Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

Today is my last “first day of school”…and I mean it this time! I have been enrolled in the Master’s in Health Communications program at Boston University since January 2013. After lots and lots of hours learning, studying and completing projects I am in my final class and will graduate in late December.  If you have been around me while I’ve balanced work, life and school the past 4 years – I know you are sighing with relief as well (I know my fiance is!).

Today is also the first day of National Pomegranate month! I thought I would celebrate with this tasty non-boring salad that can be used as a main meal or a pre-dinner salad. The pomegranate seeds combined with the pear and goat cheese are the perfect combination of savory and not too sweet. I have been loving Trader Joe’s frozen “Just Chicken” for an easy lean protein addition to my salads at lunch, but since I didn’t make it out to Woodruff Road this weekend, I opted for the Applegate Grilled Chicken Breast Strips which can also be found in the frozen section. They are wonderful and highly recommended for a girl on the go!

Not familiar with how to cut a pomegranate? Check out this easy tutorial from Simply Recipes.

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Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

Yield: 1 Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups 50/50 salad mix
  • 1/2 bosc pear, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate pearls
  • 1oz goat cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Directions

Starting with a large salad bowl, add the salad mix followed by the pear pieces, pomegranate pearls and goat cheese. Drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette and serve! Option to add 3oz of grilled chicken for an easy and healthy main meal.

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Healthy Bachelorette Meal: Pomegranate and Bosc Pear Salad with Goat Cheese, Chicken and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Zesty Mango Salsa

It’s summer, it’s hot, your hungry, i’m hungry… and lets just admit that we want something tasty and we want it quick!!  Mango salsa is one of my all time favs because you can actually put it on top of anything, dip anything into it, or eat it all by itself.  I like to add a ton of greens into mine and eat it as a salad OR put it on top of grilled shrimp or fish tacos.  I’m a little disappointed that my avocado wasn’t ripe enough to add to this because it would have been fantastic.  May I also recommend you bring this to the next event you find yourself invited to… people will be THRILLED!

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Zesty Mango Salsa 

Serves: 2 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (red or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (add a little at a time if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed (optional, but probably a good idea)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Directions

  1. combine all ingredients and serve!

 

A few notes and suggestions:

  • a ripe mango will be SUPER soft (don’t eat it unless you can leave a fingerprint on it when you squeeze it)
  • add black beans for added protein
  • add diced red or green bell pepper
  • add avocado (for obvious reasons)
  • use red onion instead of green
  • add more jalapeño if you like it extra spicy
  • serve on top of anything grilled (chicken, fish, shrimp, steak etc.)

Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

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How adorable are these South Carolina wine glasses that one of my bridesmaids got us for our engagement?

Hi everyone! Sorry for being MIA for the last couple of months…I’m not sure if you heard the news yet – but I am excited to share with you all that Trevor and I are engaged!! Not only are we engaged, but Meaghan is my maid of honor! Super exciting 🙂

This healthy bachelorette has been wedding planning like woah! Of course, we have been meal planning and cooking healthy meals and I am excited to getting back to sharing some of my recipes with you all.

DSC_0698Here is a recipe I made the other night that is perfect for a summer weeknight dinner out on the porch, or to bring to your 4th of July picnic. It’s a great side dish for grilled salmon or chicken, or even put it on a bed of arugula for a refreshing summer lunch. If you start snacking it on for breakfast, that’s not the end of the world either. The best part? It has 5 just ingredients!

The Healthy Bachelorette: Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad

Serves: 2 servings, 2 leftovers

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large local cucumber, cut into half moons
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Cut the watermelon and cucumber.
  2. In a large glass bowl, add the watermelon cubes, cut cucumber, olive oil and lime juice. Toss to combine.
  3. Add in the feta cheese and toss the salad to mix ingredients evenly.
  4. Serve cold – can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Apple Quinoa Kale Salad and Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

It’s fully fall here in New England… how do I know this?  I leave my house at 7am in a wool coat and come home at 5pm sweating and holding my wool coat.  New England temperature fluctuations never cease to amaze me, just be incredibly inconvenient.  But it’s all good, ya know? Especially when I have delicious food to make at home.  So, I haven’t been apple picking yet, which means I let some nice person from Whole Foods pick them for me (wink wink).  Please enjoy this quinoa salad however you wish! I served mine with oven baked spicy panko encrusted chicken, however, this would be awesome with fish or even just beans.  Luckily, kale is such a hearty beast that this salad will still taste good for lunch the next day. Our homemade dressing is as simple as it gets with just four ingredients – don’t worry all of the names are easy to pronounce!

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Apple Quinoa Kale Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Serves: 2 with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 5 of your leafiest Kale leaves
  • 1 large apple, chopped (use your favorite kind or whatever is seasonally available to you!)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Pepper to taste

For the dressing:

  • juice of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, tear the leaves off in small pieces from the kale stems, wash thoroughly, drain, and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the chopped apples, feta cheese, sliced green onions, and avocado.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl once cooked and toss well.  The heat from the quinoa will help soften the kale leaves.
  5. For the dressing: squeeze the lemon and lime juice into a medium bowl and add the honey.  Whisk well until combined.  While briskly whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until fully combined.
  6. Pour dressing over salad and serve!
Ingredients!

Ingredients!

Place all ingredients in the bowl together.

Place all ingredients in the bowl together.

Honey, lemon, and lime juice mixed together.

Honey, lemon, and lime juice mixed together.

Whisking in the olive oil.

Whisking in the olive oil.

Season with a pinch of salt and pepper!

Season with a pinch of salt and pepper!

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Warm Kale Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Pancetta

The Healthy Bachelorette: Warm Kale Salad with Apples and Pancetta

It’s Wednesday night at 7pm, and you’re just getting home. What to make for dinner? This amazingly easy and healthy warm kale salad of course! It’s a week night meal for one under 400 calories. With only 5 ingredients it can’t get any easier. This dish is both gluten free and dairy free and full of flavor. With the weather getting cooler (finally!) this combination of apples, walnuts and kale is perfect for a September weeknight dinner.

Chop all of your ingredients first, and then add them in step by step. Layer the dish until completion and then enjoy with your favorite book or magazine 🙂 Or you can be like me and watch My Best Friends Wedding. #90sgirlproblems

Warm Kale Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Pancetta

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1.5oz pancetta
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small apple, cubed
  • 5oz (1/2 10oz bag) of Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Black pepper to taste

DirectionsThe Healthy Bachelorette: Warm Kale Salad with Apples and Pancetta

  1. Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the pancetta and sautee for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in the sliced onions and garlic and sautee for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add black pepper to taste.
  4. Add in the cubed apple pieces and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the kale to the skillet. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Toss and cover again for 1 minute, being careful not to over cook the kale as it could become bitter.
  6. Add the kale and apple dish to a bowl, and top with walnuts.
  7. Enjoy!!

Avocado Farro Salad

If any of you are also experiencing this heat in not only a tiny apartment, but also with a poorly performing air conditioner unit,  you’ll understand my desire to eliminate all other sources of heat!   I’ve been avoiding my oven and using the stove only when I have to.  Grain based salads are great because not only are they easy to make, but they have a substantial amount of protein in them and make it an easy way to get in lots of veggies during the day.  If you don’t like Farro (or have the patience for it to cook – I barely do), try quinoa, brown rice, or barley too.

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Avocado Farro Salad

Serves 2 with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Farro, dry
  • 1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons tarragon, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (flavored olive oil is even better!)
  • Avocado for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook the faro according to package directions. It usually runs 1 cup faro: 1.5 cups water. Plan ahead because this will take about an hour to cook.

2. While the faro cooks, prepare the remaining ingredients. Add the beans, feta, tarragon, peppers, parsley, and olive oil to a bowl. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Once the faro is cooked, add to the bowl with all of the ingredients. Mix well and serve.

* This is also great served cold the next day for lunch with salad or chicken etc.

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Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

There is nothing like a fresh, homemade salad dressing!  As a person who did not grow up with it, I can truly appreciate homemade dressing and all its wonderful uses.  I can also appreciate something that so delightfully masks the bitter and mostly unenjoyable flavor of kale!  Lets be serious, it does’t taste too good if you only wash it, chop, and throw it into your bowl with a typical bottled salad dressing- not the way to go folks! Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat kale, but there are many things we can do to spice up that flavor.  I hope everyone is feeling more relieved that the Dietitian agrees that kale tastes horrible and simply needs a little TLC, nbd.  Please enjoy your next kale salad as follows!

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Ginger Sesame Almond Kale Salad

Serves: 2 (with leftovers)

Makes approximately 1 cup of dressing, Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups washed and chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 heaping tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries

Directions:

1.  Place chopped kale in a large bowl and keep to the side.

2. Place the next 8 ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 10-15 seconds until dressing is completely combined. Please note you can also make this in a bowl with a whisk!

3. Once dressing is complete, mix in the sesame seeds.

4. Dress the kale salad to your liking and mix in the cranberries and slivered almonds.  This salad tastes best if you let it sit for 10-15 minutes prior to serving!

Blending the dressing!

Blending the dressing!

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