Cooking meals and making sure everyone is eating their vegetables can often be the bane of my existence. Well, maybe not that extreme, but preparing meals for a busy family has its challenges. Especially when you’re a vegetarian and hubby isn’t. That’s why meal prepping has been a major lifesaver for my family and I. This mommy keeps a very busy schedule, working in and out of the home, so having healthy meals prepped in advance is a must! I honestly don’t know how I managed before I started. Not only does it help me spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family, but we’re all eating healthier because of it. Everyone has come home tired and hungry at the end of a long day, and cooking something that just needs to be popped in the oven or microwave is always more tempting than fixing meals from scratch. I’m guilty of doing this, but I’m going to share a few tips with you to help make meal planning a bit simpler.
Search and discover new recipes! Instagram is my best friend when it comes to this. There are so many wonderful gurus, foodies, and fellow mommies who share the most wonderful and healthy recipes with their followers. And so many of them are quick and easy meals that are delicious and healthy. I also found that discovering recipes that feature foods that I normally don’t prepare, have made cooking more exciting, and have helped change the way I look at meal preparation in general. Even food shopping is less of a chore, especially when I am out hunting for a new spice or veggie that I need for a recipe. Trying new recipes also make ‘old’ foods new again. For example, I have completely changed the way I look at broccoli. Gone are the days of simply being a boiled side dish, broccoli has moved to being one of the most requested veggies in my home. Discovering simple recipes like this helped a great deal.
Another culinary discovery, and now household staple is quinoa. Prepared weekly in my house, this insanely healthy seed can be eaten hot or cold, is versatile, and a cinch to prepare. Today I will share one of my all time favorite quinoa recipes with you. This salad can be eaten as a meal and also makes a wonderful accompaniment to an entree. Simplistic, colorful, delicious, and always a crowd-pleaser!
1/2 red pepper diced
1/2 yellow pepper diced
1 cucumber diced
1/2 red onion diced*
1/4 cup scallions chopped*
1/2 bunch of kale stems removed and chopped
* We love onions in our family. Feel free to adjust to your personal taste.Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe from epicurious)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepare quinoa according to package directions.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Add the olive oil to the bowl and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl add the chopped kale and a sprinkle of salt. Start massaging the kale until it is reduced to half. This softens the kale. Add remaining ingredients and as much dressing as you like. Season with salt and pepper to taste.