Posts Tagged ‘healthy salads’


I hope you are in a safe place–both physically and emotionally. Last week was a very difficult one for our nation, for our nation’s black community, and for many of us individually.

I won’t begin to think I am informed enough or experienced enough to talk about the struggles that so many people of color still face today across our nation. What I will say is that I am fully aware of my white (half-Asian, actually) privilege, and I remind my children of it regularly–not just speaking of the color of their skin, but also the circumstances into which they were born.

But above all else, I try to teach them to treat everyone with kindness and compassion, to look beyond any outward appearance or labels (e.g. black/white, gay/straight, racist/antiracist). After all, while there may be an occasional bad egg amongst all the good ones, racism is born out of ignorance, and it’s often born into. Our country is vast, our neighborhoods are mostly still segregated, and that ignorance is allowed to continue year after year, generation after generation.

I do believe we all have a responsibility to be actively antiracist, and we have a responsibility to seek to understand.

I stress-bake, and I stress-eat, so was doing a lot of both last week. Luckily, I still managed to keep it healthy. Here’s a dish that’s colorful, tasty and easy to prepare (although you need to allow 30 minutes to cook the farro and 35-40 minutes to roast the beets). You might be thinking, wait, isn’t she gluten-free? No, I’m not. I rarely eat gluten, but I have no obvious intolerance to it, and indulge occasionally when it’s something I really like, such as farro–because I just love the texture and slightly nutty flavor, and a good loaf of pain levain.

Farro, like Einkhorn, hasn’t gone through all the hybridization that modern wheat has (which has significantly increased the gluten content of today’s wheat), so it’s largely believed to be much the same grain as it was more than 100 years ago. While it still poses real dangers to celiac individuals or anyone with high gluten sensitivity, it (luckily) can be enjoyed by the rest of us.

This recipe serves as a great main dish for lunch or a side dish for dinner, and it travels well for a picnic at the beach. You can also make it vegan by leaving out the feta, although it changes the flavor profile.



1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cups cooked farro*

2 golden beets roasted at 375F until tender (about 35-40 minutes)

1 cup mixed radishes, trimmed and quartered

2 oz feta (I use a sheep’s milk version)

3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

* Place 1 cup of farro in a medium saucepan. Wash and rinse 2-3 times. Add two cups water and place over medium-high heat. When the water begins to boil, turn down the heat, cover the pan and simmer the farro for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water.



In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Set aside.

Carefully peel the skin off the beets, and slice into 1/2-inch chunks. Place in a medium bowl. Add in the radishes, fresh herbs and oil and vinegar mixture and toss to combine thoroughly. Add in the feta and toss again. Season with salt and pepper

Best served immediately, still slightly warm or at room temperature.


(Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side. Adapted from http://www.bonappetit.com)


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kale salad closekale salad


I don’t think I managed to post anything last week–except for a few pictures of some yummy bites on Instagram (@eatwellwithmoira). Spring has sprung here in Northern California, and I wanted to get the garden planted. I¬†can ignore the vegetables gone to seed and the lavender with woody stocks while it’s cold and/or wet outside, but when the sun settles in for a long stay, I feel desperate to get the garden sorted and looking good. I also happen to like gardening, so you won’t find me outside directing someone else to cut here, prune there, dig here and plant there. Granted, after trimming over 300 shoots/branches off of our apple tree, while balanced on the second from the top step of an 8-foot ladder, I called in reinforcements (my husband) to finish the job. It works best if I do at least half the trimming¬†first, since the guilt of seeing me out there toiling in the sun tends to make him want to prove he can operate a saw and pruning shears, too. However, he leaves all the digging, mulching and planting to me.

Where’s the photo of the garden, you ask? Well, since many of the new plants start out small, it looks nice and orderly out back, but not particularly lush and filled in yet. I will post something at the peak of summer, when the garden is in full bloom and worthy of a photo.

Now back to the recipe at hand… Before you say to yourself (or outloud), “Not another kale salad!” Try this recipe. Even my 6-year-old son loves it! It’s naturally sweet thanks to the sliced beets and apple, and the creamy dressing softens–sort of tenderizes, the kale, allowing all the flavors and textures to come together perfectly. And best of all, the dressing is so incredibly creamy that you will swear someone must have snuck in some real cream (i.e., dairy). I think this dressing could work well with a lot of other salads, too.

You can pull together this dish in minutes, but if you have a little extra time and the inclination, I’d recommend roasting the beet for about 20 minutes to soften it ever so slightly. If you don’t have the time or feel a little lazy like me, just slice the beet into very thin slices.



1 ripe avocado, halved, peeled and seed removed

2 tbsp champagne vinegar

2 tsp quality Dijon mustard

2 tbsp nut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper

1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced

1 crisp apple, such as Fuji, cored and cut into thin wedges

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted



In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (It will be very thick, like a pudding.)

In a large bowl, toss the kale with the beet and apple slices. Toss again with the dressing. Adjust the seasoning and give a final toss with the walnuts. Serve immediately.




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