7 Easy Salad Recipes

Salads are easy, filling and can be extremely delicious. I have been working on putting together some salad recipes for you. Today I will share 7 of them, my goal is to come up with 30 different recipes, one for each day of the month. And then? Maybe I’ll come up with 30 more, maybe I’ll just leave it as is, but there will definitely be more recipes next week!

I take a big salad to work with me every day, because I want to eat better, and feel better. All of these recipes have no dressing, and rarely salt and pepper. 

This is not some crazy diet that I invented, I eat these plus workout almost every day, just to be fit. This winter has been so long, that I think it had an impact on all of us in some way. 

Do you want to take this challenge with me? Live a healthier life, eat more greens? I hope you enjoy these recipes!

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Quick-Easy-Salad-Recipes

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Do you bring your own lunch to work? What do you normally eat/cook for yourself? Have a great Monday and come back next week for more salad recipes!

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Ditch the Holiday Bloat & Get the Holiday Glow

Hi everyone,

and happy Tuesday! Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, let’s get ready for Christmas! I am going to bring holiday related posts, outfit ideas, makeup tutorials and DIYs this month! I might even throw a couple gift guides in between! But today’s post is brought to you by Prescribe Nutrition, an amazing resource for everything food, lifestyle and diet related. Katie and Megan, are both nutritionists, and today, they are here on BeingZhenya.com with a post, that will help you get that holiday glow!

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‘Tis the season for all things celebratory.  Are you ready?  A house full of hungry family & friends for parties galore, kids running wild, cookie exchanges, oh and shopping, shopping and more shopping?!  Yep, it’s that time.  Time to turn up the volume on life.  Life and stress starts to hits a high note this time of year – pants get a little snug and the idea of a New Year’s resolution comes creeping back in.  If you are like many, you really wish a “resolution” (yeah, were are talking about the ones that involve the scale) never had to be made. What if you could make it through the holidays with a completely new perspective?  Glowing instead of full of regret?

Envision this: You attend and host parties where you feel awesome about what you bring (and eat.) You are armed and dangerous with tips, tools and tricks to navigate stress and the impact it has on you, your energy and your ability to withstand the temptations of unreasonably large cookie platters.  You look back on January 1st and your “resolutions” are void of weight loss goals and instead are full of ways to be a better person, practice more self care and save money for that trip you’ve always wanted to take.  Now THOSE are some resolutions!

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At Prescribe Nutrition we asked what our participants wanted, where they could use support and how they’d like it delivered, and then wham, the Holiday Disaster Prevention Program was written. Practical (and fun) tips to navigate the holidays.  So here’s a sneak peak in how we plan to tackle these guys feeling and looking our absolute best.

Step 1 - Fuel up: Yep, you heard it right.  The tanks need to be full. Full of fuel, the good kind. If you fill up you are far less likely to hover around the cheese and cracker platter all night.  You’ve been there, WE’VE been there.  “Tonight’s Jen’s party and so I’m going to eat really light today…”  Well, you know how this story goes.  A day filled with coffee and only a snack or two, and then bam, you show up famished, grab a glass of champagne and the next thing you know, three hours have passed and you’ve saddled up real close to the cheese platter, the headache has set in, and you want nothing more then a pair of sweatpants and your couch.  We think the party should be more about the company than anything.  Time to connect, laugh and really celebrate.

Remember – going to a party hungry, we’ll that’s just silly.  Have a pre-party mini meal.  In your head you think “Why would I eat before I’m going to eat.”  But then history reminds you, “This will be far less food/calories/sugar then if I over indulge in Fritos and dip because I was starving.”  Smart call.

Step 2 - Get Glowing: Some of our favorite nutrition and at home tips to get glowing.

  • One of the best ways to get your glow on in the peak of winter is to cram in a ton of antioxidants.  Easiest way to do this?  Have a green smoothie packed with nutritious goodness. Smoothies are a delicious, quick and easy way to add more of those powerful greens to your day.  Commit to having one a day everyday for at least one week before your big events.
  • Cut back on sugar.  In fact, if you really want to glow, get red of it all together!  Sugar is one of, if not the bigggest causes of inflammation – contributing to everything from acne to ruddy skin to weght loss resistance.  Kiss it goodbye and notice the difference within just a few days.
  •  Baking soda.  Baking soda?  You bet – use a dab on your toothbrush to whiten your teeth, to exfoliate your skin, even as dry shampoo. Check out all it’s virtues here.
  • Oil pulling.  Never heard of it?  It’s.the.best.  We promise. From whiter teeth to clearer skin to lower PMS, we swear by it. More on that here.
  • Speaking of oil…oil is pretty much your best friend during winter, well, the good kinds at least!  We love utilizing an oil cleanser for our face, our favorites being a  blend of castor, grapeseed, avocado and sesame oil. Learn more in our blog post on oil cleansing.

You feel a little better prepped already? Just the idea that there are ways come out on the “other side” still intact. At Prescribe Nutrition that was our whole goal in building the Holiday Disaster Prevention Program.

As Being Zhenya readers you are invited for a special 20% discount.  Just use the code: BZ20 and grab your seat as the PN team holds your hand through the holidayr!  Get ready to have some fun.  Hey, we can’t wait.

Enjoy recipes like the one below during the Holiday Disaster Prevention program.  Hope to see you on the discussion boards!

Mediterrian mint pesto

MEDITERREAN LENTILS WITH MINT PESTO
4 side servings 2 main servings

INGREDIENTS
1 cup fresh mint leaves
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded (quarter if you like less spice)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey or Grade B maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
12 brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
1 small red onion
1 small shallot
2 cups cooked lentils (we love the pre-cooked ones at Trader Joes!)
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 dates, pitted finely chopped
1 small avocado, pitted and diced large
Zest of 1 small lemon

  1. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the mint, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice, honey/syrup, salt and cumin until just combined. You can add more spice, salt or sweet to your taste.
  2. In a large pan that has a lid, heat the coconut oil or ghee over medium heat and add in the brussels in a single layer (don’t let your pan get too hot or you’ll burn the brussels and they’ll be undercooked in center). Sprinkle with salt, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Uncover and give a good stir, add in the shallot and red onion, then cover again and cook for another 2 minutes. Uncover and crank the heat to high and cook until the brussels are a nice caramelized brown.
  4. Add the lentils, almonds and dates into the skillet, stirring until the lentils are heated through.  Remove from heat and distribute the lentil stir fry onto plates or bowl. Top each serving with avocado and lemon zest to taste.  Now pretend you’re on a Mediterranean vacation.

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I hope you find these tips helpful! What’s your advice on getting/maintaining the holiday glow?

Zhenya

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Ho-ho-ho Green Giant

Thanks to Product Hoochie, I have recently joined BzzAgent, and unlike other “freebies” websites, this one seems more legit than others. Maybe because I’ve been getting and will be getting a lot of products to try and review, maybe because it’s easier and hassle free?!

Today’s post is dedicated to the Green Giant Veggie Snack Chips, that I got in the mail last week!

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What was in my box?

  • A FREE full-size bag of Green Giant Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips with Zesty Cheddar
  • A FREE full-size bag of Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt
  • 4 Sample pouches that were immediately utilized by my husband as an addition to his lunch (that I pack every day!)
  • Pass-along coupons

Here is what Green Giant says: 

  • Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips with Zesty Cheddarare crispy tortilla chips made with real vegetables like carrot, broccoli, and tomato, plus 17g of whole grain
  • Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips with Sea Salt are made with real sweet potatoes and 14g of whole grain, with 40% less fat than regular potato chips*
  • *Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips (6g per 28g serving) have 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips (10g per 28g serving).

Here is what I think:

Sweet potato chips taste just like any other sweet potato chips, and are nothing extra ordinary. They are a good snack, and that’s just about it! I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes to begin with, but I can tolerate it in this shape and form!

Zesty cheddar taste very similar to Doritos, but don’t leave you with orange fingers like the latter, so I guess that’s good! But they aren’t that healthy, as you might think they are in the beginning! I tried them with hummus, and that tasted good, but again, nothing that made my taste buds explode!

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Am I going to buy this product? Maybe, depends on whether or not it’s on sale, and whether or not I can use my coupons on it. Otherwise, it’s really nothing new and different!

Let me know what you think of these, whether you got them for free, or bought at the store!

Cheers,

Z

PS. This product was sent to me for free through BzzAgent

My Adventures in Juicing

Yes, dear readers, I fell a victim to one of the most popular trends that can take place in your kitchen – juicing! Having watched some documentary on Netflix, I think it was called Hungry for Change, I started researching and googling different juicers everywhere I went! I kid you not, I tweeted about juicers, stalked people on Instagram, asking them which one they use, etc etc

And finally I got one! A GE 800 watt Juice Extractor:

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This juicer usually runs for about $50, and is considered a good started juicer. I bought it for $25, at the Salvation Army Target Overstock in the Warehouse District in Minneapolis (let me know if you need directions ;) )

There were two juicers there at the time, this one, and another, I forget the brand, but it cost $60! Knowing me, and my husband, who didn’t want to spend the extra money, I got the cheaper one, besides it came with the box, which made me trust it more! I also took it all out, including the instructions, read everything 3 times over, including 20+ reviews on the internet (which went from great juicer to this product sucks) and headed for the check out!

Let me be honest with you, so far it’s great! I am not going to say that it’s the best $25 I’ve ever spent, no I don’t think so, but I got myself a pretty good deal, a great juicer, and a healthier diet thanks to it!

Of course when you buy a product like this your first urge is to juice everything in the house, even the foods that don’t go in there! Hold your urge! Talk to friends or read blogs about juicing, then start your process!

Here is what I learned after 1 week of everyday juicing:

- Never ever juice a grapefruit!

- Tomato juice is actually pink, not red!

- One cucumber contains about 12 oz of juice!

- Carrot juice is neon orange and I love it!

- One 8 oz glass of fresh juice will last you up to 5 hours with no food!

- There are way more people who juice on Instagram than I thought!

- Juicing is considered a part of raw foods movement

- Some people recommend to detox using fresh juice 3 days out of the month, every month!

- I have been doing dishes more regularly with the juicer!

- It’s better to juice into a tall glass than a short glass (just because it’s easier to prevent spilling)

- You can use left over pulp for muffins or combine it with cat/dog food!

There is so much to learn about this, and even though I sound sarcastic at times, I am absolutely happy with my new toy! Sam on the other hand isn’t, he says it’s gross! And asks me not to let him smell it :)

Now about the juices! I have been trying to document each and every one of them on Instagram last week, to make it easier for me when I was going to blog about it! I think it worked:

Carrot and apple juice (about 2 apples and 4 carrots for 8 oz)

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Orange, carrot and kiwi juice (I can’t remember how much I used of each fruit now, but I know for sure there was only 1 kiwi!)

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Cucumber, celery, tomato (loved this combo, and cucumber juice alone!)

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Pineapple, celery juice

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Have you ever tried juicing? If so, how did you like it?

Have a great day everyone,

Xo,

Z

Rice Turkey Soup

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Yes, everyone, I am only now dealing with my Thanksgiving leftovers. I don’t remember if I told you, but one of the moms at the school where I work, decided to give me a turkey the night before Thanksgiving. I am not going to lie – it was an awesome surprise! So I baked it on friday after Thanksgiving (it needed to thaw and all that jazz), and we’ve been trying to destroy it ever since, but it hasn’t been working out very well. Even though Sam takes turkey sandwiches for lunch to work, there is only so much turkey one can eat. So last Sunday I decided it was time to make turkey soup, plus clean out my fridge from all the vegetables.

Here is what I did, and here is how I mainly cook soups. I take the biggest pot I have, fill it about 2/3 way up with water, throw in a chicken bullion cube, and let it come to a boil. Meanwhile I chop up the veggies. This time I used:

1 Green pepper

1 Zucchini

3 carrots

1/2 onion

I was so lazy I didn’t even sauté carrots and onions, though I usually do that!

Then I threw in 1 cup of rice and as much cooked turkey as I wanted (we still have a whole other container!)

Once the water was boiling, I threw all of the above into the pot for about 20-25 minutes, just make sure rice is thoroughly cooked! And don’t forget to turn the burner on low! Don’t forget bay leaves, I love mine from Penzey’s spice, and of course, salt and pepper, and maybe a little garlic!

 

Russian Blini (Crepes) Recipe

 

Being Russian doesn’t mean that you are oh-so-good at cooking Russian food! I’ve mastered a lot of it. Making soups and stews is a piece of cake! I could make salads (or as one of my friend’s referred to them “cold casseroles”) every day. But Russkie Blini have always been a challenge for me. Every time I’d try to make them, they’d turn out as pancakes! And if you know the difference between a pancake and a crepe, well – that’s a big fail! The worst was when they’d turn out as something in between crecake? or maybe panpe? But last Sunday I feel like I’ve conquered it, and all I needed to do was to follow my aunt’s recipe, which is tried and true. It’s also no family secret, that’s why I am sharing it with you!

Here is what you’ll need:

2 cups of flour

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups of milk (you can cheat here and divide the given amount in half and substitute milk with water)

1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl (you can cheat and use a mixer, I won’t tell anybody!)
Then add 1-2 tbsp oil into batter.
And you are ready to FRY!!!
Sam likes his crepes with syrup, but I am more creative – I love them with Nutella and bananas, or strawberries, or blueberries…
Have an awesome Thanksgiving everyone and Black Friday, if you do that, of course!
I’ll be back on Friday with a new post for you!
Cheers,
Z


Dumpster Diving

Okay, not really, but somewhat close! Let me explain:

A couple months ago I came across a blog called “Things I Find In The Garbage”  and was extremely inspired by it!

Today, on my way home from work I spotted something near our recycling container, and what do you know, it was one of those storage shelves, that are so nice to have in the kitchen, except I didn’t have one, well now I do :)

So after a thorough Clorox wipe down, this beauty found it’s new home next to my stove!

 

 

Of course there was a catch :) There often is with free/thrifted stuff – the shelf was missing a small piece on one of the bottom “legs”, so I took the other 3 off, to make it stable:

 

And I finally have a rack for all of my pots and pans, potatoes and onions, oils and spices :)

 

I know for some dumpster diving/finding stuff on the side of the curb is extreme, but have you ever tried it? Have you ever found anything good? And don’t forget to check out the “Things I Find In The Garbage” blog by clicking on the link above!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Can you believe it’s Thursday already? o_O

Cheers,

Z

Tuna Soup

I am going through my soup stage. Plus it’s one of those dishes, that will last a while. I never freeze my soups though, I know some people do, but I prefer to just finish it during the week.

Today I was super excited to try making Tuna Soup, like my grandma used to, when I was little.

Here is the recipe:

1 Onion

3 carrots

4 potatoes

2 cans of tuna (I used one in water, I believe you can also get one in oil, but I would recommend tuna in water for this recipe)

salt, pepper, dill or parsley (if you are into that stuff ;) )

You are going to start up by dicing the potatoes and boiling them in about 2 liters of water. Please don’t hate me for going all metric on you. If you are like me, you’ll wing it :)

 

Now you want to fully cook the potatoes, so give them about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots and the onions:

 

I used butter to sauté the vegetables, but if you want to, you can use oil :)

 

You are going to add the veggies and the tuna to the potatoes, once those are thoroughly cooked,

then let it cook for 10 more minutes or so, add salt, pepper, some dill, parsley if you want to, and you are done!

 

 

Enjoy the yumminess! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Xo,

Zhenya

 

Sorrel Soup

The what? The who? And where did I get it? First of all, here is what sorrel looks like:

 

It’s nice and sour, I remember eating it as a child, it’s amazing with sugar! Stumbling across sorrel while walking in the forest was considered the best of luck, but that was back when I was 7, of course. I don’t know if it grows in the wild here, but in Russia it did :)

Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law is growing some sorrel in her garden. And fortunately for you, I am going to share one of the best recipes of my childhood with you today!

1. You are going to start by making a broth (unless you are using a pre-made broth), I always make chicken broth, because I always seem to have chicken in my freezer. I really hope you know how to make chicken broth, but just in case you don’t, here is how:

- bring 1.5 lb of chicken in 64 oz of water to a boil, removing the foam from the surface;

- add 1 diced onion, and 1 graded carrot, boil for 45 minutes;

- add salt, pepper and bay leaf, boil for another 15 minutes;

- take out the chicken, cut it into small pieces, get rid of the bone (if you were using chicken on the bone), rid of the onion and carrot, toss those,

And your broth is done!

2. Wash and cut sorrel, make sure to get rid of the stems, unless you really want those in your soup ;).

3. Peel and slice 5 potatoes, dice another onion and grade one more carrot.

4. Sautee the onion and the carrot.

5. Bring broth to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. Add onions and carrots, cook for 5 more minutes.

7. Add sorrel and cook for 2 more minutes.

8. Finally add the chicken, salt and pepper.

This soup is meant to be served with sour cream and half a boiled egg :)

 

 

I hope you try this recipe, fall is here, and hot soup is one of my favorite foods of the season :)

Xo,

Z

PS. I’ll have an update post tomorrow, just to share what’s been going on in my life :)

 

DIY Basil Limeade

My in-laws are wonderful people, they introduce me to amazing new stuff, a lot of times it’s something I would’ve never thought to try on my own, this time it was Basil Limeade, that came in a fancy bottle like this:

 

And apparently cost top dollar.

So I decided to make my own, plus my mother-in-law grows her own basil, so all I had to get were limes :)

Thanks to my fab new iPad and Epicurious app, I found a recipe for Basil Limeade in no time.

Here is how it goes:

 

But oh wait, we gotta make the syrup first ;)

 

So I got all the ingredients ready:

 

Then simply followed the steps mentioned above (the only difference though – I used zest of 2 limes, 2 cups of basil and lemon juice, instead of lime!):

 

I put the syrup into the fridge, so now I can have a glass of that basil goodness any time I want. Plus I am determined to get some seltzer tomorrow (or any type of unflavored carbonated water), I just love my lemonade bubbly! It also inspired me to make my own pesto!

I personally think this was a success, and probably a lot cheaper than buying a bottle of limeade in the first place.

Would you try something like this?

xo,

Z