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Baby Kale & Quinoa Bowl

Salads don’t have to suck. For a long time (well before my nutrition career), I believed that salads were a form of self-punishment. I tried to like them. I couldn’t do it.

Later I learned they aren’t so bad, thanks to salad geniuses like my friends at Chop’t Salad Creative Co.Β  But you don’t have to order takeout just to get a good salad. If you think you’re incapable of making an edible salad at home, try this recipe and change your perception. It’s a guaranteed winner-winner salad dinner!

Baby Kale & Quinoa Salad + Honey-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yields 1-2 servings *If you’re really hungry, I wouldn’t share it πŸ™‚
Ingredients
  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic raw honey
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 medium avocado, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
Instructions
For the Kale Chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Rinse and dry kale well. Toss 1 1/2 cups of the kale in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cayenne pepper. Massage the oil and seasoning into the kale leaves.

  3. Divide and spread leaves into two even layers on baking sheets.

    *Note: the more space between leaves, the crispier your kale chips will be. Therefore,Β try to keep overlapping pieces to a minimum.

  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

  5. Gently transfer kale chips with parchment paper onto a cool surface.Β  Allow the kale chips to cool completely.

For the Orange-Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Whisk together orange juice, remaining olive oil (3 tablespoons), honey, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with remaining salt.

For the Salad
  1. Massage the remaining kale with 1 teaspoon of Honey-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette. This will serve as your base of the salad. Layer this on the bottom of a salad bowl or large plate.

  2. Toss cooked quinoa with White Balsamic Vinegar. Add the cooked quinoa on top of the kale. Sprinkle chickpeas, cranberries, pine nuts, and avocado.

  3. Top with kale chips, and pour remaining dressing over the salad, or leave on the side.

Mini Coconut Macaroon Cups

Easter candy smacks you in the face every time you walk into the grocery store, so shouldn’t we create a nice place for it to live before we shovel it in by the handfuls? Call it an excuse to buy the candy, but I’m calling it arts and crafts meets a perfect dessert pairing that’s festive and aesthetically pleasing. You’re welcome.

Mini Coconut Macaroon Cups

Servings: 24 mini macaroon cups
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes; Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces shredded unsweetened coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins thoroughly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add egg whites, sugar, salt and vanilla extract to a medium-sized bowl, and whisk well. Mix in the shredded coconut until evenly coated, and you’re ready to nest.
  3. Fill each muffin tin (cup) two-thirds full with coconut mixture, and pack down. Then, make a deep indentation into the center of each cup with a wooden spoon handle, and lightly press mixture up the sides of each cup
  4. Set a timer, and check the color of the mini cups after 20 minutes. The edges should be a crispy, golden brown color, and the centers a lighter golden brown. If edges still need to cook a little longer, check in increments of 5 minutes until you are satisfied with the aesthetic.
  5. Remove tins and allow to cool (still remaining in tins) on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a paring knife to carefully loosen the edges of each cup form the tin and remove to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  6. Decorate each cup with your favorite Easter candy, and wow your peeps!

Not only do these Mini Coconut Macaroon Cups require MINIMAL TIME and MINIMAL CLEAN-UP, but crafting them is truly easy-peasy and an activity for all ages. Give your kids something to do besides dyeing eggs this year, and then take pictures to one-up all of your friends’ kids. (Just kidding…that is completely up to you).

I highly recommend using a combination of Whoppers Mini Robin Eggs, Reese’s Pieces Eggs, and Cadbury Mini Eggs to decorate the macaroon cups and add a variety of textures and flavors.

Note: Recipe adapted from the lovely Martha Stewart. Check out her recipe video here.Β 

Goats

Quick backstory on the recipe name. This recipe started out as To-Go Oats. Then, a dear friend of mine started calling it To-Goats whichΒ quickly (naturally) morphed into Goats. It has nothing to do with goats, which actually makes sense because my friend who came up with the name is a hip millennial now living in Cali with a true knack for meshing words into new words that have nothing to do with the original meaning. Basically, Goats is our inside joke, and now you’re all in on it.

As a writer and a fellow recipe hunter, I understand that if you are choosing to land on a recipe post, you are likely just interested in obtaining a recipe. Therefore, I will only share a quick blurb, followed by the sought out recipe and nutritional information including any helpful tips that I find pertinent.

So without further ado, I give you Goats!

Goats

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 3/4 cup Unsweet Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Oat Milk, Regular Milk, etc. (your choice!)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt
Optional toppings
  • 1-4 to 1/2 cup Fresh or frozen berries
  • 1-2 tablespoons Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tablespoons Nut butter (Big Spoon Roasters is my favorite!)
  • Raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • Cacao powder
  • Hemp seeds

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl mix oats and chia seeds. Add milk and Greek yogurt. Stir to combine all ingredients.

  2. Cover the bowl, and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.Β  *Note: set in the fridge overnight for a thicker consistency, but you may need to add a splash of milk in the morning depending on your texture preferences.

  3. Once removed from the fridge, add toppings of choice and enjoy

*Nutritional info below includes the “base” for Goats: rolled oats, chia seeds, soy milk and Greek yogurt (2%).

One last tip.Β For groceries, Trader Joe’s has all of your needs, and mostly ORGANIC on the cheap. Also, I cannot recommend Big Spoon Roasters enough. Low sugar, real ingredients, and freaking amazing. Gah I just love them! <3