Thursday, July 19, 2012

Veggie Pasta Salad

This recipe is so simple and so good! You can really add whatever you want. You can make it vegan, vegetarian, or throw in some ham or salami chunks. It is perfect for picnics, pot lucks, sack lunches, or even main dishes. I hope you like it as much as we do! Here is what I threw in there today:


1 lb of whole wheat pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed with cold water

2 cups of black olives, sliced

1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

8 (ish) green onions, sliced

2 cups of raw broccoli and 2 cups of raw carrots, pulse chopped in the food processor

8 oz of Kerry Gold (grass-fed, Irish, SUPER yummy) cheese, cubed- optional

1/2 cup (or so) of Italian dressing (homemade or bottled)

Combine all of the ingredients. Season with sea salt, if necessary. Chill for one hour. Re-taste and add more dressing, if needed. Dressing should coat the ingredients, but not make the dish too soupy. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Arugula Salad with Orange Juice Vinaigrette

Yes, another salad. But it's summer and I don't have to turn on my oven! Plus I am lucky that my children will all gobble up salads- just have to vary it up a little and they are happy, healthy campers. :)

1-2 heads of Arugula
1 head of Butter Leaf
2 fresh mangoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
Several Tbs of sliced almonds per bowl

Chop arugula and lettuce coarsely and top with fruit and nuts.
I just kind of eyeballed this ,but I added approx 4-6 Tbs of O.J. concentrate to approx 2 Tbs of rice vinegar to approx 1 Tb of olive oil. I did add a small amount of water too, but you can just mix and keep tasting it until you like it. We like it tangy with a hint of vinegar so we add more O.J.

Like I said, super easy but really, really good!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Salad

Is it just me, or aren't salads beautiful? I love the different flavors and colors you can throw into a salad. This is one of our all-time favorite salads. We actually learned the recipe at a Pampered Chef party I threw a few years back! It is delicious and filling, and is the perfect meal or side dish for a warm summer day.


Mixed greens- I used Romaine, Butter Leaf, Red Leaf, and a little Spinach
Strawberries, sliced thinly
Shredded Carrots
Red Onion, sliced thinly
Cucumber, sliced thinly
Pecans, chopped (I think I used walnuts in this picture because we were out of pecans)
Poppyseed Dressing (We love Brianna's Rich Poppyseed Dressing)

This looks beautiful in a large, glass, Pampered Chef trifle bowl. Layer all of the ingredients evenly throughout the bowl, top with the dressing, and it is ready!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Simple Salad Bar

My kids love any kind of "bar." Salad bars, burrito bars, taco bars, breakfast bars...they love having lots of choices and putting together their own unique meal! Even if all the choices are good, healthy ones like veggies, nuts, beans, and whole grains, they get excited! We have been doing a salad bar once a week. I pull anything and everything out of the fridge, chop it up, and leave it out all day for the kids to snack on. It takes a little prep time but we usually end up eating it for lunch and dinner, so in some ways it's easier for me.

This salad bar we made recently had:

romaine lettuce

hard boiled eggs

garbanzo beans

sprouted sunflower seeds




red bell pepper

parmesan cheese

homemade dressings


green onion





whole grain crackers


That's just what we had in the house. Add some different kind of beans and guacamole and salsa and it can become a taco bar. Add some whole wheat tortillas for a burrito bar. Add some fresh fruit . Add some baked potatoes for a potato bar- the possibilities are endless. And you will be surprised at what you have on hand!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pumpkin/Turkey Chili

As promised, here is the recipe I borrowed (and tweaked just a little) from Primal Mama Cooks...and Dishes on Life (

Seriously, this is the easiest and yummiest chili. Very festive too for this time of year- a must-try recipe for the holidays! Let me know what you think. :)


3lbs. Ground turkey (or grass fed ground beef)

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced (I like red, yellow or orange)

1 14oz can of canned pumpkin (make sure it's just pumpkin)

2 cans of organic black beans

2 cans of organic pinto beans

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 jar chipotle salsa

1 box of Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1 tsp cumin

"Cook the ground turkey, diced onion, and pepper in a large pot until the meat is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour."

Easy Peasy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Snacking Box

I have talked about the success of our "snacking table" several times on this blog. This is my lazy version. We haven't had time to put fresh fruits, veggies, and other snacks out so I have a created a quick, easy "snacking box" for the kids. If they are hungry between meals, they go here or they can always eat any fruit we have on the counter as well.

This week: organic brown rice cakes, Lara bars, sprouted almonds, dried seaweed snacks, raisins, banana leathers, and snap pea chips. It gets the job done and keeps tummies full while I'm running around!

Pasta Primavera Salad Surprise (Or Something Like That!)

This is another winner from our Fit for Life recipe book. Really delicious, and fairly easy. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is chopping up all the individual ingredients to make them "pretty."


1/2 to 1 lb of whole wheat penne pasta
1 firm avocado, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4-5 celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 Tb Olive Oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced or 1 Tb dried
1 small red onion, diced
4-6 cups of tender lettuce (red leaf, butter or bibb), shredded
2-3 cups of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
ground sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cook Pasta. While cooking, place diced and minced veggies in a large salad bowl. Add the olive oil and seasonings and allow to marinate.
Drain pasta and toss in 1 Tb of olive oil. Add shredded greens to marinating veggies in the bowl, and then add pasta and toss well. Adjust seasonings and serve.

I have to say that every recipe from the Fit for Life books has been amazing. Really filling, yet light and energizing. I have been trying to follow the principles of this book for about 6 weeks and have found surprisingly that my weight has plateaued. Although I feel really good most of the day, I am very hungry in the mornings with the "fruit only" rule until noon. This last week I decided to have my fruit and green smoothie first, but then allow myself a small breakfast around 10am. That has alleviated my hunger, boosted my energy, and I have dropped a couple of pounds since adding a few more calories to my mornings! It goes to show you that every person's body is different. It is fun and interesting to read and study different nutritional approaches, but in the end it is usually a mix, a tailor-made plan, that works for the individual. For me I need to eat a little before noon, but I still feel much better when I follow the remainder of the food combining principles throughout the day. It doesn't always happen, but I notice a difference in energy when I do. :)