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This article and toasted quinoa recipe are sponsored by Earthbound Farm. All opinions are my own.

Good morning, friends! We’re going to start today off with a bit of chit chat, then we’ll move into this yummy toasted quinoa salad recipe.

Sound good?

Sometimes I get to thinking about why certain people carry so much weight and emotion inside of them from childhood. I’ve been noticing this and hearing this from so many people.

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It’s almost like the painful things that happened in our past just creep into our bodies and never leave. But they don’t have to be painful. Yes, it’s much easier said then done and it takes a WHOLE lotta work but my thought is that if you try hard enough time and time again – you can release those emotions and heal your past. A friend once told me a great way to do this… just simply try to take yourself out of your own story and step into the feelings and thoughts and beliefs of the person who hurt you. This helps you understand the painful event from their angle and their point of view – it still doesn’t make what they did right but it can be quite helpful finding forgiveness on an entirely new level for themselves and others, even around horrible situations.

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The point of forgiveness is not about making what happened – right… but to bring about a new sense of compassion to all those involved, which includes you.

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I found it odd to hear that the best way to get back a those who hurt you in the past is to FORGIVE them – because that breaks the bond to the painful event… but it’s true. It does.

From that point on, we just step into their shoes and think about how they were feeling when they hurt us… and we begin to understand that their actions were not to HURT us. No, no, no. Their actions were a request for LOVE or SIGNIFICANCE in a terribly messed up way. And sadly, that’s the only way they knew how to react at that time.

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This has helped me tremendously with my relationship with my father. I simply put myself into his shoes and I forgave him. It’s not easy. Not at all. But nothing’s really easy in life so if you want to work on something that’s important to you, you’ve gotta do the work, right?

I wish I could say my relationship with my father was better, but sadly it’s not. And that’s okay. I’ve come to accept it as long as I can use these tools and work on ways to make myself happy. Some people just aren’t capable of what we need from them and that’s okay too. After 31 years of trying to figure it all out and thinking it’s my fault or that there’s something wrong with me… I simply just stopped and realized, heck, it’s not me.

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I think as we grow up, we find a lot of hidden demons in people (as another one of my best friends told me – yes she used the word demons) and it’s pretty sad to see these demons pop out of people but it’s just a part of life, I’ve realized. And in order for you and I to be happy, positive AND HEALTHY people, we have to remove those toxic relationships and break away from them. Trust me, just keep on keepin’ on and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m right there with you.

xxoo (Virtual Hug)

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And now, onto the food.

Who’s in the mood for a toasted quinoa recipe? I am! Here’s a healthy clean eating recipe that’s easy to whip up and sure to please those taste buds of yours. The best part? I’m literally living off of these huge containers of Earthbound Farm organic salads and adding them to everything! I bought 3 last week and they’ve been tossed into my smoothies, soups, omelets, salads and tacos as you will soon see in my upcoming recipes.

So fresh. So clean. So real. Yup; real food for real people. That’s what this toasted quinoa salad is all about. Now, dig in and savor every bite. I know you’re gunna love it! Let this salad be the little light at the end of your tunnel… that’s how you can think about organic eating. Start small – you’ll get there. Just keep adding a new organic food each week and stay positive. You can feel good about not eating all those toxic pesticides in conventional salads, ya know? There’s another toxic relationship I tossed last year- goodbye conventional food- you are no longer serving me, hehe!


Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.

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Toasted Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Maple Almond Clusters
Serves: 4
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan
Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almonds with maple syrup and cinnamon; toss to coat almonds, then transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil over medium heat; add quinoa and cook, covered for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from heat; set aside.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to a large skillet; add cooked quinoa and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. When quinoa is golden brown and toasted, remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Gently toss to combine.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Toasted Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Maple Almond Clusters
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 137mg6%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 548IU11%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post is sponsored by my favorite organic greens, Earthbound Farm. All opinions are my own and my comments about the brand come straight from my heart – as you can read about on my Earthbound Farm trip posts to California last year: Earthbound Farm Heaven on Earth and Earthbound Farm What Organic Means To Me. I truly feel a connection to this brand after spending a week with them on their fields out West and I am forever grateful for their amazing support and education for bringing organic awareness to our country.

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  1. 5 stars
    Wow – all these dishes look so delicious. You have made the recipes easy to understand too – thanks! Hope I win the juicer! 🙂

  2. This salad looks amazing (and I like the tortilla chips in the picture, too). Will wait for warmer weather, though. We’re back to teens for highs the next few days… Pinned it for spring!

  3. This salad looks great! I will have to make it soon. I bet the orange really makes it refreshing.
    Please enter me for the Bee-Alive beauty products give away

  4. I’m just learning to like quinoa, this salad looks amazing! OH how I do love earthbound greens though! They are amazing. I love that I can open right up and use them, without taking the time to wash!