summer quinoa salad with avocado and spinach

I don’t know about you guys, but when my husband and I are both hungry we tend to get a little crabby (ok…really crabby).  So we made up a rule that until we eat, we cannot talk to each other.  This little rule has changed our marriage 🙂  We don’t get into petty arguments over nothing anymore!  It’s actually really funny to think about, but it’s the truth.

All of that to say – this salad takes a little bit of time to make, so just make a snack to eat while you are making it so a UFC fight doesn’t break out in your kitchen 🙂   I found this delicious recipe off of pinterest (obsessed with that).  It is so refreshing with all of it’s natural ingredients.  Enjoy!


1/2 c. dry quinoa (I used Basil and Rosemary Quinoa and it was amazing).
2 c. vegetable broth
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 avocados diced
2 c. spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c. onion
2 small cloves garlic

Juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp. cumin
dash of salt and pepper


Soak the quinoa in a pot in the veggie broth for about 15 minutes. Then, turn on the heat to medium high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium/low and let quinoa simmer. Stir occasionally and cook quinoa for about 20-25 minutes just until the liquid absorbs, so there is just a small amount of liquid left in the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.

In your food processor, put your spinach and cilantro in and pulse until finely chopped. Pour into a large bowl. Then add your onion and garlic into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the cilantro mixture. Toss the garbonzo beans into the cilantro mixture until coated. When the quinoa is cooled, pour into the salad mixture.

Separately, add all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Then pour over the salad and toss. Finally, add the avocado and tomatoes and toss.

down on the farm

Harper is sick for the first time this week with an ear infection. I never knew how hard it would be to watch your baby be in pain. Despite the infection, she is still the happiest baby…of course. I know when I’m not feeling well being inside helps only to a certain point, and then I am itching to get out into the fresh air. Lucky for us, we live just down the street from the cutest farmstead, Deanna Rose. My sister and her girl came with us – we had such a great time feeding the billy goats, petting the horses, and just being outside.

There is something healing in what God has given us in nature.

vegan lunchmeat

Now that Harper is crawling EVERYWHERE and pulling up on everything she can, I have to keep my eye on her 24/7. I need to get one of those play areas that trap them inside of it so I can get a little more accomplished. By the way, why am I not smaller and more toned than before I had her? I don’t sit down all day for the most part and I’m constantly picking her up and moving her away from the stairs. These are the things I think about. *sigh*  Welp, onto reality…

I don’t like spending a lot of time preparing a lunch for myself during the week, because I honestly just don’t have the time. So when I found this vegan lunchmeat recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Vegan DadI went to Whole Foods that day, got these simple ingredients and made this wonderful lunchmeat.

This recipe is super fast, super cheap and lasts us up to a week. I won’t lie – at first the texture is a little awkward, but the taste makes up for it and you get used to it. I love this recipe and thought it was perfect, so I didn’t change a thing about it.


1 cup white beans
2 cups water
1/4 cup oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp sage
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
2 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten


Start steaming water in your steamer
  1. Place all ingredients except the gluten flour in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Add gluten flour and work into a dough.
  2. Shape dough into a log and wrap in heavy duty foil. Try to make the roll as thick as possible. Steam for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees in the last 15 mins of steaming. Remove “meat” from steamer and bake for 45-60 mins.
  4. Cool and slice when ready to make sandwich. Store in refrigerator.

raw oatmeal

Derek and I have some great friends who were on the RAW diet for awhile and they have shared so many great recipes with us that are so tasty and surprisingly simple.  I don’t know why, but for some reason breakfast is the hardest thing for me to conjure up.  I’m either so picky that NOTHING sounds good except my coffee or I’m just too lazy after feeding Harper…either way, I don’t like breakfast as far as cooking goes. How many times can I eat cereal…blah.  Well if you are like me, things are about to change for you – this raw oatmeal recipe is so easy, so good and so healthy.  It almost feels a little naughty when I eat it because it reminds me of cookie dough.  Either way…you need to go make it ASAP.


2 apples ( sometimes I do 1 apple and 1 pear )
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup your favorite nuts ( I love cashews or pecans )
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon


Put all ingredients into your food processor and just pulse until well blended.  Maybe even pour a little almond milk over it.  DELISH!

my gym partner

I don’t know about any of you, but having a baby in the winter months is a S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E sometimes.  I feel so trapped in my own house as I am sure Harper feels the same.  She is probably thinking, “How many times can we read Brown Bear Brown Bear in a day mom.”  Spring is nearly here ( 80 degrees the last few days here in good ole Kansas ) and we are loving playing outside and going for our walks again.  After months of telling my husband how bored I was getting at home with our 8 month old at the time, we decided to join a children’s fitness center, My Gym. And, can I just tell you it has been the most fun thing for Harper and me to do together!  We dance and we workout our muscles ( hey, I chase her around everywhere and pick her up…count that as squats and curls ).  It is a great place that is starting to teach Harper a healthy lifestyle of being active, but also having so much fun and learning at the same time.

happy healthy baby

Have I told you how happy my baby girl is.  She will light up the room the second she enters.  She will make an entire table at a restaurant forget about the foods on their plates and be fully engaged with her.  She is our sunshine.  I do think it’s part of her personality, but I also believe my husband and I have a huge part of her happiness ( I’m with her 24/7…of course I am)  🙂  We are always so careful with our attitudes around her and making sure we are ALWAYS positive and happy.  If we have a little dispute, we discuss it later when we are alone.

Healthy living is not only the things we put
into our body, but the things we see and hear.  

Of course she eats healthy ( later post on her food ) but her little brain is taking in so much information and making her the person she will be.  My attitude has changed as well because I now think about things before I say them ( very mature of me I know ), but as a women and emotions are always crazy, this can be very difficult at times.  Sometimes I just want to stomp my feet and bang my head on the ground until I get my way – but my husband as assured me MANY of times that will NOT work ( boo ).  I want to always be an example for Harper even when she isn’t watching me or hearing me.  I want to be the person she says she wants to be like when she grows up.  I want to be her best friend, and more importantly I want to be her momma.

kale salad

So there is this new cafe in town that is so delicious. It used to be a custard place and they shut down over the summer last year to remodel and become what it is today. They use only farmers from around the area to support locally and the ingredients they use are always fresh. So, on to the kale salad that is UH-MAZING. It’s a little tangy and crunchy and, oh, so good. I knew this would be a recipe I could recreate along with the help of my beautiful momma who knows how to do just that. Here it is…


1 bunch of kale
1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs ( toasted )
1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( for non-vegans )


Pull kale leaves off of the stem, chop finely and put in large bowl. Juice half of the lemon in a small bowl and slowly whisk the olive oil in.  ( taste and add lemon and olive oil accordingly). You’re going for a light lemony dressing taste. Drizzle the lemon olive oil dressing over the kale and toss. Top with toasted panko bread crumbs and enjoy!

* If using the parmesan cheese, just add with the dressing and toss.