Spring Salad with Quinoa

Warmer weather has arrived and you know what that means. Yep, it is almost time to sport that bathing suit. Here is a simple healthy salad to help you achieve that goal. I like to make quinoa in advance and keep it in the fridge or freeze it in 1/4 cup portions. It makes a great snack or a quick protein addition to a salad.

Spring Salad with Quinoa
salad with quinoa
1 Cup Spring Mix Salad
1 Cup Spinach
Vegetable Slaw (has brocolli, carrots, etc)
8 Tiny Tomatoes
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tbsp Unsalted sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp Light Rasberry Walnut Salad Dressing
Approximate Nutritional Info (from Sparkpeople recipe calculator)
    • Servings Per Recipe: 1
    • Calories: 331.2
    • Total Fat: 26.1 g
    • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
    • Sodium: 332.5 mg
    • Total Carbs: 39.8 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 5.0 g
    • Protein: 9.9 g

Kroger 3/18–3/24 A few Items Worth Mentioning

There are a ton of things on sale this week. I am just noting the things that don’t require coupons. If you want the full ad, check out I heart Kroger. *Sale items are from the Atlanta Region.

Tyson Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 1.99lb

Fresh Corn .37

Gala or Fuji Apples .99lb

Kroger Brand Cheese BOGO (half off)

Kroger Cottage Cheese, or Sour Cream 24 oz 1.99

Cabbage .19lb

Chicken of the sea tuna .69

Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers $1

Avocado or Mango $1

Mini Carrots $1

Yellow Squash, Green Beans, Zucchini $1 lb

Green Tabasco Black Bean Soup and Sofrito Recipe

I was lucky enough to stumble on a great blog, Kalyn's Kitchen a while back and finally got around to making her spicy vegan black bean soup recipe I was blown away by how delicious it was. I am not usually a big fan of beans without rice or stuffed into a soft taco. It was so good! And the best part is it's relatively low cal. I modified the version a little to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. Slow Cooker Black beans were used in place of canned to remove some of the sodium. The soup is not spicy in my opinion and my children did not feel it was spicy either. They loved it, as did I!
Check out this Cool Bean Converter Chart

Spicy Black Bean Soup

60 oz (3 cans)  Cooked Black Beans, drained *
15 oz (1 can) Cooked Black Beans, undrained (puree in food processor or blender)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
 1 med onion, or red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sofrito ** (found in Spanish section of store)
1 Tbsp minced dried garlic
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro, or 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 packet Goya Sazon con Azafran (can be found in Spanish section)
28 oz Chicken Stock, or vegetable broth (2 cans)
1 Cup Water (add more if needed)
1 Tbsp Green Tabasco sauce (more if you like it spicier)

In a heavy duty soup pot, heat olive oil. Sauté onions about 10 minutes or until golden. Add in sofrito and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, and Sazon. Allow seasonings to roast for a minute or so. Add broth, beans, pureed beans, minced garlic, dried cilantro, water, and 1-2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce. Simmer for 45 minutes. Taste. Add salt if needed.

**To make sofrito: place 1 tomato, 4 large cloves garlic, 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, about 1 cup of fresh cilantro, in food processor, or Vitamix commercial blender. Process until pureed.
Freeze sofrito in muffin tins. Once frozen, pop out each portion and place them together in a large gallon freezer bag; Label and date the bag. To use: Remove frozen and throw in pan, or use frozen in soups to add more flavor.

Kroger 4 day Sale 3/11 - 3/14

I wanted to highlight a few deals at Kroger right now. This is going on now and lasts through Wednesday 3/14.

Split Chicken Breasts .99 lb
Kroger Frozen Vegetables 12 oz .88
Kroger Canned Fruit 20 oz (pineapple, peaches) .88
Bread .88

Tomato company cups (mini-muffin tin appetizers)

Tomato Company Cups
This is a quick appetizer you can make with just a few ingredients.

1 pkg refrigerated biscuits
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper or a few twists of fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp basil and oregano or 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 cup mayo (light is okay)
1 Cup Swiss Cheese or Mexican Cheese

In a small bowl, combine tomato, onion, mayo, seasonings, and cheese.
Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Cut biscuits into quarters. Place one quarter in each muffin tin. Using the pampered chef mini-tart shaper, push the biscuits and twist until each one resembles a tart or cup. Fill each cup with about a large teaspoon of the filling. Bake at 425* for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove cups from pan and place on serving tray.

90 Day Fitness Challenge Update and Salad with Tuna and Asparagus Recipe

The local gym I workout at is having a 90 day fitness challenge to get us whipped into bathing suit shape just in time for summer. We are already a week into the challenge. The focus of the challenge is to make better eating choices and workout at least 3 times a week. There will be different categories for winners. It is more for fun and a helpful motivator. I thought it would be good to document healthy meals, snacks, desserts for future reference.

I wish I could say I will be on a strict food plan, but honestly, that's just not me at all. I am very impulsive, compulsive and don't follow directions well. I try to make good choices where I can, so I can enjoy the finer foods without paying the price. In other words, I like to eat cake, and brownies, and candy, so I avoid certain things in order to consume them. I will be trying really hard to eat less of these evil treats, but I cannot promise I will exclude them entirely.

So, here is my first recipe post. It's a simple salad with tuna and broiled asparagus. 
Tuna Salad
Green Leaf Lettuce, rinsed, dried and cut
1/2 Tomato, chopped
Tiny bit of Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle of Tony's Chacherone's Seasoning

Broiled Asparagus
Lay the asparagus in a small baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Tony's Chacherone's cajun seasoning. Broil until tender. You can eat the asparagus with your hands or cut it up and put it on your tuna salad. 

*In order to keep it light, avoid salad dressings.