Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad Recipe

I love a good salad, but unless it’s really good, I oftentimes prefer to enjoy my veggies sans lettuce. That might sound weird to some, but it was exactly what inspired me to come up with my latest go-to dinner recipe. That and the fact that I love Mexican food but my standard Taco Tuesday meal was getting old (I think it was one of the very first meals I started making when my husband and I moved in together five years ago).

So the other night, I threw together tomatoes, red onions, avocados, black beans, corn and cilantro, then topped with with a super simple lime vinaigrette to make this Healthy Mexican Salad recipe. I’ve already made it twice, and each time I topped it with taco seasoned ground beef. Next time I plan on adding either shrimp or chicken – you can easily mix it up! Also, feel free to play around withe the proportions. I like to throw in a bit of extra avocado and tomatoes because I just love them so much.

Read on for the recipe and enjoy!

Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad on DailyKaty.com

Ingredients:

  • 10.5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cooked corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced (approx. 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • 1 pound ground beef or chicken breast with taco seasoning (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine tomatoes, red onion, corn, black beans and cilantro together.
  • Combine lime juice and olive oil together; stir well and pour over salad mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add avocado before serving (note: the lime juice should keep it from browning if you choose to enjoy as leftovers, but adding last will definitely prevent this).
  • Enjoy on its own or top with your favorite seasoned protein, such as ground beef, shrimp or pulled chicken.

Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad on DailyKaty.com

Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad on DailyKaty.com

Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad on DailyKaty.com

Healthy, Easy Mexican Salad on DailyKaty.com

Pesto Pasta, Chicken Sausage & Brussels Sprouts {Recipe}

I’ve been loving brussels sprouts lately and today I’m sharing a new favorite recipe that combines them with pesto, pasta and chicken sausage, which I found on Gimme Some Oven and made a few tiny tweaks to. This is definitely something I’ll be making again this summer – I love that it’s a pasta dish but also incorporates a veggie and has chicken sausage to keep it on the healthier side. Next time I’m going to try it with homemade pesto – just didn’t have the time or ingredients this time. Enjoy!

6.19.15-PestoSausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed, sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb whole wheat orecchiette (or pasta of your choice)
  • 4 Italian chicken sausage links, sliced into 1/8″ thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup pesto
  • Red pepper flakes, as desired
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine brussels sprouts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange brussels sprouts on it. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring a few times, until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Start boiling water for pasta. Take the brussels sprouts out of the oven when done and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and turning occasionally, until they start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserve a bit of pasta water), and then combine the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. If you need extra moisture, add some reserved pasta water.
  • Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

PestoSausago (10 of 11)

PestoSausago (7 of 11)

PestoSausago (3 of 11)
What are your favorite brussels sprouts recipes? Let us know in the comments below!

Spring 2015 FabFitFun VIP Box {Review & Giveaway}

Subscription boxes are the craze right now and they’re a great way to try out new products without paying full price for them. Plus, there’s an element of surprise (unless you check the spoilers online) because you don’t know what you’re going to get until it arrives. I love the FabFitFun subscription boxes – they’re sent out quarterly and cost just $49.99 for $200 worth of products, all of which are full size.

Spring 2015 FabFitFun VIP Box Review & Giveaway

Each FabFitFun box comes with a mix of beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness and home products. The Spring 2015 box that’s currently available came with items from Jules Smith, ORLY, Rifle Paper Co., Palmetto Derma, Merrithew, Ofra Cosmetics and Cosmos Creations, as well as gift cards from Hello Fresh, Vow to be Chic and Sprout It. Read on for more details on the Spring FabFitFun items – and scroll down to the bottom to enter to win this box for yourself!

  • Jules Smith Scarf: Spring is finally here and I’ve been dying to ditch the jackets and start wearing things like blouses and t-shirts with fun scarves like these. I received this scarf in Watercolor (love it!) and it also comes in Modern Art. They were designed specifically for the FabFitFun box and are also available on the brand’s website. They’re great because they are made from a nice, lightweight cotton viscose, so they can be warn even in warmer temps. This is definitely my favorite item in the Spring 2015 FabFitFun box! Jules Smith also makes lots of great jewelry – love this layered necklace set and these earrings. {julessmithdesigns.com, $42}
  • ORLY Nail BB Creme & ORLY Nail Polish in Cake Pop: I’m a big fan of BB and CC creams for my face, so I was excited to try out this BB creme for my nails. It smooths, moisturizes and brightens your nails, while also giving them a sheer peach tint that is the perfect natural mani. And more often than not, I go with a light pink shade on my nails, so this “Cake Pop” color is right up my alley. {orlybeauty.com, $15 BB creme, $8.50 nail polish}
  • Hello Fresh $40 Gift CardIf you haven’t tried out any of the delivery meal services yet, this is your chance! I’m looking forward to trying this one out, as I’ve heard great things. Hello Fresh gives you everything you need to create three simple yet delicious meals at home for either two or four people – and they do all of the shopping for you and deliver it right to your door. The recipes are nice and easy to follow and they’re made with farm fresh ingredients. {hellofresh.com, $69/week for 2 people, $129/week for 4 people}
  • Vow to be Chic $125 Gift CardWhy wasn’t this around when I was getting married?! I’ve used a similar service in the past to rent dresses for special occasions so I don’t have to spend the money on something I’m only going to wear once. And aren’t bridesmaids dresses exactly that? My bridesmaids probably would have loved renting a dress instead of buying one, and this site has lots of nice ones to choose from in a variety of styles and colors. Since this gift card gives you a free dress rental with the rental or purchase of another, I’ll either find two occasions to use this for, or I’ll give it to one of my soon-to-be bride friends. {vowtobechic.com}
  • Sprout It App Card & Miracle Grow Gro-able Seed Pod: I’ve been wanting to grow my own veggies and herbs, but city living presents some challenges… plus, I have no idea where to start! I can’t wait to try out this all-in-one seed pod, and if all goes well, I’m definitely going to need more. All you have to do is remove the lid and place it in the soil. And then the Sprout It app makes it even easier by giving you reminders and tips, customized to your location and garden. {miraclegro.com, $1.49 per seed pod}
  • Rifle Paper Co. Cities Coasters Set: These coast to coast coasters make a great gift! In true Rifle Paper Co fashion, the illustrations of each city – New York, London, Toyko and Paris – on each of the coasters are beautiful. And they come in a nice keepsake box too. {riflepaperco.com, $16}
  • Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster and Restoration Serum: This free radical fighting super serum promises to keep your skin safe and fresh from the bad stuff your skin faces daily, like sun, smoke and smog. I’ve been hearing lots about Vitamin C serums, and this one increases collagen growth, rapidly slows down the aging proces, fills in fine lines and minimizes wrinkles, while also fighting to make sure they don’t come back. The best part? If you love this product and want more, or if you want to try out some of the brand’s other products, you can get 25% off your purchase now through August 31 with code FABFITFUN25. {palmettoderma.com, $48}

GIVEAWAY! You can enter to win this FabFitFun VIP box below, now through May 25, 2015. Open to US residents.

For more on the products featured in the Spring 2015 FabFitFun VIP box, visit FabFitFun.com. From there, you can also sign up to receive your own quarterly FabFitFun boxes.

Spring 2015 FabFitFun VIP Box Review & Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Thanks to FabFitFun for providing samples for this review & giveaway. All opinions are my own.**

Friday Faves {April 17, 2015}

It’s been a crazy week and now I’m thankful for a long weekend. The sun is shining, I’m about to head out for a walk on the water with Hank. For now, I’ll leave you with this week’s Friday Faves…

 

4.17.15-FridayFaves

 

1. Stylish sneaks. I’ve been meaning to pick up a pair of Superga sneakers and now I think I might need this pair! Joyus has teamed up with Superga to bring you this suede version with perforated detailing. And you can even get them for 10% off thanks to People with code PEOPLE10. {peoplestylewatch.com}

2. Wine that speaks for itself. One of my girlfriends shared this “12 Honest Wine Labels that Say Why You’re Really Drinking” article with me yesterday and I had to share it here. The bottles that describe my typical wine drinking are “Netflix & Pizza Night” and “Watching ‘Scandal’ in the Dark” (I have a serious addiction to binge-watching that show…). {huffingtonpost.com}

3. Bedside style. How cozy does this bedroom look? I’m working on redecorating our guest bedroom to make it as welcoming for guests as possible. I’ll be sharing this one the blog when it’s done! What are your best tips for guest room decor and hosting guests? {stephaniesterjovski.com}

4. Avocado everything. Especially for breakfast. This round-up of avocado toasts has me craving them all. My favorite thing to do is make some scrambled egg whites and put them on an english muffin with avocado, slices of tomato, cheese and red pepper flakes. {glitterguide.com}

Friday Faves {April 3, 2015}

TGIF & time for this week’s Friday Faves…

4.3.15-Friday Faves

1. Funfetti everything. What’s better than a round-up of all things funfetti? From the funfetti marshmallows shown above to cupcakes, ice cream, hot chocolate and more, you really can’t go wrong. {popsugar.com}

2. Buzz-worthy dress. One day I was scrolling through my Insta feed and realized I kept seeing the same dress over and over again. Turns out, it was just a smart marketing campaign for Design Lab, a new line at Lord & Taylor. They win, I did exactly what they wanted – I immediately clicked through and checked out the dress on the website and wished I had one of my own. {refinery29.com}

3. Summer reading list. I subscribe to about a million magazines, and sometimes I get so wrapped up in staying up-to-date with them on my daily train rides that I find myself not reading enough books. This is a good list of must-reads that promises to “rekindle your love of reading.” {brit.co}

4. A store I’m in denial about ever getting too old for. I may be reaching my 30’s soon, but I’m not embarrassed at the fact that I still pick up my I-don’t-want-to-spend-much-money-on-trendy-clothes pieces at Forever 21 (I need this maxi shown in the pic above asap). This guide gives you tips on shopping F21 when you’re (sadly) not 21 or under anymore.

Friday Faves {March 6, 2015}

Friday Faves

1. Pasta deliciousness. If I could, I might eat pasta every day – or at least rotate it with pizza every other day. This round-up of easy pasta recipes is now bookmarked on my computer and I can’t wait to try some out. {camillestyles.com}

2. Perfect black wedges. I’ve had my eye on these black suede wedges for a while, and now that the Shopbop sale is on, I might have to get them. The sale ends tomorrow – more sale finds in yesterday’s post here{shopbop.com}

3. Lennon & Maisy. I’m addicted to the show Nashville and also happened to go to the city last weekend (love). The two sisters in the show aren’t acting when they sing… they are amazing. Love their cover of “That’s What’s Up” – listen below! {Lennon & Maisy YouTube}

4. Coffee table inspiration. Our coffee table looks nothing like this, but in a perfect, more organized world it would, especially when entertaining with vino and apps. So pretty, right? {fashionablehostess.com}

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are everywhere now, and while I still have so many to try out, I’m sharing some of my favorites below. They make for great last-minute gifts because you can easily go online and sign someone up at any time!

Subscription Boxes

 

  • BirchboxThis one has to be the most popular out there, with subscriptions for both men and women. Every month, you get a box filled with 4-5 beauty and lifestyle samples from both up-and-coming and well-known brands. They also offer lots of limited-edition boxes for the holidays and more, so there’s really something for everyone. {birchbox.com, starting at $30}
  • FabFitFunThis is a quarterly box, so every three months, you get a box filled with more than $200 in beauty, wellness, fitness and fashion finds for only $49.99 per season. The Winter 2014 box came with lots of great finds, including a Daniel Stone COCO Candle, Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel and Zumba DVD with a gift card for workout apparel. {vip.fabfitfun.com, $49.99 per box}
  • Beauty Box 5Each month, five deluxe samples and full-sized products sent to your for a low cost of $12 and free shipping. With a wide variety of brands – Nanacoco nail polish, Juice Beauty and Lucky New York to name a few from this month’s box – Beauty Box 5 makes it fun and simple to try out new brands and great products at a fraction of their cost. {beautybox5.com, $12/month}
  • Glossy BoxAnother beauty subscription box that gives you five deluxe-sized beauty products for $21 each month. GlossyBox is actually in 10 different countries, and they have a team of more than 150 beauty enthusiasts that work to pick the best products out. {glossybox.com, $21/month}
  • Nature BoxChoose from more than 100 different healthy snacks to be sent to you each month. You can start out with a free trial box with five different snacks and then you can customize it for each month, where you’ll get five full-size snacks. Some of my favorite snacks include Honey Mustard Dippin’ Stix, Jalapeno Cashews and Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pretzels. {naturebox.com, $19.95/month}
  • Foot CardiganWho doesn’t love fresh socks? I would wear a new pair everyday if I could. This subscription sends you a new pair of socks every month. These aren’t your everyday socks though – they’re bright-colored, fun-patterned socks. {footcardigan.com, $9/month}
  • ScentbirdThis one is unique because you get a 30-day supply of a designer fragrance every month. To get started, you take a quiz to determine what scents suit your tastes. And then you store your perfume in Scentbird’s signature, portable case – free with your first month. {scentbird.com, $14.95/month}
  • Conscious BoxEvery month, get new healthy, GMO-free food, beauty, bath and home products. The boxes come in three varieties: classic, vegan and gluten-free. You can also buy limited-edition boxes with different themes, such as “Decked Out” and “Bright and Cheery.” {consciousbox.com, $9.95-$19.95, less if you subscribe for monthly}

Have a favorite subscription box? Let us know in the comments below!

**Disclosure: While I was provided samples of most of these subscription boxes for review, all opinions are my own. Also, this article was originally written and published by me on Examiner.com.

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup {Recipe}

I love trying out new recipes, especially during the fall and winter months, but not everything I try is what my husband and I would consider a “make again” recipe. Today I’m sharing one that definitely is one that I’ll be making again: Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup from Cooking Classy. It’s incredibly easy, healthy, filling and delicious. Plus I was excited to finally have a reason to try out my new immersion blender. Check out the recipe below and let us know what you think!

Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

**If you have a 5 quart slow cooker, use 2/3 of each of the ingredients.

  • 1 3/4 cup diced carrots (3 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cup diced yellow onion (1 large)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (28 oz) cans whole Roma tomatoes
  • 1 (32 oz) carton vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 oz refrigerated three cheese tortellini
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan, shredded, for serving

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add carrots and onion and saute 3 – 4 minutes, add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Pour mixture into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker along with tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, bay leaves, sugar.
  • Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW 6 – 7 hours or HIGH 3 – 3 1/2 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves then puree mixture well with an immersion blender (or carefully in small batches in a blender.
  • If your slow cooker doesn’t keep all the moisture in well while cooking, you may need to add in 1/2 cup water or so at this point so the soup isn’t too thick).
  • Stir in tortellini, cover and cook on HIGH heat 15 minutes longer (or until heated through).
  • Reduce heat to warm, stir in heavy cream.
  • Serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Slow Cooker Corn & Jalapeño Dip {Recipe}

One of my favorite things about summer turning to fall is cozying up on Sundays while football is on and enjoying some relaxation and good food (sometimes with a beer or glass of vino, depending on the day). It’s a fun time to try out new recipes or share old favorites with friends. Today, I tried out a new dip – Slow Cooker Corn & Jalapeño Dip – which I came across on Pinterest from one of my favorite food blogs, Damn Delicious.

This Corn & Jalapeño Dip is super easy and includes lots of my favorite flavors from ingredients like pepper jack cheese, sweet corn, jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon. And it tastes unlike any other dip I’ve had before. Check out my photos below, along with the full recipe. Let us know what you think in the comments – enjoy!

Corn & Jalapeno Dip

Time:

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Total: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 (15.25-ounces) cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced (I diced sliced jalapeños)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese (I chopped up slices)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (I used reduced-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions:

  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Place corn, jalapenos, sour cream, Pepper Jack cheese and Parmesan into a slow cooker; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir until well combined. Top with cream cheese.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours.
  • Uncover and stir until cream cheese is well combined. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with bacon and chives, if desired.

CornJalaDip

CornJalapenoDip

CornJalaDip2