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Balsamic Quinoa with Tofu and Kale Recipe

It’s been a while since I’ve been inspired to create a new recipe. Actually it has been way too long. Today I finally broke my dry spell. I tried my hand at a quinoa recipe, but  without an actual recipe. This is all from scratch. I was a little worried as I have only cooked quinoa once before, and well like I said it’s been a while. So you could imagine my excitement when it came out amazing.

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As of late I have fallen back into old eating habits, aka unhealthy. I need to break that again and stick to it, but now I have realized it’s not just myself who has fallen into those habits, but my children as well. Overall they are pretty healthy eater, but they do love junk food.

My oldest has always been a hard one to get to try new foods. If he could live off of turkey sandwiches, hamburgers and bean and cheese burritos I’m sure he would. I will give him credit though as he has gotten a little better, which may have a little bit to with the fact that I make it harder and harder for him to pick out the good things in meals. But I hall give credit where credit is due. I’m nice like that.

My daughter has been on board with healthy eating. For being only nine I am happily surprised at this. She has always loved certain vegetable but getting her to branch out hasn’t always been easy. Plus we’re limited on a lot sine she is allergic to nuts. But if there is one kid that I know will not only help me cook up new creations, but enjoy them as well, it would be her.

And then there’s my youngest. My wee boy. He actually isn’t that small anymore but he know he’s the baby and will use that knowledge a best he n to get hi way. Little does he know I’m on to him, and have been for years. But I til play along because I do so love a good challenge. And a challenge he is. He may not have the pickiest pallet but he knows what he likes and isn’t too keen on trying things outside of his little box. He does however love salads which makes me very happy.

And look, I’ve gone off an ramble about my loves when I was supposed to be sharing a recipe. If you have a vegetarian in your house, this recipe is completely vegetarian. I hope your family enjoys this one as much as we all did.

Balsamic Quinoa with Tofu & Kale
Serves 6
Handfuls of kale, mushrooms, onions paired perfectly with quinoa and balsamic vinegar
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 6 mushrooms diced
  3. 1/2 red onion sliced and quartered
  4. 2-3 cups sliced kale
  5. 3-4 cloves Garlic (1 tsp)
  6. Sea salt (two turns of the salt grinder)
  7. Pepper (1/4 tsp)
  8. Cayenne Pepper (1/8 tsp)
  9. Balsamic Vinegar 1/2 cup)
  10. 1 Vegetable bullion
  11. Olive oil
Instructions
  1. First start with cutting up your tofu. I halve it, then cut into strips then cut again in the other direction to make three across cubed tofu squares.
  2. Coat your pan with the olive oil and cook the tofu on medium high heat. Make sure to mix it every few minutes. While that is cooking chop up the remaining vegetables and set aside.
  3. In a small pot combine two cups water, one cup quinoa and one vegetable bullion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a summer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. I always add a slight brown to my tofu to give it more texture. Once you see it starting to brown add the onions and mushrooms. Cook for approximately more ten minutes. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Next add your kale, stirring again.
  5. Now my favorite part, add the balsamic vinegar. Stir for one more minute and remove from heat.
  6. By now your quinoa should be done. If all the liquid has cooked out pour it into the large pan with your tofu and vegetables.
  7. Mix together well so the balsamic coats evenly.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

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Chicken Avocado Taco Recipe

Occasionally I have these moment where ideas just come to me and I go with it. They have been happening less and less frequently as of late but the other night (okay a few months ago…I forgot to hit the publish button) I had one. And may I just say oh my yum! I hadn’t been shopping for groceries in longer than I would like to admit. But I did have a reason. I was going to be traveling the following day and I hate wasting, either food or money. Soooo why buy groceries when they will just spoil. 

Working folks….you know how it is when you come home from a busy/crazy/awesome day at work and cooking is the last thing on your mind.  Add to that that I had an insane amount of things to do in preparation for my trip. Insert automatic reflect to look for an easy meal. This, as most of us know can be a bad idea.

Thankfully at that moment in time I didn’t have a slew of unhealthy items in my house, so whipping something healthy and light up was pretty simple. Here it is, I give you….Chicken Avocado Tacos.

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Chicken Avocado Tacos
Serves 2
Easiest taco recipe you will find. They're delicious, filling with less then ten fresh ingredients.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large avocado
  2. 1/2 cup chicken breast
  3. 1/2 sliced jalapeno
  4. 1/2-1 cup red cabbage sliced
  5. 1 tbsp diced onion
  6. Fresh lime juice
  7. Pinch of garlic salt
  8. Tortillas (I use La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas, they're a perfect mix of corn & wheat)
  9. Salsa
Instructions
  1. Chop the cooked chicken breast up into bite sized pieces and put in a medium bowl
  2. Dice the avocado and onions and put into the bowl with the chicken
  3. Add a pinch of garlic salt and as much lime juice as you want, mix together
  4. Slice the cabbage to desired thickness
  5. Place a spoonful of the avocado mixture into a warm tortilla, top with jalapeno, cabbage and salsa
  6. Serve with black beans
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/
 I hope you enjoy these super simple healthy bites as much as I did.

 

  • www.med-hero.net

    I like tacos with different fillings. This recipe is very easy and I'm sure these tacos are very tasty. The combination of chicken and avocado is a winning one.

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Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffin Recipe

There’s one thing I have been trying to steer clear of for a while now and that is sweets. More specifically chocolate. It used to be something I craved, now (thankfully) I can barely eat it but that doesn’t stop me from treating my babies with a small sweet bite every once in a while. And, as an added benefit these muffins aren’t totally horrible for you, possibly even healthy! I said healthy in the same breath sentence as chocolate…crazy right! Let me introduce you to this wonderful concoction I like to call Chocolate Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

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Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins
Serves 18
Naturally sweet banana muffins with a hint of chocolate goodness, yum.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups Oatmeal
  2. 1 Teaspoon Honey
  3. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  4. 4 Bananas mashed
  5. 1 Cup Silk Pure Coconut Milk
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  8. 26 pieces of See's Candy Milk Chocolate Drops (freeze them and smash with a meat mallet)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) together in a large bowl
  3. Prepare the muffin pans by spraying the pan or using liners with with non-stick spray
  4. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter
  5. Divide batter into each muffin cup
  6. Bake the muffins for 20-30 minutes (when the edges turn slightly brown they are done)
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

These tasty little bites are perfect fresh out of the oven. The chocolate still being warm and slightly melted….heaven. You can also freeze them for snack time later or devour a handful late at night, not that I’ve done that or anything.

 

 

 

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Food Safety During the Holidays

Did you know that food poisoning can be more that just an upset stomach? It is actually a very serious public health threat in America. So serious that the CDC estimates that approximately 1 in every 6 Americans (that’s roughly 48 million people!) could end up suffering from food-borne illnesses this year. With about 128,000 of those ending hospitalizations and sadly, an estimated 3,000 deaths. I don’t know about you but those numbers are terrifying. So what can you do to protect yourself from food-borne illnesses? The Food Safe Families Campaign (a partnership on behalf of the Ad Council, USDA, FDA and CDC) would like to help parents protect their families from food-borne illness during the upcoming holidays.

One of the best things about the holidays is spending time with the family. And what do families and friends do when they get together? They eat! I always stress about create my menu but once it comes time to cooking I go into a zone and some how, some way I create  huge meals for every one to enjoy. But gathering around the table is not the only time we need to be vigilant in how we prepare food for our families, it is an every day thing and one that should never be taken lightly. Today I wanted to share with you some tips on how to keep your families food safe, during the holidays and year round.

Brown paper bags are a thing of the past. There is a big trend right now called the Bento lunchbox. If you aren’t aware of them, I highly recommend them. They are awesome because they have little compartments to keep your foods separated. Not only is this great for picky eaters that don’t like their foods touching, but it’s also great to making sure there is no possible food contamination from wholes in bags or food falling out onto the floor. And you can get super creative with them, it’s a bit of an addiction so be prepared if you buy a set.

 
Here’s a few school lunch tips that may be new to you or you may know some of them.
Tip #1: If the lunch you’re packing contains perishable food items like cold cut meats, eggs and yogurt, make sure to pack it with freezer packs or keep it otherwise chilled.  Harmful bacteria multiply rapidly in the “Danger Zone” — the temperatures between 40 and 140 °F (4.4 °C and 60 °C). So, perishable food transported without an ice source won’t stay safe long.
Tip #2: Frozen juice boxes can also be used as freezer packs. Freeze juice boxes overnight and use as freezer packs. By lunchtime, the juice should be thawed and ready to drink!
Tip #3: Pack lunches in an insulated, soft-sided lunch bag. Lunches with perishable food items can be unsafe to eat by lunchtime if packed in an old-fashioned brown paper bag.
Tip #4: If there is a refrigerator at school, tell your child to keep their lunch inside. But leave the lid of the lunchbox or bag open so that cold air can better circulate and keep the food cold.
Tip #5:  After lunch, discard all leftover food, used food packaging, and paper bags. Do not reuse packaging because it could contaminate other food and cause food-borne illness.

 

Check out How to Pack a Safe & Satisfying School Lunch by Food Safe Campaign (Ad Council, USDA, HHS) on Snapguide. 

For more information on food safety and have access to an online help center be sure to check out FoodSafety.gov. They have a plethora of information on preventing food-borne illnesses, in both English and Spanish. Or if it is easier for you, you can call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline.  

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Organicgirl Mahi Mahi Shiitake Salad

I love everything about salads. I love picking out the ingredients that will go into them, creating new twists on a classic, and discovering new flavors that will work together. I truly just enjoy the whole process of preparing them…and of course eating them.

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A salad is always better when you use bold flavors. Keeping things mild is relatively boring so if there is an option to go bold or go home…I go bold. When I received two boxes of Organicgirl greens the other day I knew immediately what type of salad I was going to make. With the bite these particular greens offer I knew it would pair perfectly with the light taste of Mahi Mahi with an Asian type of dressing.

Organicgirl vive la France contains a variety of lettuce such as mâche rosettes, baby chard, baby arugula & radicchio. It varies depending on the season but I personally love the  flavors of this mix.

Organic Girl CollageOrganicgirl 50/50! is a mix of baby spinach, baby green romaine lettuce, baby red romaine lettuce, tango, baby red oak leaf lettuce, baby green oak leaf lettuce, baby red chard, baby green chard, lolla rosa, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi, baby green leaf lettuce & baby red leaf lettuce.

I have only seen Organicgirl offered at one of the stores local to me but one is better then none right! To learn more about Organicgirl: Good Clean Greens, you can visit their site here and follow them on Facebook and Twitter. You can also search their site to find a retailer that carries their line in your stores here.

 

Organicgirl Mahi Mahi Shiitake Salad
Serves 2
A light salad that will delight the taste buds
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Mahi Mahi Filet
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Salt & Pepper
  4. Cayenne Pepper
  5. Onions
  6. Hearts of Palm
  7. Green Onions
  8. Green Olives
  9. Purple Cabbage
  10. Carrots
  11. Organicgirl vive la France mix
  12. Organicgirl 50/50! mix
  13. Crunchy Chow Mein Noodles
  14. Shiitake Sesame Vinaigrette Dressing
  15. Lemon
Instructions
  1. Mahi Mahi only take a few minutes on each side to cook prepare your salad prior to cooking the fish.
  2. Finely chop the lettuce blends as well as the remaining ingredients that will be going into the salad (onion, olives, carrots, cabbage and hearts of palm)
  3. Divide ingredients into two salad bowls and top with the crispy noodles
  4. Season the Mahi Mahi with Salt, Pepper & a light sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
  5. Cook the Mahi Mahi in olive oil approximately 4-5 minutes on each side
  6. When your fish is cooked through place it on top of your salad, squirt with a bit of lemon and top with the Shitake Sesame dressing.
Shanamama http://www.shanamama.com/wp/

*I received these products for free to review as part of the Mom Bloggers Club. The opinions and text are all mine*

  • Rose Powell

    Oh yummy yummy, I need to try this, I', rather boring when it comes to salads, but not anymore!!! Thanks Shana.

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Taste of Atlantic City preview

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to attend this trip or to write this post. Lodging, food and events were provided by Caesar’s Entertainment & D6 Sports.  a Special thanks to Harrah’s for giving us the opportunity to attend the Taste of AC Preview. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.



Friday June 7th while in Atlantic City Caesar’s invited us to head over to Harrah’s Resort for a preview of whats to come in July’s Taste of Atlantic City event. If you love to cook, love to eat or can simply appreciate a beautiful dish then I highly recommend checking out the Taste of Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. The Festival will run from July 25th through July 28th. During this four day event there will be a star-studded roster full of the world’s most renowned culinary experts and TV personalities such as Robert Irvine, The Neely’s (LOVE them) Rocco DiSpirto, Laurie Forster and more! 


During our tasting we were given the chance to not only taste some absolutely amazing food but we also got to meet the Chefs that created these dishes. 

Our Taste of AC was not just a feast for the pallet but it was to the eyes as well . If I were one who couldn’t bare to eat a dish simply because of it’s presentation that I would have gone hungry that night. Good thing I didn’t let that stop me because everything I tried was absolutely amazing. 


The first dish I sampled was the Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche. I am a huge ceviche fan and haven’t been able to find it here in Oklahoma since we moved here two years ago. I will say I was a little thrown at first by the scallops that were in it since my experience with scallops hasn’t necessarily been a positive one but I am glad to say that has changed. The scallops added a slightly different flavor yet similar texture to the shrimp so it wasn’t a drastic change if compared to classic ceviche. The flavors were robust without being overwhelming and I personally loved being able to taste a hint of citrus throughout the dish.

Next up was Mini Crab Cakes served on bed of mixed greens atop of a light yet full flavored lemon cream sauce. When I initially saw the sauce I assumed it was some type of tartar sauce but I am so glad that was not the case. The Crab cakes were crunchy on the outside and deliciously perfect on the inside. Not too dry and not too moist crab is the only way to have a crab cake. Too dry and you just can’t eat it an enjoy it. Too moist and it because soggy. The lemon cream sauce with the greens and shallots only enhanced the crab cakes flavors. This was hands down my favorite tasting of the night.



The Plantain Empanadas were topped with a Chipotle sauce & a dash of Queso Fresco to tie it all together. I have never had empanadas before so I had no idea what to expect but the milk and creaminess of the plantains combined with the bite of the chipotle was absolutely amazing. 

One dish you can no go wrong with is the classic Meatballs with Marinara sauce, basil and Parmigiano Reggiano. I joke with my husband that I am glad we got married because I finally got my wish to be part of an Italian family. That wish is strictly just so I could indulge in all the Italian food I want LOL Or maybe I was an Italian in my past life. Either way these meatballs were divine. I am very picky about my meatballs, more so with marinara sauce and both of these were prepared to perfection. 

Lastly we have the Mini Mushroom Truffle Grissini. When I first saw it I thought it was a quiche. Shhhh don’t laugh. I had no idea what a Grissini is, I may or may not have had to look it up. The best way to describe this dish is actually similar to a quiche except instead of using a pie crust they use a more heartier substance such as crispy breadsticks ground down to make a crust. So the consistency is a little different but taste wise they are very similar. The filling I still don’t grasp what all it involved but I do know it has mushrooms and truffles (not sure if they used the oil or shaved pieces) and it pared together perfectly. Again this was another dish that can easily dry out if over cooked but it was baked just right. 

Looking through all of these photos I wish I was back there right now doing another sampling. If you end up attending the festival be sure to tweet our your photos so we can all see the amazing dishes the Chefs have prepared. Also make note that the Taste of Atlantic City even is not just in one location but actually across all four of the casinos and resorts that are under the Caesar’s Entertainment Atlantic City umbrella which include Caesar’s, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat AC and Bally’s. 

Disclaimer:  I was not paid to attend this trip or to write this post. Lodging, food and events were provided by Caesar’s Entertainment & D6 Sports.  a Special thanks to Harrah’s for giving us the opportunity to attend the Taste of AC Preview. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.