Spring Fever Salad with Plum Dijon Dressing

Oh, hello there! I’ve been pretty MIA lately. I had tons of school work for the past week and it really consumed my life. The other day, it was absolutely beautiful out. Some of the first signs of Spring were in full force and it had be feelin prettyyy froggy 🙂

The sunshine put me in the mood for a nice, crisp, GIANT salad.

photo_4I piled on the veggies, whipped up my own dressing and devoured it in no more than 5 seconds.

Spring Fever Salad with Plum Dijon Dressing

Serves 1 large salad

For the salad:

  • ~3 c of your choice of greens (I used romaine, baby spinach and kale!)
  • 1/3- 1/2 c black beans
  • 1/2 c chopped bell peppers
  • 1 T sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 T crumbled feta

For the dressing:

  • 1.5 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp plum sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. If using kale as a salad base, use half the dressing and massage into the leaves.

Heat a pan to medium-low heat and coat with cooking spray. Add peppers, beans and sun dried tomatoes and cook until peppers begin to soften.

photoShred brussels sprouts or chop very finely and add them to the pan. When cooked, about 5 minutes, add quinoa and stir in until combined.

Add other greens of choice to a bowl (combine with marinated kale if using) and toss with dressing. Pour vegetable- quinoa mixture over the greens and top with feta to go from this…

photo_2To this…

photo_3Mmmmm

I also drizzled a bit of tahini on top afterwards because I’m addicted to the stuff. You can eat it like this or stir it all together..photo_6

Dig in and enjoy! It’s light, colorful, refreshing and delicious! The bright colors definitely reflected the good mood I was in 🙂

photo_5love close up shots 🙂

Day Full of Goodies!

Hello again! I hope everyone is having as wonderful of a Friday as I’m having. After my rockstar breakfast this morning, I shimmied drove on over to Tom’s house to pick him up so we could get our day started. The purpose of the trip was originally so he could return a book, but ended up being so I could run all over town to places that they don’t have in Oswego.

First up…

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Gooood ol’ Wegmans where I finally got my hands on this little jar of heaven. I’ve been holding off buying it because I have a serious addiction to nut/seed butter/ anything that can be made into a butter. But I just couldn’t help myself. Peanut Butter & Co. has the most amazing flavor combos.

Then this happened..

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And I found these at TJ Maxx…

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2 flavors of Chimes I haven’t tried yet, and a KIND bar that I’ve never seen before! I ADORE the combination of sweet and salty so I can’t wait to dig into this.

And last not certainly not least:

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Panera Bread for lunch! I got the Mediterranean Salmon salad, but I swapped the salmon for some chicken. The salad came with romaine and mixed greens with mandarine oranges, red onions, feta cheese (yum!), slivered almonds, kalamata olives and honey tangerine vinaigrette on the side.

I also stopped at Starbucks and grabbed a coffee on the way home. It was a great way to end the day 🙂

Easter Recap and Breakfast

I have a lotttttt to catch up on. I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! To be honest, I was feeling pretty down yesterday. As graduation nears, I find myself getting more and more anxious to be back home with my family. With the high gas prices and the fact that I had only been back at school for a few days, I opted not to go home for Easter.
It was harder than I thought it would be. I hated the thought of my families all getting together to celebrate while I was so far away. For that reason, I decided to keep off the blog for the day.

The day was pretty uneventful. I really just hung out with the boyfriend and watched Game of Thrones to prepare for the season 3 premiere that was on last night (!!!!).

For breakfast, I literally whipped up some cottage cheese, greek yogurt, cocoa powder, almond milk and a handful of spinach in my Magic Bullet. I also added some Xanthan gum for thickness. I poured it over some quinoa and sprinkled it with flax, strawberries and sautéed bananas.

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photo_4I wish I had something more festive for you, but honestly I forgot it was Easter when I woke up. Not being with family really put me in a funk!

Since I’m new at this, I forgot to take a picture of my lunch. But it was a pretty typical salad for me so you’ll be seeing it a lot. I’m a huge fan of warm toppings on a lettuce base.

Yesterday’s had:

  • A combination of chopped romaine and baby spinach with apple cider vinegar
  • Sauteed black beans, brussels sprouts, cabbage, peppers, onions and peas tossed in nutritional yeast
  • About 1/4 sliced avocado
  • Last, I drizzled the whole salad with some tahini and Sriracha

We didn’t feel like being completely lazy and wanted to at least do something for Easter, so the boyfriend and I got a little dressed up and went to Ruby Tuesday’s. This was for two reasons- 1) it’s one of the only restaurants in Oswego and 2) we had a coupon.

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After my trip to the salad bar! Dim lighting + cell phone= not a great quality photo. Oh well.

For my entree, I did something I never would have done a couple weeks ago. I ordered steak!

photo_5Not the best looking plate of food, but still delicious!

I feel like I have some kind of red meat phobia and barely ever eat it. After last night, I’m wondering why this is. It was delicious and I’m so happy I listened to my cravings and ordered what I wanted! I was also in the mood for something saucy, so I got spaghetti squash with marinara as one of my sides. I also went crazy at the all you can eat salad bar.

After dinner, we went to his house where we watched the Game of Thrones premiere and I feasted on my night time snack- Chocolate Arctic Zero topped with healthy chocolate- peanut butter sauce adapted from Heather (cocoa powder+peanut flour+water+stevia), frozen raspberries that I microwaved and some unsweetened coconut. Not a bad way to end my day!


Breakfast

I think mother nature has pulled a April Fool’s joke on us all. It has been so beautiful out lately and today is just… not. Rainy, cold, cloudy, gloomy, depressing. Yuck. This kind of day only calls for one thing…

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Oatmeal!

Peanut Butter and Berry TVP “Oatmeal”

(adapted from Laura’s recipe)

  • 1/2 cup TVP
  • 2 T oats
  • 1 tsp ground flax
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries (I used mixed berries)
  • 1 T peanut flour (or peanut butter)
  • More berries or toppings of your choice!

In a saucepan, combine water, TVP, oats, flax, cinnamon and vanilla and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Stirring constantly, add egg whites and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Next, add frozen berries and cook for 3-4 minutes. The berries will begin to cook down and will turn the oats a slightly purple color.

Mix the peanut flour with desired amount of water (I did slightly more than 1 T) and drizzle over the oats. Add more berries, coconut or whatever your little heart desires!

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2 Part Lunch

Today has been the definition of a lazy Saturday. We all need one (or a few) of those every once in awhile. I did manage to make it to the gym, but even that was a pretty lazy workout.

For some reason, cardio was not in the cards for me today. I did manage about a 15 minute mix of running, sprints and incline walking on the treadmill and then headed over to the abs section for some core work.

Lunch(es)

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After the gym, I knew I wanted something hot, I wanted sweet potato and I wanted salsa. These cravings resulted in a wrap!
I reheated half a sweet potato, mashed it and spread it onto a whole wheat tortilla. I sautéed onions, black beans, kale and sun dried tomatoes and poured them in the wrap, then topped it with banana peppers and salsa. It was pretty full, so I did the best I could when it came to wrapping it. On the side I had some of Trader Joe’s Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip.
A few hours later, I met up with some friends to watch movies and they were getting Subway. I had been craving it and although it wasn’t dinner time yet, I decided to join in the fun and get a salad.

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Spinach, cucumbers, banana peppers, green peppers, olives, sweet peppers, roasted red pepper spread (I guess I was craving peppers?) and the reason I even go to Subway- Sweet onion sauce!
It was a nice little snack in between meals. It was light but didn’t leave me feeling deprived while my friends were all eating.

Easy Vegetarian Mexican Salad

As dinner began approaching, I only had on type of food on my mind. Spicy, cheesy.. MEXICAN! This is coming from a girl who, up until a couple months ago, said she didn’t like Mexican food.. I told you, I’m crazy. 

I was also in the mood for a salad. Mexican salad? Sounds good to me!

FACT: The appearance of food gives no indication of how it actually tastes.

Exhibit A

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(yes, that is a serving bowl)

Easy Vegetarian Mexican Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup frozen pepper and onion stir fry (you can also use fresh!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup quinoa, cooked
  • Romaine lettuce, spinach or salad green of your choice
  • 3 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • Minced garlic
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 2 TBSP salsa

Rinse and chop romaine and place in a large bowl. Dress if you’d like- I tossed it in Sriracha!

In a lightly greased pan (I use olive oil spray), combine ~.5 tsp minced garlic and black beans. Sauté for about 2 minutes and add the peppers and onions and peas. Once the vegetables are cooked, combine with quinoa and add nutritional yeast*, along with a little water so it forms a sauce.

Pour on top of the lettuce, top with sliced avocado and salsa (and more sriracha!), eat!

Quick and easy, delicious and HEALTHY!

*If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, its a great source of protein and vitamins. It has a cheesy flavor to it and can be found at health food stores or online, here.

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