Salmon Pasta Salad

Hello Lovely,

Eating well is so important. Lately I just do not have the energy to cook or bake. Time isn't a factor but the creative energy and the physical energy are just....not...there! I had a week of meal prepping and while it helped me tremendously to cut down on time spent getting ready in the morning, it left me feeling drained. One of the things I was able to create before throwing in the towel was a delicious Salmon Pasta Salad!

I love easy pasta dishes and I had a salmon fillet in the freezer for weeks that I didn't want to go bad. So I thought, what about a pasta salad with Salmon? It was really easy to put together. If you thaw and marinate the salmon overnight, all you have to do in the morning, is grill it and boil the pasta. You could even save some of the marinade as a dressing for the pasta. So before I hop on a plane today for the annual VIVA conference tomorrow night, I thought I'd share this quick and easy lunch dish that anyone can make!

Salmon Pasta Salad.jpg

Salmon Pasta Salad

Serves 1 (simply double ingredients to serve more)

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillet thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes 
  • 2 cups pasta of your choice (I used Rotini in lieu of Bow Tie pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Raspberry vinaigrette
  • 1/8 cup Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • grated cheese for topping

Directions

  1. Thaw salmon then mix the vinaigrette, seasoning, salt and olive oil in the salmon pouch. Allow to marinate overnight.
  2. Boil pasta according to directions on box, then drain.
  3. Saute the salmon in a skillet while the pasta cooks.
  4. Once pasta is complete, combine the noodles with the salmon, marinade and tomatoes in a dish. Feel free to add other items like corn, bacon or spinach. I just used what I had on hand because I was in a mad rush.
  5. Top with grated cheese and serve!
  6. Enjoy!
Salmon Pasta Salad 2.jpg

If you try this and any of my other recipes, don't forget to shout me out on Instagram by tagging @life_by_olivia or #lifebyolivia; or on Twitter at @lifebyolivia!

 

 

Grab-and-Go Salad

Hello Lovely,

Grab-And-Go Salad

Rushing through the usual morning routine, we often have to choose between healthy and fast when it comes to our meals: especially lunch.  An easy way to combine both ideals is to prep a salad the night before and place it where you can have quick access the next day.  Discovering the many uses of mason jars and my preference for delicious salads, I made a grab and go salad that did not disappoint.  Using the basic lettuce and tomatoes, you can add fun ingredients such as cranberries, carrots , celery and cheese with the added protein of chicken , turkey or ham.  One of the best parts of this salad: Shaking it up!  By adding a vinaigrette based dressing the night before or right before eating the salad, you can quickly combine the salad and dressing in 3 – 4 quick shakes.

Ingredients

1 (2 cup) Mason Jar

½ head of lettuce, thinly sliced or chopped

5 grape tomatoes

¼ cup shredded carrots

Sliced chicken

 

Directions: Layer the ingredients in the mason jar, placing the lettuce on the bottom, then carrots, chicken and tomatoes.  This method will allow for easy storage.  You can add or substitute ingredients to make the salad heartier and more colorful.  Great additions would be Italian seasoning, cheese dried fruits and vegetables (sliced bell peppers).  After sealing tightly, place salad in the fridge until the next day.  For the salad dressing you can place on top the night before or add it right before youre ready to eat it.  Shake the closed jar with dressing for easy distribution and full flavor.

What are your favorite salad ingredients and dressing?

XoX,

Mango Salsa

Hello Lovely,

Conch Salad is a MUST in the Bahamas and one of our local staples enjoyed by many around the world.  It can be a light, tangy and spicy treat in every spoonful with splashes of conch and diced vegetables.  For the vegans or vegetarians among us, there is a way to enjoy this dish without the conch but still capture the tangy but spicy flavor with a hint of sweetness.  Mango Salsa combines all of these flavors and places the emphasis normally used on conch to the chunky but sweet mango.

Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 large mangolas, peeled and chopped (half or fully ripened)

  • 2 medium/large limes , sliced and squeezed

  • 1 scallion stem, minced

  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced

  • 1 jalapeno, minced

  • 1 medium scotch bonnet, minced (optional)

  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

Place all items in a bowl and mix well. Cover in an airtight container or with saran wrap and let sit in the fridge for 1 – 2 hours to allow the ingredients to max and increase the flavor.

Note: If you prefer a more spicy taste, add ½ tsp. of red pepper flakes to the mix before place in the fridge.  

A more ripened mangola adds a sweeter taste and softer texture.

I’ve enjoyed eating this as a refreshing appetiser and as a topping for grilled chicken, pork kabobs or other meat dishes.  You can use this recipe to accent your next entrée or dinner party!

Do you prefer a spicy or sweet mango salsa? Which dish would you top the salsa with?

XoX,

 

 

Make Healthy Lunches Exciting with These Chickpea Sandwiches

Hello Lovely,

I've never been one to carry sandwiches or brown bag it for lunch. I always carried leftover dinners or something really heavy like pasta with fish or other veggies. This was usually because I never thought a sandwich would fill me (nevermind the occasional run to McDonalds for their McFish). But these easy chickpea salad sandwiches will definitely shake things up a bit and keep you full all day long! This creamy chickpea salad can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, so its ready to go whenever you need to pack a quick lunch. This really came in handy on Saturday because I never seem to have enough time to make something to eat before heading out to Praise and Worship practice at my church.

The salad is also really easy to customise so feel free to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge and add fresh herbs, spices, cheese and whatever else you need to see you through the work week.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Ingredients

·                  1 can chickpeas (I used Progresso gluten-free)

·                  1 tablespoon mayonnaise or vegan alternative

·                  3 tablespoons corn kernels

·        1 tablespoon diced green onions

·                  8 slices bread

·                  Other sandwich fillings (I used garlic and pepper seasoning, white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and green onions)

Directions

1. Roughly mash the chickpeas (I used my food processor and almost made hummus by accident). Add the mayonnaise and a pinch of your seasoning.

2. Chop the vegetables fairly small and add them to the chickpea mixture. Mix well to combine. I added my tomatoes and green onions at this point.

3. Serve the chickpea salad in between slices of bread with additional sandwich fillings if desired.

And that's all there is to it! A delicious, healthy sandwich filling in just a few minutes. And remember, you can adapt the ingredients however you choose so every batch feels different. No more boring lunches here!

What's your favourite sandwich filing? Share your ideas below and with me on Twitter @lifebyolivia!

IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THESE APPETIZERS AND LIGHT MEALS

Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Asian-Inspired CousCous Nugggets

Crab Rangoons

Asian-Inspired CousCous Nugggets

One of my best friends in the entire world, Amanda is back home today! I haven't seen her in two years so I was super excited to see her! It was on the drive home when I realised that I needed something for us to eat for lunch. I had this recipe saved on my Pinterest for months and finally decided to try it today since I would have some help in making the balls. As you all know, I'm trying (and failing) to be vegan, because of my lactose intolerance. Luckily for me, Amanda isn't the strictest dieter and loves eating healthy food like me, but doesn't care to follow everything by the book.Apart from all of the sexual puns Amanda and I made today, I really suck at making any food item ball-shaped. To be honest, we only made about 7 before quitting. So why did I call it a nugget? Turns out Amanda sucks at making balls just as much as I do. The good news about this recipe is that you can save it to try again another day. 

I made a lot of substitutions to the original recipe because I thought cous cous would be healthier and easier to mould and I'm horribly allergic to anything spicy, so I couldn't use any chilli. But these nuggets were so good! We both thought they tasted like chicken nuggets. But don't worry about there not being any meat in these. These couscous nuggets are so fragrant, and the crunchy crumb coating and light salad served under it which more than made up for the missing chicken. 

ASIAN-INSPIRED COUSCOUS NUGGETS

Ingredietns:

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups couscous

  • 1/4 cup diced mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons minced green onions

  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 1 cup panko

  • 2 tablespoons Hot Mango Chutney

  • Egg wash

  • Canola oil for frying

  • Sesame seeds

  • Soy sauce

Directions:

  • Cook couscous according to directions on container. I used 2 cups of water and 2 cups of couscous.

  • When the couscous was done cooking, I stirred in the vegetable broth, mushrooms and green onions. Feel free to add any additional seasoning. I used a fresh herb mix.

  • Allow the cous cous to cool. Lightly flour your hands, then scoop one tablespoon amount into your hands. Press the couscous into the shape of a ball (ours came out as nuggets). Coat with the flour as you mould. Once you have a solid shape, dip in your egg wash, then roll in the panko.

  • With the canola oil in a frying pan on medium heat, fry your nuggets lightly on both sides until golden brown, then remove from heat.

  • I served mine on a bed of lettuce.

  • Top with sesame seeds and soy sauce. Top each ball/nugget with your hot mango chutney, and serve.

Enjoy this Asian-inspired recipe for lunch or dinner. And I hope your balls come out better than mine!

XoX

Olivia