Quinoa Spinach Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

The kids are almost back in school after the winter break…..time to get back to routine and prepping lunches for myself.

I found this salad on Pinterest which brought me to the website aheadofthyme.com.

I changed this recipe slightly. I pre-cook a bunch of Quinoa to use during the week, so I just took out a measured cup of Quinoa to make this salad. I find this easier than making a cup every time.

The best part about online recipes is the user feedback. I highly suggest that if you come across a great recipe…make sure to take a look at what people said about it. In this Quinoa salad recipe, lots of people swapped out the raisins. I did too. I added red onion. Other highly suggested options where pine nuts and feta. Someone also swapped out the spinach with kale with great results.

Make this salad your own! However, do not change the dressing! It is wonderful on this salad. I made the dressing and used it all on one cup of Quinoa with all my veggies and it was perfect. If you double this recipe, make sure you double the dressing too.

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1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
1/4 cup raisins
DRESSING:
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a medium bowl, rinse the Quinoa a few times
2. In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of salted water. Add the Quinoa and continue to boil for about 10 minutes until the Quinoa is tender.
3. Drain the Quinoa and let it cool.
4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, raisins and cooled Quinoa.
5. In a small bowl, make the lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto the salad and toss to coat.
6. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.

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Sautéed Garlic and Parmesan Mushrooms

I made these fabulous mushrooms as a side to our New Year’s Eve dinner. They went beautifully with my husband’s steak and my salmon. We saved a few (it was hard to do, since I could have devoured them all) for my husband’s omelet in the morning. He said they were so good with eggs.

I found this recipe on Pinterest which brought me to a wonderful website jocooks.com. Check it out! So many other great recipes!

I didn’t use the whole 1/4 cup of Parmesan. I sprinkled 2 pinches of freshly grated Parmesan on mine. I also used cremini mushrooms instead of white.

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Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 8 mins

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Parsley for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium to high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms to skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure the mushrooms cook on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
2. When the mushrooms are done to your likeness, I like mine a little more done so I sauté mine for more like 7 to 8 minutes, remove from heat, sprinkle with the Parmasen cheese and parsley.
3. Serve warm.

Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats

This recipe is so good! This recipe can also adjusted as well…however….it’s great as is!

I used brown rice, but you could also use quinoa. I filled the zucchini halves with the rice mixture, but I don’t see why you couldn’t fill bell peppers as well. I used a medium salsa, but use hot if you want your boats to be spicy. I didn’t use the full cup of cheese. I just added shredded cheese as needed on top.

I filled 4 small zucchinis and had about a cup and a half of the mixture left over. If you are planning on filling peppers, this recipe will make enough to fill them.

I found this recipe on makingthymeforhealth.com

zucciniboats

4 large zucchini
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese

1. Start by greasing a 9×13 inch casserole dish, then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or metal teaspoon, hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
2. Warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper and jalapeno and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder and cumin. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Stir 1/4 cup of the cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, into the filling. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each one with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
4. Allow the boats to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh cilantro and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
YIELD: 8 boats

Blueberry and Mango Spinach Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I am so glad I found this salad recipe on Pinterest. I love the ingredients in this recipe, but I also love the dressing by itself. I will definitely use it other salads.

I used half spinach and half salad greens. I also toasted and added sugar to my pecans. I diced my cucumbers and red onions since I do not have a spiralizler.

If you can not find a ripe mango, you can also use an avocado.

This recipe is from wholesomelicious.com.

blueberrymango

For the salad:
6 cups spinach (or your favorite greens), rinsed
1 cup blueberries, rinsed
1 mango, skinned and chopped
1/2 large red onion
6 inch cucumber
1 cup chopped pecans

For the dressing:
1 cup fresh loose basil leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Layer your salad beginning with the spinach (or greens)
2. If using a spiralizer, spiralize cucumber and red onion, and place on top spinach.
3. Top with blueberries, mango, and pecans. Set aside.
4. Prepare dressing: Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.
5. Toss salad dressing with salad, extra dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

6 SERVINGS

One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken with Potatoes and Broccoli

This recipe is super fast and easy.  I like this recipe for the busy nights that are filled with the kid’s activities.  Plus the kids gobble it up! (However, except for the broccoli but, I always have the option of fresh cut veggies on the side) To make this recipe even faster to prepare…pre-make the sauce in the morning.

I cut my baby potatoes into quarters. Depending on size, I also just halved them. I flattened my chicken by pounding it with a rolling pin. It ensures a thoroughly cooked chicken breast. Make sure to read the whole recipe! You add the broccoli in the last 10 minutes of baking.

I like this idea of one pan cooking too! It makes for easy clean up!

I found this recipe on Pinterest. It lead me to the website damndelicious.net.

onepanchicken

3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved*
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat
24 ounces broccoli florets*
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

*24 ounces broccoli florets is equal to about 5 cups
*Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray
2. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, butter, honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, garlic, oregano and basil;season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
3. Place potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken in a single layer and brush each chicken breast with honey mixture.
4. Place into oven and roast until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes. stir in broccoli during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slighty charred.
5. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Chicken Salad

This recipe makes for a quick dinner, especially on the nights of my son’s soccer games.  You can have this flavorful salad on it’s own, in a croissant or on fresh rye bread.

I use a rotisserie chicken from Sobey’s. I usually grab the chipotle flavoured chicken, but the regular barbecue flavour is just as good.

4 cups chicken, cooked
1 cup mayonnaise, or greek yogurt
1 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp dill, fresh
1 1/2 cups red grapes, quartered
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all ingredients together.

Avocado Egg Salad

Mayo-free! I love this about this recipe! Super tasty and super easy to make.

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6 eggs hard boiled
1 – 1 1/2 ripe avocados peeled and mashed
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste

1. Add the eggs to a medium-sized pot and cover with a few inches of water. Cover and place on high heat. Bring water to a full (but gentle) boil. Remove from heat, lid the pot and cook for 12-14 minutes.

2. Drain the water and immediately run cold water over the eggs. Transfer eggs to an ice bath and allow eggs to chill for 3 minutes. Peel the shell right away as it makes for easier peeling. Refrigerate peeled eggs until ready to use.

3. In a medium bowl, add the avocado, lemon juice and salt. Mash the avocado, leaving it slightly chunky if desired. Add the chopped hard boiled eggs and stir well to combine. Eat on toasted bread with greens of your choice.

Simple Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

If you like kale…you’ll love this recipe. This salad makes a great base for your favourite toppings. I added grilled chicken, but you can add salmon, avocados, nuts, dried fruits or shaved Parmesan.

I massaged the dressing into the kale for about 1-2 minutes. I don’t mind the texture of kale but massaging it does make it softer. Also, the dressing gets really mixed in.

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10 oz raw kale, ribs removed and discarded
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl mix together the oil, lemon juice and garlic. Pour over the kale and with clean hands start massaging the dressing into the kale. Taste the salad and add salt and pepper and continue to massage again. Taste again and adjust seasoning accordingly.
2. Serve as a side to dinner or have as a lunch.
3. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Cucumber Avocado Rolls

This roll makes a great appetizer. It’s fresh and super tasty!

I used a potato peeler to peel my slices of cucumber, but you could also use a mandoline.

One batch of Avocado mixture filled one cucumber. Next time, I will double the recipe. An English cucumber is best for this recipe as a garden cucumber has too many big seeds.

I made this ahead of time, and it became soggy. For best results, make and serve right away. See step 5 in the recipe instructions for tips on how to prepare to bring to a party.

No toothpicks are needed, just make sure you spread the mixture from end to end.

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1 Avocado
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Several grounds of pepper
1 cucumber
Smoked or sweet paprika for garnish

1. Add the Avocado, basil, garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. You can also blend by hand, finely mince the garlic and basil, and mash all the ingredients together with a fork until smooth and creamy.
2. Use a mandoline or potato peeler to cut long thin strips from the cucumber.
3. Take a cucumber strip and spread a thin coat of the Avocado mixture along the length of the cucumber. A little goes a long way! Make sure to get some Avocado all the way to the end, so it will stick the roll together.
4. Roll it up! No toothpicks needed. Do the same with the rest of your cucumber strips. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve right away.
5. Cucumber is watery and softens quickly, so if you plan on bringing these to a party, prepare the Avocado spread that morning, and store in an air tight container. Bring a whole cucumber and potato peeler and assemble at the party.

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Asian Quinoa Slaw Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

Yum! I really liked this salad. I do wish however I had purple cabbage to add more colour. This salad is super easy to make, especially if you have a food processor to help you. In a pinch you could buy the package of pre-cut coleslaw.

I did not add the black sesame seeds. I cut up cashews and added to the top instead of mixing them in. You can also substitute almonds if you wish.

Shredded chicken or pork would be an excellent addition to this salad.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, which lead me to the website thekitchengirl.com.

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6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup cooked Quinoa
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped cashews
1 Tbsp toasted black sesame seeds
2 finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, cooked Quinoa, carrots, cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds and green onions; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. To serve, toss in sesame ginger vinaigrette

SESAME GINGER VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 finely grated garlic clove
1 Tbsp honey
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, canola oil, sesame oil, Ginger, garlic, honey, salt and pepper; cover, refrigerate.
Makes 3/4 cup