Slow Cooker Quinoa Minestrone

The BEST Crockpot Quinoa Minestrone #crockpot #quinoa #vegetarian

A simple quinoa minestrone packed with good-for-you veggies and made easy thanks to the crockpot!

The BEST Crockpot Quinoa Minestrone #crockpot #quinoa #vegetarian

I know what you are thinking…soup in the middle to end of April? I know, I know. But you guys, it SNOWED this last week. Like a few inches of snow! We had the craziest wind ever and next thing it was raining and then it turned to snow and before we knew it there were a couple of inches on our deck outside.

And anytime it snows, I have a seriously craving for soup. The good news is, this isn’t a super “winter-y” soup. It’s totally perfect for Spring and even for Summer because it’s packed with delicious seasonal vegetables.

But of course when it gets super cold outside and turns into winter and you are still craving this soup (I know I will be!) the vegetables can easily be changed out for what’s in season. This soup is highly adaptable – to seasonal need or personal preferences!… 

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Easy Chopped Mediterranean Kale Salad


A quick & light Mediterranean Salad with simple Homemade Sun-dried Tomato Dressing. Packed full with juicy tomatoes, warm roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, crisp cucumbers, tangy Feta cheese, all on a bed of kale greens. Perfect for Meatless Monday!


Hi again to all our Chelsea’s Messy Apron friends! We are Jen and Emily, the mother-daughter blogging duo over on Layers of Happiness, and we are so happy to be back sharing this easy Mediterranean Salad with you today. It’s my new favorite easy dinner!

I don’t know about you guys, but it has been snowing like crazy here in Virginia where we live! So much so that we had a snow week last week. Yes you read that right, we didn’t just have a snow day, but no school all week because of snow. It was pretty awesome.

On one of our snow days, my mom decided to come home for lunch. We never got to grocery store before the snow storm, but I managed to pull this salad together for us before she got home, and let me just say – it totally blew me away! So much so that I made it again the next day for lunch and photographed it that time.

It was out of this world! Full of juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, warm roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas all on a bed of kale greens, I didn’t think it could get any better. But then, it did.

I tossed on bits of tangy Feta cheese I crumbled and then drizzled it with a quick sundried tomato pesto dressing.


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Basil-Lime Orzo Pasta

Basil Lime Orzo Pasta packed with Veggies

A simple and vegetable-packed orzo pasta dish with a basil-lime flavor. A meatless meal or easy side-dish.

Basil Lime Orzo Pasta

So I’ve heard the States have had some pretty crazy weather – or at least some of the states? I still have my old home (the city) on my weather app on my phone and I check it all the time.

I’m not sure why, but I have an obsession with knowing what the weather is each day before I get dressed or really do anything for the day. First I check the weather where I’m at and then I’ll quickly check Ohio because it’s just one swipe on the weather app to see. And although we are LOVING Australia, I’m still missing Ohio like crazy (some days more than others). So truthfully, it kind of makes me feel better that there is negative degrees and no sun there. Almost like that will make me miss it less, right?

Unfortunately, it’s the people there and our old place that I miss not the weather, so convincing myself I don’t miss it as much because of cold weather ends up being less effective than hoped…. 

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Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip Nachos


Crispy tortilla chips combined with creamy, cheesy, jalapeño corn dip is the ultimate comfort snack food. Perfect for Super-Bowl snacking!

Cheesy Corn Dip and Jalapeno Nachos - perfect for the #SuperBowl

Hi again to all my Chelsea’s Messy Apron friends! We are Jen and Emily, the mother-daughter blogging duo over on Layers of Happiness, and we are so happy to be back sharing these nachos with you today. Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Dip Nachos to be exact.… 

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Warm Skillet Cheesy Bread with Baked Spaghetti


Best ever (no-rise) homemade cheesy rolls with the hearty baked spaghetti smothered with melty mozzarella cheese. AMAZING and a great family-favorite meal!

Baked Spaghetti AND Garlic Bread all baked in the same skillet!

Hi to all you awesome Chelsea’s Messy Apron readers! I am Emily from Layers of Happiness and I am super excited to get the opportunity to share some delicious food with all of you fun food-loving friends. Today I am sharing a super comforting and delicious Warm Skillet Garlic Bread with Baked Spaghetti recipe with you.

Yeah you read that right, garlic bread baked WITH the spaghetti. It’s only our first recipe we are sharing with you and you probably already think I’m crazy. But let me tell you, there is actually nothing crazy/complicated about this dish – it’s actually super simple and quick, thanks to the no-rise dough used for the cheesy bread!… 

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{One Skillet} Cheesy Taco Quinoa

Taco Quinoa in One Skillet

An incredibly easy (one skillet needed) + super healthy cheesy taco quinoa dish. This dish is kid-friendly, veggie-filled, and a perfect meatless meal. Meat can easily be added and still be done in one skillet.

One Skillet EASY and healthy cheesy taco quinoa

In between our move from Ohio to Australia, we were able to visit our family in Utah for a couple of weeks. One of the nights we were there my mom asked me to make a dinner — one that required very little dish clean-up was somewhere in that request. I decided to do her one better and use only ONE dish, because you all know how much I like my one dish dinners. You do know, right? Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3, Exhibit 4…bored yet?

The tricky part of this one-dish dinner was making sure to please everyone. With 8 people around the house, there are plenty of preferences to be met. Luckily my entire family is pretty health conscious and enjoy veggie-filled meals. That being said, there are the big meat-eaters too and making a meatless meal was a bit of a gamble…. 

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{Easy, One Skillet} Southwest Quinoa Chili

One Skillet Southwest Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potato #meatlessmonday

A delicious and well-seasoned southwest quinoa chili made easy in one skillet. This meatless dish will have your whole family (meat lovers included!) begging for more!

One Skillet Southwest Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potato #meatlessmondayOkay disclaimer time. I had NO clue what to name this recipe! Sometimes naming recipes can be hard, or, at least for me it can be. I’m just throwing together ingredients and tasting it as I go and all of the sudden I have something amazing (or not, but that’s a discussion for another day). But then comes the part where I have to (in so many words) try to describe the amazing taste or say what it is I’ve created.

This dish was one I totally struggled with naming. One skillet and easy – well those words came easily because it perfectly describes the dish. This is done all in one skillet and is VERY easy! So easy in fact that it’s been lunch or dinner way too many times since I developed it. I’m talking like 4-5 times. Luckily no complaints yet; I guess it’s just that good :) That and I have a baby that can’t complain yet and one hecka great husband.

The rest of the name however, I didn’t know. It definitely has some chili flavors and chili beans, but I don’t know how much of a real “chili” this is. So I’m very sorry if you are expecting a traditional chili with this recipe, but it’s not so traditional. And then southwest – well there is some cilantro, fresh lime juice, and I added loads of sour cream (MUST DO!) so it definitely has a bit of a southwest kick to it.

After struggling with the name for some time, I just decided to go with what my husband named it after he had taken a few bites. He told me to call it a southwestern quinoa chili. So, if you don’t like the name, all blame goes to him ;)… 

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Sweet Potato Enchiladas

sweet potato1

A delicious meatless dish – sweet potato enchiladas chock full of delicious and good-for-you vegetables, brown rice, and tomato salsa. This meal is a quick dinner and family friendly!

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchilada

And the only thing to follow eating about 10 batches of hot fudge cookies is a healthy + meatless meal. This one is definitely the meal to fit the bill. Look at me rhyme :)

But seriously, this recipe is one of those “healthy” meals that is secretly healthy. Like you wouldn’t guess it was healthy because it tastes so flavorful and rich! Although, depending on the amount of cheese you are piling in these and on top of these, it becomes a little less healthy. The great thing is you can totally scale down (or up) the amount of cheese! I’ve even had these with no cheese and still LOVED them. I know, I bet you never guessed I would say that.

Obviously I usually pile on these cheese when I make these.

Easy + Healthy Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas #dinner #sweetpotato #enchiladas… 

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{Slow Cooker} Mexican Quinoa

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

This crockpot Mexican quinoa is bursting with deliciously fresh and healthy ingredients. This dish is all cooked in the slow cooker (even the quinoa and butternut squash) and has lots of “hidden veggies.”

A ONE dish, Crockpot Mexican Quinoa #dinner #crockpot #quinoa #cleaneating

How do you all feel about butternut squash? Personally, its my favorite squash ever.

When I started dating my husband, just guess who said he hated butternut squash? Yeah it would be him. This news was almost a deal breaker. Luckily he flashed his cute smile and all was fine in the world for then. So we dated longer and I avoided cooking with squash. Then we got married and I further avoided cooking with squash.

And then we were married for 2 years and I went and bought all the squash in the store. The exact number was 9 butternut squashes because they were 59 cents apiece and I tend to go overboard when I find produce on sale. This purchase wasn’t because I was trying to be an awful wife (pinky swear I try to always please him for dinner!) but I had a sudden maddening determination to get him to like it. I just couldn’t go another Fall without the squash. So I searched the best recipes and ended up deciding to just coat the squash cubes in olive oil + salt + pepper + some other spices and roast them in the oven.

You may be able to guess that the story has a very happy ending. Not only did he LOVE the squash, but I’m pretty sure the husband is more obsessed with it than I am. In fact, when they go on sale now, he asks me to stock up. And nowadays, when he asks me to make butternut squash, well, he just gets even cuter to me.

So the moral of the story? It’s all how you prepare the squash. Or, you get really lucky. Or you really will hate it no matter what and just wasted your time reading a very boring story. Basically I’m not sure the moral of the story. What I am sure of – this is one of the best ways I’ve ever eaten butternut squash!… 

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{One Skillet} Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls


A dinner made in just one skillet – sweet potato burrito bowls. A  mouth-watering vegetarian meal with sweet potatoes, rice, sweet peppers, black beans, corn, and toppings such as fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, a fresh tomato, and sour cream.

A one-skillet 30-minute sweet potato burrito bowl. Best dinner ever!!

If you could chose one vegetable to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? Hands down, sweet potatoes for me! I can’t believe they are a vegetable with how delicious they taste. Not that vegetables are gross or anything, but I equate sweet potatoes with candy and broccoli? Not quite there…

Also when I can eat them in the form of a 30-minute, 1-skillet dinner, well somehow they taste even better than ever. Yep – one skillet. thirty minutes. You’re going to love this meal!… 

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Creamy Pesto Tomato Pasta


A creamy pesto and tomato pasta filled with broccoli and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and fresh basil.

You will not believe how easy this dish it to make! When I first started experimenting with this recipe, I created and made my own pesto that got mixed into the sauce for this recipe.


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Tex Mex Quinoa Salad with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette


A deliciously healthy Tex Mex Quinoa salad with a healthy and light cilantro-lime vinaigrette. The quinoa adds protein and great texture to this salad!

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad with a Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette I via I #cleaneating #quinoa

The last time I made a salad, I added loads of pasta to it. For staying power and because carbs = my life…. 

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