Tag Archive | vegetable

Quinoa Pasta Salad

I absolutely love pasta salad! You know what else is great about finding quinoa pasta? Finding multi-colored quinoa pagoda pasta! Now I can have some pasta salad that looks very similar to traditional pasta salad!

In fact, I found out that someone at the party didn’t even know it was quinoa! I tried to make sure and tell everyone but I must have missed some people.

Well, this salad turned out very well. It probably could have used a little more dressing as I’ve found that quinoa pasta requires more flavoring than rice or traditional pasta. The texture is also a little firmer than traditional pasta.

All in all, this was an enjoyable treat for me to have and quite a bit had gotten eaten. I’ve actually been having a little bit of the leftovers all week and have been really enjoying it. I just wish I could freeze some. I like to make food ahead and freeze it for laziness convenience…actually, both. šŸ˜‰

I didn’t really measure anything out. I like lots of veggies so I use a lot. The key is to use whatever veggies you enjoy and how much you like in your pasta. I will list what I used.

Quinoa Pasta Salad Recipe

Quinoa pasta pagodas
Green bell peppers, chopped
Red bell peppers, chopped
Baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Green onions, sliced
Italian Salad Dressing

Toss veggies and pasta together and add Italian dressing to taste. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to blend flavors well.
Enjoy šŸ™‚


Tzatziki Sauce/Veggie Dip

I know, I’ve been away too long! I had a custom jewelry order to make so I had to apply my time to that…Sometimes I wish we didn’t need sleep because I have so many things planned and not enough timeĀ to get it all done! Speaking of which…I am planning my daughter’s graduation party so recipes may be coming to you a little on the slow side for the next week and a half. I’ve already gotten lots done but still more to go. Oh, I made a healthy test cake so that I can have some at the party too (I ordered a very delicious sounding and very unhealthy cake from a local bakery for everyone else) and it was AMAZING!!!! I will post that recipe after the party.

Ok, so about this recipe…I am working on a healthy home-madeĀ version of gyros and I almost have it perfect. Hubby says it’s perfect but I don’t think it’s quite on it yet. This sauce though…that’s right on it! It is so delicious and is very close to exact taste. The consistency is a little thinner though but that’s ok! This tzatziki sauce also tastes great as a veggie dip!

I searched the internet for a recipe for this sauce made healthy and found 2 recipes that sounded about right. I used some of the ingredients from each one and change the measurements to what seemed right to me so I guess It’s somewhat my own recipe. Hope you like it too!

oh…as soon as I get the gyros down right, I will post it but I figured in the mean time…since this will make a good veggie dip as well, I might as well post it. Plus, I have several other recipes in tweak mode so this was pretty much the only one ready to post šŸ˜‰

Tzatziki Sauce/Veggie Dip Recipe


1 16 oz container of Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 2% …nothing but yogurt making stuff in it. If you use 0% it will be really watery)

1 cucumber

1 tsp dill weed

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp coconut aminos


Peel and slice cucumber in half long ways. Remove seeds.

Put in blender and pulse until chopped small not pureed.

Put chopped cucumber in lint free towel and press out as much water as you can from cucumber. I do this in a second towel as well. You want as little water as possible in your cucumber so that your sauce isn’t watery.

Add the other ingredients to blender and blend just until smooth

addĀ cucumber and blend just until smooth.

Pour sauce into sealed container and let chill for a couple of hours so flavors blend

Spoon sauce onto gyro or use as a dip

Enjoy! šŸ™‚

Orange-Pineapple Chicken Skewers

Well let me tell you, this experiment was a long shot! I wasn’t sure how this was gonna turn out and was prepared to throw it in the trash. I was pleasantly surprised though that this was actually very tasty. It is a different flavor than I’ve ever had before and may not be for everyone but the chicken practically melts in the mouth! It’s worth trying in a small batch to see what you think.

I was really worried when hubby came home and had his taste testing because fruit and meat just doesn’t go together in his mind. Of course, I didn’t tell him what was in it before he tried it. As I anxiously awaited his response to his first bite, I was just bursting to tell him what was in it. First bite and his face lit up and he said, Ā “WOW that is delicious!” and then asked what was in it. Boy was he surprised! So, without further ado….

Orange-Pinapple Chicken Skewers


2 boneless, skinlessĀ chicken breasts, chunked

Juice of 2 oranges

1 c frozen pineapple chunked, thawed, divided

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp oregano

1 tbsp braggs

your favorite veggies chopped into large chunks


(The chicken will be marinated. I used my vacuum sealer marinade dish and vacuum sealed, placed in fridge and marinated for 4 hours. A baggie or other covered dish should work fine.)

Add chicken, orange juice, cinnamon, ground mustard, oregano, and braggs to container. Dice 1/2 of the 1 c of pineapple chunks and add to the container. Seal and marinate for at least 4 hours.

Make your kabobsĀ using your favorite veggies and the other 1/2 c pineapple chunks. I used the pineapple, purple onions, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and grape tomatoes

Grill, serve, and Enjoy! šŸ™‚

Spanish Rice

I have to take you back to the Mexican food theme to finish rounding out your meal. Someone from my group shared this recipe and I tried it out and couldn’t believe my taste buds. Although it was good just the way it was, I of course had to add my own style to it. What is so great about this recipe is that you get to have rice without having the starch and carbohydrates that go along with it. What? You ask…how on earth do you do that? Well, it’s not really rice…it’s cauliflower! I know, that was my first reaction too. But, I just couldn’t help myself, I had to try it and let me tell ya, it could pass for the real deal. Give it a try, you’ll be surprised!

Spanish Rice Recipe: (Adapted from: Mexican Rice Recipe)

1/2 head cauliflower

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8 oz can no salt tomato sauce

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne


Remove stems from cauliflower and place florets in food processor. Process until rice sized.

In medium saucepan, heat oil and sauteeĀ peppers and onions until tender. Add riced cauliflower and sautee another minute or 2. Add tomato sauce and spices. Cover and simmerĀ for five minutes stirring occasionally. This recipe makes a good amount for a few people

Enjoy! šŸ™‚

Fiesta Salad

I absolutely love avocados. They make so many things taste better. I’m learning to be more creative with flavors and using them in ways I never would have thought of before. This salad is perfect for summer time. It is so fresh and green tasting.Ā  I can already see that this will be a summertime staple in my house. I could sit and eat the whole bowl and make a meal out of it! It is so colorful with different textures and flavors that just meld together in your mouth into one big fiesta!Ā (On no! I can hear the gabba characters singing…there’s a party in my tummy! So yummy!)Ā  šŸ™‚

Fiesta Salad Recipe:


1 medium tomato, diced

2 avocados, peeled and diced

1 c frozen sweet corn

6 green onions, sliced

Black beans (1/2 c dried then cooked and drained)

1-2 handfuls chopped freshĀ cilantro (did I mention I love cilantro too?)

splash of lime juice (probably a tsp or 2)


Combine everything except avocado in bowl. Mix well

Add avocado and stir gently to mix so you don’t mash it.


Now That’s A Salad!

Now I am pretty sure that everyone knows how to make a salad….well except maybe the restaurant I went to last month….but I thought I wouldĀ tell you how I like my salad and maybe it will give you some ideas,Ā or maybe not. I am a bit lazy about my lettuce. Yes, I purchase bagged salad. My favorite is the butter bliss. Unfortunately it is expensive but I guess that’s the price you pay for convenience. Well, I had heard about Costco having a lot of foods that I can’t find in my regular stores so I broke down and got a membership. I am so glad I did!. For $2.79 or something like that, I get this HUGE bag of salad! It’s not the butter bliss, it’s just plain old garden salad but I eat salad nearly everyday and my daughter eats a lot of salad everyday so this works for us financially.Ā  Besides, everything I put on it makes it not just an ordinary salad.

So here’s how I do my salad:

bagged lettuce, fresh spinach, shredded carrots,

mini sweet peppers cut into strips,

purple onion cut into strips,

grape tomatoes cut in half,

homemade no salt dill pickles, chopped

(Hardboiled egg slices when I remember or feel like it)

topped off with homemade Italian Dressing

then because I really love red wine vinegar I put a dash or two of that in there. Now THAT’S a salad!

Simply Grilled Asparagus

Since I began eating this new healthy way, I realized I could no longer cook veggies the same way I used to. You know, a BIG glob of fake butter, salt, a few spices and nuke.Ā  Nope, it’s not the same if I leave out the “butter” and salt. I began to try different ways of making and flavoring veggies. Asparagus is one the favorites in our house, especially with steak. It just goes sooo well with it!

I ended up getting an indoor grill so that I had more cooking options since I don’t use a lot of the same “ingredients” I used to. This greatly helped. Grilled meat is awesome and I pretty much have the seasoning down to perfection (that will be a different post). The reason I’m saying all of this is because one day I was grilling up some steaks on my indoor grill and decided to grill my asparagus spears as well…just to try it out. I’m so glad I did! The grilled asparagus turned out perfect and I’ve been making it that way ever since. You can use your outdoor grill too. I just did the other day and the results were the same…perfection. What’s even better is that it’s so simple (even a caveman can do it…sorry) it’s unbelievable!


Simply Grilled Asparagus Recipe:


Frozen or FreshĀ Asparagus Spears (I used frozen)

Braggs spray


Heat grill and lay spears on grill. Spray with braggsĀ and cook until the side on the grill starts to brown. Flip spears and spray again with braggs and continue cooking until that side starts to turn brown. If spears are not yet tender, continue cooking while turning asparagus regularly so it doesn’t burn. Serve with your meal and enjoy! See, it was simple!