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Posts Tagged ‘healthy salads’

Kale and Avocado Salad Bits of dark leafy kale combine with chunks of creamy avocado for a super nutritious salad. But wait, there’s more! Toss this salad with a fresh homemade citrus dressing and top it with a generous scoop of nutty-flavored hemp seeds. This lovely green salad proves that eating healthy can be simple and delicious.

Kale and Avocado Salad
Recipe found in Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped into a paste
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tbsp. raw hemp seeds (optional)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
1. Whisk together orange and lemon juices, soy sauce, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil; set dressing aside.

2. Cut 2 avocados into 1/2″ cubes and thinly slice the remaining avocado.

3. Put cubed avocados, half of the hemp seeds (if using), and kale into a serving bowl.

4. Toss kale mixture with dressing and season generously with salt and pepper.

5. Divide salad among plates and garnish with sliced avocado and remaining hemp seeds.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. When tossing the salad, do not pour in all of the dressing in at one time. Pour a little bit in at a time and toss until the greens are lightly coated. You will have leftover dressing.

Enjoy!

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Southwest Quinoa Salad Like Superman, quinoa possesses super powers. Well, maybe not, but quinoa is an excellent source of protein and it contains all eight essential amino acids. If you’re looking for a tasty way to prepare this “superfood,” look no further. Boasting the southwestern combination of corn, peppers, beans, cilantro and lime, this colorful and nutritious salad might disappear from your plate “faster than a speeding bullet.”

Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Recipe From Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

INGREDIENTS
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 to 3 limes)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely minced jalapeño, Fresno or Mirasol pepper (optional)
1¼ cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup diced red bell pepper
One 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.

2. Whisk the oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin and jalapeño (if using) in a small bowl.

3. Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Stir the dressing into the quinoa.

4. Toss in the corn, red pepper, black beans, cilantro and salt.

5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Quinoa naturally has a bitter coating of saponins. As a matter of habit, I always rinse quinoa in a strainer under cold running water prior to cooking to remove any residual saponin. Some brands of quinoa state that they are pre-washed.

2. I added some fresh ground black pepper.

3. I also added a pinch of sugar to counterbalance some of the combined acidity of the vinegar and lime juice.

4. I prefer serving this salad chilled. It seems more refreshing that way.

Enjoy!

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Holiday Recipe Round-Up It’s down to the wire in Santa’s Kitchen and I’m helping him sort through popular holiday recipes featured in this blog. Reminiscing about these dishes, we force ourselves to stop salivating and start prepping food. Santa needs to start eating holiday foods now in order to build up his stamina for the long hours ahead!

Here are Santa’s picks for this year:

The holidays are not always about sweets. Bowls of Reindeer Snack Mix empty magically, so make sure you make plenty of this salty, sweet, and spicy treat. It also makes a great snack for any casual get-together or game-day viewing!

If mornings are not your thing, try sitting in front of a hot stack of Gingerbread Pancakes with Maple Cream. Your senses will be teased and tickled. Smell the ginger and cinnamon. Look at the light fluffy pancakes. Taste the spice and molasses mixed with the sweet maple cream. You’ll be wide awake in no time!

As much as he would like to, Santa cannot survive only on sweets. One of his favorite salads is not only gorgeous to look at, but is packed with healthy ingredients. Crisp slices of Asian pear mingle with juicy slices of pink grapefruit, crunchy slices of Fuyu persimmons, and beautiful red pomegranate arils. Toasted pine nuts and a fat-free dressing top off this wonderful Fall Fruit Salad.

Finally, here’s a recipe for one of Santa’s favorite cookies. With a buttery crust that’s topped with red currant jam and a lemony-nutty meringue, this cookie is a triple threat. Easily made in a 9 by 13-inch pan, these Yugoslavian Christmas Cookies will undoubtedly become one of your family’s holiday favorites!

This will be my last post of the year, because I will be enjoying the holidays with my family. May your holidays be filled with laughter and love and may the New Year bring peace and joy to you and yours. Thanks for following What About This and see you next year!

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Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas Better together? Sometimes marriages work and sometimes they don’t. But magic occurs when two entities come together and bring out the best in each other. That is exactly what happens in the case of this Greek Salad. In actuality it is composed of two distinct salads, each possessing the substance and flavors to stand alone. The orzo component is light and refreshing with hints of lemon and oregano. By comparison, the black-eyed peas component brings in a certain earthiness with its flavors of tomatoes and parsley. Combining all components together creates a more interesting flavor-complex. This marriage definitely works.

Greek salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas
Paul Grimes and Shelley Wiseman, Gourmet (August 2008)

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup orzo
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
4-8 peperoncini
Salt and freshly ground pepper

EQUIPMENT: 4 (16-ounce) wide jars or container with lids
ACCOMPANIMENT: pita chips

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.

2. Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4. Divide black-eyed pea mixture (with juices) among jars and layer orzo salad, romaine, and feta on top. Add 1 or 2 peperoncini to each jar.

Cooks’ note: Assembled jars can be chilled up to 6 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I only had Meyer lemons on hand and the results were wonderful.
2. I chopped a few small springs of basil from my garden and added it to the orzo mixture. I loved the added flavor it brought to the salad.
3. If you don’t want to serve the salad in jars, try layering the components in a clear glass salad bowl.
4. For a vegan version, leave off the feta cheese.

Enjoy!

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Cavatappi withSpinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese

Part green salad and part pasta salad, but all parts delicious and fresh! Pair this Italian-influenced salad with rustic artisan bread for a quick and healthy meatless supper or throw it together for easy entertaining. With only nine simple ingredients, this salad is big on taste and big on convenience.

Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese
The Best of Cooking Light

Ingredients:
8 cups coarsely chopped spinach
4 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 6 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Directions:
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Cavatappi is also known as cellentani, spirali or tortiglione.
2. Maybe I packed too much chopped spinach into each cup while measuring it out, but this made much more than 4 servings.
3. I thinly shaved the Asiago instead of shredding it.
4. In a side note, the recipe states, “The warm cavatappi slightly wilts the spinach and softens the cheese during tossing.”

Enjoy!

Update (6/24/13): I made this salad again, but with some substitutions and additions.  I used cavatelli instead of cavatappi and replaced the regular olive oil with Meyer lemon infused olive oil. Cherry tomatoes, fresh off the vine, were sliced in half and added to the salad along with some toasted pine nuts. Very nice!

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Feeling guilty over devouring a two-pound lobster last night in celebration of my 35th wedding anniversary, tonight I’m eating a healthy quinoa and black bean salad that’s tossed with a lime-cumin dressing and served on a bed of fresh pea shoots. I’ve posted other quinoa recipes before, so you already know that these grains are amazingly-nutritious. Adding the delicate pea shoots provides a rich source of Vitamins K, C, and A. What a delicious way to offset the gluttony of the evening before!

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Recipe from Epicurious

Ingredients for Salad:
1½ cups quinoa
1½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ cups cooked corn (cut from about two ears)
3/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 pickled jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander

Ingredients for Dressing:
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions:
1. In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

2. In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in saucepan occasionally, adding water if necessary).

3. While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, and coriander. Toss well.

5. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking.

6. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 as a side dish.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Fresh jalapeño can be used instead of pickled jalapeño.
2. Coriander is also called cilantro. According to Wikipedia, “Cilantro (sih-LAHN-troh) is the Spanish word for coriander leaves.”
3. Because I had fresh lemons and didn’t have fresh limes, I substituted 5 tablespoons of lemon juice for the lime juice. With that substitution, I decided to use Meyer lemon-infused olive oil in lieu of regular olive oil.
4. Another successful substitution was Italian parsley for the coriander leaves. I’m sure the recipe would have had a more southwestern flavor, if I had used lime juice and coriander leaves. My version had a bit more of an Italian flare.
5. I used less salt than the recipe called for. I did not add any salt to the bean and vinegar mixture and I only put in a pinch of salt into the dressing mixture.

ENJOY!

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Wedding bells will chime this week for my son and his fiancé. As I happily wade through lists and list of wedding details, I offer you a repost of one of my favorite summer salads. Enjoy!

How fortunate it is that tomatoes and basil both thrive in summer heat. When it’s too hot to cook, salads make frequent appearances on the dinner menu in my house and with the bounty of tomatoes and basil outside in the garden, who could resist not finding as many ways as possible to use these two summer favorites? It only gets better – here’s a recipe that combines tomatoes and basil with the healthy goodness of quinoa. In an earlier post Quinoa and Shrimp Salad, I explained why quinoa is a nutritional gem; these tiny seeds contain a balanced set of essential amino acids, making them complete proteins, and are a great gluten-free source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and iron.

Quinoa Salad With Tomatoes and Basil
Adapted from a recipe by Rachel Venokur-Clark

Salad Ingredients:
1 C quinoa
1/2 red onion, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/3 C sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), diced
1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted

Dressing Ingredients:
4 garlic cloves
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 T white balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Measure quinoa into a sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside and let cool.

2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients, except for the olive oil. Pour oil in a small stream into the the bowl of dressing ingredients, whisking the whole time to form an emulsion. Set aside.

3. Toast the pine nuts in a pan until lightly browned and fragrant. While toasting, keep an eye on them and stir them occasionally so that they don’t burn. Let cool.

4. To the cooked and cooled quinoa, add diced onion, diced tomatoes, diced sun-dried tomatoes, and diced basil. Toss gently.

5. Whisk salad dressing again and pour over salad ingredients. Toss again.

6. Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Serves 4-6.

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