Shredded Kale Salad

During a long weekend trip to Nashville this past fall with Justin, we stumbled upon a restaurant we loved and ended up going to twice while we were there. On their menu they had this amazing shredded kale salad that we couldn’t get enough of ( I know, I know, not typical vacation food – but trust me there were burgers and sweet potato fries consumed after this). I was determined to remember to replicate it when we got home (and after I purchased a food processor). Fast forward to January, after receiving a food processor from my parents for Christmas 🙂 , I finally got around to trying to replicate the recipe and to my delight it was a success and now I want to share it with all of you! This salad is super easy to make, very healthy, and really tastes great too. The shredded of the kale and added dressing really makes the bitter kale flavor you are used to.

Shredded Kale Salad

                                             

Ingredients:

1 bag of kale – take out the big stems
2 tbs of olive oil
¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
lemon
optional: add ¼ cup of dried cranberries or sundried tomato pieces for a little sweet taste

Directions:

  1. Place half the bag of kale into the food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil and pulse until it is finely ground into small pieces.
  2. Add the rest of the kale and additional tablespoon of olive oil and finish the shredding process
  3. Remove all the shredded kale into a big bowl.
  4. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a small additional drizzle of olive oil and toss.
  5. Add the slivered almonds, parmesan cheese and any additional toppings and mix well.

Serve and Enjoy 🙂

Homemade Sugar Free Granola

Granola is always coined as a “health food,” and it certainly can be, but most of the time it is LOADED with added sugars and artificial flavorings. My homemade recipe is sugar free and still delicious – use it as a topping on yogurt, chia pudding, smoothie bowls or just eat it as a snack 🙂

Homemade Sugar-Free Granola Recipe

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup raw unsalted almonds
• 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
• 1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
• 1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 3 cups regular gluten free rolled oats
• 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place the almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut and oats into a large baking dish. Add the cinnamon and ground ginger and mix to combine.
3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with applesauce and pour the mixture over the nuts. Mix well to coat.
4. Place the baking dish into a preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the nuts and oats are golden. Make sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes to ensure that it cooks evenly. Also, keep in mind that if you reduce the amount of ingredients, the granola will bake faster.
5. Take the baking dish out of the oven and let the granola cool completely.
6. Store in a glass container with a tight lid in a cool dark place.

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Things I am Loving Lately Pt. 4

I am long overdue for another Things I am Loving Lately update so I have gathered up a few of my recent favorites from this summer as well as a few great items to transition into fall with! I hope you enjoy and decide to give a few a try..

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  • This is a local company out of New Hampshire that makes a variety of nut & herb seasonings for fish. My boyfriend and I came across them in a local grocery store and have now watched them grow into many of the local Whole Foods Markets. These seasonings are perfect over fish as well as chicken and other meats! They  are easy to use and really amp up the flavor of your dish!

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  • What are Tiger Nuts? They acutally are NOT nuts; they are a root vegetable. These little root vegetables are packed with nutrients. Tiger nuts are the highest whole food source of a unique type of fiber called resistant starch. Resistant starch is a healthy pre-biotic that feeds the good bacteria in your body to promote healthy digestion. These are great to just have as a snack or sprinkle on top of yogurt or oatmeal for some added flavor and nutrients!

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  • These English muffins are game changing! They are so flavorful and are gluten free which makes them much easier on the stomach for digestion. These english muffins are an excellent source of whole grains, fiber, and healthy fats. I LOVE topping mine with avocado, a drizzle of olive oil, and some chili flakes for a perfect breakfast.

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  • What better way to celebrate fall with a pumpkin seed snack and/or treat. These little pumpkin seeds are roasted with cocoa, coffee grounds and vanilla to create a delicious flavor combination. Super Seedz also makes other flavors; Curious Curry, Cinnamon & Sugar, Sea Salt, and Somewhat Spicy. These make for a perfect snack or even a great addition to your morning yogurt or oatmeal. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
  • Trader Joe’s Cotillion Pinot Noir

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  • You should probably run to your local Trader Joes to get your hand on a bottle of this Pinot! It is limited edition and was created to taste just like the Meomi brand which retails at about $30, where this will only cost you about $8. This wine is light and smooth and is the perfect red wine to transition into fall with!

Why Everyone Should Adapt a Meatless Monday

Have you adopted the Meatless Monday trend? This simple lifestyle change can have drastic improvements on your overall health. Plant proteins (yes, plants DO contain lots of protein) differ largely from animal proteins that we tend to over consume. Here is just a high level list of the amazing affects of swapping out some animal protein for plant sources:

1. Increases Life Expectancy
2. Reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes
3. Reduces risk of certain cancers
4. Prevents long term weight gain

What is the major reasoning for the first 4?
Plant Protein sources contain the same levels of protein as your animal sources do, but they contain significantly lower levels of fat and no cholesterol. Plant proteins also contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals you do not consume while eating animal proteins.

5. Better for the Environment
6. Easier on your wallet

Below is a great protein packed salad recipe to make for your family. It contains one of my new favorite products; Ancient Harvest Lentil & Quinoa Pasta. This pasta has two ingredients: Lentils & Quinoa…literally that is it. It is an amazing way to add protein into your diet AND get the great taste and sensation of eating a pasta dish without the gluten and carbohydrates from regular pasta. Just one serving of this pasta contains 14 grams of protein!!

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The other ingredients in the salad can easily be swapped for other vegetables; especially as the seasons change to make a great meal all year round:

Summer Arugula Pasta Salad Recipe

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Ingredients:
– Arugula (1-2 bags)
– Cherry Tomatoes (2 cups, sliced in half)
– 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
– Ancient Harvest Lentil & Quinoa Pasta
– Onion (1/2, sliced)
– 2 tbs olive oil (plus more for dressing)
– 2 tbs minced garlic
– Parmesan Cheese
optional : 1/2 – full avocado diced in cubes

Directions:
1. Cook the Ancient Harvest Pasta as directed on the box. Once finished and drained, rinse with cold water and let cool on the counter.
2. While the pasta is cooling, turn a skillet to medium heat and add two tbs of olive oil, two tbs of minced garlic, and the sliced onion. Heat for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are cooked and caramelized.
3. Place your arugula, sliced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, pasta, and Parmesan cheese in a large salad bowl and toss. Drizzle olive oil and white vinegar and toss again. Optional: top with diced avocado.

Enjoy 🙂