Paths to Wellness

When I started this Blog, I shared about my weight loss [101#] and the strength I got when I walked with God every day down the path alone after my husband moved out almost 2 years ago.  

One of the directions I took was the Path to Wellness.  I began to change my diet and eating habits.  I continue to do so today.  I feel, stronger, more energetic and healthier.  Here is one of the recipes I've made several times...and I love it.

Chickpea & Quinoa Salad
With antioxidant-rich vegetables, protein-packed beans and fiber-rich quinoa, this salad is as healthy as they come. A tart cranberry dressing and crunchy pepitas—the inner kernels of pumpkin seeds—seal the deal. You'll want this salad in your recipe collection.
Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 20 min. Serves: 8 Difficulty: Easy
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. water, divided
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ cup Simple Truth™ Organic Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup red onion, minced
½ cup unsalted pepitas, roasted [see article below recipe]
¼ cup fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and/or parsley, chopped

1. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups water and the quinoa; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli with small amount of water; cover. Microwave 3 minutes until bright green and just tender. Drain; set aside to cool.
2. To make dressing, in a blender, combine cranberries, oil, remaining 2 tablespoons water, the maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper; cover. Puree until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa and broccoli, chickpeas, onion, pepitas, herbs and dressing; toss gently to coat. Season with additional pepper to serve.
Nutritional Info
Calories: 260, Total Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 95mg, Total Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 9g. 

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Put some pep in your step with our raw pepitas! These tasty pumpkin seeds pack an irresistible crunch along with a major health punch. High in protein and healthy fats, pepitas are a good-for-you, satisfying snack. Toss them in salads, mix them in trail mix, or add them to your favorite recipes for a boost of nutrition. You’ll agree that their delicious nutty flavor is simply delightful.
What are Pepitas?
The name pepita comes from the Mexican Spanish phrase, pepita de calabaza, which translates to “little seed of squash.” Pepitas often refer to the seeds of pumpkins, although they can also come from other varieties of squash. Our raw pepitas are flat, oval-shaped green seeds that are removed from pumpkins and then dried for eating. These are shelled pumpkin seeds, meaning the shell has been removed, so they’re ready to enjoy! 

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
These pumpkin seeds may be little, but they sure pack a lot of nutrition, including:
1) Protein: Each one-ounce serving of pepitas provides a whopping ten grams of protein. Talk about an ideal post-workout snack!
2) Dietary Fiber: Pepitas also provide three grams of dietary fiber to support a healthy digestive system. Foods rich in fiber can help lower “LDL” bad cholesterol levels.
3) Minerals: Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Phosphorus is important for bone health, magnesium is involved in over 600 chemical reactions in the body and zinc supports immune system health.
4) Iron: A single serving of pepitas provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value for iron. This mineral is important for transporting oxygen-rich red blood cells throughout the body.
5) Essential Fatty Acids: High in plant-based omega-3s (known as alpha-linolenic acid or ALA), pepitas can help lower inflammation levels and offer balance to your diet.
6) Antioxidants: Pumpkin seeds contain numerous compounds with antioxidant capabilities. One such compound, vitamin E, is available in a wide variety of forms in pumpkin seeds. Vitamin E offers significant protection against free radicals and toxins.

6 Ways To Eat & Enjoy Pepitas
1) Sprinkle on a salad: A handful of crunchy pepitas is a healthy alternative to croutons.
2) Mix in baked goods: Toss pepitas into your next batch of granola bars, muffins, or cookies.
3) Use as a topping: Oatmeal and yogurt are even better with pumpkin seeds on top.
4) Add to dishes: Pepitas are a tasty addition to chicken recipes, or quinoa dishes.
5) Puree for a dip: This pepita salsa recipe is delicious with pita bread or chips.
6) A healthy snack: As you can guess, they’re a great snack on their own or in trail mix!

Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..


  1. You have done well since your 'life change', Jan. I am proud of you. This recipe sounds good and I, too, have been eating healthier this last year or so. It feels good doesn't it? Hope you have a great day- xo Diana

  2. Sounds delicious! Would you believe I've never had quinoa? I must be the last person on earth. Good for you for continuing your quest to be well and happy. :)

  3. Hi Jan, You should be so proud of yourself. You are a strong lady. Blessings to you.
    Contact me to talk about your blog.

  4. Good for you!! Happy to hear of your health improvement. I love quinoa, this recipe sounds delicious.