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

 

 

 

 

Summer Salads

I love salad!  I love the fact that you can just throw a variety of fruits and veggies together and they taste delicious… salads are only limited by your imagination.  With the local Farmer’s Market opening today I thought I’d share with you a couple of my favourite recipes made from a number of fresh fruit & veggies that I pick up at the Farmer’s Market.

486578_10151929570870597_1021576739_nWATERMELON CUCUMBER FETA SALAD

 

Watermelon (cubed)

fresh blueberries

feta cheese (broken up)

chopped up fresh mint

craisins

edible flowers

alfalfa sprouts

cucumber

all layered together for a delicious fresh salad

 

dressing: 

 

RASPBERRY CREAMY VINAIGRETTE 

 

fresh raspberries

juice of one navel orange

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

3 tbsp honey

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

 

Put raspberries, orange juice, red wine vinegar, greek yogurt & honey in blender… pulse gently until mixed.  while

blending on low, add in olive oil until fully mixed add in Salt & Pepper

 

IMG_3897FRESH FLOWER GREENS SALAD

fresh greens from farmers market (variety of lettuce types – arugula/butter/romaine/red)

thinly sliced onion (I use red onion)

avocado

alfalfa sprouts

green grapes halved

chopped fresh herbs (basil & mint)

shredded carrot

edible flowers (farmers market)

 

dressing:

 

CUCUMBER DRESSING

1 cucumber peeled & chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp agave (or honey – local honey is delicious)

1 tsp tarragon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

 

blend all ingredients until smooth.

A Few of my Favourite things…

Okay come on … admit it.. you just started singing didn’t you?  When I hear “my favourite things” I suddenly want to run in a field in Austria whilst twirling my dress made out of curtains …. annnnnd back to reality!

The challenge this week for us GreenFighters is to share with you some of our favourite things, and so… I present to you, my favourite things… NOW try not to sing!

Raindrops when running & making me hustle
20lb dumbbells and feeling my muscle
Great tunes on iPods making me sing
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream in my coffee and crisp juicy apples
Winning at negative tough mental battles
Cold dreary weather turning to spring
These are a few of my favourite things

Fresh Breakfast smoothies to drink in the morning
Feeling my healthy body transforming
40 degree heat and yoga and stretching 
These are a few of my favourite things

When the day’s tough, when there’s no zing
When I’m feeling sad
I remind myself of my favourite things 
And then I don’t feel so bad

hot yoga

hot yoga

I have really enjoyed discovering Hot Yoga at Oxygen in Walnut Grove, they have a great variety of hot yoga classes and I have found that while I’m recuperating my back (and still wanting to stay active and healthy) this has been a great solution.

I’ve signed up for a full year and don’t plan to stop!  I’ve been doing 3-5 classes a week, the instructors are so awesome there & always offer help in modifying for my injuries etc.  If you’ve ever considered giving Hot Yoga a try, I really recommend it.

I love my running shoes, my favourite shoes so far, the bright colours on a rainy day (have you looked outside today?) make me smile.  I love lacing them up and heading outside for a walk.  I’ve accepted that for now, I can’t push myself to run and I am IMG_4512(somewhat) okay with that.  I have gone running a few times in the past couple weeks and have definitely paid for it later on in the day.  So for now, I walk.

My smoothies are another favourite thing, I can throw any combo of fruit and veggies in there with some protein and I have a delicious meal ready to be enjoyed

cranberry & veggies w/ chocolate protein powder

cranberry & veggies w/ chocolate protein powder

My favourite meals are salads, again being able to throw such a variety of foods in … okay.. it excites me.  The other day I had a craving, I wasn’t sure what for but I wanted something kinda sweet.  I came up with a citrus salad with goat cheese and shaved dark chocolate… can you say YUMMM????

Citrus Salad

Orange
Grapefruit
Avocado
Boursin Cracked Pepper & Cranberry cheese
shaved dark chocolate

citrus salad with goat cheese and avocado

Another favourite thing… okay well PERSON is my awesome trainer Andrea.  She has a boutique studio for women in Cloverdale.  Anyone intimidated to go to a gym, or wanting more than just an on-your-own gym workout – go see Andrea.  Even though, at the moment I’m unable to do the HIIT classes, TRX classes or weight lifting, Andrea remains to be a wonderful supportive inspiration and I hope that I will be back training at Life Designs Fitness Studio very soon!

I love getting creative in the kitchen and trying new meals….. what are some of YOUR favourite things on your health & fitness journey?

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