Cam’s Vegan Quinoa Salad (DF, GF)

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Cameron is brilliant with a grain salad. He makes one almost every week for a quick plant based lunch. I’ve been craving quinoa and this salad is crazy good - so different than anything I’d make or think of. It’s gluten free, too. 

It’s good served warm or cold.  

Serves 4.  

Cam’s Quinoa Salad 

1 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)  

juice of one lemon  

1 apple, cored, diced (try Fuji or Gala)

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon maple syrup  

3/4 cup pecans, raw and toasted or roasted 

1 14oz tin black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil  

1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil

s + p, to taste  

In a medium sauce pan, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce to low and cook about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, toss apples and shallot in lemon juice and pinch of salt. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add maple syrup. Add cooked quinoa, pecans, black beans and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil, sesame oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper. 

Lazy Vietnamese Cold Noodle Salad (GF, DF)

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Hello there! Wow. I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post! We're almost in a new season. It's mostly just been a combination of laziness and writer's block but it's all over - I'm full of ideas again. 

In other news, I am not vegan. Blood tests and a general feeling of 'meh' showed that it was not the right diet for me. I loved it at first but after a three months I just started to feel terrible. Meat and veggies are the way to go for me, That said, the husband is still enjoying a vegetarian lifestyle so there will still be many recipes on here for you lovely, brave vegan people. (Just not today.)

This cold noodle salad is refreshing. I usually like a big bowl of hot, soupy something in the colder months but this just sounded right. I call it lazy because I looked at many a Vietnamese noodle salad recipe online with long lists of ingredients or instructions. (No thank you - I just want a salad.) This is bare minimum effort but still has a sweet, sour, umami sauce and soft chewy noodle, crunchy fresh vegetable contrast of texture.  

Vegetarians, if you are okay with fish sauce, then sub out the chicken with a brown tofu. If making with chicken, use any type of cooked chicken - grilled leftovers, rotisserie, whatever you may have. Follow the directions on your noodle package. It will probably say to cover dry noodles with boiling water, let sit for 3 minutes, drain and rinse. 

*Note: my lettuce was not photo ready so it's not featured in the above image. 

Serves 4.

Cold Vietnamese Noodle Salad

for the sauce

1/3 c fish sauce

2/3 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons raw or brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, microplaned or finely grated

1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes

for the salad

about 200 grams (4 servings) vermicelli rice noodles, cooked to package directions

4 cups chopped lettuce

2 carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks

1 bell pepper, stemmed, cut into matchsticks

1 seedless cucumber, peeled, cut into matchsticks

2 cups cooked chicken, in bitesized pieces (12oz brown tofu) 

1/2 cup crushed peanuts

In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and chile flakes until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. 

Build individual bowls by tossing noodles, lettuce, carrots, pepper, cucumber, chicken and cooked peanuts with a bit of sauce.

Pesto Portobello Salads (GF, DF, Vegetarian, Vegan)

I'm obsessed with Sweetgreen. First, it was the Wild Child Salad, now it's this Pesto Portobello Bowl. It's a warm bowl with quinoa, chickpeas, arugula, mushrooms, roasted broccoli tossed in a basil vinaigrette. I've done my best to replicate it. I hope you enjoy this copycat version. 

Grains and beans?  Are you wondering where the hell my Paleo and AIP recipes have gone? Don't worry, they're still my primary ways of eating. My functional doctor said small amounts of organic quinoa is ok and I have successfully added beans back into my diet. 

This is a great one to take to work. It gives you lots of clean energy to get you through the day. It's a complete protein with the quinoa and chickpeas - no meat needed here! This is good cold or warm but I prefer it warm. Here's a tip to how to pack this thing if you agree: in a quart sized container/jar, start with dressing at the bottom. Then mushrooms, broccoli, chickpeas, quinoa. In a separate container, pack your arugula. When you're ready to eat: heat everything but your greens. Toss everything together in a nice big bowl. 

This salad is all about the different components. All these components get prepared separately so to make things easier, I've broken it down into what you need to make. 

Makes about 5 salads. 

Pesto Portobello Salad Bowls

 

1.

Make Pesto Vinaigrette: Blend 1 bunch basil leaves, 1/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 clove garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt until very smooth.  

2.

Cook the Quinoa. In a small saucepan add 1 cup dry red or white quinoa and 2 cups water. Cover. Boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until soft. 

3.

Cook Broccoli and Mushrooms: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop and peel 3 stalks broccoli. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Arrange on half sheet tray. Roast 30 minutes. 

Toss 10 oz sliced mini portobello mushrooms with 2 grated cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast 15 minutes. 

4.

The Chickpeas: Stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Add 1 14oz tin chickpeas(drained and rinsed), stir to coat. Cook in microwave or on stovetop until warm. 

5.

Assemble salad bowls. Toss spoonfuls of cooked quinoa, roasted broccoli, mushrooms, warm chickpeas with a bit of pesto dressing and a large handful of arugula

Baked Falafel Salad + Tahini Cucumber Dressing (GF, DF)

After a week of pondering a new salad, I came up with this one.  I've probably mentioned this but every sunday Cameron and I do a big round of batch cooking, making everything we're going to eat for the week.  Always it's at least a big salad, homemade dressing, a soup, curried cauliflower and a breakfast option.

I have about 5 salads that I rotate through but really wanted to add a new one.  I'm pretty excited about this one.  It's a clean, healthy, vegetable filled salad with falafel.  The falafel are baked but still crispy outside with a creamy, flavorful middle.  The dressing is adapted from Detoxinista and I think I would eat pretty much anything with this dressing on it.  There's a lot of flavor in this salad bowl - I hope you enjoy!

About 6 servings. 

Baked Falafel Salad

for the falafel

2 tins chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1 1/4 cup diced red onion

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

for the tahini dressing

1 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

1 clove garlic

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coarse salt

for the salad

spinach leaves

shredded cabbage

shredded carrots

olives

chopped parsley and cilantro leaves

pickled red onion 

sliced cucumber

Falafels: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place a baking tray on the middle rack. 

Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S blade.  Pulse until it smoother but still chunky.  It should look like minced onions and chickpeas held together with hummus.  

Remove hot tray from oven and brush liberally with a high heat oil.  Use a tablespoon to portion falafels.  Form thin, patties.  You want more surface area.  This results in a crispier falafel.

Bake 20 minutes.  Carefully flip patties.  They should be browned on the bottom before flipping.  If they come apart, press them back together.  Back another 20-30 minutes or until both sides are browned.  Remove from oven and cool.  

Tahini Dressing: Blend cucumber, tahini, water, garlic, lemon, cumin and salt in a blender until smooth.  

Assemble salads with spinach, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, olives, pickled onions, chopped herbs, falafel patties and dressing.       

Turkey Taco Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Whew.  Just got done cooking all the things for this one but let me tell you it was worth the time!  I've missed taco bowls.  Mostly because I just didn't know what to put in them.  You know, because a big part of bowls is the grain part.  

I had some leftover shredded cabbage from last week's Crunchy Thai Salad that I chopped up, gave a quick saute, tossed with fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro and salt.  This I used as the grain for the taco bowl.  I have to say I much prefer the taste of this cabbage rice to cauliflower rice.  I used two different colors but that's optional.  

This recipe has a lot of parts: the cabbage rice, zucchini salsa, turmeric carrots, roasted red onion, chopped romaine, sliced olives and the seasoned ground turkey.  Luckily, everything is easy.  I'm used to a few hours of batch cooking every Sunday, and if you're on AIP then you probably are too. 

Makes about 5 servings.  (For the work week lunch!)

Turkey Taco Bowls

for the cabbage rice

1 tablespoon  cooking oil 

small head of green or red cabbage, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/3 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves (less is ok.  we love cilantro.)

s + p

for the turmeric carrots

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

4 carrots, peeled, round slices

for the roasted red onion

1-2 red onions, thinly sliced

splash olive oil

s + p

for the turkey

1 pound ground turkey 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

splash cooking oil

additional toppings

1 tin pitted black olives, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

avocado slices

one zucchini salsa recipe

Ready?

To make the Cabbage Rice: Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and once hot, saute cabbage until tender - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

To make the carrots and onion: Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix turmeric and oil together and toss with carrot slices.  Arrange on   one side of a half sheet tray.  Arrange onion slices on other end of sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to oven and roast 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover.  (A sheet of foil works well here.) 

To make the turkey: Combine salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, fenugreek, pepper and cinnamon.  Season turkey meat with spice mixture.  Heat a large oiled skillet over medium heat.  Cook turkey.  

Assemble the bowl:  Spoon cabbage rice into bowl as a base.  Add carrots, onions, turkey, olives, lettuce and avocado slices.  Serve with zucchini salsa.  

Crunchy Thai Salad + Peanut Dressing (GF, DF)

It's that time of year!  Salad time!  How great was it to indulge during the holiday season?  I LOVED it but it's time to get back to healthier, more sustainable ways.  Like everyone else, I'm back to the gym and eating right.  I had a satisfyingly long day of batch cooking this past Sunday, making lots of yummy and healthy things.  Like vegetables!  You remember vegetables. 

I also made an especially good peanut dressing. 

There's going to be a lot of leftover cabbage.  I shredded one red and one green head of cabbage and stuffed half into a gallon sized freezer bag, pushed all the air out of it, sealed, labeled and threw it in the freezer for another time.  Cam and I like to make a quick stir fry midweek with ground turkey, shredded cabbage and a simple sauce.  

Serves 6. 

Crunchy Thai Salad + Peanut Dressing

for the dressing

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

juice of one lime

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

for the salad

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 head red cabbage, shredded

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

4 carrots, peeled, shredded

5 scallions, green parts, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

To make the dressing: heat tamari, peanut butter, water, brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and vinegar in a small pot and whisk until smooth and sugar has dissolved.  Cool.  

Compose salad and serve with dressing. 

Thai Noodle Salad

Crunchy romaine and veggies contrasted with soft rice noodles dressed in a thai lime dressing. Sweet, sour, tangy and a pinch spicy.  So much flavor. I think this would be great for lunch on a hot day. 

Serves 4.

Thai Noodle Salad + Lime Dressing

for the dressing

1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

2-3 teaspoons minced fresno chile

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon tamari

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated ginger

s + p, to taste

for the salad

3 oz super thin rice noodles (vermicelli)

1 cucumber, julienned

2 carrots, peeled, julienned

1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, julienned

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts

chopped fresh cilantro (or mint or thai basil)

Whisk together lime juice, chile, fish sauce, tamari, brown sugar and ginger.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Turn off heat and add rice noodles.  Let sit about 8 minutes, noodles will be softened.  Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. 

Divide noodles, cucumber, carrots and bell pepper into 4 bowls.  Spoon over lime dressing as desired and garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh herbs.  

 

 

 

 

 

Antipasto Salad

Perfect for lunch!  It's always easy to fit a salad into your day when said salad has ham on it.  I prep everything sunday night and toss ingredients together when ready to eat or pack up for lunch.  

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Antipasto Salad

1 head red lettuce, washed, chopped

2 cups shredded red cabbage

2 carrots, peeled, grated

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 tin artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

1 tin pitted black olives, drained, chopped

7 oz black forest ham, chopped

4 oz grated cheese (I like asiago or jack)

1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

splash red wine vinegar

s + p

Toss lettuce, cabbage, carrots and celery.  Top with artichoke hearts, olives, ham, cheese, sunflower seeds.  Drizzle lightly with vinegar, season with salt and pepper.