If I could describe the perfect lunch, it would be this salad. Well, I mean actually a lunch with my friends and no kids would be great too. Also Nordstrom's cafe, a day at the spa followed by a healthy lunch, and maybe a meal on the beach with Fernando or my husband applying sunscreen sounds fabulous as well... But other than that, this is my idea of the perfect lunch.
Being a mom with 3 kids under 5, lunch time is kind of the "Ok, we are halfway through the day" period. We made it through the morning, I'm still awake, the kids are...well, ok the kids are still in their pajamas. BUT, we WILL get dressed after this. Unless I need a nap. Then, we will probably just wear our pajamas and...BE ONE STEP AHEAD OF BED TIME! #momwin
Usually by lunch time I am starving because I ate at 6 a.m. when my kids woke up and I need something that excites me. Obviously a cheesecake would do, but this is a healthy lifestyle blog and I need to portray that I never have cheesecake for lunch.
That's why I love HUGE LOADED salads with creamy dressing. I love kind of adding everything I am craving at the moment into one dish and eventually into one bite. I'm not obsessed with food or anything. Usually these salads will last me 2-3 lunches, and even be a late night snack when again I decide against cheesecake. Just reserve the avocado and salad dressing until each serving and you are good to go!
I have made homemade dressings before, but ever since my 3rd pregnancy I just love ranch. More than fernando on the beach. I've been using these Bolthouse Dressings for a while now and have become somewhat addicted. #notsponsored
Feel free to use the dressing of your choice!
For the roasted chickpeas, I always use THIS recipe!
The Perfect (Mexican Style) Lunch Salad
- 1 head of curly kale, washed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced olives
- 1 c. halved baby tomatoes
- 1 c. roasted corn-recipe below
- 1 c.roasted chickpeas-recipe above
- 1-2 avocados
- 1-2 slices lime, juiced over salad
- opt: crushed tortilla chips
- (Roast the corn)
- Turn the oven broiler on low.
- Add FROZEN corn to a baking sheet. Drive with 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and cook until the corn has roasted into a crunchy but still soft texture. Toss the corn every so often. (This will take any where between 5-10 minutes.)
- Assemble the salad.
- Add kale, cilantro, and green onions to a large bowl. Toss to mix.
- Next add the rest of the toppings. (Reserve the avocado and lime juice until ready to serve)
- Drizzle with salad dressing, avocado, and lime juice when you are ready to eat.
For the record, if my kids stay in their pajamas all day we change them into new ones before bed.
*If you are looking for the perfect salad to go along with your holiday meal to balance out all of those unhealthy goodies, this Kale and Quinoa Sweet Potato is perfect!* You guys, I can't even explain how many times I think about what I (we) will eat next when we are on vacation. Mix that vacation with a HOLIDAY vacation, and basically all I think about is what I'll have for breakfast, where we are going for lunch, is there a dessert place near by, how about a holiday dinner, and will there be a chocolate fountain that I can lay under before I go to bed?
Obviously I should see a doctor about this obsession, or be put in a straight jacket, but let's put all those issues aside for a second to talk about this salad.
This is the salad that you make if you want people to eat kale.
This is the salad you make if you've had too many bites of gingerbread cookies, even one that you found on the floor.
This is the salad that you bring to a holiday dinner so that you can have your garlic butter cream cheese mashed potatoes sitting next to it on your Christmas plate.
This is THE salad.
Will it cancel out the chocolate cake or the 'we stopped counting at 7' rolls you've had.
But at least you had kale on Christmas, and for some people that just might be the Christmas miracle.
Especially if your my husband, because that fool has a serious Christmas roll problem. And yet he maintains that 150 pound figure so well...
Kale and Quinoa Harvest Salad
- 1 head of kale, rinsed and chopped/thinly sliced and chopped
- 1/2 c. dry quinoa, cooked according to package directins
- 2 sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 TB. olive oil
- salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
- 1/2 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2-3/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 c. chopped pecans, roasted and salted
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 c. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. dijon mustard
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. chopped garlic
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- On a baking sheet, add the chopped potatoes. Coat with the olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with a good toss of salt, pepper, a little bit of cinnamon, and a few dashes of nutmeg. (No measuring, just coat.) Toss the potatoes around, and roast in the oven for 10-20 minutes, occasionally tossing them. Roast until the potatoes are soft.
- While the potatoes are roasting, assemble the salad.
- To a bowl add the kale, quinoa, cranberries, feta, and pecans. Toss.
- Once the potatoes are done and COOL, add them to the salad.
- When you are ready to serve, make the dressing.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and coat the salad. (you might not need all of the dressing.)
- Serve immediately.
- (If you are making this for a party, add the dressing before eating the salad.)
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!! May your hearts and belly's be full!
Salads have become my mommy life saver recently.
This is not a fabricated sentence at all, so believe me when I say this...
My baby slept 45 minutes total during the day yesterday. That's right. 45 minutes. Not a solid 45 either, I just added all the minutes she slept and it was 45.
I had a little heart to heart with myself and realized that maybe it's not a coincidence that all three of my children are horrible sleepers. I think I sleep trained them that way.
That being said, when it comes to meals for myself, I need them to be quick. Obviously a s'mores pop tart would do the trick, but seeing that I'm trying to kick my butt back into shape I've been stuffing my face with salad beasts!
I love salads! Even the simple ones like lettuce and tomato :). But since I'm nursing and I'm hungry 90% of my life, I need it to be filling.
I'll usually prepare a large salad/salad ingredients once or twice a week and have it last me a few days for 'quick mama lunches.' Then I'll sometimes use leftover proteins from dinner to add on top, and if I'm lucky and have a ripe avocado I will throw that on too!
But my favorite part of a salad is always the dressing. Always. A good salad dressing can make or break that salad beast, and I wish I was the kind of girl that was good with a little lemon juice and EVOO...
Just like I wish I was good with just eating a strawberry and calling it dessert. I.Just.Can't.
Unless it's covered in chocolate. That's a different story.
Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
- (For the Salad)
- 1/3 green cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
- 1/3 purple cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
- (opt.) 1/3 ice berg lettuce, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
- 1 large carrot, sliced into thin pieces and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, skin removed, diced
- 1/2 c. baby tomatoes, I used yellow, cut in halves
- 1/3 c. diced peanuts
- 2-3 small avocados, diced
- (opt.) chicken, grilled or shredded
- (opt.) crispy wontons or Chinese noodles
- (For the Peanut Dressing)
- 1/2 c. peanut butter
- 3 TB. soy sauce
- Juice of one lime
- 2 TB. coconut or brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 1/2 c. water**
- **If you refrigerate the dressing for a few hours it will become thicker as it sits. You may need to thin in out with a little water before adding to the salad.
- Assemble the salad on a platter with all of the ingredients. Leave out the chicken and avocado for those that don't want it. (If you are planning to use this salad over the coarse of a few days, don't use the avocado until you are ready to eat it, that way it doesn't brown.)
- In a small blender or food processor, add the salad dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.
- Add the dressing to the salad and toss,before serving. OR, if saving the salad for the next few days, use salad dressing on your individual salad and keep dressing covered in the fridge.
Someone tell me how to properly sleep train, otherwise, this mama just might start eating s'mores pop tarts for dinner.
The other day as I was making a kale salad, my cousin looked at me and said, "Isn't it funny how now you are eating that, but back then it was a decoration on your steak plate!"
Years ago, the thought of eating kale would have been a laughing matter to me. If kale was in fact that veggie on the plate, I gladly scooted it over and face planted right into some creamy mashed potatoes.
(I think I might still do that?)
Luckily for me, my family have taken that spot and forcefully push their veggies to the side along with an exaggerated, "OMG THAT LOOKS LIKE POOP!" Husband, please don't say poop at the dinner table...
That's right, you heard me. My family doesn't love veggies. I know you probably assumed the first thing my kids ask for in the morning is a carrot, but no my friends. Wrong.
They ask for Lucky Charms...Every day. And every day I say No. Then they cry, tell me I'm a mean mom and how we aren't best friends. My husband is so dramatic.
ALL before 7 a.m.
So imagine my reaction when I placed this kale salad on their dinner plate the other night and everyone started gobbling it up. Excited? Shocked? Happy?
Is there a feeling that describes Booya? I could picture it so clearly...
Kale salads being requested every night. Kids screaming for veggies and hummus as a snack. Fighting for the last scoop of vegetables at dinner...
None of that happened and they still asked for marshmallows for breakfast this morning...
But they ate a kale salad for dinner last night, so I guess you could call that a win in my eyes.
Spring Citrus Salad
- 1 head curly kale
- 1 c. strawberries
- 1 c. clementines cut in half
- 2-3 ounces of goat cheese
- 3 TB. slivered almonds
- Zest of 1 large orange (1/4 c.)
- Juice of 1 large orange
- 2 TB. olive oil
- 1 TB. honey
- 1 garlic clove smashed or grated
- 1 TB. greek yogurt
- salt and pepper
- using a cutting board, remove the leaves from the stems of the kale.
- Roll the leaves up and slice them. Place them in a bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl. Pour it over the kale salad and toss to coat.
- Next add strawberries, oranges, and almonds. Toss to coat.
- Top with Goat cheese.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes for the dressing to marinade.
- Serve and enjoy!
Salad adapted from HERE
I think the reason why this Kale salad was so family friendly were for the following reasons:
I used fruit in the salad, which is one of their favorite foods. The bright strawberries and clementines automatically drew them in.
The salad was frilly like a tutu. This really drew my husband in ;). Before I served it, I told my girls that the salad was frilly like a tutu and it got them excited. I know it sounds crazy, but when you have a 2 and 4 year old daughter, you will understand.
I'm hoping I can pull another fast one on them again for dinner this week, but we shall see. I think my husband is on to something.
Don't let that incredibly bright and charming sexy smile fool you...
My husband is one of the pickiest eaters I know. But in HIS defense, he is picky in my standards and probably not real life standards. I will say that he's really easy to please when it comes to what he likes to eat. The problem is his wife who likes to make it all that more difficult for him.
You know...Just fulfilling my wifely duties of making easy things hard.
He's like, "Wife, just make me frozen tacquitos for dinner topped with melted cheese."
And I'm like, "Are your frackin crazy?! I will definitely not make that! I'm just going to make tacquitos from scratch, but a vegan version, and we will top it with salsa...k?"
Don't even get me started on picking a place to go out to eat.
Hubs is like, "Babe. Taco Tuesday at Del Taco. Right now. Sounds amazing!"
Wifey is like, " Ha in your dreams lover boy, I don't do drive throughs! Let's go to that sit down place that serves expensive organic food and bring our two screaming children...k?"
We were definitely meant to be.
So besides being partially the worst wife ever, I do try and please my husband occasionally and feed him the food he loves. BUT in MY defense, he eats out for lunch every day. So you have to understand he gets his taco tuesday, hamburger wednesday, and chicken wings thursday...
So I don't feel so bad when it's, "Welcome home lover buns! Hope you like vegetables!!"
Printable Recipe for Chicken:Seasoned Grilled Chicken
Printable Recipe for Pico De Gallo:Pico De Gallo
Printable Recipe for Salad:Mexican Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad
Also, Check out our favorite salad dressing topping : Copycat Chili's Salsa. Recipe from Chef in Training! Bonus, this is my hubs favorite restaurant. Bonus #2: He likes to mix a little with ranch for his salad dressing.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that in marriage...the main thing is to be selfless. And don't you think it would be selfish of me if I didn't share with my husband all my favorite foods?!
Good. I'm glad we are on the same page.
87% of people in the world think kale is the most disgusting food there ever was.
(Note: This study is not accurate. I made it up.)
The average person doesn't consume kale even on a weekly basis...or so I'm assuming. And quite honestly, I didn't even know kale existed until I started getting into healthy eating. And when I first learned about kale I thought it was that fake looking lettuce they put on your plate when you ordered stake at a restaurant. Is that kale? I'll never know...
Luckily for you (and me), I was devoted to finding a kale recipe that people could stomach without realizing they were eating...kale. (I'm an excellent writer and convincer aren't I?) Everybody loves guacamole. And for those that don't, you probably should see a therapist. Make that guacamole chunky and full of flavor, and you can find yourself singing, "Ay Ay Ay!" Turn that guacamole into a dressing to disguise an unappealing lettuce and well...
That my friends is how you should consume kale.
And if not...you should probably hang out with that person who hates guacamole. You guys would be perfect together.
Printable Recipe Here: Guacamole Kale Salad
I'm pretty sure after eating this salad, those 87% will change to 10%. (The 10%-ers are the people who hate everything that taste delicious.)
Have a great rest of your week! Be back soon!! :)
Can we talk about something for a moment?
I'm not a fan of fish. I like to look at most of them when they are alive, and in high school I DID want to work at Sea World, but seriously...chills.
I will never understand how my husband can order fried calamari. It comes to the table with it's body shape still in one piece, legs and all!! Like, hello little octopus, let me dip you in nasty marinara and chew your tentacles right up. Oh how incredibly delicious, don't you just love tentacles!!??
Don't ever do that again husband...never. Nothing good will ever come your way following a dinner like that.
But alas, I've given salmon a few chances, and although I admit it's still hard for me to swallow at times, the more I dress it up the more I can handle it.
Unless the butcher gives you the salmon that has the black shiny scaley skin still attached, basically reminding me that it's a fish.
Don't ever do that again butcher. Never.
Printable Recipe Here: Summer Salmon Salad w: Honey Dijon Dressing
Honestly, I ate the whole salad. The dressing soaked right into the cooked salmon, taking any sort of 'fish taste' away that it contained! My husband also ate the WHOLE dinner, which is like, "Can I get a hallelujah?!" He is NOT a fan of salad, or greens, or anything that wasn't made from a red headed clown wearing too much lipstick. But I figure he's ordered more than my liking of fried octopus, so he can eat a salad or two. And PLUS...He ended up loving it.
But this doesn't mean I will like fried calamari if I were to try it ok...
I don't do tentacles. Ever.
If you are here because you want to know how to get your two year old to eat broccoli, well then your in the right place.
It's quite simple really, and I don't know why I didn't think of it years ago!
Dip it in chocolate, and tell them it's candy. It's the only way...
Honestly I'm just kidding, but at times I've been so desperate I've almost gotten a bottle of chocolate syrup and said, "Here kid, pour a little of this on top of your dinner and take a freakin' bite for crying out loud!"
I wish I could stand before you today and say that my toddler has LOVED everything I've given her, but truthfully she hates food. Like literally, I don't know where she comes from :). Even some of her favorite foods she will put up the biggest fight to eat well...just because she can. She's learned she can say no, yes, and make her own decisions now and it's a lot more fun than listening to mom.
So parents, don't be worried. I truthfully feel it's not usually the parents fault if they are doing all they can, and introducing healthy food on a regular basis. Some kids just hate eating...
(My 8 month old however can't stop eating, in fact I've never seen a child eat that much. Goes to show that each kid is different!)
So when it comes to introducing things such as vegetables, which are definitely not on the list of 'Toddler Approved Foods', here are my suggestions:
It might sound crazy, but for daughter this was everything! She loves to sing, and does it all day long, so naturally we came up with a song about broccoli! I think it helps introduce the food in a more exciting way, which definitely can help! Here is the song we came up with:
Even I am not a fan of a handful of raw veggies, so in order for them to become somewhat appealing to the eyes of the toddler you've got to fancy it up! Whether it's roast it or cook it, kabob it and serve it with their favorite dip, you have got to make it fun. My daughter loves when I serve her food on a kabob! It makes it so much for fun to eat!
I wanted to do something a little more fun with my daughter and make a salad of items she loved and picked out her self, that way when it came time to eat it we could talk about how SHE made it and how yummy it was! For this broccoli salad, I knew I wanted to pair it with strawberries because she absolutely loves them! Then I made her decide between which nut she wanted, slivered almonds or cashews. (She tried a bite of each one and told me which one she liked more.) Then I had her take a bite of some roasted coconut to see if she liked it, and she did and wanted to add it. Everything was appealing to her taste, that way she would enjoy it!
There might be a chance that you could make this salad with your picky eater and they might say, H to the No am I trying that mom! Don't get discouraged, but keep trying. The more you put that broccoli on their plate, the more used to it they get, and may actually give it a try! :)
Strawberry Broccoli Salad
This doesn't have to be JUST for toddlers, I can see it being served at many dinner parties, bridal showers, or a nice mommy lunch! :)
- (For the Salad)
- 1 1/2 c. chopped strawberries
- 1 1/2 c. broccoli, cut with most of the stems removed
- 1/4 c. salted cashews, chopped
- 2 TB (or more) toasted coconut
- (For the Dressing)
- 2 TB. greek yogurt, plain
- 1 TB. balsamic vinegar
- 2 TB. honey
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- Add salad ingredients to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl whisk together salad dressing, then pour over top of salad.
- Can serve immediately, or will do great in the fridge for when ready to serve.
- (If serving later, add in coconut just before serving)
If all else fails drizzle a bottle of chocolate sauce on top of their plate, then pour remaining chocolate sauce into your open mouth...
It's the only way.
I've always been that kind of girl...
The one who always orders a salad when going out to eat. It's like my husbands favorite quality about me...
I also always order water, change and switch 50% of the salad toppings, and usually end up sending it back because the order is All Wrong! And just when I can't be annoying enough, I slowly start sneaking bites off of other people's meals because my lettuce and water weren't satisfying enough.
I can only think of like 1 or two places that have amazing salads, and it's all because of their toppings. I'm a 75% toppings and 25% lettuce kind of gal. Add a bomb dot com dressing and I basically could eat salad every single meal. No need to build a plate of everyones leftovers.
It just causes lots of weird looks, and less invitations to go out to eat.
Lover's Salad with Easy Balsamic Dressing
*I call this Lover's Salad because I've topped it with every RED topping imaginable. It really is super versatile, and you could change it up on a whim. It's not a fancy salad that takes a lot of work, more of something that you could make quickly and enjoy that night! Don't forget the bomb dot com salad dressing to go alongside!
Green & Red Romain Leaves
Dried Red Cranberries
Parmesan Cheese Shavings
Chicken cooked with Cranberry BBQ Sauce (optional-not pictured)
Easy Balsamic Dressing
2 TB. Greek Yogurt-optional
1/4 c. good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/8 c. honey
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.
Oh, one more thing.
Don't forget your hot red lipstick to go with your Lover's Salad...
Since moving to a new state, we've been lucky enough to live quite close to one of my husbands favorite eating places. Actually lucky for him, not so lucky for me...
If you've ever been to Cafe Rio, you know that they make these fresh, soft, carb-licious tortillas. Their sweet pork is like a dessert, and that freaking dressing...
Holy heck. I could drink, bathe, and wash my hair with that dressing.
I say it's not lucky for me because as a person who tries hard to eat healthy and natural foods often, the second we get to Cafe Rio all I want to do is order 5 tortillas and a grande dressing and go to down. It's dangerous.
So when I looked up the copycat recipes on line, I found that my husbands favorite sweet pork was made with well...A lot of sugar. DUH. Lots of soda, and lots of brown sugar. My husbands dream. A healthy wife's worst night mare. As for the dressing, I figured it was mayo based and I was right!
Did I mention it's really delicious?
Now...I'm not saying it's wrong to eat the real thing, or make it at home the way it was intended to be made. I've definitely drank that green sauce more than I would like to mention...
This was more like a challenge I wanted to give myself, to see if I could do it. To see if a recipe really needed soda and mayo, and how I could possibly replace them.
Let me put it this way:
My husband thanked me for PICKING up his favorite meal for dinner.
Homemade Cafe Rio Sweet Chicken
* Cafe Rio is famous for their Sweet Pork, not Sweet Chicken. But since I'm not a pork eater, I figured swapping it with chicken could and would totally work!
2 lb. cooked chicken*-shredded
1/4 c. sparkling water
1 c. maple, coconut, or date sugar-you could probably get away with 1/2 c.
12 oz. green chilies
salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste
*The best way I have learned to cook my chicken is to liberally salt and pepper the chicken, then generally coat it with coconut oil. Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until done. You could also easily sub beans for chicken, and create a baked beans type of dish, which would work well with the dish too!
1. Prepare and cook your chicken. While it's cooking, make the homemade enchilada sauce.
2. The enchilada sauce will make about 3 c. of liquid. In a crockpot, add 1 1/2 c. of prepared enchilada sauce. Then save the extra sauce to top on burritos or to make enchiladas with the leftovers.
3. Along with the 1 1/2 c. of enchilada sauce, add the sparkling water, green chilies, and sugar. Add the cooked shredded chicken and warm the chicken with the sauce for about 30-60 minutes. (I used the warm setting, but you could also use low/med heat. Just make sure not to overcook it.) Season with spices to desired taste.
Homemade Cafe Rio Creamy Cilantro Dressing
*Originally this recipe calls for 1 cup of mayo and a prepared ranch packed.
1/2 c. non dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar-OR-1/2 c. greek yogurt (Yogurt might add a more sour taste though)
1/2 c. plain hummus (I used Sabre brand)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 jalepeno, seeds removed (optional)
juice and zest of 1 lime
2 TB. dried parsly
1 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. dried chives
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
1. Blend all together, then let sit in the fridge until ready to serve!
Now, the way to layer a Cafe Rio salads is like so:
-Large Whole Wheat Tortilla
-Cilantro Rice (Brown)
Oh..And that dang good dressing
OR, if you are a into the wet burritos, make yourself a burrito with all the fixings, top with the extra enchilada sauce and some cheese and melt in the double broiler for a few minutes. Top with the Cilantro dressing, and dig in!
And if your wondering how to get your child to eat their very first salad ever....
It's all about the dressing my friends....It's liquid gold.
Before Sweet Pea came along and Boo was really young, her and I would spend our days reading and learning about things that little minds need and love to learn about.
I taught her the colors, she learned her numbers, and she sang the ABC's 845 times a day.
She was an extremely fast learner and would pick up on practically any song, dance, letter, and/or number that we would teach her. I have to admit that she made me one proud mama, and I loved having her perform and repeat the things she learned to others.
Recently though, Boo's ability to 'pick up and learn things' at an extremely fast rate has somewhat made me wonder if we are destined for trouble in the future. And more often than not, I would much rather she not repeat the things she's learned..from whatever sources they have come from.
If your wondering what types of things Boo has been saying or doing, I can give you a brief synopsis...
I also must add that I've been told to knock it off several times a day...
I'm at a loss for words...
And on days when I ask Baby Boo what she wants for lunch and her response is simply, "Nobody Cares..."
Well then I make what I want and don't consider whether or not she's going to like it.
Black Bean Quinoa Cilantro Salad
Makes 5 cups
2 c. veggie broth
1/2 c. dry quinoa
1 c. cooked corn
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper diced
1 large tomato diced
2 avocados diced
(For the dressing)
1/4 c. onion
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. agave
1 TB. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt/dash of pepper
1. In a pot add veggie broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook quinoa until fully cooked for about 20 minutes. For better directions on how to cook quinoa, click HERE.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing. Process dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until combined, like so:
3. Once the quinoa is done and cooled down, add it to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold in the dressing. Top with crushed tortilla chips! :) Or use tortilla chips to scoop it out! :)
I was completely confused as to where Boo was learning these not so nice phrases until I sat down with a big bowl of this for lunch and turned on my recorded episode of Housewives.
One of the ladies shouted, "What the He!!", and Boo quickly responded...
Ya. You get the picture.
I have this problem with saying no to buying things when they are on sale.
Whether it's a good sale or bad, I will somehow find a way to convince myself that it's worth buying because I'm saving money. (Although I'm not taking into consideration that I probably wouldn't buy that item normally...)
That's right. You can bet that I still have yet to find a place for that life sized green butterfly wall decor that I bought on the sale rack at Pier 1, or the ugly lamps that my neighbor was selling for a STEAL, and don't forget to mention a grey chair sitting in our living room with an unquestionable wet stain right on it...
But the worst part of my problems happens when I buy food that's on sale. Like when I saw a sign off the side of the road for a huge box of tomatoes, let's say maybe 30 to count the size of baseballs, for 6 dollars.
Let me remind you our household is only 2 1/2...and one of those persons passionately hates tomatoes. (Hubbers.)
So by the time those tomatoes are gone I'm either going to have one heck of a stomach ache, or turn red and round like a tomato...I'm hoping for the latter.
Unless of coarse you want to come over and pick up some tomatoes? I'll do a free trade, maybe for a huge pillow? One that would most likely cover that stain...yuck.
But if whole tomatoes aren't your thing, maybe dicing them up and throwing them in a salad is. And if that's the case, consider your self lucky!
Tomato Basil Quinoa Salad
2 c. prepared quinoa
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
3 1/2 c. - 4c. diced tomatoes
2 c. spinach
1 c. packed basil
2 TB. balsamic vinegar
1 TB. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic finely diced
zest of one small lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
2. In a food processor, finely chop basil leaves and spinach. Set aside
3. In a large bowl add quinoa, beans, tomatoes, chopped greens, and dressing. Mix until combined, and add more salt and pepper to taste.
4. Set in fridge until ready to serve.
If you want, feel free to add parmesan cheese on top.
This would be a great side dish, main dish, or a healthy snack! I had it for lunch, and ate it on top of pita chips:
Now I've got to work on my other 'problem', which is making excessive messes in the kitchen...
Either that, or I've got to some how find someone willing to buy that stained chair...
Some idiot will buy it, right?
**Editors Note: This post was written in 2011, and the recipes in this post are the most popular recipes on my website! To find the recipes, scroll down to the bottom. If you would like to read how these recipes came about, continue reading below!**
Last night I taught a healthy living class.
And like always, as the guest were arriving, I was behind on everything...
I had friends making Peanut Butter Pong Balls(made with almond butter instead), made my dad run to McDonalds to get some 'samples' (of no-no's), and I was busy making sure things were set and ready to go...Oh and repeating in my mind the things I was going to say.
I decided to do a display table of ingredients I love that I think everybody should include in their daily eating lifestyle. Each had a little note card with info about the ingredient.
That, and I figured I would most likely forget to talk about them...so they were there for people to look at.
My mom asked why some of the notecards read, "Super Sexy" and "Totally Awesome" in which I basically replied, "That's how I talk Maaaaoooommm DUH."
When it came time, everybody crowded around me waiting to hear what I had to say. Pretty much through my whole presentation I was scatterbrained.
(This is a GREAT picture of me!)
"So these are Chia Seeds, they are full of Omega-3's! Oh wait! Let's talk about lunches!"
I'm also pretty sure in the beginning my voice shook like thunder due to nerves, and I sounded like I wanted to cry. I also said the phrase, "I could pound it when it came to eating..."
My grandma that was there had NO idea what I was talking about...
All together though, I had such an amazing time. It meant the world to me to have the people that I loved, look up to, and even leaders who taught me, be there and support me and my passion.
I tried my best to get my message across, and I am praying tonight that people understood more than, "Uh dummm...I like Spinach. It's tasty...I like to drink it too."
Besides that, I wanted everyone to know that this world that God has created for us brings forth so many amazing whole, fresh, and natural foods. We need to stop feeding our bodies packaged, processed, mass produced, and an excess of animal products. We need to start giving our body the wholesome food that it deserves and needs to survive, which are things like grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes.
I also figured if anything, I could win over there hearts with samples.
My first sample was a green smoothie, which if you know me is an obvious choice for a sample. :-)
I really wanted to get across that adding a green smoothie into your every day lifestyle will do wonders in it self. Your giving your body things that you would most likely not eat on its own, especially in its raw state (not cooked, doused with dressing, etc.).
They are great for babies, toddlers, kids, AND adults. Not to mention, they are SO versatile. If you follow me on facebook, you might have heard that a smoothie made with milk, spinach, kale, chard, cocoa powder, cherries, and bananas is like dessert! (Something that NO one would complain about :-) )
But I have to say I am kind of mean. I didn't just do an original green drink. I made it hard core and beefed it up with tons of greens...
I really wanted them to like me.
Everything Green Smoothie
Everything Green Smoothie
*This smoothie makes quite a bit and could easily serve two adults. Unless your like me and can eat for two, then you could drink it all on it's own. It could also serve 2-3 kids, one mama and 2 children...etc.. :-)
1 c. non dairy milk, more if needed for thinning out smoothie
handful of fresh spinach
handful of fresh kale, no stems
handful of swiss chard
2 green apple, cold and cit into slices/core removed
1/2 medium cold cucumber
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 TB. chia seeds
sweetener of choice, stevia is what I used/honey works well too (1-2 tsp.)
1 1/2 c. ice
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Drink immediately. Enjoy!
I could tell people were a little worried when it came to try it.
That's ok, I made sure I shoved one down everyones throat whether they liked it or not. :-)
Next came a little something sweet:
Peanut Butter Protein and Energy Balls. (I made them with almond butter instead though.)
Everyone really enjoyed these. They were something sweet that you could pop in your mouth if you wanted to satisfy your sweet tooth. OR, if you need a boost during the day, wanted a snack after a workout, or even something for your kiddos after school. Naturally sweetened, full of healthy fats, proteins, and made with....Love...
Up next we had a Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad.
Yet again, I was mean and didn't make their sample with quinoa. I actually was thinking later that night that throwing in some grain would definitely add more "Va Va Voom" to this meal, so the next day I made it again.
You get your protein from the beans and quinoa, some good grains from the quinoa, healthy fats from the avocados, veggies from the spinach and tomatoes, and delicious-ness from the tasty dressing.
Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad
1/2 c. dry quinoa
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
(OR 1 c. prepared/cooked quinoa)
1 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 diced onions
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 avocados, diced
1 bunch cilantro, bottom stems cut off
2 c. spinach
2 tsp. dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 juicy lemon, or two not so juicy lemons :)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. I like to use a rice cooker on the white rice setting to make it easy!
Once the quinoa is cooked, set it aside to cool.
In a food processor, add cilantro and spinach. Process the greens until the are chopped up finely.
In a bowl, add the chickpeas, chopped greens, tomatoes, avocado, onion, and garlic.
In a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Pour over the salad.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Let sit in the fridge until ready to eat! Enjoy!
Salad originally adapted from Oh She Glows, Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad.
I found an unpleasant surprise in my cilantro.
Yuck. Dirt is so disgusting.
This is hands down one of my favorite salads to date!
Everything turned out to be such a success! I am so grateful for those that came out to support me!
And of coarse, none of this would be possible without you guys!! Thanks for coming back each and every day and supporting me...
I know things tend to get a little "Cray Cray" over here some times...
Come back Friday and see what Baby Boo is eating off those beaters. :-)!
Things are getting a little silly around here :)
You may notice things look a little different/a little off.
No need to worry, The Diva-Dish is getting a MUCH needed pampered makeover.
Within the next 24 hours, things are going to be looking a little classier...So please bare with the craziness, and the randomness :)
But I promise, you will love it!
Way back when, salads were my go to kind of food.
I thought it was the 'healthiest' thing to order on the menu at restaurants, and would gladly down a cup of ranch dressing to go along side that.
And if the restaurant had bread, you can guarantee that I dipped my bread into my gallon of ranch, all the while using that bread to lick my nutritious delicious salad plate clean.
Now hold on a second, because I'm not saying eating a salad with ranch and bread is sending you straight to the 'worlds unhealthiest eater' prison. If that's your favorite kind of salad, then by all means dip and lick away. Living every once in a while, and eating our favorite foods in moderation (deep rich chocolate cake anyone?) will keep us sane..trust me. You wouldn't want to know me if chocolate wasn't allowed in my life.
But I believe that there are 'better' ways to enjoy the foods we love.
We can up the nutrients, the fiber, the vitamins, the protein, and everything else if we play around with recipes to have them include beneficial ingredients that will help our bodies stay strong and healthy.
With that being said, let me introduce you to,
Minty Kale Salad
*Kale Greens are a great alternative to regular lettuce and even Spinach. It has an amazing source of Fiber, Antioxidants, Vitamins K, A, and C, and aids in Digestion. For best taste results, remove stems from leaves, because the stems are the bitter part of the Kale Plant.*
Creamy Mint Dressing: Recipe from OhSheGlows
1/4 C. Coconut Milk
1/2 C. Mint Leaves
1 TB. EVOO
3 TB. Lime Juice
2 Tsp. Agave Nectar
1/2 tsp. Arrowroot powder for thickening (optional)
Ingredients for Salad:
1 Large Bunch of Kale (Read * above for health benefits)
Tomatoes (Great source of Lycopene, which aids in fighting cancer, and Vitamin C)
Avocados (Fight cancer, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure)
Garbanzo Beans (Great Sources of Vitamins, Minerals, Fiber, and Protein)
Peaches (Great source of Beta Carotene which helps with eye and heart health. High fiber and high potassium)
Pecans (Heart healthy, natural antioxidants, lower cholesterol, aids w/ weight control, nutrient dense)
Goat Cheese (Easier to digest than cows milk, metabolism boosting, high in protein and calcium, nutrient dense)
(Everything optional, so add what ever you like on salads. If you a non-vegetarian, feel free to add maybe a lemon chicken. If your a vegetarian stick with the garbanzo beans and pecans for the protein, and if your a vegan, opt out on the goat cheese)
1. Make the salad dressing by blending all ingredients in a blender and set aside. Gather Kale bunch and pick off leaves, and discard the stems. Put the leaves in a bowl and drizzle with desired dressing. Massage dressing into Kale Salad until FULLY coated. Let sit while preparing additional ingredients.
2. Once ready, throw additional ingredients on top. Sprinkle with coconut if feeling spontaneous.
3. Dig in!
I think I will be purchasing mint on a regular basis, because this was seriously the most refreshing salad I have ever had. It reminded me of summer!
And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my extra mint leaves when I woke up this morning..
That was until I found this:
I don't even have a green thumb for pre-grown foods bought from the grocery store..
Oh well, it definitely didn't stop me from continuing on with what I had in mind :)
Minty Green Drink
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Coconut Water
1 Heaping Cup Spinach
1 Heaping Cup Kale (no stems)
1/4 Cup Dead Mint Leaves
1/3 C. Frozen Cherries
1/3 C. Frozen Blueberries
1 small frozen banana
1 TB. Chia Seeds
1 TB. Walnuts
1 TB. Vanilla
1. Blend till Creamy and Serve
Thanks again for your patience with the blog change.
I know that things can get a little silly and out of hand around here some times, but I appreciate those that visit often and continue to support this journey on living life the healthy way :)
Or maybe...You just keep coming back because you want to see more of this little Chickpea:
That's ok :)
It's completely healthy!
Tomorrow is my birthday...
You see, at this moment I'm lost and confused as to the day, time, my name, when the last time I washed my hair, If I ate breakfast this morning, and what load of laundry I am on..I think it's number 6.
To say my life is organized and completely under control is like saying I'm 6 ft. tall with blond hair, voluptuous lady lumps, and a great sense of style..
And if you didn't get that last part, I'm 5'3" with brown hair, no lady lumps but one huge hump, and I've seriously considered hiring a personal stylist.
And then today...
I've locked myself in the garage 2 times, and almost a 3rd.
. The first time was a close one, and Baby Boo was sleeping. Luckily for me I caught myself before I did. The second time I officially locked Baby Boo and I in the garage for a good hour until hubby got home, so we entertained out selves with the water hose...
And the third time, hubby was home and I again managed to lock myself in, so I banged on the door so loud that China could hear me..Except my hubby. Sports center was on..And men can only focus on one thing at a time..At least that's what my mom always taught me.
Then to top it off I stepped in gum earlier in the day, and judging by it's size, it was chewed by Godzilla.
And without noticing, I got in my car, starting driving, only to find my foot sticking to the peddles...Due to the Gum.
And I won't lie, I'm a little worried to scrape it off in fear of catching rabies or something like that..
(Have I ever mentioned how dramatic I can be?)
And now that I am sitting here, really praying for a hot warm bath, I can't help but look forward to tomorrow. Because birthday's are special..
Birthday's mean spoiling..
And birthday's mean..
And eating everything that I want..All MY way :)
What I Ate Wednesday, BIRTHDAY addition..
MY WAY Taco Salad
Roasted Pepita Seeds
Roasted Corn (Recipe Below)
Lentil "Taco Meat" (Recipe Below)
Cinnamony-Cumin Salad Dressing (Recipe Below)
1. Take an ear of corn and lightly coat with butter, 2 tsp. chopped garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2. Wrap corn in tin foil and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 min. Then undo the foil, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes. When done, take a knife and cut down the sides of the corn to get the little corn off. Set aside.
(Lentil "Taco Meat")
1. Take 1 TB. Chopped Garlic, 1/2 C. Diced onion, and 2 TB. EVOO. Heat oil in pan, then add garlic and onion. Cook and stir for about 5 -7 minutes, or until a little golden. Lower heat to medium-low, then add 1 1/2 C. cooked lentils into pan with 1.5 TB. Taco Seasoning.
I made homemade seasoning, recipe from HERE.
2. Cook for an additional 5 or so minutes, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, remove from heat, and set aside.
(Cinnamony-Cumin Salad Dressing)
recipe from: Eat Drink and Be Vegan
1/4 C. EVOO
2 TB apple cider vinegar
2 TB Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Blend all ingredients into a blender.
1. Start with the lettuce, avocado, corn, tomato, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and Lentil Meat.
2. Drizzle with dressing.
This Taco Salad was made MY way, but obviously you could do it YOUR way. Add what ever toppings you desire, such as sour cream, cilantro, chips, Peanut Butter (i dunno)..etc
I also paired this salad with Butternut squash seasoned with cinnamon and cilantro.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to eating my weight in watermelon.
and a slice of Chocolate Cake at every meal.
That is unless...
I get stuck in the garage again..