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Happy 2014! How’s everyone doing with their healthy eating resolutions? I for one, cherish every last minute under my warm, cozy comforter before bracing out in this mind-numbingly cold weather. So waking up a bit early to prep lunch for the workday has been fairly unattainable these days.

Luckily, I’ve discovered the perfect make-ahead lunch: the mason jar salad. Gorgeous layers of greens, veggies and protein in a portable and convenient package! The possibilities are endless with these, but here’s my favourite combination of the moment.

Super Simple Salad with Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing

Super Simple Salad with Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing
[Serves 1]

Ingredients:
1-2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium-sized cucumber, diced
1/2 mango, diced

Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing:
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt, a pinch
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Starting with lettuce, layer all the salad ingredients in a mason jar
2. For the dressing, stir together lime zest lime juice, honey, cilantro leaves, salt and pepper
3. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture while whisking
4. Store dressing and salad separately in the refrigerator until ready to use

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 326, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat 7g, Carbs: 67g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 37g, Protein: 9g, Sodium: 398mg

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I got hit with the dreaded Facebook timeline yesterday. My cousin warned me that all posts become public so I should go through my profile and delete what I may not want the world seeing. I scrolled all the way down and started making my way up. Some posts made me cringe, some brought a smile to my face—oh the memories that are retained by having your life up on a social platform for the last 7 years. Then I came across October 31, 2006 and time stopped for a minute. I remember the day like it was yesterday. My first time having avocados.

Yes, I was introduced to avocados quite late in life and it was all thanks to my dear friend Calla Lee. She took me to a deli at our university campus and ordered me an avocado sandwich. Who knew two slices of bread with some green mush in the middle could taste so amazing?! My love affair with avocados has been going strong since. All I could think about after reading that post was avocados (and Calla—I do dearly miss Calla). I went to work and thought about avocados all day. I had a 15 minute conversation with my boss about avocados. We even looked up grocery stores near work so I could get me some avocados for dinner.

I’m surprised I was able to restrain myself from cutting the avocado open and just have the whole thing by itself. I’m glad I did though…because it resulted in this quinoa salad. And it was delicious.

Curried Quinoa Salad
[Serves 2]

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa
1 tsp coconut oil (olive oil works too)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup corn
3/4 cup black beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp chili powder
Salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Rinse quinoa well
2. Place 1 cup water and quinoa in a saucepan over medium-high heat
3. Bring to a simmer, then cover and let cook for 15 minutes
4. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside
5. Heat oil in a pan
6. Add onions and garlic, saute for 2 minutes
7. Add green pepper and corn, let caramelize for 5-7 minutes
8. In a bowl add beans, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, cooked quinoa and vegetable mixture
9. Make a dressing with the lime juice, curry powder, chili powder and salt
10. Drizzle over salad and mix well

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 392, Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat 3.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4.8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.7g, Carbs: 64g, Fiber: 16g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 14g, Sodium: 520mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

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