Warm Cauliflower, Quinoa & Feta Salad

The cold winter evenings call for warm healthy dinners. Last night was no exception.

I roasted one head of organic cauliflower in a bit of olive oil in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 40 minutes, stirring it halfway. Once it was perfectly roasted, I set it aside as I whipped up the remainder of our meal.

My Sunday creation…

warm cauliflower, quinoa and feta salad

 

Next, I got the quinoa cooking. I mixed together one cup of quinoa with one cup of chicken stock and one cup of water. I brought the quinoa and liquids to a boil, then covered and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid was gone. Then, I added garlic powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. I let this sit as I finished the rest of the meal.

In a large saute pan, I sautéed onion, zucchini, and garlic in olive oil. I then added a handful of spinach, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and the roasted cauliflower. I added in dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper to taste. I gave this all a stir until the spinach was wilted in the dish.

 

 

warm cauliflower, quinoa and feta salad

My original plan was to stir the quinoa into the veggies and then serve it, but I decided to keep them separate.

To plate: beautiful yellow quinoa, topped with veggies, then feta cheese crumbles (this adds so much great flavor so don’t forget!!), and chopped kalamata olives.    warm cauliflower, quinoa and feta salad warm cauliflower, quinoa and feta salad

IMG_0350

Dana and I both absolutely loved this dish. There were so many different textures and flavors and they all came together perfectly.

Whip it up for yourself! Try it for meat-free Monday!

Warm Cauliflower, Quinoa & Feta Salad
Print
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • dash of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • handful of spinach
  • ¾ cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2-3 cups roasted cauliflower, chopped into large chunks
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅓ cup kalamata olives, diced
  • feta cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa per directions on package cooking with one part chicken stock and one part water.
  2. Once quinoa is fully cooked, stir in turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, saute onions, zucchini and garlic cloves in olive oil. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add in a handful of spinach, beans, roasted cauliflower, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. You can now mix the quinoa with the veggies or keep them separate. I kept them separate.
  6. To plate (if kept separate): quinoa as the base, next the sautéed veggies, then the kalamata olives and feta cheese. Serve warm.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

Any delicious recipes from the weekend or planned for the week ahead?

xoxo

Project Freezer Clean Out

Did this weekend even exist? It went by so fast!

I had a fabulous weekend really, packed with family, beautiful walks, great food, and home projects. Here’s a quick little recap of what was happening around mi casa this weekend.

Friday

I was feeling exhausted after work but brought myself to walk for 35 minutes. Dinner was simple but tasted SO good! It was sautéed broccoli, zucchini, onions, and green beans with diced chicken, apple, and gouda sausage! The dish was very flavorful thanks to the snausage sausage.

chicken sausage veggie saute

Saturday

I met my cousin Betsy out at Target Field in Minneapolis for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Our local news anchor Diana Pierce kicked off the event. Senator Amy Klobuchar also spoke, and I saw local sports reporter Eric Perkins on the walk and said “hi”! To any locals, you might know some of these folks. 🙂

walk for alzheimers walk for alzheimers

The weather was beautiful and the walk was so much fun. We were led through the streets of downtown Minneapolis and into Loring Park (which is where I was last weekend!)

walk for alzheimers

Bets and I made a pit stop at Caribou on the way back of course. Because of this, we didn’t win the race. 😉

There are so many people affected by Alzheimer’s, my grandma being one of them. It is a horrible disease that needs to end! They are researching like crazy to find the cure, and I pray they do. I can’t wait to do the walk again next year to support the research and end Alzheimer’s.

This weekend I solidified my obsession for these Blue Diamond Salt n’ Vinegar Almonds that I got from the Summit last weekend. I’ve looked in CVS and Target so far and I haven’t been able to find this flavor anywhere yet. I should have grabbed ten bags at the Summit. Seriously these things are awesome! They are tangy and salty. MMM…mmmm!

blue diamond salt n vinegar almonds

 

I dragged the Fall decorations up on Saturday. Our house is looking mighty festive!

mantle fall autumn

 

In the evening we had a bunch of family over for dinner at our house. I finally got to wear my ZeeBee Threads t-shirt dress! I paired it with a zebra print scarf, grey leggings, and actually had to wear a long black cardigan too because it was CHILLY! This dress is so incredibly comfortable. I was so happy to be comfy yet still be wearing a cute outfit at the same time. Ya’ll know I’m all about comfort.

zeebee threads dress

I was overly excited for dinner because we were getting pizza. I should really look back on the blog to determine the last time I actually ate real, not gluten-free, not cauliflower pizza crust… just real original legit pizza. My system has been cooling down quite a bit and I wanted to try this one treat to see how I held up.

pizza

The results: I think I felt fine—I didn’t feel any different really! Not that I will make this a common meal but it’s good to know I can handle it every once and a while. It tasted just as good as I remembered too!

Sunday

I am beginning a project freezer clean out and dug this up from the freezer: gluten-free lemon blueberry bread. I topped it with some almond butter and called it breakfast.

blueberry lemon bread

After breakfast we ran our errands and got a few groceries but not too many because we are going on VACATION at the end of the week! I am realizing I haven’t said much about this yet. More to come on the vaca 411.

This week I plan to eat food from the freezer primarily. We have loads of frozen veggies, frozen meats, leftover soups, chili, etc. It will feel good to begin cleaning out the freezer! PROJECT FREEZER (and fridge) CLEAN OUT!

For dinner I made a batch of yellow quinoa and topped it with sautéed broccoli, zucchini, onions, chicken, and fresh tomatoes, olives, and hummus. A Mediterranean-inspired dish! My fav.

 

mediterranean inspired meal

 

It tasted as good as it looked!

We tackled a few projects around the house, relaxed a bit, watched some of the Emmy’s, and called it an early night on Sunday. It was another fabulous weekend for the books!

How was YOUR weekend? What did you do?

Are you in need of a project freezer clean out?

Greek Quinoa Salad

Happy Wednesday!

As I mentioned yesterday, I am on a quinoa kick. At the beginning of the week I usually prepare a large batch of quinoa so that I am able to enjoy it easily throughout the week.

I generally add the quinoa into a big mixed greens salad or serve it alongside of some chicken kabobs or stir-fry, but sometimes I get fancy. I got fancy this week.

After taking inventory in the fridge, I realized that I had just about everything I needed to make a Greek inspired quinoa dish: quinoa, zucchini, tomatoes, and basil from the farmer’s market, red onion, red bell peppers, feta cheese, and everything I need to make my own Greek dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, spices). The only thing I had to buy at the grocery store to make this salad complete was kalamata olives.

This dish involves a little bit of chopping and mixing, but all in all it is pretty simple! I made my own dressing but you could certainly buy your favorite Greek or Italian salad dressing at the store in this salad, and that would be just fine.

Greek Quinoa Salad

What’s great about this dish is that you can make it the night before you want to eat it, and just add finishing touches right before you serve it.

So to begin, I had cooked a huge batch of quinoa with half chicken broth and half water. I scooped two cups of the cooked quinoa into a medium bowl. Then I chopped up zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, grape and cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives. I mixed the quinoa and veggies and set them aside.

Greek Quinoa Salad

Then, I mixed up my dressing (the recipe is below). I poured half of the dressing over the quinoa and combined it gently into the salad. I covered the salad and put it in the fridge for the night.

The next day I removed the salad from the fridge, added in the rest of the dressing, gave it a stir and topped it with fresh feta cheese and fresh basil!

Greek Quinoa Salad Greek Quinoa Salad Greek Quinoa Salad   Greek Quinoa Salad Greek Quinoa Salad

Botta bing, botta boom! Beautiful. I couldn’t stop snapping photos, it was just so pretty!

Greek Quinoa Salad
Print
Serves: 8-10 as a side salad
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in half chicken broth and half water)
  • ½ cup red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup zucchini, diced
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced finely
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil, cut into shreds
  • Dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1½ tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ Tbsp. ground mustard
  • cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small container, mix up the dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine quinoa, red pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and half of the dressing. Give it a gentle stir, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight (or for a couple of hours).
  3. The next day, remove the salad and add in the remainder of the dressing, mix to combine. Finish by sprinkling feta cheese and fresh basil on top of salad. Enjoy!!

Are you utilizing locally grown, in-season vegetables?

All About the Food & Yellow Quinoa Recipe

Except for breakfast yesterday, I actually managed to snap photos of a lot of my food so guess what I am going to be sharing with you all today!

My breakfast was my favorite at the moment blueberry smoothie all jam-packed with blueberries, kale, pineapple, and so much more. It tasted awesome per usual.

Lunch was insanely delicious. I pulled together a salad using leftover mixed dark greens with tomatoes and cucumbers from Sunday, leftover yellow quinoa (recipe below!), leftover chicken, zucchini, sunflower seeds, and this homemade Greek dressing. The flavor in this thing was outrageous. I am going to be making this for lunch again today I think.

salad

I spent a little time in the kitchen mixing up some confectionaries (sugar-free). This is a teaser photo. I promise I really am going to share some homemade dark chocolate recipes with you all soon.

chocolate

I also made dried pineapple in the food dehydrator. These make for the perfect sweet dessert. They taste like gummy candy. So good!

pineapple

Dinner

I didn’t really have any plans for dinner, but when the time rolled around, I knew I had a fridge packed full of veggies, and they were screaming to be eaten. So I threw together my old go-to dinner: veggie hash with an over-easy egg.

This time I used onions, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, salt, pepper, and paprika. I was so excited to be able to eat an egg again. I had eliminated them from my diet when I was following the Clean Program and this was my first time eating one in about a month. I missed my eggs!

hash with egg hash with egg

Mmm seriously such a good dinner. Such a great day of eats in general!

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So remember that yellow quinoa I made for Sunday night’s Mediterranean dinner?

homemade mediterranean dinner

 

My inspiration for this recipe came from multiple dinners to one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants where they serve yellow rice underneath mounds of veggies and shawarma. Num. Ca you see it hidden under there? This was a photo of my dinner from the restaurant a while back.

med cruise yellow rice

 

The secret ingredient in my quinoa that makes it yellow is a spice called turmeric. Did you know turmeric has been shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory? I can almost guarantee that nearly every one of us could benefit from a little anti-inflammatory assistance within our bodies. I know I can use the extra help!

Anyway, this quinoa is extremely simple and it was the perfect accompaniment to the Mediterranean inspired meal I made for Sunday night’s dinner which included grilled chicken, kabobs, and a veggie salad.

You could add in onions and green peas to this quinoa recipe to amp up the nutritional value even more. You could also add in veggies AND a lean protein like chicken and you would have yourself a one pot meal.

Yellow Quinoa
Print
This makes one BIG batch of quinoa
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups dry quinoa
  • 5 cups chicken bone broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaping tsp cumin
  • dash of onion powder
  • salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan or pot, combine quinoa, broth, and garlic and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover pot and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. At the end of the cooking process, add the remaining seasonings. Season to taste if necessary.
  4. Serve with your favorite kabob combination, on a salad or even on its own!

Happy Day my friends.

Have you ever cooked with turmeric? What are your favorite spices to cook with?

Sweet Potato with Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter & Beautiful Blooms

To all you dog-lovers out there. A friend of mine is needing to find a home for Shelby, an intact female 7 1/2-year old AKC German Shepherd Dog.

She has her AKC papers, most recent vet records from early 2013, and microchip information available. She was trained as a puppy by a specialist in military and police dogs 6 years ago. She would NOT be good in a family with kids younger than teens or with cats. Any person with her will need to be comfortable being firm with her – anyone who has had Shepherds understands that that is a breed trait and not necessarily a personality trait. She has been socialized and is generally good with all other dogs – although large dogs are better – as long as introduced properly.

Shelby needs to find a home before June 27th or she will be placed into the humane society. Please email me at beautifullynutty@gmail.com if you are interested!!

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It’s Wednesday, you know it, it’s Wednesday and I’ll show it! I’m feeling a little cooky this Wednesday. I blame it on the sunshine. 😉 I LOVE it!

I’ve been taking the doctor’s advice and sticking to lower intensity workouts for now, mostly in the form of walks outside with Moose. It has been so beautiful outside lately and I enjoy the fact that when I go outside for a walk with Moose I am benefited in three ways:

  1. I get to move my body and feel great
  2. Moose gets to move his body and feel great
  3. I get to soak in some much-needed Vitamin D.

Triple whammy!

Lunch

Part of my lunch yesterday was baked sweet potato slices with honey cinnamon almond butter.

I baked the sweet potato slices in coconut oil the night before, covered them when they were done baking, and put them in the fridge for later. When I was ready to eat the slices, I stuck them in the microwave for a short time and they were good to go.

For the almond butter, I mixed together almond butter, honey, and cinnamon and then tried adding water to thin it out but it actually made the mixture thicken. My original plan was to make a pretty drizzle over the top of the sweet potatoes, but instead I had to plop it into the center. It was really probably thin enough, I should have just left it. Oh well, next time.

sweet potato with almond butter

What failed in presentation made up for in taste. This combo was spectacular. I have tried sweet potato and peanut butter but I don’t think I have ever had sweet potato with almond butter. I seriously think I prefer the almond butter on it! Who would have thought.

Changing gears…our yard is in full bloom. We have these beautiful pink peonies that I swear only last for a couple of days, so when they bloom, I make it a must to snap a couple of photos because they are absolutely beautiful.

peony

I called in Moose to model in the yard and add an extra point of interest. He put up with me happily obliged and did an excellent job posing for the photos. 😉

moose

Please excuse my poor photography skills. I couldn’t seem to exclude my shadow from most of the photos.

moose

Moose enjoying the fragrant lilacs…

moose

Moose

And the blinding sun…

Moose

If dogs could talk I don’t think I would want to know what Moose was saying to me in that last photo.

I am truly enjoying nature’s beauty in our backyard (and so is Moose)!

Random side note: I cannot for the life of me remember how to spell German Shepherd. I don’t know how many times I have probably spelled it wrong on the blog, on twitter, etc. Forgive me Moose if your mom embarrassed you.

Dinner

After one failed attempt at an over-easy egg, my second attempt was a partial fail as well. I could not seem to keep the yolk from breaking last night. I settled with my second attempt and served my “over-easy” egg on top of sautéed red bell peppers, onions, and quinoa. sauteed onions with egg

Then topped it with salsa and cilantro!

sauteed onions with egg

It was absolutely delicious and very satisfying.

Happy hump day my friends. Do something that makes you happy today.

Quinoa Tabouli Recipe & Switching to Raw Honey

Oh happy day! Who’s doing their Friday happy dance? I am.

Yesterday was a day of great eats. Although I didn’t get too creative with breakfast and went with my fav; banana with peanut butter, cinnamon, and a touch of honey, I did change it up just a bit. I am now using raw honey instead of the good old honey bear and this stuff rocks my socks for multiple reasons.

honey

Why I switched to raw organic honey

  1. It tastes incredible.
  2. I bought it locally and could tell you exactly what farm in MN it came from.
  3. It has health benefits such as: wound healing, boosts immunity, traditionally has been used to heal ulcers, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Rich in B vitamins and vitamin C and contains healthy minerals too!
  5. In the processing of your everyday honey bear squeeze bottle honey, beneficial enzymes, nutrients, and antioxidants are often destroyed. Instead of reaping the wonderful health benefits of honey, you are really stripping away the goodies.
  6. I love it.

some information was gathered from this source

The only downside is it is definitely a little more expensive than the traditional honey bear, but you can see why right? It’s worth it! Another FYI, buy organic if you can.

A friendly reminder: children under the age of one should not consume any type of honey as it has the potential of causing botulism.

Lunch

Anyway, moving on. After my Insanity workout, I was craving nutrients in a huge way. Usually I hedge toward smoothies post workout, but today I went the salad route. I must say this turned out to be one pretty darn beautiful salad.

What’s in it: mixed spring lettuce, grated carrot, grated pepper cheese, peas, red bell pepper, sunflower seeds, Applegate roasted turkey from the deli, and homemade mustard dressing.

Dressing: deli mustard, red wine vinegar, dash of garlic powder and black pepper, and a touch of water.

salad salad

Yum-o.

Mediterranean Feast

For dinner, we had my mom and dad and brother Kevin over for a Mediterranean themed dinner.

On the menu: chicken and veggie kabobs, hummus, veggies, fresh fruit, and quinoa tabouli!

carrots and hummus

Quinoa Tabouli!!

quinoa tabouli quinoa tabouli greek dinner kabobs hummus tabouli greek dinner kabobs hummus tabouli

Oh my goodness I love this food so much. I especially love making it at home because I can control EVERYTHING that goes into it–including the salt content.

This was my first ever attempt at making tabouli. Traditional tabouli uses bulgar wheat, but I wanted to make mine with protein-rich quinoa, and am THRILLED with the result. If you are a tabouli fan, this is a recipe you are absolutely going to want to try! It’s truly so easy too!

Quinoa Tabouli
Print
Ingredients
  • juice from ¾ of a large lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 2 cups parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • ½ cup cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and use a fine cheese grater to grate garlic cloves into juice mixture.
  2. Add remaining ingredients into bowl, stir to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible to let flavors blend together.
  4. Serve cold on a bed of lettuce (optional). Great with chicken kabobs and hummus.

 

Happy Friday to all of you beautiful people. Catch up with you later!

What are your favorite ways to enjoy honey?

My favorite ways are of course drizzled over pb toast or pb and banana with a touch of cinnamon, or in a mug of hot water with fresh ginger.

A Rainy Run and Spring Cleaning

Happppppppy Saturday! I don’t have a ton of fun photos for you today, but I do have a couple of food photos to share from yesterday.

Once again, I used the NutriBullet to whip up a smoothie. I’ve made this one before. In the mix was: banana, kale, almond milk, chocolate egg white protein powder, peanut butter, and aloe vera juice.

smoothie

Lunch: Quinoa, cheese, and peas. This was actually really good despite it being so simple. Sometimes simple is best. It was cooked quinoa, salt, pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and peas.

quinoa and cheese and peas

Dinner: My favorite salmon!

salmon

 

 

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I keep forgetting to mention that Dana and I have registered for a 10K race coming up at the end of April! My runs have become few and far between, and I’m going to blame that mostly on the weather. I know, lame excuse. Every time I am out for a run I feel fantastic, and every time I am done I always say I have GOT to do this more often. I wish I could bottle up these good endorphins and release them under my nose when I’m not feeling up to a run.

Now that I have a race to look forward to, I will be hitting the pavement more often again and am really looking forward to it.

Furthermore, the weather is really turning around here which makes it that much more enticing to run outside. Yesterday it was in the 50’s and today it is in the 40’s. The snow is melting super fast and I am loving it. Spring is officially here.

Can you spot the cardinal?!

cardinal and backyard

Dana, Moose, and I headed out for a rainy run this morning. We tried a new loop in our neighborhood and covered 4.7 miles. Despite it being wet, rainy, and a little chilly, it was still a GREAT run! My endurance and stamina felt wonderful and I am confident I will be just fine for the 10K in April.

My hands are struggling to type right now because they are still pretty chilled but my body is so happy. 🙂

Moose hung on through the whole run but he isn’t quite used to runs longer than 3 miles after the winter months. His back paws got a little scraped up and he was bleeding at the end of the run. It’s time to build up those paws again! We covered his wounds with socks and he is now fast asleep on the carpet. Poor guy!

moose

 

Since it is rainy, we have decided that today is SPRING CLEANING DAY! I am off to dust, windex, vacuum, and mop! Fun, fun, fun. Kidding, but it will feel really good to do a deep clean on the house.

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Saturday! xoxo

I Prefer Small Meals and Snacks

First and foremost, I want to wish you all a…. valentine's day

I am such a lover, so this Hallmark holiday really puts me into an EXTRA lovey dovey spirit. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s day or not, I hope you all have a wonderful day full of love and joy! I’ll be doing my best to spread the love today.

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which means it was a day to fast in between meals (it means a lot more than that but I’m not getting into that right now). Being that I am not one to eat big meals, I am more of a small meals and snacks throughout the day kind of gal, this is always a little challenging for me. It involves some planning to make sure I build significant meals to keep me energized throughout the work day and not hit any slumps. Like most of us, I need A LOT of energy to get through the day.

In the morning I unrolled the yoga mat and put on a Yoga/Pilates OnDemand. The workout was about 25 minutes and it felt GREAT. My body was pretty sore and tight before the workout, but once I was done with the session, I felt much more relaxed and less tense. After yoga, I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then finished with a plank.

Then it was time to get breakfast going. I cooked up a batch of quinoa, topped it with kale, a little bit of cheese, salt, pepper, avocado, and an egg.

quinoa and egg breakfast

quinoa and egg breakfast

How’s that for breakfast creativity? That was definitely a bit out of my breakfast comfort zone (aka banana and peanut butter). And as if that wasn’t enough, I gobbled up some lemon blueberry bread. Multiply this bite in my hand times about six.

blueberry lemon bread

I was set.

Breakfast held me over into lunch and then some. For lunch I made a Greek yogurt bowl with chia seeds, FAGE non-fat Greek yogurt, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

fruit and yogurt bowl

And last and maybe least (dinner isn’t too impressive), for dinner I made a salad with cabbage, lettuce, beans, peas, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and honey mustard dressing. I snacked on carrots while I threw the salad together. I was really hungry by the time dinner rolled around.

salad

Part two of dinner was trail mix with some raisins, peanuts, almonds, and dark chocolate chips.

trail mix

After a day of eating only three solid meals, versus my regular small meals and snacks, I am absolutely sure that I prefer the more frequent small meals and snacks. I felt pretty blech all day.

I am fully aware that some cultures fast all day long for different reasons, and I tip my hat to them. That takes incredible willpower and dedication which is why I refuse to complain about having to do this one day. Making any changes to a typical daily intake, also really makes me realize how fortunate I am to have food available to me at all times.

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Intelligent Nutrients Giveaway Winner

Switching gears here, once again. It’s time to announce the winner of the Intelligent Nutrients shampoo and conditioner!

The winner has been randomly chosen. Congratulations to…

Alicia @ The Wannabe Foodie!!

I’m very excited for you to try these products! Send me an email at beautifullynutty@gmail.com with your address information. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you to all who entered! If you follow me on Twitter, be on the lookout for another giveaway coming your way. My twitter handle is: @NuttyMelanie

Happy Valentine’s Day my friends! xoxo I hope your day is filled with love.

Question: Whether you are dating, married, or single…Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Anything fun planned for today?

Peanut Chicken Salad RECIPE

Oh, happy day! I hope you are all having an amazing weekend.

I originally wasn’t planning on posting today but just had to when I got the a-okay from Dana’s mom to share her delicious peanut chicken that I mentioned on Friday.

oriental peanut chicken

peanut sauce

oriental peanut chicken

I know some of you had mentioned your interest, so here you go! I did adapt it just slightly, so what you see below is Sue’s recipe but with my adaptations.

Peanut Chicken Salad
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ~4 cups veggies: broccoli, onion, mushroom, carrots (whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 cup cucumber, cut into strips
  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
Instructions
  1. Cook chicken on stove top until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. While chicken cooks, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic and water. Stir until smooth.**You may have to warm the peanut butter in the microwave to soften.
  3. Add veggies into pan; stir. Let cook for 6-8 minutes until veggies are beginning to soften yet still have a slight crunch.
  4. Toss peanut butter mixture into chicken and veggies. Stir to combine well.
  5. On a large serving platter arrange the lettuce on the bottom, next the cooked quinoa, and finally the chicken and veggies.
  6. Finish by adding the cold cucumber strips to the top.
  7. ***If you have chopped peanuts, sprinkle some on top of the dish to further improve presentation***

 

This one is definitely a crowd pleaser. What’s so nice about this dish besides the fact that it tastes amazing, but it also serves as a full course. We didn’t serve anything for our guests besides the chicken salad. I suppose you could serve some type of fruit on the side, but I just didn’t feel it was necessary since there are so many components to the dish. ENJOY!

A few things real quick before I head to the living room to cut coupons, I was a maniac in the kitchen yesterday. I made dried fruit, nutty granola bites, and a savory lentil dish for dinner. I didn’t do a great job of writing recipes down but I think I will be able to remember and hope to share with you this week.

dried fruit

Also, my lunch yesterday rocked my socks off. I threw together the remains of our container of dark leafy greens, then added quinoa, black beans, tomato, avocado, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder. IT WAS SO GOOD.

quinoa bowl

Oh, and one more thing. It is 0°F in Minnie this am and feels like -17. After we go grocery shopping this morning I may not want to leave my warm home for the rest of the day. 🙂

Happy Sunday!

Peanut Chicken Salad

 Is anyone else doing their Friday happy dance?! HAPPY FRIDAY my friends! strong

So guess what? Yesterday, I did it again. No peanut butter for breakfast! That’s because I was saving myself for dinner but more on that in a sec. I should also mention I did have banana with pb for breakfast on Wednesday. I am trying to scale back just a little bit for real.

But yesterday I had another Greek yogurt bowl that I had put together and refrigerated the night before.

DSCN6343

For lunch I had carrots, cucumber, a banana, and a nice big salad with tomatoes, black beans, olives, feta cheese, and hummus.

salad with hummus

I made a quick stop at the gym on the way home from work and then had a sweet and juicy snack once I got home…

pear

Then I got ready for dinner. We had our friends Adam and Stacy over for dinner last night and on the menu: Oriental Peanut Chicken; recipe courtesy of Dana’s mom.

We switched it up slightly and used quinoa instead of rice.

quinoa

We sautéed two chicken breasts, broccoli, onion, carrots, and mushrooms…

oriental chicken

Next we drizzled the sautéed chicken and veggies with homemade peanut sauce and gave it a good stir. This is why I saved my peanut butter consumption for dinner time. This sauce is gold it is so delicious. I may have to ask my mother-in-law if I can divulge the recipe to you all. 🙂

peanut sauce

And lastly to put it together: one heaping layer of romaine lettuce chopped into shreds onto a large serving platter, next layer on the quinoa, then the sautéed veggies and chicken, and finally top with fresh chopped cucumbers.

oriental peanut chicken oriental peanut chicken

!!!! It was so good!!! Our company was pretty great too! 😉 We had such a fun time with them as always. I get an extra wrinkle line each time we hang out from laughing so much.

I hope you all had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend as much as I am. I am off to an appointment, then work, and tonight we are celebrating Betsy’s birthday! We don’t have too much planned for the weekend but one thing I know for sure is the rest of the Christmas stuff is coming down (our wreaths are still up–whoops) and the few Valentine’s Day decorations that I do have are going up! Woooo!

How long do you keep holiday decorations up before getting crazy tired of them and taking them down?