Doing Valentine’s Mexican Style in a Canadian sorta way….

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Oh Man! Bonnie Tyler may have sung, “I need a hero,” but I need a breather! I am actually listening to her as I type and it is pretty intense. A whopping 19 million others have clicked onto this video. I can’t even begin to imagine who they are, but I am sure they are all pretty cool. Happy Valentine’s! I don’t need a superman to sweep me off my feet, but I do need someone to rub them…Sean? He is actually out right now with a dear old friend he has not seen in probably 3 years, but my feet will await, slippers off with great anticipation. Today was a radically fun and dazey day. Sweet friends Ashley and Shaun would understand. We had a quite an evening last night, one in which records were played and talks of God, life, marriage, and pasts. We were all stunned and half asleep when we peered at the time and it whispered 2 AM. Wow. So, needless to say, I don’t have a clue what I packed in 1’s lunch this morning. I don’t know how I even got dressed, but life as a mom is not about standing around and asking questions, it is about getting the things that need to get done, done. I know she went to school with a lunch, what it had in it, I do not recall. Boys 2 and 3 had their haircuts late this afternoon, and as we left the salon, Sean asked what was for dinner. As I glanced at the clock in our car shouting 5 pm, I determined and willed for a spicy warm Mexican Valentine’s Dinner. Mmmmmm. I have been craving this for a week. Unfortunately my organic avocados couldn’t hang in there, so we did without them, but the meal was scrumptious none the less. We had 3 Cheese Nachos, Black Bean and Red Quinoa Salad, and cheesy refried beans!

Three Cheese Nachos

Ingredients:
Favorite Taco Chips
1 or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and seasoned (we used Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning)
1 Red Pepper, cut in rings
1/2 Red onion, cut in rings
1/4 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Salsa, optinal, on the side
Sour Cream, optional, on the side
Guacamole, optional, on the side

How To Play:
Turn oven on to Broil. Spread the taco chips evenly in a large 9 X 12 baking dish. Layer with shredded cooked chicken, peppers, onions, and cheeses. Top with chopped Cilantro. Place in hot oven for 5-10 minutes, checking often to make sure the taco chips don’t burn, but cheese is melted, perhaps even bubbling. I do realize that this may be a lot of cheese, we, or perhaps it is more so me, loves cheese, so please tweak the ingredients to your preference!

Serve with refried beans (heated with shredded cheese and salt), salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and Black Bean Red Quinoa Salad.

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Enjoy.

Living the life we choose

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Because I am so awesome with keeping up with things…I was pleasantly surprised to come across this re-vitalizing salad I made the other month, which never made it to the cyber side of this life. It has been so busy. We all, in this day in age, are busy, I get that. Within the business of life, I am beginning to see how it could be so easy to choose a bag of potato chips, down a few tim-bits, pop a burrito in the microwave, or just order in, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Please know I am not complaining, I am stating the obvious, I live the life I choose. So, yea, it might take a bit more time, more prep, more organization, less time watching the Bachelor (yay for PVR), and so forth, however in the long run, I rather this colorful concoction of beauty over a bag of potato chippers any day, come on, grains, seeds, beans, and leaves, it does the body good, in more ways than one!

Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

From Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
For the tabbouleh (makes 5.5-6 cups):

1/2 cup dry adzuki beans (or use 1.5 cups cooked beans)*
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
1 cup packed fresh parsley, thick stems removed and minced
1/2 cup packed fresh Cilantro, thick stems removed and minced
2 small tomatoes, chopped (makes 1 & 1/4 cups)
3 large green onions, chopped
Herbamare or fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste

For the dressing (makes 2/3 cup):

1/3 cup + (1 tbsp, optional) red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Herbamare/fine grain sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

How To Play:
1. Adzuki beans: Soak the dry beans overnight in water. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and then place back into the pot with new water, covering the beans with water by about 2-3 inches. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to low-medium, simmering for about 35-45 minutes. Watch closely and add more water if necessary. Alternatively, you can use canned beans for a time-saver.

2. Sweet potato: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a sweet potato into 1cm rounds. Lay flat on baking sheet at bake for about 15 minutes each side, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.

3. Quinoa: Add 3/4 cup of dry quinoa and about 1 & 1/4 cups water in a medium-sized pot. Stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover with lid, simmering for about 15-20 minutes and watching closely. Quinoa will be light and fluffy when ready and the water will be absorbed.

4. Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste. Or feel free to use a mini processor if you have one.

5. Tabbouleh: Combine the drained & cooked beans, quinoa, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Pour on the entire amount of dressing and stir well. Season to taste. Makes about 5.5-6 cups and should keep for at least a few days in the fridge.

6. To assemble the salad: Add 1 cup shredded kale onto a plate or large bowl. Spoon on 1.5 cups of tabbouleh on top. Garnish with goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds, and a handful of sprouts (all optional). Finally, add the grilled or baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

Enjoy.