The holidays are over, leaving me with mixed emotions. I took a two week break from blogging and eating Weight Watcher friendly meals, so my mind is ready to be back in action and my body is ready to eat well again! Now that I am back home after traveling for two weeks, it’s time to start eating better. My Quinoa Tabbouleh Spinach Salad is the perfect light yet filling salad for lunch or dinner. Fresh vegetables, mixed with fluffy quinoa and baby spinach, topped with a simple vinaigrette is sure to please any non-salad lover. Great for make ahead lunch throughout the week! This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe and each serving is 7 SmartPoints.
The holidays were a whirlwind for my husband and me. It was the best Christmas ever! For Christmas this year, we decided to head back to Texas and spend time with our Texas family. Rather than fly, we made the choice to drive to Texas so that we could see more people and most importantly… bring our fur babies with us instead of board them . It took A LOT of planning to make sure that we found hotels/Airbnb’s that allowed dogs, but it all worked out great!
Our first stop after leaving Indy was Memphis, Tennessee. It was a quick stop, but we made the most of it! We went to Beale Street to check out the blues scene and ate some ribs (and tamales!) at Blues City Café. Memphis has some of the best ribs I’ve ever tried!
After Memphis, we made our way to Texas and spent a few days back in the city we used to call home, Austin. We were able to visit with old friends and eat at our favorite restaurant, Torchy’s. This place is heaven on earth… the best tacos and queso you’ll find anywhere… period!
After we devoured our way through Austin, we made a quick pit stop in Bastrop, Texas to visit our family there. They live on a bunch of land (we call the country) with horses, goats, and a donkey! Petting a donkey was pretty cool.
Our final destination on our trip to Texas was Houston, which is where my mom, dad, brother, grandparents, aunts/uncles… pretty much everyone in my family lives in the Houston area. We were able to spend a week in Houston for Christmas. It was seriously awesome getting to spend that much time with my family and relax. My cousin and his family came in from Georgia and it was great to spend time with them.
Christmas in my family is full of food and family time. Christmas morning we spend at my grandparents’ house. For Christmas morning, we make migas breakfast tacos! I look forward to this meal ALL YEAR ROUND y’all! This tradition started when my brother and I were in High School. We wanted to have breakfast tacos on Christmas morning so my grandmother told us she would make breakfast if we came over and helped her cook.
Throughout the years, things have changed a bit. My brother has a family of his own family now so his morning on Christmas is busy with his kids. My grandmother passed away a few years ago, so it’s my duty to carry on the tradition and come over to my grandparents’ house to help make breakfast. This was the second Christmas without my grandmother, so it makes my heart full of JOY to come over to her house and help make breakfast, even if she isn’t physically there. Next year, I might have my own family (fingers crossed for a baby in 2017), but my aunt has already volunteered to watch the “future baby” so that I can still come over early Christmas morning and help make tacos.
Christmas dinner in my family has pretty much been the same since I was born… we eat Mexican food! Every year, both my mom and dad’s side of the family come to my parents’ house, we play a white elephant game, and eat fajitas. Christmas Day food is pretty epic to me… I grew up eating Tex-Mex so it makes totally sense to me to eat Mexican food on Christmas Day. Sorry y’all, but it sure beats eating turkey and stuffing! To top off the meal, my mom and I make homemade cheese enchiladas. It’s a really special time for my mom and I to cook together.
On the last leg of our visit in Houston, we made a quick pit stop to my family’s lake house just near Lake Livingston. It was literally 80 degrees outside the day after Christmas, so it seemed fitting to take a ride on a boat. It was nice to experience 80 degree weather again after a week of snow in Indy. Clearly my mom’s dog and my dog are having THE BEST DAY EVER :)!
After Christmas was over, it was time to head back to Indy. To break up the trip back, we made a stop in Little Rock, Arkansas for a night, then went to Nashville, Tennessee to spend New Year’s Eve. Nashville is AWESOME!! We ate some amazing food and got to see some great things. The first night we went to a cool area of town called East Nashville and ate hot chicken… let me tell y’all, it was HOT! Aside from eating amazing food, we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, walked down Broadway, and spent New Year’s Eve at Bicentennial Park for a free concert. It was pretty crowded, but we at least got to see Styx!
So, after spending two weeks on the road, sleeping in different places, carting around two dogs, and eating delicious yet unhealthy food, I’M SO HAPPY TO BE HOME! As many people feel after the holidays, it’s take to get back to eating right and feeling good. Luckily, cooking and making Weight Watcher friendly meals is my specialty!
Before the holidays, I had a major craving for a salad and wanted to make tabbouleh. If you’ve never had tabbouleh, it’s delicious and super healthy. Tabbouleh is traditionally made with tomatoes, parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion. I wanted to change things up a bit from the traditional recipe (because I love to change things up), so I swamped quinoa for the bulgur and served the tabbouleh with baby spinach along with a simple vinaigrette. The salad is delicious by itself, but adding the vinaigrette really makes the flavor pop!
This dish morphed into the perfect filling, yet light salad. Even my husband, that doesn’t like “salad”, wanted more than one serving! Quinoa Tabbouleh Spinach Salad can be made ahead of time on Sunday so that you have a quick and easy lunch during the work week. Fresh vegetables, mixed with fluffy quinoa and baby spinach, topped with a simple vinaigrette is sure to please any non-salad lover. Great dinner option for Meatless Monday!
I hope you enjoy these bites of flavor!