Creamy Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

I just went to my local farmers market, Alexandria’s Farmers Market, this weekend and scored some delicious treasures. I bought this beautiful broccoli and this aged raw gouda cheese from grass fed cows from a local farm Fruitful Seasons Dairy . Check them out, you will not be disappointed. I typically eat dairy free but if I choose dairy (because my body gets angry at me when I eat it),  I like raw and aged cheese that comes from grass fed cows so this is perfect, plus it is local!!!!  Raw milk cheese is a complete food, containing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cholesterol, and probiotics. It  contains all of the 8 essential amino acids (the building blocks for protein and we need to get this from our diet). When traditional dairy is heated, some of these benefits are destroyed. This soup is gluten free and can be made dairy free by leaving the gouda out and was done in about 30 minutes.

The Broccoli (I used two of these)


The star of the show, the Cheese!


The seasonings


Mashed sweet potatoes add nutrients and creaminess without the added cream, flour, and butter.


This soup tastes delicious dairy and cheese free too so If you are dairy free, just leave the gouda out.


But if you want to add a creamy amazing goodness to it, add it in! You will not be disappointed.


Broccoli and Gouda Cheese Soup

2 cups of fresh broccoli, chopped into tiny florets (set 1/3 aside to steam for topping)
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of raw milk aged gouda cheese made from grass fed cows, freshly grated, rind removed (extra for garnish)
1 cup of shredded or finely chopped carrots
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup precooked and mashed sweet potato
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring the onion, carrots, 2/3 of the broccoli, bay leaf and the garlic to a simmer with the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Remove the bay leaf and add in the mashed sweet potato. Blend a little with immersion blender or add half into your Vitamix and blend to desired texture. I like to leave a little texture in my soup. Add in your seasonings. If you want it dairy free, stop here , top with a serving of remaining steamed broccoli and crushed red pepper flakes, and enjoy. If you want the creamy smokey goodness of the gouda, add in the cheese. Melt over low heat until blended.  Top with more grated cheese. steamed florets, and crushed red pepper flakes.

My belly is really happy!

I cannot wait until the next Farmers Market! If you have a local farmers market or access to a CSA share, check them out. It is a great way to try new things.






Healthy Snack Ideas

Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us. Often, when a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner, we get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a bad habit to get into, because the snacks we choose are often junky, un-nutritious, and high in calories, sugar, or fat.

The trick to snacking without piling on the pounds is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for.

Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate), savory (potato chips), creamy (ice cream), or crunchy (crisps). Obviously, my examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time or in excess if you want to be trim and healthy. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings for the rest of your life. Instead, you just need to substitute.

Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:

  • fresh, whole fruit
  • apples and almond butter or peanut but dip (recipe below)
  • dried fruit
  • green smoothies
  • banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or  raisins ,and serve)
  • dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
  • organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips


For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:

  • olives
  • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets, and lotus root
  • tabouli, hummus
  • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
  • freshly made salsa or guacamole
  • Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!) My favorite is Bubbie’s!
  • salted edamame
  • Sunflower Seed or Pumpkin Seed Pate with veggies


Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:

  • smoothies
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
  • puréed soups
  • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana
  • mashed sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk
  • avocado pudding


Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the Pringles, when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
  • carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
  • celery and nut butter
  • raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
  • kale chips
  • baked apple chips (Summer Cleanse)

kale chips

Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your waistline.


5 Surprising Beauty Foods

5 Surprising Beauty Foods

All fresh fruits and vegetables contain magical powers when it comes to shiny hair, clear skin, and strong nails. However, the ones I’ve chosen below are perhaps not as well known for their powerful beauty benefits. Try and include these foods into your diet if you want to look your best without the need for botox or other unnatural remedies.

  1. Red Peppers. All red and orange colored foods contain beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Red peppers are particularly beautifying due to the minerals A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C can help prevent cell damage that leads to premature ageing, and they can also reduce inflammation, which can cause a puffy-looking face. Pepper also has Vitamin K, which is an excellent property for protecting our cells from damage.
  2. Spinach. All leafy greens are actually very powerful in terms of being a beauty food because of the chlorophyll they contain. There are also loads of other phytochemicals and fiber in spinach that help build blood that is super clean and which will show through in your skin.
  3. Turmeric. This yellow-colored, Indian spice has a load of powerful antioxidant qualities. Turmeric assists in protecting our cells from free radical damage and also contributes towards cleaning up metabolic waste in our systems. It is also great as a liver flusher to get rid of any poisons and chemicals which are stored there.
  4. Pumpkin Seeds. Wow, these really are powerful. What don’t pumpkin seeds have in them?! The humble pumpkin seed contains high levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for healthy cell maintenance. Make a handful of pumpkin seeds a regular part of your diet, and you will definitely notice a change in your appearance.
  5. Parsley. Next time your plate is garnished with parsley, don’t push it aside. This is a pretty powerful herb when it comes to anti-aging, as well as purifying and cleansing the body. It contains vitamins A and C as well as anti-oxidizing flavonoids that protect our cells from free radical damage. Parsley also helps to purify the blood, kill bacteria, aid digestion, and cleanse toxins from the liver.

The best thing is that all these foods are easy to incorporate into your diet. Add turmeric to juice and combine the other foods with some other fixings to make a great, beautifying salad. Who said that beauty was hard to keep? Or make a simple turmeric tea as a night cap.

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Speaking of beauty, I also added a new favorite thing to my site, Natural Happiness Skincare. All of these products are amazing but my favorite is the lotion bar. It is mosquito season in Minnesota now so try the bug bar for your family. It is not just about watching the chemicals we eat in our foods, it is about being aware of what we are putting on our body and believe me, this STUFF rocks! Plus, it is made within 15 miles of my house. Great gifts and fabulous for the whole family.

Or for another favorite line of skincare shop here

Do you incorporate any of these foods into your diet? Or have you tried Natural Happiness Skincare? Please answer below.

Chia Seeds, benefits and recipes

Chia seeds

The Chia seed is an ancient SuperFood used by Aztec and Mayan warriors to increase their energy and stamina, way back in 3500 B.C. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, fiber and protein. Many health experts agree that these tiny seeds are the next big thing in nutrition. In addition to protein and Omega-3s, they are packed with protein, healthy oils, fiber, disease-fighting minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. The Chia seed also has three times more calcium than milk, for an excellent non-dairy source of this bone-building nutrient.

Chia seeds can be added to just about any recipe, providing extra nutrition without changing the taste or texture. When you add chia seeds to liquid, they form a gel and absorb ten times their weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. The seeds take on the flavors of whatever food you mix it with.

I try to eat Chia seeds every day, mixing a tablespoon or two into oatmeal, smoothies and soups, or sprinkling it on top of salads.

This month’s SuperFood at a glance; Chia seeds are:

• A complete protein with all of the essential amino acids intact. This is a great protein source!

• A super source of Omega 3 fatty acids (the same Omega-3s that we get from fish oil and flax.) Omega 3 fatty acids are well-known for controlling inflammation in your system.

• High in fiber, which helps pull toxins from the digestive system. Fiber also keeps things “moving” and makes you feel fuller, longer.

• Rich in antioxidants (more than blueberries!) which protect your cells and tissues and keep you looking and feeling YOUNG!

• A source of sustained energy and known to help relieve inflammation in the body.

• Research shows that the concentrated amount of antioxidants and Omega-3s in Chia seeds may help improve brain clarity, concentration and memory.

Drea’s Recipe Corner
Banana Nut Loaf
Makes one loafbanana_bread

5 large over-ripe bananas
1 cup almonds
2 cups pecans
1 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour
1/2 cup of maple syrup
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Start by pre-heating the oven to 300 degrees . Then blend the almonds and pecans in a food processor so that they form a flour-like consistency; this should take about 30 seconds. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to a mixing bowl with the buckwheat flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, and cinnamon, mixing them all together. Next, mash the bananas together util smooth before stirring them into the flour/nut mixture; at this point the mixture should be nice and sticky. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil and then pour in the mix and allow it to bake for about an hour. Slice and store in snack-size freezer bags for the perfect travel treat! They will defrost naturally in your carry-on or backpack!

Dirt Balls
From Dr. Mark Hyman’s, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook



1 cup raw cashews
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Combine the cashews and oats in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until they are as fine as breadcrumbs. Add all remaining ingredients, except coconut, and process until it forms a large ball. Roll out 12 equal balls and pour the coconut flakes out onto a large plate. Roll each ball in the coconut until completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Store leftover Dirt Balls in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Homemade Trail Mix Bars


3 cups puffed whole-grain cereal (e.g., puffed wheat or Kashi)
1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds (or a combination)
1/2 cup (or up to 3/4 cup) chopped dried fruit such as cranberries or blueberries (or a combination, NO added sugar)
3 Tbsp ground chia seeds
1/3 cup creamy nut or seed butter (e.g. cashew, almond – NO added sugar)
1/2 cup raw honey (OR brown rice syrup, light molasses, sorghum, or pure maple syrup)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch square metal baking pan foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl mix the cereal, nuts, dried fruit and (optional) flaxseed; set aside. Place the nut butter and honey in small heavy saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly for about 1 minute until bubbly and smooth. Pour hot mixture over cereal mixture in bowl, stir to blend (mix well to coat all of the cereal). Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a large square of wax paper or foil, firmly press mixture down into pan to firmly compact. Bake until just golden around edges, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Remove bars using foil liner and cut into 16 bars or squares. Wrap in tin foil or plastic wrap and store in zip bags for travel. Makes 16 servings.

Peanut Butter Apple Dip

We bought two cases of organic apples so finding ways to consume them all. What a great snack for the whole family (if you can tolerate dairy, or use coconut yogurt if not). I highly suggest taking 1-2 TBSPS on your plate with a few apple slices or the bowl will disappear quickly. Someone wanted to know the powdered peanut butter I used (love this one) so once looking at it, this came to me and it was Delish!10290669_505528219553526_8745577779551750629_n


Beets, Benefits and Recipes

Since I am running this half marathon in a couple of weeks, I have decided to start reading runners world.  I came across an article on beets.  Beets are full of fiber, magnesium, folate, and potassium.  They also contain betacyanin which is an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation. Other added benefits are: natural aphrodisiac, they cleanse the body, help your mental health, high source of energy.  I have been adding new whole foods and superfoods into my diet since start nutrition school so I decided to give beets a try.

A couple of months ago, I ordered a beet salad for the first time and realized that I liked them. I had never boughten a beet before so this was going to be a first.  I have now tried a couple recipes with beets and really enjoyed them.

The first thing I made was a smoothie in my Vitamix blender with the beets.  I have to say I was a little bit nervous trying this.  I ended up really enjoying this smoothie and all of the nutrients it contains.

Berry Beet Smoothie

2  handfuls of organic spinach

1 beet chopped

2 apples chopped

1 carrot

1 cup raspberries


Blend in a high speed blender for 45 seconds until smooth.  Add water if you want thinner consistency.


Drink and enjoy all of the health benefits

I roast veggies a lot but had never added beets to it.  You can use whatever veggies you have on hand and any amount you want.  If you do a lot at a time make sure you use two pans so they can roast instead of steam.

Roasted Veggies with Beets

portabella mushroom slices

1 beet chopped and parboiled

baby carrots

fresh garlic cloves

onion slices

olive oil

salt and pepper (or any seasoning you enjoy)

Roast in oven at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and caramelized.


Avocados for Dessert?

Avocados sometimes get a bad rap for being high in calories and high in fat.  Not all fat is bad for you. We all need to get our good fats in each day. The monounsaturated fat in an avocado is healthy for you.  They can lessen your LDL (bad cholesterol).  Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados and it has been shown to improve cardiovascular health.  Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are also are packed with potassium and vitamins A,C,E, K and B6.


This does not mean you get to eat unlimited amounts.  As with any foods, eat these in moderation. Here are a few ways I incorporate avocados into my diet aside from guacamole:

Raspberry Lime Sorbet

1 large lime peeled

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pit removed

1 packet of stevia, agave, or sweetener of your choice

1/2 fresh or frozen raspberries

1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender such as vitamix or nutribullet starting at level 1 and go up to 10.  In my vitamix this took about 45 seconds.  Until it looks like sorbet or soft serve consistency.  Top with lime zest and extra raspberries.  Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.

This is a yummy, clean, dairy free dessert.

Ever since I ordered my Vitamix, it has been in constant use and I can’t imagine life without it.  I am sure these recipes will work fine in any high speed blender.  We have been doing a lot of green drinks here and this one was pretty creamy and delicious.

You can always add what you have and make it your own but this made four smoothies for us.

Green Smoothie

1 large handful of Spinach

1/2 cup to 1 cup water

1 avocado

2 green apples

2 kiwi

1/2 cucumber

1 TBSP Chia seeds

Blend in high speed blender starting at level one and go up to ten.  Add more water for desired consistency.


It tasted just like a kiwi!


Lime/lemon Sorbet

1 large lime or lemon peeled

1 ripe avocado

1 cup ice

1 packet of stevia or sweetener of your choice

lime or lemon zest for garnish


Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender starting on level one and slowly go up to ten.  Garnish with zest.  I saw this recipe on Holli Thompson’s Blog and couldn’t wait to try it.  I fell in love.  Makes 2 servings.


I am so amazed at the response I got yesterday on Facebook.  250 Likes on the first day? My goal was 30.  I am so grateful to all of you.  I was going to wait until fall to publish it and share it but I have been emailing and texting recipes and ideas to too many people and this is a better way. This is  a work in progress so bare with me.  Keep watching this fall to see what I will have to offer.


Dry Brushing and Epsom Salt Bath

Two of my favorite things to do as a part of my self care routine is dry brushing my skin and soaking in epsom salts. With everyone trying to detox this time of year, both of these can be an important part of your routine. Our skin is the largest elimination organ and will be the first place to show signs of imbalance or toxicity is in your body. External pollution and dead skin cells can build up and clog pores which can prevent your skin from effectively releasing the toxins. If the toxins can’t be released through the skin, they can be stored as fat or they are entered back into our blood supply.

Dry Brushing
I was first introduced to dry brushing at a spa 10 years ago on a trip.  I loved it and thought I would do it every day but of course I didn’t stick to the routine once I got back home.  At another spa a few years ago, the massage therapist dry brushed me before my treatment and gave me the brush and again told me all of the great benefits.  I once again didn’t stick to it when I got home.  Now that I started school, the topic came up again about the importance of dry brushing and I decided it is time to make it part of my daily routine.  It feels great and doesn’t take too much time at all.  Dry brushing not only makes your skin look and feel great, but it provides you with a number of health benefits.

*It can reduce cellulite-this will take dedication and time to see results so hang in there.

*It stimulates blood and lymphatic flow

*great exfoliation for the skin by reducing dead skin cells

*It helps your skin absorb nutrients

*Rejuvenates the nervous system

*It excellerates toxin elimination

*promotes tighter skin

Buy a long handle natural bristle brush.  Mine detaches from the handle for easier use and the handle comes in handy for my back.

You always want to dry brush your skin while it is dry.  Before your shower or bath works great.  Make sure you keep your brush dry as well.

Always start at your feet and brush towards your heart.  Work on areas with cellulite a little longer.

At the spa I was at this week she told me to do long strokes on the long bones and gentle circular motion at the joints. She also said that it made such a huge impact on tightening her skin on her stomach after having her baby.

On the tummy do a sunshine radiating out motion or follow your digestive track.

Be gentle on sensitive areas and avoid any area with a rash or broken skin.

Try to spend 5-10 minutes every day dry brushing or even twice a day if you can and see how you feel.  Make it a habit. It is so important to nurture your body.

I like to follow up my dry brushing with a soak in epsom salts.

Epsom Salt Bath

Soaking in an epsom salt bath feels great and has many benefits as well.  It is an easy way to increase the body’s magnesium because it is readily absorbed through the skin.  Magnesium plays an important role in our body like muscle control, energy production, and elimination of harmful toxins. Epsoms salts can also help soften your skin. It also is very helpful and soothing to sore muscles, aches, and pains.

~add 2 cups of epsom salt to your warm bath (I love the  Dr. Teals Lavender at night and Relax and Relief for when I am not feeling well or really sore)

~do not add soap to get all of the benefits

~soak for 15 to 20 minutes

~aim for 2 to 3 epsoms baths a week if you can

I know everyone always says they are too busy to take baths and have no time for themselves.  It is so important to take care of you or the you you are giving to everyone is not healthy and happy. You are worth it and everything you need to do or get done will be there when you are done.

*A note of caution, Do not take an epsom salt bath if you are pregnant, have diabetes, have high blood pressure, or have a  heart or kidney condition.  This information is for general references only.  Always speak to your doctor before starting any new diet or treatment.

80% / 20% lifestyle and Green Drink

People always ask me if I eat this healthy all of the time. The answer is no but I choose to most of the time. I am human and I enjoy all food in moderation.  I am not following a specific diet, I just choose to eat as clean and healthy as I can 80% of the time allowing for indulgences about 20% of the time.  I feel so great when I eat this way that I am leaning more towards a 90% / 10% ratio.  This became apparent after eating so well the past couple of weeks and feeling great and full of energy.  Food is fuel. We were out of town all weekend for my son Jackson’s district hockey tournament and ate most of our meals at restaurants. That meant more choices than I have at home, bigger portions, alcohol, desserts and so on….I do not like how I feel when I indulge in food that way.  I feel sick, tired, and very crabby.  My body does not run on junk!

Jackson and I after his game.  They are heading to regions now 🙂

Not all of the weekend was unhealthy.  I still ate  healthy breakfasts, had quality family time, drank my daily water, took my vitamins, slept great, and got in my workouts.  I will focus on the good that I did for my body not the 3 not so healthy meals I had.  I have a choice… continue down the path of poor nutrition and sabotage myself or make my next meal a healthy one.  I chose to make my next meal a healthy one by blended up one of my favorite green drinks for dinner tonight.

My ingredients of choice:

1 head romaine

1 large handful of spinach

handful of kale

1 green apple

2 celery stocks

1/2 cucumber

1 lime

1 inch of ginger peeled

1 cup grapes

1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro

about 1 cup water depending on desired consistency


Romaine~romaine lettuce has many benefits.  It is a great source of vitamin A,C, and K and skin and bone strengthening ingredients like calcium, protein, manganese, magnesium, chromium, and potassium.


Spinach~contains many vital nutrients to keep our bodies healthy.  Great source of iron, vitamins A,C, E, and K, and folate. It is also great source of fiber

Kale~low in calories and high in fiber, iron, and calcium. Kale is a powerful antioxidant, great anti-inflammatory food, high in Vitamins A, C, and K, and is great for cardiovascular support.

Celery~calms inflammation, regulates body fluids, and balances acidity in the body. It is 95% water, contains many vitamins and minerals, and is high in fiber. It also contains a plant hormone that can be calming to the central nervous system.

Cilantro~it removes harmful metals and mercury from your body. It also contains a high concentration of antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

Cucumber~great source of Vitamin B for energy along with many other vitamins your body needs.  They are made up of 95% water so they keep you body hydrated while helping your body eliminate toxins.

Ginger~improves absorption of essential nutrients in your body, helps maintain normal blood circulation, and has great anti-inflammatory properties.

Lime~low in calories, packed with vitamin C, E, and K, many minerals, and high in fiber. Great for digestion, your skin, and your immune system. Gives the juice great flavor.

Green Apple~packed with fiber, high in Vitamin C, and a great source of anti-oxidants. Sweetens up my smoothie.

Green grapes~packed with vitamins and minerals. adds sweetness to my smoothie


Blend the lettuce, kale, and spinach with water about 15 seconds until blended in a high speed blender. Add remaining ingredients starting on level one moving up to level 10 for about 30 seconds. Or if you prefer to juice it, you can.  It will just remove all of the fiber. Personal preference. If I am having it as a meal I prefer it blended so I get full and stay full.

Tips: If you like your drink cold, I suggest adding something frozen.  I used frozen kale in this and at the end I decided to add a little frozen mango.

add any supplements you might like.  I added chia seeds for my omegas and Super Green Drink for even more vitamins and antioxidants.


Drink to your health!

Breaking news!!!!! I have been obsessed with my Vitamix ever since I got it early this January.  I used to think it was just a blender but now I think it is the best kitchen appliance in the world! I use it 2 or 3 times a day for so many purposes.  I became so passionate about that I was referring several people to buy them.  I was joking when I said I would love to do demos or sell at the mall because I did not know this was an option. That gave me the idea to become an affiliate for Vitamix.  If you got to and shop or call 1-800-848-2649  and when you check out just enter the code 06-008336 (my affiliate number)and you will receive free shipping ($25 value).  They even have refurbished models (under specials) at a lower price but still contain the 5 year warranty all the way up to deluxe sets.  They offer a 3 payment plan as well. No risk guarantee for 30 days , the 5 year warranty covers all parts, labor, and 2 way shipping. You will not be disappointed.  I will be offering up some special incentives to be decided soon for clients who purchase through my affiliate code. Let me know if you have any questions.  Move over HSN, here comes Drea! Thanks

Quinoa ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Quinoa is such a versital food and can easly be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It is a complete protein and high in fiber, calcium, and iron. It is also naturally gluten free.

Quinoa for breakfast

Peach and Cherry Quinoa adapted from Soul Food Living
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp or more chia seeds
1 peach, sliced (or whatever fruit you prefer)
5-7 pitted cherries
1 TBSP sliced almonds or walnuts
1 tsp raw organic honey
cinnamon to taste
Mix cooked quinoa with chia seeds. Top with peaches, cherries, and cinnamon. Drizzle with the honey and serve.

Quinoa for lunch

Quinoa Tabbouleh (Find Your Organic Soul)

2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 and 1/2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber diced
8 scallions, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp pink salt
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used 2 and it was fine for me)

Put quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber,scallions, and parsley in a bowl.

Dress with remaining ingredients and let sit for at leat 15 minutes to let flavors blend.

I have made many varations of this salad.  Change it to suit your taste. It is very filling and great for lunch or a side dish for dinner with chicken or fish on the grill.

Quinoa for Dinner

Quinoa with roasted veggies and chicken sausage

I like to make a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so I can use it for a delicious and quick dinner using leftovers from my week.  With this, I used quinoa, roasted or sauteed veggies, and a leftover grilled chicken sausage.  Topped it with fresh herbs and seasonings. So satisfying, easy, and delish!  No need for a recipe, just use whatever veggies you have and roast them or sautee them, whatever left over meat you have left over, and add it to the cooked quinoa. Voila!