Quinoa with Red Beans and Walnuts

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah) is one of my favorite things to eat. Before it became the trending ingredient that you hear about everywhere, I started using Quinoa in place of rice when I made the decision to live a healthy lifestyle. I did a lot of research on healthy substitutes for rice and at first it seemed like brown rice was the healthiest alternative to white rice. After digging a bit more, I happened upon Quinoa. I was skeptical at first because I had never heard of it and wasn’t even sure where I would be able to buy it. It seemed like something I would have to travel to the ends of the earth to acquire. Luckily that wasn’t the case and I was able to find it without any issues at my grocery store in the aisle that has rice and other grains.

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Kale and Pecan Salad

As I continue on my quest to make everyone that’s reading this article a Kale- lover, I am very excited to share a fourth Kale recipe with you. I hope you have all tried the last three recipes and loved them as much as I do. Kale is so good for us that by not trying it and incorporating it into your diet, you are truly missing out on some really bad-ass nutritional value. I also share with you the perfect salad dressing that goes with each salad recipe and complements it nicely.

Today’s recipe is a Kale and Pecan Salad. I used Pecan pieces for an extra nutty crunch. Pecans are a healthy nut, they are a good source of magnesium, zinc and iron and are also full of antioxidants, contribute to heart health and for us ladies pecans allegedly reduces symptoms of PMS so grab a handful the next time that time of the month rears its ugly head.

Yes this recipe includes Avocado even though the salad dressing has Avocado in it but I love Avocado and in my opinion there’s no such thing as too much but you can definitely omit it in the salad if you’re not as obsessed as I am.

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Kale and Red Cabbage Salad

I still maintain that Kale gets an unnecessary bad rap. People take one look at the dark, wrinkly green leaves, turn the other way and choose Spinach instead. Poor Kale is like the unpopular girl in high school that never gets asked to prom. Well, I am going to make it my personal goal to change poor Kale’s reputation and you all know how I am when I set my goals. I am dedicating the entire month of May to sharing a different Kale Salad recipe with you every week and I promise you will change your opinion of Kale.

I understand why Kale may not be your most favorite choice for a salad, it doesn’t look very pretty and because it is tougher than other greens, it does take a bit more chewing. I love Kale because for one it is extremely good for you, (I talk about the health benefits in my Kale- Leafy Greens Ugly Cousin post) and for two, it holds up very well and a meal prepped salad, including with the salad dressing added to it, will last for a week in the refrigerator without wilting which is more that I can say for pretty Ms Spinach, so there! Kale is also very filling and a Kale salad for lunch will keep you full till dinner time. Last but not least, combined with the right ingredients, which I am going to share with you for the next five weeks, Kale is delicious!

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Cilantro, Jalapeno and Avocado Salad Dressing

Well here we are, the last week in April. Time flies doesn’t it? It’ll be Christmas before we know it. I hope you have tried out and liked the recipes I have shared with you this month. The last three and the one I will be sharing today are my favorite salad dressings so it was a pleasure to share them with you. Three out of the four recipes have been creamy dressings and this is because I love creamy salad dressings. For a while, before I started making my own, I would only use oil and vinegar to dress my salads because I was scared of the calories in the creamy dressings and all the other dressings for that matter and they always has some ingredient or the other that I didn’t want to include with my meal.

The salad dressing for this week is a spicy one but you can omit the jalapeno altogether and either substitute black pepper or not use any pepper at all. You know me and hot food so I always manage to sneak pepper in where possible. You can also use just half of one jalapeno if you want to have a bit of the jalapeno taste.

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Creamy Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing

I know all of you have tried the last two recipes I have posted and are very anxious to find out what I have in store for you this week 🙂 Well, you are in luck because I have another delicious salad dressing recipe for you to try. This is a creamy salad dressing but without the cream. I mentioned before that creamy dressings are my favorite and I was very excited to be able to get the creamy consistency I desired using Avocado which is incredibly good for you and tastes delicious too. I have always loved Avocados. When I was pregnant I ate Avocado and Cream Cheese on toast twice a day every day the entire pregnancy. It wasn’t that I craved it, it was just what I liked to eat during that time and even long after giving birth, it is still my go-to for a quick lunch or breakfast meal. Continue reading “Creamy Red Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing”

White Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing

So, it’s another week and as promised I will be sharing another one of my homemade salad dressings with you. As I mentioned in my last post, I make my own salad dressings now because I want to know exactly what I am eating. I work so hard to be healthy and I don’t want my efforts derailed by some unpronounceable ingredient that I’ve never heard of and have no idea how it will affect my body. It is a lot easier than you would think to make your own salad dressing, it’s really just a matter of experimenting with different ingredients and seeing what tastes good. Continue reading “White Wine Vinegar Salad Dressing”

Spicy Avocado Salad Dressing

You probably know by now that I am big on homemade food. I try to make everything that I can from scratch. The reason for this is simple, I want to know exactly what I am putting in my body. It took a while for me to get to this point because, much like everyone else, I liked the convenience of buying food from the store that was made already. With time being limited as it is, pre-made food is definitely the easier option. But as time went by and I became more and more health conscious and I started to pay more attention to labels and ingredients, I realized that it was taking me so much time to go through each ingredient on a product, sometimes having to google what Carrageenan meant and what in the world was a nitrate anyway, that I thought to myself that I could probably use this time to try to make some of the food that I would normally buy pre-made, myself.

One of the things I decided to make myself is salad dressing. I love experimenting and trying out different ingredients anyway, so I thought of this as a fun kitchen project. For the most part, the reason a salad converts from a healthy meal to a calorie filled one is the salad dressing. Yes, you can ask for the dressing on the side or just ask for oil and vinegar, but first, if you are like me, you like a lot of salad dressing on your salad so having it on the side only ends up with it being poured into the salad anyway and second, oil and vinegar gets dull after a while. Sometimes you want a creamy salad dressing or one with some flavor.

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Feed me! An Organic Protein Shake Recipe

***Update to this post at the bottom***

In this post I would like to share my recipe for the Protein Shake that I make from scratch and drink after my workout everyday. When you do a workout that engages your muscles, it is very important to feed them afterwards. Muscles like protein and after each workout you will hear them say: feed me feed me feed me. Okay, they don’t actually talk but you catch my drift. My morning workouts are “fasted” workouts and the only reason for this is that I workout at 4:30 in the morning which is way too early for me to eat anything and since my workouts are only 30 mins, I’m okay with not eating something beforehand. Before I go running on Saturdays, I definitely eat something first and I discuss this in my “Just Keep Running” post.

I tried different pre-made shakes and smoothies before I decided to make my own and what really drove my decision to do so was having control of what I was putting in my body. I put in all the time and effort to workout and didn’t want to cancel out my efforts by consuming something that had added sugars, preservatives and ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. I experimented with different ingredients and finally settled on this one. It provides fuel for my starving muscles, is 98% Organic (I couldn’t find Organic Almond Milk but the one I use is as close to Organic as I could get) and keeps me full till my morning snack around 10 am and sometimes beyond that till lunch time at noon. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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