Friday, January 31, 2014

In The Kitchen - Roasted Carrot, Lentil & Arugula Salad

I've recently been on a lentil binge and have enjoyed creating different salad combinations with them.  They're a great source of protein and make a wonderfully chewy base for salads.  This version with roasted carrots, arugula, sundried tomatoes, dill and feta is my favorite thus far!

Below are the ingredients I used, but there are endless combinations.  I'd love to hear what ingredients you would combine - please comment!

  • For great tips on cooking the perfect lentils, check out this article from The Kitchn.  They're one of the best cooking blogs on the web!
  • Also, read more about the health benefits of lentils here at Mind Body Green.  

Roasted Carrot, Lentil & Arugula Salad

Recipe by Laura Jolna
Servings:  1

Exact quantities not listed as it's up to your preference.
  • roasted baby carrots
  • green lentils, cooked
  • sundried tomatoes
  • arugula, torn or cut 
  • fresh dill springs
  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • Balsamic Vinegar or Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing*
*  the BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing (in my opinion) is from Cooking Light magazine.  This is my go-to recipe I use almost every time.  Click here to view.

  • To roast baby carrots:  Preheat oven to 425°.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with the olive oil spray.  Arrange baby carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Spray with olive oil spray and/or drizzle with olive oil.   Roast for approx 25 -30 minutes until soft and slightly browned (caramelized). 
  • Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar or Balsamic vinaigrette dressing and toss until lightly coated. Enjoy!
  • I like to tear or chop my arugula as it brings out the peppery flavor more and really enhances the salad.
  • I use "The Godfather" traditional 18 year aged Balsamic vinegar from Ferrari Olive Oil Co.  The quality of balsamic makes all the difference.  

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download the recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Artist Spotlight - The Watercolors Of Gail Flores

I came across one of Gail Flores's watercolors on Pinterest and was so taken by her use of color that I was compelled to search for more of her work.  I was delighted to find that she's in Kansas City which is near where I grew up.  And even more delighted by her portfolio.  I'm sharing some of her paintings with you today to hopefully brighten your day and take you out of the cold weather and somewhere bright, sunny, warm & tropical!

Be sure to visit Gail's website to see more of her wonderful paintings. Thank you for inspiring me today Gail!

Have an inspired day!

Images via:  Floral Hill Designs

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dog Lovin' - Pumpkin Chickpea Quinoa Dog Treat Recipe {Gluten Free}

Pumpkin Chickpea Quinoa Dog Treat Recipe {Gluten Free}

Sharing a new dog treat recipe I created yesterday - Pumpkin Chickpea Quinoa Dog Treats. They are gluten-free and packed with lots of vitamins, fiber and protein.  I usually have a container of cooked quinoa in my fridge and thought it would make a healthy addition to these treats.  The quinoa plus the chickpea flour give them a power boost of protein and make them easier to digest.

They're soft and chewy and it's easy to pinch off a piece if you want to use them for training. Keep in mind they have a lot of fiber in them, so don't give too many at once!

Be sure to also check out my other dog treat recipes...they are all gluten-free.  Indigo & Lily love them and I hope your pups do too!

Pumpkin Chickpea Quinoa Dog Treats {Gluten-Free}

Recipe by Laura Ashman Jolna

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 12 min
Total time: 17 min
Yield: 22-24 treats

  • 1 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl with a whisk.

Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl with a whisk.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well with a spatula until mixed.  Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.

Scoop on baking sheet coated with cooking spray using small cookie scoop.  Flatten with a wet fork.

Bake 12 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Store in the refrigerator as there aren't any preservatives used.

I use Bob's Red Mill for the chickpea flour & flaxseed meal.  I buy it at my local health food store, but you can also buy them at
You can also substitute the garbanzo bean flour with oat flour.

If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download the recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.

Happy Dog Lovin'!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Indulgences - DIY Marshmallow Pops For Game Day

I love these DIY marshmallow pops from Coupon Clipping Cook for a Super Bowl Party.  The topping combinations are endless and you can be as creative as you'd like. Click here for DIY instructions on how to make them.   They're a great way to get the kids involved as well!

Gourmet marshmallows are another option and Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows offers amazing flavors in their online store.  Caramel Swirl, Chocolate Chipetta, Gingerbread Spice, Lemony Meringue, Mochachino, Simply S'mores and Toasty Coconut are just a few.  And, they look beautiful on the dessert tray below!

Have a sweet day!

Images via:  (1) Coupon Clipping Cook & (2) Candy Addict

Monday, January 27, 2014

Inspiration - Wise Words From Henry Ford

"Whether you think you can or can't, you're right" - Henry Ford

This is a version of a quote from Henry Ford and I find it so true ... what we think really does set the tone for what we accomplish.  Great reminder to envision success!

Happy Monday ... hope you have an inspired week!

Image via:  Bella Bella Vita

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pinterest - My Favorites This Week

My Pinterest Favorite This Week
Dog Lovin' - Say Cheese!

My Pinterest Favorite This Week
Culinary Pleasures - Kale, Almond & Pomegranate Salad
see recipe here

My Pinterest Favorite This Week
To Entertain - love the hand-lettered menu!

My Pinterest Favorite This Week
Dog Lovin' - Please adopt the older ones too!

Happy weekend & happy pinning!

follow me on pinterest

Friday, January 24, 2014

In The Kitchen - Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup

Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup recipe

I've been itching to make Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup ever since I saw Spoon Fork Bacon's recipe post.  Their recipe calls for thyme and cumin and I'm not a huge fan of those seasonings,  so I created a version using ginger and it was delicious!

As mentioned in previous recipes, I love roasting my vegetables for soups as it adds so much depth to the flavor with the caramelization.  Cauliflower and parsnips are wonderful roasted ... I have a hard time not eating them the minute they come out of the oven and saving them for the soup!  This recipe is super easy and quick.  Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower & Parsnip Soup
recipe by:  Laura Jolna
recipe adapted from:  Spoon Fork Bacon
Prep Time:  40 min (including roasting time)
Cook Time:  10 min
Makes:  approx 4-6 servings

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (my favorite is McEvoy Ranch)
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 large parsnips
  • fresh ginger, 1/2" pieced chopped
  • small shallot, chopped (or more, depending on preference)
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • Greek yogurt for topping (I use 0% Fage)
  • Pumpkin seeds for topping (preferably SuperSeedz "sea salt")
    • Preheat oven to 425°.
    • Spray olive oil on baking pan covered with aluminum foil.  Peel and chop parsnips into 1/2" sticks or cubes and arrange in a single layer on the pan.
    • Chop cauliflower into small florets and arrange in the pan with the parsnips.
    • Peel and chop ginger and shallot and arrange with cauliflower & parsnips.  I chop these in larger chunks so they don't burn while the vegetables are roasting.
    • Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes until tender and caramelized.
    • Combine roasted mixture and chicken stock in a large saucepan or dutch oven on the stovetop.  Cook over medium high heat until thoroughly heated (approx 10 minutes).
    • Remove from heat and blend soup until smooth with a hand blender or regular blender.  If soup is too thick, add more chicken stock and blend to the desired consistency.  
    • Add additional salt & pepper to taste, if desired.
    • Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt and pumpkin seeds.  Enjoy!
    • Always try to chop your vegetables so that they are equal size (i.e. 1/2" cubes).  This allows them to roast evenly and avoid burning smaller pieces.
    • Add more or less chicken stock depending on your preference.  I tend to like a thicker soup and used 3-1/2 cups when I made the recipe.
    • Low fat sour cream is a good substitute for the Greek yogurt.
    • I use my toaster oven to roast the cauliflower, parsnips, ginger and shallots.  I find it much easier to use than my oven.  I roast all kinds of things in my toaster oven -- I find that it caramelizes the vegetables better than my oven. 

    Don't miss my other soup recipe posts .... they are all low-fat and yummy!

    If you have the Paprika recipe app and would like to download the recipe, please email me and I'll send it to you in the correct format.
    Buon Appetito!

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Artist Spotlight - Illustrator Johanna Burai

    I came across this playful budgie illustration by Johanna Burai and immediately searched for more of her work.  Johanna is a graphic designer and illustrator in Stockholm, Sweden.  I love her use of color and line which creates beautiful textures.  Each bird illustration is a lively conversational pattern and makes me smile.

    Be sure to visit Johanna's blog to see more of her work.  Thank you for inspiring me today Johanna!

    Have an inspired day!

    Images via:

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    Dog Lovin' - The Land Of Misfit Dog Toys

    misfit dog toys

    It's official ... the countless hours of Indigo & Lily playing with their Christmas toys has led to "the land of misfit toys." Torn, broken and battered, they lay pathetically in a heap begging to be resurrected and played with again.  

    The two monkeys on either end are missing their ears, an arm, a tail and have open tears with stuffing coming out.  I've stitched these back up before and will do so again, as I'm a big believer in not throwing toys away unless they are unsafe and can't be repaired.  Lily did quite a number on the reindeer, however, and yes, that is a water bottle sticking out if its torn head.  Definitely not salvageable.  And I thought this one would last a while!

    Here's the before pictures for these adorable monkeys ... little did they know what they were in store for!

    Do you have any pictures of your dog's misfit toys?  I'd love to see them!

    Happy Dog Lovin' & Dog Playin'!

    Images via:  Bella Bella Vita

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    Sweet Indulgences - Simply Sweet & Healthy Banana Greek Yogurt

    I have Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning and always buy plain yogurt and make my own flavor combinations.  I never buy flavored yogurt as it has such a high sugar content.  Lately I've been loving this banana yogurt ... it tastes like banana ice cream and is positively addicting!  It's so simple and easy to whip together, I have to remind myself that it's not dessert!

    Sweet & Healthy Banana Greek Yogurt

    Recipe by Laura Ashman Jolna

    Yield: 1 serving

    • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0%)
    • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
    • 1 packet Stevia In The Raw
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    Whip all ingredients together in a small bowl with a wire whisk or fork.  Blend well and enjoy!

    Also, don't miss my other recipe for Cinnamon Blueberry Balsamic Greek Yogurt.

    P.S.  I have this yogurt along with a toasted english muffin with ricotta, honey and cinnamon.  It's a divine combination!

    Have a sweet day!

    Image via:  Bella Bella Vita

    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Inspiration - Wisdom From Maya Angelou

    "Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

    Wisdom from the great Maya Angelou to start off the week on the right (and smiling) foot!

    Happy Monday ... hope you have an inspired week!

    Image via:  Bella Bella Vita

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