Category Archives: Salads

Kale Salad with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

This is a post from a couple years ago, and it’s just too good of a recipe to not share again.

Well this 98+° weather we are having here is leaving me with little motivation to cook in the kitchen, especially with an air conditioner on its last breath. Easy, cool, crisp and delicious is what I am going for during these next few days of heat. The fridge has been stocked with lots of fruit, greens and easy fixins to toss in a bowl for when it’s time to get our munch on. I have some dressings made but am always looking for new ones to try. Shannon at The Glowing Fridge is such a bright light and makes the most delicious recipes, and this is one I have been wanting to try and I had just about everything but some I modified for what I did have. If you like spicy hot (but doesn’t leave you sweating) and bursting with flavor, then this is one I recommend trying.

 

putting the fixins together

Recipe Inspired by: The Glowing Fridge

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 cups de-stemmed chopped kale (I used half kale & half spinach)
1 cup of quinoa (I didn’t use this in the first batch that is why it is not in my picture)
1/2 red onion or 1 shallot, chopped (I chopped about 5 green onions as that is what I had and it tasted fine)
1 can black beans
1 cup organic sweet corn

Spicy Dressing:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup hot sauce of your choice (I used Franks Hot sauce)
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 generous teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cumin
sea salt and pepper to taste

spicy dressing (2)

 

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to directions if not already cooked. (I did not use warm quinoa)

In a large bowl add the kale and the onion.

Once the quinoa is done cooking, add in the black beans and corn to the pot with the quinoa and mix it up. Add the quinoa mixture to the bowl with the kale and mix.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients in a bowl.

I added chopped avocado and cherry tomatoes, but you could add any vegetables you’d like.

Note: I had pre cooked quinoa in the fridge so I used that and did not heat any of the ingredients and it tasted great. I also used both kale and spinach and it was delicious. Also depending on if you want a warm or cold salad, you can’t go wrong. The dressing can be modified to how hot you like by adding less or more hot sauce.

 

Carrot Noodle Salad

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Tossing a bowl of chopped or spiralized raw veggies with fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice, vinegar and a few shakes of some spices, turns into a flavorful dish. I usually just add a little of this and that, and taste until I like the flavor. Sometimes the juices will be a bit to tart/sour so I will add a little honey or pure maple syrup to balance it out. The family tends to go through phases of eating lots of raw ingredients and then cooked, mostly due to the season but we definitely need to include more raw into our meals. I have become a huge lunch/dinner bowl muncher by mixing up what ever vegetables, fruits, grains or legumes that are in the fridge and tossing them into a bowl. It seems to be the most satisfying and easy meal. Plus it cleans out the fridge!

When the weather warms up this salad bowl is just so refreshing. IT can be a great side dish, starter dish, lunch or straight up dinner. I have found that this salad is best soon after it is made and the next day.  I recommend that it does not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 2 days. So without further ado, this quick fresh salad bowl will tantalize your taste-buds!

 

raw chick pea salad #2

 

Ingredients:

1 can of organic chickpeas or 2 cups
2 large carrots (2-3 depending on size)
1 large organic cucumber (cut in fourths – slice in half, then slice again in half and chop)
1 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup organic edamame (optional)
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds or sesame seeds

Ingredients for the first dressing:

2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/8-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Ingredients for the final dressing:

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons local honey

 

raw chick pea salad

 

Directions:

Pour and whisk all the ingredients for the first dressing in a small bowl.

Using a medium sized bowl, add the chickpeas, onion, chopped cilantro, bell pepper (if using), and the chopped cucumber.  Pour the dressing into the bowl, mix thoroughly and set in the fridge.

Using a spiralizer or gadget of choice, curl the carrots and remaining cucumber into noodles and set aside.

Using the small bowl from the first dressing, whisk together the rice vinegar and honey.

Pull out the bowl from the fridge and add in the noodles and pour the final dressing and mix well.  Top with chia seeds or sesame seeds and enjoy!

 

Mango Fresca

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Not sure this recipe is a specific ‘type’ of dish, call it what you want, dip, salsa, salad, either way, you will enjoy the mild sweet heat in this dish.  Depending on how you want to eat it, by chopping up some greens and mix in as a salad, spread it on romaine leaves or scooping it with chips, these are all tasty options and you can’t go wrong with any of them.  This Mango Fresca is a great dish to take to a gathering, as a side to your meal or as your meal.  It is flavorful and filling and you can fancy it up with some chopped avocado.

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Apple Walnut Salad

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Sometimes simple dishes can be a tad bland, but I have learned, they can also pack a flavorful punch and this salad does just that. The fresh, crisp ingredients tantalize the taste buds all while leaving bellies satisfied :)  Lemons and  apple cider vinegar add so much flavor to a salad and I have played around trying to get a solid balance between the two.  This salad was a huge hit the other night and thank goodness I made extra so we had it for lunch the next day.  I haven’t played with other ingredients other than what is listed below, but if you wanted to add more toppings go for it.  We prefer it as is.

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Pasta Salad

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Warm days are in full swing and we are finishing up the last week of school… yipeee!!  We have been working on some different lunch items and the girls requested pasta salad.  I do not even remember the last time I made, let alone ate pasta salad so it was time to get one to add to our collection of recipes.  Most recipes use oil or suggest a store bought dressing and that just isn’t something I choose to eat or feed my family.  You could very well use what you prefer for this pasta salad and please share your variations. Chilled on a warm day, this salad hit the spot!

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Spicy Peanut Zoodles

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Not sure if my family is going to get zoodled out, but I have been zoodle’n away lately because it is a super easy and fun way to get more veggies in their bellies!  This recipe was one that just Jon and I had as the kids were away at the grandmas for spring break, but it will be made again :) I have made peanut sauces before and they are all similar and change slightly depending on how much more ginger, lime, garlic, pepper flakes or liquid aminos I add to the sauce.  I don’t really measure out, I tend to add as I go until I like the taste.  This time I was a bit more strategic in making the sauce.

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Zoodles Are Oodles of Fun

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Replace the boring flavorless pasta noodles once in a while and invest in a spiralizer!  Yeah maybe it will take up some space with your other kitchen gadgets or you may think you won’t use it like some of the other kitchen contraptions you have tucked away, but this is a kitchen tool that will be used.  You, your husband, your kids, anyone will have oodles of fun using one and eating the noodles, and not to mention they turn meals into healthier options.

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Brussels Sprouts, on the Sweeter Side

Brussels Sprouts, loved to hate these things at dinner when I was a kid, how is it that now I am an adult I have no problem eating them.  With the nutritional benefits that Brussels sprouts provide, we should be adding these to our meals more often. When we do have them with a meal, we typically consume these green orbs of awesomeness as a more herby savory dish.  I remember my mom making a salad with brussels sprouts one time and using dried cranberries which made them taste a bit sweet.  I don’t usually have dried cranberries, but I have dates!  Roasted Brussels are my top favorite but these I wanted to cook on the stove. Since these are a bit of a pain in the rear to prep, I would be sure to allow yourself an extra 5-10 minutes to prep the Brussels Sprouts.   It didn’t take long to make this dish as there was not many ingredients.  I took a sampling to a friend and she like them, a tad on the sweeter side (which I agreed) so I will tone it down with the dates next go around. Well, the remaining container was consumed by the hubs so there was nothing left for the kids to taste test, guess I will be making another batch tonight.  I don’t post recipes unless they have been kid approved, but this is a delicious dish as a lunch or a side.  Also, I tested it right when it was off the stove and it was tasty. I also tested a bite after it had chilled in the refrigerator before the hubs devoured the rest and it was just as tasty.

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