Category Archives: salad

Thai-Style Quinoa Salad

This savory and sweet salad is perfect as a main dish or served with greens and fruit or vegetables.  I served it with a mix of greens and some fresh mango that I’d just gotten from the local farmer’s market.  There’s a variety of fresh vegetables you could use in this salad besides carrot, cucumber, and onion.  I would just use the freshest vegetables you have from the farmer’s market.  If you use tomatoes, they should be deseeded, just as the cucumber was.  And I would stick with cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe, if you decide on using them.  The dressing is really what makes this salad super delicious, and tweaking that to suit your own tastebuds is what’s important.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooled and cooked quinoa

3 grated carrots

4 large pickling cucumbers (my favorite, but you could use English), peeled and deseeded

6 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp coarse-grind pepper

4 limes, squeezed

3 tsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp EVOO

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less or more, to taste)

METHOD

Mix the quinoa with all the ingredients up to an including the salt and pepper.  If you want to add other fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, I would choose bell peppers, corn, fresh peas, or snap peas.   It’s a matter of choice, but the ones I listed are the ones I used.  For the dressing, mix the squeezed lime juice (should yield about 1/4 cup), and add the remaining ingredients.  Taste it to see if you need to add more acid (rice vinegar or lime), or more sesame oil.  If you want it more sweet and sour, adjust the tamari or soy sauce to suit your taste.  I absolutely loved the dressing by the time I was done tweaking it to my taste. Add it to your quinoa mixture, a little at a time as you mix.  You may not want to use it all, and instead serve some on the side to pour over the quinoa salad and whatever else you are serving it with.  I garnished it with a little mint from my garden.ThaiQuinoaSalad

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Curried Millet Salad with Baked Sockeye Salmon

Protein-rich millet is not as popular in the U.S. as quinoa, but it ought to be. The millet plant is drought-tolerant, and nutritionally it competes with quinoa. It is gluten-free and non-allergenic, with lots of fiber and other beneficial qualities. To learn more about millet, see: “12 Health Benefits of Millet” at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html.

I cooked the millet per package directions, then set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, I sautéed some garlic and onion in some EVOO. I added the millet and stirred it well as I sprinkled a generous amount of both turmeric and curry powder to the mixture. I served it with some fresh parsley and basil alongside my baked sockeye salmon. Not one of my vegan dishes, but high in protein and very nutritious. I had leftover millet the next day. It is the perfect main dish for a vegan meal, served with some fresh veggies or fruit on the side (which is what I did with the leftovers).

MilletAndSalmon

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Baby Spinach, Avocado, and Blueberries

QuinoaSaladWithBlueberries

Here, I made my Quinoa Tabbouleh recipe, posted on May 13, 2014. The only change I made to that recipe was the addition of 8 oz. of drained and rinsed sliced black olives, and only one bunch of finely diced green onions.

I served it with baby spinach, sliced avocado (what else is new?), and a handful of fresh organic blueberries.

I still have tons of fresh organic blueberries to use, so I made a batch of overnight, quick-cook, organic steel-cut oats. Simply mix 1 1/2 cups oats with 2 tsp. chia seeds, and 2 cups of organic almond milk. Pour into a sealed container, and refrigerate overnight.

I heated a little of it (about a cup) in the microwave this morning, and added a bunch of the blueberries. It was really delicious, and there is enough leftover for several more breakfasts (or snacks). You can add whatever you fancy each morning to this overnight oat mixture. It’s healthy, nutritious, and quite delicious.

Organic Black Bean and Corn Salad with Vegetables

LentilsBeanCornSalad

This is a filling and nutritious salad that could be used as a main dish. It’s complete with protein from the black beans, complex carbs from the veggies, and healthy fats from the olive oil in the dressing, and the avocado. I served it on a platter with some lentils on the side, and I dished the salad over some lentils on my plate. It’s refreshing, with lots of tang and texture.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup organic petite sweet corn drained and rinsed (from frozen), or use fresh when it’s in season
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Haas Avocado, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup of mixed fresh cilantro, basil, and Italian parsley, chopped finely
Few extra basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp Galloway’s Lemon pepper

METHOD:

Mix the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, sea salt and pepper in a small mason jar. Cover tightly with the lid and shake well. Set aside.

Mix the black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, and the finely chopped herbs. Drizzle with a little of the dressing and mix all together. Last, gently mix in the avocado. Add a few basil leaves to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving.

Oven-baked Wild-Caught Salmon over Raw Zoodles

SalmonOverZoodles

I seasoned the salmon with granulated garlic and sea salt after brushing it with a light coating of olive oil. I cut it into four filets and baked in a 450 F oven for 15 minutes, then removed and covered with tin foil to let it steam for a few minutes. I spiralized a green zucchini (zoodles), added some sliced yellow bell pepper, cucumber and avocado, and served the salmon on top with some lime. Cheat meals have to be tasty, or they’re just not worthy of their name.

Grilled Tofu with Lentil and Rice Salad

TofuLentilRiceSalad

Lots of vegan protein packed into this meal, and that’s just what I wanted. I made a big batch of lentils and rice, storing it in separate containers in the refrigerator so I can use it to make other salads over the next few days. There’s myriad variations using these two high-protein staples—salads, wraps, patties, and lots more.

INGREDIENTS:

2 c organic green lentils (cook ahead and cool)
2 c organic brown basmati rice (cook ahead and cool)
1 c chopped sweet onion (red or white)
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 c thawed and rinsed frozen baby peas
1/4 c chopped fresh mint
lettuce (I used red leafy lettuce from my garden)
1 pkg extra-firm organic tofu, drained well and patted dry with paper towel
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
S & P

Cook the green lentils and the rice according to their package directions, and let them each cool separately in the fridge.

Cut the tofu in large cubes and toss it with enough olive oil to coat it well, and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (I used organic dried garlic with sea salt). Bake in a 425 F oven on a parchment-paper lined sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove and gently turn over and bake another 10 minutes, or so. Keep an eye on them; they should be firm and browned around the edges, but not overdone. When they are ready, gently place them onto a paper towel while you assemble the salad.

Mix 2 cups of the cooked lentils, and 1 cup of the cooked brown basmati rice together. Add 1 cup of chopped sweet onion, the peas, basil leaves, and mint. Mix together. In a small bowl, add 1/4 c balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together. If the balsamic vinegar is of a high quality (which it should be), you don’t need to add any sugar. If not, you will likely need to sweeten it. Drizzle olive oil into the mixture as you whisk. It is usually one part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil, but I tend to do less than that much olive oil. That’s optional. When it is to your taste, drizzle over the salad and mix well. Serve it with some leafy lettuce and the tofu. I topped mine with some chives from my garden, but you can add any kind of garnish.

“Zoodles” Raw Salad

ZoodlesAndGreens

I bought a new mandolin slicer a few weeks ago, and it’s been a fantastic tool for my kitchen. But the spiral slicer that I picked up from Bed Bath & Beyond? THAT is the best thing EVER for creating julienne squash, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and other vegetables. I used it to make the spiral-sliced zucchini (“zoodles”) in this salad, and I sliced the other veggies using the mandolin. It took only minutes to make, and it looks very presentable.

In this salad, I spiraled two zucchinis. I used the mandolin to finely slice half an English cucumber, half a yellow bell pepper, half sweet onion, and then I simply diced a few Roma tomatoes and half an avocado.  Last, I added a handful of baby kale.

For the dressing, I mixed equal parts fresh lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and salt & pepper. I drizzled a little over the veggies, and then mixed them gently together. And that was it! Easy.