Easy Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Feta: A satisfying vegetarian lunch or side dish

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Hey guys! Wow, I feel like it has been forever since I have posted a recipe, or any content for that matter. I love writing in this space and sharing my favorite recipes and sports nutrition information with you guys, but I guess you could say that this season has been a super busy one. In August I traveled almost every weekend (Seattle, Florida, and West Texas) and my schedules seemed packed in-between with unpacking from the last trip, prepping for the next trip and getting all of my work done and wanting to still spend time with friends and family! I know I’m not alone in this feeling. I’m sure some, if not all, of you guys have been there before as well!

Anyway, I find myself with a little time to sit and write and so I want to share this easy recipe that I put together months and months ago! I made it originally as a side dish and then saved the leftovers for lunches. You could use it for both a side dish or entree, but lately I’ve been prepping it and using it for a cold grain salad for lunch. Sometimes I add a hardboiled egg or two on top or some grilled chicken if I have it, but often times I pack it as-is and pair it with a fruit and a Greek yogurt for a boost of protein, calcium and a few more food groups (if you have ever worked with me, you know I’m all about varying those food groups in a meal!).

I came up with this recipe because I wanted an easy vegetarian lunch option. I like making quinoa because it’s high in protein, has lots of fiber and it’s super quick to prepare. However, so many quinoa dishes, in my opinion, end up really bland and blah. So I realized in order to make a dish using quinoa more flavorful, I needed to add the flavor to the actual quinoa, not just the dish itself. That’s where I decided to try incorporating a light dressing with it, something that would not overpower the dish (like a thick creamy sauce) but that would instead enhance and complement the other elements of the dish without being super obvious. If you know me, you know I’m a fan of Dijon mustards and alllllwwwaaaayyys have a few varieties in my fridge. So, I whisked together this easy vinaigrette and, I have to say, the dressing is what MAKES the dish. However you may alter this dish, DO NOT leave out the dressing! This is one of my new favorite vegetarian lunch options and I often find myself quickly throwing it together on a Sunday afternoon to have ready to go for when the week ahead gets busy!

I hope you give this recipe a shot. Definitely try it if you’re a vegetarian, but even if you’re not, make it a side dish at the dinner table or make it a base for your chicken or fish. I’m telling you, it takes no time at all. I think this recipe takes me about 45 minutes to make from prep to plate (or packed in the fridge), but because a lot of this is done in the oven or on the stove, you’re freed up to tackle some other chores around the house. PLUS, you’ll have a good amount to last you a few days or through the week, depending on how many people are sharing it and how you’re serving it.

It’s packed with nutrition and a great source of lasting energy to keep you going during busy days whether you’re an athlete or a busy parent trying to keep up with your busy athlete’s crazy schedule!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Happy Fueling!



Makes about 5 cups


  • 3 cups sliced raw squash, sliced about 1/4 - inch thick

  • 3 cups sliced raw zucchini, sliced about 1/4 - inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt + pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

  • One 15 oz can of black beans, drained & rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta

  • 1/4 cup Dijon vinaigrette (see recipe below)

For Dijon Vinaigrette:

Makes about 1/4 cup of dressing

  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar


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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Toss sliced squash & zucchini in the tablespoon of olive oil and the salt and pepper.

  3. Spread out evenly on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet (sometimes I grease the pan with a little more of the olive oil or with cooking spray before laying out the squash. Just gives it a little more protection from having the squash stick to the pan during roasting).

  4. Bake the squash at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through to make sure cooked evenly on both sides (I like to make sure both sides get a little browned).

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5. While the squash is cooking, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Once the quinoa is done cooking, allow to sit and cool slightly while the veggies finish cooking.

6. Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the Dijon dressing.

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7. After everything is cooked, toss the quinoa, veggies, feta and black beans in a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

8. Drizzle the Dijon dressing over the salad and toss to disperse the dressing evenly throughout the quinoa and veggies.


8. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for lunches and dinners later in the week!


One thing I love about this dish is that it can make a hearty vegetarian entree OR you can use it as a base for a delicious piece of fish or grilled chicken OR you can serve it up as a side at dinner with friends and family. You can also add additional roasted veggies to this if there is something you particularly like!


This quinoa salad is hearty and filling. The quinoa offers quality carbohydrates, fiber and it’s a grain with a higher protein content! The beans offer extra protein plus some iron, zinc and more quality carbohydrate. The summer squash adds great color plus additional vitamins and the feta adds a little fat, calcium and protein (although there is just a sprinkle of feta in the recipe so these nutrients are not super significant). Then to top it off, you have healthy monounsaturated fats from the olive oil to fight inflammation, promote satiety and help the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in the meal!

The Best Grilled Steak Sandwiches


A couple of weekends ago Kyle and I had such a great time grilling out steaks with some friends. Everything about the evening was fun- the food, the conversation, the company and the game night that ended the evening! Then, it was a bonus because the following Monday we had pretty much everything we needed for these incredibly delicious and incredibly easy steak sandwiches! I don’t know about you guys but we just can’t let good steak go to waste. Actually, I really don’t like letting any food go to waste. However, I don’t want to eat it the exact same way on round two. I have learned that everyone has a leftover preference. I’ve learned that my husband’s family loves turning steak from the night before into steak & potato burritos the next morning. I know of other friends who love steak and eggs. Me? I love a warm and savory steak sandwich. I’ve made this a couple of ways over the years, but I have to say that this one is the best! I was seriously loving every. single. bite. of this sandwich! The flavors all combine perfectly and the spread that I whipped up pretty much seals the deal. I knew that my husband even liked it when he dipped the spoon back in the bowl to slather on a little more of that creamy spread (he is somewhat of a purist, especially when it comes to meat, and so sauces are something with which he is a bit hesitant).

This sandwich is so simple to make. I think I started pulling out the ingredients and cooking the other parts of the sandwich around 6:15 and we were sitting at the table by about 7. I pulled the steak out of the fridge to take some of the chill off. Then I broiled / roasted my red bell pepper just like I always do. You can find quick instructions on that here (or you can buy jarred roasted red bell pepper, of course). Then I heated some olive oil in the skillet and started to saute my mushrooms on medium heat, which probably took about 10 minutes or so. While those cooked on the skillet I was able to quickly whisk together the spread. I have been experimenting with garlic infused olive oil recently and so far am LOVING it! You can use fresh garlic in the sauce if you want, but, I think a tiny bit of the garlic-infused olive oil in the sauce is absolutely delectable and really makes the sauce what it is! After the mushrooms are done I removed them onto a plate and covered to keep warm. I then sauteed some white onions so Kyle could put them on his sandwich. You can definitely do that too if you want!

The next time you decide to grill out steaks, make sure to grill a little extra so that you can enjoy these sandwiches for one of your dinners to follow. It has carbohydrate, veggies, and protein all in one bite. It’s filling, it’s satisfying, it’s nutritious, it’s delicious and I hope you find the time to give it a try!

Happy Fueling!



Makes 2 sandwiches

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For the Sandwiches:

  • 4 slices of sourdough bread

  • Already grilled steak (about a couple of ounces per sandwich, or however much you want!)

  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced into about 1/4 inch-thick slices

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted & skin removed (see easy instructions here. Or you can buy jarred already roasted bell peppers at the store)

  • 1/2 cup of packed spinach

  • Dill Aioli

For the Dill Aioli:

  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic-infused EVOO

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

  • sprinkle of salt (1/8 teaspoon or less)


  1. Follow the directions here to slice and roast your red bell pepper.

  2. While your bell peppers roast, heat about 2 teaspoons of olive or canola oil in a medium skillet on medium heat.

  3. Add mushrooms to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms begin to sweat and become fork-tender.

  4. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

  5. Your peppers should also be done at this point. Once peeled, keep sealed in foil or covered on same plate as the mushrooms to keep warm.

  6. Reheat the steak in the oven or in the microwave (about 1 minute in microwave)

  7. Whisk together all of the ingredients for your Dill Aioli

  8. Toast the sourdough bread.

  9. Now it’s time to assemble the sandwiches! To assemble each sandwich:

    1. On one slice of bread spread about 2 to 3 teaspoons of the aioli.

    2. On the other slice add your spinach, followed by slices of your steak, followed by about half of the sliced roasted red peppers followed by about 4 mushroom slices.

  10. Press your sandwich together and enjoy!


Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast


So, it appears I have a recipe theme of “shrimp meals” going on this month as my last post was this super simple and delicious Grilled Pesto Garden Salad with Warm Balsamic Shrimp. Today I’m continuing on with the theme and sharing my Citrus Shrimp & Avocado Toast Recipe. I have had this one in my recipe binder for years now and it has a regular presence in our home. I don’t know how it has not made it's way to the blog until today! Needless to say, I’m really excited to share this one with you guys.

As you probably already know by now, I’m a big fan of simple meals with simple but tasty quality ingredients. I always ask myself, “How can I bring out the flavors of simple ingredients and pair them together for a memorable meal with family and friends?” I, personally, think this recipe is one that answers this question perfectly. It takes the classic avocado toast but adds a few more ingredients, including a little bit of protein, to help make it a more complete meal and a good option for you and your busy athletes!

The tomatoes can cook on the stove or you can broil them in the oven while you cook the shrimp and toast your bread (I typically broil them so it frees me up to work on the other components of the dish). Once that is complete, you just have to start building your toast! This dish has alllll the wonderful flavors going on with the layer of creamy savory avocado, juicy sweet and salty tomatoes, a pop of sweet yellow corn and those warm citrusy chili shrimp. I seriously do love this dish and it’s so easy for those hot southern summer nights when you want something cool but satisfying for dinner. Whatever your schedule may be, I hope you can enjoy this dish with me this summer!

Happy Fueling!



Makes 2 toasts



For the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1/2 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (you will have shrimp leftover for meals later that week. I typically do 3 or 4 shrimp per piece of toast)

For the Toast:

  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread

  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 2 medium avocados)

  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 dry pints of cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons frozen & thawed corn (or you can use fresh cooked)

  • OPTIONAL - 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, served on the side and sprinkled over toast


  1. To make the shrimp marinade, combine the ingredients for the shrimp in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.

  2. Add the shrimp to a plastic sealable bag and then pour in the marinade.

  3. Place plastic bag in the refrigerator and allow the shrimp to marinate for around an hour (you could also put in the fridge in the morning and have it ready to go in the evening for dinner)

  4. Set the oven to broil and line a small baking sheet with foil.

  5. Add lime juice to the mashed avocado to flavor it and prevent it from browning while you prepare the rest of the dish.

  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes with the 1 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

  7. Add the tomatoes to the baking sheet and allow to broil in the oven about 6 to 8 minutes.

  8. While the tomatoes cook, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.

  9. Add the marinated shrimp to the skillet and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are white throughout.

  10. Remove the cooked tomatoes from the broiler and set aside.

  11. Begin to toast your bread and remove the shrimp from the heat when done cooking.

  12. Place your slices of toast on separate plates or a serving platter and assemble by adding to each slice:

    1. Mashed avocado

    2. Broiled tomatoes

    3. Sweet yellow corn (about 1 tablespoon per toast)

    4. 3 to 4 orange lime citrus shrimp

  13. Sprinkle slices with feta, if desired, and enjoy!


The shrimp and whole grain bread provide PROTEIN

The roasted tomatoes are full of VITAMIN C and LYCOPENE. The vitamin C can help the body absorb any iron found in this dish (like in the whole grain bread or any in the shrimp)

The creamy avocado provides POTASSIUM, LUTEIN, and MONOUNSATURATED FATS. Beneficial for bone health, muscle contractions, good vision, brain health and helping fight inflammation!


Use any extra ingredients as toppings on salads, mix-ins for eggs, or make another round of this delicious toast!

Grilled Pesto Garden Salad with Warm Balsamic Shrimp

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Here is another summer salad idea for ya! I created this salad recipe years ago (probably 5 years ago?) and it has been a consistent favorite for me and my fam ever since. I love this salad not only for its great flavor but also for its simplicity - just what I’m craving on busy weeknights or summer nights. And, I was just telling my husband that I love grilling out because it seems to make for minimal kitchen cleanup, which is a double bonus to me!

This salad is easy to prep with 3 pretty simple steps:

  1. Make the balsamic marinade and marinate the shrimp the morning of or a few hours before you plan to grill them (go ahead and skewer them before putting them in the marinade if you intend to cook them skewered on the grill).

  2. Chop up all your veggies and add to a bowl with the olive oil and salt.

  3. Make sure all other ingredients are on-hand (I used store-bought jarred pesto that I keep in our fridge, but you could prep that ahead too if you wanted to use homemade pesto).

I prepped our shrimp in the morning before church and then in the afternoon prepped the veggies and started to build the salads as items went and came off of the grill.

This is such a super fresh and delicious dinner option that I hope you try it and I hope it makes just as easy of a dinner for your busy family as it does for mine. Depending on how many you are serving, this salad can also make at least one more filling and energizing meal for lunch the next day. The pesto makes it a flavor-packed way to get your veggies and the shrimp bumps up the protein. We enjoyed ours with fresh bread from Central Market’s bakery. I’m LOVING the new Central Market on NW Highway. Sadly, they didn’t have my favorite bread, the chia & flaxseed bread, at this location. However, they did have a Seedsation bread that both my husband and I like and we made that the easy quality carbohydrate of our meal. I’m always a proponent of including some sort of quality carbohydrate with a meal and it’s really important for young athletes. Whether it’s before events to fuel their muscles, getting them ready for an hour or more of running, kicking, jumping, etc. or it’s after the game, restoring used energy pools in the muscle or being used as any energy source for the body so that protein can rebuild and repair, it’s important! I hope you, your family and your young athletes can enjoy this warm simple summer salad.

Happy Fueling!



Makes about 2 to 3 salads


For Salad

  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved and sliced into about 1/4 inch thick slices

  • 1 bunch of asparagus (1 pound, give or take), chopped into about 2-inch long spears

  • 1 red bell peppers, cut into large pieces or squares (I like having the bigger grilled pieces to bite into)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large pieces or squares (like the red peppers)

  • 4 cups mixed greens (or more if you want bigger salads)

  • 2 tablespoons of pesto (plus more for serving, if desired)

  • About 1/2 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined (this may get you around 5 to 6 shrimp per person, depending on the shrimp. If you want more then, certainly use more. I bought a pound of shrimp and grilled so that I would have leftovers for a lunch or two during the week)

  • OPTIONAL - 1 loaf whole grain rustic bread (we love the Seedsation bread and Chia & Flaxseed bread fro Central Market)

For Vinaigrette for the Shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

  • Pepper, to taste


  1. The morning of or a few hours before cooking, whisk together all of the Vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Pour vinaigrette into a large ziplock bag along with the shrimp.

  3. Seal tightly and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

  4. When ready to cook, heat grill or grill pan to medium heat.

  5. Add your pesto to the bottom of a large mixing bowl (you will be adding the grilled veggies to this later and tossing together).

  6. Toss the chopped vegetables with 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper.

  7. Grill the vegetables on the grill until they start to soften and begin to get grill marks, about 10 to 20 minutes).

  8. Place the grilled veggies in the bowl with the pesto and gently toss together. Tent with foil or place in a warm oven to keep warm.

  9. Remove shrimp from the bowl or bag with marinade and grill about 2 minutes per side.

  10. Assemble salad by adding 1 cup of mixed greens to base of each plate.

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11. Top the spinach leaves with the warm pesto roasted vegetables.

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12. Sprinkle each salad with about 1 tablespoon of feta cheese.

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13. Top with your balsamic grilled shrimp

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14. Serve with warm crusty rustic bread, if desired, and enjoy!

Make It Again!

With the leftovers from this recipe, I like taking the pesto grilled veggies and the leftover balsamic shrimp and adding it to cooked quinoa and then adding a little feta sprinkled on top. You can give it a quick reheat in the microwave or enjoy it as a cold salad as is!

Simple Seven-Ingredient Tuna Burgers

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I know that tuna burgers may not be the most glamorous idea around but this recipe takes them up just a notch, adding lots of flavor, a little texture, and a simple weekday or weeknight meal! I discovered tuna burgers in college, actually. We had a recipe for one in my food science class and my group was in charge of making it. After my very reluctant first bite I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I liked it and, not only did I like it, but I realized I would actually look forward to eating something like this on a regular basis. These tuna burgers, with a few easy adjustments, began to be a college dinner staple for me. In the hot Texas summers I could get home and easily cook up two or three or four of these so I would have leftovers to reheat for the week. Because it was so hot this particular summer, I would make a huge crisp cool salad with mango and bell peppers and some feta and place this warm tuna burger right on top. The flavor combos were perfect! Sometime after college and on into grad school I lost the recipe and stopped making the burgers. However, this past year, looking for more quick and simple meal ideas, I remembered these burgers and began pairing ingredients together to make my own version and bring it back. This is my new tuna burger recipe. It’s an easy source of protein with a little carbohydrate and just the right amount of flavor that makes it perfect any night of the week. You can incorporate it in a salad, on a burger, or on its own with a couple of simple sides. It’s super easy, super versatile, and something everyone might like, from the parent to the young athlete to the adult athlete. So, here you go, the recipe for these Simple Seven-Ingredient Tuna Burgers.

Happy Fueling!



A Quick Recipe for You & Your Young Athlete

Makes 2 patties


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  • 8 oz canned light tuna

  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic

  • 1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup plain bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup diced white onion

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line a medium baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside.

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3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix together the tuna, eggs, Dijon, garlic and bread crumbs.

4. In a medium skillet, heat the 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat.

5. Add the onions to the heated skillet and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have started to brown.

6. Add the cooked onion mixture to the tuna mixture and stir to combine all ingredients.

7. Heat the last two teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat in the medium skillet that you cooked the onions in.

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8. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the tuna mix , shape into a medium-size patty and place on preheated skillet. Do the same with the remaining tuna mixture. If not enough space in your skillet, you can cook the patties one at a time.

9. Cook the patties in the heated skillet for about six minutes per side until browned on both sides.

10. Place patties on lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 4 to 6 minutes.

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11. Remove from the oven and serve as burgers with your favorite toppings and sides.

12. Enjoy!

Make It Again!

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These tuna burgers can be served lots of different ways, which is one of the reasons that I love them! Serve over a crisp cool salad in the summer or serve them like a burger bar, providing lots of different toppings to choose from. I love them simple with lettuce, tomato and maybe mustard or I have served them with a Greek Ziziki sauce, which has also been excellent! Or, you can choose to keep it really simple and serve on their own with a few yummy sides!

My Go-To Hearty Kale Salad

If you have been following along lately, you know that I have been throwing together a lot of salads. They are just so quick and easy and versatile. You can throw anything in them and run out the door. And, I’m not one that can always go out to lunch, so it’s great to have this ready to go at work. I always include one or two things with it, like an apple or a yogurt, or a granola bar or crackers and hummus, but this salad really helps satisfy me and keep me energized for the rest of my day.


To me it’s hard to prep salads ahead of time because so many of the lettuces like spinach and mixed greens can get wilty (is that a word? I’m goin’ with it) really quickly. The great thing about kale is that I can go ahead and wash it, chop it and throw it in a bowl, or put together and dress my salad completely and it will still be good in a couple of days! For all of these reasons, I have been loving this kale salad. This is the variety I typically make but I put a few other varieties at the end of this post. You can either prep the greens and toppings and store separately, allowing for more variety during the week or go ahead and throw it all together in one large bowl! When I use this creamy tahini caesar (which I tell you in my post is by Cookie & Kate) I usually store it separately. If using a balsamic or some sort of vinaigrette, I’ll often go ahead and massage the dressing into the kale. It helps break it down a little bit so it is not so tough when it’s time to enjoy it.

Today I’m sharing this tasty, fueling and satisfying go-to salad with you. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Fueling!


My Go-To Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Caesar Dressing

Makes about 4 entree-salads (if using about 2 1/2 cups per salad)


  • 2 Balsamic Roasted Portobello mushrooms (recipe and 3 ingredients in this post)

  • 1 batch of Tahini Caesar Dressing (recipe & ingredients in this post, original recipe by Cookie & Kate)

  • 7 cups chopped Lacinato kale (about 1 bunch)

  • 5 cups lightly packed Romaine lettuce

  • One 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional but I LOVE adding these!)


  1. Preheat oven and roast mushrooms according to directions linked above.

  2. While the mushrooms roast, whisk together the ingredients for the Tahini Caesar dressing in a small bowl (recipe linked above). Keep in the bowl or pour into a small mason jar (or other airtight container) to store and use throughout the week.

  3. Add the pumpkin seeds to a small skillet and heat on medium heat. Cook about 5 minutes until the seeds begin to “pop”, brown and you start to smell their rich nuttiness. Yum! You don’t need to add any oil to the skillet because seeds naturally contain oil that will start to come out as the seeds begin to heat up.

  4. Add the kale, romaine, chickpeas, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, roasted chopped portobello mushrooms and pumpkin seeds to a large mixing bowl and toss together with tongs or salad spoons to incorporate all ingredients.

  5. Store the salad and dressing in the refrigerator separately to use throughout the week. Or, if serving for a group immediately, add dressing to the salad and toss until all well-combined. I would start with about 1/4 cup of dressing and toss all together. Add more dressing as needed or let your guests add it separately at the table!

  6. Enjoy!

Nutrition Notes:

Kale: Did you know kale is a non-dairy source of calcium?! I try to incorporate it into any of my athletes meals that don’t eat dairy but will eat kale (that’s not often, ha, but I’ll take it when I can!) This leafy green also contains, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese.

Tomatoes: vitamin C, lycopene, fluid, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium

Chickpeas: protein, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, copper, manganese

Pumpkin Seeds: protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats & some omega 3’s, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc

Tahini: protein, thiamin, phosphorus, monounsaturated fats and some omega 3’s, copper, manganese

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Balsamic Roasted Portobellos


I am such a fan of portobello mushrooms. They add a meatiness to dishes, they bring out the flavor of other ingredients in dishes, and, I think, you can really add any flavors to them that you want to them. They are so easy to roast and they can be stored in the refrigerator to incorporate in dishes later throughout the week. You can stuff them, add them to pasta sauces, make them a burger if you don’t eat meat and so much more. The other day I decided that I needed something more for my kale caesar salad and pretty quickly these portobellos came to mind. I’m sharing this super simple recipe with you guys today so that you can throw these together for an easy side dish, salad topping, entree and more any night of the week!

Happy Fueling!


Simple Balsamic Roasted Portobello Mushrooms

Makes 2 mushrooms



  • 2 large portobello mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Line a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

  3. Using a basting brush (I love my silicone one that we got as part of a wedding gift), lightly brush the olive oil on both sides of both mushrooms. You don’t have to use all of the olive oil.

  4. Using the same basting brush, brush the balsamic vinegar on both sides of the mushrooms. Use as much of the balsamic as you can. I try to make sure it gets in the ridges (or gills) of the underside of the mushroom.

  5. Now place the mushrooms gill-side-up on the lined baking sheet.

  6. Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

  7. There will be liquid in the well of the mushroom. I just pour that out into the sink. If you are adding the to a pasta or other dish, add that liquid into what you are cooking for extra flavor!

  8. Leave the mushrooms whole or dice them to add to sides, salads, pastas and more.

  9. Enjoy!


Mushrooms are great for their meatiness and their ability to bring out the flavors of foods they are paired with. They are also packed with nutrients like niacin & riboflavin (B vitamins that help the body make energy), selenium, phosphorus, copper and potassium, which are all important nutrients in helping our body function properly.

Creamy Tahini Caesar Dressing

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Hello friends! Hope everyone had a good weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you know it was a harder weekend for me. I can’t say that each year the weekend gets easier for me but I can say that I’m learning how to honor it, how I respond to it, and what I need to get me through it. It’s certainly a process but I’m learning and it is nice to be able to be honest with myself and allow myself the time and the space to reflect and fill my mind and time with things that nurture and continue to help me heal. For anyone who has lost someone close to them, I know we all have a different journey. This is part of mine and I just wanted to share a little of that with you this morning as it is a part of what makes me who I am today.

TODAY, however, is the start of a new week and I want to share with you a dressing that I have been loving lately. I typically always make my salad dressing from scratch because, with the right ingredients, you can make a dressing yourself better than anything you can buy off the shelf! My husband and I tend to like simpler dressings and my usual go-tos are a balsamic vinaigrette, a honey Dijon vinaigrette, or a champagne vinaigrette. Which dressing we use depends on the items in our salads. I’ve really never been a huge Caesar dressing girl and my experimenting with making homemade Caesar dressings has left me with the same final conclusion - just not a huge fan. HOWEVER, I discovered this Tahini Caesar dressing in my Cookie + Kate cookbook a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a staple on my lunch salads that I take to work! I’m sure it could also make a great addition to other entrees or side dishes or to my Vegetarian Sweet Potato that I published a while back. I highly recommend you visit her blog, which I have linked below. I believe you can find this dressing there (not positive b/c I got it from her cookbook). I really wanted to have the recipe in this space and be able to share it with you and so I have included it below. I talk about this cookbook a bunch because it’s another one of my go-tos when I want a hearty vegetarian option for dinner or lunch. I highly recommend you visit her blog or get her cookbook (this is not sponsored, I just really like her cookbook)!

I’ll be enjoying this dressing later today, but before I head out to the office, I’m sharing this dressing with you here.

Happy Fueling!


Tahini Caesar Dressing

By Kathryn Taylor (Cookie and Kate blog)

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  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, and salt.

  2. Whisk until blended, then add the water and whisk until you have a smooth, blended tahini sauce.

  3. Season generously with black pepper (about 10 twists).

  4. The dressing should be tangy, like classic Caesar dressings. If it’s overwhelmingly tart or too think to pour, whisk in an additional tablespoon of water. Mine was pretty thick so I ended up whisking in probably about 2 more tablespoons of water.

Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon

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I was definitely not a salmon lover growing up. Other than fish sticks and fried catfish, I really didn’t care for fish at all. That is, until high school when I started trying more foods and then college where I started cooking, learning about nutrition, and experimenting with different recipes. Now I love it and, because it is recommended to include fatty fish like salmon or tuna in your weekly diet, I have been trying to figure out a way to keep salmon on our weekly menu. It try to mix it up to keep it from getting boring.

Why include fatty fish like salmon and tuna, you may ask? Well, both of these fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which, studies have found and continue to find, can improve our heart health, aid in brain health, and fight inflammation in the body. This is important for pretty much everyone, from the infant needing the DHA and EPA for brain development to the child continuing to grow and develop to the young and adult athlete in states of inflammation after hard practices, games and competitions to the older adult potentially struggling with arthritis or other inflammatory diseases. Plus, it can help all of these groups mentioned maintain a healthy heart! And, if that is not enough, salmon can be a source of vitamin D, which is super hard to get from the diet and its fat helps the body digest the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A, D, E and K.

SO, for all of those reasons, let’s start incorporating more fatty fish into our diets, shall we?! I have a few other salmon recipes on the blog including my simple lemon dijon salmon and my spinach & feta stuffed salmon, and I’m excited to add this one to our family list. If you don’t like ginger, it might not be your thing, but if you don’t mind it, then I certainly recommend giving this recipe a try! Here you go. The recipe for my Miso Ginger Glazed Salmon.

Happy Fueling!



Serves 2


  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets

  • 2 tablespoons yellow miso paste (I used the Light yellow miso that I found at Central Market)

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oli

  • 1 teaspoon grated, minced ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Brush some of the sauce over the salmon filet, covering the top entirely.

  3. Save any remaining sauce to spoon over the cooked filets, if desired.

  4. Cook the salmon for about 15 minutes or until desired level of doneness.

  5. Serve each salmon filet with your favorite veggies, a crisp green salad and fluffy rice and enjoy!

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Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups


Hello! How is everyone’s week going? Mine has been quite packed, but the good kind of packed that keeps you on your toes and keeps you thinking. So much going on in January in the world of Wellness and I’m also staying pretty busy with sports nutrition items as well.

Today, however, oh my gosh, I’m excited to finally get to share with you one of my newer recipes, these jazzed up mac and cheese cups.. This is one of my favorite recipes yet. It’s so savory and cheesy and easy to eat. It’s basically mac & cheese with a few surprise ingredients in a cup! And a bonus - made with milk and cheese, each cup packs in some calcium, which we know everyone needs, especially the young growing athlete. I actually created these about a year ago, but it took me a few times to get the recipe just the way I wanted it and then I, of course, had to have friends and family give them a try and earn their stamp of approval. You can prep these ahead and then store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake which, if you know my recipes, you know I love. They also store and reheat nicely, which is great because the recipe makes 12. I store them in a big airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. They can be an easy option to take to school or work or enjoy as a late night dinner or post-practice snack. What makes them jazzed up? Well, I substitute some of the pasta for roasted cauliflower and add in sun dried tomatoes, which gives it a whole new level of deliciousness. And, honestly, you may not even realize it’s cauliflower in there if you are not paying attention. I seriously love these and I hope you do to! So, here you go, the recipe for my Jazzed Up Mac & Cheese Cups.

Happy Fueling!



Makes 12 cups


  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup macaroni noodles (will use 1 1/2 cups cooked)

  • Cooking Spray

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon flour

  • 1 1/4 cup 1% milk

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon creamy Dijon mustard

  • 1 whole egg, whisked

  • 1/2 cup rehydrated (according to package directions) and chopped sun dried tomatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the chopped cauliflower with the olive oil and salt.


Spread cauliflower on lined baking sheet.

Roast cauliflower in preheated oven for 15 minutes, stir the cauliflower, and roast for 15 minutes more.

While the cauliflower cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil and, once boiling, add the macaroni, cooking about 7 to 8 minutes until tender. When done, drain the cooked macaroni into a large colander and set aside.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

Now, increase the heat of the oven to 425 degrees F.


Prep a 12-muffin tin (or two 6-muffin tins) by spraying lightly with cooking spray and then, using about 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese, sprinkle on the bottom of each muffin tin.


Heat the same large pot you used to cook the noodles in to medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of flour. Whisk for about 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the flour to cook and start to brown.

Add the milk, whisking slowly as you pour it in, and continue to cook, whisking occasionally, until the milk begins to warm almost coming to a simmer.

Add the cheese to the warm milk and whisk in until the cheese melts into the milk and the mix is smooth.

Take pot off the heat and add the Dijon and egg and stir to incorporate all ingredients together.

Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked macaroni, the sun dried tomatoes, and the cauliflower to the pot and fold it into the cheese sauce.

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Spoon mac and cheese mixture into each muffin tin (about 1/4 cup mix per tin).

Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove cooked mac and cheese cups from the oven, sprinkle tops of each with remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese divided equally between every cup.

Turn oven to a broil and broil on low for about 1 to 2 minutes until the tops start to brown and crisp a little.

Remove cups from the oven.

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Allow to cool about 10 minutes so that the cups will keep their shape when you take them out of your tins. After they cool a little, I run a knife around the edges of each muffin tin to help get each mac and cheese cup out smoothly.

Serve immediately or store to enjoy later in the week!

Serve It Again!

As I mentioned earlier. Wrap each individually in foil or plastic wrap to pull out and take with you as a part of lunch. Or reheat them as an easy side with dinner another night of the week. OR grab one after an afternoon or evening practice as an easy source of protein, quality carbohydrate and calcium!


Just one of these scrumptious cups contains 210 mg of calcium!