Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

After being on vacation last weekend and being off my usual eating and sleeping routine I felt like we needed to make sure to have a super healthy week of prepared and planned meals.  Summer has been a little busy for us and Sunday meal prep has fallen a little to the wayside.  It makes a huge difference in my energy and overall well being have a complete prepared meal at night when I get home, rather than coming home at 8:30 and throwing something together or being too hungry and snacking on everything and anything.  
In my desire to detox last week I bought lots of veggies, fruits, and fish.  Wednesday night's dinner was this delicious and filling salad!  I can't wait to make it again this week.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette  

(between 4-6 servings)
1 bunch of Lacinato (aka Dinosaur) Kale (washed, stems discarded and cut/torn into small pieces)
2 large handfuls of brussels sprouts (cut into quarters)
1 cup Craisins
1 cup pepitas 

For Dressing:
2 Tbsp Mustard Girl Dijon Mustard (any dijon will do but this is my favorite)
1/2 cup EVOO
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place brussels sprouts.  Lightly spray with EVOO and a pinch of sea salt.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Combine kale, pepitas, craisins and brussles sprouts once they have cooled.  Toss with dressing and enjoy!


A twist on traditional chili. Sweet Potato and Black Bean.

Before heading to the grocery store this past weekend I was putting together my list and had the desire to use my slow-cooker, it's been awhile.  One of my clients and I had been chatting on Friday about her recently becoming a vegan and some of the meals she had been making, one of them being sweet potato and black bean chili.  It sounded delicious and I decided to try my own recipe for it and make it in the slow-cooker.  
This recipe is full of vegetables, flavor, and naturally gluten-free and can be vegan/vegetarian depending on the type of broth you use.  We have been enjoying the leftovers for a few days now and I can't get enough of it.  It has just the right amount of spice and heat, and if those aren't your thing you can omit the jalapeno and chili powder.  

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
Makes 6-8 servings
2 15 oz cans no salt added black beans
2 6 oz cans white shoepeg corn
1 orange bell pepper diced
3 small sweet potatoes diced or cubed or 2 large
1 cup cilantro
1 medium jalapeno (optional)
2 shallots diced
3 garlic cloves diced
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
2 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (no salt added)
1 tsp chili powder (optional, remove for less spice)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

After preparing  the vegetables combine all of the ingredients except the cilantro in the crock pot or slow-cooker.  Set temperature on low cook setting for 4 hours, check after one hour and gently stir ingredients.  After four hours of cooking, change setting to simmer and let sit for another 30 minutes to allow flavors to enhance even more.  Serve garnished with cilantro and place the rest in a airtight container for the perfect leftover meal for dinner tomorrow evening! 

This chili is a great vegetarian option and a nice twist from your standard chili!

A dinner salad. Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, Mushroom & Farro Salad.

Some of my favorite dinner creations happen when I get home from work with no plans for what we are about to eat.  I start looking in the fridge at what ingredients we have and then turn to the cabinets to check out our grain options and spices.  This creation came together when a saw the new bag of sun dried tomatoes I had just purchased and then opened the fridge and saw a fairly large bag of spinach that only had a day or two more before it went bad.  Whenever I have too much spinach and know that we cannot eat enough of it in salads I saute it all because it shrinks so much.

This salad came together perfectly!  Full of flavor, texture, and color.

Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, Mushroom & Farro Salad
Recipe makes 4 servings
1 cup Cooked Farro
4 cups fresh Spinach
2 cups diced Mushrooms
1/2-1 cup julienne cut Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 chopped cloves of Garlic
1 tsp basil
Optional toppings: parmesan cheese, goat cheese and/or pine nuts

Cook farro using directions on packaging.  In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and saute for 4-5 minutes, until they are soft.  Add spinach, garlic, and basil, saute for 3-5 minutes until spinach is cooked.  Lastly, add the sun-dried tomatoes and saute on low heat for 8-10 minutes.  The sun dried tomatoes will begin to soften slightly and a very aromatic smell will fill the kitchen (yummy!).  Remove from heat and serve with farro and if you choose to, top with your favorite cheese or pine nuts.

So colorful and full of flavor!

What are you favorite dinners that come together last minute?