Summer is right around the corner and I’ve been craving a fresh salad. I recently put together this salad using ingredients I happened to have in my fridge and pantry. Lately I’ve been buying spinach for my greens so I switched it up and went with kale. I used to just use kale in my smoothies until I learned how to “massage” the kale to have it in a salad. It makes it way easier to chew since it softens it up. What a game changer. So much better!
Why is this a “superfood” salad? Let’s discuss real quick. Kale has tons of vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3’s and actually has more calcium per calorie than dairy foods. It’s easy to add to smoothies as well as salads. Now that I’ve been trying to limit dairy, that gives me more reason to eat the kale.
Quinoa is an excellent form of protein which contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein source. It also has iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Quinoa takes less time to cook than rice and has a subtle light flavor.
I consider myself lucky if there are any blueberries left in my fridge for me to eat. My kids looove all kinds of berries so it’s not often that I’m left with any. So when there are some, I like to use them wisely. In this salad is one of those times. Blueberries have plenty of vitamins and minerals and contain antioxidants which are good for fighting disease and supporting the nervous system.
If you’re not eating avocado-why? It’s one of the best healthy fats out there helping support heart health and lower cholesterol. It contains many vitamins, minerals and fiber and helps keep you satiated after a meal. It has a great creaminess to it so I often don’t even use salad dressing when I have avocado. Adding a little sea salt helps bring out the flavor.
Walnuts are rich in folate and contain a good amount of omega 3’s for a healthy fat option. I love the crunch the walnuts give in salads and use them often. Goat cheese is so creamy and goes amazing in not only salads but egg bakes as well. Beets finish off this salad powerhouse with a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamins C and A.
SO MUCH GOOD STUFF IN THIS SALAD! MAKE IT! The recipe below can be made for 2 people (or just you- I won’t judge. I ate it all myself too). If you’re making it for a crowd simply double the recipe!
The weather in New England lately has been so blah that instead of making burgers like I should be, I’m making meatballs! That’s ok- it will turn soon! Sunshine is in our future, I know it. So since it’s not exactly burger weather, I figured I’d make meatballs with my ground turkey instead.
I like hiding extra veggies in meatballs because if you chop them small enough you usually can hide the complaints from the peanut gallery. I use my ninja blender to chop the carrots up small and simply chop the fresh spinach. Mixed with fresh garlic, a few spices, egg and breadcrumbs and we’re good.
Except I hate using breadcrumbs! Have you seen the ingredient list in breadcrumbs? Too much crap- including high fructose corn syrup. Since I’ve seen that ingredient in popular breadcrumbs at the grocery store, I do my best to avoid using them. Usually I’ll put oatmeal in my meatballs/meatloaf but I just made almond meal so I thought I’d use that.
I’ve been making almond milk a lot lately and with the extra pulp, I found out how to turn it into a flour/meal (bake in the oven on low heat for 3 hrs). I consider it more of an almond meal because I don’t have anything to grind it up finely like a flour. This worked perfectly for my meatballs to create the thickness needed to hold them together. You could substitute the almond meal for oatmeal which is what I typically do. I don’t grind them, just leave them whole (use gluten free oats).
Some people wonder how I cook or do anything with my kids. This is your answer. So much water play. Such. A. Mess. But it’s ok and it gives me some time to whip dinner together while they get some play time in. For those interested- first we made “cloud dough” which was simply flour mixed with some baby oil. Then we tried adding some food coloring to it. Next we were making “an ocean” and the food coloring ended up in the sink when I wasn’t looking. OH WELL.
My first dinner recipe with 5 ingredients is here for your #fueledupfam using chicken sausage and pasta!
Nothing beats a meal you can put together with simple ingredients that takes under 30 minutes. I cooked this meal while my kids were eating lunch. Husband puts it in the oven at dinner time- foolproof! I make one of these meals at least once or twice a week if I’m working at night.
I used 2 different pastas that were half empty to make this dish. I love this pow pasta because they’re made out of red and green lentils and quinoa flour. They have twice as much protein as traditional wheat pasta with 14g in a serving and 7g fiber. I love this! It tastes good too and I have no complaints from the family.
I cook the sausage in oil while the pasta is cooking. This cuts down on time but be sure to set a timer so you don’t overcook the pasta. I like putting handfuls of spinach in my strainer and then drain the pasta over the spinach. This helps slightly steam the spinach so it’s ready to be baked.
Mix everything together in your pasta cooking pan (save on dishes). Give it a stir so the pasta gets incorporated with the other ingredients. I like to get a garlic or italian flavored chicken sausage so I don’t have to worry about adding spices to the dish, though I’m sure it would help enhance the flavors. Really shooting for simplicity here.
I like to add a little cheese while mixing to blend everything together. Again the italian flavored cheese helps mold the dish together easily. Topping the bake with a sprinkle of cheese is also a must.
My husband somehow scooped his plate with the least amount of spinach. Hm, oh well. More for me!
Do you have any favorite, quick, 5 ingredient dinners you make? What do you do to make dinner time easier but still healthy? I’d love to hear what you do for your family, let me know!
Sometimes I feel like I don’t stop moving from the time I get up until the kids are in bed. Days are getting busier and can be stressful. Not that I think we should only drink to deal with every day stresses in life, but once in awhile it’s nice to relax with a drink.
Since I was a bartender for a few years in college before I got a big girl job, I know how to make a drink or two. So I thought it would be fun to incorporate a fun drink of the month. Summer is coming up and I know people like to enjoy themselves and I like making fun drinks to have with friends. Drinks at restaurants can be so sugary and sweet so I experiment at home.
The whole drinking thing doesn’t totally mesh with my #fueledup theme but who doesn’t like to indulge once in awhile? I at least TRY to make them on the “lighter” side. Life’s for living! And because kids.. am i right?
Margaritas are my favorite (not just because I worked at Chili’s.. but partly) but the sour mix can be pretty harsh. I recently found this Limeaid from Newman’s Own (I can’t remember who told me about it, Mikala?) that tastes similar but is way less sugar/calories. The important thing to remember is to add the tequila, juice and lime then shake it BEFORE you add the soda water. If you shake the soda water it’ll make it flat. And a shaken margarita is where it’s at.
Making dinner can be a drag sometimes, I get it. That’s why I try to keep dinners as basic as possible. If there’s an opportunity to make a big meal to use for leftovers- I definitely take advantage. Having something in the fridge I can quickly reheat for either lunch or dinner the next day makes my life much easier. I like to stretch my meals when I can so adding stuff like beans, rice, quinoa and veggies can help bulk up a dinner and leave you with leftovers.
Mexican food is a big staple in my house. Enter: The Enchilada Casserole Bake. I make some form of a taco/enchilada dinner at least once a week. I love that you can make it with either chicken, beef or turkey and they all taste good. The seasoning combination is pretty basic after you’ve done it a few times. I’ve adapted the taco seasoning recipe below from Danielle Walker’s book Meals Made Simple. I barely measure anymore but it’s something like this:
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
I choose a protein then add my fillers that I have/am in the mood for. This time I used black beans, diced tomatoes and corn. Sometimes I add quinoa or brown rice for a more burrito style. I made 12 enchiladas which would be enough for 2 meals (1 in the freezer), but since my sister-in-law just had a new baby (hi Hudson!) I’m bringing her this meal when we go to visit. Who wouldn’t like an enchilada after having a baby?
So I start by dicing an onion with my ground beef until it’s cooked. Then I add in a can of diced tomatoes and 1/4 can of tomato sauce. I add my taco seasoning mixture, frozen corn and black beans and let it simmer for 10 minutes- this really helps the flavors blend together.
After that I spread a little tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish and start loading up the tortilla wraps. I put some mixture in it with a sprinkle of Mexican cheese then roll them up. Place them seam side down and push them close together.
You can make an enchilada sauce using the spices above and some extra tomato sauce. Top enchiladas with that sauce and a sprinkle of Mexican cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.