Meal Planning Monday ~ Back to School Lunch Remix

This week’s post is by Kim Bergeron of Extreme Coupon Professors.

We have 180 days of school, that means 180 days of packing school lunches times 5 kiddos for me. Hmmm, how fun does that sound? With that being said, I plan on posting several tips this school year along with some creative, easy recipes. Hope it will make your school year a bit easier.

Let me get you started with a video HERE where I explain how to pack the lunches for a week in about 30 minutes. I get so many great emails by the middle of the school week from many happy moms.  Here are a few out of the P&J box ideas for you to try:
-Peanut Butter and Fruit Sandwich: replace jam with fresh sliced strawberries, bananas and/or blueberries. We like to use fruit swirl bread too.
-Peanut Butter and Jelly Ritz Cracker Sandwiches
-Make your own Uncrustables
-Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffle Sandwiches: replace the bread with your favorite flavored waffles or even pancakes
-Peanut Butter, Raisin and Granola Apple Sandwich
Let’s get away from sandwiches here and there, instead pack a child’s favorite- Homemade Chicken Nuggets. My kids love finding these in their lunches and it’s an easy lunch to put together.
Recipe: Cut your chicken breasts into cubes, bread them with Shake N Bake. We used the Pretzel Shake and Bake-the kids love it. Bake according to directions.  Slice Cheese Sticks in half the long way, core out an end of the cherry tomato and fit the cheese stick on top.
Another idea is to make Lunch Kabobs: cube the cheese sticks, rotate the chicken nugget, cheese cube and cherry tomato on the skewer.  Invest in a good thermal thermos for soups. We make Chicken Soup all throughout the school year.
Here’s my quick simple recipe: Use leftover chicken or cook up a couple chicken breast or thighs. Pour a carton of chicken broth in a pot and warm on the stove. Add your cooked chicken. Add veggies. I use diced carrots and usually 1/2 cup of corn. You can add some frozen mixed veggies if you choose. Then add your fun noodles such as alphabet pasta, bow ties or wheels. Cook until pasta is done.  Make your soup as hearty as you like it.  Pack a roll, soup crackers, goldfish crackers or Cheez-its. My kids like to add goldfish to their soup.
This is a tasty lunch for kids and it’s quick and easy to put together. We call these Inside Out Sandwiches.  We used Pillsbury Bread sticks, bake according to directions. When completely cooled, spread cream cheese on one side of the bread stick. We used veggie and chive cream cheese. We then take a slice of turkey, slice in half the long way, and twist it around your stick. I use one half of deli meat on each stick. Pack in a container and pack it in the lunch box.
One of my favorite pieces of advice is make it easy on yourself. Repeat the meals a couple times during the week and rotated your lunch menus every two weeks. This makes your grocery list easy for you, too.
I’m a wife, mommy and a lover of life enjoying everything from playing board games to cooking to traveling. Finding deals for our family has allowed us to do the fun things in life with enjoyment and less stress. When I find a deal I’ll always share it on my blog, Extreme Coupon Professors. Hop on over to see all the ways to save!

Meal Planning Monday ~ Fill Up on Fiber

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

Most of know we should be getting more fiber in our diets.  Fiber fills us up, helps control blood sugar, and is great for weight loss and digestion.  But many times the word “fiber” conjures up visions of tasteless fiber cereals and prune juice.  So I’ve rounded up some super-tasty recipes that help you and your family get in your daily fiber requirements.

 

Fig & Banana Protein Shake

 At the co-op last week, there was a lone package of fresh figs on the shelf.  Since I was feeling adventurous, I bought them and brought them home. Then I stared at them for a while, wondering what the heck I should do with these fresh figs.  After some searching on Pinterest, I found several interesting recipes like Figs with Honey, Ricotta, and Balsamic, Clean Eating Fig Butter, and Fig and Almond Butter Smoothies.  Since I love having a good smoothie post-workout, that sounded like something I would love.  I chopped up my fresh figs into quarters and froze most of them.  I ended up making my fig smoothie with ½ cup chopped frozen figs, 1 frozen banana, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and a cup of Silk’s Coconut-Almond milk.  It was delicious!  Turns out that fresh figs are pretty healthy, too!  They’re high in fiber and minerals like calcium and potassium.  4 small figs provide almost 5 grams of fiber!

I found this recipe for “Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad” on the Hungry Girl website.  It is super easy to make on busy nights when you’re short on time and don’t want to cook.  Last week, I batch-grilled several pounds of chicken breast meat, most of which I cut into chunks and froze in 1-cup servings.  I had been purchasing Tyson’s Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Chunks, but a quick calculation showed I’d save close to half off if I went the DIY route.  I added some edamame and dry roasted peanuts to the recipe.  You could also use this as a filling for Asian lettuce wraps.    1 ½ cups of this simple, tasty salad provides 4.5 grams of filling fiber.

 

Grilled Chicken with Artichokes & Tomatoes

My husband loves artichoke and spinach dip, but I avoid turning on the oven  in the summer if I can help it.  So, I decided to figure out something tasty to make with my canned artichoke hearts without the oven.  I ended up sautéing some minced garlic in olive oil in a skillet on the stove top.  Once the garlic turned golden, I added a can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), and a teaspoon of Italian herbs.  I covered the mixture and let it simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, I had some chicken breasts that I had brushed with Italian dressing cooking out on the grill.  We put the chicken on our plates, topped it with the artichoke and tomatoes, and sprinkled it with some mozzarella cheese.  It was so tasty and filling, we didn’t even miss having a starch like rice or potatoes with it!  ½ cup of cooked artichokes provides 7 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein for only 45 calories!

 

 


 

Yes, Black Bean Brownies!  I know – “Yuck!” was my first reaction, too.  But in all honesty, they are very tasty.  The original recipe called them “Amazing Flour-less Brownies,” and that does sound more appealing.  But the fact of the matter is that this brownie recipe has a whole can of black beans in it.  I’ve been trying to limit my intake of wheat, so I’ve been scouring the internet for some good gluten free recipes.  I did make some substitutions to the original recipe.  I replaced the sugar with ¼ cup Sugar Leaf stevia/ sugar cane blend.  Instead of a cup of chocolate chips, I used ¾ cups of Enjoy Life’s Mini Chips (dairy free) and ¼ chopped walnuts.  I cut them into 9 squares, ate one, and froze the rest of them.  This way when I have a chocolate craving, I can satisfy it without crashing my blood sugar.  Because each brownie has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, they’re very filling!  (My variation, 9 servings, nutritional info: Calories: 220, Carbs: 28, Fiber: 5, Protein: 7).  My recommendation is to serve them to your friends and family without revealing the secret ingredient until they’ve raved about how good your gluten-free brownies taste!

What is your favorite way to get more filling fiber in your family’s diet?

Win One of Three $50 iTunes or Google Play Gift Cards!

Attention Gamers!  Your Strong Tower along with a great group of bloggers are super excited to bring our fans this awesome giveaway from Big Fish Games!   Three winners will receive their choice of either a $50 iTunes or a $50 Google Play gift card!  I’ve always been a fan of fantasy games – castles, elves, trolls and princesses.

Big Fish Games is the premier creator of online games for your smart phone, tablet, and computer. In Awakening Kingdoms, a newly released game for iPhone and iPad, you’re chosen by Queen Sophia to restore her kingdom back to its former glory through fun mini-games and beautiful hidden object scenes.  It’s fun for the whole family!

In the popular Android game, Haunted Past: Realm of Ghosts Collector’s Edition, Sara inherits a home and she discovers that a restless spirit can speak to her! You’ll help her soothe Emily’s soul in Haunted Past: Realm of Ghosts!  With over 250 games for Android, iPhone, and iPad, there are plenty of great games for the whole family.  Be sure to check out the free offerings on Big Fish Games for Android devices and games for iPhone/iPad today!

This giveaway runs from Wednesday, August 13 through Monday, August 18, 2014.  Contest is open to US residents age 18 and up.  Your Strong Tower is not responsible for prize shipment.  Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meal Planning Monday ~ City Shake Down

Today’s post is by Bee Mandelberg of Style Island.

One of the most popular drinks or liquid meals to make in the summer is a cold, refreshing shake of some kind. Everyone has their own preference; some like a sweet concoction for a treat, while others go the more health or diet focused route. As for me, I always loved making fruit shakes. Growing up, my mom and I would go to the Union Square green market, buy all fresh fruits and veggies and then come home and try out different recipes.

Today, this industry has changed drastically and expanded leaps and bounds. Detoxes that include all kinds of veggie and fruit shakes are a dime and dozen, and there are all kinds of new things established that can turn into a drink. We blend kale, cucumbers, ginger, and become master chefs in our own kitchen, trying different blends, and seeing what tastes the best. Personally, I haven’t quite upgraded to the very expensive and ever popular Vitamix blender, but I have become a tad obsessed with trying new mixes. This summer I’ve spent many mornings like a mad scientist, putting things together from inspired Pinterest boards, and blending varied ingredients to see what different kinds of breakfast drinks I can create. While I am still mastering this, I have managed to come up with some delicious morning treats. Some only vary by a few ingredients, but it’s amazing how different they can taste, just by adding or removing one simple thing. In one week, I made a slightly different shake every day, and was surprised by just how much I could shake it up. Pun intended. Here are 5 recipes to try this week.
1. Strawberry orange semi protein shake.
1 cup orange juice. 1/4 cup frozen strawberries. 2 tbsp Greek yogurt. 1 tbsp flaxseed. pineapple chunks.
2. Banana protein shake.  Similar take on the first shake, but only with banana for a different kind of flavor. Flaxseed is optional, but good to add.
3. Strawberry banana shake. Again, a very slight variation can change the whole flavor and taste of the drink. Here, I put strawberries and banana together for a burst of fruit flavor, while taking away the Greek yogurt, which makes for a thicker shake.
4. Strawberry Protein shake. This is a more focused protein shake, because I added Protein Powder. (Not pictured). This makes for a great drink before or after a workout because it also acts as a meal. Add lemon for fat burning and detox factors and re-add the Greek yogurt for consistency and to complete the drink as meal substitute.
5. Strawberry Lemon Detox. The simplest of all the shakes, but with detox boosters and it tastes absolutely delicious! Just add fresh strawberries, half a lemon, 1 tbsp honey and lots of ice. Then enjoy!
Bee Mandelberg is a lifestyle blogger and writer at Style Island.
A New York City native, she adores rifling through her mom’s closet for vintage
clothes, pretending to be Parisian and obsessively watching horror movies. You
can find her carrying a Vogue in one hand, and a cappuccino in the
other.

Treat Your Feet Giveaway ~ 3 Winners!

As you enjoy the last days of summer fun with the kids at the pool, beach, or back yard, don’t neglect your feet. The sand, chlorine, and sun exposure can take a toll on your tootsies! Your Strong Tower, Two Classy Chics, and a great group of bloggers have teamed up with TableclothsFactory.com to bring you the Treat Your Feet Giveaway! Win one of three foot pampering prizes, plus great items from Tablecloths Factory. There’s nothing better at the end of a long day than a nice foot soak and massage!

Our first lucky winner will receive HoMedics HHP-350 Percussion Action Massager + Choice of any 3 Ruffle Trims Styles.

Our second winner will score Conair Waterfall Foot Spa with Lights, Bubbles, and Heat + 7 Colors of Lovable Satin Stripes Table Runners.

Our third prize winner will receive Powerful Emjoi Micro-Pedi Callus Remover + 72”x72” Couture Tulle Satin Overlay in Black Gold.

TableclothsFactory.com has high quality table linens at wholesale prices! They carry a vast selection of colorful linens and décor items for all of your fall festivities, including business conferences, Halloween and Harvest parties, or fall weddings. If you need chair covers, tablecloths, runners, sashes or simply table napkins, TableClothsFactory.com has you covered with gorgeous fabrics in a rainbow of colors. And don’t forget, they also carry great party supplies such as favors, balloons, LED lights, and cake stands to fulfill all of your entertaining and decorating needs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from Wednesday August 6th to Monday, August 11th 2014. Contest is open to US residents age 18 and up. (Sorry, prizes cannot be shipped to Hawaii or Alaska.) Your Strong Tower is not responsible for prize shipment. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Meal Planning Monday ~ Back to Nature

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

On my journey to be as healthy as possible, I keep coming back to one thing – and that is getting back to nature!  When I go to the grocery store, I am spending a LOT more time in the All Natural/ Organic section.  It’s a bit of a challenge to eat this way and still stay within our grocery budget.  There aren’t as many sales and coupons for organic food, but there are some if you know where to find them!  In fact, I just printed coupons for Silk, Kashi, Cascadian Farms, and Food Should Taste Good on Coupons.com So this week’s post is all about how to save money while eating as close to nature as possible.

 

  • Grow some of your own fruits & veggies!  It’s actually not too late to plant some for a fall harvest.  Salad greens, herbs, summer squash, beans, peas, and more all have short growing seasons.
  • Patronize your local farmers.  Shop at your local farmers market, roadside fruit stand, orchard, or farm.  The food is likely to be tastier and cheaper because it doesn’t have to be transported across the country to the grocery store.  The bonus is that you’re supporting your local economy rather than the corporate food giants.  Also check to see if there is a food co-op close to you.  They can be a great source of organic and natural foods at affordable prices.
  • Buy in bulk when you can.  I called my local poultry farm and inquired about discounts for buying chicken and turkey in bulk.  I was able to get ground turkey for $2.00 per pound and bone-in chicken thighs for $2.25 per pound, buying 10 pounds of each.  I brought it all home and froze it in meal size portions.  Based on our consumption, I’ll stop by the farm and buy the same amount every three or four months.  It’s nice to know that the chicken and turkey is hormone-free AND I’m supporting a local family-owned business.
  • Buy the store brand organic food.  I regularly buy Kroger’s Simple Truth natural peanut butter, gluten-free multigrain crackers, among other things.  I’ve also bought Meijer’s organic line of beans, salsa, etc.
  • Make it yourself!  Yes, this does take a little time, but it is SO worth it!  You’ll save a ton on packaged foods like cookies, granola bars, ice cream, condiments, bread, etc. This past week, I’ve made zucchini bread, salad dressing, ice cream, and BBQ sauce.  I love knowing exactly what’s in my delicious food – no unpronounceable ingredients!  If you’re not doing any of this right now, start slow and work your way up.  Here’s two easy ones to try!

 

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Homemade BBQ sauce may seem ambitious, but it’s just a matter of tossing everything in a sauce pan and simmering it for an hour.  Most commercial BBQ sauces contain high fructose corn syrup, something we should all avoid!

  • 24 oz. bottle of organic ketchup
  • 24 oz. of water
  • 1/3 cup of Sweet Leaf’s Sugar Leaf (cane sugar & stevia blend) or 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ all-natural apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of chili powder
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. onion powder

Put all ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until desired thickness.  Once cooled, I recycled the washed ketchup bottle and filled it with the BBQ sauce and put in the refrigerator.  Any leftover BBQ sauce can be frozen.

 

Best Homemade Vinaigrette

This easy dressing can be made by the bottle or just for one salad!  It also makes for a great grilled chicken marinade.  You mix up the flavor by using red wine or balsamic vinegar and using different all-natural spice blends.  The possibilities are endless!

  • 1 part olive oil
  • 2 parts apple cider vinegar
  • Seasoning blend to taste

Do you have any tips to share on how to save money while eating organic/ all-natural?  If so, I’d love for you to share them here!

 

Meal Planning Monday ~ Healthy Entertaining

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

When I ask people what their biggest roadblock is to eating healthy, many say it’s resisting temptation when at a party, event, or restaurant.  It’s definitely a challenge to eat healthy when someone else prepares the food and you have limited choices.  But I have been to parties at other people’s houses – people who I know are generally healthy eaters – and the buffet is full of unhealthy choices!  Do we think that entertaining has to include a smorgasbord of fat and sugar-laden treats?

Yes, it is possible to offer healthful and super-tasty choices when hosting your next event or party!  Last week, I hosted my first Ava Anderson Non Toxic party and Melissa, my nurse practitioner, was going to be in attendance.  Melissa has helped me clean up my diet quite a bit over the past couple months, so I felt challenged to apply what I’d learned and make sure the snacks I was offering to the ladies in attendance were both healthy and delicious!

My first snack was simple – a veggie tray loaded with organic baby carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.  I chose an all-natural ranch dressing with no high fructose corn syrup or MSG (Newman’s Own is a good pick).

The ladies killed my second snack!  There were zero leftovers of the Greek Style Chips & Dip.  This one is so amazingly easy and tasty, you’ll be tempted to make it for every party and get-together you go to.

Photo Credit: www.KraftRecipes.com

 

Greek Style Chips & Dip

 

  • 1 pkg. (7 oz.) ATHENOS Original Hummus
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz.) ATHENOS Traditional Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
  • ATHENOS Pita Chips Original

 

Spread hummus on the bottom of a glass 9-inch pie plate or similar sized dish.  In a bowl, combine the feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, and olives.  Spread the mixture on top of the hummus and serve with chips. I opted for the whole grain pita chips, and had a gluten free cracker option for dipping as well.  The great thing with this recipe is you can use different flavor options for the hummus if you so choose.

My final snack served for my party had to be something sweet – preferably chocolate to compliment the red wine the ladies were sipping!  I knew my “Healthy Candy” recipe would fit the bill… and I made it even healthier than usual by using dairy-free chocolate!  (Who knew there was even such a thing?)

Even Healthier Candy

 

  • 1 Package of Enjoy Life Mega Chunks
  • 1 ½ Cups of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal
  • 1 Cup of Dried Cherries
  • ½ Cup of Walnut Pieces

 

In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave 1 more minute or until melted. (You can also do this on the stove top or in a double boiler).  Quickly stir in cereal, dried cherries, and walnuts until well coated.  Using a tablespoon, drop clusters on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for two hours or until chocolate hardens.  I store the candy in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  You can make this recipe gluten-free by using Rice Chex or another gluten free cereal.  And I must say, I am completely delighted and perplexed by the Enjoy Life products, the Mega Chunks especially.  How can anything be dairy, nut, soy, and gluten free and still taste so awesome?  (Bonus: Non-GMO!)  Judging by the lack of leftovers, I would say that my tasty treats were a big hit.

Still need inspiration for appetizers?  Another healthy entertainment option is homemade bean dip made with organic re-fried beans.  (1 can of beans + 1 cup of salsa.  Heat thoroughly and sprinkle with a little cheddar cheese if desired and serve with organic corn chips.)

What are your favorite dishes to serve that are both healthy and delicious when entertaining guests?

Flip Flop Giveaway

efavor

Welcome to the Summer Flip Flop Fun Giveaway!

Hosted By: Super Frugal Stephanie

Sponsored By: TableclothsFactory.com

TableclothsFactory.com carries a variety of quality tablecloths, chair covers and more. I am in love with their animal print line its pretty wild!

TableclothsFactory.com has generously sponsored a Branded Flip Flop Giveaway PLUS you will get an item from TableclothsFactory.com as well! We will have 3 winners each getting to choose ONE of three brands of shoes pictured above in their choice of color/size.

Xemie Open Toes Sandals by NINE WEST (Size Options: 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 10.5 Color Options: Black/Turquoise/White *size availability varies per color) + 20ft x 10ft Authentic Burlap Backdrop (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/Authentic-Rustic-Burlap-Backrops-Natural-Tone-p/bkdp_jute_nat.htm )

nine west

t
Ava Braided Flip Flops by BEBE (Size Options: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Color Options: Gold/Black/White) + Burlap Runners Medley – Flocking/Stripes/Chevrons/Country Western (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/Jute-Burlap-Outdoor-Linens-TableclothsFactory-com-s/405.htm )

bebe

t2

Keddida Flat Sandal by ALDO (Size Options: 6, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5, 9 Color Options: Clear/Black/Bone) + 60×126” Rectangle Rustic Burlap Tablecloth (http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/60×126-Rectangle-Rustic-Burlap-Tablecloth-Nat-p/tab_jute_60126_nat.htm )

aldo

t4

Now that you have seen all of these AWESOME prizes! Enter for your chance to win below! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your Strong Tower is not responsible for prize shipment.

Meal Planning Monday ~ Meatless Alternatives to Backyard Burgers and Dogs

Today’s post is by Casey Lindberg-Coghill of Veggie and Glitter.

Summer is the season of baseball games, beach vacations, and of course, backyard barbecues. Even though sharing a meal with close friends and family on a warm summer evening is something that any of us would enjoy, it can be an incredibly stressful experience for those who have removed meat from their diets.

While most people wouldn’t think twice about tossing a pack of hot dogs or a few hamburgers onto the grill for a quick meal, vegetarians are often left stuffing their faces with baked beans, potato chips, or other unhealthy sides because there simply isn’t anything else available for them to eat.

Vegetarians, there’s no need to starve or stay at home during the dog days of summer. This week’s Meal-Planning Monday consists of cookout-appropriate meals that are big on nutrition and that are easy to whip up on a whim. With just a little bit of forethought, you can indulge in a savory and mouthwatering meal alongside your meat-eating friends at your next summer social gathering.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers

Photo Credit: Jen of Peas and Crayons

If you’re anything like me, there’s no time that you despise frozen meatless patties more than during the summer months. When I first embraced a meatless diet, I would sneak a little frozen soy disc onto the grill and choke it down while my friends munched on flavorful burgers and hot dogs. I don’t mean to show disdain for frozen veggie burgers, but let’s face it: Any meal begins to taste absolutely terrible when you have it three times a week.

If I’m craving a burger or know that they will be served at a summer party, I now whip up a batch of homemade veggie burgers, which are much more satisfying than any store-bought variety I’ve ever sampled. This particular recipe is one of my favorites because of its unique blend of spices and the fact that it packs tons of protein and essential nutrients.

My meat-loving husband actually begs for these on occasion, so you may find that your non-vegetarian friends will love them as much as you do!

 Savory Corn Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes

Photo Credit: Casey of Veggies and Glitter 

One of my best summer memories involves sitting on the back steps of my childhood home with my sister, husking sweet corn gathered from my great-uncle’s farm. Not much has changed, as one of my favorite things about summer is the increased availability of fresh, local produce, especially sweet corn and tomatoes!

This delicious corn tart, topped with juicy heirloom tomatoes, contains simple ingredients and is a breeze to put together at the last minute and pop in the oven for only 45 minutes. Hearty enough to serve as a main dish for those who don’t eat meat, you could also bring it to a backyard barbecue for friends to enjoy as an accompaniment to whatever they are tossing on the grill.

Grilled Veggie Banh Mi Sandwiches

 Photo Credit: Kiersten of Oh My Veggies

I tasted my first Banh Mi sandwich when I decided to order one on a whim from a vendor at last year’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept, a Banh Mi sandwich has Vietnamese origins and typically consists of veggies, tofu, or cold cuts soaked in a vinegar-based marinade and served on a baguette.

While I personally loved the tofu-filled concoction I devoured in Charleston, this vegetarian version is more likely to sound appealing to those who would typically load up their sandwiches with meat, making it a great recipe to share with friends who unexpectedly show up on your doorstep. Because the veggies can be prepared on an outdoor grill, it would also be incredibly easy to serve this dish up as a vegetarian-friendly alternative to burgers or hot dugs at any backyard shindig this summer.

 

Three-Bean Salad with Quinoa

Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market

 A pile of fresh fruit, a leafy salad, or a handful of chips may be enough to get you through a cookout at a friend’s house, but it will leave you feeling starved and protein-deprived by the time you leave for the evening.

The next time you’re invited to a backyard burger party, bring along this chilled salad. Because it’s filled with protein, whole grains, and delicious veggies, you can enjoy it as a main entrée, while your buddies can enjoy it as a side.

To add even more essential nutrients to the dish, try cooking your quinoa in low-sodium vegetable stock instead of water and toss in any extra veggies you may have on hand!

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Photo Credit: Marie of Proud Italian Cook

 This recipe is the ideal solution when you’re in the mood for a weekend grilling party but you’re also having a hankering for pizza. Perfect for using up veggies from the farmer’s market that you may not have used throughout the week, this fresh summer meal takes only a couple of minutes to cook on your backyard grill.

In addition to running her wellness blog Veggies and Glitter, Casey Lindberg-Coghill is a freelance writer based out of Charlotte, NC.  Aside from being  a writer, Casey is also a huge bookworm and fashion enthusiast who has rather  unhealthy obsessions with Justin Timberlake and anything pumpkin-flavored.

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway 7/14 – 7/28

amazon mr

Thank you for joining Your Strong Tower and Giveaway Goddess for this awesome giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon eGift card! Read about our awesome sponsor below and enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post! I am a big fan of the Beachbody workouts myself and am currently doing Shaun T’s Insanity.  I’m really anxious to try PiYo next!  Be sure to share with your friends! Good Luck!

About the Sponsor:

Independent Beachbody Coach Michelle Rodriguez

profile michelle rodriguezHello, I am Michelle! I started Beachbody to be able to get my nutrition back on track due to dealing with a disorder that made me allergic to food. I have been dealing with this for over 4 years and before I started the 21 day challenge, I was on over 7 medications. My body was very malnutritioned.

Since I started this program, I was able to get off the majority of my medication and am feeling way better than I have in over 4 years. I am looking to help any one that has been wanting to make and see major changes to their life! I am here to support them as I am fully aware of all the benefits of Shakeology and am about to start a 3-day Refresh on the 21st of July and then starting a challenge group with PiYo. Please join me and lets work together to achieve our goals!

~Michelle Rodriguez

Giveaway Time!!

Michelle has been generous enough to offer one lucky reader a $50 Amazon Gift card! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below! The more entries you complete, the better your chances of being chosen as the winner! US Residents only please, ends 7/28! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This blogs participation in promoting this giveaway does not make them responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize will be fulfilled by Mom Buzz Media and Xtreme Qpon. Winner has 48 hours to respond to the email or they forefit their prize. US Residents only.