Southwest Style Chickpea Pasta

This recipe was entirely unintentionally crafted. But hey, they say the best things happen when you don't plan them, right!? Anyway, I was making my usual effortless chickpea pasta dinner, when I decided I was craving something mildly sweet. While corn isn't exactly chocolate, it's a starchy vegetable and therefore inherently adds an element of sweetness. (Remember, starch is a form of sugar). I added in the corn kernels, which prompted me to kick the southwest theme up a notch. That's when the paprika sealed the deal. If I had some cojita cheese on hand, I would have definitely sprinkled a teaspoon or two on top, so if that sounds good to you, go for it! Feel free to add in whatever vegetables you think might pair nicely with this dish - oh, and then share it with me!! You guys constantly give me a ton of #foodinspo, so keep me posted :) 

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 3/4 dry cup chickpea pasta (I used Banza)
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 3 medium pearl tomatoes, quartered 
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced 
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (corn in water, no sugar added) 
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 


  1. Add halved tomatoes and diced garlic to nonstick pan on stove top over medium heat. You may add a bit of water if contents begin to stick. Allow to saute for about 8 minutes. 
  2. While veggies are sauteing, boil water to begin to make the chickpea pasta (may follow instructions on box). 
  3. Add corn kernels, paprika, salt, and garlic powder to tomato mixture on stove top. Mix ingredients with spatula and turn heat down to low. Continue to allow to cook for another ~5 minutes. Sauce should appear to have a thicker and chunky consistency. 
  4. Once pasta is cooked, drain water and add noodles to bowl. Add tomato sauce and allow to cool a minute before enjoying. Note: may add paprika to taste, if desired. 

Tovita Tips: Refueling Post Workout


One of the most common questions we're asked is what to eat after a workout. The key to  refueling after a workout is a balance of protein and complex carbohydrates. Protein helps your muscles recover from wear-and-tear and carbohydrates replenish your energy stores. We recommend having a snack or light meal depending on the time of day, 30-60 minutes after exercising. During this window muscles are most efficient at building protein.  Instead of buying protein powders, which are highly processed and isolate just one nutrient, we suggest you get your protein from natural sources that provide multiple benefits to your body. Great protein sources include lean meat, Greek yogurt, nuts, eggs, or other low fat diary. Nuts and dairy are post workout all stars because they provide both protein and carbohydrates. Your carbs should contain fiber to slow digestion. In other words, avoid anything white (white bread, pastas, etc). Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are where its at in the carb department. 

Another Tovita tip: ditch the high electrolyte sports drinks. Unless you are performing a high intensity workout for over an hour, there is no reason for sugary sports drinks, so stick to water for hydration. To give you some context, one bottle of Gatorade has 56 grams of sugar! If that number doesn't mean much to you, a can of Coke has 44 grams. Scary, huh? To replace electrolytes, bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which aid in muscle function and help to prevent cramping and soreness. 

Some ideas?

greek yogurt parfait
  • Banana with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • A protein packed smoothie with ½ cup almond milk (chocolate almond milk is also great for this recipe!), ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ frozen banana, 1 tsp peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp almonds or 1/2 cup berries
  • Turkey and cheese roll ups (4 slices of turkey, 2 slices part skim cheese)
  • Salad with grilled chicken or fish
  •  ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ½ cup berries and 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  •  Can of light tuna mixed with 2 tbsp hummus and 1 serving of whole grain crackers
  • Whole grain toast with 1 tbsp natural almond butter and a dash of cinnamon for added antioxidants
  • 1 egg, 2 egg white Veggie omelet
  • Grilled chicken and 1/2 sweet potato (with the skin for fiber!)
  • Brown rice sushi (keep it simple, avoid the "spicy" and "crunchy" options)

These snack and meal ideas also work  as pre-workout fuel, but try keep it on the lighter side and leave 30-60 minutes after eating to avoid any discomfort mid treadmill action. 

Spotlight On: Turmeric

This golden spice has a long history of medicinal uses and health benefits. Its first appeared in Ayurvedic medical texts which recommended turmeric ointment to relieve effects of food poising. It is also mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine to aid with digestion and liver function, arthritis pain, and regulating menstruation.

Today, turmeric is commonly used to facilitate healing of illnesses and ailments including: heartburn, stomach ulcers, gallstones, inflammation, and cancer. One study found that turmeric worked as well as ibuprofen for reducing osteoarthritis pain. Curcumin is a chemical found in turmeric that may have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. 


Other highlights? Turmeric has shown to increase the absorption of DHA in the liver. DHA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is only found in meat, fish, and algae. Many vegans and vegetarians have low DHA which increases their risk of cognitive-related complications such as anxiety, attention disorders, and depression. Turmeric can help convert ALA - an omega-3 fatty acid found in plant sources such as flaxseeds, walnuts and some vegetable oils - to DHA to decrease the chance of deficiency for vegetarians. 

Rather than turning to supplements, the best way to incorporate turmeric is as a cooking spice. The benefits are based on the use of the whole, intact herb allowing all of its components to work synergistically.

Try or Turmeric Popcorn for an easy way to incorporate this super spice. Homemade popcorn is a great snack because it tends to be low in calories and high in fiber.


• 3 tbsp popcorn kernels

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for popping

• 1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt

• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tsp garlic powder

• 1 tsp turmeric

• pinch of cayenne (optional)


1.     Place kernels in saucepan with olive oil on medium heat

2.    Add spices

3.    Place lid on pan and let it pop!

Serves: ~6 cups 

Spotlight on Haitian Mangoes: Because Trying Unfamiliar Food is Fun


This week we’re all about Haitian mangoes, (also known as Madame Francis mangoes) which in our opinion are the most underrated types of mangoes on the market. Though they’re ubiquitous throughout Haiti, they are exported to the U.S. for just a short window during the spring season. So if you’re reading this today it’s NOT too late.

Most people are familiar with mangoes indigenous to Mexico and South America. Don’t get us wrong, we love the entire mango family, but these Haitain guys are special. They have a sweet and intense tropical flavor that pretty much makes your mouth feel like it’s on vacation.

They’re recognizable because they are flatter and hold a more elongated shape than their mango cousins. When ripe, they take on a yellowish-gold color and become freckled with little black dots. Cut them in half and their insides are a vibrant orangey-yellow.

If you’re not sold yet, we’ll give you a brief mango-nutrition 101 to seal the deal:

1) Studies have suggested that mangoes play a protective role in eye health by filtering out harmful rays, thanks to its antioxidant power

2) Dietary beta-carotene, another component of the mango, may protect against certain types of cancer – namely prostate cancer

3) They’re rich in vitamins A and C, which help to keep hair strong and skin radiant, as vitamin C is required for collagen production

4) They’re a good source of fiber, which provides a host of digestive benefits

We think Haitian mangoes are awesome sliced fresh and served plain. But you can also get creative and prepare these mangoes in a salad, salsa, or smoothie. Below is a mango salsa recipe adapted from Martha Stewart that adds a sweet and spicy kick to any grilled fish.


  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced small
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2-1 habanero chile, minced (stem and seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix!

Aside from their health benefits, Haitian mangoes are simply really, really good. Trying new foods is always fun, so next time you’re in the grocery store, make it a point to ask where you can find a Francis mango. We can guarantee you won’t regret it.