Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4 Salads That Sing Spring!

I love salads.  Lunch or dinner.  I could eat one for every meal.  Now that Spring is here, I am craving salads more than ever.  Below are four recipes that I think are perfect with for Spring.  Toss them up and let me know what you think.

Fennel, Cara Cara Oranges and Hazelnuts
I adapted this recipe from May I Have That Recipe?'s blog here.

Serves 2-4



Ingredients:
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thoroughly washed (Trader Joes sells a nice package of two, making it easy to double the recipe!)
  • 2 Cara Cara oranges, sliced (I sliced off the peel first, then sliced and cut the slices into smaller pieces)
  • ½ cup whole raw hazelnuts
  • 1tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
Directions:
  1. Remove fennel fronds. Cut bulb in half and slice it thin.  Place in a bowl and add the oranges.
  2. In a small bowl combine hazelnuts and vegetable oil. Mix until well coated.
  3. In a small non stick skillet, toast hazelnuts over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until they start to turn a golden color. Toss them frequently (watch them carefully so they don’t burn!). Set aside and let them cool. Once cooled, give them a rough chop.
  4. Dress the salad with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and salt.
So simple and so good!

Vegan Pasta Salad
I adapted this recipe from one I found here.  I use the round wheel pasta, but you could use whatever shape you like best.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked small pasta
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 jar of sundried tomatoes, drained and julienne cut
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup Vegennaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta. When finished, run under cold water or store in fridge until well cooled.
  2. In a large bowl, toss everything together with the cold pasta until evenly coated.
  3. Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready.

Avocado and Chickpea Quinoa Salad
I got this recipe from The Kind Life's recipe gallery here.  It is delicious.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Directions:
1.  Start by making the quinoa: soak the quinoa in a pot in the vegetable broth for about 15 minutes. Turn the heat on to medium-high and let the quinoa come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the quinoa simmer. Stir every so often and cook quinoa about 20-25 minutes, just until the liquid is absorbed – don’t let it dry out completely, though; when there is just a tiny amount of liquid left in the pot, remove it from the heat and cover. Set aside to cool.

2.  Meanwhile, put the spinach and cilantro in a food processor. Process until the greens are finely diced. (You can do this by hand if you don’t have a food processor.) Put the greens in the serving bowl and set aside.

3.  As long as the food processor is out and dirtied, use it to chop the onion and garlic, then add to the greens mixture. Add the chickpeas to the serving bowl and mix well. When your quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl as well, along with the tomatoes.

4.  Make the dressing by whisking all the remaining ingredients together, adding salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad and mix until combined. You can set the salad aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve and top with avocado.

Broccoli and Chickpea Salad
I got this recipe from Whole Living's January/February 2013 issue.  You can also see the recipe here. It is super light and refreshing.  


  • Ingredients:
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 15-oz can drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 5 sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey (I replaced with agave)
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and pine nuts.
  2. In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and adjust seasoning.  Store in refrigerator for up to two days.