Fiesta Salad

Fiesta Salad

It’s not even warm yet and this is currently my favorite salad. I can only imagine how refreshing it will taste in the summer! It has lots of crunch, which I love, and it’s dressed with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. I’ll give you the recipe I use, and you go from there!

Not only is this a great salad to have for lunch, or for dinner on a hot summer night — but it is also a delicious salad to take to a barbecue. It has no mayo so it can sit out for a while, making it the perfect side dish to bring!

I’m not sure where the original recipe came from as she didn’t say, but I got the recipe from a teaspoon of happiness ‘ blog and adapted it to my taste. If you think you don’t want the chickpeas in there, give them a try. I reduced the amount from the other recipe and for me it’s a good balance. They are full of protein and so healthy. I used frozen corn that I roasted for mine which added a great flavor, but you can use any type of corn. So make it yours and enjoy!

**Note: I will tell you how to quickly roast up some frozen corn after the recipe! **

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Fiesta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Ingredients for Salad:
12 oz. corn (frozen bag), roasted – or any cooked corn of your choice. If you use canned, drain and rinse first.
1 can (16 oz.) chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 to 1   1/2 chopped English cucumber (the long ones with ridges)
A few shy of a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
Small red onion or 1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, diced (use whatever color you like or mix it up!)

Ingredients for Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 2 limes (about 4 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, mined -or- 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic in jar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:
1. Chop up all veggies and put into a large bowl. Rinse and drain the chickpeas and put them into the bowl. Add your corn. Mix well.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk together. Pour over the salad and mix well, making sure everything is coated.
3. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two, but overnight is best!

**If you want to roast up some corn quickly, just take a bag of frozen corn and pour it onto a baking sheet. Add a little oil, salt, and pepper and combine. Put under the broiler for about 5-8 minutes and you have roasted corn! (Just keep an eye on it so you don’t have burnt corn…you know how tricky those broilers can be.)

I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do!
Micha

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Peanut Butter Granola ~ Quick and Easy!

Peanut Butter Granola

Here is a quick, easy, and healthy recipe for Peanut Butter Granola that I know you will love. You need a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. It whips up in no time! Eat as a snack or sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream. Hope you give it a try!

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Peanut Butter Granola

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
3. Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave on high until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.
4. Stir cinnamon and vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture. Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
5. Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes until granola is slightly browned. Let cool until granola is crunchy.

Recipe source: www.shape.com

Micha

Homemade Turkey Soup

Homemade Turkey Soup

Did I ever mention I love to make soup? Not only is it comfort food on a cold, winter day, but the process of chopping up the ingredients and building layers of flavor is so much fun to me. Everybody in the pool! It’s so easy to do and it’s hard to mess up.

A day before I made the turkey soup, I put two turkey thighs (on the bone) in my slow cooker, seasoned them, added a little chicken broth (about 1 cup), and cooked them several hours on low. I refrigerated them until I was ready to make the soup the following day. {Save that yucky congealed broth…You’ll add it to the soup.} You can certainly use any leftover turkey you have if you cooked one recently! I’d recommend sticking with the dark meat for more flavor, though.

The wonderful thing about soup is that you add in what you like and leave out what you don’t like! I’ll tell you what I add in mine and you go from there. Let me mention that I prefer my soup a little thicker, or chunkier, rather than with too much broth. (Doesn’t Rachael Ray call that “stoup”?) Simply add more broth or water if you want more broth. Just make sure to keep tasting it to see if you need more seasoning.

Homemade Turkey Soup by Micha
Ingredients:
2 turkey thighs – seasoned, cooked, meat removed from bones, and cut up or shredded
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion (I like to use sweet or yellow)
8 carrots (not the baby carrots) – peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
12 oz. of fresh green beans, cut up*
2 large cloves of garlic, minced (or grated in with microplane like I do)
2 cartons (32 oz. each) of chicken broth, or turkey broth if you can find it
2-4 cups water, depending on how you like your soup
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt-free garlic and herb seasoning
1 tsp. dried parsley
1  1/2 cups uncooked Ditalini pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
*Any other veggies or additions you prefer. I like to add some frozen corn when I add the pasta.

Directions:
1. Grab a big pot and add your oil, heating it over medium to medium-high heat.
2. While that’s heating, chop up your onion and add it to the pot.
3. Chop carrots and add them to the pot. Keep stirring as you add ingredients.
4. Chop up the celery and add it to the pot.
5. Make sure you are stirring the veggies around so they all get coated with the oil and don’t burn.
6. Cut up the fresh green beans and add them in. If you don’t use fresh green beans and use frozen or canned, add them in with the pasta.
7. Add in the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir!
8. When your veggies are softened a bit, add in that turkey “broth” that you have leftover from cooking the thighs. If you refrigerated it, it will be like a gelatin consistency. Gross, but adds flavor!
9. Pour in 2 cartons of chicken or turkey broth (total of 64 oz.).
10. Add in a few cups of water depending on how you like your soup. I add in about 2-3 cups, but you can add 4.
11. Bring to a boil.
12. While you are waiting for the boil, add in your shredded or cut up turkey.
13. Add paprika, garlic and herb seasoning, and the parsley.
14. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or more, and then add in about 1  1/2 cups Ditalini pasta (or any small pasta). Now is also when you can add frozen or canned veggies if desired, like some corn. Simmer for about 15 minutes more.
15. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

P.S. My daughter who doesn’t care so much for pasta loves this soup. She says it’s the Ditalini!

I’m about to go have some leftover soup for lunch now! Hope you try it!
Micha