Category Archives: Salads

This is Enough

At the end of the weekend I’m often faced with a mixed bag of thoughts.

Sunday night, I’m reminiscing on all that felt good from Friday til then. Even still, I ask myself if I did enough, or I think about what else I could have fit into my time. Then I break down all the beautiful people and events I encountered. I take stock in my insights from days spent lingering outside, conversing with friends, or in the quiet of my own company in the kitchen on the rainy moody day that Saturday was. My time truly was saturated with good things…from drives to jump into a fresh body of water, to taking time with coffee and breakfast.

I’m always seeking to squeeze as much possible from my experiences. I think being this way is fundamentally a good thing, but at times comes with the loss of being present.

Here’s to the intention to not be thinking of the next thing, or what Sunday night will feel like.

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Friday night I was craving Rose. Made it happen with some olive oil, sea salt & black pepper popcorn appetizer.

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This salad followed the wine. All produce from the farm: a salad dressing of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, maple syrup mixed at the bottom of the bowl. Thinly sliced harukei turnip, chopped apple, snow peas, and garlic scapes. Foraged lamb’s quarters. Tossed with romaine. We had the turnip tops sauteed with kale and red onion on the side, with fish and rice.

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Watching the rain at the door with Joey. It was a good summer storm, and I was impressed with Joey’s calm.IMG_3891

The gray day of rain felt so gentle and still. The quiet of the kitchen called me to play. Developed a thumb print cookie for luke, made from my stock of random bags of gluten free flours that I’m trying to use up:

Sugar cookie base: 1/2 cup oat flour (ground oats in a coffee grinder), 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup white sorghum flour, 1 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 salt (DRY). 1 tbs vanilla, 1 egg, 1/2 cup coconut oil at room temp, 3/4 cup organic sugar (WET). Mix together, form into balls, press that thumb in and fill with jam. 15 minutes at 365F (about…)IMG_3895

Garden progress. I can’t get over how tall and unruly the tomatoes are! They are flowering and lovely. Little green fruits are happening. I’ve had a few cucumbers thus far and pluck from the kale, collards, and herbs daily. I just planted motherwort, lemon balm, lemon verbena, cat mint, and chocolate mint that I received from Joan (TIOSN instructor, but I prefer to think of her as my mentor and friend. Thrilled to have some plants from her beautifully tended to gardens now in mine).

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Filed under Advice, Baked, Salads

The Spectrum of Vegetable Preparation

Reading your ingredients. It sounds fruit loopy but it’s a real thing. What’s sitting on your counter or in your fridge has a destiny which you, as human, have the gift and capacity to facilitate into a tangible, edible reality.

All this takes to be able to do is a bit of practice, patience, and intuition. Such a fun opportunity.

Your variable ingredients (be it fruit, vegetable, spice, grain, or meat) each have a unique ability to transform. This is cooking, this is proper assembly and preparation. They each take to a lovely form with your applied creativity and technique. Kept raw, sliced, fried, roasted, spiced, elevated with acid/fat/salt/sweet…working with food is a dance and an art form. I’m feeling like a bit of romantic right now-I swoon for vegetables (coffee and chocolate too, but that’s conversation for another time).

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is to combine them in dishes utilizing both raw and cooked states. This way of preparation makes the meal feel balanced and satisfying due to the varying textures and temperatures.

I was inspired to make this kohrabi/cabbage/chard mix after a trip to the farmer’s market and the farmer suggested I make a slaw from the kohlrabi I purchased from him. I had never had this vegetable before, so I figure what better way to learn about it than to experience it raw at the recommendation of the man who grew it:

kohlrabi salad

I sauteed the chard with onion in coconut oil until wilted and added the shredded red cabbage right at the end of the cooking so just the raw bite of the cabbage was taken away. I then tossed the cooked stuff with the matchstick chopped kohlrabi, and coated it all in small bit of maple syrup, fire cider (apple cider vinegar tonic of garlic/onion/rosemary/horseradish/lemon/orange/hot pepper/astragalus), olive oil, and sea salt.

Here’s some of my favorites ways to play with vegetables. General rule of thumb is apply heat if the vegetable is unpalatable in raw form. Also, some vegetables are more nutritious when cooked (vitamin a more available in carotene rich sweet potato and carrot and compounds in cruciferous vegetables like kale that can be thyroid hindering are reduced when cooked).

  • Root 

Raw
shredded carrot (in a pancake, over a salad, in a wrap), kohlrabi (thinly sliced mixed with greens), celeriac (grated or julienne, eaten fresh as is or in a salad)

Roasted
sweet potatoes (in chunks covered in coconut oil or butter-try cumin and cinnamon with salt, shred them for hashbrowns), yellow or red potatoes (sliced into rounds or sticks, turmeric, garlic, cayenne), parnsips & carrots (prepared like fries, olive oil and herbs), beets (sliced, layered and coated in olive oils and a splash of balsamic, salt). Turnips (cubed/roasted or smashed into a mash. SO GOOD). 

  • Cruciferous 

Raw
kale (rip it up, massage it with lemon, olive oil, salt, tahini), broccoli or cauliflower florets for dipping, cabbage (shredded up in salad, create cabbage cups to hold stir fry or ground beef/choice of protein), brussel sprouts (shredded for salad, perhaps apply a maple/mustard vinaigrette), cauliflower can be shredded by food processor into rice-like granules to serve as you would a grain, or steamed & blended to serve as a mash or combined with half potato to make a more realistic starch substitute. 

Roasted
keep it simple-brussels, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, all take to a simple coating in your choice of fat and salt 

  • Greens

Raw
 spinach (salads,  mild/tender enough for a smoothie) collards or rainbow chard (a full, fluffy leaf applied as a wrap-treat it like a burrito), romaine lettuce (shred to be a bed or chop for a salad, as a boat to salsa or protein), arugula/baby gem lettuces/spring mix….learn to make salad dressings at home and your salad game will change (try orange/olive oil/salt/maple, mustard/olive oil/spices, tahini/apple cider vinegar/honey/salt, maple syrup/balsamic/herb olive oil/salt, lemon/olive oil/salt, almond butter/apple cider vinegar/sea salt/honey) 

Cooked
greens that apply well to cooking are lower in water content (i.e. spinach, collards, chard, kale, etc all take to be a delicious bed for proteins or grains and are excellent with a bit of caramelized onion/garlic). Don’t forget that the tops to vegetables (radishes & beets for example) are not to be wasted and do well sauteed or stirred into soups or stews

 

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Filed under Advice, Raw, Salads, Veggies

Fresh Feasting at the Lake: Savory additions

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Big bountiful bowls of food to share.
Socializing under trees.
Water is just a few steps away.

These dishes went alongside grilled chicken and beef as well as a variety of summer vegetables. 
Part 1: Big Vat of Cold Sesame Noodles to cushion the flow of beer & wine.Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

I used 2 lbs brown rice spaghetti instead of soba noodles (that I would have liked to have used but most available in the store are actually part wheat and buckwheat, and if you are following a gluten free diet, this is no bueno). Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and drain. Set aside.

As usual, I eyeball my dressing and sauce recipes so these measurements are approximate.

In the bottom of a large pot or serving bowl, whisk together tamari (wheat free soy sauce) or coconut aminos-about 1/4 cup,  1/4 cup rice vinegar, 3 tbs sesame oil, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tbs honey, 1 tbs worth grated fresh ginger, 2 cloves grated garlic, and 1 tbs sirarcha or chili sauce. Whisk until combined. After making this, I think even doubling this recipe would be appropriate for 2 lbs worth pasta depending on how saucy you like such a dish as this.

Into dressing, add 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 head of a small red cabbbage-shredded, 1 packed cup chopped cilantro, 5 chopped green onions, 2 cups chopped snap peas. Toss to coat. You could add any veggies you liked, but I chose these for color variation and synchronicity with the flavor of the sauce.

Add in brown rice noodles and toss everything until well combined. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, serve cold.

Part 2: Mango Avocado Cilantro Sauce. An original spontaneous recipe that came to be from a lonely ripe mango. This makes a fantastic salad dressing and could be used for any variety of salad-over greens, quinoa, or vegetable & grain mix of your desire.

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In a food processor or with an immersion blender, whiz together 1 small mango (I used a champagne mango), 1/2 of an avocado, 1/3 cup jalapeno olive oil, juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes (I’ve used 2 tbs rice or apple cider vinegar if no fresh citrus is available), and 1 tsp pink salt. Add water and blend until desired consistency is achieved. Pulse in 1 small handful cilantro at the end so it shows as small flecks of green (rather than adding at the start which would tint the dressing). 

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Filed under Dips & Dressings, Entree, Salads, Uncategorized, Veggies

Triple Sesame Salad

Salads made with hard vegetables and hearty greens are great to make in large quantities to store in the fridge to enjoy throughout the week. Using greens like kale only get better with more marinating time. For best digestion and assimilation, massage kale with olive or coconut oil and sea salt or lightly steam/saute. Raw kale is a bit hard to digest and chew so it is best enjoyed broken down a little bit in one of these ways. Eating greens like this are super important for getting vital minerals like magnesium in your diet as well as alkalizing the body.
triple sesame salad

Your food should look and taste how you want to feel. Having a vibrant bowl before you is exciting to the eyes and palate. When you eat more living foods (unprocessed or heated fruits and veggies), you will feel more alive! When I make salads, they come together with a little of this and that, and this one looked so pretty I had to share-unfortunately I’m not one to measure much so I encourage you to eyeball your ingredients and taste along the way to make sure you enjoy the outcome. The measurements below are approximate. Salads can be a fun way to play with different vegetables (and can be way more than just romaine and iceberg lettuce) and there are so many combinations and flavors to create.

Ingredients

4 large carrots
1/2 of a small red cabbage
1 large bunch kale (+ 1 tbs coconut oil if sauteing)
1-2 cups spinach
2 green onions, chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, grated or juiced
3 tbs apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
2 tbs tahini (unsalted)
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs raw honey (I used a cayenne spiced honey-for a little heat sprinkle in some cayenne pepper or 1 tsp chili flake)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs sesame seeds

Assembly

1/In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together ginger juice, apple cider vinegar, tahini, sesame oil, honey, and sea salt. Set aside. Rinse veggies well. In a food processor or with a box grater, shred carrots and cabbage. Add to mixing bowl with dressing and wait to toss until other ingredients are added.

2/ Rip kale leaves away from stem and lightly saute in 1 tbs coconut oil until soft, about 2 minutes (if adding raw, massage kale in olive oil and sea salt in separate bowl, then incorporate). Add the kale and raw spinach to shredded cabbage and carrots. Toss all the veggies in the dressing until well coated.

3/ Add chopped green onion and sesame seeds on top or combine until well distributed with the veggies. Serve cold. This will keep for about a week!

*You may need to double the dressing recipe depending on the size of your veggies and how you like salad dressed*

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Filed under Raw, Salads, Veggies

Super Savory Maple Miso Mushroom Salad

savory mushroom

If I had a philosophy for how I like to eat on a daily basis, it would be as follows: eat big, green, and stress free. I eat lots of greens and genuinely enjoy my salads because I build them big enough and full of enough nutrients that they are wholly satisfying. The darker the green the better, too; emerald green spinach and earthy kale varieties are great hearty choices to supply heaps of vitamins and minerals including magnesium (which so many individuals are deficient in), folate, iron, and calcium. These greens are the best choices for holding up rich dressings and salad topping additions. A side dish portion of pale lettuce and dry, hard vegetables isn’t going to make me happy.

I also believe that we better absorb the nutrients from our food and assist in the body’s digestion and healthful elimination  when we greet our meals with pleasure and a calm state where time can be taken to chew and enjoy the food completely. With this comes developing the ability to listen to your body’s needs in regards to nutrients (we have cravings for a reason!) but also being mindful about what you feel like doing. If you are tired of making food and cooking for yourself, then going through the motions of putting something together is going to exacerbate that mood and you are not going to enjoy that meal. Rather, it might be better to recognize that you aren’t in the right mood for the whole process and perhaps a quick smoothie, soup, or bowl or fruit would be a better option.

In this salad, the dressing came first, inspired by Rawmazing’s recipe for the Maple Miso Vinaigrette. I quickly ran out of my peach supply so I couldn’t follow suit to make the peach, pecan and kale combination, so I did a 360 with this recipe inspiration and turned it totally savory. I love the texture of kale and it is well suited for interested pairings-soft fruit, crunchy nuts, crisp vegetables. I took a handful of crimini mushrooms and marinated them in some of the vinaigrette along with a touch of balsamic. I also had soaked almonds ready in the fridge and was also recently inspired to use more sea vegetables. I had some wakame and miso on reserve for making miso soup so this salad was a great opportunity to reinvent those ingredients. Kelp and seaweeds are a delicious, chewy, salty addition to a salad when rehydrated. Sea vegetables are a powerful source of magnesium, iodine, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, K, and D. Phew!

Maple Miso Vinaigerette

2 tbs cold pressed olive oil

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tbs raw apple cider vinegar

2 tsp light miso paste

himalyan sea salt & black pepper

1/ Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk, or in a jar and shake!

Kale Salad

1 large bunch curly kale

2 tbs dry wakame, rehydrated and drained

1 cup marinated crimini mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup soaked almonds, chopped

1 small sweet orange pepper, sliced

1/ Tear kale into pieces and massage with some of the maple miso dressing. Toss with wakame and then continue to top greens with the rest of the ingredients as you see fit. Top with more vinaigrette if desired.  

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Filed under Entree, Nutrition, Raw, Salads, Veggies