You know what’s exciting? When you start to build confidence in the kitchen. It feels so good to practice new recipes in the kitchen and then actually start to create your own concoctions based on what you learn from others.
Thanks to experimenting with different recipes, and learning from all sorts of resources (Pinterest, cooking magazines, books and TV shows) I’m starting to go off book and make my own recipes. After all that’s how my grandma and mother always cooked. Whenever I would ask my abuela for recipes, she couldn’t exactly tell me how she created her magical arroz con pollo dishes. She just put it together based on years of trying things out in the kitchen and following her instincts.
These days I’m always looking for ways to make healthy whole food dishes that can also be used for lunch or snacks the next day.
Sheet pan cooking may be one of my favorite ways to whip up delicious meals in a pinch, and also blend tons of flavors together. Throw in your favorite seasonal veggies, grains or potatoes and a protein, and oui la you’ve created endless dinner possibilities. My favorite colorful veggies and fruits to sheet bake are butternut squash and apples. Yes! I have a sweet tooth, and yes certain veggies definitely help satiate that need for sweet. Usually, I choose boneless skinless chicken thighs as the leading role in my sheet pan dinners. And of course sliced onions, garlic, and olive oil make everything just pop!
As for lunch, if I have a slow afternoon on the weekends, I like to take my time and jazz up a salad. At this point in the season, I’m sure you’re over salads. But if you can find a way to dress them up in all the flavors of autumn then you’re more apt to eat your greens. My Autumn Rainbow Quinoa Salad is the perfect answer to warming up your veggies with all the flavors of fall!
Rainbow Quinoa Autumn Salad
- 1 1/2 Cups Baby Spinach
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Butternut Squash
- 1 cup of Nature’s Promise Rainbow Quinoa Cooked
- Sprinkling of Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Bragg Organic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 of Your Favorite Red Apple Diced
- Sprinkling of Dried Cranberries
- Option add grilled chicken for added protein
Cook quinoa according to packaging directions. I recommend always rinsing your quinoa beforehand. I also like toasting it in olive oil to bring out it’s nutty flavor. If you want even more flavor boil your quinoa in vegetable or chicken broth.
Sprinkle butternut squash with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Combine all ingredients and savor!