3-Bean Salad

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One of my best friends has been following a vegan diet for the past few months and claims she has never felt better. I eat vegetarian accidentally all the time and have tried eating vegan once before. There is a ton of information out there about the benefits of veganism, so I thought I’d challenge my self to eat plant based last week. I prepped some delicious overnight oats, and this delicious 3-bean salad, but dinner got away from me when I ended up at a new Dallas hot spot and dove into enchiladas completely forgetting about my “vegan” diet. OOPS!

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Anyway, back to this salad. I love beans, but I feel like they can get a bad rap. For vegans and vegetarians, beans are an incredible source of protein. Even for meat eaters, I think we should all love a bean now and then. There was a little sandwich spot at OU that my friends and I loved to go to. I’d almost always order a 1/2 sandwich and salad combo with my salad choice being their 3-bean salad. It wasn’t a popular opinion amongst my fellow 20 year olds, but I loved the kidney bean, green bean and chickpea salad they served.

I’m going down a rabbit hole and I’m not surprised if I lost you, but if you are still here, I’m basically just here to tell you that this 3-bean salad is great. Great for lunch balanced with some berries or apple on the side, would be great as a side at a barbecue or could even make a great dip with Fritos or tortilla chips kind of like a Texas Caviar situation.

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3-Bean Salad
yields about 4, 1 cup servings

Ingredients:
1 -15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, cubed
2-3 Tbsps. olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste (I use a decent amount)

In a large mixing bowl add first six ingredients. If serving immediately add avocado. If serving later, wait to add avocado until time to eat. Add in olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Serve as an entree with fruit, a side dish or with chips for a dip!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will stay good for 5-7 days (without avocado). I take this salad as lunch and divide amongst 4 of my favorite jars and take 1/4 of an avocado with me to add day of right before I eat.

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Annie

Mayo-Less Salmon Salad (Whole 30)

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Unpopular opinion, but I love tuna salad. Unpopular by many because 1. tuna. 2. mayo (yuck) 3. the smell. You can get my mayo-less whole 30 tuna salad recipe here.

Well today’s recipe is similar, but the star is salmon instead of tuna. Salmon is much more liked in the food industry it seems. However, I’d never bought canned salmon until now. Not sure why, because I just became obsessed. Being obsessed with a canned fish may be slightly concerning, but I’m going with it.

This recipe is giving my weekday lunches life right now. Just like my tuna salad recipe this is free of mayo, but the best part is it’s free of the stench that tuna has. Your office mates will thank you! Classic salmon flavors like dill and lemon are added to really bring it full circle.

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Salmon Salad
yields 3 servings

Ingredients:
12 oz wild pink salmon, no salt added
1/4 cup dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp. pickle juice
1/4 cup pickles, finely chopped*
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1/4 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Drain your cans of salmon and add to a medium size bowl. Fluff the salmon with a fork. Add the mustard and pickle juice and stir to combine. Add the pickles, green onions, dill and paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more seasoning or mustard if needed.

Serve with butter lettuce and pickled red onions. I also love eating mine with GG crackers.

*If you don’t like pickles, celery would be great here

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Annie

Cauliflower Soup (Whole 30)

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Hello soup season! This time of year, if it’s served in a bowl, I’m game. Some of my favorite soups include this one, this one and this one. This cauliflower soup is simple, but real good. It resembles potato soup, but a little healthier for you. Not to mention whole 30 compliant and vegan depending what type of broth you use!

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
32 oz cups of chicken, veggie or brone broth (TJ’s is now selling this and I love it)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
*½ cup coconut cream from coconut milk (the thick stuff from the top of the coconut milk can - do not shake!)
chopped green onions, cayenne and olive oil for garnish

Directions:
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté until the onions are cooked down and translucent. 

Add the cauliflower florets to the pot and pour in the broth. Turn the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s done when the cauliflower is fork tender. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until very smooth. An immersion blender is ideal, but if you are using a food processor, puree in 2 to 3 batches to avoid an extreme mess. (I know this because I do not have an immersion blender, and while the processor worked, it was messy).

After pureed, pour back into your soup pot unless you used an immersion blender. Whisk in the coconut cream. Add a pinch more of salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick you can add a bit more broth. 

Serve with a garnish of chopped green onions, a pinch of cayenne and a fancy drizzle of olive oil. A little cheddar cheese or crispy bacon bits would be great too to resemble potato soup! Great by itself but would also be great with a piece of crusty bread or a kale salad on the side. 

*Grocery stores sell "coconut cream," DON'T buy that. Buy regular coconut milk in a can. Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open with a can opener and scoop out the thick cream from the top. Discard the rest. 

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Annie

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

Lite Bite: Mayo-Less Tuna Salad

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Tuna salad. Do you love it or does it make you gag? I'm on a HUGE kick right now and I'm real obsessed with my recipe so I had to share. It's free of mayo (EW) and gets tons of flavor from subbing in mustard. Makes for a perfect lunch that is satsifying and healthy!

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Mayo-Less Tuna Salad
yields 1 serving

Ingredients:
1, 5 oz can tuna packed in water, drained
1 tbsp. grainy mustard
1-2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp. chopped pickles or relish
1.5 tbsp. diced red onion
salt and pepper
GG crackers, rice cake or bibb lettuce for serving

Directions:
Drain your can of tuna. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Adding more mustard if you want it creamier. Serve with crackers, rice cakes or in little cups of bibb lettuce making it whole 30 compliant (as long as your mustard is sugar free! I like this brand, for obvious reasons)!
 

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Annie