Categories
Salads Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Nutty Roasted Beet Salad with Sambal Oelek

For a couple of decades, beets were relegated to the almost-universally disliked vegetable pile, along with cauliflower and brussels sprouts. It seems all three of these lovely veggies are getting a second chance, and people are loving all of the new iterations of these now-popular foods. 

I’m sure Dwight Schrute would like to take credit for the increased popularity of beets, but I believe the real truth is that people started learning how to cook beets instead of buying them pickled in cans. As it turns out, ruby-colored beets are pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds, especially when they are roasted. This recipe combines roasted beets with salty and sweet, and tangy and spicy ingredients; and the result is a delicious, well-balanced beet salad that is perfect for a light lunch or side dish. 

Ingredients:

1.5 lb. beets

1.5 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Sambal Oelek (Asian chili paste)

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped

½ c. walnuts or pecans

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the beets and cut off the tops and bottoms. Cut the beets in half. Place the halved beets on a baking sheet and mix them with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake them for about an hour, or until tender. When the beets are finished baking, let them cool and then remove the skins. They should slide right off. Cut the beets into long, thin sticks or small bite-sized pieces. 

In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, Sambal Oelek, honey, shallots and nuts. Add to the beets and taste as your pour to make sure you have added the amount of dressing you like. Season with salt and pepper. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Categories
Salads Vegan Vegetarian

Jewel Tone Chaat Salad

This gem-colored salad is almost too beautiful to eat. But not eating it would be a huge mistake because it tastes amazing. A perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spicy, this salad knocks it out of the park with its balance of unique flavors. 

The key to making a good chaat salad is to cut the pieces of all of the ingredients into small, equal-sized morsels so that every time you take a bite you get ALL of those delicious ingredients in your mouth at once. Perfection, I tell ya.

Ingredients:

½ cucumber, chopped into small cubes

7-8 radishes, chopped into small cubes

4 green onions, sliced

½ bunch of cilantro, chopped

½ jalapeno, finely chopped

Pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. ginger powder

1 tsp. chili powder

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tsp. honey

1 tsp. tamarind paste

2 Tbsp. shredded coconut

½ tsp. chaat masala

Salt to taste

Combine the cucumber, radishes, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and pomegranate seeds in a large salad bowl. 

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add mustards seeds and stir until they pop. Then, add the chickpeas and cook for about 5 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy. Add the chili powder, cumin, ginger, lemon juice, honey, tamarind and stir to combine. Add the coconut and remove from heat. Stir to combine again. Season with salt. 

Add the chickpea mixture to the salad and mix together. Sprinkle with chaat masala. 

Categories
Fish/Seafood Salads

Mediterranean White Bean, Tuna and Arugula Salad

This beautiful Mediterranean salad is ideal for a filing, protein-packed lunch. Not only is it absolutely delicious, it will also fill you with healthy ingredients that will boost your energy for whatever your day throws at you. 

This salad tastes super fresh and features all of the best things from all regions of the Mediterranean: peppery arugula, dense white beans, fresh tomatoes and onions, hearty tuna, briny olives, and a refreshing lemon and olive dressing. It would be great as a pasta salad with orzo or pasta added in too. Best of all, it comes together in less than 5 minutes! 

Ingredients:

4 c. baby arugula

1 15 oz. can of Great Northern or Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

5 oz. can of high quality albacore tuna, drained

¼ c. green olives, halved

4 green onions, sliced

½ c feta cheese crumbles

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from one lemon

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Combine arugula, beans, tomatoes, tuna, olives, onions and feta in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Add paprika and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve!

Categories
Salads Sides

Warm Farro Salad with Arugula and Feta

Sometimes a cold salad just doesn’t hit the same way when it’s blizzarding outside. In the winter months I find myself wanting to eat salads, but I often skip it because I don’t want to be cold. 

This warm farro salad is the answer to your deepest salad wishes for winter. It contains tons of healthy greens your body needs and offers the warmth and substantially your body craves during cold weather. The warm farro bathed in a lemony shallot dressing and tossed with feta is just what the arugula needs to be its most perfect self. 

Ingredients:

1 c. uncooked farro

2 c. chicken broth

¼ c. olive oil

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 shallot, minced

2 c. arugula

3 oz. feta cheese

Salt and pepper

Cook farro with chicken broth according to package directions. Remove from heat and let the farro cool for about 2-3 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots and salt and pepper to make a dressing. In a large bowl, combine the warm farro, arugula, and dressing. Stir together. Add the feta and stir again. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Categories
Salads Sides Uncategorized

Kale Caesar Salad

There’s just something about those curly, hearty leaves that makes a kale Caesar salad even better than the original. A kale Caesar is substantial, filling, and made especially delicious by the way the dressing sticks to all of those nooks and crannies in the kale leaves. It’s like kale and Caesar dressing were made for each other. 

This salad is amazing on its own or topped with chicken, salmon, or baked tofu. It’s quick, simple, and tastes like a garlicky, heavenly treat. Whip up this 5-minute salad for lunch and you’ll be happy for the rest of the day.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of organic kale, curly or lacinato 

¼ c. grated Parmesan

1 garlic clove, minced

4 flat anchovies, patted dry and finely minced

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise 

¼ c. olive oil

2 Tbsp. water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Parmesan cheese, for topping

Italian breadcrumbs, for topping

Whisk together the Parmesan, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, mayonnaise, olive oil, and water until an emulsion is formed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, massage the kale with your hands for about 30 seconds. This helps to make the kale more tender. Toss in dressing, mixing with your hands. Top with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

Categories
Salads Uncategorized Vegetarian

Detoxifying Kale Salad with Chickpeas

This beautiful, tender, and raw kale salad is so delicious that it might be able to win over even the most vocal kale-haters. Composed of very simple and fresh ingredients, this salad proves that sometimes less really is more. 

The flavor profile of this detoxifying salad is lovely, rich, and tangy. The kale, crispy chickpeas, and toasted breadcrumbs give this salad crunch. The Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic, and spices give it the zing. The olive oil gives it the richness that provides the perfect balance. This salad is perfect as a side or main course, and is delicious topped with tofu, grilled salmon, or chicken. 

And . . . correct me if I’m wrong, but this kale salad will probably make you feel like you could take on the world.

Ingredients:

1 bunch organic kale, torn into bite-sized pieces

½ 15 oz. can of chickpeas

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. cumin

½ c. olive oil

¼ c. lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shaved

¼  c. toasted Italian breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix chickpeas with 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside. Toast breadcrumbs in a skillet over medium  until lightly browned. Set aside. 

In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

Place pieces of kale in a large salad bowl, pour in dressing and massage with your hands until kale is soft and pliable. Top salad with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Categories
Salads Sides Uncategorized Vegetarian

Grilled Rainbow Salad with Microgreens

Huge, beautiful salads are one of my favorite meals. They are healthy and fresh, but also filling and crunchy and full of diverse flavors. Lately I have been eating a lot of comfort food, so that has caused me to have a serious craving for a big, veggie-packed salad. 

I usually make this salad in the summer when my garden is overflowing with zucchini, peppers, herbs, and greens, but sometimes in the winter a summer salad is just what I need to feel alive and strong. The flavor combo of this salad truly makes your tastebuds feel like they are basking in the summer sun. 

Ingredients: 

4 c. mixed greens 

½ c. mixed herbs, fresh parsley or cilantro

1 zucchini, sliced

1 can of corn

½ c. roasted red peppers, sliced

½ c. feta cheese

2 c. microgreens

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and cook in a grill pan until charred on both sides. Remove from pan and place in a bowl. Add the corn and cook until golden brown. Set aside and let zucchini and corn cool. 

To arrange the salad, fill a large bowl with mixed greens and herbs and mix together. Place zucchini on top of the greens, followed by the corn, red pepper, feta and microgreens. 

When you are ready to serve the salad, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle on top of the salad. Mix and serve!

Categories
Salads Sides Uncategorized Vegetarian

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

Sometimes in the winter I get a little wistful thinking about summer and all of the beautiful fresh ingredients that go along with it. I long for something bright, fresh and clean to eat. This may be due to the fact that in the winter, I tend to overeat heavier foods . . . which dare I say is a lot of fun. Or maybe it’s because the grayer skies have me wishing for warmer times. But I digress . . .

When I’m feeling this way, caprese salad always comes to mind quickly. Not only is it eye-catching and appetizing in appearance with its vivid colors, it also offers an instant imaginary trip back to warm summer days with its fresh taste combination of basil and tomatoes. It’s fresh, satisfying and healthy, and it makes me forget about winter just long enough to appreciate it again.

Ingredients:

Salad:

4 ripe roma tomatoes, sliced

12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced

1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only

2-3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic reduction (see below)

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic reduction:

1 c. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced by about half. Set aside and allow to cool while you prepare the salad.

Assemble the salad by beginning with a tomato slice, then cheese and finally, basil. Continue layering the ingredients in this manner, making sure that all of the beautiful colors are visible. 

After the salad is assembled, drizzle generously with olive oil and about 2 Tbsp. of balsamic reduction. Season with salt and pepper.

Categories
Salads Sides Uncategorized

Asparagus Salad with Egg, Bacon and Dijon Shallot Dressing

This salad reminds me of a cool, drizzly Parisian day suddenly turned cheery and warm by a filling, comforting cafe lunch. The lunch that’s perfect for a day of shopping or walking all over the city exploring markets, galleries or strange little bookstores in alleyways, this asparagus salad leaves you feeling satisfied, but not weighed down. 

Often, the best meals are simple meals. This wholesome salad takes minutes to make and requires very few ingredients, but that certainly does not mean it’s short on taste. It’s one of my favorite lunchtime meals, and it is made even better by being served alongside a beautiful chunk of baguette to soak up extra dressing.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

1 bunch of asparagus

4 soft-boiled eggs

4 strips of crispy bacon, chopped

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. shallots, finely chopped

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium high heat, simmer a bit of water (½ c. or so). Add the asparagus when water is simmering, put a lid on the skillet and steam for 3 minutes. Rinse the asparagus with cold water to stop the cooking process and cut into bite-size lengths. Set aside. 

Mix together the Dijon, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together to make the dressing.

Place the asparagus and bacon on plates. Drizzle with dressing and mix well. Place the eggs on top. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and enjoy!