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Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

I love quinoa salads because they are so easy and friendly for those who eat gluten free.  This one is probably best served at room temperature, so you also don’t have to worry about keeping it hot while the rest of your food cooks.  Feel free to alter the nuts or exchange the raisins for cranberries or whatever you happen to like best!

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Serves: 6

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted

1/3 cup golden raisins

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked

1.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:

1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place cubed and peeled sweet potato on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool and set aside.
  3. Using the same cookie sheet used to cook the sweet potato, place chopped walnuts into the oven for about 6 minutes until toasted.
  4. Cook quinoa according to package directions in vegetable broth.  Once cooked, cool and set aside.
  5. Mix all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
  6. Combine sweet potato, toasted walnuts, golden raisins, fresh parsley, and quinoa in a medium sized bowl.  Coat with dressing and mix well.

Nutrition Facts (per side serving): 330 calories, 19g fat (2g saturated fat), 34g carbohydrate (5g fiber), 6g protein

English Muffin Tuna Burgers

These were quick and easy for a weeknight dinner.  I tend to shy away from any kind of “cake” or “patty” recipe because they never seem to form right, if at all.  This idea attracted me because I am a sucker for English muffins.  Just love them! I was happy to see that the tuna patty did in fact make a solid crispy burger, and it tasted good too.  Enjoy your omega 3’s! :)

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English Muffin Tuna Burgers

Serves: 4

2- 6 oz cans tuna fish in water, drained

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning, dried

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Pinch of salt & pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tbsp. + 4 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt, divided

1 egg

4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted

4 leaves romaine lettuce

8 tomato slices, 1/4″ thick

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Combine tuna, panko, green onion, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon, 3 tbsp. Greek yogurt, and egg.  Mix well with you hands.
  3. Form into 4 equal patties (they will be wet- it’s ok).  Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile toast English muffins.  Once patties are done, place each on English muffin and top with 2 slices tomato, lettuce, and 1tbsp. Greek yogurt.  Serve with suggested side of homemade sweet potato fries and veggies of your choice.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 276 calories, 3.7g fat (.9g saturated), 36g carbohydrate (5g fiber), 28g protein

Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad

We have a winner! I loved the mixture of sweet, crunchy and slight heat in this salad. The prep is really easy too, so make this on Sunday and enjoy for lunches throughout the week. This recipe is a great way to get protein, fiber and healthy fats into your meal. So, enjoy!

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Grape & Walnut Quinoa Salad
Serves: 6

1.5 cups water
1 cup quinoa, well-rinsed (buy fair-trade!)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/3 cup un-salted walnuts, chopped
4 medium radishes, sliced
3 scallions, white & green parts, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

Ginger-Apple Vinaigrette
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
1) Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2) Mix vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, whisk until blended.
2) Once quinoa is cooled, mix with above ingredients. Pour vinaigrette over top of salad and mix well. Serve or chill in refrigerator to serve later.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 289 calories, 17g fat(2g saturated), 30g carbohydrate(3.5g fiber), 7g protein

Broccoli-Olive Pizza Puffs & Veggie Enchiladas

I wanted to make note of these two recipes because they were great.  I only made very small alterations though so I will link you right over to the original recipe.  I hope that you might like these too :)

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Broccoli-Olive Pizza Puffs

I made these for the Superbowl last weekend and I thought they were a great way to satisfy a pizza craving with the addition of vegetables while cutting out some of the high-sodium sauce.

My changes: substituted black olives for green olives and used a low sodium marinara sauce.  I also made them in large muffin tins, so it made 10 servings.  I didn’t have enough mini-muffin tins to accommodate the recipe, but if you have them I would recommend doing it that way since they will be more bite-size.

Veggie Enchiladas

I seem to have misplaced the picture I took of these but they were deeeelicious!  We loved them.

My changes: I used one whole red bell pepper instead of 1/2, I omitted the cilantro, and used flour tortillas instead of corn.  I just find them easier to roll up for enchiladas.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

Traditionally I don’t incorporate fruit into dinner.  You may disagree, but for me fruit is more of a breakfast, lunch, or snack food.  While this recipe works best as a lunch, I think it made for a delicious and filling dinner as well.  The best part of this is that it’s loaded with lean protein, fiber, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Another major plus, if you slow cook the chicken while you’re at work, this will take 10-15 minutes to prep when you get home, with very limited dishes.  Healthy AND quick, that is a huge win for me!

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Chicken Waldorf Salad adapted from EatingWell

Serves: 4

3 cups [about 1 lb] chicken breast, cooked & shredded (*see step 1)

1 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 medium gala apple, diced

1 cup red grapes, halved

1 cup celery, diced

2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, unsalted

2 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

6 oz fresh mixed greens

salt and pepper to taste

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Ingredients:

  1. Slow cook chicken on LOW for 8 hours.  Like I said, set this up while you’re working and you’ll be ready to go when you get home!  Don’t have a slow cooker? Simply bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.  Once cooked, shred chicken.
  2. Combine yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a large bowl.  Mix until combined.
  3. Add chicken, apple, grapes, celery, walnuts and cheese to bowl.  Mix until combined and add a little salt and pepper to taste. Divide into 4 equal portions and serve over equal portions of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 349 calories, 10g fat, 17g carbohydrate (3g fiber), 48g protein

Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry Honey Spread

Last week was rough on the cooking front. I had a LOT of flops. One was so bad that we threw it out and ordered a pizza. A really greasy, cheesy pizza. I think Dan was ecstatic. That’s only happened one other time that I can remember since living in this apartment. That’s not saying I haven’t chosen a bad recipe or screwed one up more then twice, but usually we can choke it down. My problem is truly crockpot recipes. I have SUCH a hard time finding good crock pot recipes! They always turn out looking and tasting and smelling like something excreted from a zoo animal. If anyone has a good source, please comment below. I would love some help.

With that being said, I didn’t have a recipe to give you on Thursday. Sometimes that’s going to happen, but I think it’s better then giving you one that will drive you to greasy pizza. I think know this recipe will fully make up for it. It was absolutely delicious, and I’m super excited that it was completely an applebutterharmony invention!

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Turkey, Spinach & Feta Panini’s with Cranberry- Honey Spread

Serves: 3

8 oz bone-in skinless turkey breast (I bought 1lb of the split turkey breast which worked great and I still had 8 oz leftover for sandwiches for the week), thinly sliced

1-2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

2 oz baby spinach leaves

3 tbsp. reduced fat crumbled feta cheese

9 oz ciabatta bread

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Spread:

1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries [I used frozen], thawed

2 tbsp. 1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. honey

Instructions:

  1. Trim turkey of visible fat, rub with 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper on all sides. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and cook turkey in 325 degree oven for 55-65 minutes or until the turkey has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 F. Use a meat thermometer! [please note, this cooking time was for the entire 1 lb of turkey breast that I mentioned above so if you actually use 8 oz it may cook faster].
  2. While the turkey is cooking, chop the onion and prepare the cranberry spread (see below).
  3. Cranberry spread: Making sure cranberries are fully thawed, combine with 2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese, honey, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined. You may still have some chunks of cranberries, that is ok.
  4. Cut bread into 3 oz pieces and slice lengthwise to form 3 open sandwiches. Top about 1 tbsp. of cranberry spread onto each of the 3 sandwich “bottoms.” Then top each bottom with equal proportions of sliced onion, fresh spinach & crumbled feta cheese.
  5. Once turkey is done, slice into 1/2″ slices and add 4-5 slices to each sandwich bottom. Add the tops and cook in a panini press (or george foreman) until pressed to your liking, about 4-5 minutes depending on your bread.
  6. Eat with fresh veggies or a salad for a well balanced meal

Hint: If you have an hour to bake the turkey on a weeknight, it’s definitely easy enough because all of the prep can be done by the time the turkey is done. If not, save it for a Saturday and use the hour of baking time to snuggle up with a good book.

Nutrition Facts (per sandwich): 448 calories, 11g fat, 52g carbohydrate, 23g protein.

BBQ Southwest Chicken Burritos

These are GREAT for a weeknight.  There is hardly any prep involved at all, and they are done within 10 minutes.  I dislike that summer is the only time of year people think of having BBQ, so I like to throw it into my menu in the winter too.  Barbeque sauce is traditionally very sodium heavy, but by using small amounts to get the flavor, and choosing low-sodium versions, you can still get the taste you love.  These burritos have beans for added fiber, Greek yogurt for added protein, and fresh mixed greens for added veggies.  I think the warming and cooling tastes make for a great match.  Let me know what you think!

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BBQ Southwest Chicken Burritos- adapted from eatingwell

Serves: 6

1 lb BBQ rotisserie chicken breast, diced (Wegmans sells a 2lb whole bbq chicken that I removed the breast meat from.  If you only have a plain rotisserie chicken available that will work fine,  or if you prefer cooked chicken breast done in the oven or slow cooker, that will work too!)

1/2 cup low-sodium bbq sauce

1/2 large red onion, diced

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 (14.5 oz) can reduced-sodium black beans

6 8-inch flour (or whole wheat) tortillas [I used flour because I had leftover from another recipe but whole wheat is best!]

Cooking spray

2 oz. mixed greens

1/2 avocado, pitted and diced

6 Tbsp. 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

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Instructions:

  1. Heat large non-stick pan with cooking spray over medium heat.  Add red onion and saute 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add chicken, black beans, corn & bbq sauce.  Cook 5-6 minutes until warmed through.
  2. Assemble burritos by dividing the mixed greens, avocado and Greek yogurt evenly between the 6 tortillas.  Once chicken mixture is warmed, divide evenly between the 6 tortillas (about 1/2-3/4 cup each).
  3. Roll up like a burrito and serve with a mixed greens salad of your choice.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving): 379 calories, 9g fat, 46g carbohydrate (7g fiber- more if whole wheat tortillas), 30g protein