Fresh and beautiful veggies from across the rainbow to make amazing salads are my favorite. This Quinoa Fiesta Salad is one of my family’s favorites. As a mom, it makes me happy that the girls are getting so much nutrition in one bowl. The kids look at the colors and get excited to eat a rainbow and I love that they are enjoying fresh and healthy ingredients!
This salad does triple duty which I love. A dish which becomes a meatless entree can also serve as a side dish or a salad depending on my mood. The cherry on top of this recipe is that it takes less than 30 minutes to make and is very forgiving if you need to substitute or leave out ingredients.
HOW DO I MAKE A QUINOA FIESTA SALAD?
1. Cook the quinoa. While the quinoa is cooking, you can get the dressing and your other ingredients ready!
2. Make the Cilantro Lime Dressing. I love this dressing because it is so light. If you choose to leave it out as I do for my girls, simply replace it with a drizzle of Olive Oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
3. Combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to mix.
4. Enjoy and get addicted to this salad as much as my family and I are!
This chickpea salad is a refreshing summer salad filled with fresh produce. It tastes great served as a side salad or your main lunch meal. Best of all, you don’t need to make a special dressing for this salad. Continue reading “Chickpea Avocado Salad”→
If you have been following me then you know how much I love my bowls. Experimenting with different flavor profiles, playing around with new dressings, and oftentimes using whatever vegetables are left in the fridge waiting to be saved from their last moments are the best part of creating my new bowl.
My brussels sprouts were facing a similar fate as mentioned above. I had enough left that I could create a whole new dish with just them, but so few that I didn’t want to waste them either. Grain bowls are perfect for these types of situations especially if you are using a variety of different ingredients.
This one turned out so delicious that I actually went out and bought more brussels sprouts even though I am trying to move on to spring veggies! We’ve now had this bowl 4 times in the last 2 weeks and no one in my household minds – in fact, they love it !
I added in some sweet potato for a little starch, sweetness, and fiber, and avocado for protein. As for the dressing, keeping it simple was the best route. I made a honey dijon dressing that worked wonders. The tang from the dijon and the sweet honey are a perfect balance to the bowl.
So…what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Brussels Sprouts Grain Bowl and become a fan too!
⁄Crunchy on the outside, creamy and buttery on the inside, these avocado wedges are the perfect snack. They are remarkably tasty, easy to make, and impressed my 5 and 4 year olds. Honestly though, anything that is breaded and fried is an automatic win in my book. I’ve had these in tacos too and seriously, they are delicious.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT AVOCADO FOR THIS RECIPE?
Personally, I like to use avocados that have just turned ripe. They’re still a little firm but ripe enough to be creamy when eaten. A good scale to use is if they are good enough to use for Guacamole then they are too soft to use for these wedges. You don’t want the wedges to melt and loose structure because they are too ripe.
AIR FRYER vs BAKING
I used an air fryer for this recipe because it gives the crispy exterior that you would see when deep frying. If you don’t have an air fryer, baking is just as good but beware that it will take a little longer to cook them. I have given instructions for both in the recipe card.
ARE THESE HEALTHY IF THEY’RE FRIED?
Yes they are because they’re air fried! And avocados are definitely healthier than traditional potato wedges. Don’t get me wrong, I love potatoes in all its many glorious forms but I do love a healthy alternative any day. Here are some of the many nutritional benefits to these Avocado Fries:
Provides about 5 gm protein per serving
Almost ¼ of your DRI Fiber
About a third of your Folic Acid DRI
Almost ¼ Vit. K requirements
Great source of potassium, phosphorous, Vit. A, and Vit. B6
So what are you waiting for?! Try these incredibly delicious Avocado Fries and fall in love with a new way of eating fries!
**This recipe was originally posted Oct. 2015 and updated Jan. 202**
I first had this smoothie when I was single in San Francisco living with one of my favorite roommates, Mamta. It actually originated from her when she made it post workout. I had it and fell in love instantly (though I did think she was a bit crazy for putting an avocado in a smoothie, now I think I was crazy for thinking that!).
This smoothie is a perfect post workout, morning breakfast, or afternoon snack option. It’s filled with energy and protein (a little over 13 gm!), and plenty of macro and micronutrients. And what a healthier alternative to a glass of juice that is probably more heavy on the sugar.
Since first having Mamta’s smoothie, I’ve made it countless times, adjusting the ratios and slightly changing the original recipe to suit my taste. I don’t use any sweeteners in this smoothie. Instead, I save my extremely ripe bananas and use them to naturally sweeten this drink. If you don’t have a ripe banana, feel free to add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup or honey.
I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Avocado Banana Smoothie!
Ok so I know that the name alone makes this salad sound like an explosion of so many different flavors and it is! But….. that’s what makes this salad work so well!
Between my obsession for salads and my inclination towards making my own dressings, my salad game is going strong right now. I’ve been wanting to use watermelon radish for a while now because of it’s flavor and just how pretty it looks!
Here are a few fun facts about watermelon radishes:
They are nutrient dense with Vitamins K, A, E, C, and B6.
High in antioxidants
High in fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron among many other minerals
One serving of watermelon radishes has over 1/3 of your daily Vit. C requirements!
They’re just so darned pretty
The fennel was added in to balance out the peppery flavor of the radish (though, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to like it as he is not a big licorice flavored guy. The best part about eating fennels to me is the licorice!). Luckily, the fennel taste was mild when combined with the flavors of the salad.
As to the Ginger Lime dressing, adding the hint of ginger balanced with a little honey in the dressing and the lime to brighten up the salad, it was the perfect choice to use this for the salad.
When I think about this salad, it really has a great balance of sweet, spicy and tangy! So perfect for a lunch meal, side dish, or a Covid free Thanksgiving dinner!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this salad!
Watermelon Radish and Fennel Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing
Paneer Cabbage Cups are a light and healthy dish that is packed with a burst of flavor and texture in each bite. The spicy jalapeño, a pop of lemon, the crunch of the cabbage and the creaminess of the paneer and avocados. And if you know me, the vibrant colors of all the different veggies bring this together in the most perfect way. You just can’t go wrong! Continue reading “Paneer Cabbage Cups”→
So, traditionally, a carpaccio is an appetizer made of thinly sliced meat. I decided to take the technique and make my own summer version of that. The sharp tang of lemon, the fresh fruit, and the crunch of toasted pistachios on top are an amazing combination. This Fresco Carpaccio is great as an appetizer for any dinner or party you are hosting, or just follow what I did and make a plate for yourself, and enjoy it in the sun!
I really didn’t want to stop eating it! Hubby and I finished it within minutes and this has become another of our favorite summer recipe.
The best part, this is so healthy for you with not too many calories or fat, there’s no cooking involved, and it takes 10 minutes to make (I’m not counting how long you have to wait for it to marinate).
I highly recommend marinating this as the flavor of the dressing will be sharper and will help breakdown the raw taste of the zucchini since you are not cooking it.
I used a mandolin for this but if you don’t have one, no worries. Use a potato peeler and make thin ribbons of the zucchini and cucumbers.
What fruits and veggies will you use? Share your pictures!
From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this carpaccio as much as we did!
1 lemon, zested and juiced
¼ c Avocado Oil
2 Tbsp pistachios
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, mix together lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk to mix well.
2. Add in oil and whisk 2-3 minutes until oil and lemon juice have emulsified.
3. Add in salt and pepper and whisk one last time to mix. Set aside.
4. Trim the ends of the zucchini and cucumber. Using slicer or peeler, make very thin ribbons.
5. Add zucchini and cucumber ribbons to dressing and toss to coat each ribbon equally.
6. Cover bowl and marinate in fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, on a med flame, heat up a small skillet. Add in the pistachios and toast 3-5 minutes until they are nice and crunchy.
8. Give the toasted pistachios a rough chop and set aside.
9. Pull zucchini and cucumber out of fridge.
10. Thinly slice avocado.
11. In a plate, line up each fruit with one slightly on top of the previous one. If you have any dressing left, drizzle a little on top. Garnish with toasted pistachios.
About a month back, we finally had a weekend free to take the girls to the Farmer’s Market which we’ve desperately missed during the winter months. The girls love tasting all the fruit samples and of course stopping at the kettle corn stand, while I love to check out all the new produce and imagine different recipes I can create. Continue reading “Microgreens Salad Yum “→
My youngest is in love with Roti. Give her roti and yogurt and she will happily eat it all day. Unfortunately, there’s not much nutrition in plain rotis (well, some fiber I suppose and lots of carbs. And they do taste really good. So I’ve been coming up with ways to make roti that will satisfy her roti cravings as well as make me happy that I’m feeding her something nutritious.
These avocado rotis are one of my better creations I think. The girls loved the green color of the roti, there was just a hint of avocado in it without overpowering it, and even if the girls didn’t eat any sabzi (veggies) on the side, at least they were still getting some in their roti.
Wait….avocado is a fruit – what veggies are you talking about? Yes it is, but there’s a secret ingredient in here that no one suspected. Drumroll please……..
Spinach! Yep, not even my husband figured out there was spinach in these rotis. I actually had been struggling with this recipe for a while because I had the flavor profile down but they wouldn’t stay green once I added the flour to the avocados and a certain ratio was necessary otherwise, it would change the essence of the roti. I happened to also be making spinach dal – another favorite of my youngest – and thought, why not add some spinach to the roti dough. Worth a shot. And what a shot let me tell you. It gave the green color I was looking for, added some extra fiber and calcium. Like I said, win-win!
In a food processor, add avocado, spinach, salt, lemon juice, garlic, jeera, jeera powder, green chili, and water. Blend on high to get a smooth and creamy texture.
Combine the puree and the flour in a bowl and knead into a soft dough. You can add a little extra flour if the dough feels too wet.
Roll into a ball and lightly cover with a little oil. Cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
When you are ready to make the roti, preheat a flat skillet n med-high heat.
Divide the dough into equal sized golf balls.
Lightly dust a wooden board or your counter with dry flour and roll out a dough ball into about 5″ diameter.
Place the roti on the preheated skillet and continue the process with the remaining dough balls.
The roti on the skillet will start bubbling within approximately 20-30 seconds. Flip it over once so both sides are par cooked. At this point, remove from skillet with a pair of tongs and grill directly on the flame so that it puffs up like a balloon.
Remove from heat, apply a small amount of ghee on it and serve hot with sabzi or dal (or yogurt).
**To make this gluten free, substitute multi-grain flour for gluten free **To make this vegan, omit adding the ghee at the end. You can use vegan butter if you prefer or keep it plain.
Lately, I’m hooked on salad bowls. They’re so delicious, easy to make, loaded with healthy foods and vibrant in color – ensuring you get a variety of nutrients.
I’ve been talking to my daughters about “eating the rainbow” and this was a fun way to help them do that.
Another reason I really like to do the salad bowls is because it’s so easy to play around with the cuisine type, the textures, and the flavors. I can add raw and roasted veggies, nuts, and choose whichever grain I want. There’s really no wrong way to make these and super easy to substitute an ingredient you may not have. Honestly, food can’t get easier than that!
We’ve been doing a lot of non-desi (non-Indian) foods lately and I wanted to get the girls into Indian spices without going over the top. Plus, I don’t think I can go without Indian food and spices for that long anyways.
For the sweet potatoes, I did a simple roast with an addition of paprika for color and flavor. I’m using paprika to gradually build up the girls to trying cayenne and other types of peppers and spices so this is especially great for those of you who prefer milder spices.
I also roasted some chickpeas as those are so easy and delicious to make. It made me proud that both my girls were eating them as soon as they cooled down from the oven. These turned out so good and honestly, I had to go back and make more because between the three of us, we snacked on most of the beans! I’m definitely adding it to my snack rotation list!
The dressing on here was probably the hardest to figure out as I wanted Indian flavors but nothing too intimidating. I used almond butter to give it a little bulk and the addition of a little protein is always appreciated. Because I had already used a lot of spices for the chickpeas, I fell back a little with the dressing and opted for curry powder, turmeric (for the color and my youngest happened to have a cold which needed some help) and some fresh garlic and ginger (which appears on 90% of Indian cooking!).
I left the quinoa simple by cooking it only in salt water as there are so many flavors going around, I felt if I added more, everything would get lost in a chaotic world of spice.
For the rest of the ingredients, it was nice to have the crunch from the vibrant red cabbage, the creaminess of the avocado, and oh! those toasted cashews were just the icing on top of a great salad!
Try it out! From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this one.
1 Sweet Potato, diced into 1″ cubes
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup baby spinach
½ c quinoa, rinsed
¼ c raw cashews
2 Tbsp & 1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
For the chickpeas:
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained & dried with a paper towel
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp salt
For the dressing:
¼ c almond butter
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 c water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp honey
1 tsp curry powder
½ ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well and roast for 20 minutes.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the chickpeas. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
In a medium pot, heat water and ½ tsp salt. When it comes to a boil, add the rinsed quinoa and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook quinoa for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and use a fork to fluff it.
In a small pan, mix ½ tsp olive oil and cashews. Toast on medium heat until they are a light golden red color. Turn off heat and remove pan. Set aside to use as topping.
For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well.
Line a bowl with spinach and add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, avocado slices, shredded cabbage, toasted cashews, and drizzle with almond curry dressing. Enjoy!
We’ve recently started eating more barley during meal times and use it as a go to for most of the week. When I’m cooking the barley, the aroma that wafts out just makes your mouth water. Then you bite into the nutty flavor and it’s a home run for me. Plus, it’s really healthy so I don’t feel guilty about eating a little extra (as I tend to do). It’s high in dietary fiber, a good source of protein, it’s low in sodium, and is a really good grain to eat if you’re trying to lose weight.
This recipe was born of out sheer laziness. Nope. Not kidding. I had been running errands all day, doing what seems like an indefinite load of laundry for the girls, and just wasn’t in the mood to cook (a rare moment).
So, I started to putter around the kitchen feeling guilty about what to serve the family for dinner, feeling guilty that I wanted to pull something from the freezer, then unsatisfied with everything that I had because maybe, deep down, I knew I would figure something out.
I’ve also been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately. I’m not sure why… maybe it’s a slow developing discovery that I love them whether steamed, roasted or bbq’d? Anyways, of course then I decided I wanted to put the sweet potatoes and the barley together.
I figured on adding avocado because, who doesn’t add avocado to everything? But I was still missing one more thing. As I was getting started prepping, it hit me. Caramelized Onions! I discovered the joy of eating these a couple of Thanksgivings ago, and I keep wondering, what was I doing with my life?! Of course, since I was trying to keep this to a healthy dish, I used EVOO but it does taste so heavenly with butter. If you want to use butter, just swap out the EVOO for equal measurement of butter.
Little by little, I started putting this bowl together without having a real sense of direction and now, my husband wants it in the rotation weekly! Score for me!
I added a chimichurri dressing to this to give it a little pizzazz and some chia seeds at the end (originially for presentation but, hey! the added Omega 3, fiber, and protein helps).
Check out the recipe below, try it out and let me know what you think!
1 med red onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 sprigs Rosemary
1 c pearl barley
4 c veggie broth (optional, 2 c broth & 2 c white wine)
1 large sweet potato, 1″ cubes
1 lg yellow onion, ½” slices
1 lg avocado, cubed
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 tsp paprika
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 Tbsp EVOO
For the Chimichurri:
1 bunch cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried red chili flakes
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 serrano pepper (optional for more heat)
Preheat oven to 425ºF . Place sweet potato on baking sheet, add 1 Tbsp EVOO, salt, pepper and paprika. Mix well and bake for 25 minutes.
In a shallow pot, heat 1 Tbsp EVOO. Add onions and cook until they are browned. Add in the barley and cook until it’s golden red in color. Add in the garlic, rosemary, broth, salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cover and cook on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Turn off the heat and pick out the rosemary stems.
While the barley is cooking, in another pan, heat 1 Tbsp EVOO and add the yellow onions. add some salt to taste and mix well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, while mixing the onions around every 5 minutes.
For the chimichurri, put all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blen everything until it becomes a smooth dressing.
Line a wide bowl with a cup of the cooked barley. Add in the sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, avocado, and chimichurri. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top and enjoy!
I recently co-hosted a baby shower for my good friend, Diana. I am so excited to meet the little one and am counting down the weeks now!
I loved being a part of the baby shower because we did a lot of mini’s and individual foods to mesh with the baby theme. It was too cute!
The fun thing about these taco cups is that you can use whatever filling you choose. I’ve done a seven layer dip, black bean and corn salsa, and now sweet potato and black beans! I have to say, the sweet potato was a hit, not just with my family, but all the guests and especially the mama-to-be! That in itself made this recipe blog worthy.
Making the taco cups is really easy. In fact, I’ve even made them in advance – just store them in an airtight container and it will last up to a couple of weeks! Yep! These are perfect for parties! Bonus… they take less than 10 minutes to make! It can’t get better than that.
To make the cups, I used large burrito sized tortillas and a 4 inch diameter round cookie cutter. I got about 4 out of each tortilla – not bad!
Once you have the amount of disks you want, heat them up in the microwave for about 12 seconds to warm them up and make them soft and pliable. Remember to spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and also the disks to once you press them into the individual cups.
Bake at 350ºF for about 5-7 minutes until they are golden red. Remove from heat and let them cool completely. Store in an airtight container or plate them to use with filling.
For Taco Cups:
4 burrito sized tortillas
4 inch round cookie cutter
For Sweet Potato and Black Bean filling:
1 large sweet potato, peeled, chopped into ½” cubes
1 medium yellow onion, diced finely
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp honey
juice of half lime
Cilantro to garnish
For Avocado Crema:
¼ plain yogurt, whipped
½ Avocado, mashed
zest of 1 lime
juice of ½ lime
salt to taste
pepper to taste
For Taco Cups:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Use the cookie cutter to cut out the disks from the tortilla. Wrap the disks 4 at a time in paper towel and warm in microwave for about 12 seconds to make soft and pliable. Immediately press into greased muffin tin pan. Once all disks are in pan, spray again with cooking spray.
Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove and cool. Store in airtight container.
For Sweet Potato and Black Bean filling:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. On a baking sheet, line sweet potato. Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt, paprika and pepper. Mix well and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes.
In a nonstick pan, heat EVOO. Add in onions and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add in black beans and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add in the roasted sweet potatoes, honey, cumin powder, and lime juice. Mix well and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated.
For Avocado Crema:
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.
Place 1 Tbsp of sweet potato and black bean mixture in a taco cup. Top with a dollop of avocado crema and garnish with cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.
From my family to yours, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did and will continue to do so.
Summer is here which means so many things in my household. Getting the grill out for bbq’s, eating all the fun fresh summery foods, and trying to eat healthy to get in shape for a beach body (this is always a struggle!). Typically in the past, the hubby and I have done standard bbq’s – burgers, corn, potato salads, chips and dip, etc. etc. etc. This year, we have been inspired to grill almost everything we eat.
One of my husband’s favorites is Peaches. So I of course go out to Costco and buy a whole case (or 2) then realize, how are we going to eat so many?! Well, I promised him we would grill some since he fell in love with the idea of it last year. I also love avocado and have recently seen them grilled in my dishes in restaurants. Hey, why not add it in? If anything, it’s a good source of protein and adds a little meatiness to the plate.
Summer also means that I can harvest some of the vegetables, herbs and fruit in my garden. I am so excited about my garden that I literally watch it like a hawk every single day and get so happy over the tiniest fruit growing. Well, we have an abundance of arugula growing as well as Basil. Oh how I love the peppery smell and taste of both of these leaves! So delicious especially when they are fresh! I put Basil leaves in my salad? Yep. Don’t get ahead of yourself. I used the leaves but …. I made a basil vinaigrette to go on my salad.
When I told my husband about all the different components of this salad – he was a little skeptical. How can so many different flavors work together? Won’t I overshadow the grilled peaches for which this salad was created in the first place? I decided to find out. Am I so glad that I did! The sweetness of the peaches with the peppery arugula and basil was the most divine combination.
Quarter the peaches and avocados and brush with some EVOO.
Heat up the grill (or griddle) and place all the fruit down on one side. After a couple of minutes, flip to the other side. Oh I love those grill marks. And the peaches smell so delicious, I can’t wait to try them!
To assemble the salad, lay down the arugula first, then add some raw cashews. For the goat cheese, use a fork to crumble it into the salad and finally, add the grilled fruit. Then, a drizzle of the basil vinaigrette and you’re ready to enjoy a fun, healthy, summery salad!
For the Salad:
2 c fresh Arugula
1/3c raw cashews
2oz goat cheese
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and quartered
2 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
EVOO to brush on the fruit
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
3/4 c fresh basil
1/4c red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
Brush fruit with olive oil and set aside. Heat the grill on high heat. When it is heated through, place the fruit side down on one side and keep for 2 minutes. Flip to the other exposed side of the fruit and grill for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Assemble the salad with the arugula at the bottom, followed by the cashews, the fruit and the goat cheese crumbled in. Drizzle with Basil Vinaigrette.
In a blender, add all the ingredients for the Vinaigrette and blend to a smooth texture. Store in an airtight bottle in the fridge.
Whether it’s watching sports, a party we’re hosting, or just snacking while sitting around the table with friends, this Guacamole recipe finds its way into our bellies often. The husband and I are big avocado lovers and this guac is filled with simple flavors that hit the spot no matter the occasion. I hope this becomes a favorite in you kitchen too! Here’s how I made it:
2 Avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tomatoes, seeded, finely diced
½ onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mash the avocados in a bowl. I like to leave some chunks when mashing as it adds a nice texture. Add in all the ingredients and mix. Don’t over mix, as this will make the avocado pasty. Season with salt and pepper per your taste. Serve with chips, in tacos, or just about anything you want!