Romantical Meal Series Post 1 – Kale Salad

Valentine’s Day was last month and Rob and I decided that our gift this year would be homemade.  In true cook form I decided making a big, romantic meal was my best bet.  I’m going to do a series of three posts to chronicle what I made for him.  I’ll start with this yummy kale salad.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the Feb/Mar 2014 Taste of Home Magazine, as is the rest of the meal.

10 cups sliced kale (about 1 bunch)

1 medium apple, thinly sliced

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup pepitas

Place kale in a large bowl.  With clean hands, massage kale until leaves become soft and darkened, about 2-3 minutes; stir in apple.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until blended.  Drizzle over salad, toss to coat.  Sprinkle with pepitas.

Pale Kale salad

First off I must apologize for the quality of the picture.  I was running around trying to get the meal put together before Rob got to my place so pictures were taken haphazardly.  Second, wow who knew what a difference massaging kale makes!!  It as the first thing Rob commented on.  The kale was soft and easy to eat.  I will be massaging my kale from here on out!  Stay tuned for post number 2 on our Valentine’s day meal.  Happy cooking!

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Happy New Year! Detox time…Green Sushi Salad

Hi friends!  I’m back at it!  After my job change, a crazy move across LA and the holidays I’m finally ready to start cooking again. I’ve been cooking just not COOKING.  Nothing exciting at least.  I’m all settled in now and I have the time, so the blog is back in action!  I decided to start 2014 with a guided green detox from my favorite Hungry for Change book.  It’s a three day thing and then after that I’m doing Paleo for 30 days.  I’m making the commitment.  I posted my detox  breakfast smoothie on my Facebook page so if you’re interested, check it out there.  This salad is what I had for lunch all three days of the detox.  It’s surprisingly delicious!

For the Dressing:

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tbsp tamari

Juice of 1 lemon

For the Salad:

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 large cucumber,  halved and chopped

1 carrot, grated

Handful of alfalfa sprouts

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 nori sheet, cut roughly with scissors into bite-sized strips

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Avocados on cutting boardTo prepare the dressing, take the ginger gratings and squeeze them between fingers, making your hand a fist, into a small jar. Discard the pulp.  Add the tamari and the lemon juice to the ginger juice.  Close the lid and shake.

To prepare the salad, mix the avocado, cucumbers, carrot, sprouts, parsley, and strips of nori in a bowl and toss with the salad dressing.  Sprinkle the seeds over the top to garnish.

green sushi saladThis is a surprisingly hearty salad.  It takes a while to eat because there’s so much to chew but it will keep you feeling full!  Stay tuned for the dinner installment in a day or two and the results of the detox!  Happy cooking!

Salad of the Summer – Arugula Salad with Berry Dressing

I have my go-to salad that I rework every once in a while with different fruit and vinegars but its basically the same.  I decided to do something a little different for Memorial Day and found this recipe on tasteofhome.com.  I reworked it so it complied with real food guidelines 🙂  It turned out really delicious.

1 cup halved strawberries, divided

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon raw honey

Dash salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

4 cups fresh arugula

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup grated jicama

IMG_1796For the dressing, place 1/4 cup strawberries, vinegar, oil, honey and salt in a blender; cover and process until smooth.

Divide the arugula between 4 salad bowls, top each with blackberries, blueberries, jicama, remaining strawberries, and pistachios.  Drizzle with dressing.

IMG_1801This might be my favorite salad ever made.  I love fruit in salads and this one is so easy.  Enjoy!  Happy cooking!

 

 

And she’s back! – Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli with Chunky Avocado Salad

I have to apologize to you all, I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while.  I recently quit my job and took a new one which is great except that I’m now commuting 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day to and from it.  I’m also still trying to finish my MBA.  Needless to say, this cuts into my cooking and blogging time!  So the frequency at which I post will likely be less but I will still be sharing good real food recipes that I find as often as I can!  This dish makes is really great to take to work for lunch.

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Half a head of broccoli, cut into florets

Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets

4 ripe avocados

2 small carrots, sliced into coins

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 teaspoons chili powder

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

Unrefined sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

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Place the broccoli and cauliflower into a steamer basket and steam over boiling water until just fork tender.  Remove from the steamer basket and arrange on plates.  Place the avocados into a bowl and gently toss with the carrot, cabbage, garlic, parsley, hemp seeds, chili powder, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Divide the mixture between the plates, placing alongside the broccoli and cauliflower.

IMG_1778I found this recipe in my favorite Hungry For Change cookbook.  It’s a good one!  Happy cooking!

 

The Perfect Party Salad – Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula Salad

My next couple of posts will feature dishes that I served for Rob and my Valentine’s Day dinner.  We stayed in and cooked since restaurants on Valentine’s day are just ridiculous.  This salad would work great for any party or summer BBQ.

2 pints red or yellow cherry tomatoes

Olive oil for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Leaves from 6 thyme sprigs

1 bag (10 oz) washed arugula

3 Belgian endives, thickly sliced

DRESSING

1/2 shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spread the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, and thyme; toss gently to coat.

Roast the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until almost bursting.  Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the tomatoes are roasting, prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the shallot, mustard, and lemon juice, and add a little salt and pepper.  Whisk in the olive oil in a steady slow stream.

In a salad bowl, combine the arugula, endives and roasted tomatoes.  Add the dressing and toss gently.  If you’re a cheese person (neither Rob nor I can eat it) add 6 oz of Gorgonzola or another blue cheese at this step.

IMG_1639I will admit that I didn’t prep for this dinner the way I should have and I had to cook the tomatoes for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  It still turned out good but I’m curious what it would be like if I had done it the way it was supposed to be done!  I’ll probably try this salad again with spinach to see how it goes.  Happy cooking!