Warm Quinoa, Kale & Pomegranate Salad

kale saladI love seeing my friends and family at potlucks and parties but it can be tricky to figure out what is safe for my husband and me to eat. Neither of us eats wheat, I don’t eat dairy and we both love food. So I bring along something that will please most of the crowd.This salad is filling, nutritious, quick and delicious. So who says healthy can’t be delicious? If it’s not tasty there’s no point in making it.


  • 1 bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin or diced
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 1 Tbs olive or coconut oil


  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs tamari (or gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste (if needed with tamari)


  • Cook quinoa with a ratio of 1 c quinoa to 1 c water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover with lid, cook for 8 minutes, shut heat off and let sit 10 minutes longer. (it will be fluffy this way)
  • Make your dressing, mix ingredients well and set aside
  • Heat oil over medium-low heat and add onions, saute until soft (about 2 -3 minutes).
  • Add garlic, saute 2 minutes
  • Add sliced kale, hard middle rib removed, saute 2 minutes. Kale should still be bright green.
  • Add kale, onion & garlic to cooked quinoa. Pour dressing over and stir thoroughly. Top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios.

I get my inspiration from a few places, recently I’ve found some new recipes on the Aloha.com site. (There is an acai breakfast bowl that’s insanely good). Recipes to me are more of a guide, I like I figure out ways to change it up and make it into exactly what I want. Dried cranberries (not craisins, they’re too sweet) would work well in this with walnuts. Feel free to sub ingredients you prefer to make this dish exactly what you want!

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Sometimes You Just Take the Leap

marathonI did it, I signed up for the full marathon! I’ll be running the New Jersey Marathon in April with Team in Training. My friends have inspired me. Some have had a very tough time but still finished. I think it’s impressive that even with struggles they got the job done.

Do I have doubts? Sure. I’ve never run that far before and I’m nervous. I know that it’s a time commitment and that I will be tired. I am trying not to worry about it ahead of time, which is not always my strong suit.

Why would I do this? Honestly, it’s a challenge. I want to know that I can run it at least once in my life. I also like to take on things that I’m a bit afraid of. I feel it’s empowering to meet what scares you and beat it. I might not want to do it again, like trapeze school, but I can say I did it.

I know that I have great coaches and friends to run with me during training. I’m also relieved, thrilled and excited that my coach and friend, Patti, will be running it with me. It’s pretty amazing when you say I’m going to run my first marathon and your friend asks, “Do you want company?” That’s not the response I usually get. 🙂

Sometimes you just need to take the leap of faith. If you don’t let go of the fear you can’t soar. If you don’t try you can’t say I Did It! So go, take the leap or at least start taking those first steps.

I’m raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while I train. If you would like to help me out you can make a donation to my page. No donation is too small and I thank you in advance for the support!

Did She Really Call Us Tubby?

e_may_photo_1I had tv on the other day while I was working. The commercial for the next day’s show proclaimed, “Tis the season to be tubby!” and assured us how we could avoid the dastardly fate. Really, you just called us tubby? The truth is the average person only gains 1 – 2 pounds over the holiday season. The bad news is we generally don’t lose those pounds but let them accumulate.

I’m not a fan of the scare tactic marketing or one that plays on someone’s fears. I want you to be healthy and fit, not obsessed. I hesitated to share an article recently because the title was really off-putting. A friend told me she agreed with my philosophies but couldn’t read the article because of the title. I explained why I shared it and that I agreed about the title. The site has really good articles with positive information, but the titles are rotten. I guess their experience is that these titles grab attention.

I didn’t tune in to watch the show. I hope there was good and sensible information on it for the sake of those who tuned in. I want to enjoy my holiday and I remind myself that the holidays are actually only a few days. The parties on the other hand can be a little trickier.

Or avoid/minimize weight gain by having a plan in place for parties that you attend. Make as many healthy choices as possible and pick one or two foods to splurge on. Enjoy them and move on. Be sure to get some exercise in that day, drink water and get some sleep. If you do put extra weight on make a conscious effort to shed it so you don’t slowly accumulate excess pounds.

So my question is what motivates you? Do the scare tactics grab your attention or do you prefer a positive approach?

Need more tips on navigating the holidays? Check out my Thanksgiving blog and party navigation blog from last season.

What Inspires You? What Holds You Back?

nyc marathonLast week I watched friends run the New York City Marathon. It was incredibly inspiring to watch the runners head up 5th Avenue at the 22 mile point. There were a few who were struggling but many looked amazingly fresh and happy. I’m happy to say my friends looked fabulous and really enjoyed the experience.

It inspires me to run more, enjoy my runs and plan for a marathon myself. It’s a scary thought, the distance seems so far. 13.1 is also a big distance to run and doubling that seems daunting. But then seeing 50,000 people lined up to run that distance changes the thinking.

Watching people I’ve run with for months achieve a huge goal gives me the crazy thought that yes this is attainable. So what audacious sounding goal are you looking at? It doesn’t have to be running. What is it that you have a desire to do that you hesitate to even voice out loud or consider too seriously? What would happen if you actually reached that goal?

Start thinking about that goal and how you could break it down into bite sized manageable chunks. All major goals can start with one or two changes a week. Runners only increase long runs by 10% each week. People on my eating plan make 2 changes every two weeks, which gives them 50 new habits or changes by end of the program. Nothing crazy, there are challenges but it’s so much less daunting when you break it down.

And those voices in your head that say you can’t, it’s too hard or you’re not going to do it – they’re not real. Your excuses that seem to protect you are just holding you back. You can do great things, silence the negative voices with positive ones.

Do your goals seem unattainable? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule an appointment to see how you can make your goals a reality. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!