We go through stretches in our house when we eat tons of rice cakes and we also have rice cake droughts. I was recently gazing into our pantry and checking out a bag of rice cakes that was looking sad and lonely. My slight obsession with transforming one type of food that miiiiight be labeled as “boring”..Read More
Sushi rolls are so diverse, each one offering taste buds a unique flavor experience. This was my first attempt at turning a sushi roll into a "bowl" (aka, salad) and I had such a hard time deciding what the inaugural Sushi Roll Bowl should be.Read More
My mother instilled in me a great love and appreciation for a good, healthy, beautiful salad. As a kid I was always awed by the salads she put together and as an adult I am constantly trying to think of new flavor combinations. When it comes to salads..Read More
I accomplished a feat today that I thought could never happen. It's a big one. Currently in my home, every dish AND every piece of laundry is washed and put away. The stars have aligned just this once and will likely never align again, starting at 3:22 p.m.Read More
I think "vacation" should be renamed "the calm before the storm." I can think of a handful of times when chaos has struck directly following vacation. Dan and I had such a perfect vacation last week. I've found myself daydreaming about being back at that lovely resort..Read More
Wooo! Happy first day of SPRING! It is chilly in our neck of the woods, but no complaints here. The sun is shining, the snow is (mostly) gone and in three days I will be basking in 80-degree heat in San Antonio. Yippee!Read More
Have you ever watched the caterpillar to butterfly transformation? Of course I have always known how it works, but until recently had never actually watched the process unfold before my eyes. It is a MIRACLE! There is no other way to describe it! We currently have one chrysalis that is 1.5 weeks old and one that is 2 hours old.Read More
This post is coming to you from Louisville, Kentucky! My little boys and I drove 740 miles in 11.5 hours yesterday. It sounds impossible, but we did not have even a single hiccup in our travels. I have some tired boys today, however. Thankfully our hosts are taking the BEST care of us.Read More
I kept trying to figure out why today felt like Monday and then I realized that it was our Monday. Mondays are our Saturdays and Tuesdays are our Sundays, which would make today Monday! The boys went to daycare, so I got a ton of work done in the morning. I was tired. I desperately wanted a nap. The only thing better than a nap is what I actually ended up doing which was getting a manicure and pedicure courtesy of (and with!) my friend Emily!Read More
Phew, it has been yet another busy/crazy/unusual week! I got my first snarky blog comment this week. DELETE. I guess I'm lucky that it has taken a year for that to happen! And my boys have both been sick. Elijah experienced four croup episodes within a three-day span. And life is just plain busy for me right now. I'm trying to start a photography business, while accomplishing everything else I already have going. It's a lot. But it will be worth it.
One of the good parts of the week was these pickles! Seriously! I was very pleasantly surprised about how they turned out. I had low expectations, mostly because I've never made pickles before. I am also kind of a picky pickle person. After brining for only one day, they were totally delicious! Who knew that pickles could become pickles so quickly and easily?!
You will need three 1-quart glass jars. Two for the veggies, and one for mixing the brine. Here is a list of vegetables you can use and how to prepare them:
(For 1 quart, use 12 ounces of vegetables.)
Asparagus – Blanch trimmed asparagus spears in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain well, transfer to a plate and let cool.
Broccoli stems – Peel tough skin away and cut stems into slender sticks.
Carrot sticks – Blanch sticks in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and cool.
Cauliflower florets – Cut into small florets. Blanch the florets in boiling water for 1 minutes, drain and let cool.
Green beans – steam beans for 2 minutes, transfer to a plate and let cool.
Kirby cucumbers – Quarter unpeeled cucumbers for pickle spears or slice them into thin rounds for pickle chips.
I doubled the recipe and made four jars of pickled vegetables. I made broccoli (1), cucumbers (2) and asparagus (1). I loved the pickled cucumbers, also known as pickles. Totally adored them. I very much enjoyed the asparagus, and didn't care much for the broccoli. And I'm a broccoli girl.
Pack your vegetables into two clean jars. In another jar, combine:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
6 large garlic cloves, halved
Shake to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add 2 cups of water and pour brine over the vegetables.
Tuck the following in between the veggies:
4 to 6 long red or green hot chiles, halved lengthwise
16 dill sprigs
Add water to the jars so that the vegetables stay submerged. Close jars and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 month.
If you enjoy pickles, I promise you will not be disappointed (not speaking for the broccoli). I will make this recipe again and again!
Combine fresh tasty vegetables with chickpeas in a protein packed salad. Each crunchy bite of this Quick Spicy Chickpea salad offers a scrumptious hearty salad, side dish or filler to a wrap. This colorful salad that brings summer to life in any season!
Fresh-ingredient salads rock. They're pretty and fresh and tasty and versatile. My husband and I make a killer fresh salad that rivals this one, and I'll share it before summer arrives. By the way, where is summer? We got teased with a bit of warm weather last week, so now the cold and snow and freezing rain are even harder to swallow. I'm not convinced that summer will ever welcome us into her warm embrace.
This colorful salad helps me to believe that it might happen, though. It makes me think of lunches outside with my boys as we sit barefoot on the grass, wiping beads of sweat from our foreheads. Mmmmmmmm.
Back to my cold reality known as Minnesota.
If you, too, enjoy tricking yourself into believing it is summer when it is in fact not, make this salad! My family loved it and the entire batch was gone within 24 hours, despite the lack of warm weather.
HEALTHY BENEFITS OF EATING CHICKPEAS
This recipe calls for chickpeas and if you're not already a big fan, then you might wonder why this is the base for our salad. Also known as garbanzo beans, these have a great texture and are a little nutty in flavor and smooth like buttuh. They are most commonly known as being the staple ingredient in hummus but are great in soups and salads too. You'll appreciate they are high in protein and fiber and have antioxidants for us!
HOW TO PREPARE QUICK SPICY CHICKPEA SALAD
A salad that will make a healthy choice absolutely delicious and unforgettable!
STEP 1 -
Drain 2 cans of chickpeas and place them in a medium bowl.
STEP 2 -
Add 1 tomato diced, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, half of a small red onion diced and half of a seeded jalapeno minced. Pour in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Squeeze two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in and mix in 1 teaspoon ground cumin with a quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you like to mix things up, add in 1 teaspoon dried mango powder!
STEP 3 -
You can chill the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or serve it room temperature. Enjoy!
If you want to go fresh and do as the recipe suggests, soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas in water overnight. Drain the chickpeas and bring to a boil in a large saucepan in 4 inches of water. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 hours, or until chickpeas are tender.
HOW TO EAT SPICY CHICKPEA SALAD
Fill a small bowl with the salad and enjoy every bite!
Load up a slice of flatbread with sliced turkey and a couple spoonfuls of the chickpea salad, then add some cracked black pepper.
Fill a lettuce leaf - romaine, iceberg or butterhead - all are great options!
Scoop up the salad onto a handful of crackers and enjoy it as a dip.
Follow any of these suggestions as a great way to make an easy meal and stay healthy - it was delicious! The next day for lunch, I used it as a topping for my boring baked chicken and cottage cheese and it was scrumptious!
I can think of about 100 other things I'd like to put it in and on and in between. Or, I wouldn't mind eating it straight from the container while having a picnic lunch with my family, the beating sun making the tops of our heads hot.
Ahhhhh, a girl can dream.
No mayo needed! It made a delicious, healthy dinner wrap.
CRAVING MORE HEALTHY SALADS OPTIONS?
Best Chopped Salad - This chopped salad is packed with delicious ingredients including candied pecans, red onions, avocado, tomatoes and more!
Edamame Tomato Corn Salad - Edamame Tomato Corn Salad is my favorite salad recipe of ALL TIME. This delicious salad is a crowd-pleaser, enjoyed any time of the year. Bring this to a party and it will be devoured immediately!
Loaded Veggie Salad - This versatile Loaded Veggie Salad is EASY to make and it is packed with healthy ingredients, such as chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes and avocados. It is a delicious lunch, wrap filling, party side or even a topping for chicken!
Quinoa Edamame Salad - Quinoa Edamame Salad is great for parties and can be served in throw-away cups for serving ease. Also great as a salad to have in the fridge. It is packed with fresh fruit and veggies.
Crunchy Bok Choy Salad - This crunchy, veggie-packed Bok Choy Salad is a great dish to bring to parties. Prepare this one just before serving. It will quickly become a salad favorite!
Avocado Berry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette - This is the most beautiful, vibrant salad you'll ever meet that also aligns with the Whole30 diet! There is such an intriguing combination of flavors and textures and you'll want to eat it every single day.
BEST RECIPES TO MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT
The list of recipes you can make in an Instant Pot is endless! It can act as a slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker and pressure cooker. It can cook soup, chili, pasta, meat, potatoes, veggies, cake, beans and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
SPICY CHICKPEA SALAD
This juice might look scary to little ones, but it is DELICIOUS! And HEALTHY! Drink up!
The only reason I have labeled this juice as "scary" is because that was my three-year-old's reaction to it. When I asked him if he wanted to try a sip, a frightened look came over his face and he said, "No, thank you!" as he ran quickly into another room. At least he was polite about it! As scary as it might appear to a toddler, it is honestly far from it.
I'm not always good about eating fruit in the winter, so this is an easy and totally yummy way to drink some good vitamins and nutrients.
Place the following ingredients into a food processor:
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
3 kiwis, peeled and quartered
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 apple, peeled and cored
A long drizzle of honey
Process until smooth, chill and enjoy your non-scary Scary Juice!
My mother is a great cook. I have always raved about her food. She makes mouth-watering pork chops and potatoes and chicken and even her macaroni & cheese is beyond delicious. This veggie & salami croissant sandwich is my favorite thing that she makes.Read More
Keeping it simple with all green vegetables like celery, apples, cucumber and avocado. For the love of veggies; this salad is to die for!
Here is a quick disclaimer before you read: I am not a super fancy cook, and I love a lot of very simple yet flavorful recipes.
Ok, now that your expectations aren't too high you may continue!
For me, eating vegetables is effortless. No, it is beyond effortless. It is enjoyable! I love veggies more than almost any other food. While I do realize this is bizarre, I am thankful for it. I can eat healthy foods and truly enjoy them. Don't get me wrong, I have many desires for greasy, fattening, sugary foods, as well. I would eat Taco Bell every day if my health and the size of my thighs weren't constantly on my mind.
After all of that gushing about The Vegetable, it might be easy to understand why I adore salads. I have a large collection of salad recipes (that mostly reside in my head) that I am excited to share on this blog!
This particular salad is one that my mom used to make for me a lot. I loved it to pieces back when I went through a can of hairspray a week and I love it to pieces now.
Fill two salad plates/bowls with washed, fresh, chopped lettuce. Split between them:
One green apple, sliced
One small cucumber, peeled and sliced
Two stalks of celery, chopped
One avocado, peeled and chopped
I have also been known to add:
One pear, chopped
A handful of capers
A handful of green olives, sliced
Anything green! Broccoli, snap peas, artichoke hearts, green onions. Go crazy!
I do love a good hearty ranch dressing to top off my salads, but sometimes its flavor is overpowering. That's not such a good thing for strange people like me who like to taste their vegetables. My all-time favorite dressing is salad vinegar. It isn't loaded with calories like most dressings, and I love how it tastes. I'm not really sure how other people feel about using it as a salad dressing, but for me, it greatly enhances the flavor of the veggies. Another good option that I discovered last winter is Ken's Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette. It is reasonably low in fat and calories and it is delicious!