Creating Space

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Hi everyone!
My days are filled with people and situations that provide me with opportunities; opportunities to choose love and happiness or to choose fear and unhappiness. I must remind myself that I have these choices and that they both cannot live in the same space. I am either choosing love or fear…and let me tell you, love always trumps! Love is the miracle-maker and it always gives me exactly what I need. Love opens doors, unlocks the miracles, frees my heart and creates an unlimited amount of space within me to extend out to others. Fear shuts down, puts down, paralyzes and constricts any energy from flowing.
So, how do we integrate a more loving conversation in life? It begins with creating the space in our thoughts. People and situations show up as divine assignments to show me how to heal, learn and let go. My most challenging assignments show up in my relationship with my boyfriend. We attracted one another to heal, love and enjoy one another. One of my biggest lessons with him have been learning how to tap into my inner goddess for self acceptance and love, and not relying on him for those things. Past experiences that he triggers in the present challenge me in these areas. Some days, I am on point and others, the best I can do is have a meltdown. We all get into relationships with our own past experiences that have turned into conversations within the thoughts that run through our heads presently.The thing is, that conversation that was generated from the past, is in the past, there fore, it does not have to be real now in the present moment. It is our job to recognize those conversations as not real anymore and create the space for what is so that love can radiate through us.

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Here are some simple steps that I have been using in my interactions to get myself out of my past conversations that replay in my head and into what’s real in the present moment.

1: Notice. Any behavior change always starts with noticing the behavior first. Nothing can change if you are not aware that it is occurring, right? If I am unable to notice, then I am screwed because chances are I may just be reacting out of ego, and usually these snap reactions are fearbased and imbedded from th past. So, I begin created new neural pathways in my brain by keeping it simple and noticing. Sometimes, I write about what I see myself doing. I notice what is happening around and within me when I feel like I am being triggered. I notice the conversation that is taking place in my head. Is it love or fear-based? If this conversation makes me feel good, it is probably love, but if I start to squirm, it is most likely fear driving them and after the thoughts start rolling in, then the unproductive behavior follows. So, start noticing the thoughts before th behaviors have a chance to rise. And just like anything, this is a practice. Some days, I am extremely aware and I can pause and stay still and allow the untrue thoughts to dissolve. Other days, when I am more sensitive, I will just bypass any noticing and have a knee-jerk reaction, which usually ends up with me in some kind of upset. Whether I roll through a temper tantrum or not, eventually I always get back to noticing my thoughts again. It is important to be gentle with yourself and love yourself through these experiences like you would a best friend!
2: Decide. After I notice what is happening within my thoughts, then I make a decision. I decide whether the conversation in my head is real or not real based off of the situation I am in where I feel triggered. Again, fear makes us act in funky ways. So, if I perceive something as fearful based on my past experiences and I notice myself starting to feel uncomfortable, then I can probably make the assumption that I am operating from ego. I decide if the story I am telling myself is a reenactment of the past or not; real or make-believe. The ego loves to play with the make-believe because we stay stuck here; we search but never seem to find what we are looking for. It can be tricky to see past the ego, so I coach myself through it by giving myself little affirmations such as, “I can see peace instead of this, “What would it look like to let this go?” or “Thank you, Universe, for showing me how to see this differently.” A Course in Miracles says, “When ancient memories of hate appear, remember that their cause is gone,” therefore, it is up to me to forgive the past experiences that are showing up because they are showing up as an opportunity to create space for love by releasing them.

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Now, for a yummy pizza recipe to wrap this up! Today, I have one of my vegan, gluten free, quinoa crust pizzas! So simple and delicious!

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You will need:
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
3/4 cup quinoa – soaked for at least 8 hours, rinsed & drained.
1/4-1/2 cup water (maybe…according to dough consistency)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoon of dried seasonings (I think I just used some Italian seasoning mixture and a teaspoon of dried parsley)
Toppings: hummus, cucumber, arugula and carrots

To Prepare:
Set the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the tablespoon of coconut or olive oil in a 9-inch round cake pan. In a food processor mix all of the ingredients, except the toppings, together to create your pizza crust. Then, pour the mixture into the oil coated cake pan and place the pan in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Then, remove the pan, flip the crust over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Crust should be brown and crispy on the edges. Remove crust and let cool. Prepare the veggies/toppings but cutting up the cucumber and shredding the carrots. When crust seems cool enough, spread the hummus all over the pizza, first. Then sprinkle on the arugula and cover with cucumber and them the shredded carrots last. Cut up into pizza slices and enjoy! I sure did!

Light & Love,
Amanda

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Finding the love in letting go & a lentil suprise

Hi everyone! Today, I felt called to talk about letting things go. Some things are trickier than others. It depends how much the voice of my ego gets in the way. The past week, I have been wrestling with the … Continue reading

Light up the ego

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Hello to you all!
I just adore this quote by Louise Hay. I know that have mentioned her in previous posts; she just has this way of delivering the most liberating information in her books. This quote being one from her book, You Can Heal Your Life.
This quote is the truth, too. When I am stuck or upset about something, I am usually looking at the situation from a victim point of view; or an ego point of view. My ego will separate me from whatever it is that I am upset at and blame it on that, which in turn, does nothing but give all my energy and power away to that person, place, thing or situation that I am in shambles about. When things upset me, I am operating from the ego and in the space of fear. I began A Course in Miracles on January 1, 2014, and I have learned that when I am in fear, it is the ego talking to me, it is a projection of my past and it is not real. In all my life situations I am either coming from a space of love or fear; fear is not real and love is all truth; fear is dark and love is light.
So, here is my solution and my practice when my ego flares up and I seem to be upset; when I am perceiving something from the ego lense, and I feel tense in my body and upset in my mind, it is directly because of my ego-driven thoughts. With practice, I am becoming more aware each day about which thoughts are puppeteered by the ego and which are escorted by love. To release my ego and soften my thinking, I first notice my ego-driven thoughts. In other words, I light up my ego. Once I notice what is happening in my thoughts by lighting up my ego, I can forgive it and move on from the illusion that it created. To forgive also means to overlook something, stop blame, or let go of. When I forgive my ego, it cannot keep me in the victim role head-lock or in the arena of fear any longer; I can move from the constricted space of upset to a much more expansive place of love. When I shine the light of truth on my thoughts, I can own what is happening, stay present and bathe in the love.

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Another way that I stay in the love boat is by creating, tasting and sharing this next recipe with you!Mmmmmmmm! ūüėČ

Gluten free/ and vegan…

BLT (really, BLTA, for the avocado)

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You will need:
2 slices of gluten free bread, or bread of your choice (I use Food For Life’s Rice & Almond)
1/2 avocado
1/2 small tomato
Veganaise, to taste
A little bit of kale, or any other leafy green
Tempeh (for the bacon)

The tempeh bacon recipe was inspired from http://www.chezbettay.com/pages/basics1/basics_How_to_Make_Vegan_Bacon.html

For the tempeh bacon marinade you will need:
1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/4 cup applecider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 cup tamari
1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
1 teaspoon of black pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

To prepare tempeh bacon:
Mix together all the ingredients for the tempeh bacon marinade in a pan and start to heat it up. Take the tempeh out of its packaging and cut it so it is in strips… Like bacon would be. Then set each piece in the marinade, cover pan with a kid, and let it summer for 5 minutes. Then, flip each piece of tempeh and cover for another 5 minutes. Viola! Tempeh Bacon!

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I was shocked by how extremely tasty these guys were, despite the weirdest combination ever of ingredients! I could have eaten all the B without the LTA!

For the rest of the sammy, toast the bread in the toaster, if you like that kinda thing. To assemble, lay bread flat on a plate. Add the bacon to a slice of bread, first, that will be the bottom of the sandwich. For the top, gather up a little veganaise and spread it. Then, add the tomato, avocado, and lastly, the kale all piled up on top of the bacon, and close it up with the veganaised slice of bread. So good! I served it with green beans. And, I had left over tempeh bacon, you should, too, to make another BLTA for dinner the next night! Yes!

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Enjoy! Share with others! Stay in the love!

Love & Light,
Amanda

2014, let’s have some fun!

Happy New Year’s Eve to you all! I hope you all have some groovy plans tonight to welcome the new year, whether that is going out dancing, reading a book, watching the ball drop in Times Square, building a snow man with your kids, cleansing yourself in the ocean, eating yummy food or painting your toe nails! This is my last post of 2013! How incredibly weird and fun is that to say!? I’m certainly looking forward to 2014 and all the magic that it will be bringing!
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My resolution for the new year will be to have fun, spread light and raise my vibration even more than I have been! And by doing any one of these things, I am doing them all! I can’t spread light without having fun or raising my vibration, nor can I have fun, without raising my vibration and spreading light, and, well, you get my point here… It is a fantastic and efficient resolution and I am incredibly pumped! As Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Spirit Junkie, puts it “Measure your success by how much fun you’re having.” I plan to do just that, this year. I have even told friends of mine that when I catch myself not having fun to remind me! It is so much better when you have others supporting you and cheering you on! So, when I am resentful at someone, full of fear, nervous or worrying about something out of my control, I will ask myself, “Is this fun for you right now?” or I’m sure the Universe will remind me, and the plan is to then shift my energy back into the fun zone! This will be a year of movement, flow, love, wellness, connection, happiness, fun, honoring myself and completely stepping into my calling. I am ready baby! I am ready to get jiggy wit it all! I am willing to say “yes” more and forgive often! And I love the idea of miracles unfolding, being completely immersed in the moment, falling in love, not knowing what’s coming next and knowing that I am entirely supported by the Universe!

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Along with raising my vibration, spreading light and having fun comes creating healthy food and sharing it with the world! I love the food I put in my body and I love sharing it with you!

Today, I have two recipes for you. They are both gluten free, plant based and bound to get your glow on!

Spaghetti Squash with Green Lentils

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You will need:
1 spaghetti squash
1 cup green lentils
Olive oil
Thyme, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, to taste (optional)

To Prepare:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Wash, dry and slice you spaghetti squash in half, long ways. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and set aside, maybe to roast later on for fun. Brush on a little olive oil to the inside of each squash half. Then season with salt and pepper to your liking. Place each half on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper face down. Bake for 30-40 minutes, I’d say, and the squash is finished when a fork can easily pierce through the squash. While your squash is roasting, prepare your lentils by adding a 2 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils in a pot. Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When the squash is finished roasting, make your spaghetti by dragging a fork along the inside of the squash. Little spaghetti-like strands will just form…pretty fantastic if you ask me. Scrape as much as you’d like from each squash half and put into a bowl or you can save the squash skin and use it as your bowl! Fun! Then mix in your lentils, sprinkle in some thyme and basil, and add some more salt and pepper to the taste that you prefer. Enjoy!

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My next yummy is for your sweet tooth when the ball drops at midnight!

Avocado-Cacao Mousse Bites

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You will need:
For the crust
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle of salt
For the mousse
1 banana
1 avocado
2 tablespoons cacao
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup

To prepare:
Prepare your crust by adding all the ingredients into a food processor and blending together. Then, in what ever dish or cupcake tin you would like to store your bites in, form a crust in that. I used all different kinds of containers; cupcake tins, mini cupcake tins and one little glass dish. I just pressed the crusts down into each of them and put in the fridge while you prepare the mousse.
For the mousse, blend all the ingredients in the food processor until the texture looks like mousse or similar to pudding. Then pull out your crust(s) from the fridge and place spoonfuls of mousse onto your crust(s). Feel free to lick the left over mousse that gets stuck on the sides of the food processor! I did! Yum! Then top off with some shelled hemp seeds, coconut, cinnamon or maybe some fruit. I put mine in the freezer for a bit to let them stiffen up a little more before serving. They are just dreamy! Enjoy!

Enjoy your night tonight and Happy New Year 2014 to you all!
Love & Light,
Amanda

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I honor my human in me

Hello! Happy Saturday! This last week has been a week of different situations strung together all reminding me of one very big thing…humility; the acceptance that I am human. I need to keep this at the forefront of my mind … Continue reading

On top of spaghetti…

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Happy October!!! Ahh, i love October and it is refreshing to know that this month has begun! So many fun things are going on in my world this month and I am totally pumped! This month reminds me of being a kid more than anything! Halloween, pumpkin patching, apple orchards, corn mazes, scarecrows, skeletons, carving pumpkins, carmel apples, haunted houses, candy corn, hay rides, apple crisp, pumpkin pies, raking leaves, jumping into the piles of raked leaves, and the fall air. I live in Florida and unfortunately many of the things I just named I do not get to see anymore….but, I do have a mother that still lives up north and you better believe that I hit her up for a box of leaves just so I can experience the true season down here in sunny south Florida! Ha! And, you better believe I will be dressing up and hitting up the haunted houses this October! Oh ya!

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Ahh, isn’t this quote the best? And, the truth. Although, it is so easy for me to look at this quote on a happy October day and say, “Oh, that is so true and I love that!” But catch me on a day where my boat is just full of “visitors” and it is rockin’ me all over the place, hangin’ on for my dear life… it can be challenging. But, still a beautiful quote and after the initial freak out over a particle feeling(s), I can usually move to this place of just sitting down in my boat taking my “visitors” to shore, letting them off, and peacefully rowing away. I like that.

This all reminds me of my yoga practice this week. I practice Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is a style of yoga that is known for moving from pose to pose while linking the breath. It is about movement and flowing and breathing through it all. I learned this week that the Vinyasa practice ¬†reflects impermanence and change and teaches one not to hold on to each pose, but let it go and move onto the next pose. Impermanence and change. Kinda like feelings, right? Kinda like life. I like that. Life is a series of poses. Each pose connected to the next and as long as we don’t focus too much on the pose we were in before, we can gracefully move to and experience the others all while riding on the currents of our breath.

Today, I have a vegan and gluten free meatball recipe! This recipe was inspired by the blog.fatfreevegan.com. They look an taste like real meatballs!! I altered the recipes a little and in the future I probably would alter it even more by adding more of the spices and taking out the kasha (which is just buckwheat groats). I like buckwheat, but sometimes it can overtake the other flavors because it has a strong earthly flavor of its own. BUT! It was still a fab recipe! Have fun with it!

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You will need:

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, or other nuts or seeds

1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats or quinoa flakes would work

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup kasha (Also known as buckwheat groats…i think it can be optional, you decide!)

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons of dehydrated onion flakes (I could not find these, so I used onion powder instead)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tomato powder (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

To Prepare:

In a food processor, chop the nuts and oats . Do not grind the nuts completely; they should be the size of popcorn kernels. Remove combination and set aside.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and mix well.

Boil 2/3 cup of water.

Combine the nut/oat mix with the combination of all other ingredients you just made up in the food processor in a bowl and add the 2/3 cup of boiling water all together. Stir and let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using wet hands, form little meatballs and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

While your meatballs are baking, prepare your choice of spaghetti. To keep the meal gluten-free, I used quinoa corkscrew noodles. Yum! Also, heat up your spaghetti sauce and prepare any other sides you may want with your meal.

When meatballs are finished, add a few on top of your noodles and cover with spaghetti sauce! You will definitely feel on top of spaghetti after this meal! Enjoy!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Sunshine Starters

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Hello! I hope the weekend treated you well. Mine included lots of sunshine, therefore, I thought that this “bring your own sunshine” picture was necessary because that is how I felt. ¬†And I know there were a few rain clouds that passed through my weekend, but it didn’t mean that I kept my own sunshine tucked away…I brought it wherever I went! I love knowing that I do have that choice available to me. I can bring my own sunshine and spread it to others! Or, sometimes, I have others who bring their own sunshine to me when mine has temporarily gone behind a rain cloud, right? Bring your own sunshine!

I like to think that I bring my own sunshine in my blog posts. And in turn, they help you to find your sunshine and bring it to others! I have been on a smoothie kick lately, and in today’s post, I’m spreading my light through some extra groovy smoothie recipes! Perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert! Get your sun screen on, ’cause these smoothies are just full of light!

Yogi’s Sunshine Smoothie

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In a blender, add one banana, one kiwi, some strawberries, and some frozen mango chunks. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds and added some water and blended it all together. Yum!

Pink Karma Smoothie.

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In a blender, blend together one banana, a handful of frozen (or fresh) strawberries and two tablespoons of chia seeds with water. Blend for a few and pour into your favorite glass. Top off with some shredded coconut flakes! Enjoy!

Green Drishti Smoothie

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In a blender, blend one banana, a handful of spinach, one kiwi, a handful of some mango chunks (frozen or fresh), and one peach (frozen or fresh) with some water. Blend it up well and your yogi drishti will be set in motion for sure!

Buddha’s Choice Smoothie

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In a blender, put in one banana, one peach (frozen or fresh), a handful of carrots, some cinnamon sprinkles (to taste), and some almond milk and blend that magic right up! Sprinkle some cinnamon on top for extra fun!

Chakra Tonic Smoothie

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In a blender, add a handful of fresh kale, one kiwi, some mango chunks (fresh or frozen), one banana, and two tablespoons of chia seeds. Blend that baby, sip it up,  and you will feel your energy zones line up and light up from your crown all the way down to your root chakra!

Om-Shanti-Shanti Smoothie

 

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In a blender, add one banana, one teaspoon of maca powder, some sprinkles of cinnamon (to taste), two tablespoons of chia seeds, two tablespoons your choice of nut butter (I used sunflower seed butter here, but peanut butter or almond butter would be divine, too), a little ice, and some almond milk. Blend it up! Serve it up! Drink it up! And FEEL the sunshine! Sprinkle some cinnamon or some shelled hemp seeds on top for some extra sunshine.

And there you have it. Your sunshine starters. I know that they are mine. I have been kickin’ off my mornings with one of these divas and some times my lunches, too. They get my body and my mind flowin’ and full of good vibration that I can take out and spread into the world! La la la la!

 

Light & Love,
Amanda

Ring Ring…Universe Calling

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“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” -Rumi

I love this quote. I love many quotes from Rumi. I can connect to them. But this one, can I say, really excited my spirit.

There are a few callings that have been pending for me lately… becoming a yoga teacher and writing a book are the two loudest ones at the moment. And I am sure many more will come. But those are the two currently that the universe is putting in motion for me and I there are times where I question myself, and I ask myself, “Am I really supposed to do those things?!” And then I find myself getting down or discouraged because certain things are not quite in order and I want to do these things right now! Then, I saw this quote. It was like my permission from the universe and it sent electricity through every cell in my body and immediately raised my vibration.

I believe that I have daily callings and life callings. Many of my life callings I feel I am putting into action now or preparing to put them in action, and I believe that more will continue to be revealed to me. As for my daily callings, sometimes they stay the same each day and sometimes they change. Sometimes my calling for the day is to do a crazy dance, paint a pretty picture, write a thank you note, smile at a stranger,  take my pups to a new dog park, stand on my head in yoga, clean the house, call an old friend, smell a flower, have a dance party in my car, have a movie night with my hunnie, swim in the ocean, or just simply rest. Sometimes it is several of those callings in one day. The point is, they all excite my spirit and I think that aside from creating awareness in our mind and space in our hearts, we are here to respond to the callings that excite our souls.

Another thing that excites my spirit is eating food and sharing it with you!

Today I have two salads that are bound to excite your spirit, that’s for sure. They aren’t your ordinary greens and lettuce type of salads, but they will certainly raise your vibration of your taste buds and your body will be thanking you over and over again.

The first salad is the Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad that was inspired by twopeasandtheirpod.com. The colors were like one bug party in my salad bowl and the taste was delicious! I definitely had seconds!

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You Will Need:

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 3/4 inch slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt & pepper, to taste

1 ear of sweet corn, husked or frozen corn

1 15oz can black beans, rinsed & drained

1 red pepper, diced

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

2 avocados, pit & skin removed, chopped

juice from 2 limes

salt & pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill over medium heat. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes on each side. When the potatoes are close to being finished, place the ear of corn on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, rotating the cob so all the sides are cooked evenly. I only had frozen corn, so I steamed my corn separately in a pan on my stove. Let the sweet potatoes and corn cool to room temp.

Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes and place in a large bowl. Remove the corn kernels with a sharp knife from the cob. Put the corn in the bowl with the potatoes. Stir in the black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avo. Squeeze lime juice over the salad and stir until combined. Season with salt & pepper. Serve & enjoy!

*Salad will keep in fridge for up to 2 days.

If you are not in the southwestern mood, this next salad may be for you. It is the Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Peas, Avocado & a Lemon Basil Dressing, also inspired by twopeasandtheirpod.com.

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You Will Need:

For the Lemon-Basil Dressing:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey or agave or maple syrup

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

Salt & pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small bunch asparagus, about 15 spears, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup frozen peas

1 avocado, chopped

Salt & pepper, to taste

1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)

To Prepare:

In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake up in a jar or container with a lid. Set aside.

Add water and quinoa to a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes and then turn the heat to low and simmer with lid for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, cook the asparagus. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, about 5 mins. Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avo. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in fresh basil if you choose. Serve and enjoy!

*I topped my salad off with shredded zucchini I had leftover from another recipe and some shelled hemp seeds. Also, I made this salad again the next day (because it was so tasty, everyone ate it right up!) but I also added some broccoli into the skillet with the peas and asparagus and mixed to together with quinoa. Just as tasty! Feel free to add whatever your tummy is telling you it needs! Just because there is an ingredient list and instructions, doesn’t mean you can’t step outside that and get a little crazy! Whatever excites that beautiful spirit of yours, get it on, my friend!

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Light & Love,
Amanda