hearts of palm and tropical fruit salad

Costa Rican inspired Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

After 12 glorious days in the hot sun we are back to the arctic tundra.  We are so lucky to have escaped for a little while to Playa Negra, Costa Rica.  Our days were spent swimming, soaking up the sun, building sand castles, watching Shaye surf, searching for shells and straight up relaxing!    We stuffed our faces with the best fresh fruit, avocado tostones, smoothies, and rice and beans you can imagine, and this salad…

Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

A mix of greens, mango, pineapple, corn, red onions, avocado, hearts of palm and cucumber drizzled with a balsamic dressing!

If you are snowed in like we are, try this salad to brighten your day!

hearts of palm and tropical fruit salad
 
Makes 3 salads. Nutrition facts calculated using 1.5 tablespoon of balsamic dressing per salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mango, peeled and cubed (1 small mango)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup organic corn (fresh or frozen)
  • ⅓ cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small jar hearts of palm (about 3-4), chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 4 large handfuls of mixed greens
  • For Balsamic Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. For Balsamic Dressing:
  2. Whisk all ingredients together or blend in a food processor.
  3. For Salads:
  4. Mix all ingredients together, drizzle with desired amount of dressing and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 300 Fat: 19 Carbohydrates: 31 Sugar: 16 Fiber: 8 Protein: 4

Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

 Here are a few clips from our trip :)

We stayed at Hotel Playa Negra, which I highly recommend!  You get to stay in little palm covered cabinas right on the beach and listen to the swaying bamboo as you fall asleep at night.  Close by is a sea turtle sanctuary, where we were able to see sea turtles hatch in protection.  The weather is hot, hot, hot, but that was just what we needed to thaw out!

Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Hearts of Palm and Tropical Fruit Salad with Balsamic Dressing

…and one of the best parts of the trip was that I didn’t need to wear maternity jeans!!!

quinoa hemp seed tabbouleh

 Quinoa Hemp Seed Tabbouleh is a protein packed take on the Middle Eastern Classic.  The addition of hemp seeds upgrade this dish to power salad status!

Quinoa Hemp Seed Tabbouleh ~vegan, gluten free~

I can’t talk enough about my love for hemp seeds!  In our house we add them to just about everything…avocado toast, salads, smoothies, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, chia seed pudding, pasta, oatmeal, soups, you name it!  They have a nutty flavor and add a slightly crunchy texture.  Noah loves them and eats them straight out of the container!  They are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, zinc and are a perfect plant-based protein!

Quinoa Hemp Seed Tabbouleh ~vegan, gluten free~

Typical tabbouleh uses bulgur, but I swapped it with gluten-free quinoa.   This is very versatile recipe, you can add tons of other ingredients to satisfy your taste buds!

Other add-ins include:

Kale

Avocado

Peas

Olives

White Beans

Pumpkin Seeds

Spinach

Roasted Butternut Squash

Scallions

Mint

Quinoa Hemp Seed Tabbouleh ~vegan, gluten free~

quinoa hemp seed tabbouleh
 
Makes 4 servings
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (1/2 cup dried, follow instructions on package)
  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to directions, allow to cool.
  2. Once quinoa is cooled, add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Eat right away or place in refrigerator for 1 hour to let flavors blend.
  4. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 250 Fat: 20 Carbohydrates: 17 Sugar: 3 Fiber: 3 Protein: 7

 Quinoa Hemp Seed Tabbouleh ~vegan, gluten free~

Stuff tabbouleh in a pita pocket for an on-the-go lunch or serve as is with a side of hummus, rice crackers and olives!

superfood salad with beets and sweets

Superfood Salad with Beets and Sweets

Superfoods Salad with Beets and Sweets ~plus, a list of superfoods to have on hand to turn an ordinary meal into a superfood meal!

Take an ordinary meal and turn it into something spectacular with superfoods!  

~Pasta with veggies, meh…add hemp seeds for a nutrient packed punch!

~Fruit smoothie are ok but, add cacao and WOW!

~Minestrone soup is better than most but, add some flax for disease fighting power!

~Breakfast cereal, come on you can do better than that!  Add chia seeds and berries to take a boring breakfast to the next level!

Here are a list of superfoods that you will always find in my kitchen:

Avocados:  High in healthy monounsaturated fat, which decreases risk of heart disease.  Also, high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, C and K…all helpful for glowing skin and healthy hair!  Add to smoothies, salads, sandwiches, pasta, quinoa and baked goods…yes, baked goods!  (stay tuned for a chocolate avocado cookie recipe coming tomorrow!)

Beans/Lentils:  High in insoluble fiber, which naturally lowers cholesterol.  High in protein to keep you full and loaded with magnesium and iron.  Cook a batch to have all week-long or stock your pantry with canned beans (non-BPA lined cans!).  Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating at least a half cup daily!  Add into soups, salads or pasta dishes!

Beets:  Natural detoxifiers and blood cleansers!  Beets contain high levels of vitamin A, B and C, which decrease inflammation.  Try adding shredded raw or roasted beets to salads!

Berries:  Fresh, dried or frozen…all have high levels of antioxidants, which defend against disease and inflammation.  Add dried berries to salads or granola and add fresh or frozen berries to smoothies!

Greens:  Endless benefits!  Greens contain fiber, vitamins and nutrients all important for decreasing the risk of disease and aid in weight loss.  Keep fresh greens handy for an impromptu salad or toss into soups, smoothies or pasta.

Nuts:  Proven to improve heart health and decrease the risk of some cancers.  My favorite are walnuts!  High in omega 3’s, which fight inflammation.  Add to oatmeal and any meal for crunch and protein!

Quinoa:  The perfect protein!  1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber!  High in iron, zinc and vitamin E.  Super easy to make, eat hot or cold and can be stored in the refrigerator for days!  Cook a batch at the beginning of the week to have readily available to add to salads or toss with sautéed stir fried veggies for a quick weeknight meal!

Sweet Potatoes:  High in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A…an essential vitamin, which may decrease risk of cancer and heart disease.  Contains high levels of choline, which slows the aging process by decreasing inflammation.  Also, high in fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system.  Bake a few to have all week-long!  Top with beans and greens for an easy meal or cinnamon, walnuts and maple syrup for a sweet treat!

Superfood Add Ins:

Hemp Seeds:  High in protein, contains all essential amino acids!  Loaded with omega 3 and magnesium.  Add to everything!!!  Smoothies, rice, pasta, cereal, avocado toast, ice cream, yogurt or salads!

Cacao (or non-alkalized cocoa powder):  Loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants!  Plus, a healthy way to satisfy a chocolate craving!  Toss into smoothies and use in baked goods or raw balls!

Seaweed:  A natural source of iodine and bone building calcium and magnesium.  Also, high in omega 3 fatty acids.  Use for nori wraps or sprinkle dried wakame flakes onto rice, pasta, soups and sauces!

Superfoods Salad with Beets and Sweets ~plus, a list of superfoods to have on hand to turn an ordinary meal into a superfood meal!

superfood salad with beets and sweets
 
Makes 2 large salads with extra dressing, dressing recipe from My Whole Food Life
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted and cubed or raw and shredded
  • 1 large beet, roasted and cubed or raw and shredded
  • 4 cups of greens (arugula, baby spinach or kale, romaine, etc.)
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Assemble beets and sweets on top of greens. Add avocado, hemp seeds, walnuts and drizzle with desired amount of dressing.
  2. To make balsamic vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients together and store in a mason jar.

 Superfoods Salad with Beets and Sweets ~plus, a list of superfoods to have on hand to turn an ordinary meal into a superfood meal!