I want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge all the men and women who have given their lives protecting our country. The United States military dedicates their lives everyday to give us the opportunity to “celebrate” holidays such as this. Please make sure that while you are with your friends and families, at cookouts or the beach or wherever you choose to spend your day off from work, that you take a moment to remember what Memorial Day is really all about and to thank the veterans and current military members in your life! I know I couldn’t do what they do!
So since I am hoping this weekend will also include a gathering of friends and family for you, or maybe just a nice day at home, I wanted to share this amazingly refreshing summer salad recipe with you! It is the perfect healthy dish to bring to a cookout or to serve as a side dish with a nice white fish or shrimp. You cold even add some leafy greens and make tacos with this as the filling! Or use it as a dip with gluten free corn chips! I love the Late July brand! They have so many yummy flavors… all gluten free!!
This whole recipe takes about 30 minutes! I am even gunna give you a step by step for making this WHILE you get ready for your party! If you are a guy, just totally ignore the hair and makeup parts. In fact you probably only take 20 minutes to get ready so just go make this for your girlfriend while she is getting ready!! Sooo rinse your quinoa super well to avoid that nasty soapy flavor it might have if you don’t rinse it! Prepare quinoa according to package or the directions below. Once removed from the heat, jump in the shower. When you are so fresh and so clean come back and fluff the quinoa and place in a large bowl in the fridge. Chop your apple, onion, pepper and mandarin oranges and place in a medium bowl. Mince the garlic, cilantro and jalapeno and place in another medium bowl. Go dry your hair!
While your straightener/curler is heating up come back and whip together the dressing following the directions below.
Go do your make up and hair and put your party dress on! 🙂
Ok now that you are all pretty and ready for your party, gently toss the veggies and fruit with half of the dressing and fold mixture into the chilled quinoa. Drizzle the second half of the dressing onto salad and gently until flavors are thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the remaining cilantro.
Enjoy your salad and your party and remember to thank the troops… today and everyday!
I hope all of you have had an amazing day! There is absolutely nothing like the love of a mother. Mother’s are the most selfless, giving, loving people in the world! I can’t imagine a day without my amazing mom! She has made me the woman I am today and started my love for cooking when I was very little! Her favorite thing in the world, even after a long day at work, is to spend hours in the kitchen, creating delicious and healthy masterpieces for the family. She loves hosting dinner parties and having family and friends over for the holidays. I feel so lucky every day for everything she has taught me <3
I also wanted to let you all know that as soon as I possibly can I will be posting so many new and fun recipes! I have them! I have the photos! I have taken the time to taste test and devour each and every delicious bite… just for you of course! And I am so excited to share them all with you!
Here is a mini collage of a few of my favorite recent recipes! Once I have them all posted I will link them back to this post as well 🙂
LEFT: Zesty Lime Shrimp Tacos
TOP RIGHT: Citrus Cilantro Quinoa Salad with a Kick
BOTTOM RIGHT: 30 Calorie Veggie Fettuccine
I have been insanely busy lately… which is a great thing, but I am dying to have more time with my fingers on this keyboard to type up fun posts and the detailed recipes for everyone. I feel pretty confident you will all be excited to try them. I have been experimenting with savory meals lately to counteract my never ending sweet tooth and am pretty darn happy with the results!
Well this recipe might not have been the winner when I took the vote to Facebook on whether you all wanted to see this recipe or my Vegan Lentil Soup recipe first, but what I didn’t tell you is that this one was actually my favorite! While I loved the lentil soup and all it’s hearty yet fat free goodness, I felt like this Vegan Power House Quinoa and Veggie Soup was much more my style for a year round, go to, quick and easy recipe.
If you read my last post, then you got all the fun details about my trip to visit my sister and and my adorable nephew and my week long lack of my amazing Canon Rebel. If you didn’t then I am here to warn you these photos are definitely not the best quality. I apologize in advance that they were all snapped quickly on my iPhone. “Having dinner/lunch/breakfast ready for the family and spending time with Harper and my sis took priority. #sorryimnotsorry“
This recipe is actually based on a recipe my sister’s midwife gave her for added nutrition after the birth of her baby boy. The abundance of protein and vitamins in this super low calorie recipe is not only amazing for a new mama but also for the new baby via breast milk. Any recipe that is new mother and baby approved sounds good to me!
There are very few times that nutrition is of more importance than this point in a woman’s life, so if a professional recommended this soup for my sister then I figured it would be wonderful for all of us! We ended up eating this soup three times in the next four days! So yummy!
Like I mentioned in the Lentil Soup post, my sis has the best knives ever: the brand is Shun and I want a whole set! Cooking with sharp knives is a whole different ball game… A MUCH BETTER ONE! What knives do you use? Let me know in the comments! While I was chopping the carrots, summer squash and zucchini for the soup, I brought 4 quarts Pacific Natural Foods Organic Vegetable Broth to a boil in her SECOND giant pot: a Calphalon 8 qt pot!
So some how in my 27 years on earth, many of which I have spent cooking on some level or another, I never figured out that carrots sink and/or maybe I never realized that zucchini and summer squash float! This is what happened when I added them all to the boiling broth.
As soon as the quinoa was finished… about 15 minutes… I added it to the simmering broth and the now tender veggies.
Depending on how you time this with the cooking of the quinoa and the broth, you will want to let the quinoa absorb the broth flavor for a few minutes and then add the fresh spinach to the simmering broth and cover until fully wilted.
Sea Salt to taste (will depend on the sodium level of your broth)
You could sub rice, barley, pasta or any grain you would like for the quinoa, but quinoa and barley are probably the most nutritious out of those options. Feel free to play around with the carb you decide to use based on your dietary needs and wants!
In a medium pot, begin cooking quinoa based on the package directions.