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.

IMG_1775

 

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

IMG_1777

 

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

IMG_1635

 

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!

 

On a Quinoa Binge – Asian-Inspired Quinoa Salad

I liked the quinoa salad I made last week so much that I decided to make a different variation of it this week.  The first couple of steps are the same but I was smart this time and bought already sprouted quinoa so I’ll omit the directions on how to sprout quinoa.

IMG_1583

 

1 1/2 cups quinoa

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 cup wakame seaweed, soaked for 20 minutes, strained and rinsed

1 cup grated carrots

3/4 cup thinly slices zucchini rounds

1 red bell pepper, seeded and stemmed, cut into medium sized chunks

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

FOR THE DRESSING:

1 tablespoon minced ginger root

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Wheat-free tamari

IMG_1584

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pot, then pour in the quinoa and lower the heat.  Simmer covered for 12 to 15 minutes.  Around 5 minutes into cooking, add the turmeric to the water.  Once done cooking, turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes before emptying the quinoa into a bowl.

While the cooked quinoa is still warm, stir in the wakame, carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

To make the dressing, gently whisk all of the dressing ingredients until well incorporated.  Stir enough dressing into the quinoa mixture to evenly coat everything, then serve.

IMG_1586

 

I don’t think this one is as good as the one I made last week but it’s still quite tasty.  These photos are shown without the sesame seeds cause I forgot to add them until the last minute.  This is a great lunch salad and it’s veggie and super easy.  Happy cooking!