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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl

May 29, 2014

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl //

This past weekend Adam and I were excited to have our engagement photo session! We are super lucky to have a friend who is an amazing photographer and asked if we would like to do a shoot with her. Of course we said yes – and now I’m anxiously waiting to see the final photos.

It was lots of fun – hopefully the photos turn out as good as I imagine them to have been. The weather had been wonderfully hot and beautiful, except for the night we chose to do the photos. It had been pouring rain all day and night and let up just in time for the photos. It began to sprinkle a little near the end, but we had taken a majority of the photos already so I was happy it had begun raining again only after we finished.

I’m currently writing this with a big ice pack on my back – earlier today I had been sitting on a chair at my desk for about an hour after work and when I got up I didn’t realize my foot had fallen asleep. I stepped on it to open the blinds on the window behind me and immediately fell down, collapsing and falling backwards into the window/blinds and finally landing on the middle of my back against the window ledge/baseboard heater. It happened fast, and I haven’t fallen like that for a long time.

I had no idea my foot was asleep and when I went to stand on it, my foot just gave out and rolled. I pretty much did a legs-over-the-head fall and had nothing to grab on to. I can really feel it now though, definitely deep soreness in my back along my spine and next to it, as well my ankle and shin are hurting from where they hit. Hopefully tomorrow it will be feeling a little better.

I made this super easy, throw together salad for dinner tonight with the leftovers from the night we first made it. The best part about this salad is you can make everything separately, then add them together when you want to eat.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl

This past week Adam and I were looking for something healthy for a light dinner one night while we were out and found Freshii. I’m not sure we had eaten there before, but the menu looked good and offered lots of healthy choices. I had the Mediterranean Life salad and Adam had a burrito style wrap. The salad was huge – way too much for me, even if I was really hungry. I could have gone without adding the chicken as well. However, for the price it was a good deal. When we were home the following weekend I thought I would re-create it. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad BowlMediterranean Quinoa Salad Bowl

You can use any ingredients you have really, any fresh vegetable would do. You can make it with or without chicken/meat. I’ve made it with chicken for dinner, then just veggies for lunch the next day. The thing that makes Freshii salads good is they mix them in a plastic bag before pouring it into the bowl – that way the dressing coats everything. I suggest tossing it in a large ziplock, or in a tupperware container. 

I used Kraft’s Fruit and Veggie dressing Roasted Yellow Pepper – it was just sweet enough and reminded me of the dressing they used. Any vinaigrette dressing would be good.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
A healthy mix of quinoa and greens, topped with veggies and salad dressing for a salad that eats like a meal. Throw together a container for lunch or dinner, and toss when ready to eat.
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  1. 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (I used a blend of regular and black quinoa)
  2. large handful of mixed salad greens
  3. handful of kalamata or black olives, chopped
  4. cucumbers, diced
  5. roasted peppers (or raw peppers, diced)
  6. tomato, diced
  7. red onion, diced
  8. soy nuts or almonds, unsalted
  9. barbecued chicken breast (optional)
  1. Add salad, quinoa (can be warmed up), diced veggies, nuts and chicken (optional) to a large ziplock bag or tupperware container. Drizzle with salad dressing of your choice and seal.
  2. Shake well to mix salad toppings together.
  3. Transfer salad to large bowl - enjoy.
  1. You can prepare salad ahead of time to take with you for lunches or dinner - just add dressing before you eat, shake well.
Adapted from Freshii
Adapted from Freshii
b a k e a h o l i c

Marinated Kale Salad

May 15, 2013


I’ve found a new TV show addiction. The Doctors. I’m obsessed – Thanks to PVR I can record it and watch every episode. I love the daily health tips, medical information and my fav, TMI Tuesdays.

Despite having a baking blog I eat 80% healthy most of the time. A lot of people wonder how I stay in shape and still maintain a baking blog. I usually say that I have very happy friends and family who get to eat all of the things seen on here, that way I’m not stuck at home with 2 dozen cupcakes or a cake. I also work out regularly at the gym, at home, and keep an active lifestyle such as going on daily walks with my dog and Adam too. I also currently play on a women’s rep fast pitch team with 2-3 games per week. I joke that I’m a crazy fast walker, and even at 5’5 I can out walk Adam, who is 6’3. Let’s just say I love to walk, and could walk forever.

My diet also consists of allergy-friendly foods. After finding out what I was really allergic to last year, I changed my diet in a big way. Therefore I can easily eliminate the foods I can’t eat, which also open up healthier options for me. I have a wheat/corn/dairy/egg allergy. So, I eliminated a lot of breads and starchy carbs, along with corn and fillers found in lots of processed foods. We eat things like zucchini pasta and burgers without a bun, and eliminated dairy all together (no cheese except goat cheese occasionally, and almond/coconut milk). Lately I’ve been subbing coconut flour, almond meal, homemade wheat-free oat flour, and rice flour in all of my baking. I’ve also included coconut oil for healthy fats. You can find recipes like wheat-free Banana Brownies here, Wheat-Free Dairy-Free and Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies here, almost-vegan cowboy cookies, paleo pumpkin pie, 5-ingredient date bars, protein pods and dairy-free Banana Ice Cream here. I also eat out at a restaurant less than 5 times a month probably, which limits my processed, and high-fats intake which restaurants use.

For breakfast I usually have a green smoothie, or oatmeal with banana cinnamon and almond butter. On the weekends I wait until I’m hungry to eat breakfast, which is sometimes lunch. I’m not a big breakfast person. I’ll have fresh fruit like cantaloupe or a banana sometimes and that’s it. I’ve made some two-ingredient banana pancakes before, you can get the recipe here if you love big breakfasts! When I’m feeling in the mood on a Sunday for a brunch feel, I sometimes make a big frittata for Adam and I as well, you can get the recipe for that here.

For lunch pretty much every. single. day, I eat some sort of salad or veggies. I’m not a big condiment person (aside from mustard and ketchup on burgers), so I don’t overload my salads with heavy dressings, and I never buy veggie dip – just eat those bad boys on their own! I also have a dairy allergy so it keeps a lot of those saturated fats away such as mayo and heavy cream based dips/dressings.

Most nights during the winter we would eat soup (pumpkin turkey chili, kale and bean soup etc) which are chalk full of vegetables. In the spring and summer we switch gears and it becomes salad & BBQ weather. Which is great because Adam isn’t much of a cook, but he mans the BBQ during the summer which frees me up.

This salad is inspired by one of my favourite Vegan and healthy living blogs, Healthy Happy Life by Kathy Patalsky. I have been silently stalking her website for months but hadn’t tried any of the recipes yet – and now I’ve made two in the last few days. This salad is Ah-mazing. I LOVE a good salad, and love kale. I usually toss kale into smoothies, but Adam wasn’t a fan of it in regular salads because of it’s harder texture, but you just have to ‘massage’ it or marinate it for a while to soften it up, while at the same time being crisp and fresh. Kale is also a POWERHOUSE of nutrients packed into a single cup serving.

Image via HHL

We bought a new BBQ last week and we had to ‘christen’ it. Adam and I are both super stoked on the new BBQ. We had both our parents over for dinner and made chicken legs (marinated in Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce marinade) along with potatoes and this salad.

This salad is so, so good. Definitely a great summer salad to keep on file for pot-lucks and summer get togethers. The  best thing is that it gets better as it sits, so you can actually make a salad the night before and it’ll be good to go for dinner. I made it in the morning before dinner. Another favourite summer salad of mine is Marinated Quinoa Veggie Salad.

Power Kale Salad
dressing based off this recipe here and here

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 1-2 bunches of Kale, washed and chopped with stems discarded
  • 1 zucchini, julienned/shredded
  • 2-3 carrots, julienned/shredded
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • shredded brussels sprouts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • cranberries/raisins

In large bowl, combine the zucchini and carrot. If you don’t own a mandolin, you can chop the zucchini and carrot as well or grate them.

Top with onion, chopped kale and brussels sprouts. Set aside.

*Note: I add the raisins and seeds just before I’m going to serve the salad to keep them crunchy*

Ingredients for Salad Dressing:

Tangy Tahini Dressing

  • 2  1/2 Tbsp creamy tahini
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tsp agave syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive oil

In measuring cup combine all dressing ingredients, and whisk with fork to combine. You can add more/less of anything if you want it thicker, or if you like your salad heavily dressed. Drizzle on top of prepared salad and mix together completely.

Place prepared salad in the fridge covered, for at least an hour or more, or overnight. When you are going to serve it, toss in the seeds and cranberries. Feel free to mix in other nuts/add ins as well.


Living the Single Life & Marinated Quinoa Salad

June 21, 2012

This week I’m living the single life.

Adam has been away all week for work on the Island since Monday, so I’ve been at home by myself. I’ve been hanging out with my mom, we spent all Tuesday together as it marked eight years since my fathers passing.

It’s actually been nice to have the nights to myself as well. I’m totally used to being at home alone, and I’m definitely an independent person so it’s really no big deal. Usually if I am home alone it is during the day, and Adam is home after work around 3:30. So, having nights to myself has actually been kind of nice. I’ve made myself some yummy single-girl dinners, and had a nice relaxing bath last night and read a novel. I’ve also watched a few too-girly for Adam movies on Netflix myself (The Jane Austen Book Club, and Monte Carlo, Date Night) they were pretty good. I really liked the Jane Austen one, as my last semester in school I took a Jane Austen literature course where we read all six of her novels, and the movie discusses the novels as well. It’s also nice to be able to go to the gym whenever, instead of trying to co-ordinate with Adam as well if he wants to come with.

This week we also officially sold our place!! We had an offer previously, but it fell through unfortunately. Literally a week later we had another showing, and they were interested. The inspector came on Monday morning, and by that afternoon it was finalized! We really were not in any rush, as we are not moving into the new town home until November, however, it was nice to rest assure we (read: Adam lol) won’t be left with two mortgages comes the fall, so selling it now makes it a lot easier. We will be moving out in a month, I’ll actually be in Europe, so Adam will be having to do it himself at the end. We will just begin to pack now slowly and move things to storage, as we will likely be moving in with my Mom, as they have a full basement suite (that’s actually bigger than our condo right now! lol) We (read: I) really crammed a lot into our small space (just over 600 sq. ft) and our new place is about 1,500 sq. ft. Moving on up!

I made some zucchini ribbon pasta with red peppers and chicken Monday night, Tuesday I was at my moms, and yesterday I thought I would get a head start by making a salad during the day and letting it marinate until dinner. I also added some shrimp to it. I always  have a bag of frozen raw shrimp in the freezer, great for pastas etc. but I never think about making them for lunch or a quick snack. They take only a minute to thaw, under running water and peel, and only a few minutes to cook (I sauté them in lemon juice with pepper) So I decided to make some to go with my salad for dinner. The flavours are delicious, and I just poured the shrimp on top with the extra lemon juice from the pan. Definitely an easy weeknight dinner, make ahead the salad the day before, and throw on some shrimp. This salad would also be delicious with some chicken, or maybe a lamb or beef kebab. Great for bringing to picnics too! I made the quinoa earlier in the day and let it cool, and then just added about 1/2 a cup to the salad and kept the rest plain for a snack later.

(single lady) Marinated Quinoa Salad


  • 1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 Broccoli crown
  • 1 can Chick Peas (Garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • 3 large Garlic cloves (I like mine spicy! If you don’t love garlic you can use 1 clove)
  • Pepper
  • Parsley

To Prepare:

Wash and cut red pepper into small pieces, discarding the inside. Peel and cut cucumber into chunks.

In a food processor place half the broccoli crown and pulse until it is diced into small pieces. If you do not have a food processor, you can dice the broccoli using a knife. I love how small the food processor makes the broccoli, instead of having large chunks of it in a salad it is more of small granules. I also dice my garlic in the food processor, alternatively, you can dice it by hand.

Drain the chick peas in strainer, and rinse them well – if they are canned with Salt, rinsing them can actually remove quite a lot of the salt. Pour into medium sized bowl. Add the chopped pepper, cucumber and broccoli.

Add a 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, more or less as you desire.

Mix well.

Drizzle on top olive oil, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with pepper, and add the garlic on top. Mix again to thoroughly incorporate the juices and seasoning. Cut up a few sprigs of Parsley and mix in as well. I also threw on a dash of garlic powder (Thankfully Adam wasn’t home, I could keep away a vampire for sure with my garlic breath!)

Mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight. It can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. I made a large batch and have been eating it for lunch/dinner.

If you wanted to add some protein to it, I just sautéed the shrimp in lemon juice with some pepper, and once it was cooked I poured the shrimp along with all the juices in the pan onto the salad. It was delish!