Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad

Warm foods during the cold winter days just makes so much sense.  And I don’t just mean temperature but the actual foods and their properties.

When you eat warm foods, they take longer to digest because they are higher in healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates which in turn results in increased body temperature (thermogenesis).  Root veggies, fruits such as coconut and apples, and herbs and spices are a few examples of these types of foods.

This Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad is a great combination of many of those warm foods and the fact that it’s filled with flavor, texture, sweet, and spicy makes this that much more of a delicious dish.

This is perfect to make as an entree or a side dish, or serve it up in mini bowls/plates as an appetizer.  A small amount will take you a long way as the salad is very filling.

I honestly think this is one of the most nutrient dense recipes I have.  Here are a few healthy benefits from this one:

  • Rich in Fiber and Protein
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Good source of Vit. C, E, and B6
  • Good source of Calcium, Iron, and Folate
  • Good source of omega 3 and carotenoids which have anti-inflammatory effects beneficial to all types of arthritis (Butternut Squash)
  • Boost in energy level (Lentils)

The list can literally go on about how healthy this salad is, which only adds to the deliciousness of it.

From my kitchen to yours, I really hope you enjoy this Butternut Squash and Lentil Salad.

Rainbow Crunch Salad

Bright, crunchy, colorful and easy to assemble with a creamy coconut jalapeño dressing, this salad is a perfect addition to your meal.

Easy to make, this salad has plenty of texture, meets my rainbow requirements, and is quick to pull together for any meal.  A twist on the traditional slaw, the Rainbow Crunch Salad is a healthier version with a low cal coconut jalapeño dressing to finish off a delicious salad.

With school started, life still crazy between Covid, fires, and whatever else you want to throw in there, I want to keep it easy and quick for this salad.  Chopping the veggies doesn’t take very long and the Coconut Jalapeño dressing is blended in less than a minute.

Here’s what you need for the salad:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Colored Bell Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Nuts

I’ve used this as a lunch meal, a side salad for fish and chicken dishes, or even a quick afternoon snack if I had some leftovers.

Try it out!  From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Greek Tortellini Salad

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m all about healthy and easy recipes that taste delicious.  With school starting around the corner, remote learning set for us and as new Kindergarten parents, I’m trying to stay ahead of the game and put together meals that take less than 30 minutes so I can focus on my family.
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When Taste Republic and I partnered together to create some delicious recipes with their fresh, gluten free pastas, I knew I was going to hit the spot with all of my cooking goals (it took me about 20 minutes to make this one – also because I kept having to add ingredients that were “disappearing”).  I have been having so much fun trying out all the different ones that they have and their 4 cheese tortellini is one of my favorites!
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The tortellinis are so delicious, light, and filling.  You can taste how fresh they are and they cook in just 5 minutes!  I did add a few twists to this salad which take it to a whole new level.
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Here’s what you need to make this Greek Tortellini Salad:

Cheese Tortellini – fresh gluten free tortellini made by Taste Republic works so well with this recipe but if you don’t have access, you can use any fresh or frozen tortellini.
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Olives
Chickpeas 

Avocados
Fresh Basil – yep, this takes the flavor up to a whole other level
Feta Cheese
Greek Salad Dressing – I added quite a few seasonings and some red chili flakes to mine to give it an additional layer of flavor
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If you have little helpers in the kitchen like I do who eat most of my ingredients as I’m cooking (they call it quality control), then I suggest increasing the quantity.  I’ve lost pretty much every single veggie in this salad to my little munchkins and it makes my heart full that they love eating this salad as much as I do.
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This Greek Tortellini Salad is great to eat right away or even if you refrigerate it and have it at a later time.  It can keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, but if you are planning on eating it later, I recommend adding the feta right before you are ready to eat it.
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A perfect salad for the summer, you can make this for about any event!  Serve it for lunch or dinner, take it on a picnic, as a side for a barbecue, or even some backyard camping!

Check out Taste Republic for a store near you to enjoy their amazing fresh, gluten free pastas.

From our kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious salad!

Roasted Masala Chickpeas

I’ve been making these chickpeas at home as a healthy snack option so I don’t turn to junk food and my girls have fallen in love with them too.  I initially started them with a basic salt, pepper, olive oil and paprika seasoning.  We love the basic and use them not only for snacking, but in salads, tacos, as a topping for soups (yup), and pretty much in anything I can add it to. Continue reading “Roasted Masala Chickpeas”

Microgreens Salad Yum

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

Grilled Avocado and Peach Salad

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!

Ingredients:
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
1/2c EVOO
2 garlic cloves
salt
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.

Enjoy!