Pan-Fried Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage Salad

Pan-Fried Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage Salad

Pan-fried gnocchi and chicken sausage salad is just as good as it sounds! With roasted red peppers, arugula and quick pickled shallots, it’s packed with flavor! Even better? It’s made in less than 30 minutes, so you can enjoy this substantial salad any night of the week!

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Spring Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Za'atar Croutons

Spring Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Za'atar Croutons

This spring Caesar salad is packed with seasonal produce like sauteed asparagus, crispy cucumbers and peppery radish mixed with arugula! Crunchy roasted chickpeas and za’atar seasoned croutons balance out the meal with protein and carbohydrate. One of those salads that will be on repeat all season!

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Citrus and Arugula Salad with Fennel and Marcona Almonds

Citrus and Arugula Salad with Fennel and Marcona Almonds

This citrus arugula salad with fennel and marcona almonds is a simple, seasonal salad for winter, perfect as a side dish or for topping with grilled shrimp or roasted fish as a main. It's packed with Mediterranean flavors from crunchy marcona almonds, fennel and kalamata olives. You'll love the simple sherry vinaigrette! 

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Mediterranean Cobb Salad

For a twist on the traditional Cobb salad, try this Mediterranean Cobb salad with roasted asparagus, roasted red peppers and crispy chickpea croutons! 

Time for another round of Recipe Redux! This month's theme:

Limping Along for Lunch

Do you ever find yourself in a lunchtime rut? I quickly get bored of eating the same thing again and again. Packing leftovers from dinner for the next day's lunch has been my method for preventing lunchtime boredom for years! It works well for us since most recipes serve four,  there's always enough for our lunch.

Last month the hubs got a promotion that means a lot more travel the leftovers routine that I had down pat. If it's just me, I don't want to cook something and eat it for lunch and dinner, two days straight

For lunch, as stereotypical as it is, I love salads. They're bright, refreshing and don't leave me feeling groggy when I've got a ton to do the rest of the afternoon. But I also like tasty salads - no boring 'berg lettuce with ranch and cheese!

Last week I tried something new and planned a 'fancy' lunch salad then used some of the ingredients in making dinner the rest of the week. It was basically the reverse of my usual plan of using leftovers for lunch! This Mediterranean Cobb salad topped with roasted red peppers, crispy chickpeas, hard boiled eggs and roasted asparagus is what I came up with.

Here's how I extended my salad to dinner:

Asparagus: Roasted up two bunches and used the rest as a side dish with lemon and garlic chicken kebabs, roasted carrots and skillet potatoes.

Hard boiled eggs: One of my favorite snacks! I sliced them up over rye crispbreads with spicy mustard (one of my clients turned me onto this mustard and it's my favorite!)

Crispy Chickpeas: Roasted 2 cans and enjoyed the rest as a crunchy, salty snack!

Dressing: Leftover dressing is great drizzled over roasted vegetables for bright flavor, or over a side salad at dinner. I had this drizzled on roasted broccoli and it was heaven!

Here's some more ideas with some of my favorite salads:

Asian Tempeh Quinoa Salad with Wild Greens // Make extra tempeh-quinoa salad to serve with brown rice crackers as a snack.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Tempeh Bacon // Make an extra batch of tempeh bacon to scramble with eggs in the morning, or stuff into a vegan quesadilla with refried beans and guacamole. Use extra lemon dressing over roasted or sauteed veggies.

Black Rice Salad with Crispy Kale and Coconut // Make extra black rice for fried black rice with bok choy. Double the amount of dressing and use the other half to marinade chicken or tofu.

Roasted Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Soy-Miso Dressing // Double the batch of quinoa and use the rest to make a grain bowl or quinoa tahini bars. Make extra ginger orange carrots and swap for the plain carrots in my creamy carrot coconut soup! The dressing is also great over roasted salmon or a simple bowl of brown rice, roasted broccoli and chickpeas. 

One note, there are anchovies in this dressing but PLEASE don't let it deter you! I've got a recipe in the que that will talk all about anchovy goodness, but until then, please give this a try! Know that they're a totally sustainable and delicious source of omega 3s that also packs a nutty, briny flavor into dishes. You can try it in my roasted cauliflower pasta with browned butter (and secret anchovy) sauce ;)

Mediterranean Cobb Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salad: 

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 8 cups arugula

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 3 anchovy filets, very finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss chickpeas with 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper, Roast for 20 minutes, toss with a spatula, continue roasting 15 minutes more until crunchy and toasted.
  3. Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on another baking sheet and roasted under the chickpeas for 10-20 minutes until browned and tender. Thinner asparagus will cook faster and thicker will take longer.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Mix all dressing ingredients together and whisk until combined. Season with pepper (it'll have enough salt from the anchovy)
  5. If serving individually, divide arugula between plates then divide chopped asparagus, chickpea croutons, halved hard boiled eggs, walnuts, and red onion down in lines.

Savory Oatmeal with Sautéed Mushrooms, Arugula and Fried Egg

Hopping on the savory oatmeal trend with this bowl of oats topped with sauteed mushrooms, arugula and a fried egg! 

While talking breakfast with one of my clients a few months back, she mentioned that she ate her oatmeal with a pat of butter and a drizzle of sriracha. Lightbulbs went off and I suddenly realized savory oatmeal was the one thing that was missing from my life.

I adore oats for breakfast, hence the multiple incarnations on this blog. It's filling, tasty and nutritious. But in the morning, I tend to gravitate towards savory over sweet.

Apparently my client is a trendsetter because all of a sudden, my inbox was inundated with recipes for savory oatmeal! And now I'm hopping on the savory oatmeal bandwagon with this version topped with sautéed mushrooms, olive oil drizzled oatmeal and fried egg!

Consider this a canvas for all your savory desires! Try these other savory oatmeal toppings:

ASIAN // Scallions + soy sauce + sriracha + egg fried in sesame oil + sesame seeds

SIMPLE // Sharp cheddar + olive oil + sea salt and cracked black pepper + toasted almonds

GREEN // Sliced avocado + sauteed kale or spinach + olive oil + lemon juice + salt and freshly cracked black pepper + chia seeds

CARNIVOROUS // Spicy chicken sausage + peppers + onions

FALL // Sauteed mushrooms + caramelized onions + goat cheese

SPRING // Roasted asparagus + oven roasted tomatoes + poached egg + dill


Savory Oatmeal with Sautéed Mushrooms, Arugula and Fried Egg

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers

Toppings:

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Arugula
  • Eggs
  • Nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • Flaky salt (or truffle salt) and cracked black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Bring water and almond milk to a boil on medium-high heat in a medium pot. Stir in oats and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until oats are tender and oatmeal is thickened. Season with a pinch of salt and stir in bell peppers.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, a pinch of salt and black pepper and saute until liquids are released and absorbed, about 8 minutes total. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Heat a little more olive oil in a skillet and fry eggs as desired.
  4. Divide oatmeal between bowls. Top with a sprinkle of nutrition yeast, sauteed mushrooms, fried egg, a handful of arugula. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

For those who aren't quite ready to hop on the savory oatmeal bandwagon:

Chai Oatmeal with Sauteed Pears
Chai Oatmeal with Sauteed Pears
Healthy Fruit and Cream Oatmeal
Healthy Fruit and Cream Oatmeal
Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Coconut Steel Cut Oats with Dark Chocolate and Almonds

Beet, Radish and Avocado Salad

This beet, radish and avocado salad is a simple and colorful side salad for entertaining! Add chickpeas or tuna in olive oil to make a main dish. 

Guys, I promise I'm not sharing this recipe the day after Thanksgiving because I think you need to have a salad. Seriously, go have some stuffing for breakfast! If I was home with a fridge full of leftovers, that's what I'd be doing before spending the day making turkey soup!

I made this salad last week for cookbook club and thought it was too easy and tasty not to share. Have you ever heard of a cookbook club? The premise is so fun, I don't know why the trend died back in the day.

A friend of mine decided to start a one after reading this article. The premise is simple - pick a cookbook, the host makes the main and the other attendees make the appetizers, cocktails and sides.

What's great is that for the time it takes to prepare one dish, you get to try as many dishes as there are attendees. Perfect for those cookbooks where you want to try everything in it. Plus, since it all comes from the same cookbook, everything pairs well together.

For our first cookbook club, we chose Clean Slate. Kind of a perfect choice the week before Thanksgiving. It's a cookbook I already own and cook from pretty regularly, so I was excited when all the dishes at the party were ones I hadn't tried before. Some of the highlights were spinach pie, a sweet potato, farro and dill salad, and chicken paillards with squash and spinach, and the yummiest chocolate bark.

 

Beet, Radish and Avocado Salad

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 7 ounces arugula
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beets loosely in aluminum foil and place in the hot oven. Roast 45-60 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove from oven and set aside to cool in the foil. Once cool enough to handle, rub the skin off the beets and discard. Thinly slice.
  3. Divide arugula evenly between salad plates. Top with beet slices, radish, avocado, and goat cheese. Whisk vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.

More colorful salads for entertaining: 

Dark Cherry and Crispy Proscuitto Salad
Dark Cherry and Crispy Proscuitto Salad
Balsamic Roasted Peach and Fig Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
Balsamic Roasted Peach and Fig Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
Citrus and Arugula Salad with Fennel
Citrus and Arugula Salad with Fennel

Roasted Tomato and Cannellini Bean Salad

With the addition of roasted tomatoes, pesto and olives, this simple white bean salad tastes anything but basic. Perfect for batch cooking as a grab and go lunch or snack!

My heart always breaks a little when I meet a picky eater. If only they knew all the amazing eating experiences they're missing out on! When I meet a picky eater, I can't help but inquire into where their picky eating stems from. Being a dietitian, I want to understand so I can better help my clients. Also, I'm nosy.

Usually it stems from parents. I hate to add to the parent guilt, but it's true. Either parents forced them to eat something against their will, never exposed them to it, or prepared it regularly and horribly. Or, in a case of familial food phobia, they themselves were fearful of the food and their children picked up on that fear.

Luckily for me, my parents were pretty adventurous eaters and passed only one food phobia down to me. Tomatoes. For the longest time, I refused to touch tomatoes because growning up, my mom refused to touch raw tomatoes. To this day, she will panic as if there was a bloody fingernail or used needle on her salad if a poor chef unknowingly missed the "NO TOMATOES" message from her server. I thought we had made some progress last week when she sent me a picture of beautiful hued tomatoes from Union Sqare Farmer's Market, but when I asked if she was tempted to try them, she replied matter of factly, "no." Well, okay then.

As a child, I'd eat tomato sauce and even sun dried tomatoes, but if it still looked anythihng like it's raw tomato source, NOPE. That included roasted or sauteed tomatoes, because you could still see the seeds, or as I called it, the snot.

If you read my blog now, you now I proudly eat raw tomatoes and actively seek the best farmer's market tomatoes each summer. My gateway tomato? Roasted cherry tomatoes, introduced to me by a Mediterreanean bean salad, similar to the one I'm sharing today. These tomatoes were sweet, juicy, caramelized and bursting with flavor, not bland, mealy and...snotty. I liked them. A lot.

Now that I am a dietitian and know all the nutritional fabulousness of tomatoes, I'm incredibly happy that I was able to work past my food fear and make tomatoes a regular on my plate.

Head on over to the Healthy Aperture blog to learn what those tomato-haters are missing out on and get the recipe for my roasted tomato and cannelini bean salad!

Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing

Break out the Birkenstocks for this hippie salad! Topped with sprouted amaranth, red cabbage, pumpkin seeds and a creamy lemon-tahini dressing, this is a salad that would make any flower child proud! 

Today, I bring you the most hippie salad I've ever made. In full disclosure, no, Birkenstock is not sponsoring this post.

Mostly raw, vegan, and gluten free, this is the salad any kombucha guzzling, hybrid driving, obsessively recycling, yoga enthusiast would dream of.....I think I just described myself.

Alas, this salad is so flavorful and satisfying with it's citrusy and spicy tahini dressing, fluffy sprouts and crunchy veggies that you'll soon forget all that and just enjoy it.

The idea of this salad prompted my first experiment with DIY sprouted grains. Sprouted grains are a regular at our house in the form of Ezekiel bread, but I had yet to make them myself. I was initially intimidated, but then I realized I've already tackled ricotta, goat cheese, pizza crust, beer and yogurt, so might as well jump head first into the world of sprouting grains!

Why sprout grains in the first place. Essentially, sprouting mimics the process of a seeds germination into a plant. This greatly increases nutrient bioavailability, mainly by breaking down a compound called phytic acid. Soaking and sprouting does this by increasing the activity of phytase, the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid. This is important for anyone who follows a plant based diet as phytic acid binds to minerals that tend to be lacking in a plant based diet, namely zinc, iron, calcium and B vitamins. You can do the same with beans and nuts, which also contain phytic acid.

The process is so simple, I really don't know why I didn't start sprouting earlier. Basically, all you do is soak, rinse, then let it sprout for a few days in a clean mason jar covered with cheesecloth or a sprouting lid. Check out this fantastic how-to article on Nutrition Stripped for more in depth information and a helpful chart on sprouting times. And if you really want to get into it, check out The Everything Sprouted Grains Book.

From a culinary standpoint, sprouted grains are a lot of fun to experiment. They have a lighter, fluffier texture than cooked whole grains, which works well tossed into a salad or in a sandwich. You can also grind the sprouted whole grain into flour and bake with it. Sprouted grains can even be used to make cereal or granola. I just used sprouted quinoa to make my quinoa almond energy bites!

Do be careful though as sprouted grains are at risk for food borne illness. Keep your kitchen and hands clean as well as your sprouting equipment. After sprouting, make sure you store the grains in the fridge and consume within 4 days.

Now, go throw on your Jefferson Airplane vinyl, light some incense, and make this salad!

p.s. Are you in Atlanta this weekend? Come meet me at Pure Barre in the Park, sponsored by the Virginia Highlands Pure Barre. The class is sold out, but I'll be there from 8-11 at my booth and would love it if you could drop by and say hello! We'll be in Piedmont Park across from the Nook. Hope to see you there!

Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing

Serves 4

Feel free to use any sprouted grain you like, but I chose amaranth, simply because I had a lot on hand and it seemed like a good beginners grain with it's shorter sprouting time. Inspired by Martha Stewart Meatless

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1/2 small head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouted grain, like amaranth, quinoa, millet or wild rice

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2-4 tablespoons water (optional, to thin)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Set a steamer basket over a medium pot filled with an inch or so of simmering water. Place broccoli florets in the basket, cover, and steam for 5 minutes until tender, but with bite. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the broccoli is cooling, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest, oil, garlic, honey and spices. Whisk in water until smooth. Season with sea salt to taste. Set aside.
  3. In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula, red cabbage, red onion and broccoli. Top with pumpkin seeds and sprouted grain. Divide salad among plates, drizzle with dressing and serve.

My Two Favorite Salads with Seasonal Asparagus

My Two Favorite Salads with Seasonal Asparagus

Celebrate asparagus season with my two favorite salads featuring fresh from the farmer's market asparagus! First up, mixed greens topped with roasted asparagus, prosciutto and goat cheese. Next, a tapas inspired salad with grilled asparagus and chickpeas in a smoky paprika dressing with oil-packed tuna. 

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