Category Archives: salads

kohlrabi and cucumber salad

I was at the farmers market over the weekend and saw kohlrabi. I had never used it before. What better time than the present?  I had heard kohlrabi are not meant to be eaten raw. Last night, however, I was devouring Rose Carrarini’s absolutely brilliant “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea” cookbook and sure enough she has a recipe in there for a raw kohlrabi salad. It’s 8 am, I just finished making the salad, and I took a taste. Then I made the bold decision to keep eating it – for breakfast. It’s wonderful. Kohlrabi is a part of the cabbage family. But, don’t let that stop you. This tasty antiviral vegetable is loaded with fiber, vitamin C and potassium. An added bonus is that it’s great for diabetics, as it stabilizes blood sugar. I didn’t have any mustard greens (which is what her recipe called for). All I had was some mache(which I LOVE) so I tossed that in instead.  As a testament to its delicious-ness, my toddlers were pushing aside their breakfasts for mine!  Here’s my adaptation….

2 kohlrabi, peeled
1 cucumber
2 tblsp gluten free white wine vinegar (I prefer Spectrum)
salt & pepper
pinch ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp honey
1 tbslp gluten free Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tblsp canola oil
1 1/2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
bunch of mache (lamb’s lettuce)

  1. Peel kohlrabi and slice in half lengthwise. With flat side down, cut lengthwise into as many thin strips as possible. Then cut on the perpendicular (the goal here is matchstick size pieces).
  2. Cut the ends off the cucumber and half-peel, meaning alternate peel and no peel all the way around. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. I used a mini melon baller to achieve this task. Then flat side down, cut the cucumber into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place kohlrabi and cucumber slices into a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl add vinegar, honey, salt & pepper, cumin, cayenne and mustard. Whisk to combine. Taste to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking. Then whisk in the oil. Pour dressing over the salad. Mix to combine. Then add in the lettuce. Stir again.
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pesto with buckwheat pasta

‘Tis the season for pesto. Along with tomatoes, I just can’t get enough of all the basil my garden is producing. This afternoon, I whipped up a batch of pesto, tossed it with some pasta and served alongside a salad it proved to be a satisfying and delicious dinner.  There seems to be a slight division in the pesto community: those who make it with pine nuts and those who prepare it with walnuts.  Personally, I tend to prefer the subtle sweetness of pine nuts.  They have a significant amount of protein (a whopping 14%) and contain both A and B vitamins. Basil is one of many herbs that aids digestion.

1 cup loosely packed basil
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
salt & pepper
1/3 cup really good extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
  2. While the motor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder spout and process for about 10-15 seconds.  If you have a mortar and pestle, this works great too. I would macerate the pine nuts and garlic with the salt and pepper in the mortar. Then transfer to a food processor to add the basil leaves and olive oil.

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chicken salad

I picked up these amazing grapes the other day: champagne grapes. I have never seen organic ones. So, I was fired up to find these. For those of you who have never seen them, they are very, very small-miniature size grapes. And they are round instead of oval. Absolutely lovely. Of course, one of the first things that came to mind was chicken salad. My children love chicken salad with grapes in it. Who doesn’t? If you cannot find organic champagne grapes, you can substitute regular red seedless grapes (and half them). Just be sure they are organic. Grapes are one of the most heavily pesticided fruits.

2 organic boneless skinless chicken breasts, slow roasted, cooled and diced into small cubes
1/4 cup gluten free mayonnaise (I like Spectrum Canola Mayonnaise)
1/2 cup red champagne grapes/red grapes
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
salt & pepper

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. Place chicken on top. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. Remove the pan from the oven. Let chicken cool.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut chicken breasts into 1/4 inch cubes. Place in a bowl. Add mayonnaise. Stir well to coat. Fold in grapes. Add optional walnuts.
  5. Serve on a bed of greens or with greens rolled up into a brown rice tortilla.

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beet salad

I adore beets. I also love beet greens. This salad is quintessential summer. I had some valencia oranges and some beets and came up with this easy fresh salad. Beets are both cleansing to the body and high in B-complex vitamins.

3 red beets
3 golden beets
2 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar
1 tblsp orange juice
1 tblsp orange zest

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large stock-type pot.
  2. Cut beets into quarters. Boil for approximately 30-35 minutes or until beet can be pierced with a fork.
  3. While still warm, gently peel the skins off the beets and place in a bowl.
  4. Mix vinegar, orange juice and zest in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over warm beets and serve.

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summer coleslaw

As a little girl, I can remember my Dad always sharing a bite of colesaw from his plate with me. He has always loved the stuff.  I know I must have inherited the coleslaw gene from him because I love it, too. I used to be the only one in my house that ate it. But, this coleslaw has even miraculously converted my husband. I keep trying to find ways to infuse nutritional value into foods that we’ve eaten for years. My goal is little bit of tang – little bit of sweet. The worst offending slaw is a soupy soggy one -overladen with too much mayonnaise. So, this recipe is fresh, tangy and delicious with just the right balance of sauce.  Feel good about eating it too because cabbage is an awesome food.  Not only is it a great source of fiber, it has more vitamin C than an orange! If you are going to make it ahead, keep wet and dry ingredients separate until just before serving so it’s sure to be crisp.

3 cups shredded white cabbage
2 carrots (or 1/2 firmly-packed cup shredded)
1 apple, peeled (or 1/2 firmly-packed cup shredded)
1/4 cup gluten free mayonnaise
1 tblsp non-dairy milk
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar (OR apple cider vinegar)
1 tblsp honey or agave nectar
1 tsp gluten free dijon mustard
pinch salt

  1. Using a food processor fitted with the grater blade, feed cabbage, carrots and apple through the feeder spout.  You can also use a mandoline or box grater.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Pour sauce over vegetables and stir to mix.

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grilled portabella mushrooms

It’s summertime…and my south-african-meat-loving husband is firing up some steak on the grill. Red meat is not my thing so I broke out the portabella mushrooms. They’re delicious and good for you — they have as much potassium as a banana.  Using a pastry brush, I’ve tried the whole spectrum of sauces to brush over the top. But, I keep going back to my trusty ‘ole bottle of balsamic vinegar. To me, it’s a really good complement. I like keeping it simple.

1 package organic portabella mushrooms
1-2 tblsp good balsamic vinegar

  1. Pour vinegar into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush to coat the mushroom.
  2. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Place directly on a low-medium area of the grill surface. Roast for 8-10 minutes per side (depending upon the size of the mushroom). Serve on a bun (hamburger style or just plain). They’re great either way.

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tomato avocado salad

Something happens when you put these two fruits together. The combination not only tastes wonderful. But, nutritionally, magic happens. When combined, the nutrients within each fruit complement each other, allowing the body to absorb more vitamins from them than if they were eaten separately (a.k.a., more “bio-available” to your body). This recipe is laden with vitamin E,  B-complex vitamins and potassium. Avocado also adds a fair amount of protein. And healthy fat. Make your best effort to buy “vine-ripened” organic tomatoes – as other tomatoes are often picked green and then ripened with ethylene gas.

1 ripe avocado
2 small vine-ripened tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Slice and dice tomato and avocado and place in a bowl. 
  2. Mix lemon juice and olive oil together with salt and pepper. Pour over tomato and avocado mixture and gently toss to combine.

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