Category Archives: Salads

Easy Raw Kale Salad

I returned from yoga today — sadly, my first class in about 9 months — and wanted to treat myself for getting back on the horse with something healthy, filling and delicious. I had the idea to pop into Natural Food Patch in Ferndale to grab a packed kale salad the Detroit Zen Center sells there. Just before I got there, I realized I had only grabbed my ID on my way out the door — no money! Then I realized I had kale at home and could easily make a version of my own!

kale saladI’m happy to report, it is DELICIOUS. I used what I had on hand and tried to keep it simple. When I finally tasted it, I didn’t adjust anything. You see it make a full large Pyrex bowl of it (7 cup bowl, I think). It definitely filled me up for now (I’m anticipating a mid afternoon apple or something) and feels great to eat so clean after an hour of sweating and stretching.

Here are some of the benefits of the ingredients.

Kale: Considered a “nutritional powerhouse” and a “superfood,” kale is low calorie, high fiber and has zero fat. It’s high in iron, calcium, Vitamins K, C and A, and cancer-preventing antioxidants. It’s a great anti-inflammatory food, fighting arthritis and autoimmune disorders. It’s great for your heart and is detoxifies your liver. (Understand the whole “powerhouse” thing now?)

Pine Nuts: These small (and sadly somewhat expensive) and delicious raw nuts are rich in iron and Vitamins A, D and C, making them good for your circulatory and nervous systems, vision, bones and immunity. They contain something called pinoleic acid, which makes you feel fuller faster. They contain heart-friendly monounsaturated fat and, last but not least, their protein and magnesium makes them a great source of energy.

Tomato: These guys provide thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and… wait for it…fiber! Not a ton, but one serving gives you about 7 percent of your daily allowance. Not bad for a little ol’ tomato.

Red Bell Pepper: Red peppers contain a lot of what tomatoes do, as well as tons of vitamin C (like 200% of your daily allowance in 1 cup), B vitamins, folate, fiber, potassium and tons of antioxidants.

Sesame Seeds and Sesame Oil: These tiny seeds are said to prevent and benefit the following conditions, among others: diabetes, high blood pressure, gingivitis/dental plaque, MS, antibiotic-induced kidney damage, depression and cancer. So, why not sprinkle a few here and there, right?
I wasn’t necessarily thinking of all of this when I started throwing things into the bowl. Some was for flavor, some was to make it more filling or interesting. But here I am full, happy and feeling good. Here’s what I put into it.

• raw leafy green kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
• 1/3 of a large red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 small tomato, chopped
• 3 green onions, minced
• 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
• 1 tsp. sesame seeds
• sesame oil — less than 1 tsp. drizzled
• rice vinegar — two small splashes
• celtic sea salt

Place the kale into the bowl, sprinkle with a couple of shakes or turns of sea salt and massage kale until it becomes dark green and looks “cooked.” Usually takes about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Enjoy!


Raw Vegan Superslaw

IMG_5402I don’t remember where I got this recipe, but I know I made it about a year ago for the first time. I kind of forgot about it until a raw, vegan client of mine requested it this week. I made a double batch of it tonight (which may have been a mistake — it makes SO freakin’ much — I put the hat and the coffee mug in the picture for some perspective) and am so glad I did. It will feed me for several days and will make me feel great.

Here are a few reasons why:

Kale     Cabbage     Parsley     Lemon Juice     Carrots

AND, this salad is super filling, which is always a good thing. Here’s how it’s done!

1/4 head of red cabbage
1/4 head green cabbage
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch kale
2 carrots
4 green onions
1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for 2+ hours
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Chop all of the veggies and parsley one at a time in a food processor (though I find throwing the onions in with the carrots works well), then dump into a large bowl. After all the veggies are chopped, use processor or a blender to blend the dressing ingredients. Mix dressing into veggies and enjoy! I’m sure you could add whatever veggies you have on hand that you need to use up too.

Veggie Salad with Fennel and Tomatoes

I’ve had a nearly daily salad for the last week, so I thought I would share. I don’t usually get into food habits like this — I like variety — but for some reason this is sticking with me. It totally fills me up and I feel great when I eat it.

It all started at the cooking class I held a few weeks ago with health coach Gail Wyckhouse of Holistic Techniques.  She prepared a salad with tomatoes and fennel with a light cider vinegar dressing. Without looking at it, I basically expanded that recipe, but it’s almost identical.

I chop and toss tomatoes, fennel, parsley, green onion and cucumber, add freshly ground salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and add a splash or two of apple cider vinegar then toss again.

Not only is the salad light, these ingredients have various health benefits, many of which Gail brought to my attention. Here are just a few:

• Apple Cider Vinegar: My grandmother once told me she used to sip cider vinegar every day as a kid because it was really good for you, so in high school I started doing so from time to time and my mouth tends to water whenever I smell it. (Weird, I know). Well, she turns 95 in a few weeks, so I guess she can’t be all wrong.

Turns out, apple cider vinegar is said to aid in relieving muscle pain, promotes healthy skin, soothes dry throats, helps control weight, promotes digestion and pH balance, helps remove toxins from the body and is good for the immune system.

• Fennel: This fragrant, licorice-tasting vegetable (Sounds weird, but it tastes great) is said to be good for digestion, promotes healthy eyesight, may help ease hypertension, increases milk flow in nursing mothers, and may ease coughs.

• Parsley: This flavorful herb is said to fight cancer, help reduce blood pressure, increase the processing of sodium and water while increasing potassium absorption, and helps inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria.

• Tomato: Tomatoes are said to be great for the heart and other organs, are rich in antioxidants and are said to help prevent prostate cancer.

Miso Dressing

I was throwing together an Asian dinner tonight and had some kale that needed to be used tonight or I would lose it. I decided to grab a tub of miso at the store and whip up some dressing for it. It was delicious. (If I do say so myself!) I’m still learning about all the different types of miso, so I randomly chose mellow white miso. It was great both in the dressing and the soup I made out of it (recipe to come later on that…).

I might thin it out a little next time with some water or a bit more vinegar, but all in all I’d say this was a winner. I think it would work well as a dip for raw veggies or egg rolls too.

In a blender or by hand (which is the option I chose) whisk together the following until smooth.

• 1/4 c. miso paste
• 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
• 2 Tbsp. soy sauce  or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
• 1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger or 1 tsp. ginger powder
• water as needed to thin out

I steamed a ton of kale (stems removed) using a steamer basket in a large pot for about 10 minutes until it was vibrant green and cooked to my liking. I then drizzled with dressing and sprinkled a bit of black and white sesame seeds on top. I think this would be really good on just about any vegetables — especially the green ones (asparagus, Brussels sprouts, etc.)

Check back tomorrow for the simple miso soup recipe and a bit of info on miso, which is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals!

Cooking Club: Chickpea Salad with Orange and Cinnamon Dressing

Katie contributed this salad to our orange-themed cooking club. It was one of the only dishes that didn’t necessarily LOOK orange, but you tasted (and saw) the oranges in there. It was a light refreshing twist to what you would expect. This is a crowd-pleasure for sure.

•  15 oz. chickpeas dried, soaked in plenty of water overnight
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 small handful mint, finely chopped
• 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
• 1/4 cup  feta cheese
• 6 dried, plump apricots, sliced

•  juice from 1/2 lemon
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• zest from 1  orange
• 1 tsp honey
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• pinch of ground cinnamon
• pinch of sea salt
• extra virgin olive oil to taste

1. Drain the chickpeas, fill the saucepan of chickpeas with water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.

2. Combine the chickpeas, tomato, mint, onion and apricots in a bowl. Top with crumbled feta and lightly toasted almonds.

3. In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Toss well and serve.

Vegan Inside Out Tempeh Asian Dumplings and Sugar Snap Pea Salad

One good thing about waiting in a doctor’s waiting room is the time to catch up on some of my magazines. This week that made for two delicious meals — this one and a trio of Indian dishes (that’s next up).

First up, the snap pea side dish. I snagged this out of a magazine at the office, and only had time to quickly jot down the ingredients as they called my name. SO, I have no idea if there is some order or technique I’m supposed to follow or how many it’s supposed to serve or anything. I just tossed everything in a container and stirred it up, then put on the lid and shook it up (and of course I can’t leave well enough alone, so I had to doctor it up a bit…)

• Sugar Snap Peas (not to be confused with flat snow peas) — I just grabbed some out of the bulk section at my local market. I’m not sure how many the recipe calls for!
• 1 Tbsp. lime juice (I ended up using the juice of one lime, about 2 Tbsp.)
• 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced/grated through a microplane
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil (I did half olive oil, half sesame oil)
• red onion (I thinly sliced about 1/2 a small red onion)
• salt and pepper to taste
• sesame seeds
(Though it didn’t call for it, I think I included a splash or two of rice vinegar too)

This side dish/salad ended was really good! Very light and flavorful. It seems like the type of thing that would help it feel like summer, even on Christmas.

Next up, the “inside out” dumplings — much easier than meticulously stuffing wontons! I got this recipe out of my Whole Living magazine, in a feature of 6 “DIY Takeout” recipes (where one of my Indian dishes came from too). It’s supposed to be pork, but I swapped that out for crumbled tempeh and — voila! — a delicious asian vegan dish.

Of course, I doctored this up a bit too. It turned out really well! (I believe my not-hungry squeeze, while getting a third small helping, said something like, “I could eat this everyday and I would kill the leftovers at lunch. You should just make a giant pot of this next time.” I’m not sure you get a better endorsement than that.

• 3-4 Tbsp. oil — the recipe calls for olive oil, I did a mixture of olive, sesame and ginger oils (you may need more, since there’s no fat from the meat!)
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (I actually forgot they were in there…I’ll probably do more next time)
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
• 2 scallions, whites and greens separated (I used 5-6, keeping some pieces big and slicing the rest), thinly cut on the bias
• 1 pkg. of tempeh (I went with flax tempeh tonight)
• 1 lb. baby bok choy, leaves separated and rinsed, with large stems sliced in half length-wise
• 1 carrot, grated
• 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (maybe I could have gone with rice wine vinegar here? Maybe next time…)
• kosher salt to taste
• 6 oz. fresh wonton wrappers

1. Heat oil and pepper flakes over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites. Cook, stirring until scallions are tender, about one minute. (*Note: now’s a good time to get a small pot of water boiling — you’ll cook your wontons in it at the end!)

2. Add tempeh, crumbling with hands as you add it. Cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add bok choy, cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. (Add more oil here so it doesn’t burn, if you need to)

4. Remove from heat and add grated carrot. Add vinegar and salt. Set aside.

5. When water is boiling, add wontons one at a time to the water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute. Drain and add to pot.

Serve with scallion greens on top.  It also seems like this dish would be good with crushed peanuts too, but I’ll have to try that next time! I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow! Yum.

Cooking Club: Spicy Sweet Thai Cucumber Salad

I had a bunch of cucumbers from my favorite fruit and veg stand in Milford on hand when it came time for our Asian-themed cooking club in July, so I decided to make some cucumber salad. My squeeze doesn’t like cucumbers, so I never order this when we get Thai food for some reason (even though I could easily finish it off myself!)

I did a random Internet search and picked a basic recipe I found. I’m not sure where I found it — it wasn’t on anyone’s blog or anything, otherwise I would have given them credit!  It’s a pretty simple recipe. Next time I might include very thinly sliced red onion as well.

• 2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced
• 4 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt
• 1/2 c. rice vinegar
• 1/4 c. water
• 3 Tbsp. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped
• Scallions for garnish

1. Place the cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. The salt will draw out water from the cucumbers, so let them drain for about 30 minutes. Rinse slices; drain again.

2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool.

3. In a medium bowl, combine drained cucumber slices with vinegar mixture. Chill before serving. Garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions.