New Favorites – Spinach Salad, Chocolate Chia Pudding, and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in CO!

I’ve got a couple of new favorites that I wanted to share with you all.  One is my current favorite salad…I think I’ve had it at least 3 or 4 times in the last few days! And, the other is my current favorite sweet treat…a HealthyMamma’s got to have her sweet treats now and then! :)

I eat a LOT of salads…I love them! I actually eat a salad at least once a day…sometimes twice a day…for lunch and for dinner. My husband cracked a joke not long ago while we were eating dinner one night…he said “honey, eating with you is kind of like eating with a goat”…ya, nice??  I wasn’t sure if I should find this funny…or, be offended by it…so, I chose to just laugh. :)  He did sort of have a point…I do eat a lot of produce…although, I’ve seen goats eat everything from shoes to tin cans so I think he was stretching it a bit. ;)

Anyway, this salad is my current favorite…it’s a simple spinach salad with a REALLY yummy homemade dressing that’s a cinch to make. Most of the salads that I eat are spinach based…simply because I love spinach…and because I’m always looking for calcium sources now that I’m dairy free.  I get most of my calcium from greens so I like to sneak them into my diet wherever I can. I also love to make my own salad dressings…they taste so much better than store bought dressings and they don’t contain any funky ingredients that I don’t want to consume or that I can’t pronounce!

For the salad I simply mix baby spinach with chopped carrots, dried cranberries, diced avocado, finely chopped green onion, and chopped toasted almonds. And, here is the dressing recipe….

Ingredients – 1/4 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 tablespoons Agave Nectar, 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, 1/4 teaspoon Cumin, a few pinches of Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, 1/4 cup Canola Oil.

Directions – In a blender, combine all ingredients (except the oil) and blend. While continuing to blend, slowly drizzle in oil. Toss a couple of tablespoons into your salad and enjoy! :)

And now…my current favorite sweet treat…chocolate chia pudding…YUM!!

I really like this recipe because it makes just enough for me…a little treat at the end of my day once I’ve gotten the kiddos to bed. My little people aren’t huge fans of chia pudding…and I must admit that the texture takes a little getting used to…but, if you like tapioca pudding, you’ll love this, and it’s crazy good for you!! I’m not sure if we HealthyMammas have mentioned the health benefits of chia seeds…if not, here’s a little info:

Chia seeds are nutritionally superior to flax and soy. It is the richest natural whole food source of Omega 3 and dietary fiber currently known to man. When included as part of a regular diet, chia seeds help support cardiovascular health, muscle energy and endurance, joint function and mobility, digestive regularity and detoxification, maintain healthy blood sugar level, memory and mental clarity, hormone modulation, libido function and improved skin complexion.

These little fellas are great for you! I use them in all of my green smoothies, my vegan overnight oats, some baked goods…and yes, even my sweet treats! :)

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients – 2 tablespoons Chia Seeds, 1/2 cup Non-Dairy Milk (I use unsweetened almond milk), 2 teaspoons Agave Nectar, 1 tablespoon Cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Directions – Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl…at first, it will look like the cocoa will never blend…but, just keep whisking. Allow it to sit at room temp for 20 minutes or so…then whisk again. Cover and chill for at least a few hours or overnight if you really want it nice and thick. Enjoy your yummy healthy goodness! :)

I prefer my treats more rich and less sweet…so, I use dark cocoa and only 2 teaspoons of agave nectar…but, you could use regular cocoa and add more agave to taste if you prefer.  Now that I think about it…I’ve never made the chocolate version of chia pudding for my kiddos…they might really like it with regular cocoa and a little extra sweetener! This sounds like a perfect little after school treat for them this next week. :)

Lastly, and TOTALLY unrelated…the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is in Colorado this week.  Tuesday’s stage is in Crested Butte where my family and I were just vacationing.  If you’re into cycling…or, even if you’re not…check it out! Coverage is on Versus…here’s the schedule if you are interested. A lot of people watch the Tour de France and/or the Giro de Italia…which are both amazing…but, I think it will be really cool to watch these amazing athletes race through some gorgeous mountains on this side of the pond! :)

Health & Hugs!

~ HealthyMamma Melissa

You might also be interested in:

About Melissa

I've been blessed with an amazing husband, Tyler and two amazing children, Mia who is 5yrs old and Luke who is 3yrs old. Our entire family has a passion for food. We see food as a means of nutrition, something wonderful to enjoy and indulge in, and meals...if we are doing them right...serve as a fun social experience too! Food definitely brings this family together!
Our family, as a whole, eats a mostly vegetarian diet...although we do consume meat and fish, on occasion. So, I'm always looking for and trying out new vegetarian and vegan recipes that hopefully all of us will enjoy.
Besides food, we are passionate about gardening. We have an organic veggie garden in our backyard that provides a good portion of the veggies that we consume. The kids love to jump in and get their hands dirty and it's crazy how much they already know about gardening! It makes my husband and me so happy to think that they will (hopefully) carry this experience and lifestyle into their futures.
I'm also passionate about learning new ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and provide one for my family...and, I love sharing these ideas with anyone who is interested in hearing about them! So, as I discover recipes and other healthy happy things I will share them...and when you discover some yourself...I'd love for you to share them with me! :)


  1. Jennifer says:

    I am going to make this dressing today !!!!
    First time I’ve heard goat used as a term of endearment…leave it to Ty LOL ;-)

  2. Kim says:

    Good Gravy this is yummy! I revised it a little and omg, yum! Here’s what I did:

    Doubled the recipe
    Added 2 additional teaspoons of Agave
    Used Raw Cacao Powder instead of Cocoa (might want to cut it back to 1.5 TBSP next time)
    Added a 1/2 Banana
    And BLENDED in my Vitamix!

    DELICIOUS Soft, pudding – just like Betty Crocker! ;-) It’s chilling now, will let you know what it does in a couple of hours. :)

  3. Kim says:

    Oh, and I used unsweetened Coconut Milk.

  4. Melissa says:

    Jenny – you will love it…it’s my absolute fav right now!!
    Kimmy – that sounds DELISH! I actually made more today too…for dessert tonight. I doubled the recipe, I also added one extra tsp of agave per serving for the kiddos, and I used ground chia instead of whole. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    The banana that you added sounds sooo good! Oh, and this is just one more reason why I need a Vitamix!!! :-/

  5. Jennifer says:

    This chocolate pudding is DELICIOUS !!!! Cash just scarfed his down and asked for more ! I love the consistency after blending it !!! And the frozen banana took it over the top :)

  6. Jennifer says:

    Also, had your dressing over a salad with a Sunshine veggie burger crumbled on top…HEAVEN !!!! I LOVE the dressing :)


  1. [...]  a version of Chia Seed Pudding that everyone in my family seems to love!  I was inspired by Melissa’s post about chia seed pudding and I made a couple of tweaks to make it a little smoother and sweeter, knowing it was the only way [...]

Speak Your Mind