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*Please note: This post is sponsored by TruRoots. I have received compensation for this post, but all content and opinions are my own.
It’s official. As of last Friday, FALL IS HERE!!!
So let’s waste no time jumping right into delectable fall goodies.
Like this Kale and Quinoa Salad with Cranberries, and Golden Beets.
Whole grain salads are one of my favorite things to make each fall.
They’re so easy to throw together and can be customized to feature whatever vegetables look the best at the market that day.
Since they can make a HUGE batch, they’re perfect for when you have family and friends over for pumpkin carving, or even just to cook up on Sunday and feed yourself for lunch all week!
Plus, since the weather is cooling down, you don’t have to worry so much about turning on the oven, so you can incorporate some deliciously roasted vegetables into your dish. (Not gunna lie, I look forward to those all summer!)
While you can certainly throw together a pilaf with any whole grain, I really like to use TruRoots Organic Quinoa.
It’s organic, pre-washed, and ready in just 15 minutes. Plus you can stock up and buy the gigantic 2lb package that will last you forever.
I’m dropping some nutrition nerdiness right now.
Did you know that quinoa is one of the few complete protein sources for vegetarians?
This means that quinoa has all the essential amino acids (the ones you have to get in your diet since your body can’t make them) in each and every grain, just like animal products!
This also means it’s nice and filling and will keep you satisfied for hours.
Want to whip up this delicious kale and quinoa salad?
It’s ready in about an hour, and is pretty freaking easy!
How to make kale and quinoa salad:
- Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker or on the stove.
- Roast some cauliflower and golden beets.
- Toss the two together with kale, almonds, pepitas, cranberries, and cheese.
- Drizzle with a homemade lemon-honey dressing and you’re done!
Fall Quinoa Salad with Kale, Cranberries, and Golden Beets
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 golden beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 10 oz bag of pre-chopped curly kale
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup roasted salted pepitas
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 7 oz Gruyere cheese, diced
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
First, cook the quinoa in 3 cups of water until tender and the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). I used a rice cooker so I could set it and forget it, but you can also cook it on the stovetop. To do so, place the quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover the saucepan, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chopped cauliflower and beets on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the veggies to coat evenly, then shake to redistribute across the baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and golden. When they are done, add the vegetables to the large serving bowl with the quinoa.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kale and sliced garlic. Saute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning, until the kale is bright green and just tender (about 5 minutes). Add the kale and garlic to the bowl with the quinoa and roasted vegetables.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, and honey. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Add the almonds, pepitas, cranberries, gruyere, and Parmesan cheese to the serving bowl and pour the dressing on top. Toss until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve right away!
One of my favorite traditions growing up was choosing dinner on your birthday 🙂
We started this tradition at a really young age, as far back as I can remember in elementary school.
When you knew your birthday was coming up, you got to pick what your parents made for dinner that night!
As a kid, I had two favorite meals:
- Pepperoni pizza from the local pizza joint, Mission Pizza
- Homemade lemon chicken & fried rice
Like, I could eat those 2 meals all day every day and be 100% happy.
So, every year, on my birthday in February, I would special request lemon chicken & fried rice, with my favorite strawberry shortcake for dessert 😉
(I know, I was clearly skilled at menu pairing from a young age…)
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the classic fried rice recipe a bit.
I doubled the amount of egg and green onion (because let’s be honest, that’s the best part), and added a cup of frozen mixed veggies to give it a little pop of freshness.
This has become my favorite way to use up leftover white rice from Chinese, Thai, or Indian food takeout.
It’s soooooo easy!
Since the rice is already cooked, the recipe comes together in just minutes.
(If you don’t have any leftover rice, you can also just cook some earlier in the day & let it cool uncovered in the fridge until dinner. The goal is to have it be slightly dried out before stir frying.)
Simply scramble some eggs in peanut oil (cooking them extra long so they get nice and golden and crispy), then stir fry the rice and green onion together. Stir in some frozen veggies, chicken broth, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil, and you’re done!
Easy Egg Fried Rice
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
- 4 tablespoons unrefined peanut oil, divided
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 5 1/2 cups cooked, cold, preferably day old, medium grain white or brown rice
- 2 cups chopped green onion
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a small bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and beat with a fork or whisk until well mixed.
Pour the egg into the warm wok or skillet and cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, for 5 or 6 minutes, until the egg is broken up into small pieces and is crispy and golden. Remove the egg from the pan and set aside for later.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the wok or skillet and keep the heat on high. Add the rice and green onion and stir fry for about 10 minutes until the green onion is cooked.
Next add the peas and carrots, chicken broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and soy sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until hot and well mixed. Add the cooked egg, ground black pepper, and sesame oil, stir to mix well, and remove from heat. Enjoy while hot. (Although it makes great leftovers too!)
I know, it’s easy to default into “easy” breakfast options on weekday mornings…
(Ahem, I’m looking at you, cereal).
But sometimes, we forget about other breakfast options that are just as easy!
Think pre-cooked hardboiled eggs, smoothie packs that are ready to go in the freezer, or homemade oatmeal.
It really only takes 1 minute to microwave rolled oats.
Cooking them only briefly helps them hold their shape, so you don’t end up with a bowl of mush. Yay!
Once they just are just-tender, take the bowl out of the microwave, and dollop on your favorite toppings.
Right now, I’m all about fresh raspberries.
They’re tender, juicy, and perfectly sweet-tart.
Add a sprinkle of crushed walnuts, ground flax seed, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey, and you’ve got a filling and super nutritious breakfast ready in less than 5 minutes.
Raspberry Greek Yogurt Oatmeal
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time1 min
Total Time3 mins
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup water
- sprinkle of sea salt
- sprinkle of ground flaxseed
- sprinkle of chopped walnuts
- dollop of plain Greek yogurt
- handful of fresh raspberries
- drizzle of honey
Place the oats in a microwave safe bowl and add the water and salt.
Place in the microwave and cook for approximately 1 minute, until tender and the water is absorbed.
Remove from the microwave and top with ground flaxseed, chopped walnuts, Greek yogurt, raspberries, and honey.
Enjoy right away!
I prefer my oatmeal lightly cooked so it still has individual flakes of oats, but feel free to modify the amount of water or cooking time in this recipe to suit your taste. More water and a longer cooking time will yield a more porridge-like oatmeal.