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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Parsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

pars saladParsley, Mint & Cherry Tomato Salad (V)(GF)

the ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large bunch mint
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

the method:

  1. Pick the leaves from the parsley and mint and place in a large bowl. Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with the parsley and mint leaves.
  2. Combine the shallot, mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the oil until emulsified, then toss the dressing with the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)

rainbow1Rainbow Chopped Salad (V)(GF)
the salad ingredients:
large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 english cucumber, chopped
2 cups corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
rainbow2
Cilantro-Avocado Dressing (V)(GF)
the dressing ingredients:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 avocado, smashed
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar1 tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt

the method:

  1. Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes and onion.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Toss with desired dressing and serve.

 

New York Style Chopped Salad (GF) (V)

New York StyleNew York Style Chopped Salad with Homemade Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Mixed Salad Greens
  • 3 cups Bibb Lettuce
  • 8 whole Romaine Leaves
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Corn
  • Sliced Or Diced Bell Pepper
  • Avocado, Sliced
  • Cucumbers, Halved Then Sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing (recipe follows

The method:

  1. Lay out different greens and all the veggies in small dishes.
  2. Have a big stainless bowl with tongs. Have everyone build their own salad by throwing what they want into the bowl. Toss with dressing, then pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.
  3. With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it’s chopped into smaller pieces.
  4. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar Light
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Halloumi Summer Salad (GF)

halloumi SaladHoly Moly! If you haven’t tried halloumi cheese yet, then PLEASE make this recipe! When I was going to ASU and  still living in Tempe, I used to go to this fabulous (and inexpensive) place called Oliveo Grill. It’s definitely a college spot, so if you go – don’t expect it to be glitzy and glamorous – it’s far from it! But the food is absolutely delish.

It was one of the few places in AZ where you can get grilled halloumi – a salty, savory cheese with a unique texture that allows it to be grilled without melting.

If it was healthy to eat cheese for every meal, every single day – I would eat halloumi and be a very happy girl. Since it’s summer and I wanted to keep dinner light, I made a halloumi summer salad with balsamic-mustard vinaigrette. Simple – yet delicious.

Halloumi Summer Salad:

for the halloumi:

½ package of hallomi cheese, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat an outdoor grill or a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.
Brush each side of the halloumi with olive and place on the grill for 2 minutes on each side.
Remove halloumi from grill. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, pepper and drizzle with lemon juice.

for the balsamic-mustard vinaigrette

 

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 pinch salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake, or simply whisk together in a bowl and pour over salad.

for the salad:

1 bag of Spring Mix salad
2 cups micro-greens
1/4 cup chiffonade Thai basil or regular basil, optional
1/2 English cucumber, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup corn, roasted
1 tomato, chopped

Best Kale Salad (GF)

kale salad

Kale Salad a la True Foods

The ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 14 oz), ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4-inch shreds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs, toasted (I toasted up some Udi slices for a gluten-free option)

The method:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs and toss.
  3. Garnish with shaved cheese before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to two days.

Triple Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese and More Football Food!

Well, it’s football season folks! As a vegetarian, it’s a lot of fun to get crafty in order to entertain your man-friend and a couple of his buddies. Nick wanted to entertain a group of his friends for the UofA game that was on Saturday night. I went to ASU myself, so I had to put my “big girl” pants on and buck up and cheer on the Wildcats while flipping back and forth to the Sun Devil game. Both teams won, thankfully – but I don’t think I‘ll be able to stay so neutral for the ASU vs. Arizona game come November. Get your claws out, Jorgenson…

We decided on grilling some burgers, and preparing mac n’ cheese and a salad for side dishes. I left Nick to grill while I prepared the side dishes. The boys has savory beef patties and Nick grilled up a nice Gardein burger for me J.

I felt the urge to impress Nick’s friends since one of them had just come back from Mongolia (figured he wanted some traditional cheesy and yummy tailgating food), and I was in a room full of UofA boys. I’m sure most people are aware of the rivalry between ASU and UofA… so the chances of a roast were very high. I couldn’t just make typical mac n’ cheese, so I opted for what I like to call Triple Smoky Mac n’ Cheese. As for the salad – I went with Alicia Silverstone’s Sexy Inspired Salad.

I want to give a big shout-out to Dave for chopping an avocado like a champ. I’m serious – dude’s got mad skills.

I’m hoping the yum-factor of the side dishes wiped their memory clear of the fact that I am a Sun Devil (and proud of it)!

Triple Smoky Mac ‘n’ Cheese

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni (I used shells because thats what I had on hand)
  • 6 tablespoons (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Half an onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, or
  • 1⁄4 cup Frontera brand chipotle salsa
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
  • 8 ounces smoked cheddar, grated, or substitute regular cheddar if you can’t find smoked cheddar
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 cups Homemade Bread Crumbs made with 2 cloves minced garlic added. Recipe in the book.

The Method:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta according to package directions, draining when it is just becoming al dente. This will bake more in the oven, so don’t overcook it. Drain, transfer it to a bowl, and toss with 2 tablespoons of the butter.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk pretty constantly for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Add the onion, smoked paprika, rosemary, chipotle, oregano, and nutmeg. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep cooking, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, stirring each addition of cheese until melted. It is important to do this gradually, to avoid graininess.

5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your preference. It will probably need just a little salt, depending on the cheeses. Add more chipotle if you’d like it hotter. Remember that the sauce should be pretty intense, because it needs to flavor a full pound of pasta.

6. Stir the macaroni into the sauce. Pour the pasta into the baking dish. Scatter the bread crumbs evenly over the top.

7. Bake until you can see bubbling around the sides and the bread crumbs are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Let the dish rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Alicia’s Sexy Inspired Salad

The Ingredients:

  • Fresh salad greens such as red leaf, butter lettuce, or romaine (I used Romaine)
  • 1 small handful of arugula
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2-1 heirloom tomato (optional but nice)
  • 1/2-1/4 medium cucumber, chopped into bite size pieces (peel only if the cucumber is not organic)
  • 4 dandelion greens (optional, but good for you)
  • 1/2 carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 3-4 chopped fresh basil sprigs
  • 4-5 chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)

Dressing

  • 2.5 tablespoons truffle-infused olive or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • juice 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated vegan Parmesan cheese

The Method:

  1. Add all the dressing ingredients together and whisk together.
  2. Get a big salad bowl that makes you happy with a lot of room to toss and play. Wash, tear and throw in the lettuce. Add the arugula, avocado, tomato and cucumber. Top with the dandelion greens, carrot shavings, and herbs. Toss with dressing and sprinkle with the hemp and sunflower seeds.