Toasted Quinoa Salad

My Aunt Lisa made this for me and I LOVED it!  Had to pass this along to all of you!  Quinoa is so good for us, a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, plus its loaded with iron and tons of nutrients!

Toasted Quinoa Salad

Makes: 6 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 12 ounces dry sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or dry bay scallops (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Palm oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced garlic
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweet peas
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil


  1. Place a large, high-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoons red palm oil and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until the quinoa begins to color, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (Do not stir.) Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk 3 Tablespoons red palm oil, 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce), vinegar and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the quinoa, sweet peas, scallions, basil and bell pepper; toss to combine.


  • Tip: Quinoa is a delicately flavored, protein-rich grain. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering. Find it in natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets.


Jake and I playing with his fire house, he put the hats on us too to play along in!


Jake and I have a dance through out the day. Our dance changes depending on season, I feel like we have been dancing through winter for quite a while. At any point throughout the day you may find me , doing laundry , changing sheets, making a meal, cleaning a meal, cleaning, kissing boo boos, fixing Legos, just normal daily household duties as well as moments of reading a book, eating while watching the latest house hunters episode ( lunch break?) but the most fun and rewarding parts of my day are playing with Jake.

Im a stay at home mom and I love it! I really feel this is exactly what I am supposed to do and Jake and I were always meant to be together. He is truly the light and love of my life! I love watching him grow and as I would love to slow it down a little I also love with everyday comes fun new things. Jake has the most incredible imagination. We will go to the movies and he will come home and want to recreate what he has seen and will add in new ideas too. After telling me his new idea he always says: that’s a great idea! Jake is also very confident! He’s really been into Legos, I think lego city is now my family room but it creates a great place for play! I will be the police chief and Jake ke is the policemen that are dispatched to catch the bad guy. We usually have an escaped convict too- Jakes idea. I always want to have the characters just talk, pretend to eat but Jake always loves the chase and drama.  We usually negotiate for story ideas but I usually let him run with his imagination and I play along.   We also play trains, car races and take a trips to radiator springs or prop wash junction. Jake reminds me so much of myself growing up when he plays. He’s very controlling! He will tell me what my people should say which I used to do to my friends.

For the holidays Jake wanted a disney princess castle, I was so excited! I bought mini Sophia the first dolls to play with. Jake has a solider castle too so when I take out the Sophia castle he takes out his solider castle. He protects my castle but then usually a dragon will land on the princess castle or lightning McQueen shows up at the castle door and Sophia is off to watch the race.

Jake is growing up so fast so I want as much playtime as I can get! my goal during play is to put down the phone, get on the floor and play! I see the biggest smile on his face when I’m into the play and attention is on Jake.  At the playground we pretend we are Jake and the pirates, or princess pirates. If he’s with a friend I follow along in the background and watch my little guy use his play skills with others, make sure he’s safe and happy and sometimes enjoy a few moments on the bench enjoying the outdoors.  Our winter days have been filled with playing in the snow, lots of pretend play, arts and crafts, cooking and baking, mommy/baby yoga, dance parties, cuddle time and learning time. We are looking forward to changing our dance steps in spring, moving outside more and starting up our spring adventures together. Through Jake and through our play I see such a different world, it’s so amazing looking through their eyes. I encourage all of you mommies to try out your floor and play!

I have learned that there are moments that will pass by and we don’t get a second chance. Don’t let these precious moments pass you by, I feel these are the best times of my life! Try that extra dance party before bed, be spontaneous and ask your little one to play the smiles and happiness are the best gifts ever! I definitely feel I get so much more!

Black Bean Burger – Happy Meatless Monday!

Great recipe for Meatless Monday because even meat-eaters will enjoy this one! It’s bursting with flavor, color and it’s Gluten-Free!


Black Bean Burgers

Serves 6

2 cups cooked black beans

2 cups brown rice, cooked

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 cup mixed vegetables (we used edamame, sweet corn and shredded carrot)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon tumeric

¼ teaspoon cilantro

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup almond flour

1 flax egg (3 tablespoons water + 1 tbs ground flaxseed) set aside for a few minutes to thinker and stir occasionally

Heat a few drops of oil in frying pan on medium heat.  Place beans and rice in a large mixing bowl, mash with masher for about a minute.  Add all vegetables and mash again for approximately 30 seconds.  Add remainder of ingredients and continue to mash for another 30 seconds.  Form the burger mixture into 3-4 inch round patties and cook until slightly browned on each side. Top with fresh avocado, pepper, tomato and salsa!  My husband even loves a grilled portabella as the “bun”

Not only are bean burgers delicious, but compared to their chicken, turkey and meat alternatives, they are SO much healthier!  These burgers will also provide you with a substantial amount of protein and iron, however, unlike animal based burgers, they are also loaded with various cancer and disease fighting vitamins and minerals, while remaining low in fat, calories, sodium and contain zero cholesterol!  Little black dress, here you come!