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

Beauty Hack of the Moment: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar beauty hack

Apple Cider Vinegar — or ACV, as it shall henceforth be known — is both multi-functional and a proven crowd pleaser among natural health enthusiasts.

I applaud this popularity and versatility for the simple fact that ACV delivers the goods, from alternative remedies to organic beauty treatments. If it’s not already a staple in your pantry…

Well, it should be.

Nutrient Profile:

  • Vitamin B for elevated energy levels and cognitive function
  • Vitamin C — for increased immunity and cardiovascular support
  • Phosphorus — for optimal nerve impulses and kidney excretion
  • Potassium — for regulated blood pressure and metabolic boost
  • Magnesium — for reduced inflammation and steady heart rhythm
  • Calcium — for strong bone density and lean muscle development
  • Iron — for oxygenated red blood cells and decreased fatigue
  • Pectin — for healthy cholesterol levels and digestive regularity
  • Citric Acid — for disease-fighting antioxidants and kidney stone relief
  • Folic Acid — for stable cell production and DNA mutation resistance
  • Acetic Acid — for counteraction of glucose and insulin sensitivity

Impressive ingredient line-up, huh? But, now for the REAL reason I stock up on ACV — it works wonders for my self-image.

This holistic beauty elixir enhances the appearance of hair, skin, teeth and nails sans the price tag of those fancy-schmancy cosmetic brands (Example: 16 oz. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar = $2.95).

Here’s just a sampling of my personal favorite ACV uses…

1.   For a Frizz-Free Mane:

Dilute 1/3 cup ACV with 4 cups Water then rinse your hair with this solution after shampooing in order to restore natural smoothness and shine, as well as maintain the scalp’s targeted pH balance.

2.   For an Even-Toned Complexion:

Combine 2 tbsp. ACV with equal parts Water then rub this solution on your skin using a cotton ball in order to reduce discoloration, improve elasticity and fight break-outs (remember to refrigerate beforehand).

3.   For Dazzling Pearly Whites:

Dilute 2 tbsp. ACV with 1/4 cup Water then swish this solution around your mouth for 1 minute before brushing your teeth in order to kill bacteria and diminish stains, as well as eliminate bad breath.

4.   For Salon-Worthy Nails:

Dilute 1 cup ACV with 3 cups Water then pour this solution into a large bowl and soak your hands and/or feet for several minutes over a 2-3 month period in order to provide anti-fungal healing benefits.

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Up the ante on this everyday household item — pamper yourself with an inexpensive yet oh-so-invigorating DIY spa day! And, hey…got any more Apple Cider Vinegar hacks to share? Well, by all means, let’s hear ’em! Sound off in the comments section, por favor.

3 Ways to Beat a ‘Cold’ Summer {Guest Post}

Those “dog days of summer” are upon us, and the season is synonymous with¬†warmer weather, more daylight, plus the freedom to enjoy every single minute!

Most of us can confidently say we have grand¬†plans in the works to make the¬†most of this fantastic season — with no signs of slowing down. However, one of the quickest ways to bring¬†summer fun to a screeching halt¬†is by getting sick!

While you may¬†think you’re only susceptible to colds during¬†winter, the truth is anyone can catch a cold, anytime of year. Unfortunately, that¬†includes our beloved summertime.

With that said though, check out these foolproof tips for keeping your summer anything but cold this year!

1.   Regular Exercise

Physical activity can benefit our bodies in numerous ways, like preventing obesity or diabetes, reducing stress and improving cardiovascular health. But, did you know exercise can also reduce the risk of catching a cold? Movement increases blood flow and circulation throughout your body, bolstering overall immunity. Therefore, your immune system can rapidly detect cold-bearing intruders and stop them before they spread!

regular exercise

2. Nutritious Diet

Your body relies on the absorption of essential nutrients from daily food intake to function optimally because these¬†vitamins and minerals boost your body’s natural defenses against the common cold. Therefore, eating a diet packed with vitamin C and antioxidants¬†— including berries, citrus fruits and even kiwi — is extremely beneficial. Vitamin C, in particular, boosts¬†your immune system by exciting the production of antibodies to strengthen and support disease-fighting responses.

Additionally, consider eating more seafood this summer — specifically tuna, salmon and mackerel. These oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, compounds that keep your immune system in check by reducing potentially detrimental inflammation.

nutritious diet

3.   Vital Vitamins

If you’re not a fan of fish or fruit, you can still fight¬†colds by taking daily vitamins! These¬†supplements are a simple¬†way to support physical health because¬†they require minimal thought or¬†effort ¬†If you prefer¬†the all-in-one approach, consider a multivitamin that¬†provides the basic nutrient building blocks your body craves. However, if you’d rather focus on the main cold-fighting essentials, here are a few supplements worth trying:

For starters, stock up on¬†supplements like vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C decreases the length of a cold by 24-36 hours. Next, you’ll want to consider a Vitamin D supplement, which promotes healthy teeth and bones, while reducing the risk of respiratory infections and the flu. Finally, enhance your immune system’s ability to fend off bacteria by taking a Vitamin B supplement.

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Nothing ruins¬†warm weather bliss¬†like feeling¬†“under the weather.” So, implement these preventative measures for a cold-free, fun-filled summer!


Huge thanks to Vita Living Wellness Supplements for supplying the research, content and graphics for this post.