The Perfect Kale + Brussels Sprout Salad (gf)

So… I’m a huge fan of this healthy restaurant we have here in Phoenix called Flower Child. I LOVE the concept of this restaurant because it allows even the busiest of people to have a  healthy meal. I wouldn’t call this a fast-food restaurant because I feel like that gives off the sense that there is unhealthy, crappy, unsustainable food involved… but you can order your meal and have it sitting in front of you in under 10 minutes. Another added bonus? They use fresh, local produce in all of their dishes!

Unfortunately, if you don’t live in Arizona, California or Texas… you won’t be able to bask in the glory that is Flower Child. However, I recently took a stab at recreating one of my favorite salads from there dubbed The Organic Kale. It’s simple. It’s colorful. It’s delicious. It’s filling. It’s literally amazing. So if you’d like to chow down on this at home, try out this recipe. I added some crumbled bleu cheese on top, but you can easily make this vegan by omitting it. 🙂

The Perfect Kale + Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette (gf)
makes 4 dinner-sized salads or 8 side salads

the ingredients:
for the dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard (I use this simply for texture)
1 shallot bulb, finely diced
salt & pepper to taste

for the salad:
1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded*
1 bunch dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and shredded*
1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded*
1 apple, cored and diced (I used Pink Lady apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries/cherries
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
crumbled bleu cheese to top, optional
salt & pepper to taste

*For convenience, you can also purchase the “Cruciferous Crunch” salad mix at Trader Joe’s!

the method:
make the dressing: throw the vinegar, oil, maple syrup, dijon, salt and pepper together in a mason jar along with the chopped shallot. Give it a shake to mix all of the ingredients together. I like to make this dressing the night before I use it to give the ingredients a chance to meld. However, you can use this dressing as soon as 10 minutes after making it.

make the salad: Shred the brussels sprouts, kale and red cabbage. Add dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, diced apple, bleu cheese (if using), and dressing. Toss to combine. You can eat this immediately, or you can make it ahead of time. If you store this salad in an air-tight container in the fridge, it will last for 1 day.

Happy eating, y’all!

 

 

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Meatless Monday: Veggie Stir-Fry with Quinoa Thai Noodles (GF)(V)

stirfry

 

Veggie Stir-Fry with Quinoa Thai Noodles (GF)(V)

the ingredients:
1 bunch of bok choy
1 large bunch of broccoli cut into smaller pieces
1/2 cup snow peas
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 spring onions, sliced
1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
Thai rice noodles
1/4 cup tamari
4 tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 package of red quinoa thai noodles

the method:

  1. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While noodles are soaking, prep veggies and begin sauteing them. Heat wok or pan with sloping edges on med-high heat. Drizzle in sesame oil and saute the broccoli with garlic slivers. Toss in remaining veggies, excluding bok choy.
  3. Add tamari and add another dollop of sesame oil as you cook. 
  4. Add snow peas last so they remain deliciously crisp and sweet.
  5. Remove veggies and drain noodles. Toss in the same pan with a dash of sesame oil and tamari, and saute noodles until they turn a beautiful golden color. Plate noodles.
  6. In the same pan, lightly saute bok choy with a bit of tamari and sesame oil.
  7. Layer bok choy over noodles, then pile veggies on top of bok choy.

Vegan Rustic Pasta

A couple a years ago when I was still working as a server, one of my favorite customers had told me about a new vegan cookbook called The Kind Diet – written by Alicia Silverstone. At this time, I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years and was very interested in experimenting with vegan cuisine.  Needless to say, once my shift was over, I pedaled my way to the nearest bookstore to pick up a copy.

I knew I wasn’t ready to be fully vegan (I love cheese more than anything) but quite a few of the recipes looked lip-smacking delicious – and they were. Now, I will admit that the longest I’ve ever gone being a vegan is a little over a month – but I do like to take “vegan” weeks every now and then if I feel like I’ve over-indulged on the dairy.

So, even though I know that I could never be 100% vegan, I still refer to this book all the time for some yummy recipes. One of my favorite dishes from this book is the Rustic Pasta. It’s so tasty and hearty that even a meat-eater would approve and probably wouldn’t complain about the lack of animal product. I like serving this dish with a big fresh salad or with some veggie sausage on top.

You should also check out Alicia’s vegan website: The Kind Life.

Rustic Pasta

The ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound pasta (you can choose long or short shape)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 large onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used more)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced or thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/4 cup shoyu
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 tablespoon marinara sauce

The method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook just until al dente. Drain the pasta well.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook for 7 minutes until softened. Then add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes longer. The onions should transparent and turning golden.
  3. Add the celery to the skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the shoyu, salt, garlic powder, then add the cabbage; saute for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer.