Deliciousness Happens When Superfoods Unite!

Yeppers, kale and quinoa come together for the win in my latest kitchen creation, packed with essentials like protein, whole grains, calcium and Vitamins A & C.

Tons of nutrients, exotic Mediterranean flavors, and a simple cooking process make this recipe an instant hit. So, you know, go ahead and sneak it into your “Speedy Weeknight Dinner” rotation (shhhh…the kids won’t even know they’re eating kale!). You’re welcome.

Quick note for any vegans or vegetarians: this recipe includes scallops, which you’ll obviously need to omit when recreating in your own kitchen.

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Kale & Quinoa Superfood Salad — yields 4 servings

scallop kale salad ingredients

Ingredients:

3 cups Kale (chopped)

1 cup Scallops

1 cup Quinoa

1/4 cup Feta (crumbled)*

1/4 cup Dates (chopped)

1 clove Garlic (diced)

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp. Coriander (ground)

Sea Salt (to taste)

*Looking for a dairy-free feta substitute? I’d recommend trying out this vegan recipe from The Happy Herbivore

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 Preparation:

 1. Fill a large pot with Quinoa and 2 cups Water, then pre-heat on a high stovetop setting and bring to a boil.

 2. Reduce the heat to low, then cover the pot and let simmer for approx. 15 minutes or until the moisture has mostly been absorbed.

 3. While the Quinoa is cooking, prep the Kale, Dates, Garlic and Feta (or dairy-free substitute), then set aside temporarily.

 4. Coat a small saucepan with Cooking Spray and pre-heat on a medium stovetop setting, then add the Scallops.

 5. Saute the Scallops for approx. 2-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have cooked thoroughly.

 6. Remove the Quinoa from heat and stir in the Coriander, Garlic and Olive Oil, then combine this Quinoa mixture with the Scallops.

 7. Arrange the Kale on a serving plate, then spoon the Quinoa and Scallops mixture over the Kale.

 8. Sprinkle the Dates and Feta (or dairy-free substitute) on top, then add the desired amount of Sea Salt.

9. Allow this Salad to cool slightly (approx. 1-2 minutes) before serving. 

scallop kale salad

10 Ingenious Ingredient Hacks that Equal Smoothie Perfection

Yeaaaah. I’m that girl, who’s best friends with her blender and thinks smoothie-making should be considered the ultimate in culinary expertise.

And, therefore, I don’t just limit myself to the standard, predictable “fruity fare.” Not that I don’t love a classic strawberry-banana combo, but experimenting with unusual flavor profiles is what keeps luring me back to the kitchen.

That’s why no liquid concoction in my repertoire would be complete without the following add-ins. Once blended all together, you might not even notice their subtle, sublime presence; nevertheless, these “superfood” ingredients boost your diet with natural, (mostly) plant-based nutrition without compromising the velvety texture and refreshing taste that you expect from a perfectly-pureed smoothie.

1. Hemp Hearts

hemp hearts

image courtesy of babble.com

 These crisp and nutty seeds are loaded with protein, iron, Vitamin E, whole grains, and Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol, metabolic, reproductive, and anti-inflammatory health.

2. Rolled Oats

image courtesy of keeperofthehome.org

image courtesy of keeperofthehome.org

This hearty and filling cereal is loaded with fiber, protein, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin E, whole grains, and antioxidants (polyphenols, carotenoids & flavonoids) for cardiovascular, cholesterol, immune, and digestive health.

3. Almond Butter

almond butter

image courtesy of amyshealthybaking.com

 This thick and creamy spread is loaded with protein, calcium, copper, fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium, and Omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol musculoskeletal, neurological, nervous, and digestive health.   

4. Leafy Greens

leafy greens

image courtesy of busterbucks.hubpages.com

These fresh and nutrient-dense veggies are loaded with potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamins A, C & K, folate, magnesium, and antioxidants for cardiovascular, circulatory, immune, and respiratory health (serving suggestions: spinach, kale, chard, collards & watercress).

5. Chia Seeds

chia seeds

image courtesy of mindbodygreen.com

These crunchy and micro-sized seedlings are loaded with protein, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, Vitamin B, potassium, and Omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular, immune, anti-aging, energy endurance, and metabolic health.

6. Green Tea

green tea

image courtesy of webhealthjournal.com

This light and invigorating beverage is loaded with antioxidants (catechins & flavonoids) and natural caffeine for  cardiovascular, immune, dental metabolic, energy endurance, neurological, and circulatory health (serving suggestion: matcha, or finely powdered green tea).

7. Coconut Water

image courtesy of coconutwaterlife.com

image courtesy of coconutwaterlife.com

This tangy and hydrating beverage is loaded with fiber, electrolytes, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, bio-active enzymes, Vitamin B, and natural sugar (glucose) for digestive, circulatory, anti-aging, and gastrointestinal health.

8. Raw Cacao

image courtesy of iquitsugar.com

image courtesy of iquitsugar.com

This tart and chocolatey powder is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols & flavonoids), fiber, digestive enzymes, Vitamins A, B, C & E, chromium, magnesium, zinc, iron, sulphur, manganese, and Omega-fatty acids for cardiovascular, cholesterol, immune, circulatory, and neurological health.

9. Greek Yogurt

image courtesy of leanitup.com

This rich and satisfying dairy product is loaded with protein, calcium, iodine, potassium, Vitamin B, and probiotics for musculoskeletal, energy endurance, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and neurological health (serving suggestion: unsweetened variety).

10. Avocados

image courtesy of iwashyoudry.com

image courtesy of iwashyoudry.com

 These indulgent and buttery fruits are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, potassium, zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, folate, and Vitamins A, B, C, E & K for cardiovascular, cholesterol, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and circulatory health.

So, yeah. That’s my arsenal of secret smoothie superbness. Got any of your own faves worth adding to the list? Share in the comments below!

5 Foods That Can Cheaply & Organically Replace Expensive Chemical Peels

So…yeah.

It’s FOOD for your FACE.

‘Nuff said.


1. For a soft and even-toned complexion, snack on a handful of walnuts 3 times per week. The essential minerals (e.g. potassium, magnesium, calcium), Vitamin B, and omega-3 fatty acids found in these crunchy munchies soothe inflamed facial tissue and fight stress break-outs. A daily topical regiment of warm walnut oil (1 tbsp.) is also ideal for moisturizing dry, flaky (AND sensitive) skin.

walnut

(image courtesy of hudabeauty.com)

2. For a wrinkle-free and glowing complexion, try plain Greek yogurt (mix with fruit and stevia to sweeten) for breakfast. The lactic acid, probioticscalcium, and Vitamin D found in this protein-powerhouse reduce aging and discoloration, while exfoliating beneath the surface. A weekly topical regimen of Greek yogurt (2-3 tbsp.) and olive oil (1 tbsp.) is also ideal for a deep cleansing facial mask.

greek yogurt   

(image courtesy of fitsugar.com)

3. For a clear and hydrated complexion, indulge in 2 squares of dark chocolate (78% cacao) 2 times per week. The antioxidants, vitamins (e.g. A, B, C, D, E), essential minerals (e.g. calcium, iron), and flavanols found in this guilty pleasure improve collagen circulation, repair dryness, and prevent UV-damage. A weekly topical regimen of powdered dark cocoa (1.5 tbsp), olive oil (1 tbsp), and brown sugar (1 tbsp.) is also ideal for a facial scrub that strips away dead skin cells.

dark   

(image courtesy of skinsense101.com)

4. For a fresh and revitalized complexion, toss generous amounts of kale into a lunch or dinner salad. The copper, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C in this leafy green super-food boost the production of melanin, fight acne-causing free radicals, and calm redness or irritation. A daily drinkable regimen of kale (1 c. chopped), beets and/or carrots (1 c. chopped – these veggies are loaded with a natural skin-care army, as well), and iced green tea (1 c. – among one of the healthiest beverages on earth, green tea basically wrote the book on antioxidants) blended into a smoothie is also ideal if you’re looking to detoxify.

kale   

(image courtesy of beyondbeautifulskin.com)

5. For a long term blemish-free complexion, incorporate various types of berries (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.) into at least 1 meal per day. I’m talking breakfast with almond milk poured on top, lunch in a grilled chicken and arugula salad, or dinner served with your favorite whole grain. The ellagic acid, anthocyanin, and Vitamin C found in these juicy little gems increase skin elasticity and even have the foresight to prevent future break-outs that you never saw coming. A weekly topical regimen of mashed-up berries (1/4 c.) and organic honey (1 tbsp.) is also ideal for an anti-aging mask.

berries   

(image courtesy of embracinghealthblog.com)