Lemon Basil Potato Salad

LemonBasilPotatoSalad

We’ve had snow here in Colorado for over a week and these chilly cabin fever days have got me thinking of summer.  The warm sun, the longer days, the BBQ’s and best of all playing outside.  This Lemon Basil Potato Salad became a family favorite this past summer.  It is a great dish to bring to outdoor parties and even better it wont spoil in the hot sun.

Have you ever tried Lemon Basil?  I tried it for the first time this past summer.  A few friends of ours sold this tasty herb at our local Farmers Market.  They sold all kinds of Micro-Greens but it wasn’t until I tried their Lemon Basil that I fell in love.  The first sample bite I took of this tasty herb, I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  A Lemon Basil Dressing poured over some roasted potatoes.  So I went home that day to see if my instincts were correct.  Oh Boy, were they!  This Lemon Basil Potato Salad was perfect!

The Ingredients:

5-6 medium Yukon potatoes, cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

The Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch lemon basil, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place first 6 ingredients in a large baking dish, mix well, coating every potato.  Bake in oven for about an hour stirring half way through.  You want the potatoes to be slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Remove from oven and with a slotted spoon transfer potatoes into a serving bowl.  You want to leave any excess oil from baking.  Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.  Drizzle over the potatoes while they are still warm.  You can either serve warm or place in the refrigerator to chill and serve cold.

Enjoy!

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Brussels Sprout Salad

BrusselsSproutSalad

Next up on my Thanksgiving Day Feast recap, Brussels Sprout Salad.  We all tend to go a little heavy on the comfort food this time of year so why not help out our digestive system by serving something light.  This Brussels Sprout Salad is a refreshing and colorful addition to any feast and it tastes delicious!

The Ingredients:

1 stalk brussels sprouts, sliced (makes between 4-6 cups)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pepper to taste
1 c garbanzo beans
1 c walnuts, chopped
3/4 c dried cranberries

Add the raw brussels sprouts to your food processor using the slicer disk blade.  Set aside.

In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add in all of the spices then add the brussels sprouts.  Cooke until sprouts are slightly wilted but still crunchy.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

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Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad

StuffedGrilledAvocado

Have you ever tried Grilled Avocados?  I hadn’t either until I started seeing them pop up everywhere on the Internet.  I absolutely love avocados but I was hesitant to try this.  Mainly because if they came out awful then I would have just wasted a perfectly yummy avocado and that would be a shame.  After mulling it over a bit I decided to go ahead and give it a try.  It turns out grilled avocados are really good! They take on a completely different taste. It is a nutty flavor and with a little salt and pepper the avocado taste amazing.  So Yippee!!  It was a success and no avocados were wasted.

The other night I made a bean salad for my little munchkin and although he enjoyed it there was a lot left over. I decided to use it with my Grilled Avocado and came up with a new and delicious dish. This Grilled Avocados Stuffed with Bean Salad is so tasty you’ll be wondering where grilled avocados have been your whole life.

The Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Salad:

1 c garbanzo beans
1/2  c tomatoes, diced
1/4 c peas
1/4 c corn
1 tsp parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the grill to medium – high heat.

Brush the avocados with olive oil and place them facedown on the grill for about 7 minutes until you get the charred mark across them.

Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Next in a medium bowl, add all of the Salad ingredients and mix well.

Spoon the salad onto the grilled avocado and serve.

Enjoy!

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Zoodle Salad

ZoodleSalad

Since the beginning of Spring I have been seeing a lot of Zoodles (zucchini noodles) dishes all over Instagram.  I have always known it was possible to transform zucchini into pasta but never actually tried it myself.  I am so inspired by these Zoodles dishes I decided it was time I give it a try.  I went on Amazon and ordered myself a vegetable spiralizer.  I wanted to start with something simple and came up with this delicious Zoodle Salad as my first attempt.

As most of you know my husband and son are the true taste testers for any dish I post on my blog so you could imagine I was a little nervous about this one.  This was completely new to my guys and there was no telling if they were really going to like it.  As I sat at the dinner table anxiously waiting for their opinion, I finally got it.  It was a success!  Thank Goodness!  So here it is for you and your families to try.  I am now really excited to immerse myself into all the possibilities Zoodles have to offer.  They seem to be endless so stay tuned.

The Ingredients:

2 zucchini squash
1 crookneck squash
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Salad:

2 tomatoes, diced
1 c garbanzo beans
1/2 c olives, sliced (green or black)
Salt and pepper to taste.

With a knife or vegetable spiralizer cut squash into spaghetti-like strips.

In a large skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add the squash and cook until slightly tender about 5-7 minutes.

Once the squash is cooked, transfer into a glass bowl and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the Zoodle bowl.  Mix well and serve.

Enjoy!

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Rainbow Salad

RainbowSalad

I have been waiting all week to share this gorgeous Rainbow Salad with you.  Our local Farmers Market opened this past weekend and we brought home an abundance of beautiful vegetables.  There is something about a Farmers Market that makes me so happy.  I love the strong sense community, buying your produce outside, meeting new people and talking with the farmers.  They are always willing to offer tips on growing a successful garden or different ways to cook their vegetables.  It’s a great experience all around and most of all, I love knowing where my food comes from and who grew it.  I know it sounds simple but that is what I like.  Simple and back to basics.

Most of the ingredients in this salad are from the Farmers Market and I am looking forward to the variety of vegetables that will be offered throughout the summer.  While our garden is growing strong, the vegetables are not ready to harvest.  The Farmers Market is great to have around while we wait for our own vegetable garden to start producing delicious foods.

The Ingredients:

2 c mixed greens
1 large tomato
1 small cucumber
3 radishes, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 c green olives

The Dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl, toss with the dressing and serve.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Herbed Quinoa

LemonHerbedQuinoa

The first time I ever made quinoa it was a disaster.  For the life of me I could not figure out how to make it look as light and fluffy as I had seen it in Whole Foods.  My poor quinoa came out looking mushy and not all that appetizing.  I eventually figured out what I had been doing wrong, once the quinoa is done cooking to turn the heat off but leave it on the warm burner, fluff it with a fork and covered it for an additional 5 minutes.  Once I perfected cooking quinoa, I quickly fell in love.  I usually make a fresh batch of quinoa about every week and I store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.  Quinoa is so versatile that we always have it on hand for a quick bite.  This Lemon Herbed Quinoa is a perfect dish to have as a side, bring to a BBQ, or to just snack on.

The Ingredients:

1 c quinoa
2 c vegetable broth

The Dressing:

1 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c basil, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan cook quinoa according to package.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the Dressing ingredients.

Once quinoa has cooled fold in the dressing and serve.

Enjoy!

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Wholesome Bowl with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Wholesome Bowl with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I had a beautiful, chilly Mother’s Day weekend filled with shopping, good food, great company and the perfect amount of sweets.  My husband and son did such an amazing job of making me feel really special and appreciated.  I had a fun weekend celebrating me but it is time reset my gut and get back to my healthy lifestyle.  This Wholesome Bowl with Roasted Brussels Sprouts is the perfect way to do it.  There is something about salads that make me feel good inside and out.  Packed with enough protein, fats and veggies it can fill me up and give me plenty of energy.  I love the thought of having a salad after a hard workout or just as a light summer dinner.  This however, was not always the case and I was not always so in touch with my body.  Nowadays, I can tell pretty quickly if a meal was not balanced just by the way I feel afterwards.

When I was younger, I swam competitively for about 13 years (4th grade – college) and although I looked healthy my diet certainly wasn’t.  Pasta was a huge part of my diet, raw vegetables and salads did make an appearance on my plate too often.  There was a lot of meat, cheese, complex carbs, processed foods and sugar.  My swimming career eventually came to an end and soon after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  I gained weight and a lot of it.  It took some time but with no longer swimming 2 hours every day and now eating a ton of gluten-free over-processed foods I became depressed about my weight (200+lbs) and a bit lost nutritionally.  I basically had to retrain myself on everything I thought I knew about nutrition and healthy eating.  I am still learning new things every day.

My journey has been a long and bumpy one.  There has been many ups and downs but I can honesty say at this point in my life I am good.  I am not where I want to be, I am still working on belly from being pregnant but I am okay with that.  We are all a work in progress.  If we weren’t, what would be the point of all of this?  I am always trying to better myself.  Whether it be my weight, my parenting, my relationships, my lifestyle or my cooking I am always making strides to a better me.  I love the feeling of always moving forward and working towards a goal in a healthy, beneficial way.

Life is a journey it is not the destination. So enjoy each moment along the way.

The Ingredients:

2 c mixed greens
1/2 c black beans
1/2 c quinoa
1/4 c carrots
1/4 c cucumber
1/4 c tomatoes
1/4 c red bell pepper
1/4 c Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp chia seeds

The Dressing:

1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
splash of apple cider vinegar
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I was never a big fan of brussels sprouts.  That is, until my Aunt Gail brought them to a family dinner at my parent’s house several years ago.  I remember thinking, ‘ugh, brussels sprouts’ (sorry Aunt Gail) and was hesitant to even taste them.  Well, thank goodness I did!  They were the most mouth-watering brussels sprouts I had ever tasted.  They had been roasted, I believe, in balsamic and olive oil.  Amazing!  Ever since, I have been in love with these little guys and really enjoy experimenting with different ways of cooking and serving them.  This Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnuts is so delicious.  I love the sweetness of the shallots and the extra crunch of those little walnuts.  Best of all, this dish is toddler approved!

The Ingredients:

1 lb brussels sprouts
3 tbsp coconut oil, warmed
1 shallot, sliced
1/2 c raw walnuts, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and cut the brussels sprouts in half.  Place into a baking dish.  Add the shallots, oil, salt and pepper.  Mix well, coating each brussels sprout evenly.  Bake in oven for about 45 minutes.  Until sprouts are lightly roasted and fork tender.  Once done, stir in the walnuts.

Serve either hot or cold.

Enjoy!

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Wholesome Bowl

WholesomeBowl

Last week I went to my good friends house for lunch, some adult conversation and of course, a play date.  While our babes played together we enjoyed a beautiful salad she had made.  It was so colorful, delicious and filling I just had to try to recreate it.  This Wholesome Bowl is perfect all on its own.  No dressing needed.

To create this dish, you’ll have to plan ahead.  I am a planner and when it comes to eating healthy, I find it is the only way to be successful.  If there is nothing healthy and accessible in the kitchen at all times, poor choices are made.  I know this about me and I have learned what works and what doesn’t.  Every week, after food shopping, I know I have to dedicate a few hours to prepping and cooking foods.  I know what you are thinking, who has the time to prep like this, especially when you have kids.  Well, when I am ready to start prepping my son is doing one of the following; napping, playing with dad, playing at me feet in the kitchen or most often sitting in his high chair being my little sous chef.  He loves being in the kitchen with me, especially when he gets to taste everything I make.

This past weekend, I was focused on making this salad.  On Sunday, I spent about 2-3 hours in the kitchen preparing.  This time Max was playing with Dad.  I roasted butternut squash, soaked and cooked both black beans and garbanzo beans, made quinoa and boiled beets.  I stored everything in separate containers in the refrigerator.  Now when it is time for lunch or a snack, all I have to do is grab a bowl, add some mix greens and whatever combination of prepped bowls I am in the mood for.  Any mom knows, running around after a toddler all day can lead to skipping meals or overeating when we finally have a moment.  Prepping, for me is a necessity and a lifesaver.  Try a planning ahead, it may work for you too.

The Ingredients:

1 c mixed greens
1/2 c beets
1/2 c butternut squash
1/2 c black beans
1/2 c quinoa
1/2 c cherry tomatoes
1/4 avocado
6 olives

First place greens in a medium bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and serve.

If you would like to add some dressing use olive oil and apple cider vinegar or simply some lemon juice. Yum!

Enjoy!

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Roasted Potato Salad

Roasted Potato Salad

Roasted potatoes, when done right, can be the perfect little bit of slightly crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle.  Now that spring is here and barbecue season is just around the corner, my taste buds are craving potato salad.  I wanted to give a fresh spin on this classic dish.  This Roasted Potato Salad is a light and refreshing dish that will be a great addition to any summer party.

I love roasted potatoes.  In fact, I love all potatoes.  As long as they are dairy-free and vegan, I will eat them (with the exception of chips, not a big fan). Both my brother and sister share my love for roasted potatoes, especially my moms.  My mom always makes roasted potatoes for family events and between my siblings and I there will inevitably be about half of the potatoes missing by the time the dish makes it onto the table.  The funny thing is every time my mom notices this; she is equally shocked and disappointed that half of her potatoes are gone, as if she didn’t see this coming.  She is well aware she raised 3 potato thieves; I mean it’s been almost 40 years.  One would think, at some point, she would start making more.  Personally I think, although she may seem a little pissed at the time, she finds great joy in seeing that after all these years, we still love her food.  And we thought we were the sneaky ones.

The Ingredients:

5-6 medium Yukon potatoes, cubed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

The Dressing:

Juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped (1 tbsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Place first 6 ingredients in a large baking dish, mix well, coating every potato.  Bake in oven for 1 hour stirring half way through.  Remove from oven and with a slotted spoon transfer potatoes into a serving bowl.  You want to leave the excess oil from baking.  Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together.  Drizzle over the potatoes while they are still warm.  You can either serve while warm or place in the refrigerator to chill and serve cold.

This recipe will serve about 4 guests.

Enjoy!

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