Salad A La “Un-boring”

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Salads don’t have to be boring!  Try thinking outside the box and take a look in your fridge for leftovers that you can throw together to create an amazing salad bowl full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats just like this one.  Foods like whole grain pasta, quinoa and roasted veggies can also be made ahead of time to help you pull something together fast.

If you make some pasta ahead of time like I did, just make sure to coat it in a bit of olive oil  and mix it up before putting it in the fridge so it doesn’t stick together.  I used leftover pasta, quinoa and roasted butternut squash I had in the fridge for my kids along with avocado, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and greens.

Top it with a homemade dressing and VOILA!  Amazing  🙂

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Hummus – Your Way

Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans are low in calories, low in fat, a good complex carbohydrate, fairly high in fiber and a good protein source.

If you enjoy hummus and pesto, you may want to try out this recipe!  I used a “Corriander & Cashew” pesto, but you can use any pesto you like (think sun-dried tomato, basil, red pepper, etc).  There are so many new variations out there to try.  I also used canned chickpeas for this recipe.

Try it out with the kids too as a dip for veggies, toasted pita, plain tortilla chips or as a spread for wraps or crackers.

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Although a little time consuming, a good tip when making hummus is to remove the skins from the chickpeas before processing to make a smoother hummus.  Simply pinch the skin and remove.  It will work either way, so if you don’t have the time don’t worry about it.  But I actually find it quite therapeutic myself, and your kiddos may even help (distraction? yes please!)   😉

Ingredients:

1 large garlic clove

1 can (540 ml) of chick peas drained and rinsed (skin’s removed – optional)

Juice from 1 lemon

1 Tbsp Tahini

1 tsp pesto

Pinch of sea salt

1/3 cup – 3/4 cup water

In a food processor, process the garlic until minced.  Add all remaining ingredients plus 1/3 cup of water.  Process and check the consistency.  If it’s not smooth enough add more water until desired consistency is achieved.

Store for up to a few days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Hydrating Sweet Almond Oil & Sea Salt Facial Scrub

I mixed up this quick facial scrub after I tried to put on some new Mineral Make-up that I bought (free of any bad chemicals).  I’m used to using a liquid foundation, and the pressed powder just didn’t go on nicely for me.

So I wanted to try to get a smoother complexion and nice hydration to see if the make-up would go on better.  After using this scrub at night and putting on the make-up in the morning it seemed to go on much nicer!

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Almond oil is rich in vitamins, helps maintain moisture levels and absorbs fairly quickly without blocking pores and the sea salt is exfoliates the skin (make sure to use fine-grain sea salt).

This scrub will get rid of any flaky or dead skin and give your face a beautiful glow….  a perfect base for make-up.   As I mentioned, try it at night before you go to bed in order to give the oil time to absorb so you’re not looking overly “shiny.”

Mix:

1 Tsp Sea Salt with 1 Tsp Sweet Almond Oil in a small bowl with a spoon until combined.

Scrub lightly all over your face for about 10-20 seconds.  Then using a facecloth and warm water gently wipe off.  Rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.

Sleep tight!

 

Roasted Beets with Balsamic and Caramelized Onion

I finally pulled some beets out of my garden today!  I’ve been waiting…and watching…waiting..and watching and they finally got big enough.  The tops of them started popping out of the ground so I pulled some of them out and of course I had to make something with them.

I really like the earthy taste of roasted beets by themselves, but I wanted to add a little extra something.  Since I had some left over onion in the fridge I decided to make some caramelized onions to top it off.   A drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and this makes a great side!  Oh and my one year old actually loved the roasted beets by themselves, so try it out 😉

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Just a side note, I am horrible with amounts for recipes.  It’s my husbands pet peeve and often goes something like this:

Him:  So how much do I put of this?

Me:  I don’t know..just throw a bit in.

Him: (Eye roll.  Sarcastic “ok”)

Him: How long do I cook it for?

Me: Until it’s done.   🙂

Him: Sigh.  “Awesome.”

So on that note, I won’t give precise amounts for this recipe either as it’s only two main ingredients and it depends on how many people you are feeding.  Use your awesome judgement on this one.  😉

Preheat your oven to 425.  Cut the tops and ends off of the beets, scrub clean and lay on a paper towel just to get some excess moisture off.  Wrap in foil lined with parchment paper and place on a baking sheet.  Roast for about 45-60 minutes.  Check at the 45 minute mark by poking with a fork…you want them tender and not hard.

While the beets are roasting, chop your onion into thin slices.  Add a pad of butter to a cast iron frying pan (if you have one) over medium heat….if not a non-stick is fine.  Once melted add your onion to the pan.  Stir often to avoid burning and cook until nicely browned.  Set aside.

Once done, remove and lay on a plate to cool slightly.  Use a paper towel and “pinch” the skin to loosen it and peel it off each beat.  Slice into wedges and put in a bowl.

Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your liking and top with the caramelized onions.   This can be served warm right away, or made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days.

 

Asparagus & Green Bean Salad with Parmesan

So you know those nights when you’re making a dish and you’re just not sure what to have as a side with it?  Well this is what came together for me with some fresh green beans I had from our special delivery we get every week and some asparagus I had bought and needed to use up.

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It was quick to pull together and could be even faster if you make up the vinaigrette ahead of time or even steam and refrigerate the greens ahead of time.

For this recipe I won’t include amounts, you can simply steam as many greens as you wish, but I will give the amounts for the balsamic vinaigrette. (You can keep this in the fridge and use for other salads).

You will need:

For the salad:

Green Beans

Asparagus

Shaved Parmesan

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic

2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Honey

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

For the greens, simply cut the ends off of the beans and wash.  Snap the ends off of the asparagus and wash.  Steam until tender but not soft.  Meanwhile fill a large bowl with cold water.  When the greens are done, use tongs to put them in the cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Add all dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake until combined.

When you’re ready to eat simply dress your greens and shave some Parmesan on top!  So simply and so easy.

*Note:  You can keep your homemade dressing in the fridge to use with other meals.  It may harden while cold….. an easy tip if you need it right away is to simply hold the jar under some warm tap water to help liquify it again  😉