Farmhouse Salad

Do you ever just crave a really hearty salad? Saturdays and Sundays are my salad days, and its almost always something different! Sometimes I’ll stop at Whole Foods or Sprouts and make one from their cold bar, or I’ll just use random ingredients from my refrigerator that need to be eaten asap or they’ll go bad! Today I’m sharing my farmhouse salad which incorporates lots of veggies, fruit, dairy, and protein all into one delicious bowl! Hope you enjoy and happy Sunday!

Farmhouse Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2-3 big handfuls of raw spinach
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper
  • 3 baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • shredded chicken (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 golden delicious apple
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • black pepper
  • dressing of choice


Chop your produce and shred the chicken (if it isn’t already pre-shredded; I like to buy plain shredded chicken from sprouts to have on hand). Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing of choice

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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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


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!


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!



Fresh and Fast Lemon Broccoli Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy with some prep involved
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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper


  • 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


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



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.


Chickpea and Sweet Potato Veggie Bowl

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


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!



Looking Forward to Summer … Opening Up the Recipe Box!

Ok friends, please don’t think I’m loony but I actually kind of miss summer. Yes, 120 is a lot to swallow sometimes BUT lots of pool time and lost of fresh summer fruits and veg always get my recipe wheels turning. Today’s Thursday so I’m going to pull out some of my old recipes to re-share in hopes to get your summer food senses flowing! Of course, these recipes are great for any other time of the year as well and can maybe help brighten up some cold and gloomy days for my east-coasters (sorry, I’m not sorry I left!).

Quick side note! I have noticed recently that I have been having a lot of bloating, cramping, and discomfort when I eat a lot of grains (you have no idea how upsetting that is for me!!). Unfortunately, Celiac disease runs on my dad’s side of the family, so this has me a little nervous of what is to come in the future. Both my aunt and grandmother were diagnosed with Celiac disease later in life and have since adapted to eating gluten free. Because of these reasons, you may notice me start to play around with a few gluten-free recipes just to test the waters! If anyone has any good recipes to try — please send them my way!

Now, on to those recipes! The first one I’m going to share is one of my absolute favorites because it includes a “sauce” made with one of my favorite foods — avocado! This recipe is for my Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad.


Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 avocado, fairly soft
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • garlic powder (I didn’t measure the seasonings, sorry! add to your best judgement)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika


  • 2 cups whole wheat pasta, I used penne
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups asparagus, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olive without pits
  • black pepper


Add all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside while you prep your other ingredients. Cook your pasta until tender; at the last minute, throw in your chopped asparagus (make sure to chop off the woody, rough end, about 1-2 inches from the bottom). Allow your asparagus to cook for ~2 minutes in the boiling water, then drain both the pasta and asparagus. Set aside to cool.

Chop the rest of you ingredients, including the olives. I halved the olives, but feel free to chop as fine as you like or leave whole. Once pasta is no longer steaming, add the rest of your ingredients to a large bowl and pour in your dressing. Mix until all ingredients are fully coated. Finish with a little sprinkle of black pepper. Serve chilled or lukewarm. Pasta salad will stay good in the refrigerator for ~4-5 days; your avocado may just turn a little brown in color. Enjoy!

Seriously that pasta salad is one of my favs! The sauce is super creamy but light for summer days by the pool! Also, healthy fats — sign me up! Avocado is filled with monounsaturated fat which actually helps lower cholesterol levels and can help provide satiety (feeling of fullness) during a meal or snack. Avocados are also high in Vitamin E, C, and B vitamins, so girls/women reading this — it’s great for hair, skin, and nails!

The second recipe is for my Roasted Summer Vegetable Pizza. This is another one of my favorites because well, who doesn’t like pizza! I use a store-bought whole wheat pizza crust from whole foods and top with yummy summer veggies and a blend of spices and cheeses!


Roasted Summer Vegetable Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust (can also try gluten-free, regular white, or cauliflower crust!)
  • ~1-2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, sliced into about 1/2 in circles, then cut in half
  • 1/3 cup frozen or fresh corn (you may use yellow, white, or sweet)
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh feta cheese
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes
  • hummus


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

If you are using frozen corn, thaw first, if using fresh there is no need to prep. Toss your zucchini, corn, and sliced onion in about 1-2 Tbsp canola oil, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder (use as much as you like, or you may switch up the seasonings). Roast your veggies in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are slightly brown and caramelized. Once your veggies have cooked, top your pizza crust with the veggies and 2 different types of cheese. Top with a little extra garlic powder and a pinch of red pepper flake.

*FYI: Red pepper flakes pack a BIG kick in a very little amount, so unless you want your mouth on fire, I caution you from using to much!

Bake your pizza in the oven for ~15 minutes or until the bottom and edges of your crust are a golden brown and have nice, crispy feel. Allow your pizza 5-10 minutes to cool before slicing and digging in! Again, I topped mine with a little fresh hummus, but you can omit that if you’d like. Enjoy!

How about a burger? Burgers are a perfect summertime food, but I tend to be partial to vegetarian versions. This recipe is for my Spinach Feta Black Bean Burgers which I actually came up with a few years ago when I was in college! These were so easy and can be made in advance and frozen for later use!

Black beans are a great source of fiber and can be used as a protein for those who choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. They are creamy in texture and can provide a “meaty” flavor when used for vegetarian burgers!

Spinach Feta Black Bean Burger

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 can black beans, rinsed to get ride of any extra seasoning or liquid that they may be sitting in
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 + 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2-3/4 (eyeball, about 1/2 a bag) cups frozen spinach, thawed in the microwave and pressed between paper towels to squeeze out water


In a large bowl, mash your black beans with a fork until they are fairly smooth. Add the rest of your ingredients and combine well (get your hands dirty — this works best!).

Divide your mixture into 4, forming individual patties. You can wrap and freeze the other 3 to use at another time if you are only cooking for yourself. Cook on medium heat either on a grill or stove-top in a pan with a little cooking spray. Each side should take about 3-4 minutes. Be sure to press down your burger a little when you flip it over! Each side should get a little golden brown. If you still have some of the mixture seeping out of the sides if you push down lightly, cook for a few minutes longer. When finished, top with whatever toppings you like, add your bun, and you are done! I used a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, a few extra leaves of spinach, a tsp of dijon mustard, and whole-wheat bread as my bun. Lettuce leaves works well too!

Hope you try one of these out, and of course let me know what you think!