Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Feta

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I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater, but I just can’t get into quinoa. I have tried it as a side dish, as a main dish and as a breakfast food. Every time it’s just a disappointing experience. However, with mixed into a salad with a fresh vinaigrette and lots of fresh veggies, quinoa become delicious! For the vinaigrette I used coconut oil and apple cider vinegar, the combination was surprisingly good. If you don’t have coconut oil, olive oil can easily be swapped in instead. I have been eating this all week in my lunch and the longer it sits in the fridge the better the flavors become!

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This is a great potluck food because people can easily scoop out at much as they like and it’s a nice healthy option. It’s also gluten-free which is a nice option to serve at a potluck. I like to make a huge batch on Sunday night and portion out enough for my lunch throughout the week.

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Ingredients:

4 ounces feta cheese

3 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled

2 cups edamame

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

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Chop all veggies and mix in feta cheese. Once the quinoa has cooled, mix it into the veggies and top with the vinegar and oil mixture. Let it sit 4-6 hours before eating.

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Veggie Filled 3 Bean Salad

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Spring has finally sprung in Southern California! When the weather starts getting warm I find it’s the perfect time for outdoor picnics and this is a great dish to make ahead for a picnic. We usually pack this in a mason jar for picnics around town. I like to make this one the night before to let all of the flavors mellow a bit. It’s vegan and gluten-free, which means pretty much anyone can enjoy this dish and despite the few ingredients it has an amazing flavor.

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High protein beans and fresh veggies make this salad a winner. It’s super healthy without tasting like its super healthy. Beans sometimes get a bad name, but they are a great source of protein and very inexpensive. I always triple rinse beans before I cook them in any recipe, rinsing them will ensure that this salad won’t give anyone tummy trouble. You can serve this as a meal on its own or pair it with a turkey burger to make a very hearty meal.

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Ingredients:

1 can each of garbanzo beans, black beans and pinto beans. Rinse each can of beans 3 times, or until water runs clear

1 can corn

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

½ red onion, chopped

½ cup rice vinegar

1/3 olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Combine vinegar and olive oil and whisk to mix.  In a bowl combine all ingredients, chill overnight

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Eggless Caesar Salad Dressing

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and I have no intention of leaving my house on that day. I know most people get excited to get dressed up and go out for a nice meal. I am the complete opposite! I hate the crowds and the expectations that go along with Valentine’s Day, I would much rather relax at home with my husband and daughter.

Just because I’m staying in doesn’t mean I can’t have a great meal on this holiday. This year I’m making shrimp scampi, a Caesar salad with homemade dressing and red velvet whoopee pies without the red food coloring. Caesar salads are great because they are tasty and look so nice next to almost any entrée. I love the dressing, but get a little grossed out by raw eggs that are in most recipes for this dressing. My recipe omits the eggs and it so delicious! It’s not quite as heavy as the traditional Caesar dressing and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

½ pound shredded parmesan cheese

1 ½ lemons, juiced

½ cup olive oil

1 Tablespoon anchovy paste

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 small shallot

Place all ingredients and into a food processor and blend until smooth. So easy!

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This recipe is perfect with just romaine lettuce and some croutons. I mixed my dressing with some baby spinach and greens and topped with just a bit of black pepper. The lack of eggs makes this dressing so light and wonderful!  I like to store this in a mason jar in the fridge, just give it a quick shake before you dress your salad.

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