Posts tagged ‘salad’

Strawberry Bruschetta – 4 Ways (SRC)

It’s nearing the end of summer…the change of seasons is something I always look forward to (especially when Fall is my favorite time of year), yet I still want to hold onto summer for the next few weeks. This recipe accomplishes just that!

Let’s celebrate fresh fruit, bright herbs and zingy balsamic vinegar in this lovely marriage of flavors – Strawberry Bruschetta…and what a bonus for versatility,  this recipe is used in FOUR different ways!

1. Strawberry Bruschetta (basic recipe) – serve over lightly toasted (gluten-free) french bread or gluten-free crackers
2. Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats (snack or appetizer)
3. Strawberry Bruschetta and Hemp Green Salad (side salad, light dinner or lunch)
4. Strawberry Brushetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad (serve as a side or a main dish)

strawberry bruschetta 4 waysI was assigned Julie’s adorable blog, Confessions of a Cooking Diva this month for the Secret Recipe Club and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her spunky posts and searching through her creations from the kitchen! I bookmarked her scrumptious looking Black Bean Burgers, Spicy Chocolate Popcorn and Caribbean Jerk Salmon Tacos for later experimentation…yet I ultimately settled on a Strawberry Bruschetta recipe for several reasons — I purchased a organic strawberries at the local farmers market, I had fresh basil on hand and I had some aged balsamic vinegar from a local oil & vinegar store that I couldn’t wait to use in multiple ways. Bam…what a perfect coincidence.

The simplicity of this recipe really allows the flavors to shine and come through in each bite, and there’s nothing like fresh, quality ingredients to let the food really do the talking for you! I opted to increase the balsamic a bit because I really love acidity and I served this over these raw sourdough sunflower seed crackers for the “bruschetta” portion of this recipe (since I rarely eat bread). After making this recipe, I was inspired to use the dish in multiple ways…talk about fun! Thanks Julie :)

strawberry bruschetta

Strawberry Bruschetta (basic recipe lightly adapted from Confession of a Cooking Diva
Grain-free option, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free Option, Vegetarian, Dairy-free
Ingredients

1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp because I like the acidity)
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned or chopped

For serving
1 small loaf gluten free french bread, sliced into thin slices, lightly toasted OR raw grain-free, gluten-free crackers (I used these)

Directions

1. Combine the strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
2. Top each slice of bread or cracker with the strawberry-basil mix.

Makes 2 cups of strawberry-basil mixture.

strawberry bruschetta avocado

Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Quick & Easy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free

Ingredients

1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (listed above)
2 ripe medium size avocados
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Fresh squeeze of lemon or lime, optional (if you really like acidity like me and helps to prevent the avocado from browning if making ahead)

Directions

1. Slice each avocado in half and remove the pit/seed.
2. Sprinkle the avocado halves with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice over each avocado half (if desired)
4. Top each avocado half with about 1/2 cup of the strawberry bruschetta mixture and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve!

Makes 4 snacks or appetizers

strawerry bruschetta salad green

Strawberry Brushetta and Hemp Green Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free 

Ingredients

8 cups of mixed greens, baby kale or baby spinach (I use Organic Power Green blend from Costco)
1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (recipe above)
1 ripe avocado, pit removed and diced into small pieces
4 Tbsp raw hemp seeds/hemp hearts (you can sub another nut or seed if desired)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of apple cider vinegar or more balsamic vinegar and/or lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or coconut aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce)

Directions

1. Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. If you like more acidity in your dressing, feel free to add more vinegar and/or lemon juice.

*If you eat meat, this salad could be served with grilled chicken or if you eat dairy, feel free to toss in some goat cheese or fresh mozzarella to bulk it up even more. To bulk it up and keep it vegan, feel free to add cooked quinoa, millet or brown rice for a green and grain salad.

Makes 2 large salads or 4 small

strawberry bruschetta quinoa2

Strawberry Bruschetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free Option

Ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 recipe Strawberry Bruschetta (above)
1/2 cup cooked beets, diced (I used Love Beets)
3- 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, pinenuts and/or pecans (or for nut-free, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds)
Aged balsamic vinegar to taste (I used 1 Tbsp)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (I used 1/2 lemon)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature, enjoy!
Serves 2 main dish or 4 sides
strawberry bruschetta quinoa salad
Fore more recipes in this month’s reveal, click the link below!

August 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm 8 comments

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (SRC)

It’s the taste of the tropics right here…hello summer!

Now that it’s “officially summer”, I couldn’t help choosing this fresh, light yet very satisfying salad for the Secret Recipe Club reveal this month. Just look at the gorgeous colors…and I haven’t even started on the flavor profile!

salmon mango grapefruit salad

This salad is a beautiful combination of acidic, sweet and salty with peppery undertones…I recommend sitting out in the sunshine while enjoying this dish, and be transported to your own personal little vacation for the afternoon or evening.

I was assigned Sue’s beautiful blog, Couscous and Consciousness for June, and what a lovely site she has! After getting acquainted with her blog, you can feel Sue’s passion for food, healthy lifestyle and conscious eating and her recipes reflect her outlook as well. While I ultimately chose her Salmon salad with Mango and Grapefruit, I’ve tagged several recipes for the future: Butternut and Tahini Spread, Scallops and Sweet Potato with Vanilla Saffron Sauce and her Green Tomato Cake with Maple Mascarpone…inventive and intriguing flavor combinations that I can’t wait to try!

salmon mango grapefruit salad4

I made a few tweaks to the salad by adding some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to the dressing and I sprinkled a bit of smoked paprika on the fish prior to cooking since I’ve been loving that spice these days. Sue mentioned Thai basil in her write up as well as lotus root, so I threw in some finely chopped basil and I thought the addition of a roasted beet would add a little color and sweetness that would compliment the flavors in the dish in place of the lotus. Since I am sucker for anything nutty, I tossed in some pinenuts for added texture and complexity, but feel free to leave these out if preferred! If you prefer a vegan dish, simply omit the salmon for a light lunch or a side salad and substitute Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari for the fish sauce. I’ll be making this again for sure! salmon mango grapefruit salad3

Salmon with Mango, Edamame and Grapefruit Salad (lightly adapted from this recipe)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Nut-free Option, Dairy-free, Soy-free

Ingredients

2 skin-on, bone out salmon fillets (mine were each about 6 oz)
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a couple dashes of smoked paprika
1 Tbsp neutral oil (I used olive oil, but vegetable oil works)

For Salad
1 firm mango, ever so slightly under-ripe, peeled and shredded OR cut into wedges
1 pink grapefruit, peeled & cut into segments and chopped if desired (membrane removed)
3/4 cup shelled edamame
2 generous handfuls of peppery leaves such as rocket, cress, mizuna (I used 4 cups arugula)
1 roasted beet, diced (I used already cooked organic Love Beets, optional)
1 tbsp fresh basil or Thai basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp pinenuts (omit for nut-free)

Dressing:
juice of 1 pink grapefruit
2 Tbsp grated palm sugar or 1 Tbsp agave or honey (don’t use honey if vegan)
1 Tbsp fish sauce or Braggs liquid aminos or gluten free tamari*
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 cm (3/4 in) piece of ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp olive oil (I added for a bit of richness)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Begin by making the dressing.  Place all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously to combine or blend in a blender cup if preferred.  Set aside.

2. Put oil in a non-stick frypan set over medium heat.  Season salmon with paprika, salt and pepper. Once pan is heated, place salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for 3 minutes, before turning over and cooking for approximately 1-3 minutes or until done to your liking.

 3. While salmon is cooking, place all the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently to combine.

4. To serve, arrange salad on serving plates, drizzle with the dressing, toss lightly and top with the salmon.

salmon mango grapefruit salad1

For other recipes in this month’s reveal, click below!

June 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm 7 comments

Smoky Broccoli Salad

Growing up, my favorite way to eat broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese. Of course, it was probably more cheese sauce than broccoli but I got a thumbs up from my parents for eating my veggies.

broccoli salad2

Now, my NEW favorite way of enjoying broccoli is raw in this salad…tossed in a delicious sweet n tangy dressing with hints of smoky bacon, scallions, nutty sunflower seeds and a touch of sweet currants or raisins. Sweet, salty, smoky, crunchy and healthy? Yes, it’s possible!

Plus, this dish can easily be made vegetarian or vegan, plus there are options to switch up the ingredients. Dried cranberries or halved grapes can be substituted in place of the currants/raisins. You can swap out the sunflower seeds for slivered almonds, walnuts or pepitas. If you don’t like mayo, just use more olive oil. Add in some smoked cheddar for the bacon if that suites you. Variety and options, you can’t go wrong!

broccoli salad1

Take this salad on your next picnic, potluck or BBQ, it travels well and is easy to prepare. I’ve been enjoying a big bowl as a quick lunch at work but it can be served as a side dish with your favorite summer or spring meal!

Smoky Broccoli Salad 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian/Vegan option, Refined Sugar-free, Quick, Paleo-friendly

Ingredients

2 medium crowns or stalks of broccoli (about 4 cups)
2 scallions, chopped
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled/chopped bacon (nitrate free if possible, omit for vegetarian,vegan)*
2-3 Tbsp sunflower seeds (pepitas, slivered almonds or walnuts can be subbed)
2-3 Tbsp currants or raisins (or dried cranberries or halved fresh grapes can be used)**

For the dressing
2 Tbsp mayonnaise or vegan mayo (I’ve used soy-free Vegenaise)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey or agave (or could use a tiny dash of stevia)
2 -3 tsp dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
a dash of crushed red pepper (omit if you don’t like spicy)

Directions

1. Cut off the stems from the broccoli (save for another use) and cut into bite size pieces.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the dressing and whisk until combined.
3. Add broccoli, bacon, seeds (or nuts), scallions and currants/raisins. Toss to combine and serve!

Yields 4 1/2 cups

*For vegetarian, you can swap out the bacon for 1/3 cup diced smoked cheddar cheese. If you omit altogether, you will lose the smoky element but that’s ok, it’s still delicious!

**If using fresh grapes, the salad won’t keep as long. Will be best if eaten same day or the next day.

broccoli salad

June 9, 2013 at 10:11 am 2 comments

Quick N Easy Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad

I have a speedy post for you today. Nothing fancy, but I was playing around with Valentine’s Day cookie cutters and I had to share:
VDay Caprese Salad

How fun is that? I could have taken better photos…but these were with my iPhone using Hipstamatic on the fly and I couldn’t resist :)

If you are looking for a creative yet EASY Valentine’s dish, this may be something that you could throw together in less than 10 minutes. If your better half likes cheese and tomatoes, this just might be the recipe for you!

All you need are the salad ingredients plus the heart-shaped and/or X’s and O’s mini cookie cutters (I bought for $2 at Hobby Lobby) and you are good to go!
VDay Mozzarella CutOuts

Waaalaaaa, I present you with a Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad!

Valentine’s Day Caprese Salad
Gluten-free, Grain-Free, High-Protein, Quick, Vegetarian, Nut-Free

Ingredients

1 log of presliced fresh mozzarella OR 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced evenly into 1/2 inch slices (you may have leftover cheese depending on how many cutouts you make)
grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1/3 cup per salad)
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt
Fresh basil leaves, rough chopped (not pictured, I got too excited and snapped the photo before sprinkling!)
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar (I use about 1-2 Tbsp per salad or to taste)
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I use about 2 tsp per salad or to taste)

Directions

1. Cut out shapes carefully with mini cookie cutters (hearts, X’s, O’s, I <3 U’s all etc all work). Cut out as many as you want in your salad…and have fun eating the edges or save them for another use (like melting in another dish).
2. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
3. Place cut-out mozzarella pieces in or on a serving dish or plate. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Enjoy!

February 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm 3 comments

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