Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

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It’s March 10th, which means that spring is just around the corner…..although it did snow in Nashville today.  So random. Winter had 4 months to show up and it decided to do it mid-March, for two hours.  Literally. It snowed two inches and then disappeared. The first picture was taken at 8:00am and the second, at 10:00am.

You can see where my garden grows in the bottom picture.  Not long and I will fill it with veggies and berries and herbs!  I can hardly wait. Working in my garden make me so happy. It’s so therapeutic. Alex built the awesome fence around the garden out of drift wood from the lake.

In fact, most of the ingredients in the Southwest Quinoa salad will come from the garden. That’s what I love about this dish. It’s fresh, light and delicious.

You can double or triple this recipe to bring to all the cookouts in your near future.

Only 10 more days until spring!

 Southwest Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup red, orange or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Dressing:

  • The juice of 2 large freshly squeezed limes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp honey

Directions:

1. Rinse the quinoa well. Place the quinoa in a pot with a tight-fitting lid along with the chicken or vegetable stock. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.

2. While the quinoa cooks make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, minced garlic and honey until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk again until well combined.

3. After the quinoa cools, mix all salad ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

 

This dish can be served as a side or throw on some grilled chicken or baked salmon for a protein packed meal.

Here are a few other of my favorite recipes.

Zucchini Lasagna

Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

Turkey Sausage

Scrambled Egg Muffins

 

Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

The name, Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding, is deceiving because this sweet little concoction could really be eaten anytime, even for desert.  With only six super healthy ingredients, you can make a breakfast full of omega-3 fats, fiber, protein, vitamins and antioxidants that is totally delicious and guilt free.

Chia Seed Benefits

Chia seeds are an excellent source of Antioxidants.  Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage. They can prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation from free radical damage.

Eating Chia seeds promotes healthy skin, reduces signs of aging, supports the heart and digestive system, builds stronger bones and muscles. They are full of fiber, iron, and calcium. Don’t over do Chia seeds the first go-round though. These little guys really pack a fiber punch.  They will blast right through your intestines like tiny rockets. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

Berry Benefits

Besides being beautiful and super tasty, berries are really, really good for you.

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, called anthocyanins, that may help keep memory sharp as you age. They also can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.

Raspberries contain ellagic acid, a compound found to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Strawberries are an excellent source of potassium, many B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper.

Strawberries are on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen because they contain the most pesticide residue. So buy Organic if you can.  If you buy conventionally grown strawberries, you can wash away external pesticides with this super easy, DIY fruit and veggie wash.

 

All berries are great sources of fiber that helps keep the digestive system to keep moving smoothly.  We add berries as a side for breakfast and lunch or just a snack.

Almond Milk Benefits

Almond milk is low in fat, but high in energy, lipids and fiber. It contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. It is also high in protein, which is good for bone strength.  Almond milk is a staple at my house, we use it for cooking, smoothies, cereal and protein shakes.

Cinnamon Benefits

Cinnamon is full of antioxidants and helps to lower blood sugar. Eating cinnamon regularly enables the body to fight infections and repair tissue damage.  Bonus if you sprinkle some in your morning cup of Joe.

 

Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup non-dairy milk (almond, coconut or cashew)
  • 6 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh berries
  • Slivered almonds (optional)
  • Dash Cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Sprinkle in the chia seeds and stir them in thoroughly.

Step 2: Pour mixture into a bowl or jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.  I like my pudding on the thicker side so I wait until it has the consistency of actual pudding.  Some people like it more liquidy.  It’s totally up to you.

Step 3: Serve pudding with berries, almonds and a dash of cinnamon sprinkled on top.

So long story short, here are just some of the benefits to Vanilla Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding.

  • Antioxidants – prevents cell damage due to free radicals
  • Fiber – maintains healthy digestive tract
  • Protein – builds and repairs tissues, builds muscle which encourages weight loss
  • Omega-3 fats – benefits heart health, affects children’s learning and behavior
  • Calcium – builds and maintains strong bones

Let me know if you give this recipe a go.  I am excited to see what you think.

xo

 

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

I don’t mind cooking the meals, it’s the brainstorming of the meal ideas that I’m not into.

Too bad because I really like to eat. I would just rather have someone else make it for me.

This recipe for zucchini lasagna is exciting for me because I haven’t eaten a proper lasagna in six years since I have given up gluten.

The zucchini “noodles” are so similar in texture to lasagna noodles that even my eight year old didn’t notice them.  It could be because of the extreme amount of cheese in the dish.

But cheese never hurt anybody.

Plus, substituting a vegetable for an unhealthy carb totally cancels out the copious amounts of cheese you will consume with this meal.

The noodle slicing is a bit time consuming but I recommend trying this recipe once.  I guarantee that you will end up making it again.

The recipe calls for a marinara sauce that you can either make from scratch (recipe included) or use a favorite from the store.  When using store sauce, take a peek at the sugar amount on the label.  You will be surprised how much sugar some store bought sauce contain.

Without further adieu, here is the zucchini lasagna recipe.

Yum, people.

Yum.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Black pepper, to taste

4 medium  zucchini, sliced 1/8″

1 1/2 cups part-skim ricotta

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1  egg

4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Marinara – this recipe is super easy.  If you’re not in the mood to make it, then grab your favorite jarred sauce.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice zucchini into 1/8″ thick slices.

 

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3. Sprinkle salt on the Zucchini and set in a colander for 10 minutes. The salt will cause the Zucchini to sweat and release some of it’s moisture

 

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4. Place Zucchini slices on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Depending on how high you stack the zucchini, keep your eye on the oven so that you don’t completely dry them out.  As you can see, I got impatient and stacked those bad boys real high.  I took off the first layer after 10 minutes and started building the first layer of lasagna while the rest dried out in the oven.  Use your best judgement on this one.

 

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5. In a medium bowl mix Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Stir well.

 

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6. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 casserole dish and alternate two layers of zucchini to cover.

 

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7. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta and parm mixture on top of the zucchini, then top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up.

 

8. Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover the foil add one more cup of Mozzarella and bake and additional 10 minutes.

 

Want to share this recipe?  Click on the pic below to save to Pinterest.

Can’t wait to hear about your zucchini lasagna making venture. *wink*

Leave a comment below and let me know how you like it!

Peace out friends. xo

 

Delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce

Delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read the disclosure policy here.

Homemade marinara sauce is easier to make than you think. Skip the jarred pasta sauce and give this recipe a go.

Homemade Marinara

Ingredients

2 (14.5oz) cans petite diced tomatoes (make sure your cans are BPA free)
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 tbsp dried parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion

Directions

1. In a pot over medium heat, saute the finely chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent or for about 3 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, paste, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt n peppa.

3. Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Bon appetite.

Wait, that’s French.

Andiamo a mangiare!

If you want to make a hearty meat sauce, brown hamburger or ground turkey and add to the sauce before you simmer. Here is some meaty marinara in my Zucchini Lasagna.

Delizioso.