So 2017 is here and a new year always lends the promise of new beginnings. Resolutions are made, lists are compiled, every one of us determined to be better in all aspects of our busy lives.   A great time to start fresh and feel inspired for the year ahead.
 
However, in addition to all the feelings of hope, most commonly, come January 2nd, getting on your favorite jeans requires a bit of a wiggle, a few stretches and yes, sometimes even a grunt or two as you pull them up. It’s okay, I won’t tell. We are all there with you. Thanksgiving day is all about one more piece of pie, Christmas is synonymous with cookies and of course New Years Eve wouldn’t be complete with a cocktail or two…or three.
 
But I’m here to tell you that that is just fine, because as we wake up to a new day, we can put it all in our past and start anew. That’s what makes eating healthily so fantastic. It’s never too late to start and no damage is permanent. You can always pick yourself up, get cooking and get back into those skinny jeans (no Spanx required).
 
So today, I made a delicious quinoa salad and the best part; I was able to use the odds and ends hanging out in the fridge after the holiday.
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Quinoa is such a celebrity nowadays because as we all try to find alternatives to our favorite carbohydrates, its super high in protein, vitamins and minerals.  The best part, it tastes amazing mixed in with a number of different things.  I use quinoa as a base for loads of veggies, meats and even fried eggs for breakfast.
 
I ransacked the fridge, grabbed the herbs before they start to wilt, a few lemons, knobs of celery, carrot, and cucumber and made a salad that tastes good and jump starts my post holiday penance.
 
Good Girl Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa, rinsed twice and cooked via package directions
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine
3 scallions, sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
½ cup chopped cucumber
¼ cup chopped carrot
¼ cup chopped celery
½ avocado, chunks
 
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, scallions, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.  Add quinoa and all mix ins (feel free to substitute based on what’s living in your fridge).  Enjoy and feel good.
Buon Appetito!
 

anna22

Anna Francese Gass

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Anna is working on a cookbook featuring recipes from around the world. She cooks with immigrants to translate their favorite and best recipes to paper for generations to come. If you have a Nonna who would be interested in cooking with Anna, please reach out via email: annafgass@gmail.com

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