Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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It’s like a thousand degrees here in Miami right now which means heavy, fattening meals that take forever to cook are not going to happen in this household right now.  I NEED quick, easy, and super light…because let’s face it – it’s always summertime here AND vacation is right around the corner.  SO!  If you’re in need for a quick and easy summertime salad – I’ve got you covered!  Continue reading

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Mediterranean Spinach Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette

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Happy Monday!!!  🙂  I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  I have a super delicious and extremely healthy SALAD for you to start your week off with!!!   I’ve had this salad on repeat in my house for the last 2 weeks.  I can’t stop eating it… I love it so much!!!  Continue reading

Steak Salad

This is the EASIEST steak salad you’ll ever make.  Promise!  I made this for dinner last week and thought it should be blogged for future reference because it’s probably going to become one of those recipes that gets repeated often.  You can make this in less than 30 minutes too.

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Yields: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6 oz bavette steaks
  • 1/4 cup fat plus 2-3 tbsp for the steaks
  • Yukon Gold potatoes, small dice (mine were kind of big, so I used 3.  You want enough for 2 people)
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1 tbsp Herb de Provence
  • 2-3 cups of arugula
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil to dress the arugula in

First thing I did:

  1. Heat up 1/4 cup of fat (I like to use equal parts of organic butter and olive oil) on medium heat in a medium size skillet or cast iron.
  2. While your fat is warming up, chop up your potatoes – small diced.  Add the potatoes to the pan.  DO NOT touch the potatoes for at least 5-6 minutes.  You want them to have a nice golden color.  Touching and stirring too much ruins this.
  3. When your potatoes are about halfway done cooking, add the onion and                   herb de provence.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to med-low and let the potatoes and onions hangout while you get the steaks ready.
  4. Get your cast iron pan hot for the steaks. (OR use a grill/smoker outside!)  I cooked mine on medium-high heat.  Add some fat to the pan.  Season your steaks with S&P.  When your pan is super hot add the steaks.  You want a really good sear!  For medium-rare I cooked mine on each side for about 5-6 minutes.  If you want your steak more done, cook it longer!  This is a good time for a meat thermometer 🙂
  5. While your meat and potatoes finish cooking, dress the arugula in a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Divide the arugula up into 2 dishes.  I served everything in one bowl like it was one big salad!  Serve it up however you want.  I added some cherry tomatoes for color, a nice portion of potatoes, and the steak on top!  🙂 Voila!!!  Dinner is served in less than 30 minutes!!!

 

 

Quinoa, Spinach, and Beet Salad

Who doesn’t just LOVE a summertime salad?!  Over the last few months, I’ve become a lover of all things BEETS.   All it took was one salad out at one of our favorite restaurants and I was hooked!  As much as I love beets, quinoa has become another ‘carb’ I’ve started eating on a regular basis.  My husband and I decided that we are going to try to cut out meat a few times a week…mainly as a test to see how our bodies feel.  So, I started looking up different foods that have a good amount of protein and quinoa made the cut.  We’re still keeping fish in our diet.  Wild Salmon is one of our favorite weekly meals. We’re not big bean eaters since we eat Paleo 95% of the time, so I really didn’t want to go that route.  Quinoa isn’t considered Paleo, but it is gluten free and that makes me happy!  I decided to throw it into this salad in hopes that it would help keep us full longer.  Low and behold – it did!  My hubby wasn’t too big on quinoa, but after this salad, he’s become a fan!

This salad is perfect for a light lunch or dinner.  It would be perfect with any type of protein.  I put some grilled chicken on top of it, although it isn’t pictured.  We don’t always eat cheese, but every now and then I have to have a little feta on my salad!  🙂  It adds a little creamy and saltiness that is just perfect.  Go make this salad!!  Your belly will love you!!!  🙂

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Yields: 2-4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup organic quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • 1 organic beet, peeled and shredded (with a box grater)
  • 2 organic carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 cups packed organic spinach, roughly chopped
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • garnish with organic feta cheese, optional
  • top with your favorite protein if desired… we ate this with grilled chicken!

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice – 1 lime should be enough if it’s juicy
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne, optional

Directions:

  1. If you want a protein with this salad, start cooking that first.
  2. Throw all of the salad ingredients together into a bowl and toss together.
  3. Pour the dressing on top of the salad mixture.  Toss again.  Top with a protein.  EAT!!!  It’s that easy!!!

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Warm Salmon Salad

Since the birth of our baby girl the hours I used to spend in the kitchen have dwindled down to minutes…unless daddy’s at home and able to keep baby girl occupied for a bit!  So, my thought process has gone to quick, super easy, but still healthy and full of flavor meals that are simple to prepare and get on the table in a snap.  As much as I love cooking (and baking), spending time with my baby and hubby trump everything now.

This meal was created without any recipe…one of those let’s throw a few things together and pray for the best type of meals.  I bought a BIG bag of organic greens from Costco that we really needed to eat on.  We eat salads daily – literally.  Every-single-day.  But I was so tired of our usual everyday, go-to salad…so I had the thought of a “warm” salad. Something new, something different.  Low and behold – it turned out delicious!  I love when that happens!  It always seems that the dishes I make with no thought and no recipe always turn out to be the best… I served this with some pan-seared potatoes. Mainly because I knew my husband’s big toe wouldn’t be full off of some greens and salmon!  Even with making the potatoes, I had this meal ready in under 30 minutes!  Hey-Hey!!  Now go make you some 🙂

I hope you love this as much as we did!

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Yields: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6oz pieces of wild caught salmon
  • 2-3 tbsp fat (I like to use equal parts of olive oil and butter)
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup organic mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 3-4 cups of greens (I buy a BIG bag of organic greens that has kale, spinach, and chard… Feel free to use your favorite!)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan, heat up a tablespoon or two of your fat on medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.  Next, add the mushrooms.  After the mushrooms have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, and honey. Stir it up… This makes a little dressing that brings everything together at the end!
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and let them cook for a couple of minutes.  TASTE at this point.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.  (I didn’t add a lot of salt because the sun-dried tomatoes add a good bit of saltiness.) Lower the heat to medium-low and let this hangout for a couple minutes while you get the salmon going…
  3. In another saute pan on med-high heat add a tablespoon of fat to the pan.  Let this get pretty hot.  You want it to sear the skin of the salmon.
  4. Season your salmon with a little salt and pepper.  Add the salmon to the pan skin-side down.  Let it cook 3-4 minutes.  When you flip it to the other side cut the heat off so it doesn’t overcook.  At this point, add your greens to the sun-dried tomato mixture.  Using your tongs, mix everything together, but don’t let the greens wilt.  (Unless you like wilted greens?!)
  5. Take the greens mixture off the heat while mixing it into the other veggies.  Now it’s time to plate it!  Make a nice little bed of greens right in the middle of your plate and top it with a piece of salmon!  Voila!! Serve alongside your favorite veggie if you want to, or not!  Serve yourself and your honey a nice glass of vino and enjoy and super healthy and delicious meal!

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Fourth of July Potato Salad

Every cooking show I’ve been watching this week has been making the most incredible looking BBQ, potato salads, and PIES!!!  Just looking at these foods makes my mouth water!!!  Growing up in the South, you’re either raised with the most delicious BBQ restaurants around…OR…somebody in your family knows how to throw down on a grill or smoker and make some of the BEST BBQ you’ve ever put in your mouth.  My experience comes from my mom and grandfather who know how to cook some meat on a grill.  Let me just tell you…since living in South Florida, I have missed my mama’s smoked meat!  I’m pretty sure my hubby has too.  🙂  So, I made some BBQ chicken and potato salad this week to hopefully “fix” my craving.  I’ll be completely honest…since I don’t have a grill or smoker, my BBQ chicken did not turn out as I had hoped, BUT my potato salad might have been one of the best potato salads I’ve ever made!  And YES!!!  It’s completely Paleo/Gluten Free which makes me even more happy!!!

If you take this Fourth of July Potato Salad to your next BBQ or family gathering, I promise it’ll be a huge hit!!! 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs organic white sweet potatoes or regular potatoes (whatever you prefer), medium diced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 3 stalks of organic celery, small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, small diced
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup Paleo Mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)**
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup organic sweet pickle relish (make sure it’s all natural and doesn’t have any high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 heaping tbsp organic yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 3-4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped up for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.  Once cooked, drain the potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking, get the veggies and dressing ready.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl add the potatoes, celery, bell pepper, hard boiled eggs, and onion.
  5. Pour the mayonnaise dressing on top of the potatoes and mix until well incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, or over night.  The longer it sits, the better it tastes!  Serve your potato salad in a pretty bowl and garnish with some chopped up bacon.  Your friends and family will LOVE it and I’m pretty sure you will too!!!

**Feel free to make your own Paleo mayonnaise OR if you buy store bought, look for a mayonnaise that’s nonGMO, cholesterol free, gluten free, soy free, and no artificial ingredients!  I found some at Whole Foods and it actually tastes amazing!  I buy it all the time now!**

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Greek Steak Salad

I think I took some of the worst food pictures EVER tonight…please don’t judge me.  In my defense, I went to the grocery store way too late in the day, got home, washed all the veggies, put everything away, and had just enough time to make a quick dinner before I passed out from starvation.  Okay, that last part was an exaggeration… I was super hungry though.

I’ve been craving a Greek salad for a few days.  Why?  I have not a clue.  As I stood on the dressing and condiments aisle at the grocery store looking for Greek dressing with NO garbage in it, I became infuriated and decided to just go home and make my own homemade dressing without canola oil or soybean oil… and God forbid they not put corn syrup in a dressing.  I swear the things they put in our food makes me think they’re trying to kill us all….slowly.  In the long run, making your own dressing is really pretty simple and cheaper.  So, do yourself a favor and please read the ingredients of what you eat!

Here’s my version a super easy and quick Monday night meal!

Yields: 2 servings

Salad:

  • 4 cups organic romaine, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 steaks, your cut of choice, cooked however you like
  • avocado for garnish, optional

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Throw all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Start cooking your steaks…smoke them, grill them, or fire up a cast iron skillet and cook until your desired done-ness!
  3. While your steaks cook, make the dressing.  I have one of those magic bullets that I love making dressing in.  Or you can put everything in a blender and blend away until it emulsifies, about 30 seconds.
  4. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad and mix well.  Top each salad with steak and avocado. EAT!!!

Underneath the mound of meat and avocado was a delicious Greek salad!  Enjoy!

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