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Farfalle Veggie Salad

This salad is so beautiful and colorful; purple, red, yellow, orange and green. The proverbial colors of the rainbow. I used fresh and frozen veggies, and it has more veggies than pasta. I would say, that is a fresh tasting nutritious pasta salad.

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Need an idea for lunches for school or work? This salad will meet that need. It makes enough for multiple meals and can be served cold or room temperature (preferably).

  • 12 oz. farfalle (bowtie) pasta, gluten-free
  • 1 head, cauliflower, purple, cut into bite size, steamed
  • 2 c tomatoes, cherry, variety of colors, quartered
  • 1 c corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 c edamame, shelled, steamed
  • 1 lime, zested, juiced
  • 1 tbsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

In a large pot cook farfalle according to package directions. I used Jovial (my favorite brand) and it cooks for 10 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower for about 5 minutes. Long enough that the cauliflower was softened but still has a bite. Rinse with cold water and set aside.

In a very large bowl combine all the ingredients and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I added greens to this salad when it was served.

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How to Build a Better Salad

What is nice about salads is that there are no real boundaries, O rules. Well, maybe one rule – Fresh. Freshness is a pretty key factor to making a better salad. There are a couple of things that make better salads. One of those things is – Variety. Here are some ways to make your salads standout.

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Variety of Lettuces – Use two different kinds of lettuce. In this salad I used two different kinds of butter lettuces. One was red and one was green. Of course, color was the obvious difference, but also taste and textures were different. You could try arugula for a peppery bite or romaine for crunch.

Lettuce Combinations:

  • Butter Lettuce/Romaine
  • Iceberg/Spinach
  • Arugula/Butter

There are so many different types of greens to mix and match. The possibilities are endless

Variety of Veggies –  Try using two or more veggies. I used carrots, radishes, red bell pepper and celery leaves. Use what is in season. By using seasonal foods you will have the best quality and flavor.

Variety of Fruits – Fruits add another dimension to your salad. Often it will add a touch of sweetness. This salad had cherry tomatoes, a peach and avocado. These different fruits add freshness, sweetness and creaminess.

Herbs – Herbs are often left out of salads, yet, they add so much more flavor. I used some cilantro. It does not take much of an herb to raise your salad to the next level.

Nuts/Seeds – This is where you can get a little crazy. There are so many possibilities. It takes only a tablespoon or less of nuts/seeds to vary the texture of your salad. I used my Seed & Spice Blend.

Spices – Toast your seeds and nuts in some spices before you and them to your salad. Toasting the seeds and nuts makes all the difference in their flavor. The flavor will be intensified and so will the spices, especially when you combine them together. I toasted my seeds and added my Smokey Southwestern Seasoning to them for additional flavor.

Dressings – Dressings are a wonderful addition to finish the salad, however, they are not necessary if the rest of your salad is flavorful. Just s squeeze of citrus can amp up the flavor of your other ingredients in the salad making them each standout.

Think outside of the box. Do not be afraid to try different combinations and have fun. Just think of how nourished your a going to feel.

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Kale, Radish & Avocado Salad

I made this salad for a class that I am taking. It is a simple, yet delicious, and only takes minutes to put together.

  • 1 small bunch of kale, any variety, bite size
  • 1 avocado, pitted and flash removed from skin
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 radishes, sliced paper thin

In a large bowl combine kale, avocado and lime juice. Massage kale with the avocado and lime juice, until it is mixed thoroughly. Massaging the avocado mixture into kale leaves help soften the leaves.

Plate kale mixture and top with cherry tomatoes, radishes, and Seed & Spice Blend.

Seed & Spice Blend:

  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin kernels
  • 1 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Add sesame seeds and pumpkin kernels to a small fry pan over medium heat. Toss gently until seeds become aromatic and are slightly golden. Remove from heat.

While the pan is still warm add the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning and nutritional yeast. Toss all the ingredients until well combined. Sprinkle over salad.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Baby Golden Beets and Strawberry Salad with Pan Toasted Pecans

This salad is a feast for the taste buds. The flavors are amazing. There are so many wonderful textures – crunchy, creamy and a little crisp. Not only do the textures send this salad over the top, but the flavors are sublime.

I made this for a light summer dinner. Dress this salad with my Strawberry Vinaigrette that can be made in the blender in 60 seconds or less and you have a perfect bite of salad.

Note: This recipe makes 2 servings.

Toss together all the ingredients.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Strawberry Baby Greens Quinoa Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

This summery salad would be great to take to a picnic or barbecue. It will please all eaters alike. The salad is loaded with all different kinds of textures and flavors. Freshness from the baby greens, sweetness from the strawberries and sweet peas, little pops from the cooked quinoa, creaminess from the cannellini beans. Oh, and do not forget the crunch from the sliced almonds and the extra strawberry flavor in the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette reminds me of strawberry lemonade. It is colorful and inviting whispering seductively to all to come and partake.

Quinoa:

In a large Dutch oven bring quinoa, water and all-purpose seasoning to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa looks like it has little rings. Remove from heat and let cool. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
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Strawberry Baby Greens Quinoa Salad:

  • 5oz. Baby Greens
  • 2 (15oz.) cans canellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 c sweet peas, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 1/2 c strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 c almonds, sliced
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette

Assemble all ingredients and gentle toss together in a large bowl.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Vegetables with White Beans Salad

I am utilizing the roasted vegetables from my Batch Cooking – Vegetables post for this salad. I roasted three sheet pans of a variety of vegetables. In under an hour I was able to chop and roast a large amount of veggies to be used in a variety of ways. I thought I would show you one of ways I have utilized the roasted veggies.

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This salad has a variety of textures and flavors – fresh, roasted, crunchy, creamy

  • Greens, variety, mix different kinds
  • roasted veggies – from big batch cooking
  • white beans, drained, rinsed
  • Gremolata
  • favorite dressing

Note: The vegetables could always be grilled if you do not want to use the oven. Use your favorite veggies. This is also a good way to try a new vegetable you have never had before.

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Naked Burger Salad

I made Double Bean Burgers for dinner last night. Instead of having the burgers again on a bun for lunch I crumbled the patties and put them on some greens and added other veggies. This salad is very filling, which is a big plus in my book.

I was excited to make this salad because I got to use greens that I have grown in my aero garden. Since, I do not have an area for a garden and I kind of have a black thumb this is perfect for me. My next goal is to try container gardening. We will see.

Note: The measurements are not precise. For example, I used handfuls of greens, not cups. It really depends on your appetite.

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  • Greens of your choice, torn into bite size
  • 2 Double Bean Burger patties, cooked, crumbled
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, large, diced
  • 4 baby carrots, shredded
  • 5 Ingredient Dressing

Assemble ingredients and top with 5 Ingredient Dressing.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Asian Forbidden Rice Salad

This is another recipe from my cooking class (with adaptations). Mix the rice with some fresh spinach or kale and you have a fresh nutritious salad that your family will be wanting more.

I have made Forbidden (Black) Rice before. It has such a wonderful unique flavor, compared to any other rice.

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Rice:

  • 3 c cooked Forbidden (black) Rice
  • 3 tbs chives, minced
  • 2/3 c carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 c bok choy, shredded
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

Mix ingredients in a large bowl.

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger, fresh, grated
  • 3 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)

Whisk together all the ingredients in a measuring cup with a pouring spout.

Combine rice mixture and dressing together in a large bowl. Stir until mixture is well incorporated.

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Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. By doing this step the rice soaks up the dressing and the flavor.

Garnish:

  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds

Serve rice mixture over some greens. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mexican Fiesta Salad

This salad is so fresh tasting and filling. I made this salad for one of my assignments in a cooking class that I have been taking. I am almost done with the class (about 82% complete with 32 days left for completion). It has been a fun and learning experience.

Top this salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing and you have Fiesta City. With the combination of cooked and fresh ingredients it is a cinch to throw together.

Note: The ingredient measurements are for two salads. You can adjust according to the servings you will be making.

  • 1 bag of Sweet Butter Blend Lettuce
  • 1 c frozen corn, thawed or microwaved
  • 1 can black beans, drained rinsed (I had some extra leftover)
  • 8 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 c brown rice, cooked
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

Note: The recipe for the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning is in the Basics section on my site. However, it is also for sale, pre-made in my store site.

Sprinkle corn, beans and brown rice with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Stir.

Microwave the corn, beans, and brown rice just until warm about 30-60 seconds.

Assemble salad.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Chick(en)pea Salad Nests

Recently I have read a few Chickpea Salad recipes. They were mostly mock tuna salad recipes. To be honest tuna salad was never my favorite, but chicken salad that is a whole different story. I have to admit I was a little intrigued. How can you get the same flavor and mouth feel with chickpeas??? I was on a quest…

I have to admit I am doing a happy dance right now because I did it. I am really amazed at how this Chickpea Salad turned out, and on the first try. This will be a weekly staple in my house from now on. It actually took less time (10 minutes max.) to make then when I made chicken salad. I love WFPB eating.

  • 1 can of chick peas/garbanzo beans, drained (reserve liquid – aquafaba), rinsed
  • 2/3 c vegan mayo, divided, more for creamier texture
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries, divided
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp onion, dried, minced
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 c celery, diced
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, broken into little nests

In a food processor combine: half the chick peas, half the vegan mayo, half the dried cranberries, all-purpose seasoning, dried onion, mustard and turmeric. Pulse about 5 times to combine the ingredients, yet it is still chunky.

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Add remaining chickpeas and pulse about 3 times. Check for desired consistency. Transfer mixture to a sealable container. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste for seasoning. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Note: Why save the aquafaba? It is great for baking. I made some blueberry muffins with this and it is amazing. It adds an incredible lightness, height and doming to your muffins. Check out the recipe on my blog. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Note 2: I used turmeric in this recipe, it gives you that hint of a curry flavor. To be honest I usually make my chicken salad, now, chick pea salad without. Both are delicious.