 2 C tap water to boil with the quinoa). Once quinoa is ready, set aside 3/4 C (cooked) for this recipe. Store remaining quinoa in an airtight container and use leftovers within a few days (quinoa is great in salads, as a side dish or combine it with sautéed veggies or fruit!)

2. Warm oil in medium pan (it helps to have one with sides, since it will get full) over medium heat.

3. Add onions to pan and cook 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic, 1 C black beans and spices to pan. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Place veggies in food processor. Add 1/2 C quinoa. Process mixture until pureed, about 15-30 seconds. Add mixture to large bowl and fold in remaining quinoa (for this recipe) and black beans.

7. Spray two 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray. Take 1/4 C dry measuring cup and scoop mixture into hands, forming balls and pressing down to form patties. You should be able to fit about 4 patties in each dish.

8. Bake patties 15-20 minutes on each side, until the outside is browned and crispy. Serve over bed of greens or a bun and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

I put my burger on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumber and pepper - just  top with patty and dressing!

I put my burger on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumber and pepper – just top with patty and dressing!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving = 1 patty)

Calories 165 calories, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 25 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 7 g, Sodium 301 mg, Calcium 43 mg

 

Easy Huevos Rancheros Scramble

Huevos Rancheros

Clearly, I had some extra black beans, guacamole and salsa to use from yesterday’s unwrapped shrimp burrito. This morning, I made an amazing huevos rancheros scramble – and it only took about 15 minutes. This is going to be my new summer brunch special. With fiber from the black beans, monounsaturated fat from the avocado, beta-carotene from the tomatoes in the salsa and protein from the eggs, this breakfast is a nutritional powerhouse – and it’s delicious, too!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp onion, chopped

2 Tbsp bell pepper, chopped

1/4 C black beans (*Note: If using canned black beans, look for a “No Salt Added” variety and rinse under water in colander.)

2 Tbsp guacamole (Try making your own using my simple recipe here!)

2 Tbsp salsa

1/2 oz. reduced-fat, shredded Mexican Blend cheese

splash skim milk

dash salt

dash pepper

1/2 tsp butter (or margarine)

Directions:

1. Heat butter  in small skillet over medium heat.

2. Add onions to skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add peppers to onions in skillet. Cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring occassionally.

4. Add black beans to skillet. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

5.Crack eggs in medium bowl. Add splash of skim milk, salt and pepper. Whisk well and add to skillet.Cook eggs until dry and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Continue to stir and scramble occasionally.

6. Add guacamole, salsa and cheese. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 340 calories, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 8 g, Cholesterol 380 mg, Carbohydrates 20 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 21 g, Sodium 701 mg, Calcium 305 mg

*Note: Sodium content may vary greatly based on brands used for guacamole, salsa, cheese and beans. 

Grill Up A Summer Steak Salad!

Steak Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. My computer was out of commission but now it’s working and I have a ton of amazing recipes and food and fitness tips to share with you – starting with this amazing summer steak salad. During the summer, I like to lighten things up – but that doesn’t mean I want to eat plain lettuce for dinner. This salad has all the taste of summer – grilled steak, fresh veggies, roasted broccoli, pine nuts and a citrus-y vinaigrette – for a satisfying way to eat your veggies and use your grill! Perfect for a warm summer night, this steak dish puts veggies center stage and offers up nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

Salad:

8 oz lean cut of steak of your choice (I like New York Strip and I prefer to trim the fat around the edges once it’s cooked)

*Note: This salad is also an amazing use of leftover steak if you happen to have any from a previous barbeque!

4 C chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber, sliced

2 crowns (fresh) broccoli (about 2 C broccoli flowerets)

1/8 C pine nuts, raw, unsalted

3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Dressing: (*Note: Dressing serves 8. Serving size is 2 Tbsp. Store the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for later use.)

1/4 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

dash ground black pepper

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Roasted broccoli – good on its own or in a salad!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash broccoli, pat dry and chop crowns into small pieces. Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over broccoli and toss with a spoon to coat evenly.

2.Turn on grill to medium heat. Prepare steak with 2 Tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to grill. Cook steak as desired.

*Note: All grills cook differently, but I typically cook steak for about 5-7 minutes on each side in order to achieve medium doneness. Let steak sit covered (i.e.: do not cut into it) for about 5 minutes once you remove the steak from the grill, as the steak will continue to cook due to residual heat. The steak should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place broccoli in oven. Roast for approximately 7-10 minutes, until broccoli is slightly browned. You may need to mix broccoli occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. While broccoli is roasting, heat pine nuts (dry) in small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes.

5. Quarter each cucumber slice. Divide lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber among two plates.

6. Slice steak in half. Divide each half into slices and place on top of lettuce. Add roasted broccoli and pine nuts.

7. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette of your choice (or make your own from the recipe below – super easy and healthy!). Enjoy!

To Make The Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing: 

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

1. Add each ingredient into a large bowl or salad dressing container.

2. Whisk or shake well until all ingredients are well-combined.

3. Chill in refrigerator until cold (approximately 30 minutes or more). Shake well before using and store in refrigerator.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 497 calories, Total Fat 35 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 58 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 251 mg, Calcium 96 mg

*One serving is half of the salad ingredients listed above with 2 Tbsp of the lemon dijon dressing. This will vary based on dressing used (if substituted) and different steak cuts.

Smoothie Season

With this insanely nice weather, I’ve been craving ice cream and cold treats. However, ice cream can be loaded with added sugar and fat and is not a low-calorie snack. Instead, I’ve been making my own smoothies every morning with plain, 0% fat, Greek yogurt and fresh and frozen fruit. Not only this is a super-quick (it literally takes less than 3 minutes to prepare!) breakfast or snack, but it’s great on-the-go in a thermos. Also, this is an ideal breakfast to make the night before – just store in a covered glass in the fridge and give it a stir in the morning. After making these smoothies, you won’t even be thinking about ice cream, anymore!

Berry Yummy Smoothie

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Ingredients (serves 1):

3 oz 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage – it tastes creamier than many others)

1/2 C frozen berries (I like to use a frozen berry medley of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender (I am in love with my Magic Bullet – perfect for whipping up smoothies quickly and such little clean up!). Pulse until finely chopped. This creates more liquid so that the smoothie blends well.

2. Add yogurt, berries and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 96 calories, Fat 0 g fat, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 35 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 110 mg

Ready to blend!

Ready to blend!

Gone Bananas For Mango Smoothie

Ingredients (serves 1):IMG_0954

3 oz. 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt

1/2 C frozen mango chunks

1 small banana (or cut a large banana in half and save the other half in the fridge)

1/2 tsp honey

3 ice cubes

Directions:

1. Place ice cubes in blender and pulse until finely chopped.

2. Add yogurt, mango, banana (in small chunks – I usually break my banana into quarters) and honey to blender. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute). You may need to pause the blender and stir every once in awhile in order to incorporate all frozen pieces.

3. Pour into cup or thermos and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 204 calories, Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 44 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 9 g, Calcium 94 mg

Interested in other smoothie ideas?

Instead of the banana in the mango smoothie (above), I’ve used 1/4 C fresh pineapple chunks – and it tastes amazing! Other fun  smoothie ideas? strawberry kiwi, banana berry, or, for a more filling option, banana-peanut butter! I’ll post some other great smoothie recipes as the warm weather continues and feel free to post your favorites!