Here’s how you can make a better salad to boost energy and help with weight loss

Salads are what you make them, and if you are eating to boost energy and shed a few pounds, you may want to be more conscious of how you are making that ‘healthy salad”. Most people think to throw some lettuce in a bowl with a few tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and some type of dressing and you got yourself a healthy salad. Think again my friend. Don’t get me wrong, everything in that salad for the most part is good, but let’s look at it closer.

So, you are making a salad, most people go for just regular iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has no real nutritional value, just good ruffage.  When picking lettuce the best rule of thumb, the darker the greens the more fiber, flavor and nutrients they will possess.

Now let’s talk about ingredients. If you are eating a salad as your main meal, which is a good idea, because you can incorporate, good protein, lots of fiber, good carbohydrates and good essential fatty acids all on one plate, if we are conscious of what ingredients you are choosing. A salad that will keep you energized and help you drop a few pounds, if eaten daily, with exercise and other healthy accompany meals would look something like this:

Greens:

Choose 2 to 3 greens:

romaine lettuce

arugula

spinach

kale

Mixed green Medley ( easier way to get several leafy green choices)

You can also add:

Cabbage or Radicchio

Fresh herbs:

Choose 1 or 2 herbs:

basil

parsley

mint

dill

Grains ( optional, but loaded with vegan protein and lots of fiber, just use a little, they are high in carbohydrates.)

Choose 1 grain:

Quinoa

Wild Rice

Farro

Bulgar Wheat

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Protein 

Choose 1 to 2 proteins:

Organic Chicken ( grilled )

Salmon, steamed or grilled, high in protein and essential fatty acids

Chickpeas, vegan protein and fiber

Eggs

Beans, such as lentils

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Vegetables:

LET THESE BE THE MOST IN YOUR SALAD, LOAD UP!

Beets

Carrots

Onions

Cucumbers

Yellow Squash

Bell Peppers

Zucchini

Mushrooms

Celery

Peas

Olives

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Healthy Fats, for crunch  

Nuts and Seeds of all kind that you can consume:

Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds and Hemp Seeds .

Dressings:

Make your own and the healthiest dressings are one that are not creamy, but more in the vinaigrette family.

Simple and healthy dressings have these 4 key ingredients:

Acid~ Lemon Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Rice Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar.

Oil ~ Olive oil, Walnut Oil, Avocado Oil, and Hazelnut Oil .

Emulsifierr ~ which is the ingredient that helps keep the first two ingredients from separating and keeps your dressing stable ~ Mustard, Greek Yogurt, Ground  Flaxseed, Mashed Avocado and Honey.

Herbs and Flavoring ~ Basil, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Dill, Cracked Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Chives and Honey .

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Warm Beet, Green Apple and Trio Lentil Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Salad Recipes

Warm Beet, Green Apple and Trio Lentil Salad

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing 

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

water, to thin ( if necessary)

In a blender add all ingredients, blend and enjoy. 🙂

Store in a glass airtight container in the fridge for one to two days, this is a very perishable item. Use it all in a day if possible. 

So now you are educated about how to make an awesome salad that is loaded with everything your body needs. Now go out my loves and make the world a ” Happy Salad Place.” 🙂

Millet and Red Quinoa Balls

I love this dish, because it is one that brings beautiful memories of me sitting in my friend’s garden, enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir, along side her olive tree, with yummy crusty bread on the side, lots of laughs and a few tears. One of my favorite memories, is just watching the hummingbirds flying around and allowing ourselves to just be in the present moment.

This recipe is a wonderful alternative for a “Meatless Monday”, it can also be a great vegan recipe, just omit the parmesan cheese. The flavor is in the red bell peppers, garlic, onions, basil and fennel. This is one you will want to make with your family over and over and again.  If you have balls left over, please freeze them, they do great in the freezer.

I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do and maybe it will be bring fond memories for you, when you Set the Table with Love for those special people in your life.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Millet and Red Quinoa Balls in a Simple Marinara Sauce

Millet and Red Quiona Balls

Ingredients

1 cup of Millet
1/2 cup of Red quinoa
4 cups of water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves ( minced)
1/2 cup onions diced
1/2 cup of red bell peppers, diced
1 cup of parmesan cheese, if vegan omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese instead
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder

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Millet and Red Quinoa Balls in a Simple Marinara Sauce

1. In large deep sauce pan add the 4 cups of water. Allow it to come to boil. Add millet and red quinoa. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn down the heat to medium low simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally. You want a nice fluffy mash potato like texture. This makes the balls easy to roll up.
2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a sauté’ pan and sauté’ the garlic, onions and red bell peppers, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season the veggies. Add the sauté’ vegetables to the mixture along with the dried basil, fennel seeds and the cup of parmesan cheese. Taste and season with the black pepper and sea salt, as needed.
3. Stir completely, incorporating all the ingredients. Wet your hands
slightly and roll the mixture into medium balls. You can put the balls in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes. This will help the balls to hold together when you are browning them in the sauté pan.
4.Once the balls are firm, add the remaining olive oil in a sauté’ pan and sauté’ each ball until golden brown on each side on medium heat. Add goat cheese, basil and lemon zest for garnish, if you desire.
Makes 20-25 small millet and red quinoa balls

 

Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves
Directions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, basil, oregano,sea salt (or to taste), organic cane sugar, red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 40 minutes.
Serve the Millet and Red Quiona Balls on top of the Marinara Sauce.
Use pieces of basil as garnish with a little lemon zest.

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

Who doesn’t love a good waffle. They are crunchy on the outside, moist and soft in the inside. We lather them with lots of butter and good Vermont Maple Syrup. I am bias about maple syrup. I believe the best syrup is made in Vermont and I am Georgia girl.  But sometimes you want to expand your mind and come up with something a little different. Well, in this case, a lot different. I so enjoyed sitting in my kitchen and thinking of how I could make a waffle, savory. I looked in my fridge, pantry, and garden, because these are the places that inspire me to make innovative recipes, with what I have on hand.

I am not one to go out regularly and buy a ton of ingredients to make a dish. Use what you have, no waste, my mama always taught me. She could make a thanksgiving dinner from an egg, head of lettuce and loaf of bread. LOL! Hey , she was before her time, she would have blown the competition away on Food Network, Chopped.

Well, she was my hero in some many ways, especially in the kitchen. Okay, with that being said, I found leeks and potatoes in my kitchen and decided to make this potato and leek savory waffle. It was so delicious and it’s vegan, gluten free and I made a raw basil oil to dress it. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

 

Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt

 

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Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles with a RAW basil oil

The potato and leek mixture

Ingredients:

1 -2 tbsp olive oil, to coat the bottom of a sauté pan

1 large yukon gold potato, cleaned, peeled and diced small

2 leeks, cleaned, cut into very small slices

1/2 cup onions diced small

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced small

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp  No Salt garlic herb seasonings

1 tsp red crushed peppers

sea salt to taste

Basil Oil

Ingredients
2 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles
Gluten Free Vegan Potato and Leek Savory Waffles

Instructions:

For the Waffle batter:

Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes to activate, it will get bubbly. Then add olive oil , maple syrup and whisk. Set aside.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well incorporated. Let set for 5-10 minutes, this will allow the, baking powder and vinegar mixture to activate even more. It will give you a very fluffy waffle. Heat up your waffle pan.

For the Potato and Leek mixture:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add in the small diced potatoes. Stir and allow them to cook until they are slightly golden brown and soften. Add the diced onions, red bell peppers and leeks. Stir.  Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced garlic cloves . Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool  GENTLY fold the mixture into the waffle batter, leave about 1/4 cup of potato and leek mixture out, to use as a garnish, if you desire. IF NOT YOU CAN ADD THE WHOLE MIXTURE INTO THE BATTER.
Once waffle iron is hot and ready to go, generously coat with non-stick spray and pour on about 1/2 cup of batter. Cook according to manufacturer instructions and then remove and place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. In order to keep them crispy , do not stack and instead keep them in a single layer.

Basil oil

Wash basil leaves. Squeeze out water and dry with paper towel.
Place basil, the oil and salt into a blender or food processor and puree.
Let it settle a little then pour into a glass container. Drizzle over your waffles.
Use immediately or refrigerate. Making this oil a day in advance, will intensify the flavor. Fridge shelf life ~ one week.

Soy Free Gluten Free Vegan Sausage, Avocado Scramble and Peaches

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My 20 year anniversary is coming up in a few weeks. My husband and I have decided to do a wedding renewal ceremony.  I am very excited, because I did not think I we would have made 20 years. I had kidney disease when we meet and kidney failures 7 years after we had our first son together. I was on dialysis for 3 months in 2008, when we found out he was my perfect match. My second chance at life happen on June 18th, 2008. One month before our son’s birthday, which is July 18th. It’s amazing how God works. We knew bringing our son into the world, could jeopardize my well being or kill me. So, how God to allow my husband to give me that life back, that was compromise by giving life to our son. It blows me away every time I think about it

This recipe is inspired to help me drop a few pounds to get in my wedding renewal dress and blow his socks off when I walk down that aisle one more time. The recipe I want to share today is my Avocado Scramble. it’s very simple and loaded with nutrition.

Avocado Scramble

Ingredients

1 large avocado

1/4 teaspoon turmeric ( this gives it that yellow color)

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup of red bell peppers

handful of basil leaves, gently torn apart.

Instructions:

In a bowl mash the avocado with the turmeric, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. Add the peppers and basil and gently stir. I like to live a little basil and peppers on the side to use as a garnish.

This is great on gluten free toast, as well.

The sausage recipe will be in my new cook book, Set the Table with Love Take 2 ~Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian recipes for looking and feeling great.