Chickpea Cashew “Chicken” Salad

Happy Wednesday everyone! This past weekend was filled with fabulous weather, a little baseball, and some much needed spring cleaning. I was wanting to make something a little different for this weeks lunch prep. Last week I was really craving chicken salad, but cooking chicken in between cleaning on a Sunday morning just didn’t seem appealing. I decided to make a mock “chicken salad” using chickpeas with a few other simple, fresh ingredients.

I was so happy with how this quick and easy recipe turned out! I have made similar recipes in the past, and I’m always so please with how similar they really take to normal chicken salad! If you follow a vegetarian diet, this is a great alternative choice for you!

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After cooling overnight in the refrigerator, the texture was perfect. The crunchiness of the celery went perfect with the creamy greek yogurt, and cashews add a little extra fat to help you feel full and satisfied after eating this “salad”. Cranberries provide a little something sweet with each bite!

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Eat this yummy light little salad with crackers, rolled in crisp romaine leaves, or in a light and airy pita. Give this a try and as always, let me know what you think!

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1, 15oz can chickpeas, unsalted, rinsed
  • 1 container plain Siggi’s yogurt (or any plain, high protein yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashews
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 celery stalks (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries

Directions

In a large bowl, partially mash chickpeas. Texture more resembles chicken salad if some pieces remain whole/chunky. If your cashews are not already chopped, roughly chop them and add to the chickpeas.

Add celery and onion. Lightly toss ingredients together with paprika, black pepper, and salt. Stir in yogurt, dijon mustard, and cranberries until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Allow mixture to sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours before serving and serving. Serve with crackers, inside a light and airy pita, or wrapped in crisp romaine leaves!


Simple Cilantro Guacamole

Happy hump day everyone! With my family being here this week I haven’t had much time to test out new recipes, but I made this for taco night a few nights ago and it was a big hit! My mom isn’t a huge fan of cilantro and even she enjoyed it! I definitely made too much, but it gave me the opportunity to have a little leftover which is always a plus!

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This recipe is super easy and can be made in the food processor or a high-quality blender. If you like chunkier guac, I’d recommended just mashing the ingredients yourself with a fork to get a more hearty and chunky texture. While I love avocado, it doesn’t keep for long in the refrigerator, so I’d recommend consuming within 24-48 hours!

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If you are an avocado lover like I am, good guacamole is a must for taco night! While everyone has their own preference for guac flavors, I like fresh and light with a lot of garlic! I use lemon juice for my guac recipe, but I know lime juice is also popular. Avocados are filled with heart healthy monounsaturated fat, so don’t let the high fat content scare you away! They are also high in B vitamins, Vitamin C and E, and other important nutrients such as folate and potassium. While I don’t believe in “super foods”, avocado is pretty high on my list of nutrient-dense food favorites!

I would love for you to give this recipe a try during your next taco night and let me know what you think! Thanks for reading!

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Simple Cilantro Guacamole

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 soft avocados
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil

Directions

In a food processor, pulse tomato and onion. Add avocados, seasonings (salt, pep, garlic, basil), and lemon juice. Pulse until you achieve your desired consistency. Add cilantro and either mix in or pulse a few times to incorporate. Decorate with a few leaves of cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving!


Sweet & Salty Roasted Brussel Sprout Pizza

You guys know how much I love my summer pizzas! I know I just shared an old recipe a few weeks ago in one of my posts which recap[ed some of my favorite of summer recipes. This one might be up there now with some of my favorite pizzas! I am a big brussel lover and love to trying cooking with them in different ways. Any vegetable roasted usually is a big win for me, so why not add roasted brussels to a pizza?!


The sweet element of this pizza comes from dates and a little drizzle of honey on top. Dates are a perfect way for me to curb a sweet craving (type them with peanut butter… amazing!) when it arises, and tastes perfect with a charred brussel sprout. I also add caramelized onion for a little different type of sweetness. Sweet and salty has always been one of my favorite combinations, so topping the pizza with feta cheese added a salty element that put this pizza on my favorites list!

This is a perfect pizza for a relaxing summer night or to bring to a barbecue or outdoor get together! I used a whole wheat crust, but you can use whatever you like best. Happy Monday readers!

Sweet & Salty Roasted Brussel Sprout Pizza

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 pizza crust (I used a store bought whole wheat crust)
2-3 cups brussel sprouts (depending on size)
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
5-6 large dates, cupped
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/4-1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tsp olive oil for Brussels + 1 tsp for crust

Brussel seasonings: garlic powder (~1/2 tsp), onion powder (~1/4 tsp), black pepper (~1/8 tsp), salt (pinch!)

Pizza seasonings: black pepper (pinch), garlic powder (pinch), drizzle of honey

Directions


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Slice brussel sprouts in half. Toss lightly in olive oil and recommended seasonings. Roast brussels for about 12-15 minutes or until outside leaves start to get golden and crispy.

In a small saute pan, saute sliced onion in a little cooking spray with a pinch of black pepper. To help caramelize the onions, add a little water to the bottle of the pan. Once fully cooked and slightly brown, set aside to let cool.

Roughly chop the dates into small pieces. You can make them as big or small as you desire.

Brush the crust of your pizza with 1 tsp olive oil and a sprinkle a little black pepper and garlic powder on top. Top the pizza with roasted brussels, date pieces, cooled onion, feta cheese, and shredded mozzarella. Add a pinch of salt on top before allowing the pizza to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crust is crispy (still on 400 degrees). Cook the pizza on a minimally greased baking sheet or pizza stone for easier clean up.

Once the crust is crispy, remove pizza from the oven and drizzle with a little honey. Let cool before cutting into squares and serving.


Fresh and Fast Lemon Broccoli Salad

So ya’ll already know I’m totally ready for summer! Today is absolutely beautiful, and after my work out I decided to sit by the pool for a few minutes before coming inside to meal prep. If I’m making a salad, I want it to be flavorful, crunchy, and satisfying. This salad is super light and actually gets better with time. I usually let it sit for a day before trying it, so that made it even more perfect for meal prep!

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I’m going to give you both the dressing and the salad recipe. The dressing is super simple and can be used on other salads as well. It is so easy to make your own dressings, and if you have mason jars or small sealed containers they can keep for at least a week in the refrigerator (if not longer!). You can easily control the ingredients when you make your own dressing, allowing there to be a lot of flexibility and versatility in what you create! I tend to not like a lot of dressing on my salads, so if you want a little more liquid just double what I am going to provide today.

Quick side note. Does anyone else notice that when the weather gets nicer they tend to eat out more? I am currently trying so hard to break this habit. As soon as the sunny days and comfortable cool nights come around all I want to do is sit outside at a restaurant, people watch, and enjoy a yummy bite to eat with hub. While we never choose anything to outrageous and have a pretty good balance of healthy options with a little indulgence, there is no doubt that the more I eat out the puffier I tend to feel. Whether its the occasional alcoholic beverage or just too much salt in our meal, having multiple meals out per week can leave me feeling a little sluggish and heavy come Monday.

If you tend to have the same experience, here are a few tips for still being able to enjoy the outdoor and dining experience without the unwanted side effects! These are all things I try to do myself, so I definitely speak from experience!

  • Make dinner at home ahead of time and just go out for a drink or two. Instead of going out and getting your meal and a few drinks, skip the meal and just grab a drink. People watching and enjoying conversation with others is just as good without the food!
  • Eat something light (a greek yogurt with a little fruit, a few slices of rolled turkey with cheese, a plate of raw veggies with hummus, a small slice of leftover chicken breast with a few whole wheat crackers) so that you aren’t as hungry when you go out. Then you can just split an appetizer with your significant other or a friend and still feel satisfied at the end of the night.
  • Just drink water! There is no rule that you have to have a caloric drink or alcoholic beverage at lunch or dinner! It is ok to just drink water! If you really want that beverage, consider cutting it with something that is non-caloric. A good example of this would be ordering a wine spritzer instead of a glass of wine. Ask the serving to only pour 1/2 a glass of white wine and top it off with a little seltzer or soda water. They will typically cut the price as well!

Ok!!! Now on to that delicious recipe!! I hope you give this super easy and delicious salad a try. You can always add other elements such as more raw vegetables, slivered or chopped nuts, etc. Enjoy!

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Fresh and Fast Lemon Broccoli Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy with some prep involved
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Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 1 head raw broccoli, chopped into bite-size florets (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1, 12 oz container of broccoli slaw (This is just carrots, cabbage, and broccoli already chopped! I purchased mine at Sprouts!)
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins (golden or regular is fine)
  • 1 medium Gala apple, diced (Or use whatever apple you like best!)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Prepare all the fruit and veggie ingredients as needed. Chop them as fine or as large as you’d like. in a large bowl, add the broccoli, broccoli slaw, diced apple, sunflower seeds, and raisins.

In a mason jar or sealed container, add the dressing ingredients and agitate by shaking. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and lightly toss with your hands. Add a little extra squeeze of lemon juice on top with a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days

 

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Chickpea & Sweet Potato Veggie Bowl

Hi everyone! If you follow me on Instagram (@cquinn_rd) you probably saw me make this dish about a week ago! I figured I would actually do a recipe post so you have step by step instructions on how to make one of my FAVORITE lunches. This is one of the easiest lunches to prep for my work week and is so, so yummy! Packed with veggies and a little added protein from the chickpeas, this is the perfect balanced lunch to satisfy my tummy.

I’m not a huge fan of kale, but sautéing the kale in a little olive oil helps break down the leaves and make it softer and a little charred. I use typically use olive oil if I am choosing an oil to cook with, but you can choose what you like best. If I’m not using olive oil, my other go-to is canola!

If you tend to eat smaller portions, this recipe will yield 4 servings. If you need a little more bulk to my meal, this can be portioned into 3 servings instead.

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Chickpea and Sweet Potato Veggie Bowl

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy with some prep involved
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Ingredients

  • 1 full head of kale (about 4 cups raw)
  • 1, 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1-2 extra large sweet potatoes (about 2.5 cups chopped)
  • 1.5 cups frozen broccoli
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • sweet potato seasonings: garlic powder, black pepper, paprika
  • chickpea seasonings: garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, salt
  • kale and onion seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, red pepper flake
  • 1 Tbsp shredded moz cheese per serving (4 Tbsp total)
  • sriracha to taste (may sub other toppings such as salsa, or pico)

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Chop the sweet potatoes into small, hash brown size pieces. On a greased baking sheet, spread out the potatoes before adding a little extra spray or oil on top and seasoning them. Season to taste. I didn’t provide exact measurements because I honestly don’t typically measure seasonings unless its absolutely necessary. If you like a lot of seasoning, add a lot of seasoning!

Do the same thing with the chickpeas, just be sure you drain and rinse them first. The sweet potatoes will roast for about 30 minutes, the chickpeas about 15 minutes. Once both have finished, take them out and let them cool (unless you are eating this right away and not meal prepping!).

In a large skillet, sauté the chopped kale and onions in olive oil. You can add a little water to help the kale wilt. If you choose to do this, don’t add too much water or it will splatter due to mixing with the oil. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch (and I mean a pinch!) of red pepper flakes, and a little black pepper. After the kale is wilted, add the frozen broccoli and allow it to thaw and cook through (about 15-20 minutes total for this whole process).

Layer the kale mixture with a hefty scoop of sweet potato and spoonful of chickpeas. Top with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese and a little sriracha.

Other toppings that I commonly use are sliced avocado or a good chunky salsa! This meal is super easy to prep ahead and tastes good throughout the week, just don’t forget to re-heat it! Roasted chickpeas are also a great snack to try if you are looking for something a little different. You can season them with a variety of seasonings making them versatile and an easy snack to change up when you want to try something new!

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