Formula Meals: Quinoa Salad

Whip up a tasty, vegetarian quinoa salad that everyone will love! In minutes you can have a simple lunch, a quick weeknight meal, or the perfect picnic fare – no recipe required! 

Formula Meals: Quinoa Salad..learn the formula to make simple, healthy quinoa salads! Perfect for lunch or easy weeknight dinner!

I’m being very efficient today by combining my monthly Recipe Redux post with a Formula Meals post! This month’s Redux theme is spring cleaning. We were challenged to go through our pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge and choose an ingredient, spice, or condiment that’s been hanging out for a while. Then share a healthy recipe made using this new-found pantry prize. I decided to use this theme as a way to clean out my fridge. And what better way to clean out your fridge then to make a quinoa salad?

I perfected the quinoa salad last summer when I was doing some catering for a client. I made her a different quinoa salad each week and got pretty good at it. I discovered quickly that there was a formula for creating the most delicious quinoa salad. You don’t need a recipe, but the best iterations were those that contained a few specific ingredients.

I was never a real quinoa fan before making these salads for my client. Now I know that if I have some quinoa already made in the fridge, a delicious meal is just 10 minutes away!

What’s the Formula?

1 part quinoa: I like to mix the red and white quinoa together (or buy the tricolor).  To make, use one part quinoa and two parts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 18 minutes or until the water is absorbed. I like to add lemon zest to the pot while cooking and then add a squeeze of lemon after cooking.  

2 parts vegetables: here’s where you can get as creative as you want. Whatever you go with, make sure you chop into bite-sized pieces. Some ideas are: steamed asparagus, chopped cucumbers, sliced cherry tomatoes, chopped zucchini, chopped broccoli (steamed or raw), fresh/frozen corn or peas, sliced radishes, chopped bell peppers, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted cauliflower, etc.

1 part greens: the trick for adding the greens is to make sure you chop them into bite sized pieces!  I love using softer greens like baby kale, spring mix, baby spinach, arugula, watercress, pea shoots, etc.

1 part fresh herbs:  fresh herbs add so much flavor, don’t skip this part!  Experiment with chopped basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, dill or cilantro.

1 part fruit:  you can use fresh or dried fruit here. I love sliced apples, grapes, and strawberries. Dried cherries, cranberries, currants and golden raisins are fun, too!

1 part nut:  Every salad needs some crunch — sliced almonds are my go-to but I also love chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and hazelnuts!

Always the same: a simple dressing of 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar (of your choice), salt and pepper, juice from half a lemon, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, a few drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp honey.

Other optional add-ins:  black beans, chick peas or lentils are also a nice touch to any quinoa salad. 

Prepare quinoa and let cool while you chop the vegetables. If using already prepared quinoa, place 1-2 cups into a large bowl. Add your chopped vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruit to the bowl. In a small Mason jar, add the dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Top with nuts and serve.

And that’s it! Don’t forget to check out what my other reduxers are whipping up for you this month!

Healthy Linguine Alfredo Pasta via @danielleomar #clean #dinner #healthyrecipe

Healthy Linguine Alfredo + Giveaway

A healthy version of a classic Italian dish, this Linguine Alfredo is easy to make with tons of creamy delicious cheesy flavor. The perfect go-to for feeding the family or an easy meal weeknight meal for one!

Healthy Linguine Alfredo

I strive to eat well and feel good about what I eat. That’s one reason I have nutrition strategies, so that I am able to enjoy favorite foods without regret. Since pasta is a favorite food, I’ve got a strategy. I call it “health it up!”

To “health it up” simply means to make a dish more nutrient-dense. I do this by adding greens, healthy fats, herbs and spices, or vegetables to the recipe. It can be as simple as stirring sauteed kale and turmeric into chili or as fancy as adding reishi mushroom extract to my green smoothie. You decide how to health up your own meals!

My “health it up” strategy is not only great for feeling good about what you’re feeding yourself and your family, but also for getting the most nutrition bang out of your food. I love knowing that I’ve upped the nutrition ante a bit by applying this simple strategy to my meals.

Healthy Linguine Alfredo Pasta via @danielleomar #clean #dinner #healthyrecipe

I created this creamy and delicious Healthy Linguine Alfredo for the folks over at Dreamfields. I was thrilled to be able to health it up in two different ways. First, I was able to use this high fiber, high protein pasta. I cook a lot with the bean-based pastas and spiralized zucchini but sometimes you just want the real thing! Dreamfields is a line of pasta made with premium durum wheat semolina from North Dakota. The semolina gives it the familiar taste and texture of traditional pasta. This pasta is also quite filling. It has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per one cup of cooked pasta!

Healthy Linguine Alfredo is  a quick and easy weeknight dinner that is not healthy, but delicious! @danielleomar

The creamy sauce for this Healthy Linguine Alfredo is my second healthy addition. It’s a lovely combination of steamed cauliflower and evaporated skim milk, along with some Parmesan cheese and spices for a ton of flavor. It’s the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something decadent and creamy! I hope you’ll try it.

Healthy Linguine Alfredo Pasta via @danielleomar #clean #dinner #healthyrecipe

Healthy Linguine Alfredo

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Healthy Linguine Alfredo


  • 8 oz Dreamfield’s Linguine Pasta
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets (1 small cauliflower)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • Fresh sage or parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in small saute pan and saute garlic until aromatic. Remove from heat. Place cauliflower florets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 3-5 minutes until fork tender. Drain. You can also steam or microwave these in a glass bowl, covered, for 3-4 minutes.
  2. In a high speed blender, add the cooked and drained cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, evaporated milk, sautéed garlic, vegetable broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth and sauce like, this may take 1-2 minutes. If sauce becomes too thick, add a little more vegetable broth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and boil for the time instructed on the package. Drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Turn heat down to low, add the cauliflower sauce to the pot with the pasta and stir in 1-2 more tablespoons Parmesan cheese, if desired. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper, fresh sage or parsley.


Nutrition information (1/4 of recipe): 290 calories; 15 g protein; 51 g carbohydrates; 5 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 820 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.

Guess what? There’s more!


Dreamfields Pasta has been very generous to sponsor a Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a Family-Pack of 7 full boxes of different pastas PLUS a food scale to one lucky reader! The contest will run until Friday April 24th and I’ll announce the winner on Monday! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post for Dreamfields Pasta. The recipe and my thoughts about the product are my own. 


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nourish

taglinenourishYou’re skeptical. I get it. I would be, too. What can my program do for you that you haven’t already done yourself? Have you tried it all and nothing seems to work? It’s time for a change! If you think you know what my Nourish program is about, here’s what you might not know:

1: It’s Not a Diet

At all. It’s a way to learn a ton about your body and how it reacts to the food you are eating. Yes, we give up stuff…but not for the reasons you think. We give up the foods that are probably making you sick, tired, and unable to lose weight. We do this so you can figure out if these foods are messing with your digestion. Once you know this, you can start to heal. It’s not about following a strict plan or eating like I eat, it’s about learning to eat the way your body wants to eat.

2: You Can Do Anything For 21 Days

That’s right. You are more powerful than you think. Once you get off refined food, stimulants, and sugar  you’ll be surprised how easy it is and you will love how awesome you feel. You’ll even save money because you won’t be relying on other people to cook your food. No more fast food or take-out to feed yourself.  You know what your current diet is doing for you, give me just 21 days and discover a new way of eating.

3: What You Put In is More Important Then What You Take Out

I don’t care as much about what you’re not eating as I do what you are. Removing entire food groups is easy. Of course you’ll lose weight that way, you end up eating less calories. But is it sustainable? Should you do this long-term? What’s the health benefit? And most importantly, what are you replacing these foods with?

4: You Won’t Die Without Your Coffee

You really won’t, I promise. You might even discover that coffee is not for you. Especially if you have IBS, leaky gut, or reflux. Learn how you feel without your daily cup of Joe and then make an informed decision about it. Still not convinced? See #2.

5: Vegetables Can Taste Good

I know many of you love vegetables but if your daily repertoire consists of a side of steamed broccoli, I’m talking to you. You can expand your horizons and learn how to prepare crave-worthy veggie dishes. By learning a few chef-inspired tips and tricks, vegetables can be delicious! Beyond taste, they are your secret weapon to living a healthy life in a body you love.

6: You Don’t Have to Count Calories to Lose Weight

When you’re eating clean, calorie counting is often not necessary. When you choose clean, nutrient-rich food you will rely less on will power. Why? Because nutrients in your food signal satiety in your brain. Highly refined and processed foods lack these signaling nutrients. You know this because you can eat serving after serving of them and never feel satisfied. Calorie rich food does not always equal fullness, but nutrient rich food does!

7: You Don’t Need All That Protein

Protein is important but we try way too hard to get it. Guess what? If you’re eating enough, you’re likely getting enough. Let’s put that same effort toward getting in leafy greens and vegetables and see what amazing things happen.

8: Fruit Doesn’t Make You Fat

Let me just say this, if you’re trying to lose weight, fruit is not your problem.

9: Carbs Are Not Evil. And Neither Is Gluten (well maybe…)

Poor carbs, they are such an easy target. And yes, they can be devoid of nutrients and full of empty calories. They can also be so high in gluten and making you sick. But this is not the case for everyone. In fact, it’s not the case for most people. Most of us can eat the heck out of carbs and feel perfectly fine. Can you? It’s worth the effort to find out.

10: It Could Change Your Life, If You Let It

What you feed yourself day to day might be the most important decision you make in your life. These choices can have profound effects. They can make you sick or keep you well. Changing your diet changes your outlook and that can change your life. If you let it.

We start Monday. Learn more and get all the details right here.

Registration closes soon. Join us here.

Remember, you can participate from anywhere in the world, on your time.