Signature Salad


Hello Everyone!

It is time that I share this amazing salad with you all.  Since the weather has been getting warmer this spring, I keep making slight variations of this amazing salad.  Tonight, I went all out and took the time to roast some beets to take it to the next level.  And Ladies and Gentlemen, WE ARRIVED AT THE NEXT LEVEL. First of all, this is delicious.  The beets and squash are sweet against the kale, and the tahini dressing paired with the avocado is super creamy.  The salad is is satisfyingly crunchy, and much more hardy than you’d expect.

My goal in making this salad tonight was to pack as much fiber into it as possible, due to some recent digestion issues.  Well, challenge accepted and mission accomplished.  In honor of my really-high-in-fiber salad (as if salads weren’t already…) I have named this version of my signature salad the Butt-Busting Salad, inspired by my sister who has a “butt-busting smoothie” she used to make.

This salad totals in over 27g (roughly) of fiber! Talk about butt-busting…

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you eat lots of fiber, always make sure to drink lots of water!! Most of the fiber what you consume is called soluble fiber, which likes to grab onto water (like the name might suggest).  So if you are eating a lot of fiber and not enough water, you are likely to clog up your GI tract.  Which is the opposite of the reason to eat more fiber.  So drink lots of water after eating your veggies! (Preferably at least 20-30 minutes in order to let it digest!) Water: not optional.  


Butt-Busting Signature Salad (V, GF)
Serves 1 large dinner or 2 small dishes

2 cups curly kale leaves
3/4 cup roasted beets
1/4 cup roasted butternut squash
4 spears asparagus, cut into long rounds
1/4 avocado
1 cup cooked quinoa (as little or as much as you want!)

2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
1-2 tsp dijon mustard
2-4 Tbsp water
2-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast! (though you can never add too much)Salt and pepper (to taste)
Dash of ground coriander (optional)
dash of oregano (optional)
1.  If roasting the beets and squash, rinse and chop into small cubes, toss in some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy on the outside (about 30-40 mintues).
2. If cooking quinoa, bring at least 1/2 cup water and  1/4-cup of quinoa to a boil, then cover it and let it simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.  (Sidenote: I just cover with water and add more if necessary, or drain out the extra water or turn up the heat and evaporate it off when it is done)
3.  Rinse kale, de-stem, and break up with your hands into bite-sized pieces.  Squeeze a bit of lemon on top and massage it in for a few seconds.
4.  Add all the ingredients on top!
5.  Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, I generally guesstimate the amount of water depending on how thick or thin I want the dressing to be.
6. Toss all together and DEVOUR. with a smile.
7. Drink water ;)

Definitely, definitely, definitely add your favorite veggies to this. I recommend: mushrooms, cilantro, hemp seeds, celery, peppers, onion, tomatoes (even canned ones work great!), etc…


I hope you give this a try.  It is so simple to create, even if you chose to skip roasted vegetables. (Though if you have the time for it, I highly recommend it.  Roasted veggies are so. worth. your. time.)


Tomato Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Calling all Lazy Chefs!

This simple, one-bowl dinner is a MUST TRY.  This is not a drill.  I repeat: THIS IS NOT A DRILL! This is definitely the most I have enjoyed a meal that I put such little effort into.  Ever.  Please make this and make yourself happy.  And your stomach.  And your tongue.  And your nose (’cause it smells good).  And your crazy life with little time, because this took 20 minutes tops, including clean up, from start to finish.  Maybe 25 if you are a dilly-dally-er.

Okay, not only is this super simple and fast, it requires very few ingredients.  For instance, I literally cannot remember the last time I went grocery shopping (2 my card record says my most recent trip to Martin’s was 16 days ago), and I was able to make this from what I had in my pantry.

And this bowl simply feels so incredibly nourishing.  Granted I still may be on the high after eating this magic concoction, but the fact that there is such a high has gotta tell you it is incredible.   Anyway, I have been feeling quite terrible and sick all day (hence the miniscule amount of effort put into making this), and I feel so much better already.  It is warm, comforting, and full of umami deliciousness.


Serves 1 belly

1/3 cup quinoa, dry
1/3 -1/2 cup favorite tomato sauce
1/4 yellow onion, diced
4-5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2-1 Tbsp olive oil (though coconut could’ve done well too)
2 Eggs
2 caps of raw apple cider vinegar (a.c.v.)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Garlic powder (optional, but recommended)
Dried Oregano (optional, but strongly recommended)
Cayenne powder (optional, but recommended)

1.  OPTIONAL: Soak quinoa with 1 cap of apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover it preferably overnight or for a couple of hours.  I only soaked mine for 1 or 2.  For minimal effort, leave this step out; for maximal nutrition, definitely include it!
2. Pour the quinoa and enough water to cover it (use the water and a.c.v. from step 1 of you did it) into a small pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the quinoa to a simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
[Laziness tip: don’t measure out the water, pour it 1-2 inches above the level of the quinoa and let it boil uncovered until the quinoa has soaked up all the water, and the excess has evaporated.]
4.  Once the quinoa is cooked, add the tomato sauce and season to taste! Place this part into your bowl first.
5While quinoa is cooking, heat the oil and add onions in a pan over medium heat.  Cook until browned.
6. Add the mushrooms to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high.  Cook until the mushrooms have browned.
7. Once the onions and mushrooms are done (and smell amaaaazing!) Place them on top of  your quinoa in your budding Buddha bowl.
8.  In a small pot, bring water (at least 3 or 4 inches) and a cap-full of a.c.v. to a gentle boil/vigorous simmer.
9. Stir a slotted spoon in a circular motion to create a whirlpool, then add 1 egg to the middle.  (It helps keep the egg intact if you crack the it into a bowl first and slide it into water.)
10.  Let the egg cook for at least 2 minutes, or until the white feels firm, but the yolk still feels soft.  Then remove with the slotted spoon and place on top of your quinoa and mushrooms.
11. Repeat the poaching process with your second egg and season both with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, etc…

To make this even more nutritious, “pre-game” it with some sauerkraut or any other fermented food of choice (kombucha anyone?) beforehand!

While this is delicious as is, I would have added some goodies if I had them lying around.  For instance: avocado, sprouts, sauteed greens, paprika, etc… Some crushed almonds or other nut might do well for the crunch factor too!


IMG_3032Please do yourself a huge favor and go make this for your next lunch or dinner or any other meal (eggs mean breakfast, am I right?).  It is so good and takes so little effort!! Stay healthy, and remember  to take care of yourself and that you deserve rest.


Vegan, Grain-Free Meat(less) Loaf

I went back home for my sister’s birthday and Marti Gras, and I was faced with the dilemma of eating vegan in a Paleo household.  Luckily, my mother is just a vegetarian version of Paleo (she skips the grains or dairy, but devours the eggs), and she usually gets some tempeh to experiment with for our dinners.  While roaming the interweb of food blogs a little while ago, I had stumbled upon Fork & Beans’ Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes, and they looked so yummy and creative that I decided that this was the perfect time to test them out.


As always, I seem to be interpreting recipes so that I can translate them to fit my diet or someone else’s (i.e.: mi madre!) or switch up ingredients because I don’t have quite everything the recipes call for.  This was just like all of those cases.  However, in this case I was challenged with turing this vegan recipe into a vegan and quasi-paleo.  In addition, I had less than an hour to whip up the recipe for the first time and head over to my grandmother’s for the family dinner I was making these for.  Basically, I felt like I was throwing things in a bowl and hoping that they would taste good together, as I would try them minutes before actually eating them in my meal.  To add to the crazy, my parents were trying to put together a New Orleans shrimp dish in the same amount of time, and all the hustle and bustle of the crazy kitchen added to my sense of panic.

Despite all of the above circumstances, (and maybe because of them, who knows?)I was able to turn out some great-tasting tempeh meatloaf. Even the meat eaters in my family tasted them and told me they liked it! That is the only stamp of approval that I need.  That and also my happy taste buds.

This recipe turned out to be extremely satisfying.  The loaf was wonderfully flavorful and had a great texture that you sink your teeth into and still



Vegan, Grain-free Meat(less) Loaf

For Loaf 
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 shallots, diced/finely chopped
1 package (10 oz.) of tempeh (I used Twin-Oaks, just make sure it is gluten/grain free)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (make sure it is vegan!)
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds soaked in 6 Tbsp water (leave to sit for at least 5 minutes to set up)
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp maple syrup

1.  Preheat your oven to 375°F (If using a convection, set to 350°F)
2. Grind the tempeh in a food processor until it is broken up.  This doesn’t take long, definitely no more than a minute or two.
3. Saute the garlic, shallots, and red pepper in coconut oil in a medium frying pan until the shallots become somewhat translucent and aromatic, about 5 minutes.  Then, Take off the heat and let cool.
4. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, the cooked veggies, ground tempeh, cooked veggies, dried herbs, and tomato paste in a medium to large mixing bowl.
5. Add the chia “egg” mixture, then add remaining ingredients (sunflower seeds, coconut, parsley).
6. Scoop the mixture into a muffin pan, greased with coconut oil, gently pressing down.  Mine filled up 11 of the spots.  These will not rise, so don’t worry about leaving too much room at the top–just don’t press down so hard that the loaves become super dense.
7. Mix the tomato paste and syrup in a small bowl and spread over the tops of the loaves.
8.  Place the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked in the middle.
9.  Let the loaves cool for at least 5 minutes, then they are set to serve!

Note:  Cara from Forks & Beans tops these with mashed potatoes.  I wasn’t able to whip up (or mash, in this case) any potatoes, but it would be fun to try! Pair this with a salad and veggies of some sort, and don’t forget the dessert after ;)


I hope you enjoy these little meat(less) loaves.  I found them extremely satisfying, especially because sometimes I miss the texture of meat.  If that is your fancy, I totally recommend trying them out! They also warm you up and make you feel happily full.  I hope you have a give them a try, and thanks for stopping by!

Love, as always,