Salads for the week ahead

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Some of you had asked for my recipes… as usual, most of them are in my head (and I still haven’t learned to write them down!)  So I will do my best to give you an idea of what was in them!  A few hours in the kitchen on the weekend (when I can manage it) sure saves on time during the busy work/school/hockey/activities that go on during the weekdays.

The quinoa salads.  I start by making a large batch of quinoa. i.e. 3 cups quinoa in half water/half vegetable broth (about 6 cups liquid).  Once cooked I divide it up to make different salads.

 

Zesty Orange Cranberry Quinoa Salad Orange Curry Cranberry Quinoa Salad (all measurements approximate)

  • Approx 2 cups cooked quinoa (for the liquid in cooking I used half veggie broth half water)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 can of sliced mandarin oranges in their own juice (save the juice for the dressing)
  • 1/2 bunch of green onion cut up
  • 1/2 to 1 avocado cubed
  • 1/3 cup black beans

While the quinoa is still warm I mix in the dried fruit for it to soften.  Then let it cool in fridge while making dressing.

DRESSING

  • 1 can of the mandarin orange juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 – 2.5 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • small amount of fresh ginger
  • two big spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt

I blend all the dressing ingredients in my vitamix then pour and mix into quinoa mixture and add the remaining ingredients (avocado, beans, green onion etc.)  I don’t always use all of the dressing, and I save some for my green salads during the week.  Or you can just keep dressing on the side and add when you go to eat the quinoa salad.

 

ImageQUINOA CILANTRO BLACK BEAN LIME CUMIN SALAD

  • Cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 of a can of rinsed black beans
  • red/yellow grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • kale
  • 1 carrot shredded

mix the kale in with the quinoa while warm and then let cool while making dressing

DRESSING

  • juice from 1 1/2 limes (and a bit of zest)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp (or more) minced garlic
  • 1 – 1 1/4  teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • small amount sea salt & pepper
  • 2 big spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt

blend all the dressing ingredients in blender.  And keep to the side or mix into quinoa salad.

once quinoa is cooled a bit then add the remaining salad ingredients.  Always up for modifications of course add any veggies you want!  It’s also good with bell peppers.

 

Image     ROASTED YAM AND FETA SALAD

  • 1 large yam roasted  (wash yam, cut into small cubes, spread out on cookie sheet with parchment paper, drizzle a bit of olive oil and sea salt, roast at about 375 for 30-50 mins) let cool slightly before making salad
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 of red onion chopped
  • (also yummy when you add any leftover cilantro chopped up)
  • I also added any leftover quinoa to some of this salad as well

DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup      (*note that’s the only sweetner I had on hand, you can probably use honey, or agave etc.)
  • 2 big spoonfuls of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Again, I blend in vitamix.  Add directly to salad, or keep on the side to have at the time you eat it.

 

Image ASPARAGUS POTATO SALAD WITH DILL  

 

Roasted Potatoes:

  • 2 lbs potatoes I used baby yellow. washed & chopped into 1” pieces
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme

roast in oven until soft when poking with a fork, then I roast a bit longer for crispness

Dressing:

  • 1/2 – 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • juice from 1 – 1/2 fresh lemon and some zest
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • salt and pepper

blend all the dressing together.

 

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1” pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • roast in oven

add all together, with some chopped green onion and fresh thyme and some kale

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes and seasonings. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment or non-stick mat. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing once half-way through baking. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.

 

4. Mix the potatoes, asparagus, and dressing together in a large mixing bowl and season to taste. Serve immediately, warm. Makes about 4-5 servings.

Note: I used just a touch of maple syrup to balance out the dressing. You could also use a touch of sugar or other sweetener. Or simply do not use it at all. I thought it balanced it out really well and you couldn’t detect the maple.

 

 

beet and apple salad with cabbage

 

BEET & APPLE SALAD

 

 

  • 4 beets ( I use the ones from costco already cooked)  chopped into small bite size bits
  • 2-3 apples (red and green) I keep the peels on and chop into bite size
  • feta cheese
  • green onion

mix all together

for the dressing:

  • raspberry vinagrette
  • sea salt
  • syrup
  • dijon mustard
  • ground peppercorns
  • oregano

 

 

 

 

Sweet n Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

delicious snack

delicious snack

I think I just found my new snack!  One of the ladies in my Kin’s GreenFighter Challenge posted a recipe for Roasted Honey Cinnamon Chickpeas so I thought I’d give them a try.  We love roasted chickpeas for snacks in our home, but I had actually never considered making them sweet!  Usually we add sea salt, garlic, paprika etc…

THEY ARE DELICIOUS!  …  I didn’t really follow the recipe that was provided (no measuring done for this one).  When cooking I usually consider recipes a guideline (which is why I rarely bake!)

This is how I made them (again measurements are approximate!)… one day I’ll actually measure for you ha ha

  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans (organic low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1-3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • few pinches of hawaiian sea salt
  • few pinches of cayenne pepper
 
*** for part of the batch I also used just the Garlic Ginger infused Honey I happened to have on hand
 
Preheat oven to 375
rinse & dry chickpeas
I roasted for about an hour at 375  (you can test them to see if they are crunchy)
once dried in oven I mixed them in (hot) with the honey mixture
back into the oven convect at 375 for about 10 mins 
 
YUMMMM!!!!!!  I love that salty sweet spicy-ness!
 

Let me know if you tried them… they are such a good option for a crunchy snack – and now, thanks to the recipe Alicia shared. I’ve learned they can be a sweet treat as well

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breakfast in a blender

If I don’t eat breakfast, then I’m not exactly the happiest person by mid-day (just ask my family!)   So I had to find something that I really enjoy, I’m not really a fan of a “sit-down-meal” in the morning.  I like something I can make and  eat (drink)  on-the-go.  I LOVE my smoothies .. about 90% of my breakfasts are smoothies.  This doesn’t mean that it’s the same smoothie every day though.  Variety is key! And you can even hide veggies in a smoothie if your kids (or you) aren’t a big fan.  I bet if you put a carrot and a handful of grape tomatoes and some spinach in with berries etc, you probably won’t even notice.  A little hint when it comes to veggies, if you put in a small amount of raw beet, the smoothie goes nice and pink (hide the green/brown look!)

I find that making sure there is protein in my smoothie means that I’m not ravenous by 10am as well.  So what do I put in my smoothie? A lot of that is dictated by what I happen to have in my fridge/freezer/pantry that week.  Now of course, smoothies can also become high in calories so I find that keeping a log in my myfitnesspal account can help me keep track.  Once you get the hang of making smoothies it can be quite fun to play around with the ingredients!  I’ve compiled a list of a few of the smoothies I enjoy (I’ve attempted to put in the amounts that I use).  As well I have made a little chart that you can mix and match, I try to get something from each column if possible.  I don’t often use honey/syrup etc, however find that some people need this to start out while adjusting their taste buds.

got questions?  comments?  ideas? I’d love to hear from you!

Pumpkin Pie smoothie

1-2 cups coconut milk (you could use any milk, I just prefer coconut)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses

1 frozen ripe banana

2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

spinach

maple syrup if this isn’t sweet enough for you

sometimes I add a bit of avocado

P-nutt Butter yumm

1-2 cups coconut milk

frozen ripe banana (doesn’t have to be frozen)

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

ice, if desired

Berrylicious

1/2 cup-1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

handful raw spinach

5 grape tomatos

1/2 carrot

1 small banana

½-1 cup frozen blueberries or any berries

1 tbsp. chia seeds or hemp hearts (you can also use flax seeds)

¼ – ½ an avocado

Tropical Smoothie

Approx. 2 cups frozen mango

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup cottage cheese

tbsp shredded coconut

1 carrot

1 tbsp chia seeds

Choco Monkey

1 small banana cut up and frozen

3/4c. coconut milk

1/2 scoop – 1 scoop chocolate protein powder

1 Tbsp. Flax seed can also add hemp seeds etc.

P-Nutt Choco

1 cup Coconut milk

1 tbsp Natural peanut butter

handful spinach or kale

scoop Chocolate protein powder (or 1 tbsp approx unsweetened coco if no protein powder)

Banana

Ice

Orange Mango Cream Smoothie

1 orange

Half cup of ripe mango

Half a banana

handful grape tomato

2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

**** Soak the chia seeds in some of the juice from the  orange  for 10 minute to let them swell and soften Put all ingredients in your blender Blend well until creamy.

Pina colada chia smoothie

Half banana

Half an orange, seeded, peeled and chopped

Half a cup pineapple cut small

a couple of slices of ripe mango

Half cup coconut milk

Half cup pure water

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

Coconut spinach smoothie

 1 and 1/4 cup of coconut milk

2 tbsp of chia seeds or hemp hearts

1 cup of spinach

1 scoop vanilla protein powder if you wish (I don’t normally have vanilla on hand so dont’ use it)

some avocado

ice cubes

tropical smoothie

2 cups fresh baby spinach

1 cup sliced kiwi

1 banana, cut up

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp. chia / flax or hemp seeds

Banan-a-vocado

1  banana

1/2 small-medium ripe avocado

1-2 cups of baby spinach

1/2 – 1 cup coconut milk (or whichever you like)

Ice if you wish

Date smoothie

2 dates

kale or  baby spinach

1/4 avocado

1/2 banana

1/2 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tbsp flaxseed

some lemon juice

water

Fruit Veggie Grain Protein spices/other
apple kale oats greek yogurt (low MF%) cinnamon
orange spinach oat bran your choice of milk (coconut, almond etc) fresh ginger
lemon carrot spelt nut butter pumpkin pie spice
berries grape tomato hemp hearts molasses
banana avocado flax seed honey
pear celery chia seeds (pre-soaked) maple syrup
grapes zucchini pumpkin seeds nutmeg
pineapple beet
peach
pumpkin
 pomegranate
cranberry

 

 

As some of you are aware I am currently in a 13 week competition to help raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society, as well bring awareness to increasing fitness and health in my daily life.  Should the CCS be something that you wish to make a donation towards, here is a link for my personal fundraising site.  Thank you  🙂  http://cancerevents.kintera.org/angiebunnell

Overnight Breakfast Parfait

OVERNIGHT BREAKFAST OATS
If you want a treat in the morning but are typically in a rush to get out the door try prepping the night before.
A couple of my favourite Chia Seed mixes are Qi’a and Ruth’s
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds mix (or plain chia seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond/soy/cow’s/coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries (or to taste)
  • water

The night before:

In a small container combine oats & bran with some cinnamon and vanilla and the milk – let it soak overnight
in another small container combine chia seeds with some water or milk (or mix in with above if you don’t care about layering it .. it all gets mixed together when you eat anyways!)
In the morning:
puree some frozen berries with some water
alternatively you could cut up a banana, put it in a container and freeze overnight.. then blend in the morning and add to the oats & chia
I alternate layers of oats, chia and berries in a glass and voila!… you have a very tasty meal in the morning

Feta & Spinach STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

first of all I apologize for not having exact amounts of the ingredients.  I usually throw dinner together, and then when it turns out I wish I had written down my process.  I’ll try to remember to do this for the future!  I also try to remember to take a photo!
 
STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

stuffed chicken breast with feta, spinach, sundried tomato,

stuffed chicken breast with feta, spinach, sundried tomato,

Ingredients
  • 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/8- 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp minced lemon zest – I love to use Meyer Lemons
  • small amount of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken breast between plastic wrap and pound to 1/4 inch thick. (Butterfly to help) ….  this is a great recipe to get out your frustrations .. and if you don’t have a mallet just find a rolling pin or some other object!
Combine spinach, feta, sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, garlic powder, basil and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
Put approx 2 tblsp of spinach mixture on widest part of chicken breast and then tightly roll the breast, leave seam side down on baking sheet.
Cook for approx 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Bites – no Baking required

I find these little bites of energy to be so handy on a busy day for a grab-n-go snack.  My kids also like to have them on hand for in between hockey games.

  • approx 1 cup of chopped dates
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • (you can always use pumpkin pie spice as well)
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.  I don’t own a food processor (probably is easier to use one!) however I hand mix everything together.

 Once mixed together, stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer (this makes it easier to mold into little bites!).

Once the mixture is cool use an ice cream scoop (or spoon) to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. You can always line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and evenly press the mixture into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Awesome grab-n-go snack!

I also encourage you to play around with the recipe.  I’ve added dried cranberries before, or almonds…. it’s yours to play with!