Kale Quinoa Salad

While in Aspen, CO last week for our family trip, I found myself ordering kale salad after kale salad. Our dinners where indulgent, as they should be, so I tried to counteract them with a salad here and there for lunch. And I’d be lying if I said every time I ordered, said kale salad, it wasn’t also followed by a handful of french fries. The amount of kale salads and fries eaten on that trip…

Anyway, the kale salad hoopla was a must recreate situation the second I got home. 1. because I love some good travel inspiration for my meals and 2. because how better to slide back into healthy eating post vacay than with a kale salad? It has me being healthy and reminiscent!

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Kale Quinoa Salad
serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

1 large bunch of lacinito kale
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries
olive oil
cinnamon

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Chop your sweet potato into 1/2 inch cubes. Place on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cinnamon. I love love love roasting sweet potatoes with cinnamon, but you can omit. Toss together and roast for 25 minutes. Check halfway through and toss around if needed. *When 5 minutes are left on the sweet potatoes, place the pecans on a roasting sheet and roast for 5 minutes making sure to watch that they don’t burn. Take out at the same time as the sweet potatoes. Roughly chop the pecans and set aside.

Now to de-rib your kale. Rinse and pat dry your kale. To de-rib, run a knife alongside the stem to detach the leaves. You can get a visual here. Layer all the kale leaves on top of each other and chop the kale into small pieces. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a mason jar or small bowl, add all dressing ingredients. Shake or whisk to combine.

To the bowl of kale add the cooked quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle with a good portion of the dressing. Using a pair of tongs, give everything a really good toss until everything is coated in dressing. Kale is not a lettuce you can just pour dressing over the top. Your have to mix and toss and coat it with dressing.

Plate and serve with a bit of salt and pepper on top.

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Another favorite fall kale salad is my Fall Panzanella with Cornbread Croutons!

Annie

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce

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I've officially eaten this meal three weeks in a row. Obsessed yes, overboard yes, but delicious enough to eat week after week. 

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Over the past few months I've loved getting plugged into a new community group through my church. They found out I had a food blog and quickly decided that a cooking class was a must. I easily obliged. We finished our study going over this book (which I love, have read twice now, and highly recommend) two weeks ago. We used last week's meeting as a time to have fellowship over food and conversation instead of our regular study. 

Sticking to what I know, I led a them through how to make this beloved new dish of mine, and paired it with Perfect CCCs of course!

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Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meat Sauce
yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 - 3 spaghetti squash, halved
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium zucchini, shredded
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 (15 ounces) can tomato sauce, no sugar added
1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 cups raw spinach, tightly packed
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Dairy free or regular shredded mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Microwave each spaghetti squash for 5 minutes (this makes it easier to cut in half). Take out of the microwave and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds. Arrange spaghetti squash halves on a roasting sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

While your squash is cooking, in a large pan over medium heat, cook the turkey in the 1 tbsp. of olive oil until almost completely cooked. When just a little bit of pink is left add the zucchini, carrots, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spinach and spices. Stir to combine and let cook until the spinach has wilted. Turn to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. 

Once your spaghetti squash is done, use a fork to scrape the insides and create the “spaghetti noodles.” Layer a spoonful of sauce, draining some of the liquid of the sauce and using more of the meatiness, over the top of each squash. Turn on your broiler. Sprinkle the top of each squash with some cheese. Place under your broiler for 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Fresh cracked black pepper over the top and you are ready to serve!

*The sauce makes a ton. I like to pile on the sauce, but any leftovers store well in the fridge or freezer. When cooking for myself I prep one squash at a time and keep the sauce in the fridge. I take a cooked squash and the sauce and heat in the microwave. Then repeat the broiler step for a fresh hot meal each night. 

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The meal went over well with the group and the cookies scored a win. Hope you love it as much as I do! 

Annie 

Bites of My Life

A few snow (ice) days kept us trapped at home last week, followed by pouring rain as we ventured down to Dallas for best friend and pre-wedding celebrations, followed by gorgeous 60 degree weather. Oklahoma you keep us on our toes, but I don't mind!

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-Protein shakes aside, the mascara, face primer and CC cream from Arbonne's makeup and skincare line are gold. 
-My favorite shake to keep me full and satisfied. Vanilla Almond amped up with a little almond extract!
-New Lite Bite post is up! Crushing on this meal from last week!
-Sneaking in greens on our "snow day" despite really wanting s'mores, popcorn, chili and all the treats.
-So far I have finished 2, almost 3 books in 2018 and it's only February. I don't even know who I am anymore. #TeamDoesn'tRead.
-The most delicious eats and drinks at José to kick off our 24 hour stint in Dallas. Highly highly recommend this spot next time your are in Dallas. 
-Weekend 1 of celebrating #KatieFoundHerMattch, can't wait for round 2 this weekend.
-Tea and Food Network in bed. How every Sunday should start.
-Quinoa has come back for vengeance recently and I'm loving it. Working on getting this greek quinoa bowl posted this week!

Annie

Bites of My Life

Bites is showing off lot's of delicious eats from last week, and even more over the weekend. Not pictured includes powering through work but GSD at this new workspace and with the help from these, some pilates, yoga and bootcamp via StudioHop and ending by sending off one of our besties and she and her boyfriend take their next venture to California. Which meant all kinds of celebrations to send them on their way. 

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-Breakfast and my make-shift standing desk in full affect to kick the work week off. 
-Stole this big green salad idea from Veggie Bellie. My mix included roasted sweet potato, cucumber, red pepper, sprouts, green onion, spinach tossed with s&p, tahini, liquid aminos and topped with Everything But The Bagel seasoning from TJs.
-Serious snack noms. Rice cake, cashew butter, cocoyo, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon.
-Working on my soft scramble. New found tip is to scramble your eggs with your butter in the pan at the same time. It works and is delicious! 
-Date dipped in the best almond butter for a little "dessert hack" If you are on Whole30 this is a life savor. Or if you want to avoid eating ice cream for dessert every night, this helps satisfy the sweet craving we so often get after finishing a meal. 
-Golden Milk Protein smoothie bowl post evening Soul Yoga! (2 scoops Arbonne vanilla protein, frozen cauliflower, big shake of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pinch of black pepper, and almond milk)
-Preeeeeetty proud of how cute these little cookies came out for Alex's going away party. 
-A little lavender almond milk latte to power through the Friday work day. 
-Tried out Trader Joe's Frozen Cauliflower Crust. Topped it with pesto, roasted purple cauliflower, chicken and green onion. Love the toppings (and colors), hated the crust unfortunately. Anyone try it and feel the same?
-Matcha Avocado Vanilla Protein Shake blended to perfection (and to counteract all the Chick-Fil-A nuggets and chips and guacamole I had the night before).
-Healthy smoothie only to be followed by a surplus of fried chicken and fried okra at Oklahoma's oldest bar!
-Party bus to small town America to check every last thing off the Oklahoma Bucket list before Graham and Alex leave us for SoCal!

Annie

P.S. with This Is Us back last week and Riverdale and Scandal coming back on this week, you need this