Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘favorite salad’

 

I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy! These extraordinary times we’re living in seem to be challenging just about everyone–even those with secure jobs and plenty of resources.

Here in Northern California, we’re also experiencing horrific wildfires and the resulting smoke, which makes the air quality so poor you often can’t go outside to escape the stress of being cooped up because of Covid-19. What’s more, the recent heatwave brought thousands of tiny ants into my home, and one day, a few dozen large ones. I tried joking with friends about the “fire, plague and pestilence,” because when you think about it, things are so bad it can seem unreal or surreal, and you almost have to be able to joke about it to keep sane.

I try to cope by reminding myself of all the good things I have in my life–particularly my health and my children’s health. I also remind myself that it’s pointless to worry about those things I have absolutely no control over. And I take joy in small things–like seeing a fawn with its mother on my lawn, a funny meme one of my kids shares with me, a simple but delicious meal or favorite sweet. (Of course, there’s always Netflix, too!)

Back to the food… I love this salad! I’ve been making it nearly every week since May, and I definitely rate in among my top five favorites. It boasts beautiful color, complex flavor and texture, and you can easily source its ingredients all summer and into autumn. It has just the right combination of sweet, savory, soft and crunchy, and the chili-lime vinaigrette gives it just a little added kick. You can make a vegan version leaving out the feta.

Make sure you use a nicely ripe watermelon. My nearly full-proof technique for choosing watermelons is to pick one up and rap on it gently with my knuckles–just like you would knock on someone’s door. If you get a true “hollow” knock, then the melon is ripe. If you get more of a “thud” sound, try another.

 

Ingredients (for 4-6 servings)

1/2 a ripe watermelon, rind/seeds removed and cut into 1-inch cubes

2-3 golden beets

1 large handful sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced thin

1/2 cup firm feta (I use sheep’s milk feta)

2 large handfuls arugula leaves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Juice from 1 lime* (about 3 Tbsp)

1-1/2 tsp ground chili pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

Optional: 1/3 cup chili lime pepitas (recipe follows)

Mix 1 cup raw pepitas with 1 tsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or ancho chili powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and the juice of one lime. Preheat oven to 325F. Spread pepitas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

*Get the most juice out of your lime by pressing down on the lime while it’s still whole, and rolling it while pressing down on it against a countertop or cutting board.

 

Preparation

Trim away any roots or pointed tops on the beets, wrap in foil and roast in the oven or toaster oven at 375F until cooked through, 30-40 minutes. Let cool. Run under cold water to help slide the skin off. Cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl.

Add cut watermelon, snap peas and arugula and toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice chili pepper and salt. Drizzle over the watermelon and beet mixture and toss to coat evenly. Crumble feta over the salad and lightly toss. Sprinkle toasted pepitas if using and serve immediately.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Read Full Post »

fav salad3fav saladfav salad2

 

This is that salad–the one I can eat several times a week and never tire of. It somehow manages to perfectly balance the hardy structure of the kale with the silkiness of the spinach, and the chewiness of the cranberries with the toasted crunch and nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds, all with the perfect combination of sweet and salty.

I also love knowing that everything in this salad packs serious nutritional punch! Low calorie, high fiber kale for Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates, which help lower the risk of several major types of cancer, and 45 different flavonoids for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and the list goes on. Pumpkin seeds for heart healthy magnesium, immune boosting zinc and tryptophan for more restful sleep. Cranberries for Vitamin C, fiber and manganese as well as proanthocyanidins (PACs) for helping prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and protecting against certain types of stomach ulcers. And spinach for niacin and zinc, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K and a host of minerals. I know that if you’re a vegan or purest, you will likely take issue with the cheese, but I consider it a key component of this recipe, so let me know if you know of a vegan manchego cheese!!

I also appreciate how this salad can be made a little in advance, and still tastes great. If anything, the spinach and kale get even softer and more delicious when allowed to react longer with the dressing.

I hope you love this salad as much as I do!

 

Ingredients

(listed per person in case you’re just wanting a salad for yourself for lunch)

3 leaves dino kale, washed and ribs removed

1 large handful baby spinach

3 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

3 tbsp aged manchego cheese, sliced into little “sticks” or shaved*

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp good quality Sherry vinegar

1/2 tsp honey

Kosher salt

Fresh-ground pepper

*I like a 12-month aged manchego made from raw sheep’s milk.

 

Preparation

Place the pumpkin seeds in a small oven-proof baking dish or ramekin and toast for 10-12 minutes or until you hear the seeds “popping.” Remove and let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, honey and vinegar in a medium-size bowl until completely blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the kale leaves into roughly 1/4-inch strips and add to the dressing. Toss to coat. Roughly chop the baby spinach leaves and add to the kale, tossing to coat. Add in the cranberries, seeds and manchego, toss, adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

 

Enjoy!

 

Read Full Post »

Cook the Beans

inspired by ingredients, smells and Travels, vegan & vegetarian

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Selma's Table

Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful - stories and recipes from a wonderful life...

Peri's Spice Ladle

Indian-inspired Food for the Global Palate

%d bloggers like this: