Category Archives: Lunch

Kale & Toasted Quinoa salad with Pesto Dijon Vinaigrette

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I write this post while in a deep depression from my couch. I am only 3 episodes away from the completion of the entire Gossip Girl series (yes, I’ve seen it, just binge re watching it). I have watched 118 episodes, and upon completion, I will have spent 4,017 minutes watching high schoolers be way cooler than I can ever hope to be. Time well wasted, and to drown my sorrows, I believe I’ll open a bottle of Sauv-B and wait for my husband to come home and judge me.

Watching all these high school hotties made me realize that my post baby bod could use a little more lettuce in my life, and inspired me to amp up my salad game. Enter in the chopped kale/arugula salad with pesto dijon vinaigrette.

Pesto Vinaigrette

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1/2 C. toasted pine nuts
  • 1 C. olive oil
  • 1/3 C. grated parmesan
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 C. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. dijon mustard

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. You can also omit the vinegar and mustard for a plain pesto.

Kale and Arugula salad (chicken optional) 

makes 4 entree sized portions

  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 bag/box arugula (5 oz.) chopped
  • I had some spinach in the fridge, which I added. If you have any leftover salad greens you need to use, throw them in there
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 C. chopped candied pecans
  • 2 chicken breasts (I just used ones from a rotisserie chicken) thinly sliced
  • 1 C. toasted spicy quinoa, recipe below
    • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
    • 1/8 tsp. garlic salt (really just a few shakes of each)
  • 3-5 dried apricots, chopped (could also used craisins, golden raisins, dried cherries)

Combine all the ingredients together and toss with dressing (you probably won’t need all the dressing, just add in enough to moisten (EW) the salad.

I served mine with bread because I’m human, and I wanted my friends to like me.

To make the toasted spicy quinoa, cook 1/2 C. dried quinoa according to the package instructions. Transfer to a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with cayenne and garlic salt, and  cook at 425 for 10 minutes until toasted. I use cayenne because the candied pecans and apricots give the salad a little sweetness, and the acid from the dressing and spice from the quinoa balance it out well.  I actually like to buy the central market pre-cooked quinoa that they sell in the rice section, which saves time (this one: https://www.heb.com/product-detail/central-market-quick-heat-white-amp-red-quinoa/1761920). You could really use any grain, just make sure you toast it, as it adds a nice crunch!

 

Well, hope you enjoy. I have to get back to what is really important in my life….my family GOSSIP GIRL

 

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Chicken Pad Thai Squoodles

close up of the yumminess

close up of the yumminess

It’s ten days into no carbs, no dairy, and I’m dying. My noodle a week habit is the hardest to quit, and I’ve been craving pasta like no other. Well, I’ve been craving any sort of bread product. I’ve had several uncomfortable moments of staring sexually at a loaf of bread, and that awkward encounter at HEB where I just picked up a baguette and sniffed it. I need help. This recipe is legit, and I *almost* tricked myself into thinking I was eating noodles. Almost. If you have Veggie Noodle Company squoodles in your grocery produce section, snag them asap. We have the zucchini, butternut squash and sweet potato ones here–hoping they’ll start carrying the beet squoods  soon.

side view

Butternut Squash “Pad Thai”

  • ½ C. creamy peanut butter
  • ½ C. hot water
  • ¼ C. sambal chili paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. ginger paste
  • ¼ C. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 package Veggie Noodle Co. Butternut Squash spirals
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package Asian vegetables
  • 1 lime

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the first six ingredients together. Reserve half for dressing, and marinate the chicken breast in the other half. Once the chicken has marinated for 15 minutes, place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake another 15 minutes. Remove and let it rest for 10 minutes, while you prepare your “noodles” and veggies. I usually use whatever fresh veggies I have left in the fridge (this is a good clean-out-your-fridge recipe), but a bag of Asian frozen vegetables works just as well. If you are using frozen veggies, steam them in the microwave according to the instructions. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil to medium heat and add in the squoodles. Sauté for 5 minutes, add in the vegetables, and cook another 30 seconds, then add in the rest of the sauce. Divide into two bowls, and  top with the chicken and juice of a lime. You can sprinkle on some chopped nuts for crunch (my favorite are wasabi soy almonds).

overhead view

things to eat when you’re trying to be less fat: kale salad edition

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Now that I’m 5+ weeks post baby, I’m running out of excuses to eat burgers and ice cream for every meal, so I am slowly phasing in things that are green. My mom stayed with us for a bit right after the baby was born, and she made kale salad every night because she knows I love it, and making your own salad sometimes is the worst. By the time you chop everything up, you don’t really want the salad anymore, and would rather just eat pizza. Really, I would just rather eat pizza all day, morning-noon-and night, which is totally do-able thanks to the genius creator of Bagel Bites. Also, just FYI—you know how people have those lists of the 5 Celebrities that are hall-passes and their spouse can’t get mad? Stanley Garczynski (genius behind BBites) is most certainly on my list, alongside Jamie Foxx and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Knowledge is power.  But I digress…

You can chop up the greens for this salad and keep them in a shallow container with a paper towel at the top right before the lid and take them out all week—that way you don’t have to chop all that sh*t up every night.  A good dressing really is key, and don’t use a pre-made dressing. Unless you are using Goodwell & Co Asian Vinaigrette, make your own dressing always. The only reason I use their pre-made one is that I don’t always have fresh carrots and ginger on hand, and theirs tastes better than any homemade carrot/gingery dressing I can make. With salad dressings, you always use 1 part vinegar to three parts oil, so I always start out with that basic combo and add in extras. I blend mine in my little magic bullet, but you can use a regular blender, or just shake it in a dressing bottle. If you blend them, you don’t have to chop the ingredients first. In the kale salad pictured, its chopped kale with the stems removed, chopped radicchio, shaved parmesan and Marcona almonds. I always like to have something crunchy in my salads, and since I’m trying to be less of a fatass, I am opting for almonds over croutons. If the only crunchy thing you have in your pantry is a bag of goldfish, throw those in there—remember, I don’t judge. And also, I once put Flamin’ Hot Funyuns on my salad as croutons and ended up eating only the funyuns and tossing the salad. Back to the dressings….below are two of my faves, one with pesto, and one just regular old vinaigrette.

this baby will love gluten and dairy.

this baby will love gluten and dairy.

Pesto-Dijon Vinaigrette—makes a few servings, so keep in fridge

  • 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. pesto (I usually have pesto frozen, but you can use store bought)
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients together. It is SO easy.

Basic Red Wine Vinaigrette—this lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge, so up the amounts if you want to make a bunch.

  • 1 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Also, since males seem to hate kale salad, you can’t really serve them just that and think they will still love you. Which is where Naan pizzas come in. Naan is just a fancy term for flatbread, and it is something good to keep in your fridge or freezer. We always seem to have an open jar of some sort of tomato sauce in there too, so I whipped up some naan pizzas last night. Just put tomato sauce on the naan, fresh mozzarella (or whatever cheese peasants keep in their fridge if you don’t regularly keep balls of fresh mozz in there) and fresh chopped basil. Bake in the oven at 400 until the cheese is bubbly (about 10 minutes). If you live somewhere where there is a Zoe’s Kitchen, buy their “Spice of Life” seasoning and sprinkle on top…and then mail me a thing of it. Thanks.

because babies+food=life

because babies+food=life