“Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission.” ~ Andrew Jackson

I found another delicious salad that allows me to use my new favorite ingredient.

Quinoa.

Whats great about quinoa is that it’s very filling and pretty much takes on the flavor of the other ingredients with which it has been paired. Because of this, you can add it or serve it with most any salad or as a bed for a sauce in place of rice. It has been called the “perfect food”.

I am always finding new ways to try quinoa. I have a new recipe for a breakfast bowl that calls for it and I am dying to give it a try.

Stay tuned.

Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

(adapted from Damn Delicious)

Salad

  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup blueberry craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Toss salad ingredients in large bowl, top with vinaigrette, toss again. Serve immediately.

** This can be made with any mixed green salad but I highly recommend keeping all other ingredients. **

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl.

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-abp

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“People who say, ‘Let the chips fall where they may,’ usually figure they will not be hit by a chip.” ~ Bernard Williams

In my strive to eat better/healthier this year, today I attempted Kale Chips for the first time.

I always heard people talking about how great they were but never really thought about giving them a go.

I mean, there were Fritos in the pantry, so why bother?!

Ha. 🙂

Well, the Fritos are now gone and I am a salty/crunchy kind of gal.

So,  I now had a reason to try them.

They are really good!

Granted, do they taste like Fritos? No.

Seriously, you can’t say you didn’t already know that.

But they are a great alternative for satisfying that need for crunch and flavor. They are versatile too. You can season them many ways and can even add something on after they are cooked, i.e – hot sauce, a spritz of vinegar.

Don’t wait as long as I did to give them a try.

Baked Kale Chips

  • 2 lighty packed cups of large pieces of kale, stems removed
  • ½ Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of you favorite seasoning (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 300º

Wash and completely dry kale.

Toss kale with olive oil in a large bowl. “Massage” it in, so it gets in every little nook.

Place a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle with seasoning of choice (I used an all purpose Seasoning Salt but there are numerous ideas).

Bake for 10 minutes, rotate baking sheet and cook for another 10 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes.

**all ovens bake differently so you will want to keep a close eye on them the first time because they can go from not cooked to burnt real quick**

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-abp

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Wow.

That’s all I can say.

I just had the BEST diet food I have ever eaten.

No joke, I couldn’t stop eating it.

Which probably negates the whole diet thing when you eat 3 servings…….

Any-who.

If I could find 8-10 menu items that good, that are also good for shedding the pounds – this old girl might just pull it off.

I have to thank my sweet friend, Alexandra, for bringing this dish to our Christmas dinner. She shared the recipe she had found, I tweaked it just a bit and this family is happy!

It’s actually just a side dish but you can make it a meal easily, several different ways.

Tonight, I cooked a few seasoned fish filets in a skillet to go with it but you could easily add chopped chicken for a one bowl dish.

If you are looking to loose a few pounds or get a little healthier – this dish is for you.

If you are not worried about any of those things – this dish is for you!

I feel extremely “earthy” after this meal. 😉

Chopped Kale Salad

  • 6 cups of chopped Kale (chopped into small bites)
  • ½ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup Craisins®
  • 1½ cup cooked, whole grain quinoa
  • Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard (store bought is great)
  • 3 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Vinaigrette – Whisk together the mustard and the vinegar, slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Salad – In a large bowl, toss together the kale, almonds, craisins and quinoa. Stir in dressing.

Serve alone or with a protein of your choice.

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Yum!

-abp