salad

Smoked Salmon & Farro Salad 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked Farro
  • 2 diced Fuji apples
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Place farro in a medium saucepan. Cover Farro with water to 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook, uncovered, 30-35 min or until tender. 

Combine cooked Farro, diced apples, and next 4 ingredients (through celery) in a large bowl. Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over Farro mixture; toss to coat.

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Tired of packing a boring sandwich for lunch?

Want to boost your antioxidant level by increasing your vegetable intake?

Want to wake up your taste buds with fresh, exotic flavors?

This quick and easy salad is perfect for you!

Don’t settle for a sandwich, when you can re-energize your body mid-day with this nutrient dense, flavorful dish!

You are worth it!

Moroccan Chickpea, Carrot, and Spiced Quinoa Salad

Yields: 4-5 Servings

Recipe Inspired ByHappy Hearted Kitchen

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Spiced Quinoa

  • 1 cup Tri-Colored Quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup Salted water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  •  1 ½ teaspoon Ground Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 2 cans Organic Chickpeas, drained and rinsed; Pat dry
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Salad

  • 8 Medium Carrots
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Local Honey
  • ¼ cup Raisins or Currants
  • 1/2 cup Raw Almonds, Sliced or Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss chickpeas with spices. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until chickpeas are slightly brown and crunchy. Toss the chickpeas halfway through cooking time to evenly cook.
  2. Rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add rinsed quinoa and water to a pot and season with salt. Add in spices. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, slice carrots into ribbons.  Drizzle with olive oil, honey and lemon juice and set aside.
  4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add to the carrots. Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

If you are taking this salad for lunch, go ahead and portion into individual servings so the dish is ready to go when you are!

Salsa Verde Mexican Potato Hash

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Mexican Potato Hash:

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet Potatoes, Grated or 1 Bag Refrigerated Potato Shreds
  • 1 Onion, Diced or sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • ½ Tbsp Ground Red Pepper
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper (to Taste)
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 cups Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Salsa Verde Chicken or Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
  • ¼ cup Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese or 50% Reduced Fat Cabot Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
  • Low-Fat Sour Cream
  • Sliced Jalapenos (optional)
  • Sriracha Sauce (optional)

Directions:

Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Mix grated potatoes, onion, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic salt, and ground black pepper together. Place in skillet in flat layer. All potatoes to cook around 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. Flip potatoes over which may need to be done in segments. Cook another 7-9 minutes. Meanwhile saute spinach in skillet until wilted. Re-heat Salsa Verde Chicken or shred rotisserie chicken to prepare for assembly.

Place 2/3 – 1 cup shredded potatoes on plate. Top with sautéed spinach, 2 Tbsp shredded cheese, salsa verde chicken, sriracha sauce, sliced jalapenos, and a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Recommend serving with a salad or roasted vegetable of choice!

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Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad

I LOVE summer!!! When it comes to fresh produce, no other season compares!!! The bright colors of fruits & veggies, the fragrant smell of fresh herbs, and abundance of local farmers markets, can entice anyone..... I fell victim this weekend when I made a trip to Pepper Place Farmer's Market located in Birmingham .... I came home with arms loaded!

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One dish I created from my farmers market trip was inspired by MyRecipes.com. This recipe is quick, easy, and full of summer flavors!!!

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Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad:Serves 4Salad Ingredients: 3-4 Heirloom Tomatoes (a variety of colors add dimension) 3-5 Small Tomatoes (green zebras, red zebras, and yellow tomatoes) Handful of Cherry Tomatoes 2 Peaches, Diced 1 Red Onion Diced 1 Large Avocado, Diced Sea Salt Ground Black Pepper 1 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese Handful of Purple Basil, Shredded Salad Dressing: 1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar Salt Ground Black Pepper 2 teaspoon Honey

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix EVOO, sherry vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, and honey in a bowl or shake in a small mason jar. Pour over tomato mixture. Gently fold in avocado, Basil, and crumbled feta cheese.

Serve as a side with sandwiches or grilled burgers. This salad also pairs great with grilled chicken, fish or pork, or as the main entree along side pecorino & pesto crostini!

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Cook Once, Eat for a Week

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If your week looks busy, I encourage you to PLAN AHEAD!!!! Declare this the week that TIME stops being your excuse and starts being your advantage in making nutrient-dense food choices!!!

Planning proceeds production. By simply taking time to plan ahead, you can prepare nutrient dense meals with half the effort!!! Start your week by preparing Salsa Verde Chicken in a slow-cooker and be ready to feed your family in a variety of ways for the rest of the week!!!!

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN

(Recipe From SkinnyTaste )

    • Organic Chicken Breast (4-8 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Depending on Size)
    • 1 Jar of Your Favorite Salsa Verde or Tomato Salsa
    • Cook on High for 4-Hours

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN WEEKLY MENU:

    1. Salsa Verde Chicken Breast served over Mexican Rice and Roasted Asparagus
    2. Salsa Verde Chicken Taquitos with Sriracha Cream Dipping Sauce served with Guacamole Salad
    3. Salsa Verde Tacos served with Refried Beans and Guacamole Salad
    4. Salsa Verde Chicken Salad with Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TAQUITOS

(Recipe Inspired by Just a Taste )

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
  • 3 cups Salsa Verde Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken (Shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Blend or Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth 12 (6-inch) Corn Tortillas

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it's translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes until it's golden and fragrant.

Reduce the heat to low, and then add the lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the chicken, tossing to combine.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the shredded cheese.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. One at a time, dip each tortilla into the broth for 10 to 15 seconds, just until it's pliable enough to roll. Transfer the tortilla to your work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla, and then place it seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining tortillas.

Bake the taquitos for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with Sriracha Cream Sauce for dipping (Sriracha Sauce mixed with Low-Fat Sour Cream and Fresh Ground Black Pepper and Minced Garlic) and Guacamole Salad.

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TACOS:

No recipe needed… it is simply an assembly night! Top a corn tortilla with fat free refried beans, salsa verde chicken, cheese, and leftover sriracha cream sauce or fresh guacamole! Serve with a simply guacamole salad. I recommend Wholly Guacamole if you wish to save time on making fresh guacamole!

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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN SALAD:

It is another assembly night!!! Toss your favorite organic greens in a low-fat dressing or high quality olive oil. Top with your favorite vegetables. For added texture and a nutrient dense starch, add Roasted Cumin Sweet Potatoes (Cube 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, Toss in Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and 2 Tbsp Cumin and Roast in Oven at 400 for 30 minutes). Be creative with your salad toppings but do not forget the Salsa Verde Chicken!!!!

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Cook Smarter, Not Harder

When meal planning I hear a lot of individuals struggle with variety. Meal planning can be made easy by using one main ingredient to build different meals. Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel each and every night.

Start by looking at what meats or protein sources are on sale. If meat products are too expensive that week, look for meat alternatives such as beans. They are always an inexpensive option. Publix announces their sales every Wednesday for the upcoming week which is why I typically shop on Fridays. This gives me enough time to be informed of sales and develop a meal plan. Last week Publix had pork tenderloin on sale so I will use this for my meal planning example.

I decided to cook my pork in the slow-cooker to free up my time to work on Monday!! Since I cooked the meat that day, I kept my sides easy.... I served with Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens. (sorry no picture)

I took the leftovers and used inexpensive ingredients to create different meals but minimal cooking.

On the second night I made baked potatoes stuffed with pork tenderloin and side salad made with organic greens I found on sale!!

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Since the greens were on sale I decided to use the same ingredients on the third night. Salad greens are easy to grow at home as well so feel free to get in touch with your green thumb!! On the third night I made pork tenderloin salads with homemade croutons!!

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To make the most of meal planning just takes a few simple steps: 1.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel each and every night 2.) Choose one main ingredient and vary it up 1-2 ways 3.) A variety of produce can drastically change your meal presentation 4.) Think of ways to change FLAVOR & TEXTURE (Example: use leftover pork in a stew or soup) 5.) Think of themes for your meals (example: Mexican Night - pork tacos, Sandwich Night- pulled pork sandwiches, Chinese - pork lo mein)

Just remember to have fun!!!! There is no wrong or right way to meal plan, it's just about being intentional!!!!

Cook smarter not harder!!! >

Vinaigrette 101

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Making vinaigrette is all about making it your own. I tend do keep my vinaigrette dressings at 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar. You can use a wide variety of vinegars such as balsamic, red wine vinegar, white balsamic, or apple cider vinegar.

Instead of vinegar you can also use citrus juice as your acid such as lemon juice (think kale salad) or pink grapefruit juice which works nicely baby spinach salad.

Basic Vinaigrette 1 Tbsp Dijon 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup olive oil

Place Dijon into a jar or bowl and add vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake or mix vigorously. Add oil and continue to mix or shake. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Dressing will keep up to 1-week on your counter.

To add sweetness add sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave nectar.

To add creaminess add goat cheese, feta cheese, or Gorgonzola cheese.

Add fresh herbs to add zest and character. For example, add oregano and thyme for a Greek inspired vinaigrette.

Be creative! It's your salad!!

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Pictured Above: Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette topped with Organic Walnuts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sautéed Red Onion, Organic Sun-Dried Roma Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Feta Cheese

8 Nutrients to Boost Your Spirits - Nutrient #8

Vitamin B6

 • Helps in the production of neurotransmitters which send messages from the brain to the rest of the body • B6 Deficiency can case anemia, confusion, depression, and weakened immune system • Vitamin B6 is effective for treatment premenstrual depression • RDA: 1.3mg per day for adults

cereal ACTIONS TO TAKE:

 • Start Your Morning with Fortified Whole Grain Cereal! ¾ cup Provides About 1mg • Snack on Hummus or Top Your Salad at Lunch with Chickpeas! 1 cup Provides 1.1mg • Stock up on Seafood! 3oz of Salmon and Tuna Provides 1mg. • Poultry Packs Vit. B6 Too! 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast has 0.5mg of B6

 

TIP #2 - EATING WELL

Tip 2: Load Up on Fruits & Vegetables

Did you know that only 1 in 4 Americans consumes the recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruit and vegetables?!

Are you in the small percentage?

By increasing your vegetable and fruit intake you drastically cut your risk for heart disease and diabetes and significantly increase your vitamin and mineral intake which offers TONS of health benefits such as better eyesight, improve skin integrity, health bones, strong immune system, and cancer prevention!!!!!

Supplements are great in a pinch, but with summer here there are LOADS of seasonal fruits and vegetables waiting on you to enjoy!!!   What can you do to increase your fruit and vegetable intake today?

I increased my vegetable intake by making a "Farmer's Market Salad" which included fresh summer corn, okra, peas, arugula, and tomatoes!!!!

Putting Pumpkin Seeds on the Plate

The first step of cooking pumpkin seeds, is to rinse the seeds well under  running water in    order to lose the pumpkin flesh flavor. Once the seeds are clean, use a damp dish towel to blot the seeds dry.  After drying the seeds,  sprinkle them with the herbs of your choice and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  For even cooking while in the oven, it is best to turn the seeds every 10 minutes. Also feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or Italian herb mix for example.  If you prefer your seeds to have a salty flavor, consider boiling your seeds in salted water.

Pumpkin Seed Serving Tips

  • Add crunch to your vegetables by adding pumpkin seeds
  • Add flavor to your salad by sprinkling candied pumpkin seeds on top of your mixed green salad

Candied Pumpkin Seeds:  Recipe From www.tasteofhome.com

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Spread into a greased foil-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 250° for 45-50 minutes or until seeds are well-glazed, stirring occasionally. Cool completely; break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1 cup.

  • Whole Foods offered this great tip: Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
  • Make your morning oatmeal standout by adding canned pumpkin and chopped pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkin seeds are also a great addition to your favorite cold cereal.
  • Add pumpkin seeds to your homemade granola.  Don’t have time to cook?! Pick up Back to Nature’s Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Granola at your local grocery store!
  • To give your burgers more texture, add ground pumpkin seeds
  • Add kick to your afternoon snack by packing Spicy Pumpkin Seeds in your lunch bag! (Following Recipe is from All Recipes)

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds -  Recipe From www.allrecipes.com

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 drops hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Stir together the pumpkin seeds and butter in a bowl. Add the salt, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce; stir. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until crispy, about 45 minutes.

Wanting to know more? Check out this link which will provide  More Pumpkin Seed Information