Smashed Chickpea Salad

As a vegetarian pescatarian (does anyone feel like I’m being snooty when I say pescatarian? Should I just OWN it?), we don’t get a lot of opportunities to have tasty smashed salads.

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Like chicken salad. I use to LOVE chicken salad. Gah, there’s this place called the Carving Board in Winston Salem and they have the BEST chicken salad. True story.

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And now that I’m thinking about it, I guess there are opportunities for smashed salads. Egg salad. Tuna salad. I’m not really into tuna salad. Tuna isn’t really my thing. I got ahi tuna the other night at a new restaurant that my husband and I tried before Mockingjay Part 2 (THE BEST) and it was… different.

I digress.

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This, my friends, is an opportunity for you to have a non-chicken-salad-smashed-salad. Something to slather on crackers. Something to put in a wrap or on hearty whole grain bread. Something to dollop onto a bed of leafy greens. This chickpea salad is delicious. It really is. The dill makes it. And the finely chopped celery. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Smashed Chickpea Salad
Adapted slightly from the Oh She Glows cookbook

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 c dill pickle relish
1/4 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c low-fat cottage cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried dill
3 tsp lemon juice
Salad toppings: black olives, feta, avocado, olive oil & balsamic vinegar

  1. Smash the chickpeas with a potato smasher or pulse in a food processor until chickpeas are roughly chopped into small pieces, but not smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients! Stir and enjoy!
  3. If choosing to do a salad, put chickpea salad over greens and add avocado, black olives, feta, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

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Veggie Nachos

It’s supposed to rain all week. And snow a little.

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I think March is mourning the end of our Spring Break. For real.

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We are going to pretend it’s NOT rainy and NOT cold and NOT gross and dreary and blegh outside. We are going to pretend it’s sunny and 75°F. Like that country song.

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For some reason, I have never made nachos. Until now. What is wrong with me? These are so delicious and super easy to make. Just lay down a bed of chips, toss whatever you want onto them, and then either microwave or broil for a bit. Winner.

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Veggie Nachos

Lime tortilla chips
Black beans
Avocado
Spinach
Black olives
Mexican cheese
Salsa
Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Lay down chips. Top with ingredients. Cook in microwave or broil just enough to melt the cheese. Top with salsa and sour cream or yogurt.

Mexican Rice Bowl

This weekend I went to visit a friend for her birthday. And man did it feel good to get out of town.

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It will full of manicures and ice cream, 90’s movies and girl talk. It was just what I needed.

Now that I am back in the rush of grad school life, the recipes are quick and easy. Ain’t nobody got time for crazy recipes that take an hour for prep and an hour to bake + a million ingredients. Ain’t nooo–body got time for that.

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Except if it’s worth it or if it’s the weekend or something like that. But it’s not the weekend. It’s a Tuesday. And I’m sending an easy recipe your way.

Oh, also? Speaking of friends hanging out and doing awesome things? She decided to choose a focus for her blog, and started with the 365 days of pictures. And, because I’m a total copycat, I’m doing the same. Check it out on my Instagram.

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Mexican Rice Bowl

1/2 c brown rice
1/4 c broccoli slaw
2 mini bell peppers (or 1/2 regular bell pepper), sliced or chopped
1/4 avocado, sliced
3 tbsp salsa (or just a big dollop)
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or just a normal sized dollop)
3 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp shredded Mexican cheese

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Combine remaining ingredients.
3. If desired, microwave for 30-60 seconds to melt the cheese slightly.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad

They have a new pumpkin line out at Bath & Body Works and I am in love.

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Things like pumpkin cupcake and pumpkin caramel latte candles are sweeping the store, and I need them.

I am on the fence about fall, though. I’m ready for school, for structure and learning and a challenge and the road to being a dietitian. I am ready to smell these candles for the rest of my life (if they go on sale and I buy them..). I am not ready, however, for jeans and falling leaves and nippy air and being cold at night. I still want to wear dresses and sip mojitos and eat watermelon on my back porch.

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I am also not prepared for being a real person. While I am not in the real world, I am having to figure out how this whole electricity, gas, renters insurance, and internet thing works. Apparently you’re supposed to allow a two weeks heads-up at the electricity company, but because there is someone still living in my apartment, I can’t set up my internet.

So I was all willy nilly, hanging out, relaxing until the 1st of August to deal with these things and then holy mackerel it’s August 2nd and I need electricity sooner than two weeks or they won’t let me in if I don’t have it and now I want to crawl in a hole and cry because WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO DANG STRESSFUL?

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Let’s just hope this is one of those moments that is stressful in the moment and we laugh about later. Sound good? I thought so. Who wants feta + avocado + peas + quinoa? Cheese heals stress. Duh.

Avocado and Pea Quinoa Salad
Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod

1 c quinoa, cooked
1/2 c peas
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 c feta
1/4 c pine nuts

For dressing:
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro (about 5-6 small leaves or 3-4 big ones)

1. Combine quinoa, peas, avocado, and feta.
2. Combine dressing ingredients in a mini food processor, and drizzle over quinoa salad.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn and Cilantro

As you all know, I have been doing some serious reminiscing as I read through years of journals. I had countless sleepovers, to the extent of almost every single weekend in freshman and sophomore year in high school.

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For all you 12-17 year old girls out there, I have some tips for how to throw the best sleepover. Now, things change when you get older. Sodas are replaced with wine, and talks about crushes may have changed to talks about marriage, kids, and the real world, but nevertheless, girls nights are essential for womankind.

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How to throw a fabulous sleepover:

1. Have snacks. Lots of snacks, including, but not limited to: frosting, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, and sodas.

2. Take lots of pictures. And videos, if you want. My friends used to create a dating game show where we would choose contestants that were fitting to date the designated candidate. It was always a little biased of who won, according to the current crush.

3. Watch a movie. Whether you watch it, it’s background noise, or you fall asleep to it, a movie is crucial for a girls’ sleepover.

4. Create a spa situation: nails, makeup, and back massages. Have lots of options for nail color and be sure to have lotion handy for back massages.

5. Prepare to not get much sleep. The best sleepovers are the ones that end around 4 or 5am, when everyone falls asleep from sheer exhaustion from laughter.

6. Pancakes in the morning. There is nothing better than whipping up a batch of pancakes for a lazy morning after a crazy night.

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Keep the sleepovers alive, ladies. We are never to old for girl time and never too young to start remembering (and journaling!) all of these crazy memories.

Red Bean Salad with Feta, Corn & Cilantro

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 c quinoa
1/4 c corn
2 tbsp feta
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 mini bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tsp tangerine olive oil (or plain)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1. Cook quinoa according to directions.
2. Combine all!