Foodie Friday : Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

Happy Friday! Finally the weekend has arrived! Today I will be sharing my current FAVOURITE salad recipe with you. I’ve been making this recipe for a past few months. It was a actually inspired by a yam and quinoa salad I had at the cutest cafe in Fort Langley called Wendel’s Bookstore and Cafe. I loved it so much that I made my own version!

 

QUINOA SWEET POTATO SALAD

 

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cubed (or if you prefer yams work well too)
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of arugula 
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa 
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp of organic agave nectar 

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes. Place on baking sheet and add the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes and toss until they are all coated. Place in oven for about 30min flipping them once.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the quinoa at the same time. 
  • Once the quinoa is cooked combine it in a large bowl with the spinach, arugula, cucumber, avocado and the dressing. Then add in the sweet potatoes and Enjoy!

 

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This recipe is meant for about 3 people. I usually just make it for myself so I will mix it all up without the dressing and keep it in the fridge. Then when I want some for my lunch I’ll just take it out and take as much as I need and then add the dressing on. So it lasts a few days which is nice!!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

 

-Nicole xo

 

 

 

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Cacao Breakfast Cookies

Hey everyone!! I hope you are all having a great start to the spring season! It has been absolutely gorgeous here in Vancouver ever since spring has hit and we are finally enjoying some warmer weather. With spring here, summer is just around the corner which for me and most people means going to the gym more often and trying to eat healthier.

I have been obsessed with making breakfast cookies lately, I probably make a batch every 5 days. They are perfect in the morning when you’re trying to get ready for work but don’t have enough time to make breakfast or if you’re like me and love to snack at night these are perfect and stop me from craving unhealthy snacks. These particular breakfast cookies I made a couple weeks ago. Since then though I think I have mastered my favourite breakfast cookie – which I will share later this month. But this recipe is also delicious. So I hope you enjoy!

 

CACAO BREAKFAST COOKIES
Makes 18-20 cookies, approx. 76 calories per cookie.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder – I love and use Navitas Natural 
  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 3 banana’s – preferably soft
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal – uncooked
  • 4 tablespoons of ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup of all natural peanut butter

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel banana’s and mash until creamy, I like to use a fork or a potato masher works well too.
  • Add the peanut butter and mix in well with the mashed banana’s. 
  • Add cinnamon, ground flax, vanilla extract, apple sauce and cacao and mix until blended well.
  • Add in the oatmeal last and mix again until blended well. 
  • Let the dough rest for about 10min.
  • Grease the cookie sheet with coconut oil so cookies do not stick to the pan. You can also use Pam Spray but I think the coconut oil works better and is better for you. 
  • Scoop out dough and drop on the cookie sheet then flatten. It will make approximately 18-20 cookies. 
  • Bake for about 20min depending on the size of the cookie. 
  • Let the cookies cool and a cooling rake and put in a container to keep fresh!

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They usually last about 4 days in my house. Then I usually make some more a day later because they are so convienent!

Enjoy!!

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Brussel Sprout Quinoa Salad

Every New Year I usually avoid making a New Years resolution. Instead I try to set some goals that I want to accomplish over the year and I am always trying to eat healthy and go to the gym a few times a weeks so I see no need to make those typical resolutions. I am happy where I am in my life and I just want to keep that up! But I am aware that a lot of people make resolutions and eating healthy is one of the most popular. So I want to share one of my own recipes!

This is one of my favourite lunch recipes that I make at least once a week mixing up the ingredients to what I feel like that day. This particular recipe helps you get rid of that giant bag of brussel sprouts you bought from Costco for the holiday season. Most people cook their brussel sprouts but I find them even better uncooked.

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BRUSSEL SPROUT QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Large handful of Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 a Cucumber 
  • 1/2 cup of Quinoa
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • 1/2 an Avocado 
  • 1/4 cup of Hemp Seeds
  •  1tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1/2 of a Lime 

Instructions:

Add the 1/2 cup of quinoa into a pot and add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Once boiled put on low until cooked, about 15min. Set aside to cool.

Chop and dice the vegetables. When cutting up the brussel sprouts cut off the hard end part and remove any loose leafs. I then try to cut them somewhat thin, usually in 4 or 3 pieces per sprout. Add all vegetables, hemp seeds and quinoa into a salad bowl. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and squeeze 1/2 a lime into the bowl. Mix and enjoy! 

You can also add some nuts or a grilled chicken into the salad if desired for some extra protein . This is good for 2 servings and is 282 calories per serving, unless you are really hungry you could eat it all without feeling gulity!

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ENJOY!!

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Healthy Treats

For the past 10 weeks I have been following a meal plan that was put together by my bootcamp trainer (only 1 week to go!) The first month I pretty much followed it exactly, with the odd cheat asides from Saturday being a cheat day. Unfortunately October wasn’t as good of a month for me due to going away, Thanksgiving, my birthday and a busy work schedule. Since I was attending my bootcamp 3 nights a week though I didn’t feel that guilty about my bad eating habits and promised to get back on track for November.

Sadly, I  feel like I was even worse this month; I have a really big sweet tooth which leads to major cravings. It doesn’t help either that we have both a Tim Hortons and a Starbucks by my work so I’ve been buying lots of treats, coffees & muffins. There’s nothing wrong with indulging sometimes but it can be done in a healthier way. There are tons of recipes online and on Pinterest that are quick, easy & even require minimal ingredients. With the holidays coming up it’s always hard not to over indulge but these recipes will help you feel less guilty about eating that extra one or two, so enjoy!

LC+Cookie+Bites+w+titleHealthy No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites

d5e1ebc93ca75d72258c1d9df626fa50Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

skinny-cranberry-swirl-cheesecake-with-gingersnap-crustSkinny Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

31719b40bdd54c3f8c3455053858044cWhole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

83a9e00bd799c31685c1851ca64e4b03Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Overnight Oats

I am officially back from my lovely trip to Toronto and while I was gone things have changed. Starbucks has their red cups now, it seems to be Christmas in all the stores, I am now 25 and It seems to be a lot colder in Vancouver. I am happy to be back in Vancouver and see the mountains and the ocean but I am missing Toronto at the same time. My trip consisted of visiting with family and friends, checking out the new Aquarium, going to numerous Halloween parties, having a wonderful dinner on the top of the CN Tower and I could go on forever but I will stop there.

While I was gone I ate out quite a bit and was also spoiled to have someone cook a few delicious meals for me. But now that I am back in Vancouver I am trying to get back to my usual eating habits. One of my favourite things to have for breakfast is Overnight Oats. This is a great meal if you don’t have time to make something in the morning because most of it is made the night before. This meal is full of fibre and protein and it is a great meal to start off a busy day. The best thing about overnight oats is that you can change it up every morning if you wanted to.

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Ingredients:

For the overnight oats:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup of milk (or milk substitute) 
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

Variation:

  • 2/3 cup of berries 
  • 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds
  • drizzle of honey

Instructions:

  • Combine the oats, greek yogurt, milk, and chia seeds into a bowl. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight. 
  • In the morning mix in the variation and enjoy!

The variation can change whenever you’d like. I also enjoy adding in a banana with a large scoop of natural peanut butter. But you can put any type of fruit or nut in to make any type of variation you want! The possibilities are endless!!

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