Vegetable Fajitas over Quinoa

Vegetable Fajitas over Quinoa
​Look back with gratitude; look forward with faith.  It's New Years resolution time. I have so many goals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Often, we interpret healthy eating only with losing...
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Beet & Carrot Coleslaw {No Mayo - Dairy Free Option}

Beet & Carrot Coleslaw {No Mayo - Dairy Free Option}

 

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Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette
Thanks to some spring rain and mild temperatures my little garden is already starting to produce spinach and green onions. Yay! I've been working on finishing my bachelors degree in nutrition and with a busy family I'm so glad my garden has been able to handle some neglect - I mean just look at this beautiful salad it helped make! Thanks to some homemade strawberry jam with no refined sugar it made the Strawberry Vinaigrette so simple and healthy. Strawberries and spinach are both full of vitamin C and B6, folate, magnesium, fiber, and a handful of other vitamins and essential minerals.Overnight Strawberry Jam 4 cups crushed strawberries 1/2 - 3/4 cups honey or 1 - 2 tsp. stevia powder or liquid 1/4 cup lemon juice 4 tbsp. chia seeds Combine all the ingredients, pour into jars or freezer containers, and place in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will cause the jam to thicken. Store jam in the freezer until ready to use.

 

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Simple Pickled Mint Cucumber Beets

Simple Pickled Mint Cucumber Beets

Having things prepped and ready to just grab out of the fridge, freezer, or pantry is so essential when you eat a clean, preservative free diet. One of the best ways to naturally preserve food, especially all the fresh summer produce, is by pickling them. This simple recipe can be tossed together into a jar and set in the fridge to use whenever you need a kick of tart pink goodness!

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Oriental Chicken Salad & Sesame Dressing

Oriental Chicken Salad & Sesame Dressing

I saw a picture once with the caption, "gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, refined sugar free, and vegan"....it was a sad looking piece of lettuce with a tomato slice on top. I had to laugh! (1. because it was clever, and 2. because it was so wrong!)

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Chickpea & Spinach Salad

Chickpea & Spinach Salad

Chickpeas, spinach, some spiral cut carrots, sliced purple onion, chopped almonds, orange segments, and a simple dressing makes this salad...well, simple...and kind of addictive! It's so easy to keep munching on it and goes great with almost any dinner. Add some grilled chicken strips to turn it into a light dinner or just as is for lunch. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) have a great creamy texture and are really filling. If you're like me and love salad but no matter how much you pile on you're still not full, then this legume should be your go-to. Adding chickpeas to salads will help you feel full and satisfied, not to mention adding lots of extra vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. This is also a great side to bring to a get together because the dressing it already on top...and because it looks so pretty! The dressing won't make it soggy either so it's okay to sit in the fridge for a couple days once it's dressed.

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Warm Italian Vegetable Salad

Warm Italian Vegetable Salad

 

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Persimmon Salad with Lemon Fennel Dressing

Persimmon Salad with Lemon Fennel Dressing

  It's almost a new year, new resolutions, why not try something new too. Now that the holidays are past and everyone has sufficiently stuffed themselves, I felt the need for something a little lighter. I was gifted a half dozen persimmon fruits and some garlic dill cheese curds that were just screaming to be put together.   This was my first time eating this unusual tomato-look-alike fruit. Their soft peach-like texture and sweet, mild apple-ish flavor make them very versatile. I tossed mine together in a simple, light salad with a warm fennel, lemon, and olive oil dressing. The sweet from the fruit and the salty from the dressing and cheese blended together so nicely. Persimmons are usually in season between September and December so I must have gotten the last of the season.

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Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

 

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Fresh Fiesta Salad & Salsa Dressing

Fresh Fiesta Salad & Salsa Dressing

  I love summer rain storms. They don't roll around often enough where I'm at, but when they do it's like heaven. In fact, I'm almost certain heaven smells like a summer rain. I take a deep breath and feel re-energized despite the sleepless night of a baby who's teething and an early morning because the kids want to find a good spot to watch the parade. Now that the blazing sun has evaporated any traces of the curling clouds and it's cooling rain and we're all tired from the parade starting 20 minutes late, I'm in need of another pick-me-up. Instead of caffeine or sugar I choose to nourish myself with fresh from the garden veggies. 

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Summer Veggie and Herb Salad

Summer Veggie and Herb Salad

  Fresh tomatoes still warm from the sun. Kale, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and green onions crisp and bright green. Carrots that grow in funny shapes; some long and skinny, some as wide as they are tall. Fresh herbs like basil and parsley that grow so fast you can hardly keep up with them.  Homegrown veggies straight from the garden...these are a few of my favorite things. Summer is upon us and I can't wait! 

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Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

 Eating with the seasons doesn't just save you money, it's good for you too. There are lots of yummy springtime fruits and veggies that I personally am going to start enjoying right now! Lemons, cherries, peas, green onions, and fresh herbs are all combined with warm toasted quinoa, cooked in broth for a flavorful, light, healthy, gluten free, yummy salad that can be eaten warm or cold. This is perfect for your first barbeque of the season, Easter dinner, a get together, or whenever and since it tastes just as good warm or cold it's great to eat for lunch the next day. 

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Swiss Chard Citrus Salad (Gluten Free)

Swiss Chard Citrus Salad (Gluten Free)

  Staying on a budget while feeding an entire family healthy, gluten-free food is an art form. Okay, maybe more like a necessary obsession. I've found that the most convenient and inexpensive way to get quality, organic produce is from my local farmer's market or a food co-op where I can contribute a certain amount and then go pick up a big basket of fruits and vegetables at the end of the week. The co-op option is great, especially in the winter months. It's also pretty fun since I never know what surprises I'll find in my basket.

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Harvest Chicken Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dijon Dressing

Harvest Chicken Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dijon Dressing

Okay, I had a hard time naming this beauty. I wanted to call it Harvest Greens & Chicken Salad with Bacon, Toasted Pecans, Pomegranates, Apple, and Caramelized Onions with Sweet Garlic Balsamic Dijon Dressing....but it seemed a little long. Don't you think? This salad was so yummy I made it two nights in a row and no one even complained! It's hardy enough to stand alone as a meal or you could leave out the chicken and serve it as a side salad next to the turkey on Thanksgiving. It's a crowd pleaser so prepare to make a lot of it!Harvest Chicken Salad4-6 chicken breasts (about one per person)4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbledsalt & pepper1 onion, yellow or purple works fine, thinly sliced1 glove garlic, minced1 head red leaf lettuce1 bunch kale, stems removed1 apple (I like Fuji or Gala), cored and cubed1/2 cup pomegranate seeds or dried cranberrieshandful pecans, toastedcrumbled feta cheese (optional)Sweet Balsamic Dijon Dressing1 clove garlic, pressed2 tbsp. dijon mustard2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar1 tbsp. honey1/2 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. pepper1/3 cup olive oilHeat a large skillet. Lightly toast the pecans until they are warm and fragrant. Put them in a bowl for later and start cooking the bacon. Once the bacon is good and crispy, remove from pan to a paper towel. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving just a little bit in the pan to brown the chicken in. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Toss in the garlic along with chicken breasts. Once the chicken is browned and cooked through, pull them out of the pan and slice them into strips. Now toss the sliced onion into the hot pan (you may need to add a little olive oil). Turn on medium low and let them caramelize while you chop and prepare the rest of the salad. Combine all the dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed.Now put it all together. Toss the lettuce, kale, apple, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, and bacon together. Place chicken strips and some caramelized onion on top and drizzle with the dressing. Sooo yummy!Enjoy!

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Spinach Quinoa Salad with {Homemade} Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spinach Quinoa Salad with {Homemade} Balsamic Vinaigrette

 This little number is perfect for all these new years resolutions and eating smart.  This is a great lunch that is easy to pack to work or school and can be eaten warm or cold. 

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Waldorf Salad with {Homemade} Raspberry Vinaigrette

Waldorf Salad with {Homemade} Raspberry Vinaigrette

Okay, seriously is it possible not to sneak the kids Halloween candy they raked in?  When there's so many things vying for your time and attention how do you find the time to exercise and make healthy home cooked meals?  Is it even possible with the approaching holidays?  Sure it is, said the girl who just ate her fourth peanut butter cup. :)  But really it is possible to stay in shape, eat healthy and still snatch a few fun sized goodies when the kids aren't looking.How? Make it a priority and don't feel guilty if you fall a little short of your goal.  Just keep at it.  Here's what we do to keep us and our kiddos away from falling into sugar overload.  Let them pick out five of their favorite goodies then have them leave the rest out for the "switch witch". She'll take your candy, but she'll leave a cute little toy or game behind in its place. It's a tradition now and the kids never complain! 

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"Beet That" Coleslaw

"Beet That" Coleslaw

The other day I was given a couple beets and a large jicama (the j is pronounced as an h).  After rummaging through the pantry and fridge I found just the thing.  A small head of cabbage I'd nearly forgotten about.  Perfect!  This bright magenta pink coleslaw is the perfect side to something grilled.  

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Zesty Tuna and Palm Salad

Zesty Tuna and Palm Salad

Sometimes you just want a restaurant quality lunch without the restaurant.  Well that's how I was feeling one day when this zesty tuna topped salad with sliced hearts of palm, avocado and tomatoes was born.  And it was delicious!

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Dixie Salad

Dixie Salad

I love fall for many reasons, but one of them is the pomegranates.  I had seen and heard of this peculiar fruit growing up, but never got my first taste until I met my hubby.  My in-laws have two out of control pomegranate trees in their back yard and every fall my mother-in-law makes Dixie Salad.  There's always plenty more pomegranates to take home and share with neighbors and friends too.

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Lemon Poppy Seed Drenched Fruit 'n Nut Salad

Lemon Poppy Seed Drenched Fruit 'n Nut Salad

This salad is very earthy and you can't help but feel healthy while you're eating it.  The fruit in this concoction is actually some plums from my in-laws backyard fruit trees that the kids and I picked, dehydrated and then sprinkled with stevia powder.  Any kind of dried fruit would work though.  Here's some suggestions: dried figs, cranberries, dates, golden raisins, apricots...you get the idea.Fruit 'n Nut Salad1 head romaine lettuce, chopped3-4 radishes, thinly sliced2 green onion, sliced1/2 cup pine nuts1/2 cup dried fruit (figs, dates, etc.)Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing1/4 cup grapeseed oil1/4 cup lemon juice1 Tbsp. honey2 tbsp water1 tsp garlic salt1 tsp dried parsley, or 1 sprig chopped fine1 tbsp poppy seedsCombine dressing ingredients into bowl or bottle and mix thoroughly.  Assemble salad and drizzle dressing over top.Enjoy!

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Melissa Cornwall has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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