Easy Quinoa Salad

  
Ingredients: 

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp lime
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Optional: Chicken, Black beans, Corn

Directions

  • The first step is to prepare your quinoa. I used white quinoa from trader joes. I measured out 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water and brought it to a boil. Once it is boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes. Always make sure to double check the instructions on the package of your quinoa in case yours is different. 
  • While your quinoa is cooking, chop up all of your veggies. 
  • Once your cucumber, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and onion are chopped, mix them all together in a large bowl until well combined. 
  • Add in the olive oil and lime to the veggies and mix.
  • Next, add the spices (salt, pepper, garlic and cumin). As I have said in previous posts, I do not measure my spices. I think that everyone has different taste preferences so I would suggest adding in spices a little bit at a time and tasting the mixture until you like the taste. 
  • Once the quinoa is fully cooked, add the quinoa to the veggie mixture and mix well. 

And that’s it! To add extra protein.I added in some chicken I already had prepared from the night before. My family members added in some black beans and corn. Get creative!

   
   

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Kalamata Olive Hummus

  
If you’re anything like me, hummus is a staple in your diet. I love pairing hummus with veggies, crackers, tortilla chips, or even in wraps. When I have the time, I like to make my own hummus. It’s simple, delicious, and the best part is that it has very few ingredients! 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cans of organic low-sodium garbanzo beans
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Note: Use as much or as little of the salt, pepper, and garlic as you would like! I never measure my spices, I just add them in until I reach my desired taste. 

Directions: 

  • In a food processor, add in the garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, and water.
  • Blend these ingredients until well combined and until it reaches a creamy consistency. 
  • Add in the kalamata olives, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Blend until all ingredients are well combined. 
  • Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and enjoy!  

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  
Unsure of how to use your left over zucchini? Try making Zucchini bread! I love making this because it’s another easy way to add vegetables into your food. Plus, I love dessert and anything that involves chocolate, so I would say this recipe is a winner! I used the Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread recipe from “Gluten Free on a shoestring” but made a few minor changes, and it turned out delicious! Here are the changes that I made:

  • I used Namaste Gluten-Free flour mix, therefore omitting xanthan gum since the mix already contains it
  • I used 1/3 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chips to make the mix dairy free (instead of the 2/3 cup chocolate chips) 
  • Replaced the 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • Instead of using 1/2 cup brown sugar, I used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar (this make it a tad bit healthier). 
  • Instead of 2 1/8 cups zucchini, I did about 2 1/2 cups ( but I think it works either way!)
  • I used grapeseed oil 

I hope everyone loves this recipe as much as I did! The link to the recipe is below! 🙂 

http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread/

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

7:29 mug cakeI found this recipe on Pinterest as a Paleo recipe and adjusted it to fit what I already had in my kitchen. Super yummy and a healthier dessert alternative for when you’re craving something sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Chocolate chips (optional but I think they are necessary!)

Directions:

  • Add the egg to a mug and beat it will with a fork.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Microwave for about 1 minute and 3o seconds or until fully cooked.
  • Eat!

Zucchini Boats

7:29 zucchini

Lately I have been making zucchini boats and my family loves them! These are fun to make and pretty simple too. I like them because you can personalize them and pretty much add in whatever you would like.

Ingredients: (Makes 8 boats)

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 1 package of organic grass-fed ground beef (You could also used ground turkey if you prefer that).
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), diced
  • Half a bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Half of an onion, chopped
  • Spices: I used garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, tarragon.
  • Avocado, optional

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Cut all 4 zucchinis in half
  • Scoop out the insides of the zucchinis into a bowl and set aside, leaving the outsides of the zucchini. Now you have your “zucchini boats”.
  • Put the zucchini boats onto a baking pan and drizzle some olive oil over the boats. You can add a little cumin and salt to those as well.
  • Bake those in the oven for about 8 minutes.
  • While the zucchini boats are baking, cook the ground beef in a pan on the stove until fully cooked. Now add in the tomato, bell peppers, onion, cilantro, stone ground mustard, and the insides of the zucchini and saute. Add in the spices that you chose to use.
  • Once everything is cooked, load the zucchini boats full of the ground beef and vegetable mix (it should look similar to my picture).
  • Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Top the boats with some avocado, salsa, or anything else you like and enjoy!

Find Balance

Happy Monday! I wanted to write this post because I think that a balanced lifestyle is one of the most important components of health. Many people believe that being healthy means eating right, exercising, and practicing healthy behaviors. Although that all may be true, it is important to remember that keeping a balance in life is crucial. We tend to put pressure on ourselves to have the “perfect” body, have the “perfect” outfit, always eat “perfect”, never miss a workout, and live the “perfect” life. But what does “perfect” even mean? Is “perfect” really that healthy? No. Is it ok if you miss a workout? Yes, I did this morning. Is it ok if you eat unhealthy once in a while? Yes, I did last night. Do we need to have the perfect body? No, because there is no such thing as the perfect body. We are all built differently and that is what makes us who we are. I think the word “perfect” is almost unnecessary to use because we all have our own view of what it means. We will all have uncomfortable days and days when we feel unhappy with our bodies. It is just a way of life. By practicing healthy behaviors but keeping balance in mind, you will have the ultimate happy, healthy lifestyle. I hope that all people can see themselves as beautiful, happy, healthy, people 🙂 Enjoy your Monday!

My Skincare Essentials

Many of you may have seen my post about my face wash routine, but today I am going to talk about my favorite moisturizers. As I have mentioned, I have very very sensitive skin. I also care a lot about what is in the beauty products that I use and I try to buy products that are as natural as possible. 

I used to be a Clinique skincare girl but after switching to a more natural lifestyle, the Clinique had to go. I tried using Coconut oil and Vitamin E oil as a facial moisturizer for a while but found myself with a quite greasy face by the end of the day. After trying several products, I have finally found one that I absolutely LOVE! “Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Daily Repairing Moisturizer” has changed my skin. Not only is it less greasy by the end of the day, but it is much healthier looking as well. The best part about is that it is 97% natural, paraben-free, and I can pronounce the ingredients. 

Another thing I struggle with is sensitive legs. Ever since the day I started shaving, my legs would break out the moment I put lotion on them. I have tried all of the tricks and even some of the most natural products (olive oil/coconut oil) still irritate my legs. I was at the health foods store a week weeks ago and saw this lotion and thought I would give it a try, and I am in love! “Weleda Citrus Hydrating Body Lotion” is the best lotion I have ever tried. It leaves my skin super soft and without irritation. Not to mention it is a certified natural product. I found this lotion at Natural Grocers but I am sure you can find it at any health foods store. If anyone has any tips/favorite products that they use for sensitive skin, feel free to comment! 

Happy Friday!