Tri-Colored Spiralized Salad With Orange Zest Vinaigrette

Happy Friday!!! Who is ready for the weekend?  Do you have any fun things planned?  We are headed out of town tonight for a friend’s wedding and I can’t wait!  I love weddings!  But before I start packing (yeah..still haven’t started) I have a new favorite recipe to share with you all!  

Even though it is technically fall, the 82 degree weather yesterday hardly leaves me craving warm soup.  This recipe is perfect for the in between summer/fall season when you just aren’t quite ready for hearty warm meals, but are still feeling festive! 

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I am all about my spiralizer these days.  It is such a simple kitchen gadget, but it can make boring vegetables so much more fun.  I think I got mine on amazon for around $30.  

Tri-Colored Spiralized Salad With Orange Zest Vinaigrette

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

1 beet, peeled

1 cucumber

1 apple 

1/4 cup dried cranberries 

1/4 walnuts 

goat cheese (add to your liking) 

 

Orange Zest Vinaigrette 

3 garlic cloves 

zest and juice of 1 orange 

2 TBL onion, chopped 

1 TBL honey 

1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar 

1 tsp salt 

1/2  tsp pepper 

 

Directions: 

After peeling the beet and washing the cucumber and apple, spiralize all 3 and add to a bowl.  

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Next, add all vinaigrette ingredients in the food processor and blend until mixed.  You will have extra salad dressing.  You can store it in the fridge for up to a week.  

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Pour vinaigrette over spiralized ingredients and toss.  

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Next, add walnuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese and toss. 

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Add orange zest strips for some extra color!

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This salad is the perfect light fall meal and looks beautiful next to fall table decor.  ENJOY!!!

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Have a wonderful weekend friends!! 

Questions: 

  1. Favorite fall meal?
  2. Do you like beets?
  3. Do you own a spiralizer?

 

Healthy-ish Tofu/Chicken Thai Green Curry

Well we made it to the halfway point.  I finally got a decent amount of sleep last night so even after an early morning Body Pump class today, I am feeling pretty great!  I never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.  

You guys probably remember me mentioning me and my husband’s love of curry a time or two. 🙂  Well the obsession is real and it just keeps on growing, but we try to limit dining out to once a week when we aren’t traveling.  Especially after all the time away from home recently, my desire to go out to eat has been less and less.  The good thing is that I have been saving money and spending lots of time in the kitchen crafting up new recipes and ideas.  

Over the years, I have tried quite a few curry recipes with tons of ingredients hoping to find “the one” that gets the stamp of approval.  With no success, we usually just end up ordering out when we are in the mood for curry…. until recently.  I came across a recipe for chicken green curry on Ashy Bines youtube channel and decided to try it.  In true Taylor fashion, I changed a few things to make it my own.  

Not only is this recipe absolutely delicious, it is full of nutrients and only ingredients that you can indeed pronounce.  It is very adaptable to your preferences (types of veggies & protein), which is why I made two batches – one for my husband and one for me.  Like any good thai food, this recipe just gets better and better, which makes it perfect for leftovers throughout the week.  I hope you give it a go!

Thai Green Curry 

For reference, I doubled this recipe and made one batch with chicken and one with tofu.  This recipe makes about 5-6 servings (depending on hunger level). 🙂

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts (or one package of tofu)

1 can coconut milk (full fat)

1-2 TBL thai green curry paste (depending on how spicy you want it) 

1-2 tsp vegetarian (or chicken) bouillon paste (or cubes)

2 cups brown rice (uncooked)

1 zucchini chopped 

1 red pepper chopped 

3 carrots chopped 

1 cup mushrooms chopped 

 1 cup broccoli chopped 

1/2 onion chopped 

1 avocado (optional)

 

The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the veggies.  If you don’t have time, just buy them pre-chopped.  But if you are like me and actually enjoy chopping veggies, get chopping!

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Chop chicken breasts (or tofu) into big cubes and place in saute pan with onion.  No, you do not need any fat (butter or oil).  Add thai green curry paste to pan and coat chicken (or tofu) and onion and cook about 5-6 minutes until the chicken is almost cooked through.  

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My husband prefers the chicken to be shredded so at this point, shred the chicken or leave it cubed if you prefer.  In a separate pot (on medium) add the can of coconut milk.

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Next add all the veggies and bouillon paste to the coconut milk. Stir. 

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Once everything is incorporated, it should look like this.  

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Add chicken (or tofu) – onion mixture to the coconut milk – veggie mixture and continue to cook on medium for about 15 minutes. 

Tofu variation:

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Chicken variation:

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While the mixture cooks, take this time to cook your rice.  I was lazy and used instant, but if you have the time, use the rice cooker.  

Serve the mixture on top of a bed of brown rice with chopped avocado on top!  (In my opinion, everything tastes better with avocado).  Enjoy!!

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*Note: the spice level is mild-medium, but if you prefer less or more spicy, adjust the amount of thai green curry paste to fit your preferences.  

This meal is on the weekly rotation in our house and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Questions:

  1. Do you like curry?
  2. Tell me a meal that you have weekly at home.
  3. What is your favorite take-out meal?

Tropical Green Smoothie!

Hi guys!  I couldn’t start this post without saying a huge thank you for all the sweet comments and messages I received regarding yesterday’s blog post.  It is so nice to hear that other people find the same benefit from therapy that I do.  I really appreciate all the thoughtful words!  Love you guys! 

Today’s post is on a much lighter note.  So sometimes I daydream that I am laying on a beach somewhere tropical with no worries or a care in the world.  And it wouldn’t hurt to have a cold, refreshing smoothie in my hand either.  This smoothie doesn’t have alcohol in it, but I wouldn’t judge you if you added a splash of rum to it. 😉 

This smoothie is light, refreshing, and very tropical.  It is great for breakfast or a morning snack.  It is healthy and full of nutrients while also satisfying a sweet craving! 

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Tropical Green Smoothie 

1 banana 

1 cup of frozen pineapple 

1/2 cup of frozen mango 

1 cup (or more) of spinach 

2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed 

1 splash of pineapple juice 

1/2-1 cup of coconut water (depending on how think you like your smoothie)

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend away! 

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Enjoy this smoothie poolside (or at your desk…).  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 

Questions:

  1. Favorite current snack?
  2. Favorite smoothie recipe?
  3. Any tropical vacations on your radar? 

Foodie Friday!

Happy Friday!  I can’t start this post without mentioning what occurred in Dallas last night.  My heart just aches for the families who lost their loved ones.  I pray that our world will be more peaceful.  Let’s all spread love, not hate.  

So last week at the lake, my mother-in-law made this delicious veggie quinoa salad.  I will have to post the original recipe when I get it from her, but I couldn’t wait to get home to make my own version!

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Veggie Quinoa Salad 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups steamed green beans

1 1/2 cups fresh (or canned) corn 

3 cups cooked quinoa 

1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley 

1/2 cup sliced almonds 

Dressing

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 

1 teaspoon of honey 

1 tablespoon spicy mustard 

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon pepper 

Start by steaming fresh green beans (you could use canned, but I prefer fresh) and chop into bite-sized pieces.  Cut fresh corn off the cob (I like it raw, but you could steam it) and add to bowl. 

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Next, mix up all ingredients for the dressing.   

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Add cooked quinoa (cook in water/broth according to package directions) and sliced almonds (I buy them pre-sliced) to the bowl with veggies.  Chop fresh parsley.  

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Toss quinoa and veggies in the dressing.  Then add the fresh parsley.  

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Mix it all up!  Add extra salt/pepper if needed.  This salad is perfect by itself or as a side dish.  It will keep for a few days in the fridge.  It just gets better as the dressing marinates! Enjoy!!

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I hope you all have a wonderful, healthy, and fun weekend!  

Questions:

  1. Any fun plans for the weekend?
  2. Have you tried a new recipe lately?  What was it?
  3. Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe?  (I am always looking for new ones!)

The Colors of the Rainbow aka All the Veggies

Happy Hump Day!  How’s your morning going?  Mine is going pretty good… I am counting down the minutes until we leave for a vacation on Saturday, but until then, lots to do! 


I’ve never really understood those people that don’t like vegetables.  I have always loved them.  All of them.  There isn’t a vegetable I don’t like.  I like them raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, sauteed, you name it.  I guess that is a good thing because I have never had a problem getting my daily recommended dose of veggies in each day (2-3 cups).  

Last night I was craving veggies so I decided to see what I had on hand and turn in into a stir-fry (the easiest way for me to get in tons of veggies).  So I got to chopping!

Broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, corn, carrots, and red bell pepper.  

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I threw all the veggies in a big skillet with grated carrots and cabbage for extra crunch.  

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Sauteed everything for about 5-8 minutes (I like my veggies to have a little crunch left). 

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Added 3 of my favorite spices!  I like my veggies with lots of flavor!

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No sauce needed.  I just squeezed lots of fresh lemon juice onto the veggies.  PS this lemon/lime juicer is my favorite kitchen gadget.  Lots of juice + no seeds = yes!

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Ofcourse, sometimes I will add Bragg’s Aminos or tahini or a homemade sauce, but last night, I just wanted the veggies plain.  

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And they were delicious! (sorry for the terrible lighting in the pictures!)  The cabbage honestly makes it taste like you are eating rice noodles with the veggies.  My grandma got me hooked on cabbage years ago and now it is always on my weekly grocery shopping list.  

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A coworker of mine put together a really nice chart of the benefits of different colored vegetables so I thought I would share a big of it today with you all. (sourcesourcesource)

Blue Purple 

*blackberries, eggplant, blueberries, purple cabbage 

Common Phytochemicals: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Fiber, Flavonoids, Ellagic Acid, and Quercetin

Benefits: Support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immunity, support healthy digestion, improve mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit cancer cell activity. 

Orange &Yellow 

*carrots, oranges, apricots, butternut squash, pineapples

Common Phytochemicals: Beta-carotene, Zeaxanrgin, Flavonoids, Lycopene, Potassium, and Vitamin C

Benefits: Reduce age-related macular degeneration, reduce risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones. 

Red

*beets, cranberries, grapefruit, red bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes, radishes, rhubarb, watermelon

Common Phytochemicals: Lycopene, Ellagic Acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin

Benefits: Reduce risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth, lower LDL cholesterol, battle harmful free radicals, support joint tissue in arthritis cases. 

Green

*artichokes, green apples, broccoli, celery, avocados

Common Phytochemicals: Cholophyll, Fiber, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Calcium, Folate, Vitamin C, and Beta-carotene

Benefits: Reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, normalize digestion, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free radicals, boost immune system activity.

White

*cauliflower, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, onions, shallots, turnips, white peaches 

Common Phytochemicals: Beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and Lignans

Benefits: Provide powerful immune boosting activity, activate natural killer B and T cells, balance hormone levels and reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. 

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite vegetable? Least favorite vegetable?
  2. How many cups of veggies do you eat per day? 
  3. Favorite veggie-packed meal? 

Consistency in Sleep Patterns and Popsicle Testing in Progress

 

Hi ya’ll!  Happy Tuesday! How is your week going so far? Yesterday was very productive for me… until I hit the 3pm slump… do you ever hit that point where you either need a lot of caffeine or a long nap?  The latter won yesterday.  I’m not usually much of a nap person, but ever since I started my job that requires me to be at work at 6am, I have been a nap person.  Like I really need a nap after that early wake up call.  I started getting used to the early mornings for a while, but for whatever reason, I am really struggling lately to stay awake come mid afternoon.  

A few months ago my doctor advised me to develop consistent sleep patterns.  She said it was important to go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day.  While I see the importance in this, it is very hard for me to want to wake up around 5 am on the weekend days.  During the week, on the days I don’t work, I do attend an early morning Body Pump class at the gym to maintain my normal early morning wake up time.  I don’t sleep in late on the weekends, but sometimes 7 or 8am sounds realllllllly nice compared to 5am.  I also am guilty of staying up later on the weekends, which definitely doesn’t help my case.  I truly believe sleep is one of, if not the most important aspect of health.  When we are tired, we crave sugar to help us stay awake.  When we haven’t had enough sleep, our workouts suffer.  When we are exhausted, we over-compensate with caffeine, which can interfere with sleep, starting the vicious cycle over once again.  

Tell me, how many hours of sleep do you get per night?  Are your sleep patterns similar on the weekends to what they are during the week?  What are your tips for getting a good night’s rest?


Watermelon popsicles in the making!!  I love making my own popsicles for hot summer days when I need a refreshing, cool snack.  I am experimenting with a few different combinations so I will report back when I have a winner (or two!). Have you ever made home-made popsicles?  Favorite recipe?

 

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Can’t get over this picture of this sweet pup.  How cute is he? 

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Another cute picture I found on my phone from this weekend.  Riley is really loving my husband lately.  🙂

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Cuddling pups on the couch. (Don’t make fun of our tray tables… I know, we are getting old…) 😉 

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This is my go-to easy lunch when I am at home.  A big salad with sweet potato fries.  This salad had kale, romaine, chopped almonds, hard boiled egg whites, avocado and lite raspberry dressing.  Yum!!

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I hope you all have a wonderful day!!  See you tomorrow!! 

Questions:

  1. How many hours (on average) do you sleep each night?
  2. Do you wake up/go to sleep around the same time on the weekends as the weekdays?
  3. Ever made home-made popsicles? Recipe?

Random Talks and Spiced Rub Salmon

Good morning ya’ll! Happy Friday!!! We made it!  Do you have fun weekend plans?  My husband and I are having a little date night tonight then some shopping tomorrow for our upcoming trip and then hopefully a boat day with friends on Sunday!! It should be a good one! 


Lots of randomness for today and a delicious salmon recipe at the end so feel free to scroll past my ramblings for the good stuff. 🙂

Yesterday I boiled a bunch of eggs that had been in my fridge for a while.  Did you know that older eggs make the best hard boiled eggs?  At least that is what my grandma told me!  For lunch I had two rice cakes with avocado, hard boiled egg whites (I don’t like the yolk), drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder.  So tasty and it kept me full for hours!

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For a snack I had a Siggi’s vanilla yogurt with fresh strawberries and a dollop of almond butter. 

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We took the pups on a nice long walk to tire them out. 

And luckily, it worked!  We are watching two sweet pups right now, Baxter and Kapha.  

So Rover, the dog site we use for dog sitting, sends out emails with random dog facts and tips weekly.  This week they sent a quiz to figure out what dog you are like and what breed is best for you.  I don’t really think these things work very often, but I was shocked when I got Border Collie.  Our dog Callie is a rescue and we know she has some Australian Shepard in her, but seeing this picture makes me certain that she is part Border Collie.  She looks so much like this pup! 

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I know this has been circulating around facebook for a while now, but every time I see it, I just about die laughing.  I love little chubby babies. 

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Remember that trip to Lowes with 3 boys I told you about a couple weeks ago?  Well I did pick up something I wanted while I was there.  I have been meaning to cook cedar plank salmon for a while (love when they have it on a menu at a restaurant), but just always forget about it.  I followed the directions to soak the board for at least an hour (I soaked it for 2 hours) before putting it on the grill.  The directions say to grill the plank for 3 minutes on one side and then flip it over and put the salmon on the heated side of the plank and grill for 12-15 minutes with the grill closed.  When my husband went to put the salmon on the grill after the plank was heating up, it was on fire!!!  Like really on fire. LOL.  We realized that the grill was supposed to be on low to medium heat and ofcourse, ours was on high.  Oh well, what can you do.  

We decided to just grill the salmon directly on the grill and try again next time.  The cedar board came with a recipe for salmon with spice run so I decided to give it a try!

In case the picture is hard to read, here is the salmon spice rub recipe: 

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon course salt

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

Note: This spice rub recipe is for 4 pieces of salmon so I halved it because I made two.  

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You simply just mix up the rub and spread it all over the salmon fillets.  I decided to serve mine with grilled corn on the cob and asparagus.  

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I let the rub soak in for about 30-45 minutes.  

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After the salmon is done grilling, drizzle the fillets with honey.  And that is it!  Dinner is served!!  This recipe is so easy and it will definitely be a keeper for us.  My husband said it was the best I have ever made!  Win!!  Sometimes mistakes turn into deliciousness! 

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I hope you guys give this recipe a try!!  I don’t think I will be making my salmon plain ever again!  Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!!

Questions: 

  1. Any tips for using cedar planks when grilling?
  2. Favorite marinade/rub for salmon?
  3. Any fun plans for the weekend?