Posts tagged ‘salad’

January 10, 2014

the best all-purpose yogurt sauce + a warm winter salad

sweet potato-carrot-apple cake with sweet chili cilantro yogurt sauce

You know you’re doing alright with healthy eating when you open the fridge and your leftovers consist of cooked quinoa, chickpeas, and extra batter from these sweet potato-carrot-apple cakes. I’m lucky enough to naturally enjoy eating (and taking the time to cook) all these foods over the processed, fried and fast foods inundating our supermarkets and restaurants. But where I don’t have such an easy time is my unrelenting sweet tooth…. will it ever go away?!

Healthy eating is also much easier when you already have prepared foods on hand – like leftover quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies that are ready to be tossed into a salad the minute you decide you are starving for lunch. Sounds a bit like me today! Sometimes my leftover concoctions turn out to be not as appetizing as I’d hoped, but this was one that magically combined so nicely that I had to write up the recipe to share with you – and so that I can make it again!

a warm winter 'leftovers' salad

Sometimes I find it hard to eat salads as often in the winter. Cold and crunchy just doesn’t do it for me when it’s 14 degrees out! This salad was nice because I put a warm pan-fried veggie cake on top of spinach and arugula (rather than lettuce which does not stand up well under something hot) along with reheated quinoa and chickpeas and some fresh veggies. A warm, hearty and filling wintertime salad – perfect.

August 8, 2013

Quinoa + mung bean tabbouleh

quinoa + mung bean tabbouleh

DSC_4008

This time of year I desperately look for any and every way to take advantage of our abundant garden, namely the tomatoes who are currently on a serious ripening rampage. It’s painful to watch an unused tomato go rotten on the counter, when in just a few months I’ll be dying to have one so juicy and fresh. Gazpacho, tomato sauce, salsa, more gazpacho, BLT’s, tomato-basil-mozzarella salads for lunch and dinner daily…… Not that I get tired of it, I just wish the tomato good-ness could be spread more evenly throughout the year!

While brainstorming other lunch-worthy uses for tomatoes, I thought of tabbouleh, and then I thought of the tabbouleh I had at a recent potluck (well, in June… Is it really August already?!) This light and refreshing herbal salad swapped out the traditional bulgur wheat for quinoa plus a good dose of mung beans, all together making one protein-packed, fiber-full, and vitamin-rich hearty salad.

Tabbouleh is easy because there’s no right and wrong ratios of herbs to grains or veggies, so it’s really just up to your taste. This recipe’s a keeper in my book, especially when it comes to putting all these summer garden veggies to use.

garden tomatoes!

parsley, mint, quinoa, mung beans.

May 28, 2013

really good falafel

really good falafel

I really miss my falafel bar in Charleston. Can’t believe it’s been a year since my college graduation and FIVE years since I was a freshman, exploring and orienting myself around that amazing little city. A city with a wonderful, wonderful food scene. New restaurants were popping up on the narrow historic downtown streets every other day it seemed, having to compete in a food culture that demanded unqiue, eclectic, quality eats. And the day I saw the new Patat Spot Friet & Falafel pop up on one of the streets that ran right through campus, I was psyched. This girl is a falafel lover.

Plus this wasn’t just any order of falafel – you could get it grilled or fried, in a pita or on a bed of greens, and then head over to the ‘Garden Spot’ and fill your plate with over 20 toppings ranging from pickled beets to baba ganoush to tabouli. I surely did my best to keep them in business.

falafel

Anyway, just reminiscing about how great I had it back in the day. Now I have to make it all myself and provide all the toppings?! Ugh. Fortunately, making falafel is pretty simple and the finished product is so worth it. I’ve probably used a different falafel recipe every time and this combination of ingredients definitely makes for the best, as does soaking and cooking my own garbanzo beans. Much better texture and easier on the digestion. I also wanted to experiment with baking vs. pan frying — both turned out equally delicious. When the time came to serve, the only form of bread in my house was corn tortillas so… I made do with a falafel taco. Not bad! If you’ve got pita, by all means use it or serve over a bed of spinach or romaine with a 20+ topping salad bar, ideally ;)

February 19, 2012

Roasted sweet potato + black bean salad

A little sweet, a little zesty, a whole lot of nutrients.

This salad is good.

And good for you.

….There’s not much else to say.

But really, I could eat roasted sweet potatoes by the bucketful, and when you toss them with some black beans, red onion, cilantro, pepitas, and a zesty lime dressing, you get a hearty and healthy salad 13 notches above those plain roasted taters. Is that even possible? I’d say yes, but you’ll have to try it out and let your own taste buds decide.

I made this for the C of C Clean Eats potluck, a newly formed club at our school based on the Slow Food Charleston Chapter.

“Slow food aims to be everything fast food is not.”

The movement supports food and farming policy that is good for the public, good for the planet, and good for farmers and workers. We were asked to bring a dish made with local ingredients if possible, and to write the recipe down so we can compile a “Clean Eats Cookbook”! We had a delicious and nutritious variety of foods to sample, like roasted brussels sprouts with cherries and walnuts, local shrimp and avocado salad, and sweet potatoes with a yummy cinnamon yogurt sauce. It was great to get together with others who share the passion for good, clean eating, and to brainstorm events to get the campus community aware and involved in this movement.

So here’s my contribution, which I found much too tasty not to include on this blog!

Roasted sweet potato + black bean salad, inspired by this

  • 2 or 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled + cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, or 1 can drained + rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss cubed sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt + cumin and spread on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, flip/toss with metal spatula, and roast 10-15 minutes more, until tender and edges begin to brown. Add warm potatoes to a bowl with beans, onion, and chopped cilantro. Toss with zesty lime dressing (below) and top with toasted pumpkin seeds (toast in a dry skillet for 3-5 minutes) and salty cheese like feta or cotija if desired.

Lime dressing:

  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • dash of sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t agave nectar

Combine all ingredients in a blender and toss gently with salad. You probably won’t need all of the dressing. Serve this salad as a side dish or over a bed of greens for a nutritious meal!

November 5, 2011

healthy comfort meals for fall

This fall weather has me craving warm, comforting dishes, as you saw when I posted this kale sauté. Trying out new dishes only has me craving more, so I wanted to share a few ideas I’ve tried for quick, warm meals. I made polenta for the first time about a week ago and have fallen in love. It’s so comforting and tastes great with everything! Just add some cooked veggies or top with stew or chili for a wonderful cozy meal…..

The basic polenta recipe I’ve been using and find to work well is this:

½ cup polenta / yellow corn grits

2 cups vegetable broth

¼ t salt

1 T olive oil

Bring vegetable broth and salt to a boil in a pot. Add oil. Lower heat to simmer. Add the polenta in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly with a whisk. Whisk for about 5 minutes, until polenta is thickened. Keeping heat low, cover and let cook for 20 more minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

*I halved the recipe I found, so feel free to use 1 cup polenta and double the other ingredients for a larger batch.

Now you’ve got soft, creamy polenta to use as a base for anything! The vegetable broth is definitely what makes it so flavorful. I have yet to let the polenta firm up and bake or sauté it, but I can imagine it’s just as yummy.

Here (above) I had a hearty brunch of polenta, eggs scrambled with peppers, onions and kale, pico de gallo and feta cheese. I know it’s hard to see the polenta with all the yummy stuff on top!

And here I made a super simple lentil chili which I served over leftover polenta. I used this WholeFoods recipe for the chili and added some leafy kale.

August 2, 2011

Garbanzo Bean Salad + Mexican Mango Dressing

Talk about summery! The dressing is like a tropical smoothie smothering all those crisp veggies :]

This recipe is from My New Roots. Check it out – I love her photo of the salad.

-micha

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