how to make quinoa in three easy steps

We love quinoa and make a big batch of it every week.  It’s so easy to make; even my husband knows how to make it.  We eat it in salads, alone, in stir-fry, or with sautéed veggies.  I can’t get enough of this whole grain!  It can be made using water or broth.  Both chicken and vegetable broth work well and just enhance the flavor.  My favorite way to eat quinoa is with a little bit of butter, Parmesan cheese, steamed broccoli, and toasted nuts.  I promise you, it’s SO good!

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crockpot pasta e fagioli

It’s crazy how long it has been since I shared a new blog post!  We have been really busy and I started some new things recently that have occupied a lot of space in my brain.  I’m one of those people that can only handle so much floating up there at one time.  Can anyone else relate?

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Pasta with Kale, Sausage, and Mushrooms

I love pasta dishes and I especially love it when I can incorporate enough vegetables to feel like I don’t need to cook an extra vegetable side dish.  In this recipe I add an entire (small) bunch of kale and mushrooms (I know, these are technically not veggies) and I feel like that’s the perfect healthy balance to the sausage, pasta, and other ingredients.  I ended up just making this a one dish meal.  I didn’t serve any other sides and everyone was full after a serving or two.

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two ways to save money and eat better when flying

We recently traveled to Florida to visit my brother and his family.  In order to stick with our healthy habits and save a little money I did two things:  First, we stuck with water and second, we brought our own meals with us to the airport.  I knew we would enjoy plenty of splurges while we were in Florida so I wanted to stick to our normal eating habits during travel.

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easy and healthy dinners

Let’s face it, not everyone likes to cook or has the time to make elaborate home cooked meals each night.  Healthy dinners don’t have to be overly complicated.  I’d say about half of our dinners are super fresh, healthy, use-a-recipe type of meals.  But the rest of them are simple, easy, and use what I happen to have on hand.  I make it a point to keep my fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with plenty of convenient and healthy options so we don’t have to run through a fast food joint or go out to eat on a regular basis.  Today I’m sharing some of our favorite quick, easy, and healthy meals for those nights I don’t want to cook.

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Sausage Kale and White Bean Soup

Today’s recipe is perfect for cold fall days.  It’s made with smoked sausage, in-season kale, and white beans.  To boost the nutrition I also added in some onion, carrots, and celery.  This soup is super simple to throw together. Start by browning some smoked sausage slices, such as kielbasa or even andouille if you prefer a little spice.  (I used Kroger’s nitrate free Simple Truth brand kielbasa.)  Set aside the sausage and, in the same pot, simmer some kale and veggies in chicken broth. After the kale has wilted, add the beans and sausage back to the pot, season, and cook until heated through. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan on top, if you wish. Warm, filling, healthy, and delicious!

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***In my Good Eats and Good Reads posts I’ll share a recap of the last several weeks in recipes, photos, and links.***

Things have been super busy around here.  I feel like the blog has been put on the back burner for a few weeks and I’m really trying to get back to it.  I recently gave two presentations to a local MOPS group and I spent a lot of time and energy preparing for that.  Hopefully future talks will take a little less preparation now that the first one is under my belt!

Here are a few yummy things we’ve eaten over the last few weeks.  (I share a lot of these on Facebook and Instagram so it may be a repeat for some of you.)

***One night I pulled out some Salmon Patties from the freezer and cooked them for the purpose of topping salads.  They make such a delicious topping for just about any salad combination.  Our salads had mixed greens, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, cucumbers, onions, and mushrooms.  We used my homemade balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

salmon patty salad

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fruity frozen yogurt drops

These frozen yogurt drops make a great snack or addition to your little one’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Honestly, I really like them too, and I’m not even a huge yogurt lover.  They are full of protein and probiotics (from the yogurt) and fiber/vitamins (from the fruit) and have just a little added sweetener (maple syrup).  My boys love them and cannot get enough!  They feel like they are some sort of treat when in reality they probably have less sugar than the flavored yogurts you buy at the store.

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Easy Flatbread Pizza Bar

I have a super easy and really quick weeknight dinner idea for you today.  Put together a flatbread pizza bar and let each family member create their own pizza.  There are so many flatbread options out there and many of them are whole grain.  Just spend a few minutes at your local grocery or health food store and you should be able to find one that will work well for you.

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