Use up your Thanksgiving leftovers witht his turkey and cornbread panzanella with a herby buttermilk dressing, collards and pickled okra!Read More
This curry salmon noodle bowl with mango is packed with fresh flavors! Drizzle with a soy-lime dressing for even more of a kick!
With intuitive eating, you're never done learning. I consider myself a fairly intuitive eater at this point, but I still have learning moments! Like last Thursday, for example.
It was a really crazy day with leading a lunch and learn at Colonial Life, a client session, our last meeting before launching Joyful Eating and an evening meeting for our Columbia dietetics association, where I'm serving as the education chair for the second year. Running around all day, I wasn't really hungry and ended up eating a late, light lunch. Going into my five pm meeting, I felt comfortable, probably a five on the hunger/fullness scale. I figured I'd be ready to whip up dinner as soon as I got home, but as the meeting ran late, my stomach started to growl, my head started to throb - I was famished.
After the meeting was over, I was way too hungry and tired to cook and decided to meet my husband and friends at our local soccer bar where they were planning to watch the Copa America game. I glanced over the menu, and even though I knew Thursday was curry night and they make seriously one of the best curries I've had, my famished stomach was yelling "YOU NEED THE BURGER WITH BACON AND FRIED EGG AND CHEESE AND AAAAAALLLL THE FRIES."
Three bites in and I had regrets. What my body was really craving was to feel energized after a long day and for fresh flavors with lots of spices. Not a greasy burger, which was already making my stomach hurt.
Years ago, I would have beaten myself up for it. Blamed willpower. Told myself I was a poor excuse for a dietitian. But instead, I filed the experience into my mental bank where it'll serve as a reminder to be prepared with snacks and reheat and eat meals on full days and that when I'm really physically hungry, any food will fill the empty hole in my stomach. And then I stared longingly with sad puppy dog eyes when my friend was served his delicious looking chicken and vegetable curry, being the mature adult that I am.
This curry salmon noodle bowl is super filling, energizing and packed with the same fresh flavors I was craving that night. If only I had the ingredients on hand that day to whip this up real fast!
Ever since our trip to Vietnam, I've been obsessed with noodle salads. I usually use rice noodles or cellophane noodles, which are very thin and have a nice chewy texture. Plus, they soak up all the delicious flavor from the dressing. Also, feel free to use different vegetables or protein if you like. Chicken, pork or baked tofu would go great here, and for vegetables, radish, peppers, snap peas and sprouts would all add a similar fresh crunch.
Curry Salmon Noodle Bowl with Mango and Soy-Lime Dressing
2 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 jalapeno, seeded, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/4 lb salmon filet
1/2 teaspoon Thai curry powder (or regular curry powder if you can't find it)
8 ounces cellophane or brown rice noodles
1 head butter lettuce, stemmed, chopped, rinsed and dried
1 large carrot, shredded
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
1 scallion, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
First make dressing. Whisk together sugar and warm water until dissolved. Whisk in jalapeno, sesame oil, soy sauce and lime juice. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat salmon filet dry with a paper towel, place on a baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with curry powder and season with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and roast until it flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Use scissors or shears to cut a few times into smaller strands.
Divide butter lettuce between four bowls. Break salmon into pieces. Divide carrot, cucumber, mango, avocado, scallion and cilantro between the four bowls. Sprinkle with cashews. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
More fresh flavors for summer:
Heat up the grill to make this halloumi salad with grilled tomato-scallion salsa and lemony pesto dressing!
Hope you guys had a lovely weekend and that if you're in my neck of the woods, that you found some respite from the 100 degree weather! I spent Friday night in Greenville celebrating one of my dear friend's 31st birthday. She had her second baby a couple months ago, so we enjoyed a laid back night at her house with low country boil, wine, and of course, birthday cake.
The next day a few of us hit up the downtown farmers market and snagged brunch at Nose Dive (avocado toast for me, obviously) before heading back to Columbia and spending the rest of the afternoon vegging out on the couch with The Mindy Project.
Being around my friends kids really made me think a lot about how children eat. Her oldest, Grayson, is three and he's a total trip. Like all three-year-olds, and well, humans in general, he likes sugary foods. We caught him sneaking his fingers into the birthday cake to get little bites of frosting, which totally cracked me up. And at the farmers market, there was a minor "I want a popsicle and I want it NOW" related tantrum.
But also, there was no guilt involved in his choices. He didn't feel guilty for eating frosting off the cake and end up eating half of it before promising to "start his diet next week." Actually, after having his few bites of frosting, I don't think he ended up even eating cake with us afterwards, satiated by dinner and his finger-fulls of frosting. And at brunch, he wasn't overstuffing himself on food simply because it was a splurge meal. He stopped when he was full, leaving half his meal on the plate rather than pushing past the point to stuffed.
We all start off as intuitive eaters. As children, we eat what we enjoy while paying mind to hunger and fullness signals. There's even evidence that children will choose food that supports their health when left alone. And most importantly, children eat with joy. The smile on Grayson's face as he sucked the frosting off his fingers was priceless.
But through the years, the intuitive eater is chipped away by dieting messages, well meaning parents and a food industry that pushes us to eat more and more. One of our goals in Joyful Eating, Nourished Life is to reconnect you with that childlike joy in eating. To be able to eat the foods you love and not feel bad about it. To be able to make decisions on what to eat based on what you enjoy and how it makes you feel. To stop eating when satiated, not stuffed to the point of sickness. To be able to stick your fingers in frosting and only feel guilty for messing up the decoration :)
Our first group starting June 20th is technically full, but we decided to open up 20 extra spots because we love you and so you can take advantage of our special price for the first group! Head to the website for more details and be sure to sign up soon since it'll be closed for new signups after Wednesday.
Now, on to todays recipe. In the summer, which lasts from April-October here in Columbia, I'm determined to make as much use of my grill as possible. So even salads get the grill treatment!
Have you ever tried halloumi cheese? It's also called squeaky cheese. When you bite into it, you'll know why - it makes a squeaky noise on your teeth! Halloumi is a Greek brined cheese with a high melting point, so it's great to use for grilling and frying, like in one of my favorite Greek dishes, saganaki.
The scallions and tomatoes get the grill treatment too, where they take on a smokier, more intense flavor. And no salad is complete without carbs. If you've been making yours sans carbs, that's probably a big reason why you're hangry by 3 pm. Trust me on this one. For this salad, I used sorghum, but feel free to use anything you have on hand - brown rice, barley, farro or couscous would all be tasty! To give it a flavor boost, I tossed the sorghum with a little homemade pesto I had stored in the freezer. I was a random blend I made to use my dill, parsley, mint and basil before going out of town a few weeks ago. Feel free to substitute storebought or make your own.
Halloumi Salad with Grilled Tomato Scallion Salsa
- 8 roma tomatoes
- 4 large scallions
- 10 ounces halloumi cheese
- 2 cups cooked whole grain (sorghum, couscous, farro or brown rice work great)
- 1/2 cup pesto, following recipe or store bought
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 8 cups arugula
- 4 cups any herb (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, chives, mint, etc)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- If making pesto, blend herbs, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill on medium-high heat. When hot, place tomatoes and scallions on the grill. Grill the scallions about 1 minute per side until grill marks form. Grill tomatoes about 1-2 minutes on all four sides until lightly charred. Remove scallions and tomatoes from grill and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, chop tomatoes into large chunks and slice scallions. Toss together and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the halloumi in half lengthwise. Place on the grill and cook 1-2 minutes per side until grill marks form. Remove from heat, set aside to cool, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Mix pesto with juice of 1 lemon. Toss 1/4 cup of the mixture with the cooked whole grain.
- Divide arugula between 4 plates. Top with scoop of whole grains, halloumi, tomato-scallion salsa and dollops of pesto for dressing.
More vegetarian recipes for the grill:
Celebrate #120DaysofSummer by dining al fresca with this recipe for grilled shrimp in pil-pil sauce, a garlic and chili infused olive oil. Pairs perfectly with Santa Rita sauvignon blanc.
Disclosure: Thanks to Santa Rita wine for sponsoring this post as part of their #120DaysofSummer campaign. As always, thanks for supporting the brands that make Avocado A Day Nutrition possible.
Five years ago when the hubs and I got engaged and we were just delving into wedding planning, I asked him what was important for him at our wedding.
He replied with two requests. "I want an 80s cover band, and I want to surprise you with our honeymoon destination at the wedding."
So, I turned over honeymoon planning to my fiance, the man who hadn't really traveled until we started dating and had never actually planned a trip before. Gulp.
When it was finally our wedding night, after the speeches, everyone gathered round to hear Scott announce our destination. Of course, he couldn't just come out and say it but had to taunt me with a lengthy speech filled with clues before announcing. The first clue - "After all the hard work Rachael has put into planning this wedding, I know she's going to need a drink. So the first few days of our honeymoon will be spent in what was named the best wine valley of the year."
Naturally, my mind jumped to visions of France and Italy and California. I was excited, but hoped to go somewhere more unique that I hadn't been before.
But my guesses were wrong. We were flying to Chile the next day!!! (<-- !!!!!!!!!!)
Chile was right near the top of my dream vacation list, but I had no clue it was such a famous wine producing region. We spent the first three days of our honeymoon touring it's most famous wine valleys - Colchagua, Casablanca and Maipo - sipping wine and enjoying really incredible food.
So when I started planning a recipe to pair with Santa Rita wine, one of the most well known brands and high quality brands from Chile, I knew I wanted to recreate one of the dishes we enjoyed on the trip. I immediately thought of an incredible meal we had in Santiago where we split woodfire oven baked goat cheese, spicy Chilean mashed potatoes and a giant clay bowl of tender hake cheeks in pil-pil (garlic) sauce. Instead of using hake cheeks (I don't think they sell that at Whole Foods), I swapped local shrimp, since shellfish is a natural pairing with their sauvignon blanc.
And wouldn't you know, when I looked back at my travel journal from the trip, as it turns out, we actually had a bottle of Santa Rita wine that night! How crazy is that? They were running a special promotion all over Chile that week promoting various Chilean wines by offering a bottle to take home with every bottle you ordered at restaurants. Umm, can we get something like that back in the States?
One thing we learned is that Chilean wines offer great quality for the dollar - something with taxes makes wines from Chile less expensive to buy Chilean wines in the States, so now Chilean wine is most of what we purchase!
Grilled Shrimp in Pil-Pil Sauce
- 1 lb shrimp, unpeeled
- 2 teaspoons grill seasoning
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup Santra Rita Sauvignon Blanc
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat
- Toss shrimp with grill seasoning and olive oil. Season with salt if the grill seasoning does not contain any. Let marinade 15 minutes.
- Skewer shrimp on wood or metal sticks. Grill shrimp a couple minutes per side until no longer pink. Remove from grill and set aside until ready to use.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and smoked paprika. Cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds. And wine and cook for 1 minute, then turn of heat. Stir in shrimp and combine with sauce, then serve.
Enjoy your fish taco in salad from with this fish taco salad with spicy mahi! Top chopped cabbage with mahi in a spicy rub, tons of crunchy veggies and a mango salsa! It's the perfect healthy summer meal for dining outside, and super quick and easy too!Read More
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.
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
- 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
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon
- 3 anchovy filets, very finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- If serving individually, divide arugula between plates then divide chopped asparagus, chickpea croutons, halved hard boiled eggs, walnuts, and red onion down in lines.
Have a tasty, protein packed salad on the table in less than 20 minutes with this Asian tempeh-quinoa salad with wild greens, made with a Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit as a shortcut!
Convenience food gets a bad rep. But with full lives that seem to pull us in five directions all at once, all of which are far from the kitchen, a little convenience is sometimes what we need!
That's why I'm excited to be partnering with Eat Smart to highlight their new Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits! These chef inspired salad kits are packed with the most nutritious dark greens like kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts and all the toppings you need to create a tasty gourmet salad. The flavor combinations are innovative and the dressings are really delicious (and this is coming from a HUGE dressing snob!).
Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits are such a huge timesaver. As is, they make a great side dish. Or if you want to bulk it up to make a main, just add your choice of protein or carb. It doesn't have to be anything time consuming - 90 second brown rice, chopped fruit or roasted sweet potatoes from the deli would be a great way to add carbs, and you could add canned tuna/salmon, a hard boiled egg or even a frozen veggie burger for protein. Plus, because the salads are all made with hearty greens, you can pack and dress your salads the day ahead and they won't wilt. Yay for leftovers!
With all the time you're saving in the kitchen, I encourage you to sit down and slow down and enjoy your meal with family. I don't think I've mentioned it on the blog yet (way to drop the ball, Rach...), but this month is National Nutrition Month, a month-long nutrition education campaign by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. This years theme is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." I'm actually pretty excited about it. In all the talk of what to eat, one thing that's lost is how to eat. That's where savoring comes in, the act of mindfully noticing and appreciating the flavors and textures of your food and enjoying the company you're with.
These Eat Right Gourmet Salad Vegetable kits definitely made it easy to savor. As part of this campaign, we were sent a sampler with all seven kits, which we used all week to create delicious, homecooked meals with fresh ingredients. Every night we had dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes, leaving more time to savor our masterpiece!
Another one of my timesaving tricks is cooking a batch of some type of protein food to have on hand for quick meals throughout the week. One of my favorites is this Asian inspired tempeh and quinoa salad. It's perfect as a salad topper or as a snack with brown rice crackers. I've even stuffed it into an avocado to serve over greens! I served it over the Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad Kit, which comes with crispy quinoa, feta, almonds, and avocado herb dressing, but it would also work well over any of the others (except maybe the Southwest!).
Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad with Wild Greens
Makes leftover tempeh-quinoa salad, which could be served over another Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kit or with brown rice crackers and veggies as a snack.
Asian Tempeh-Quinoa Salad:
- 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Eat Smart Wild Greens and Quinoa Gourmet Salad Kit
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Place quinoa in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining tempeh-quinoa salad ingredients and pulse until well combined.
- In a large salad bowl, pour wild greens out of the bag. Add salad toppings and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine. Divide salad between 2 bowls. Top with bell pepper, sliced avocado, radish and a scoop of tempeh-quinoa salad.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This slow roasted salmon salad with apples and maple mustard dressing includes an impossible to mess up roasted salmon recipe!
Hey guys! Popping in with a random and rambling blog post for this salmon salad. Had a bit of a crazy weekend - not crazy in a college spring break way but crazy in a "I'm a total bonehead" way. I drove down to Atlanta with a college roommate/sorority sister for the bridal shower of another one of our roommates/sorority sisters bridal showers (fun fact- she's marrying one of Scott's best friends who she met at our wedding). She ended up getting sick with the flu and in my rush to get out the door Sunday morning and get her back home, plus being distracted by guilt over dragging my poor sick friend all over Atlanta, I accidentally left my computer at my friends house. Of course, I didn't realize this until I got back home to Columbia, three hours away. Mom to the rescue - she met me almost halfway with my computer at Dennys in the middle of nowhere Georgia.
Now I'm finally back home typing this up as my husband prepares my freekeh salad with roasted grapes and brussels sprouts. Haven't tasted the outcome, but from my observations, he may have worked his way out of cooking duty for life. Let's just say he only now learned that you can buy not frozen Brussels sprouts. Kinda wishing I had this salmon salad about now...
I made this with my friend Kara's slow roasted salmon recipe, which has become my go to. It's so moist and impossible to mess up. Just add your favorite sauce or spices to dress it up!
Slow Roasted Salmon Salad with Apples and Maple Mustard Dressing
- 4 salmon filets, about 1/4th lb each
- Olive oil spray
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons exta-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounce bag mixed greens
- 2 endives, thinly slivered, core discarded
- 2 fuji apples, chopped
- 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Place salmon filets evenly over baking sheet. Spray tops with olive oil (or brush with a couple teaspoons) and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast 20 minutes until opaque and easily flakes with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
- While salmon is cooking, whisk together water, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, scallions and garlic in a small pot. Place on medium heat and bring to a quick simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and black pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together salad greens and endive. Chop or thinly slice apples and toss in the bowl. If not eating immediately, toss apples with lemon juice. Divide salad among four plates. Top with salmon and walnuts. Drizzle with sauce.
More brain-boosting fatty fish recipes, so you don't do boneheaded things like leaving your computer 3 hours away:
This easy freekeh salad with roasted grapes and Brussels sprouts is your new favorite make ahead lunch for winter!
Freekeh Salad with Roasted Grapes and Brussels Sprouts
1 cup freekeh
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 1/2 cups grapes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup edamame
4 cups baby kale
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic
1 teaspoon honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring freekeh and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25-30 minutes until water is absorbed. Let sit covered 5 minutes to steam, then remove cover and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.
Toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Toss grapes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and spread evenly alongside Brussels sprouts or on a seperate small baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast the Brussels sprouts 25 minutes until golden and tender and grapes 20 minutes until just starting to burst, flipping halfway.
Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss freekeh, roasted grapes and Brussels sprouts, pecans, edamame, and kale in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Top with crumbled goat cheese and serve.
Every time a cauliflower swap recipe makes the rounds on pinterest, I'm always skeptical at first. I mean, cauliflower as pizza? Cauliflower instead of rice? These people must be on something.
But eventually curiosity gets ahold of me. Because you know what, I just really like cauliflower. And guess what? I've never been disappointed. How my least favorite vegetable as a child has become a staple in our house is beyond me.
My latest cauliflower find is crispy baked cauliflower, which I first made in these crispy sriracha cauliflower tacos. They've quickly become a fan favorite amongst my group of friends (and hopefully you too!). Those nuggets of cauliflower goodness are back again, this time in this crispy barbecue cauliflower salad with creamy yogurt ranch.
Just a friendly reminder for any cauliflower recipes - cauliflower is NOT a stand-in for carbs! Your body still needs carbs, which are perfectly healthy, and your body’s favorite source of fuel. That’s why in this recipe I also include black beans and corn for fiber-rich carbohydrate.
Southwestern Salad with Crispy Barbecue Cauliflower and Yogurt Ranch
1 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, buttermilk or regular milk
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup frozen corn
1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, diced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
First, make the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients and seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
Next, make the pickled red onions. Place the red onion in a small bowl and toss with apple cider vinegar and salt. Let pickle for 10 minutes.
Then, make the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Beat egg together with water in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, mix flour with garlic, onion, paprika and cayenne.
Grab a handful of cauliflower florets and dip into egg. Remove with a slotted spoon and let egg wash drip off, then toss in flour mixture using your other clean hand. Shake off extra flour and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower. Spray cauliflower with olive oil and place in oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway, until tender and crispy. Remove from oven, drizzle with barbecue sauce and toss evenly to coat. Place back in oven and bake 5 minutes to warm through and crisp a bit.
While cauliflower is baking, heat the olive oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat. Add corn and cook until lightly charred. Remove from skillet to bowl and let cool.
To prepare the salad, place the lettuce to a large bowl. Toss with pickled red onions, corn, black beans, avocado, radish, and tomato. Top with barbecue cauliflower then drizzle with ranch dressing.
More salad recipes:
A recipe for crunchy Asian edamame slaw that's perfect for batch cooking! It's packed with tons of vegetables like radish, cilantro, cabbage, edamame and carrots. Top with baked tofu steaks, seared salmon or marinated tempeh for protein. Perfect with a soy-lime dressing tossed in! Vegan!Read More
Caesar salad pita pizzas combine two Italian restaurant favorites by topping a whole grain pita pizza with Caesar salad and dressing made with California ripe olives.
“I received free samples of California Ripe Olives mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
As someone who is endlessly fascinated by other cultures cuisine, you know the Mediterranean diet is something I totally get behind. Delicious food? Check. Focus on plants? Check. All the healthy fats? Double check.
Not only that, but Mediterranean food is approachable and enjoyed by most people. I mean, what kind of sick person doesn’t like Italian food? Not someone I want to be associated with! So if that's you, go click that little red circle in the upper left corner of your screen.
The only problem with the Mediterranean diet is that our Americanized version of it is very different from the real Mediterranean diet. Yes, I’m sorry to say when we talk about a Mediterranean diet, we’re not referring to the menu at Olive Garden. Real Mediterranean food is spaghetti in clam sauce, polenta casseroles with local greens and feta, and stuffed vegetables with a creamy tahini sauce. Oh, and lots and lots of olives.
There’s always talk of what specific factor in the Mediterranean diet makes it so healthy. Some say it’s the red wine (I like these people). Others claim it’s the fresh, local greens. Still others think it's the emphasis on plants over meat. Most likely, it’s a combination of factors that makes the Mediterranean diet so healthy. But I suppose if you forced me to choose one thing, I’d say it's the olives.
- California ripe olives are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that raises the good cholesterol and lowers the bad.
- Black olives contain antioxidant vitamin E (.25 mg) which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
- 1 cup of black olives contains 25% daily value iron, important for the prevention of anemia.
- Olives contain a unique set of pytonutrients. One called oleuropein is found exclusively in olives. It's been shown to reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and act as an antioxidant.
This pita pizza salad combines two of the most familiar items on an Italian food menu and does it in a much healthier way. It's kind of a healthier take on the Macaroni Grill version of Italian food. I love to use whole grain pitas as an easy pizza base. No, it’s not the same thing as a freshly baked crust, but you know what? It works! To make a lightened Caesar dressing, I used plain yogurt and actual olives versus olive oil, which provide a similar creamy texture, flavor and nutrients with less calories. This recipe makes a little extra, so I saved the rest to make a big kale Caesar salad with hard boiled eggs and roasted potatoes to use up some food we had in the house before going on vacation.
Caesar Salad Pita Pizza with Olive Caesar Dressing
Olive Caesar Dressing:
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain organic yogurt
- 1/4 cup California ripe olives
- 1 anchovy (optional)
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup whole California ripe olives
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Shaved parmesan (optional)
- 4 whole grain pita breads
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese
- First, make the dressing. Place garlic clove in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. Season with plenty of black pepper (it should have enough salt).
- Next, make the pizzas. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Brush mixture lightly over pita breads. Sprinkle pitas with parmesan cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is lightly toasted.
- While pizza is baking, toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup dressing and toss to coat.
- Top pita with salad and serve with more dressing.
More Mediterranean recipes featuring black olives:
This whole grain gazpacho pasta salad is packed with cucumbers, tomatoes and is the perfect make ahead lunch for back to school time.
I was asked to participate in the #PastaFits campaign as part of my work with Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make Avocado A Day Nutrition possible!
Hey guys! Excited to bring you the first of a 3-post collaboration with Pasta Fits! If you glance at my archives (or in my cabinet for that matter), you'd quickly see that I'm a big fan of pasta. Like, huge.
The theme for the first month of #PastaFits is back to school. Whether you have kids or not, September seems to be that time of the year when many start to settle down from a summer full of indulgence with healthier goals in mind. Of course, the holidays are right around the corner, making this month critical for establishing and solidifying healthier habits to take you through the smorgasbord coming straight at ya in November.
A great goal to start with is planning and preparing a healthy lunch on the weekend. Spend just 30 minutes prepping a big batch of whole grain based salad and you've got a third of your meals covered. BAM.
If you're looking for a family friendly salad to last all week, look no further than pasta salad. I mean, who doesn't like pasta? No really, who? I'm curious to know if there is one single person. My hypothesis is that every single human being who has ever experienced pasta loves it, but I could be wrong. Probably not though.
Sadly, there's a much larger number of people who absolutely love pasta who don't eat it because they think it's unhealthy. Ain't that a shame. First of all, there's always room for foods that bring you joy. But also, pasta is perfectly nutritious. My top choice is 100% whole grain, which is made with all whole grain flour. Whole grains are great for all sorts of things - cholesterol, weight management, keeping you full, and keeping your blood sugar steady.
Guess what else is good for blood sugar control? Pasta salad! Really! Studies have shown that cooking and cooling pasta helps lower the glycemic index even further. Once the starches in pasta are cooled, they turn into something called resistant starch. Similar to fiber, resistant starch doesn't break down into glucose, or sugar. This also means you absorb less calories and it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Another thing to love about pasta salad: it's an easy way to use up leftovers. As I learned this weekend hanging out with mostly parents, not wasting leftovers is a constant battle parents go through. Simply add leftover vegetables or proteins to this salad which bulks it up throughout the week. Garbanzo beans, other cheeses, broccoli, carrots, peppers, and zucchini would all be tasty tossed in here.
Gazpacho Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces 100% whole grain penne
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/3 cup basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- pine of red chili flakes
- pinch of sugar
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced small
- 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped small
- 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
- 1 8 ounce ball of mozzarella cheese
- Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- While pasta is cooking, add canned tomatoes, basil, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, chili flakes and sugar to a food processor. Blend until pureed. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Place diced vegetables, olives and cheese in a large bowl. Add dressing. When cooled a bit, add pasta and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Will last 5 days in the fridge.
More delicious pasta dinners that show how #PastaFits:
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.
Learn all about California almonds from my trip to Lodi, California where I got to see them being grown and processed! Plus, snag the recipe for this California inspired balsamic roasted peach and fig salad with almonds, blue cheese and bacon!Read More
Vegan Vietnamese brown rice noodle salad is packed with bright, fresh flavors from crunchy raw vegetables, fresh herbs, spicy sesame tempeh and a tangy sesame vinaigrette.
Happy Monday! Sending this post out from the airport on my way to Lodi, California, where I'm spending the next three days traveling with California Almonds. Very excited for this amazing experience, and to learn about my favorite nut along with some incredible RD bloggers. Follow me on instagram for updates!
This trip is the start to a season packed to the brim with travel. Next week I'm headed to Chicago, where I'll be spending a few days exploring the city with my mom before my cousins wedding. The week after that, we're headed up to Philadelphia a dear friends wedding. Then I'll have a few weeks at home before I head to Nashville for FNCE, the national conference for dietitians. From there (and I mean literally from there, like, the day after FNCE ends) I'm headed off for the two week trip of a lifetime with my hubs to....
Hence this Vietnamese rice noodle salad, which I'm sure after eating authentic Vietnamese rice noodle salads I will look back on and cringe.
I won't lie, looking at my calendar, rapidly filling appointment slots and wondering when I will have time to keep up with this little blog of mine, it's a bit exhausting. But I mean, getting a free trip to California, having mother-daughter time in an awesome city, seeing lifelong friends and making new ones, going to freaking Vietnam...I really can't complain!
Right after my husband, travel is the love of my life. Nothing makes me feel more alive than exploring a new place and soaking up every last drop. Even if it's in our own state, it brings a joy to my life that I can't quite describe.
There's a saying attributed to the Dalai Lama to "once a year, go someplace you've never been before." I love this advice. Traveling, more than taking a vacation, expands your life in so many ways. It builds confidence, makes you a more compassionate person, opens your mind, makes you less materialistic, and (I think) sexier.
Travel can make you healthier. Looking back at my life, I truly believe traveling as a child was the single greatest factor in me becoming a dietitian and making my wellness a priority. Really. If you think travel is all about indulgent restaurants and skipping workouts, well, you're right, but there are other ways travel can make you a healthier person.
It's helps you see past the insanity of fad diets. When you travel around the world, you see a wide range of traditional diets. You also see how the people eating these different diets are generally pretty healthy, much healthier than we are here in the States. For example, in Peru, potatoes were a major part of every meal. At the farmers market, there was an entire potato section which consisted of two 30-foot long tables overflowing with dozens of different types of potatoes. I also saw native Peruvians absolutely whooping fit Americans on the Incan trail. Our guide said Peruvian guides hiked to Machu Picchu and back in one day. It takes other travelers three days, one way. It's kind of hard to give in to the low carb propoganda after seeing that.
Travel expands your taste buds. Picky eaters...not exactly the healthiest. Travel exposes you to new foods and flavors. When you're a more adventurous eater, eating healthy food is less about dieting and more about trying new and delicious foods.
Travel makes you appreciate what you have. In many countries, poverty is much more visible than we're used to. Seeing how people not only live, but in many ways thrive, with much less material possessions than we're used to, makes you truly appreciate what you have. When you truly feel grateful for the food in front of you, it seems wasteful not to enjoy and savor it mindfully.
Travel motives me to be healthy later in life. Scott and I are planning our lives to ensure we're able to travel as much as possible, as late into life as possible. I am fully prepared to be that little old lady, cane in one hand, Scott's hand in the other, navigating the streets of some small European town.
You don't even have to travel to exotic places to get these benefits. Exploring new places in your own backyard can be just as beneficial, and fun! Some of my favorite trips have been less than a couple hours drive - camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hiking with friends in the upstate, and exploring historic sites in South Carolina. You can even learn a lot from exploring your own town with fresh eyes!
Do you love to travel? If so, how has it enriched your life and made you a healthier person?
Vegan Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Sesame Tempeh
Adapted from Thug Kitchen
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 8 ounce package thin brown rice noodles
- 1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 1 large cucumber, julienned
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup sliced green onion
- 1/2 cup cashews, toasted
- Lime wedges, for serving
Toasted Sesame Dressing:
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
First, make the tempeh. Cut the tempeh into 16 slices width-wise. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rest of the tempeh ingredients. Pour over the tempeh in a shallot bowl, flip to coat evenly with marinade. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, warm 1-2 teaspoons in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add tempeh slices and cook 3-4 minutes, flip, then cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Remove and set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- To make the salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook according to package directions. When they are done, drain, rinse under cold water until cool, then set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Divide the salad greens between four plates or large bowls. Top with a scoop of rice noodles in the center. Place the carrot, cucumber, herbs and green onion in piles around the noodles. Drizzle with dressing, top with cashews and serve.
More recipes inspired by my travels:
Enjoy antioxidant rich cherries in this gorgeous seasonal salad of dark cherries and crispy prosciutto with balsamic vinaigrette.
I used to think I wasn't a fruit person. After each grocery trip, I would ambitiously fill my fruit basket...and a week later I hadn't made a dent. That was until I learned the gloriousness that is seasonal produce.
Living in South Carolina, of course I have to say peaches are my favorite. But I suppose if I'm being completely honest, it's cherries.
Clients often ask my choice for healthiest fruit and I always reply berries. However antioxidant rich cherries should be right up there with them! To learn more about the health benefits of cherries and get the recipe for this salad, head over to the Healthy Aperture blog!