Spinach Quinoa Salad with cashews, orange, water chestnuts and pomegranate seeds

This Spinach Quinoa Salad with cashews, orange, water chestnuts and pomegranate seeds is so pretty and tasty, it’ll have no trouble finding a spot on your Christmas menu. But really, don’t go saving it just for the occasion: it’s just as spectacular any other day of the year!

This Spinach Quinoa Salad with cashews, orange, water chestnuts and pomegranate seeds is so pretty and tasty, it'll have no trouble finding a spot on your Christmas menu... but really, no need to save it for the occasion: it's just as spectacular any other day of the year!

You know how I love me a good salad, right? In fact, salads are something that I tend to eat with practically every meal, regardless of the season… or the occasion, for that matter!

Even on Christmas, I like to have some kind of salad on the table. Of course, I like to dress it up for the occasion, though! Like this beauty, right here, for instance. It looks so pretty with all its jewel-like colors, its beautiful reds and vibrant greens, I’m sure you’d have no problem fitting it into your Christmas menu, even if your guests or family members weren’t really into eating “rabbit food” on the big day.

You can make this one a few hours ahead of time, and it comes together in mere minutes, really, providing that you have leftover quinoa in your fridge. If you don’t, simply take a few minutes the previous day to cook a cup of dry quinoa and then leave that in the fridge to cool until the next day.

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Arugula Pesto Linguine with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

Arugula Pesto is a very decent, super tasty and much more affordable alternative to your traditional basil pesto! Served with pasta, paired with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts, it makes for a truly winning combination.

Arugula Pesto is a very decent, super tasty and much more affordable alternative to traditional basil pesto! Served with pasta, paired with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts, it makes for a truly winning combination.

If you’ve ever made traditional basil pesto from scratch, then you know just how expensive this can get. Especially if you don’t happen to be growing your own basil… Indeed, this highly aromatic and delicate herb can become quite pricey if you have to buy it at the grocery store, and LOADS are needed to make a good pesto.

Arugula Pesto is a very economical and equally tasty alternative, if you ask me! Of course, the flavor is not exactly the same as the original, but it’s still very flavorful, super fresh and crazy simple to make. This version also uses walnuts instead of the super pricey pine nuts that traditional pesto calls for. I chose to save the precious nuts and use them whole as a key player in the dish itself. They’re put to much better use that way, trust me! At least you get to fully appreciate their creamy texture and rich buttery flavor!

The addition of a handful of sun dried tomatoes puts the finishing touch on this quick, easy and unpretentious pasta dish. Really, it’s simplicity at its best!

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Butternut Squash Beefaroni

This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

This Butternut Squash Beefaroni is a simple and fantastic way to covertly bring healthy food to the dinner table. Kids and grown-ups alike will be completely dazzled!

Just like Mac ‘N Cheese, Beefaroni tends to be a winner in most households! Kids and adults alike usually can’t resist digging into such bowlfuls of comforting goodness!

This healthier version sacrifices none of the taste, while allowing you to sneak a few extra veggies into your family’s plates, in the form of butternut squash and cauliflower. 

But this, they don’t need to know… cuz this beefaroni, it’s so tasty and comforting, no one will be able to tell the difference. In fact, chances are they’ll like this version even better! 


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Broccoli and Mushroom Quinoa

Delicious warm or cold, this Broccoli and Mushroom Quinoa makes for a delicious accompaniment to just about any meal… or, add a little bit of protein to instantly turn it into a complete meal!

Delicious warm or cold, this Broccoli and Mushroom Quinoa makes for a delicious accompaniment to just about any meal... or, add a little bit of protein to instantly turn it into a complete meal!

Here’s a quick and easy quinoa recipe that the whole family will love and that I think you’ll want to add to your regular menu rotation! Cuz not only is it super easy to make, it also happens to be crazy tasty, highly nutritious, and extremely versatile, too! 

Indeed, you could very well choose to eat it as a side dish   it’ll go good with just about anything  or add some kind of protein to it and enjoy it as a complete meal! 

What’s more, it’s equally delicious served warm just as soon as it’s ready 
 or chilled, right out of the ice box. Very convenient if you need to grab lunch quickly on your way to the office!

Of course, this also means that it can very well be made ahead of time, if necessary. And then you get to choose whether to reheat it, or eat it as is… 

How’s that, for options, eh? Can you say versatile?


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Gallo Pinto – Bean and Rice Casserole

Gallo Pinto is a rice and beans casserole, traditional of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, very regularly served as a side dish and particularly enjoyed at breakfast alongside a couple of fried eggs.

Gallo Pinto is a rice and beans casserole, traditional of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, very regularly served as a side dish and particularly enjoyed at breakfast alongside a couple of fried eggs.

One of my very good friends recently went to Costa Rica and, while there, totally fell in love with Gallo Pinto, one of their traditional dishes, which they apparently eat practically every day, and sometimes even several times a day!

He loved their traditional rice and bean casserole so much that he asked several locals for their recipe and, after he returned, started making it on a regular basis. Of course, it was only a matter of time before he had me discover it and fall in love with it, too! 

And now, I thought I’d pay it forward and share the recipe for this very simple yet super tasty dish with you, too… 


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Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice

Need a change from plain white rice? This Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice makes for a very tasty side dish but would also be perfect as a light vegetarian meal!

This Brown Lentil and Mushroom Rice makes for a very tasty side dish but would also be perfect as a vegetarian meal!

If you’re tired of eating plain white rice as a side dish, I’ve got a fairly easy and super tasty alternative for you…

Even better yet, this Brown Lentil and Mushroom rice could even be served as a light vegetarian meal, if you felt like it! Just maybe serve it with a little bit of steamed broccoli or sauteed sugar snap peas on the side and you’d be all set! 

Or, if brown lentils weren’t really your thing and you were more in the mood for meat, you could even turn it into a complete carnivore meal by substituting cooked ground meat for the brown lentils! 

Frankly, this is the kind of dish that you can have tons of fun playing with and that you’ll always be happy to whip up whenever you’re feeling a little low on inspiration! 


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