chopped thai salad with sesame garlic dressing

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Servings: 6

This Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing is THE BEST! A rainbow of power veggies with a yummy homemade dressing.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1/3 cup EVO or coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium GF soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons alternative sweetner or honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (ginger would also work)
  • a squeeze of lime juice

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 16 ounces snow peas
  • 5–6 cups baby kale
  • 1 to 3 carrots depending on carb intake
  • 2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 green onions
  • 3/4 cup cashews (if you can find them, Trader Joe’s Thai Lime and Chili Cashews are the bomb)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to fit your preferences. Transfer to a dressing jar and rinse the food processor out for use later.
  2. Cook the snow peas by boiling it for 3-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, slice up the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro leaves, and green onions into thin strips or shreds.
  3. Place the cooked edamame in the food processor and pulse 5 times to get a minced texture. Transfer to a bowl and repeat the same process for the cashews. Toss the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro, green onions, edamame, and cashews together until well combined. Drizzle with the dressing, toss gently a few times, and serve immediately.

NOTES

The salad will stay fresh longer if you store the dressing separately from the salad ingredients, tossing them together just before serving. Agave nectar or sugar would work in place of the honey for vegans. Those 3 cloves of garlic pack a spicy garlicky punch, so if you don’t love garlic, use less. Nutrition Info: Serves 6 Calories Per Serving: 306

% DAILY VALUE

28%Total Fat 21.7g0%Cholesterol 0mg13%Sodium 294.3mg8%Total Carbohydrate 22.7g (based on edamame rather than snow peas)19%Dietary Fiber 5.3gSugars 11.8g19%Protein 9.3g50%Vitamin A 450.8µg87%Vitamin C 78mg

crystals for beginners

30 Crystals To Begin Your Collection


  1. Agate – Promotes; protection, good luck, balance, strength, and inspiration. If you’re going to carry one stone around with you wherever you go, let it be agate. As the communication stone, agate will help you open up and make expression easier. Promoting inner stability, security and self-confidence, it’s no wonder agate is highly regarded as a stabilizing and strengthening influence.
  2. Amethyst – A calming stone, its calming energy isn’t overwhelming, but it’s noticeable enough to feel its effect on you and your environment.  Promotes emotional stability, balance, inner strength, self love, and protection from psychic attacks. It’s great to keep near your bed for a peaceful night’s sleep, especially if you have a sleeping disorder or would like your child to have a good night’s rest. It’s also a great start to connect to your intuition. Helpful aid in meditation. It’s intense calming properties balance emotional highs and lows, and is especially helpful during grief or loss. It’s best placed in your meditation or sacred space and bedroom.
  3. Aventurine – This stone is known to attract luck and money, especially when taking a chance. It also helps with personal growth and intellectual learning and is known as the stone of opportunity. Green aventurine is the stone of growth – whatever it touches, flourishes. If you’re looking to manifest more abundance in love, money, work, or creative projects, this is your crystal ally! 
  4. Bloodstone –  A healing stone. Bloodstone enhances that connection with our genetic bloodlines, as many of us are connecting more and more with our roots and ancestors during this time.
  5. Calcite – Amplifies energy, cleansing, reduces stress, calms, emotional healing, andmemory retention.
  6. Carnelian – Promotes; creativity, manifestation, luck, and protection. Helps with taking big leaps of faith and action to manifest your dreams. Promotes positive life choices and success. A good stone to add to a manifesting altar (like a vision board but in a physical space). If you’re feeling fearful or your emotions are running amok, Carnelian, with its warm hues of sunset, will calm you. Carnelian is also useful for fertility and sexual confidence.
  7. Celestite –  Relieves pain, relaxes the muscles, and eases mental issues. Assists in quieting the mind for a deep, rejuvenating sleep. A peaceful and relaxing stone.
  8. Citrine – Does not retain negative energy, thus never needs to be cleansed only programmed and re-programmed for uses. Inspires creativity and motivation. Known as the “merchants stone”. Promotes prosperity, happiness, generosity, health and wellness. Citrine carries the power of the sun.. warm, energising and awakening.  Stir the soul into action. This is a great stone for setting clear intentions. Remember to cleanse it as its very absorbent. This is a powerful stone for abundance and luck as it teaches how to attract success. Just be sure you know what you’re buying, as the more common Amethyst is often sold in place of natural Citrine. Citrine is often used for raising self-esteem and is believed to be helpful for overcoming depression, anxiety and phobias. Clear Quartz is a perfect for connecting with angels and working to expand consciousness. It’s also balances all of your Chakras.
  9. Clear Quartz –  If you’re only going to have one crystal, it has to be Clear Quartz. It’s arguably the most adaptable crystal, as it can be programmed for any purpose.  A power stone used to provide extra energy and can be used to charge other items. Promotes; healing, protection, power, banishing, charging. Brings clarity of mind and clears confusion. Assists in clear communication.
  10. Fluorite – Gives a feeling of stability, peace and calm, impartial reasoning, responsibility, concentration, meditation, protection from psychic attacks, and creates and aura of self love. Keeps the creative juices flowing. Great stone to meditate and study with! Fluorite, a stone that gives ‘order to chaos’. Promotes clearing mental fog and flow that may distract you, creates harmony and fosters intuitive decision making. Watch the chaos turn to calm and find rhythm within mental madness.  
  11. Hematite – Promotes grounding and deflects negative energy. Hematite absorbs toxic emotions like stress and worry. This helps you maintain mental clarity, boosts willpower and soothes negative thought patterns. Due to its strength, Hematite is often believed to be useful when overcoming addictions. It’s also great when jet lagged.
  12. Jade –  Reverses bad fortune and is known for bringing good luck. Helps you to embrace a positive attitude and envision new possibilities for yourself. Creates harmony of the mind, body, and spirit, and is said to be a very lucky stone.
  13. Jet – Eases grief. Aids in protection.
  14. Kyanite – Does not retain negative energy, thus never needs to be cleansed; cleansing other stones, tranquility, removing energy blockages, and channeling energy.
  15. Labradorite – Labradorite attracts success, promotes dreams, reduces stress and anxiety, aiods spiritual connection, assists in transformation, clarity, peace. This is the stone of the new moon and new beginnings. Use Labradorite at the new moon to set intentions, put plans into action and to realize your path. Promotes; inspiration, using your own voice, and adventure. Put me in the workspace, I am the stone of inspiration and can help to calm overactive thought. Iwill keep your thoughts still and focused. A powerful protector.
  16. Lepidolite: One of the most effective crystals for anxiety, lepidolite creates a sense of peace and serenity. It naturally contains lithium, which is often used in anti-anxiety medication. A great stone for transformation and assisting with making positive life changes. It relieves worry and overwhelm and balances emotions.
  17. Lapis Lazuli – Is a stone of friendship, truth and total awareness. It encourages you to take control of your life and improves judgement. As a stone of truth, Lapis Lazuli helps you express your feelings, while teaching you to trust your intuition. This makes it a lovely stone for boosting creativity. Lapis Lazuli is a popular stone for empaths and used to awaken your divine purpose. Clears emotional baggage and gives you mental strength. A great stone for overcoming trauma. 
  18. Moonstone –  Brings new energy and aids in the acceptance of the highs and lows that are felt in a relationship. Enhances feminine energy and fertility. It helps calm responses and stress and aids in avoiding overreaction. Moonstone is of course a stone of the full moon and aids in releasing and letting go.
  19. Obsidian – Promotes; grounding, and negates and transmutes negative energy. Inspires change and gives protection and balance in situations. Obsidian is actually volcanic glass but can be used like any gemstone. A mirror, I provide you with a clear reflection, highlighting flaws and giving insight into oneself. Acting as a mirror, Obsidian provides you with a clear reflection, highlighting flaws and giving insight into oneself. It can support you through life’s changes. Acts as a detox for your soul to release imbalances and negative energies.
  20. Ocean Jasper – Promotes; protection, relaxation, and tranquility. Reminds us to prioritize joy and uplifts our spirit.
  21. Onyx – Known for its quieting, calming, and protecting abilities. It not only protects against negative energies, but it can absorb and calm those energies such as diffusing a quick temper or increasing your self-control. Black Onyx can create a distance between yourself and other people’s energy. It can be used to open your root chakra to help you stay grounded and calm.
  22. Pyrite – The stone for manifestation and taking action to create abundance in your life.
  23. Rose Quartz – The ultimate heart healer, Rose quartz promotes; self-love, calming, romance, and friendship. Makes for a great wedding or new baby gift. Rose Quartz is the ultimate crystal for love. Whether you wish to attract a romantic partner, strengthen an existing relationship, or instill a sense of self-love, it’s a powerful crystal for beginners. The strong feminine energy of Rose Quartz can be used when working on forgiveness, compassion and resolving negative emotions. Place a piece of Rose Quartz near your heart when meditating for an extra boost in self-love.
  24. Selenite – Promotes; mental clarity by removing mental energy blockages. It is cleansing by natture and doesn’t need to be cleansed, it self cleanses. Use Selenite to cleanse and charge other crystals and the energy in the room. Selenite is named after the Greek goddess Selene, which is the goddess of the moon. It’s also called the Satin Spar, Maria Glass, or Desert Rose.
  25. Shungite –  Known as the miracle stone. It brings relief from anxiety and stress, while protecting you from electromagnetic frequencies. It also purifies, heals, and cleanses your aura. It is a protective stone that is great for transformation, boosting your energy level, and good for your overall health. Shungite brings you back down to earth, and can help you transform the dark emotions from your past into light and positivity. Detoxifies and purifies the mind, body, and spirit. Place near your computer and near your phone.
  26. Sodalite – Helps us say the right thing at the right time to support our partner. Perfect for communication and self-expression. Facilitates rational discussion and the confidence to talk through things.
  27. Smoky Quartz – Promotes; grounding, banishing, cleansing, removing emotional blockages.  It has a strong stabilizing energy that brings your awareness into the “now,” while releasing feelings of insecurity and negative emotions. Wear Smoky Quartz in your jewellery to protect from negative energies throughout the day.
  28. Tiger’s Eye – Promotes; self-discipline, practicality, protection, grounding, peace, clarity, intelligence, intuition, financial stability, calmness. Keeps you grounded and calm, regardless of the situation. Gives the carrier strength in difficult situations. Great stone for kids. It’s also a fabulous crystal for amplifying the energies of other stones, making it a good addition to any beginner crystal collection.
  29. Titanium Aura Quartz – The most powerful and highest vibration of all quartz. Helps you to be grounded, centered and energized all at once.
  30. Unakite – Unakite Jasper fosters healthy relationships through balanced emotions. It encourages harmonious partnerships, both in love and in business, and is especially helpful for working closely with a relative or friend where positive personal interactions are vital. Unakite is said to be a stone of vision, opening the third eye and useful for scrying. It is also believed to be a stone of balance, grounding the self while bringing emotions and spirituality together. Unakite, also called epidote, derives its name from the Greek epidosis, meaning “growing together”. It is a combination of red jasper and green epidote solidly bound together. From this we get the meaning that what comes together belongs together. Unakite (or Epidote) can be used to draw off negative energy and blockage from the Heart Chakra. Unakite is said to lift your spirits when you are feeling down – this is the gemstone to help you to see the beauty in life. It is also used to ease women through menstrual cycles.

A table top image of a pottery bowl with large rose quartz and amethyst crystal with dried lavender flowers.

Common Options

  • Raw Crystals – A raw crystal is one that hasn’t been tumbled, cut or polished. They are often cheaper, but many people prefer the natural appearance. Raw crystals are also available in a wide range of sizes.
  • Cut Crystals – Crystals are often cut into shapes, such as points, wands, cubes, pyramids or hearts. The shape doesn’t change the fundamental properties of a crystal, but may affect how it feels to you. Spheres, for example, create a gentle energy that radiates in all directions. In contrast, pyramids focus a “beam” of energy.
  • Tumbled Crystals – Tumbled crystals are a small and polished alternative to cut crystals, making them great for carrying in a pocket or bag. They are often cheaper than cut crystals and are perfect for getting started.


Cleansing and Charging Crystals

Many crystals cannot be put into; water, salt or direct sunlight because it can damage the stone. The damage could be as little as a stone gets dull, or some completely dissolve. So a good rule of thumb is that if you’re not sure use moonlight, incense smoke, sound vibration, placing the stone on a slab of selenite instead. You can also place your crystals in a dry bath of herbs and flowers when you set them out under the moon (just make sure it’s not going to rain and that you don’t set them directly in the grass because water condensation in the form of dew is prevalent during certain seasons and weather conditions. Better to stay with them or place them by a window that will get direct moonlight. One other way to cleanse is to bring them, in a bowl or container to a waterfall or running stream and set the container on the ground near but not in direct contact with the water, so the stones can feel the vibration of the water.

Salt is historically known for its purifying and detoxifying properties. You can bury your crystals in salt to dispel negative negative energy or submerge them in salt water. But do your research, stones like selenite, kyanite, calcite, etc.. are not water soluble and salt can dull many stones. Crystals usually ending in “ite” should not come in contact with water. You can also cleanse and anoint with quartz infused oils, once again, do your research on your stone!


Multiple semi precious gemstones on wooden board

Programming & Setting Intentions

Programming is basically telling the crystal and your higher power, of your intention or desire. This makes it more powerful and effective. To program a crystal, hold it in your left hand (or right if you are left-handed) and quiet your mind. Ensure your intention is for the highest good, and clearly state your specific purpose. It’s advisable to keep the crystal with you for a few days to help strengthen and remind you of the focus.


Storing and Recharging Your Crystal

If polished stones, it’s a good idea to prevent them rubbing and damaging the exterior. One way to protect their energies is to wrap them in a silk cloth, get a container with divided sections or place in drawstring bags. Make sure fragile stones are wrapped gently and stored separately to avoid breakage. Do some research and see if your stone needs to be kept away from sunlight (an example is that amethyst fades in sunlight.

It’s also important to periodically recharge your crystal, even if for the same intent. There’s no set time for this, so recharge your crystal whenever you feel it’s necessary. Repeat the instructions from above. You can also charge a crystal by surrounding it with a circle of quartz crystals.


Other Tips

  • Place them around your home and set an intent for each room with a crystal for the appropriate intent.
  • Carry your chosen stone in your pocket to maintain the positive benefits wherever you go.
  • When wearing crystal jewelry, keep it close to its primary Chakra or near your heart center.
  • Crystal elixirs, made using spring water, can elicit a different type of response to a particular crystal. Do your research and don’t use stones that can make the water toxic, or damage the crystals. There are crystal bottles that you don’t have to submerge the crystals to get the affects.
  • Meditating with your chosen crystal will deepen your practice. Either hold it in your hand or place it near you during the session.
  • If you place a crystal under your pillow when you go to bed at night, or place it on your bedside table, you can benefit from its energy whilst you sleep. Be cautious if you have animals!
  • Use crystals wands to remove negativity from your aura and your meditation, prayer or altar spaces.
  • Make a crystal grid to boost vibrational energies. Grids are a powerful technique that everyone should try once they’ve learned the basics.
  • Ornaments carved out of crystals can magnify their energy. These are more expensive, but can also make wonderful decorations as well as reminders of the purpose for focus.

Angels Associated With Learning Crystal Healing

  • Archangel Metatron – for new beginnings
  • Archangel Gabriel – to develop powers of intuition
  • Archangel Ariel – for manifesting and psychic skills
  • Archangel Haniel – The Grace of God

USING CRYSTALS TO CREATE PEACE

Crystals For Peace

  • Amethyst, for peace and tranquility.
  • Clear quartz, the master healer.
  • Rose Quartz, for sending love within and without.
  • Optional – petrified wood, for trusting in the flow of life and peaceful discernment. Or other crystals of choice!

You can keep it simple by just setting a peace intention on the above crystals and placing them in a special place, or try making a crystal grid; having more crystals leading/pointing to your central crystal (In this case I would choose the clear quartz crystal or maybe the rose quartz. If making a grid your center stone should be either; a sphere to send even rounded energy or a tower to have directed energy pointing skyward. Grids create a more powerful and more focused energy.

  • Choose the central crystal that you would like to use (see above for ideas). Then write your intention for peace (or anything else – this ritual is very adaptable) on some paper and place it under the central crystal.
  • Surround your central crystal with a circle of smaller stones, perhaps five or six of them. These are called your ‘way’ stones; they create the path to your desire. Choose small pebble crystals, whichever ones resonate with you.
  • The third element of the grid is creating an outer circle of stones called the desire stones. These represent the desired outcome. Again, use small crystals here.
  • Finally, take a clear quartz crystal to activate your grid. This means getting quiet and concentrating on your intention. Then link all the stones together by simply using the clear quartz to draw an invisible line connecting each stone to every other stone, and to the central crystal.

World Peace Grid

Crystal Resources:

  1. Mineral and Crystal Safety and Care Masterpost (this will tell you which crystals can be cleansed with either water, sunlight, or salt) 
  2. A to Z Crystal Meanings
  3. An edited extract from Rituals for Every Day