Garden Quinoa Salad

Garden Quinoa Salad

I adore quinoa.  Mainly for two reasons.  One, it is an incredible, nutrient-packed ingredient.  And two, it’s like a blank canvas for cooking!  You can mix it up with just about anything and make it completely new.  I’ve already got a few that I have really liked in the past, but today, I thought it was time for something different.

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Super Sweet Potatoes

Super Sweet Potatoes

I hope you enjoyed the Cashew-Pecan Crusted Chicken from last week – it’s already a classic hit at my house! 

You better believe it will be back around often.  And, you may have noticed, to tempt you a bit I got this Super Sweet Potato in the picture as its snazzy sidekick.  It was incognito, though, because this one is the real superhero of the meal!  Sure, the protein usually gets all the praise and recognition, but this “side” dish has way more goin’ on than just the bit of healthy carbs and fat you see in the nutritional stats. 

Each of these little guys are a nutritional powerhouse ready to help your body with some of the heavy lifting that you don’t even want to have to think about – like your immunity and digestion and such.

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Homemade Salsa Fresca


Once I started making summer dinner-party food, I couldn’t stop with just a salad (even a really good salad).  I had a lengthy barbeque menu just coming out my ears.  I know, I should have gotten that looked at… but I felt the best way to deal with that was to get cookin’. 

What I needed was side dishes, and pronto.  I actually only had a couple hours before guests showed up, (remember, this was an impromptu gathering) and it was time to implement a few fast favorites of mine. 

So I thought, what would Mom do?  She is, after all, a veritable home-entertaining rock star – minus the paparazzi – with a playbook of all the best snappy recipes on call in her blonde head.  

Of course:  salsa and potato salad.  Um, who doesn’t love those at a barbeque?  But unlike your average store bought varieties… well, they’re fresh, and therefore extra delicious + better for you!


Like that, with the help of a couple cans of diced tomatoes and canned green chilies, I had a salsa that was quicker and better than making a grocery run for a jar of premade stuff.

This salsa is fresh, zesty, and bright, with a medium spice level that will knock everyone’s collective socks off without majorly knocking taste buds off.  I found a fantastic tortilla chip to go with – Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips.  With its long list of healthy factoids – like gluten + GMO free – and short ingredient list, I’m a fan.  Not that I’m selling it or something – I just like to share a great find! :)


Homemade Salsa Fresca

4 Roma tomatoes, washed and diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 15-oz cans diced, low sodium tomatoes (I happened to find an organic brand I liked at Costco)

2 4-oz cans diced green chili peppers (medium heat)

2 stalks green onions, chopped

Large handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Lime juice from 2 limes, or 4 T. lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt, freshly ground pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, adding seasonings at the end:  you will need at least ¼ tsp. of each, but will probably want to add more to taste.

Here is my suggestion – ¼ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, ½+ tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. onion powder, and ½ tsp. garlic powder.  I’m sure I end up adding more of each of these as I go along, but taste-testing always gets it right!

Blend about half of this mixture in a blender and add back to the chunky mixture.  I like a chunkier salsa, but you can always blend more or less to your preference!

Serve with your favorite chips, on a salad, or on top of a burger!


Enchiladas - With a Capital EASY!

Enchiladas - With a Capital EASY!

So far, I have shown more dessert-y kinds of recipes on this blog.  I just really like to eat, share, and photograph desserts so much. (They’re decadent! And, well, pretty!)  But when I get a craving for something tomato-saucy, its ON. 


Like sauce on an Enchilada!

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