RECIPE: Kale and Quinoa Salad

My favorite way to make a salad more hardy, more filling, and more satisfying, is to add a grain to it (in addition to having a REALLY GOOD salad dressing, of course). Because raw kale can be a bit tough, some people tend to avoid it. But the heat and moisture of just cooked quinoa in this recipe really helps soften it up.  And kale is sooooo good for you. Even my meat and potato loving non green eatin’ little brother likes this dish.

quinoa and kale salad

You will need:

1 cup Quinoa (red or gold or combo) or pasta of your choice, but quinoa is easier and healthier, so why not try it!

4-6 cups kale (your choice on how green you wanna go)

1-2 radish chopped (I have also used turnips)

1 cucumber sliced

~1/2-3/4 cup salad dressing of choice to taste (or the whole bottle–I’m loving Annie’s Lite Goddess dressing at the moment)

To prepare:

Add 1 cup of Quinoa (or pasta) to 2 cups of boiling water, turn heat to med-low and cover

Cook until water is gone and quinoa is fluffy, stirring occasionally

While the Quinoa is a cookin’, tear kale leaves into smaller pieces and place them in a large bowl—some people ditch the stems because they are quite tough, but I enjoy the colonic scrub of ruffage, so I include them

Add to that large bowl chopped cucumbers, radish and/or turnips

Add cooked quinoa, still hot, and stir.

Add dressing and stir some more—work that deltoid!

RECIPE: Crab, Mango & Avocado Salad

Are you ready for something exceedingly easy to make, beautiful on your plate and super scrumptious!?!

1/4-1/2 pound of fresh lump crab meat
1 mango sliced or cubed (fresh is better, though I used canned)
1 avocado sliced/cubed

Mixed all together and enjoy or stack in layers
Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing if you so choose

Would also be delish atop a bed of greens or quinoa!

(Photo hijacked from

RECIPE: Cilantro and Lime Salad Dressing

Crazy Good Salad Dressings, like this one, make salads gobble-worthy, even for the most wicked salad-haters.

This recipe was passed along to me by an old friend and medical school roommate–double doctor endorsement, so you know it’s good!  It’s from The Garden Grazer:


You thought you were just getting a salad dressing recipe?  Well, it’s gonna get a little heavy here at Rants, Rules and Recipes for a paragraph:

Most of the store bought-dressings—as well as MOST EVERYTHING ON GROCERY STORE SHELVES—have additives and preservatives in them.  “So what?  Big deal!” you say?  Well these dyes, additives and preservatives ARE KNOWN TO CAUSE CANCER, obesity, behavior disorders, allergies, and diabetes. So keep gobbling them up if you like, I certainly did for years, and so far no major issues or tumors.  But I’m hoping to undo all the damage I’ve done, by being as good to my body as I can hence forward.

Now back to the recipe, which  makes about 3/4 cups

1 cup de-stemmed, roughly chopped, loosely packed cilantro

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 lime juice (the juice from 1/2 lime)

1-2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

1/8 tsp salt

dash of cayenne pepper or small chopped jalepeno (optional)

Puree all ingredients together in a blender/food processor until smooth.  Have a taste and add what you think it needs.  Like maybe a southwest chopped salad.

RULE: Add Movement to Your Day

Add movement to your day.

Stand up sit down, stand up sit down. Repeat. (10 to 20 times)

Who cares if your co-workers or classmates think you’ve gone batty!

Take a lap around your office, pretend you are on your way to an important meeting.

Do bicep curls with your water bottle.  Do calf pumps or leg lifts at your desk.

Dance with your children daily or chase them around the play ground and house!

Just move it people!

Studies show that the people who move more during the day, even if it’s not formal exercise, burn way more calories, and are ultimately much leaner!


Bike to work. Walk on your lunch break. Park farther away. Walk the dog 3 x day instead of just once. Take the stairs.


RANT: Serving Sizes = Palm of your hand

It’s just RUDE for an ice cream carton to report the calories in a serving size of 1/2 cup! Has anyone in the history of ice cream EVER eaten just 1/2 cup?  Sure there are the food-abstainers and platinum-will-powered folk who would never DREAM of ingesting ice cream. But for those of who so enjoy this chilly, creamy, delicious treat, HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER JUST EATEN 1/2 CUP!??!

“Oh, no, no, I just couldn’t…I’m so full from that stick of sugar-fee gum I had earlier ”

What’s ruder still, is that 1/2 cup serving of ice cream can have as much as 250 calories

(yeah, yeah, you can get it down to about 90 calories per serving, but that’s the fake, chemical-laden, tasteless type. No thanks)

So, I guess it’s high time we (and all of you in line at Cold Stone Creamery, Ben and Jerry’s, and fro-Yo shops alike) reviewed serving sizes, depressing as it may be, click here for enlargement of image below:

                                    palm of your hand

RECIPE: Banana and Basil Smoothie

My husband, who receives my smoothie experiments each morning on our way out to work, actually stopped in his tracks and said “Mmmm, what’s in this one? That is delicious!”
Which surprised me because I had really just thrown in the produce that was 1 day away from rotting in out fridge! But that’s the beauty of juicing and smoothie mash-ups! Most of the time they are tasty, but sometimes they are down right delicious!
Measurements are elastic, just do what feels right–so don’t dirty a measuring cup, just dump approximate portions in to your blender!banana basil smoothie
1 cup plain greek yogurt (I prefer the regular NOT low or non-fat)
1 banana
1 celery stick (it’s not just for Blood Mary’s!)
5 large fresh basil leaves (your could probably get away with several shakes of the dried version)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks (non sweetened of course)
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp or 1 “squeeze” of honey (preferably farmer’s market bought—watch Queen of the Sun and you’ll learn why)
The Greek yogurt packs in your Protein and Calcium and if you use regular (instead of non fat) you’ll stay full until lunch, or longer!
The Honey and the Banana naturally sweeten without adding refined sugar grams (plus honey has serious anti-inflammatory and healing properties) and…
The Basil, Celery and Lemon crank up the Detoxing power of this tasty, tart and tempting smoothie
(photo used from