Americans eat almost 50 pounds of pork
per person each year, according to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. Pork chops deliver iron, potassium and other
essential nutrients, while being about as lean as chicken. One
serving of pork is 3 ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards, according to
the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. You’ll get 137 calories and 4 grams of fat from a 3-ounce
pork chop. Pork is similar to chicken, with 3 ounces of chicken breast
containing 140 calories and 3 grams of fat. A pork chop has 65 milligrams of
cholesterol, compared to 72 grams in chicken breast, but they both have just 1
gram of saturated fat.
Pork chops deliver a big boost of
complete protein. Men get 43 percent of their recommended daily intake, and
women gain 52 percent from a 3-ounce pork chop. Proteins are found in every
cell in the body, where they contribute to the structure and maintenance of
tissues. They deliver messages between cells, cause muscles to contract and
carry important substances. For example, the hemoglobin that carries oxygen is
a protein. Other important substances made from protein include antibodies,
enzymes and some hormones.
If pork chops are cooked well, they can be the ultimate comfort meat. Once you figure out how to make a tender, juicy chop, it becomes a staple in the weekly rotation of dinners. This baked pork chop is super juicy and tender thanks to the garlic butter thyme sauce and it’s super-fast and easy. Prep time is only 5 MINUTES! Cook time is only 10-12 MINUTES!! What?! This recipe is also low-carb, paleo and whole30 (use Ghee instead of butter) and gluten-free.
DIRECTIONS First, preheat the oven to 375°F. Then, season well pork chops with salt and pepper. The amount of salt and pepper here will depend on your taste. Third, prepare the butter sauce by placing four tablespoons of butter in a small glass bowl and melt it in the microwave or stove. Once it’s melted, add chopped thyme and garlic. Stir well and set aside. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and when the skillet is really hot add pork chops and sear them until they get a nice golden and brown look. It’s will take about 4 minutes on each side. Pour garlic butter mixture over the pork chops and place skillet in the oven.
Pork chops should stay in the oven
until they have reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature. You can
measure it by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of pork chop.
In my option the best way to make juicy and tender pork chops is by searing on
the stove using a cast iron skillet and then, finish cooking them in the oven.
The reason being is: the pork chops will get a nice, brown and beautiful crust
on the outside, and they will be very juicy and tender inside.
Remove skillet from the oven and using a spoon, pour some of the delicious butter sauce left in the skillet onto the pork chops before serve. Enjoy!!
Sides that go well with Baked Pork
Chops: Golden Cauliflower Rice Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Mushroom Cauliflower Rice Skillet Whole30 Mashed Cauliflower
Going Gluten-Free may seem like a difficult and limiting task. Fortunately, there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free. The most cost-effective and healthy way to follow the gluten-free diet is to seek out naturally gluten-free food groups, which include: Fruits, Vegetables, Meat and poultry, Fish and seafood, Dairy, Beans, legumes, and nuts. The most common reason people go gluten-free (besides trying to join the next big food fad) is to maintain Celiac Disease. In people with this autoimmune disease, gluten triggers the immune system to attack the small intestine. Even trace amounts of gluten can cause significant damage. With repeated attacks, the small intestine loses its ability to absorb vital nutrients, such as calcium and iron. Over time, people with untreated celiac disease can develop severe nutritional deficiencies, such as osteoporosis and iron-deficiency anemia, as well as other autoimmune disorders, extreme fatigue, infertility, neurological problems and, in a very small percentage of cases, lymphoma of the small intestine. A gluten-free diet allows the small intestine to heal so it can absorb nutrients properly, and reduces the risk of associated problems. Sometimes gluten sensitivity triggers the immune system to attack the skin, rather than the small intestine and cause a chronic itchy, bumpy rash that can be quite painful. If people with a gluten sensitivity continue to eat gluten, they also may run an increased risk of developing intestinal cancer.
As science evolves and makes it easier
for people to pinpoint diagnoses and food sensitivities, more and more people
are deciding to gluten-free in an attempt to relieve the nasty side effects a
gluten allergy can cause. Gluten free eaters often feel as if sweets and
desserts are off limits and typically they are, unless you are willing to get
creative. Fortunately, we have chosen our Top great gluten-free dessert recipe
based on this list. This recipe
is tried and true and a welcome gift to the sugar-starved gluten free person!
They are moist and luxurious and will quickly become a staple in your
gluten free home.
Gluten Free Chocolate Frosted Brownies
BROWNIES 1 cup butter 2 cups sugar 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum 1 cup cocoa powder 1 tsp. salt FROSTING 6 Tbsp. salted butter 1/2 c. cocoa powder 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar 1/4 c. milk 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS BROWNIES: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. I used a 9×13 glass Pyrex. Note that you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer
for this recipe. Melt the butter, then add to mixing bowl. Add the sugar and
pure vanilla extract and mix until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, mixing well after each addition, until thoroughly blended. In a separate
bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if needed), cocoa
powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in
the mixing bowl until blended. Pour into greased 9×13″ pan and place in
preheated oven. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near
the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs only, no batter. Remove
from oven and cool pan on wire rack before frosting.
FROSTING: Using a medium glass bowl, beat the room temperature butter and the cocoa
powder together. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately, beating with a hand
mixer until creamy. Add vanilla last, beating in until mixed well. Spread
over the completely cooled brownies. For nice cutting, chill the completed
frosted brownies for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
With duck hunting season in full gear in Louisiana, there are more opportunities to see this delicious item on your plate at restaurants. Duck poppers are delicious, and a Louisiana duck season staple, with its creamy, warm cream cheese taking the edge off of the gamey flavor of a spicy seasoned bite-sized piece of duck meat. Wrap it in thick, crispy bacon pop a tangy, crunchy slice of pickled jalapeno in the middle and throw it on the grill….HEAVEN! But, it gets old after awhile and what to do with the remaining duck meat? Louisianakitchenandculture.com recently published a recipe created by Houma’s House Restauraunt Latil’s Landing’s Executive Chef Jeremy Langlois and it is a gem of a down south dinner. Latil’s was named by Esquire Magazine as one of the top twenty best new restaurants in America. There he masterfully creates wonderful dishes in a style that he calls “Nouvelle Louisiane” which focuses on fresh Louisiana ingredients. Using the freshest local meats, vegetables, herbs and spices that Louisiana has to offer, Chef Langlois whips up magic in the kitchen and thrives on delivering his guests an unforgettable experience. In this case, migratory duck species like Mallards, Wood ducks, Pintails, Gadwalls, and Blue and Green Wing Teals are what is typically hunted in Louisiana and incorporated into southern dishes from mid-November to late January. Locals have strong opinions on which species is the best table fare. These wild raised birds are (obviously) free of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. The meat is very dark and looks almost blue or purple. This is because duck meat is very bloody. If you’ve never had wild duck, it can be a little tough in consistency and have a slightly gamey taste if not prepared correctly. One can soak the meat in salted water, milk, buttermilk or vinegar to remove blood from the flesh and/or age the meat under refrigeration for 3 to 7 days to enhance tenderness. When done correctly, duck can be a real delicacy.
Chef Jeremy Langlois’s pan roasted duck recipe is something new and the pecan sauce is a nod to Louisiana tradition. It’s easy and quick (our favorite kind of recipe!) and serves 6. Pair it with bacon wrapped balsamic green bean bundles and a bananas foster bread pudding for dessert for an authentic, yet new, Louisiana dining experience. It will wow your dinner company!
6 duck breasts Salt and pepper to taste 1 tbs olive oil Pecan Sauce
1/2 cup white corn syrup 1 cup light brown sugar 1/2 stick butter 1 cup pecans (pieces or halves) Salt and pepper to taste
Duck Breast Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Season the duck breast with salt, pepper and your favorite Louisiana seasoning. We love Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add olive oil. Add the duck breast, skin side down. Sear for 6 minutes. Flip the duck breast over and place the pan in the oven. Roast the breasts for 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the duck breasts to rest 2 to 3 minutes before slicing. Slice each duck breast into 1/2-inch pieces and fan around plate.
Pecan Sauce Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and butter in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil gently about 5 minutes, stir in pecans and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over pan roasted duck breast.
For more delicious recipes similar to this one, click here.
It’s all about efficiency in 2019 and
what is a more efficient way to cook than sheet pan dinners?! I’ll wait.
Sheet pan dinners are quick and easy
and typically very healthy so they should fit in beautifully with your 2019
health goals. Not to mention, hardly any dishes to wash! WIN! The Girl On Bloor
food blog recently posted their top 25 sheet pan
recipes and we have narrowed it down to our top 2. Get ready for
delicious, easy go-tos that will find their way into your weekly repertoire.
First things first. If you don’t
have a great sheet pan, click here.
1. Sheet Pan Pesto
Our top spot goes to a super versatile
and fool proof dish. This is another great low carb meal idea but you
could always cook some pasta, rice or quinoa up and add them to the meal if
you’re looking to add grains. The veggies can be substituted for whatever
you prefer- bell peppers, squash, leeks, cauliflower…the options are ENDLESS.
This recipe also saves well. Just put extras in a tupperware to bring to work
and heat up in the microwave! Maybe bring a tortilla and spoon it all
inside for a quick, easy burrito. To save even MORE time, used jarred pesto. Is
there a quicker, more delicious recipe?
3 tbsp olive oil, divided 2 cups basil, packed 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 2 cloves garlic minced 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 3 chicken breasts, diced 1 package Cherry tomatoes 1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets 1 small zucchini, cut thickly 1 package mushrooms cut in half
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Pesto: In a Magic Bullet, blender or food processor, blend 2 tbsp olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper together until smooth (you may need to add 1-2 tsp of water to get it to blend). You will only use about half of the pesto; either cut the recipe in half for this serving or save the rest for another meal.
Add chicken and mushrooms to large
sheet pan and toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of pesto. Bake in oven
for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drain excess liquid. Add remaining vegetables and another 1-2 tbsp of pesto. Toss to combine then
bake another 10 minutes until chicken is fully cooked. Remove from oven and
divide among 4 meal prep bowls. Keeps in fridge up to 5 days.
2. Honey Citrus Sheet
Do you have a preferred place to
purchase fish locally? If not, find one! Nothing is more healthy and nutritious
than local, fresh caught fish and finding your favorite distributor is
life-changing! For us in Louisiana, we prefer fresh caught gulf fish like red
snapper and trout. If you are in Louisiana, your local Rouse’s is a good choice to find great quality fish. The
salmon in the recipe can be substituted with your fish of choice. The
recipe calls for lemon but any citrus you have at home will do while adding an
extra layer of complexity. We prefer it with lemon, lime AND orange!
Garlicky Potatoes. 1 lb small potatoes, halved 2 TBSP olive oil 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 TBSP freshly chopped parsley A sprinkle of kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Asparagus. 1-2 bunches of asparagus, woody ends broken off 1-2 tsp olive oil A sprinkle of kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Honey Citrus Glaze. Juice of 1/2 a lime Juice of 1/2 a lemon Juice of 1/2 an orange Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit 2 TBSP tamari or low sodium soy sauce 1 TBSP honey 1 TBSP coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar) 1/2-1 TBSP sambal oelek (or Sriracha) 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tsp freshly grated ginger 1 TBSP butter 1/4 cup cold water 2 TBSP corn starch
DIRECTIONS Garlicky potatoes. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place the halved potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Add the garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss again to coat. Evenly distribute the potatoes over a baking sheet and set bowl aside for asparagus. With a spoon, scoop up any garlic that has landed on the pan and spoon over potatoes. Any garlic set on the pan will burn and bring on a bitter flavor. Bake the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing halfway through.
Honey Citrus Glaze. Squeeze the lime, lemon, orange, and grapefruit juice into a medium-sized saucepan. Discard any seeds. Add the ingredients from the through to the ginger and whisk until well-combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the butter and stir to melt. If you’d like a thicker consistency (I always do), mix the cold water and corn starch into a small bowl, whisking with a fork until the corn starch has dissolved. Slowly add it to the simmering glaze mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Asparagus. Break off the woody ends of the asparagus (see notes). Place spears into the bowl your potatoes were in. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the spears, and toss again to coat. Set aside.
Salmon. Bring the salmon out and set it on the counter 15 minutes before it’s set to go into the oven. Bringing the salmon to room temperature will ensure an even cook. Pat the salmon dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
When the potatoes have crisped, bring the pan out of the oven and set it somewhere safe. Move the oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and set broiler to high.
With a spatula move the potatoes to the sides of the pan to make room. Set the salmon down in the middle of the pan. Distribute the asparagus around the sides.
Carefully pour half of the glaze mixture over the salmon, brushing it with a basting brush to evenly coat. Set the rest of the glaze aside.
Cut a few thin slices of the remaining citrus fruits and place over the salmon. (Optional.)
Place the pan under the broiler and broil for about 13-15 minutes. Because every broiler is different, keep a close eye on it. It doesn’t hurt to check the internal temp of the salmon at 8-10 minutes in, and monitor it closely after that. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 145° F.
When done, remove the pan from the oven. Carefully discard the fruit slices. Brush the remaining glaze over the salmon, cut the fillets into 4-6 oz portions, and serve
2019 is the year of the foodie!
Bring on the unfamiliar ingredients, eclectic pairings, and complex spices.
We are ready to expand our palettes at restaurants and experiment in the
kitchen. We can’t wait to see where our taste buds lead us! We left boring
healthy foods with the year 2018. It’s a myth that healthy = boring or lacking
taste. Our goal for 2019 is to figure out ways to be healthy but also savory,
rich in flavor and comforting. We love this Buzzfeed
compilation of great recipes to try and decided to narrow it down to a
flavorful and delicious Top 2.
1. Sheet Pan
Harissa Chicken With Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt
Sheet pan dinners are a big YES for
the New Year. Despite the simplicity brought on with a sheet pan dinner,
it doesn’t have to lack complexity. The key with all sheet-pan suppers is
to make sure the ingredients can all cook together on the same pan. This means
cutting denser things like chicken or potatoes into smaller chunks that will
cook at the same rate, and adding the more delicate ingredients like leeks
toward the end so they don’t burn. Another important note: don’t crowd the pan.
You need to leave space between things so ingredients can thoroughly cook.
This dinner has it all—spicy
harissa-laced roasted chicken; sweet, browned leeks; crunchy potatoes; plus a
cool garnish of salted yogurt and plenty of fresh herbs. It’s a little lighter
than your average roasted chicken and potatoes dinner, and a lot more
profoundly flavored. Indian-inspired dishes are always jam-packed with flavor
due to the rich spices that are typically used, in this case, cumin. Its flavor
has been described as earthy, nutty, spicy and warm. What’s more, cumin
has long been used in traditional medicine. Modern studies have confirmed some
of the health benefits cumin is traditionally known for, including promoting
digestion and reducing food-borne infections. New research has also revealed
some new benefits, such as promoting weight loss and improving blood sugar
control and cholesterol. We told you healthy doesn’t have to equal bland!
1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks 1 1/4 pounds Yukon
Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 by 1/2-inch chunks 3 teaspoons kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons harissa 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise,
rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1/3 cup plain whole
1 small garlic
clover 1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint,
and/or cilantro leaves 1 splash fresh lemon juice, as needed
Combine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons
of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the
harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the
chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for
30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼
teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Heat the oven
to 425°F. Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed
baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and
scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked
through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic
clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼
teaspoon pepper. Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking
sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy
about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon
juice over the top, and serve.
2. Turkey Stuffed
Poblanos with Avocado Crema
This paleo, low carb, gluten free,
(can be!) vegan recipe is TDF (to die for). With the emergence of
alternatives like vegan cheese, you can easily substitute ingredients to fit
your nutrition goals. Several of the main nutrients found in poblano
peppers are known for their roles in the fight against various types of
cancers. For example, one poblano pepper contains about 25 percent of the
recommended daily value of vitamin B2, or riboflavin — more than a single egg!
Riboflavin has been shown to have a positive effect in preliminary tests with
colorectal cancer cells. More generally, riboflavin acts as an antioxidant
against cancer cells and is also necessary for the production of glutathione,
which is another anticancer antioxidant. With all that healthy goodness, are
you wondering why poblanos weren’t part of the dinner rotation in 2018?!
If you want your stuffed peppers to
be killer you need to make sure your filling is amazing and this filling is
definitely on point. Yummy spices give it that nice spanish flavor,
fire roasted tomatoes give it tang and keep the meat moist, and the black beans
offer nutrition. The flavor in the stuffed poblanos alone is great but the
added sauce on top really ties this dish off. The Avocado Crema is made from
greek yogurt, avocado, lime juice and a few spices.
1 tablespoon grape seed oil 1/2 cup diced red onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. ground turkey breast 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes 6 poblanos 12 tablespoons shredded mexican cheese
Avocado Crema: 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt 1 avocado 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon salt garnish: fresh cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a medium skillet to medium high heat. Add grape seed oil and onions.
Saute the onions until they are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Next add ground
turkey breast and cook until there is no more pink. About 5-6 minutes. Add in
cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Stir to mix all the
spices together. Add black beans and fire roasted tomatoes to the ground turkey mixture. Mix
everything together. Slice about a 3-4″ slit down each poblano pepper and stuff each pepper with the
turkey mixture. Place stuffed poblanos on a baking sheet, stuffed side facing
up. Cover the baking sheet with a tin foil Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle each pepper with 2 tablespoons of mexican cheese.
Place poblanos back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In the meantime, to a small food processor add greek yogurt, avocado, fresh
lime juice, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Blend until mixture is combined
and smooth. Drizzle each poblano with avocado crema. Garnish with fresh cilantro
These recipes have passed our taste tests as well as our health tests. Add them into your weekly dinner rotation in 2019 for not only a tasty year, but more importantly, a HEALTHY one!
For the perfect side dish to both of these recipes, click here and for more delicious recipes similar to these, click here.
It’s time to set those resolutions and
typically, salad becomes a big part of that. If eating healthier is one
of your top new year priorities, that’s great. But “I’m going to eat
healthier this year” is one of those well intentioned, but
too-hard-to-define goals that isn’t nearly as easy done as said. You’ll have
better success if you break it down in to bite-sized mini-goals. For
instance, eat 3 salads/week for lunch is an easy and doable goal…..until around
week 3 when you run out of good salad recipes and your taste buds are screaming
at you for some variety. The truth is, when you set one big giant goal, it can
be hard to know where to start and easy to lose your momentum. ESPECIALLY if
your goal is food-related and your food is boring, yucky, or not varied enough.
We have compiled our top 2 salad recipes to make sure you don’t ruin your
resolution before it even gets started. Both recipes can easily be changed with
the substitution of one ingredient. The list of variations is endless! Click here for the full list of
healthy salad recipes. Keep reading!
Salt & Pepper
Probably the easiest salad you’ll ever
make and if you take one look at the ingredients, you’ll know why it’s
delicious and healthy. How can anything taste bad with that combination?
Put the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, and fresh basil in a
bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season
with salt and pepper and serve! So easy and beautiful and also goes great as a
side with any meal. This salad chills well and also transports well, so
it’s super easy to bring to work. You can mix it up and vary the taste by using
different flavor oils (coconut, avocado, olive, almond) or by using different
herbs (rosemary, tyme, cilantro) or by adding different cheeses (feta, goat,
2. Sweet Potato
Ingredients 2 medium sweet potatoes 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste 1 cup quinoa uncooked 2 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth/stock) 4-5 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped 1 large avocado, chopped 1/3 cup dried cranberries Optional: fresh basil, to taste
Lemon Vinaigrette 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard, do
not use regular mustard 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup olive oil 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons juice)
This sweet potato quinoa salad has it
all – perfect textures, delicious flavors, and it’s so simple to make! Not to
mention how healthy quinoa salad is! It’s packed with good for you ingredients
that will keep you fuller for longer. The lemon vinaigrette is light,
fresh, healthy, and tangy. There’s dijon mustard, lemon juice, dried herbs,
vinegar, and olive oil. All great ingredients and together, they pack a punch!
Make this dressing weekly and it will be gone within 3-4 days!
Instructions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and coarsely (but evenly) chop your
sweet potatoes. Place on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt +
pepper (to taste). Toss everything to coat and place in the preheated oven. Let
roast for 15 minutes and then flip the potatoes and roast for an additional
10-20 minutes or until desired tenderness. Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove
the bitter coating. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa with water (or
broth/stock). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a
lid. Turn heat all the way to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes or
until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa. Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove
the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside. Toss the cooked quinoa and sweet potato in a large bowl. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, prep the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried
oregano, dried basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon
pepper (or to taste) together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into
the vinegar mixture while whisking briskly. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into
a jar and store in the fridge while you finish the salad. Remove the stems and coarsely chop the spinach. Add to the salad along with the
chopped avocado and cranberries. Toss everything together. If desired, ribbon
some basil and top the salad with the fresh basil. Toss the salad with desired amount of dressing (you might have some leftover
depending on how dressed you liked your salads!) Enjoy immediately. Do not dress anything you don’t intend to eat that day. This salad is best
eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only toss what
you will eat with the dressing.