We’ve had more than our share of fun these past few months. Fun that included more than our share of food.
When I buy a head of cauliflower, this snowy white vegetable sits in the crisper completely neglected, until it turns a lovely shade of brown.
After I toss it in the compost bin, I vow never to make the same mistake again. I’m sure you can guess what happens the next time cauliflower lands in my grocery cart!
Not this time! I’m moving into a new era of cauliflower love starting with a cauliflower salad.
For more than a few good reasons, you’ll find kale salads make frequent appearances on our dinner table.
Spend just one minute searching for kale on the internet and you’ll produce hundreds of websites touting the health benefits of this leafy green vegetable.
That’s because it’s packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K , which studies believe contribute to the prevention of various cancers.
Kale is also loaded with fiber, so if you want to lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, kale is the way to go.
When my kids were little people, their meal of choice was chicken tenders – ketchup included on every plate.
Those days are long past, but every day I can picture their darling faces chowing down at the kitchen counter.
Combining beets with avocado in the same salad recipe would never have occurred to this healthy home cook.
That is until I discovered The Flavor Bible. I happened upon this handy tool for the kitchen a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using it ever since.
Amazon’s describes this book as “The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs,” and I completely agree.
Home cooks love to be inventive in the kitchen, but it’s easy to get into a cooking rut. I often find myself using the same combination of ingredients over and over again.
The Flavor Bible takes a food like beets and tells you the season it can be found and methods of cooking. Then you can find the foods, spices and herbs that complement it best.
To make this healthy salad I looked up beets in the book to find a list of complementary ingredients, then headed off to the store with my grocery list in hand.
When it was time to create my masterpiece, I layered roasted beets, sliced avocado, slivers of spicy red onion, and fresh basil on a platter. After a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to add brightness, I topped the works with a crumble of salty feta cheese and a grind of pepper.
The flavors of my beet salad harmonized perfectly thanks to my new kitchen Bible!
I have the electronic version, but I purchased the hardcover for Grandma Karen. After thumbing through the book and feeling it in my hands, you can be sure it’s on my gift list. (Hint, hint Mr. Mike!).
- 4 small roasted beets, sliced
- ½ medium avocado, sliced
- 5 leaves basil, thinly sliced (Chiffonade)
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons low fat feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sqeeze lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a foil packet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 1 - 1 /12 hours until just tender. You don't want mushy beets. When beets are cooled, peel off skin with your hands and slice.
- Layer beets, onion, basil and avocado on a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Saturated fatty acids: 4.02g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 6.70g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 1.15g
Total fat: 11.87g
Calories from fat: 106
Carbohydrate, by difference: 17.02g
Total dietary fiber: 4.71g
Total lipid (fat): 12.83g
Total sugars: 10.98g
If you’re a beet lover, this salad with beets and grapes in a walnut vinaigrette makes a refreshing summer side dish for your next grilling adventure. It’s another combination of ingredients I wouldn’t have thought to toss into a salad bowl, but we thoroughly enjoyed the mix of orange and red beets with sweet apples and red grapes.
Have a terrific week everyone and if you get a chance be sure and pick up The Flavor Bible. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s salad week at Mother Rimmy’s house.
With the abundance of garden fresh vegetables like eggplant available at the markets these days, we’d be crazy not to take advantage!
Sad to say, but watermelon is not my thing. It’s just too clingy sweet for my taste.
I know that colorful melon is good for me, and most people think it’s crazy that I avoid it. In fact, World’s Healthiest Foods states that “Alongside of tomatoes, watermelon has moved up to the front of the line in recent research studies on high-lycopene foods. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health . . .”
Sounds like a good reason to get over my aversion to it, so I decided to tone that clingy sweetness down by adding it to my favorite salad ingredients – quinoa and kale.
Along with the pile of grapes on the counter, a lovely bunch of tarragon and a few crumbles of feta cheese, I was able to mellow out that watermelon and turn it into a salad I was completely happy with.
I must admit, this is definitely a colorful dish!
As I was digging through my recipe archives, I discovered this earlier version of a watermelon salad with chickpeas and red onion. The chickpeas add a nice protein boost, making it a meal in a bowl. But alas, my pantry was bare.
Let me know what you think of this easy salad combination. With just a handful of ingredients and watermelon readily available this time of year, it’s really a fun combination of flavors. Even this watermelon avoider loved it!
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
- 4 cups watermelon, cubed into smaller pieces
- 2 cups grapes, halved
- 2 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup low fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons tarragon, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 squeezes lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss together to combine ingredients.
Saturated fatty acids: 6.18g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 4.28g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.81g
Total fat: 11.27g
Calories from fat: 101
Carbohydrate, by difference: 44.16g
Total dietary fiber: 4.29g
Total lipid (fat): 13.76g
Total sugars: 18.51g
I don’t know about you, but when I roast a pork loin, or bake pork chops, I always have leftover meat. Most likely I find myself in this situation because I’m always ready to cook for a crowd, and now I’m cooking for two.
But that’s okay, there’s no such thing as wasting food in this house. I can always put leftovers to good use.