{Look for Less} Black Jumpsuit

First there was the romper craze and now it’s all about the jumpsuit. While jumpsuits always make an appearance every now and then, they’ve come on the scene full force lately. While there are all sorts of pretty patterned varieties, my favorite look is still the classic black jumpsuit with clean lines. Since they are trendy, I don’t really want to spend a ton of cash on one. At around $85, this ASOS number comes pretty close to the Tibi one I’d been eyeing. Love it paired with a strappy sandal and classic make-up and accessories. Want other styling inspiration? Try it belted with a pump, pair it with a bold red shoe, or add a white blazer and lace-up heel.

Spring Shopping: Sugary Hues

1. Scallop Bikini – TOPSHOP (top, bottom) / 2. Pale Pink Wrap Skort – TOPSHOP / 3. Nail polish – Essie Spring 2014 Collection / 4. Crossbody Bag – French Connection / 5. Linen cardigan – J.Crew / 6. Lace dress – H&M / 7. High Heel Sandal – Zara / 8. Earrings – Aldo

I usually gravitate towards bold or neutral colored hues, but after seeing pastels all over the runway for Spring I’m starting to warm up to them. There’s something so ladylike and sweet about pastels, and they make me think of patio brunches and Easter get-togethers.  What’s not to love?

 

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last posted! Just because there haven’t been any posts lately doesn’t mean I haven’t been trying out some new dishes. We moved out of our one bedroom tiny condo and into a house (yay!) so there is so much more space to cook and photograph. The problem is just trying to cross things off of my growing to-do list and still have time to cook and post!

Anyways, enough about all of that. Now that the weather has been getting warmer I have been craving fresh, healthy, no-cook meals, especially ones I can pack for lunch. Lately I’ve been packing lots of lunches that combine some sort of beans (usually garbanzo or black) and lots of fresh vegetables. Enter the black bean and avocado salad. It doesn’t get much healthier than this – protein from the black beans, healthy fat from the avocado, and of course lots of good-for-you vegetables. You don’t even need any oil! The cilantro and lime juice fill in for that.

All it takes to make this dish happen is a little chopping. Combine all of the ingredients except avocado in large bowl and mix well. Add in avocado and stir gently to combine.

Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Serves 2-4

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup frozen organic corn, thawed
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt to taste

Combine all of the ingredients except avocado in large bowl and mix well. Add in avocado and stir gently to combine.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

As I’ve mentioned before on here, quinoa based dishes are my go-to for healthy, portable lunches. Not only is this quinoa dish healthy and flavorful, it’s also super cheap to make! I typically try to stick to the same combination: quinoa + extra protein (quinoa already has some protein, but I like to add more) + vegetables + dressing. Then you can add in the fun stuff like cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, nuts, etc. I usually just use raw veggies in my quinoa, but the thought of roasted vegetables sounded good this week in the cold weather! You can serve this warm, at room temperature, or cold.

I think roasted vegetables look so pretty!

Balsamic Roasted Vegetable Quinoa

Serves 4

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
15 oz. can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup + 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place zucchini, eggplant, and red onion on baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons (or more, if needed) of olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package instructions. To make dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Combine roasted vegetables, quinoa, and chickpeas in large bowl. Pour dressing over mixture and mix well. Top with fresh basil and goat cheese.

Ginger Sesame Ahi Tuna Steaks

tastykitchen

I’ve been on an Asian food kick lately. For weeks my go to weeknight dinner was Sriracha lime salmon served with a side of gingery vegetables and rice, but the ahi tuna steaks were on sale at the grocery store this week so I couldn’t pass them up. Fish is one of my favorite things to cook on a weeknight because it’s so quick – these tuna steaks only need 4-6 minutes of cooking time!

The marinade is just soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, grated ginger, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, and toasted sesame oil. You don’t even need to let these marinate long. I only let them marinate about 10 minutes and they were full of flavor.

Grill tuna steaks in a grill pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with a stir fry of brown rice noodles and vegetables sauteed in ginger and garlic. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you like!

Ginger Sesame Ahi Tuna Steaks

Serves 2

2 ahi tuna steaks
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp.)
1 T. brown sugar
Sesame seeds for topping, if desired

Stir together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and brown sugar. Coat tuna steaks with marinade and let sit at least 10 minutes. Heat grill pan over medium heat and grill tuna 2-3 minutes per side. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Pattern Mixing: Leopard & Plaid

Pattern mixing is a great way to add interest to an outfit or your home decor, but it can be intimidating. But don’t be scared to mix patterns! You can start slow by mixing patterns through accessories, and then move on to larger pieces. I thought I would create a series of pattern mixing inspiration boards. First up: leopard and plaid. Both are classic patterns that look great paired together.

Plaid&Leopard-001

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Suttle Chili

It’s been in the single digits lately in Atlanta – a perfect time to warm up with a big bowl of chili! My mom’s been making this chili recipe for as long as I can remember. The recipe, by a former fellow church member of ours in Florence, AL, Ann Suttle, was featured in Southern Living years ago.

This is truly a one pot meal. All you do is brown the ground turkey, add all of the other ingredients, cover, and simmer on low heat for an hour. Doesn’t get easier than that!

Serve with this amazing cornbread recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie.

Suttle Chili

Serves 8

2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups water
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
10 oz. can Ro-tel (I used Hot)
2 15 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 T. chili powder
1 T. yellow mustard
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. paprika
1 T. dried parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheese for topping

Brown turkey in large pot. Add all other ingredients, cover, and cook over low heat for one hour. Top with shredded cheese.