Joanna Anastasia

salad

Strawberry chicken protein salad

Strawberry chicken protein salad

So let me tell you one thing about this strawberry chicken protein salad: its delicious. Oh, and filling too. Also, its my family’s new favourite. Even my kids get exited when I say it’s a salad for dinner type of evening now! Because when you mix fresh spinach with garden veggies, strawberries, nuts and grilled chicken breast, then I assure you its pure perfection!

You can either use a freshly grilled chicken, or you can use leftover one, hot or warm, it’s delicious either way. And as for the dressing this salad would be delicious with a lemon poppy-seed dressing or simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix. However I went for my favourite maple syrup dressing!

What you’ll need:

For the salad:

2 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 cup cut tomatoes
1 cup cut cucumbers
1 avocado
1 cup cut strawberries
1/2 cup almonds and pistachios mix
1 grilled chicken breast cut in stripes

For the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

In a bowl layer spinach, with tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado and strawberries. Add chicken and sprinkle with nuts. Pour the dressing once it’s ready to serve.

Strawberry chicken protein salad

Tip: if you’re having problems convincing your kids to eat salads, invite them to help you with preparation. Toddlers can wash the greens, while preschoolers and older kids can help you cut and mix. It always works with my girls!

Enjoy!

Thin crust pizza hack

Delicious home-made thin crust pizza, that's cheap, easy and delicious! #pizza

I’m a huge pizza lover, and what I’m really in to is a real Italian style thin crust pizza! But as such, I’m usually disappointed with take out. And the frozen pizza? Well, I would lie if I’d say I never buy it, but we all know it’s not the real deal, not to mention that they’re full of sugar salt and other unhealthy ingredients. There are also nice restaurants making real Italian style pizza.. But with two young kids and living on a budget, I don’t go that much to restaurants anymore. And no, I haven’t yet mastered the art of making my own dough.

And yet, I enjoy the Italian style thin crust pizza at home every week now, and it’s cheaper than takeout!

And it’s really a such a simple idea, that I feel almost embarrassed to dedicate a whole blog post to it, but in case you never tried it, here it is: pita bread. Let it soak in. And now imagine: thin crust, perfect home-made pizza.

It’s really just as good. And you can probably even buy a whole grain one.
Mad it makes the fastest homemade pizzas ever!

Thin crust pizza hack

Here are my two family favourites:

Mushroom & pepperoni :

Good quality pepperoni ( or salami!)
Cheddar cheese
Mushrooms
Tomato sauce
Pita bread

Goat cheese & sun-dried tomatoes :

Goat cheese
sun-dried tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Pita bread
Fresh arugula

Simply spread the tomato sauce on pita bread, add cheese and all the toppings (except for arugula). Broil for around 10 minutes. Serve with a side salad or a simple soup. So simple!

Thin crust pizza hack

It may be my favourite mom hack ever, and I hope that you’ll try it and let me know if you liked it too!

Roasted vegetables cuscus salad

This healthy and easy salad is so filling and delicious, full of flavour and frugal!

Here’s a perfect lunch: feeling, easy to prepare, delicious both heated and cold, and really healthy. And you can put it together in the evening, and then have it for lunch even after a couple of days. And its sweet, salty and sour mix of flavors are just amazing! So much going on in one simple cuscus salad, right?

What you’ll need:

1 cup cucsus

1/2 cup feta cheese cut in cubes

1/2 cup red beens
2 big sweet potatoes
1 zucchini
a handful of asparagus

for the dressing:
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 table spoon lime juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Boil water, and pour 2 cups of it on to cuscus, set it aside. Cut sweet potatoes and zucchini in to cubes, and bake in the oven until soft. In a separate dish bake the asparagus until soft.

Mix together cuscus, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, red beans and the dressing. Serve right away or keep in the fridge for up to four days.

Sweet potatoes feta and roasted veggies cuscus sakad

Enjoy your cuscus salad as a delicious lunch or add a bowl of your favorite soup and serve it as dinner! Enjoy!

Sweet potatoes feta and roasted veggies cuscus salad

Harvest quinoa salad

Harvest quinoa salad

This is one extremely satisfying harvest quinoa salad, that also happens to be a very healthy vegetarian meal! Made with grilled (or slow roasted) fall veggies, Parmesan cheese, red quinoa and sweet balsamic vinegar, satisfies even the pinkest of eaters!

Since I discovered GoGoQuinoa earlier this summer, quinoa salads have been my go-to vegetarian dinner. Because I try to feed my family with vegetarian dinners 3 times a week, sometimes I’m short on ideas. But a quiooa salad is always a fast, easy to make and a super nutritious meal.

I always add some sort of cheese ( my kids are obsessed with cheese) and herbs. Parmesan works great with the sweetness of rosted vegetables, and fresh basil and romarin add this extra flavour to the salad.

Being honest, I first introduced red quinoa to my kids as a sort of rice.. And then, when they tried it and approved it, I explained what the real name was.

What I used:

1 cup Red Quinoa

3 big carrots
1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
4 garlic cloves
Fresh rosemary

1/4 cup Parmesan flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil

2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Maple sirup
( roasted garlic cloves)

Cut vegetables in cubes,add garlic cloves and roast on 350F until soft( around 40 min). After around 20 min outs add garlic cloves and rosemary. When the veggies are ready, let them cool down, and take the roasted garlic cloves out. You’ll need to add them to your dressing.

Harvest quinoa salad

Meanwhile cook one cup of quinoa according to the instructions on the box.

When your veggies are roasted and the red quinoa is cooked, mix everything together, add Parmesan cheese and dressing.

If you feel adventurous, add rocket salad! I love the mix of grains with leaves, but if you’re cooing for a family it might be a bit too much for some picky eaters..although my almost 4 yearly old loved it! It was my soon-to-be toddler who really didn’t appreciate this upgrade.

Harvest quinoa salad

And if you’re looking for a very children friendly quinoa recipe, have a look at this one here:

Kid friendly quinoa salad

I got this product free for review. All opinions remain my own.

Fast and easy summer recipes

Fast and easy summer recipes

When the weather gets really hot I’m usually completely loosing my interest in cooking. I just don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen while it’s so hot outside. And honestly, I’d rather play with my girls in the garden, or lay and look at the clouds with them. But unfortunately, I do need to feed these little monsters every day. And they require five meals a day! ( I know, it’s horrid).

So I’m trying to find ways to cook less, or more of the no-fuss, super fast and simple meals. That includes a lot of grilling, some salads, and using some ready-made food (I know, it’s bad).

Here is my list of our recent favourite easy and fast summer meals:

Easy lunch : egg and avocado sandwich :

Fast and easy summer recipes

Rye bread
Ripe avocado
Boiled egg
Radishes
Cocktail tomatoes

Place sliced avocado on toasted rye bread, add sliced egg, radish and tomato. Done!


Fast and easy summer side dishes:

Grilling is my favourite way of cooking in the summer, but I usually get stuck in the boring routine of side dishes for our grilled meat. These my recent discoveries, 100% kid approved :

Fiddleheads :

Fast and easy summer recipes

Fiddleheads
1/4 cup olive oil
1 table-spoon maple sirup
1/2 tablespoon lime juice

Wash through fully the fiddleheads. Cook in boiling water until soft. Add dressing and serve. So simple.

Broccolini :

Fast and easy summer recipes

Fresh broccolini
Olive oil
Salt

Cook the broccoli I until soft, mix with olive oil (be generous) and salt. This is the simplest side dish ever, yet my daughter was licking her fingers, she loved it so much!

Fresh summer salad:

Fast and easy summer recipes

Romain lettuce
Radishes
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh dill

Avocado oil ( or olive oil)
Lemon juice
Maple sirup

Mix wasted and cut veggies together. Add dressing. Serve.

Chocolate raspberry cupcakes :

I do love to bake from scratch. But as I mentioned before, summer isn’t the time when I feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. So this lovely chocolate raspberry cupcake is actually just a cake mix with some upgrades.

Easy and fast summer recipes

Chocolate cake mix ( I used Gogo Quinoa )
Raspberries
Dark chocolate
Sprinkles

Follow the instructions on the package, pour the mixture in the cupcake liners, and place 3 to 4 raspberries in each cupcake. Bake. Melt dark chocolate, and pour over cooled muffins. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Pretend you made them from scratch.

Fast and easy summer recipes

And what are your tricks to cook less and play more during the summer?

All green summer salad

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If you are anything like me , then you don’t really feel like cooking when the weather is hot and sunny. Recently I’m all like : honey let’s grill something 🙂 ! Which basically means that my hubby takes care of the grill and I’m taking care of the sides. Preparing this delicious crunchy yet creamy salad takes not more than couple of minutes. It’s all green , super healthy and really really good! You have the crunch from almonds and cucumbers, the kick from rucola salad and the green olives, and the creamy taste of ripe avocado. It’s perfect :). And served with the slightly sweet maple sirup dressing it made my toddler surprisingly enthusiastic :).

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Medium cucumber
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup green olives
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups rucola
Avocado oil ( or olive oil)
1/2 tablespoon maple sirup
Juice from half a lime

Cut cucumber and avocado in to cubes. Cut olives in to slices. Place veggies and olives on arugula, sprinkle with almonds and add the dressing. If you don’t use avocado oil you may add a bit more of maple sirup.

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Enjoy this delicious salad alone with bread or as a great side dish :).

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