July 27, 2014

Leading a healthy and fit lifestyle is definitely something I strive for in my household. Not only is exercise/staying active an important element of our week, but the food we serve at our family table is a huge consideration. Today, I’m sharing what has become one of our favorite healthy meal options in my home. These quinoa bowls with grilled vegetables and corn salsa are customizable, fresh, and full of flavor. Won’t you dive in? Quinoa bowls One of the common misconceptions I hear from people when it comes to eating “healthier” is that it is expensive. I totally hear what they’re saying, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be a pricy endeavor! My biggest tip when it comes to shopping for fresh produce is to keep an eye on what is seasonal. If you are purchasing veggies and fruit that are in season, they will be at the lowest prices in comparison to veggies that are out of season. Right now, zucchini, yellow squash, and green beans are in an abundance in my neck of the woods…so most of my meals include them! In the fall and winter, I tend to see a lot of butternut squash, spaghetti squash, apples, and more. Quinoa bowls For me, it is fun to get creative with what is fresh. Don’t feel restricted by eating seasonally! And if there happens to be a vegetable or fruit that isn’t in season or at a reasonable price for your budget, check out the frozen section of your grocery store! My local store tends to have awesome BOGO sales, and I always end up picking up frozen edamame, peas, and corn to have on hand. Quinoa bowls …on to the recipe! I have a deep love for burrito bowls, but eating one every night of the week is probably not the most creative meal in the world. Therefore, I love coming up with different spins on the classic that offer new flavors and ingredients. These quinoa bowls with grilled vegetables are brightly colored, full of flavor, and are fun to put together too! Now, if you haven’t fully dived into the quinoa trend, you can always serve your veggies on a bed of rice. If you’re just slightly ready to test out quinoa, there are some nice brown rice/quinoa blends on the market I’ve tried and are a nice introduction for those who aren’t sure they’ll enjoy a full bowl of quinoa. Baby steps…baby steps. I personally ADORE quinoa – it is gluten-free, contains protein, and has an awesome texture. It’s great served cold or hot…it’s so darn versatile! Ok, I’ll stop declaring my love for quinoa now. For this yummy Sunday Supper, all you have to do is fire up your grill, dress your veggies and cook them, then plate them perfectly on top of your quinoa with a scoop of corn salsa. These quinoa bowls are vegetarian as-is, but you could very easily add a meat or fish of your choice to the mix. We’ve added grilled mahi mahi in the past, as well as chicken and pork tenderloin. Options, options….

Are you a fan of “bowl” creations for a healthy dinner?

Quinoa bowls

Quinoa Bowls with Grilled Vegetables and Corn Salsa for #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 5 oz quinoa or brown rice/quinoa blend (uncooked)
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper (orange or yellow also work)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup corn salsa

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Cover and set aside as you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium high heat (around 500 degrees F). Slice your zucchini and squash on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch thick (to allow for maximum grill contact). Drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Toss/stir gently to coat all sides of the vegetables.
  3. Grill vegetables for about 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from grill and on to a serving plate.
  4. To complete your dish, add a scoop of quinoa to the bottom of your bowl, then top with 1/4 cup of corn salsa and the grilled vegetable slices. If desired, you can sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese on top to finish! Enjoy!
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AmFam Choose Dreams Logo Make sure you follow along on the Family Healthy Fit Lifestyle #ChooseDreams Pinterest board! Also, take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest! This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own. ~~~~~~~ Don’t miss out on the other amazing offerings today for Sunday Supper!
Get Up and Go Power Breakfasts

Salads and Healthy Snacks

Healthy Fit Lifestyle Dinners

Healthy Desserts

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Sunday Supper Logo Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

July 2, 2014

It’s time for some Weekday Supper fun! My friends have been sharing so many awesome ideas for quick and easy (and healthy) meals that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. I don’t know about you, but I can definitely get on board with that! Today, I am serving up one of my favorite summer dishes: a sesame salad with edamame.

sesame salad with edamame

Living in Florida, the summer can be absolutely scorching. The humidity makes me want to retreat into my house and hide from sunup to sundown. Hot food almost completely loses its appeal to me during these hot weeks, so I love turning to salads for dinner. They also happen to be a great way to create a healthy dinner! With my desire to eat salads all the time, I do have to continually switch up the ingredients to make sure I don’t get burned out with the same choices. I adore Asian inspired flavors, so this sesame salad vegetable combo really spoke to me. What’s really great is that you can easily find all of the ingredients in your grocery store!

This sesame salad with edamame is definitely a winner in my salad repertoire. The crisp lettuce cools you down, the carrots add crunch, red bell pepper imparts sweetness, and there’s a punch of protein from the edamame. I love sprinkling mine with and sesame seeds (and even some chia seeds too) for extra texture.

sesame salad with edamame

In my book, salads are definitely a fantastic meal for a weeknight; they don’t have to be solely served as a side dish! Think about how to make them shine as the main course; filling your plate completely with veggies is a great way to make healthy choices while still satisfying. Edamame is a great bean to help in that process; they provide protein to keep you full, but are light in flavor and won’t weigh you down! When you’re creating entree salads at home, try out different greens – I use butter lettuce for this salad, but you can experiment with crunchy romaine, peppery arugula, spinach, and more!  This particular salad is also a vegetarian option (if you’re diving in for a “Meatless Monday” or meatless day of the week in your home), but you could easily top yours with a grilled Teriyaki chicken breast, shrimp, or other meat/seafood you desire. It’s up to you!

Are you a fan of salads in the summer? What do you top your greens with?

Sesame Salad with Edamame

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1

Sesame Salad with Edamame

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lettuce (I use butter lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup edamame, unshelled
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp sesame vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Add lettuce, edamame, carrots, and bell pepper to a plate or bowl.
  2. Drizzle with sesame vinaigrette.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, fresh cracked pepper, and serve: enjoy!

Notes

I love to add a sprinkle of chia seeds to the top of my salad as well!

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If you’re looking for more amazing meal inspiration, make sure you follow the Family Favorites Turned Healthy #ChooseDreams Pinterest board! There’s a plethora of healthy recipes to choose from!

AmFam Choose Dreams Logo

Also, take a few minutes to visit the American Family Insurance website, follow them on Twitter, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, check in on them on LinkedIn, watch them on YouTube, follow them on G+, and see what inspires them on Pinterest!

This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.

Sunday Supper Movement

Make sure you check out the other amazing recipes offered for Weekday Supper this week!

Monday – Blueberry Chicken and Rice by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Tuesday – Greek Shrimp with Orzo, Tomato and Feta by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Wednesday – Sesame Salad with Edamame by Ruffles & Truffles

Thursday – Portugese Flank Steak by Family Foodie

Friday – Pasta & Pea Sauce by The Foodie Army Wife

 

 

June 22, 2014

I could not be more excited about this week’s Sunday Supper! The folks at American Family Insurance tasked the Sunday Supper team with the challenge of turning family favorites/comfort food into a healthier version. If you know me, you are aware I attempt to create healthy meals 95% of the time. I truly believe that food can be absolutely amazing and satisfying while also being nutritious.

Angel Hair Zucchini Noodles

Here’s the thing: I know it can be slightly difficult to begin the process. I transitioned over to my current “healthy eating routine” in 2008, and it did take a little while for me to figure things out. One of the most important factors was keeping an open mind. I knew I would have to try new things to discover what I liked, what worked in my kitchen, and what I enjoyed preparing. Little by little, more and more vegetables and healthy foods came to be a regular part of my meals. Nowadays it is extremely rare to see my plate missing a heaping pile of vegetables in some form!

Angel Hair Zucchini Noodles

June 8, 2014

Today, the Sunday Supper crew is hosting a Father’s Day feast. When I think of Father’s Day, it usually means there is a lot of meat on the dinner table. Ribs, burgers, steak…very manly meal components! As much as my dad enjoys a great cut of meat for Father’s Day dinner, it just so happens that our family is not the biggest group of meat eaters in the land. Fresh vegetables are definitely up our alley, and a salad filled with a fantastic combination of ingredients is something I love serving up around our table.

Avocado Quinoa Salad

I know I am not alone: you are dining at a restaurant and are fortunate enough to order an item so memorable you want to recreate it in your own kitchen. Sometimes the items are simply too complicated to replicate, but other times it seems possible. When Justin and I were in Miami a few weeks ago, we enjoyed an insanely delicious lunch. Both of our dishes were incredible, but I knew from the second I took my first bite of salad that I was going to make my most valiant attempt to create my own unique version in my home kitchen. As soon as I returned home, I was gushing about the salad to my family. Seeing as my dad saw the photo of the dish and was intrigued, it felt oh so appropriate to make one in his honor.

Avocado Quinoa Salad 2