Category Archives: salad

Quinoa Walnut Salad with Wasabi Dressing

Spring? Summer? Not sure what’s going on with the weather in Virginia but in spite of the incessant rain, the green trees and foliage lends a spark to life.

We have vegetables, herbs and trees we are planting and it is all very uplifting for our own being and the life of this planet.

This salad needs no recipe but here it is…. You should adjust the ingredients to your taste.

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The base ingredients are cooked quinoa, chopped cucumbers, chopped walnuts, cranberries, lots of chopped parsley, chopped mint and some arugula. You can really add and subtract what you like but keep some crunch( cucumbers), some carbs( quinoa), some  good fats ( walnuts)  and some sweetness ( cranberries).

I cooked the quinoa in a rice cooker with the setting of white rice. Please use any method that works for you.

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The dressing is another story. I love wasabi and found this dried powder version I am able to use in dressings. It has just the right amount of sharpness. The truffle oil adds an earthy dimension that will leave you craving for more.

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Quinoa Walnut Salad with Wasabi Dressing

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
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a beautiful spring inspired quinoa salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chopped chopped organic cucumbers
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup arugula

Dressing

  • 1 tsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • Pink salt  and black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Whip the dressing together and adjust the seasoning
  • Pour over the salad, toss and serve

I am taking this to  Fiesta Friday #170,  with Angie and our co-hosts Monika and Sue.

I have also shared this with CookBlogShare hosted  by Hijacked by Twins

Fermented Food experiments #2 -Beet Kanji

Fermented foods are just beautiful  not only for the taste buds but also for your gut.  Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout  the globe.  Similar foods can be found in every culture,  just called something different.
Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.
My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India  I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It  was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather  while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.
True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented food s I am experimenting with.
Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar
Click here for a previous recipe of Red Cabbage Pickle

In this edition: Fermented Beet tonic – Kanji

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/beetkanji-5782.jpg?w=474

BeetKanji-5786This fermented beet pickle and tonic fascinates  and mesmerizes with its deep violet color and tangy taste. There many health benefits of both the beets and these are just amplified through fermenting.

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“Kanji”  is usually a pungent combination of water, mustard seeds, beetroot and carrots and is full of digestion-boosting friendly bacteria and enzymes. I have only used beets here so the color is quite intense. Beets are high is sugar but the fermentation breaks the sugars down and makes this drink a healthy tonic. Very similar to Kvass which is an eastern European fermented beverage commonly made with rye bread.

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Fermented Beets - Kanji

  • Servings: many
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a zesty beet fermented drink and pickle

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 large organic beets
  • 3 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3 whole red chilies ( Serrano)
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 6–7 cups filtered water

Directions

  • Wash and Slice and dice the beets in bite size pieces. I like to leave to skin on for organic beets.
  • Crush mustard seeds with mortar and pestle just to a coarse grind
  • Place the diced beets and carrots into a half-gallon glass jar.
  • Add the Serrano pepper, mustard seeds and salt.
  • Add the water, leaving one-inch of air space between the top of the water and the top of the jar. Tightly cover the jar.
  • Ferment the kanji for 2-3 days at room temperature.
  • Stir with a clean wooden spoon and taste. If it’s tangy – it’s fermented and ready
  • You can transfer the jar to the fridge and store for a few weeks.

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Enjoy a cup or bowl of this delicious liquid and eat the pickles beet and add them to your salad.

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Divine!

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Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday

Fermented food experiments #1 – Red Cabbage quick pickle

Fermented foods are just beautiful  not only for the taste buds but also for your gut.  Ancients culture have propagated fermented foods for preservation and taste through the centuries. The souring action if microbes that produced fermentation have been critical in our diets throughout  the globe.  Similar foods can be found in every culture,  just called something different.

Indian “Achar” or “Kanji” are great examples and so is the fabulous “Kimchi” from Korea.

My personal story takes me back to the late 1970’s where as a young girl spending lazy winters vacation in Lucknow, India  I would watch my grandfather ferment and pickle various vegetables in earthenware and produce the probiotic liquid called “Kanji” in India. It  was delicious, tart and healthy and the joy of helping my grandfather  while he worked on these beautiful foods is a memory that is permanent ink in my soul.

True to foods that nourish your soul and help you remember your history, in this series I am sharing different fermented foods I am experimenting with.

Click here for a previous recipe of Kashmiri Achar

In this edition: Red Cabbage Pickle

https://foodforthesoul00.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/redcabbagepickle-5765.jpg?w=474

Continue reading Fermented food experiments #1 – Red Cabbage quick pickle

Pineapple Harissa Salmon with Tahini Greens

A healthy recipe bursting with deep flavors of pineapple, tahini and rose harissa spice blend.

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Angie’s  Healthy Recipe Challenge is on and I am pretty late in thinking about combining leafy greens and pineapple. I like spice in my recipes so pineapple is the perfect sweet to cut through those spices. A wild caught salmon is perfect to showcase the flavors with quinoa, arugula and baby spinach and a perfect tahini  dressing.

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I used Elaine’s Rose Harissa Blend ( Thank you Elaine!). Do check it out on her blog and the fantastic ways she has used it in many recipes.

A little bit about the dressing….Tahini can be made at home or you can buy the good quality organic tahini in a bottle. Tahini is sesame paste and has fat in it. No additional fat is needed in the dressing. The apple cider vinegar gives it the tartness, pineapple the sweetness and aminos or tamari gives a bit of salt and flavor.  This can be stored and used in  many dishes that you will make. Top it over falafels, burgers, fritters and anything your heart desires.

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Pineapple Tahini Dressing

So with that said, the pineapple and greens challenge has been well incorporated in this dish 🙂

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Pineapple Harissa Salmon with Tahini Greens

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

a harissa spiced salmon baked in the oven served with tahini dressing over greens

Ingredients

Salmon:

  • 2-3 pieces of  wild-caught Salmon

Harissa Spice mix marinade:

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/2 cup pineapple pieces
  • 2 tablespoon coconut amino or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pink or Sea Salt – to taste

Salad and Toppings:

  • Arugula and Baby spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Chopped Pineapple
  • Sliced Avocados

Directions

Salmon

  • Use a blender to combine the Harissa marinade ingredients  and marinate the salmon pieces for 30 mins.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • Put the salmon on the baking sheet (skin-side down), then put it in the oven.
  • Bake for 8-10 minute.

Greens

  • Mix quinoa and  greens together with dressing, I have used arugula, spinach  but any fresh salad greens are good here.

Dressing

  • Put the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

Assemble the greens, top with walnuts and dressing. Plate the salmon and top with sliced avocados and pineapple.

 

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Lemongrass Lettuce Cups

There are so many varieties of lettuce available these days that it would make your head spin. Rich in vitamin A and K and deficient in calories, it is a low carb alternative that accompanies us in salads around the globe.

Butterhead – Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce has a sweet flavor and tender texture and is perfect for use as cups to serve your favorite mixture.

This gluten free dish is quick and easy to make and the flavors are amazing. I made some lemon grass paste at home and store it in the fridge for multiple uses. It stays pretty well for a couple of weeks. You can always use the store bought version

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I have used organic ground turkey here but you could use ground chicken or any vegan proteins you like.

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To get a tangy taste, I have added pickled carrots which are easy to make with rice vinegar, salt and a teaspoon of maple syrup.

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Chestnuts have been used for that crunch in every bite.

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Lemongrass Lettuce Cups

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the filling

  • 1lb fresh organic ground turkey
  • 2-3 green onions ( chopped)
  • Fresh Basil – handful chopped
  • Fresh mint – handful chopped
  • 1 small cucumber – chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts – chopped fine
  • 1 cup Pickled carrots
  • 2 tablespoon lemon grass paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek.
  • 1 cup of toasted cashew pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 head of Butter lettuce – cleaned and leaves removed for serving

Lemongrass paste

Use 2-3 stalks and remove the hard dry stalks first. Then chop up the softer interior.  Add 2-3 cloves or garlic, an inch of ginger root, an inch of fresh turmeric (or a tsp of dry) and some sea salt . Blend it in a blender adding water as needed for consistency. Then a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a final blend. This will store well for 2-3 weeks in the fridge

Carrot pickle

Marinate shredded carrots in a cup of rice vinegar, sea salt and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Pickle is ready in 20 mins but ages well for future uses.

Putting it together:

  • Cook the turkey in olive oil breaking up the lumps until brown. Add the lemon grass paste and mix well.
  • Continue to cook and add the water chestnuts. Give it about 5 mins and set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix together the cucumbers, green onions, basil, mint, lemon juice and sambal oelek. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the cooked turkey and mix well.
  • Spoon the mixture on to the lettuce cups and garnish with pickled carrots and toasted cashews.

Sharing this with Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen. Check out their fabulous blogs, you will love them.

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Cucumber Yogurt and Dill salad

There are so many versions of cucumber and herbs in cuisines ranging from Indian, Egyptian to Greek. My version takes all these influences and create a soothing and filling summer dish.

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Perfect for the summer months especially if you have those fresh cucumber growing in your back yard. I have been so excited about my cucumber produce that has brought joy to my small garden. Nothing like picking that cucumber and serving it within minutes.

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The yoghurt can be greek or whole milk just needs to be thick. I used a grass fed organic yoghurt which was creamy and delicious.

Dill and mint ( dried and fresh) add amazing flavors and of course garlic is king in kicking the whole dish up many notches:)

You can use Pistachios or Almonds, I soaked the almonds for a couple of hours and sliced them after removing the skin.

This is when you bring out that good quality olive oil.

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</p> <p>Cucumber Yogurt and Dill salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 container of plain yoghurt

2 cucumbers

Chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup of chopped dill

2 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 slivered almonds

Salt to taste

Good olive oil

Putting it together

  1. In bowl, mix garlic with the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, fresh and dried mint.
  2. Add the cucumbers, cumin and salt to taste
  3. Top with raisins, almonds and  a couple of glugs of  good olive oil.

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Taking this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday.

Watermelon Radish salad with Ginger Miso vinaigrette

A simple salad featuring the beautiful crisp colorful watermelon radish. Tossed with baby kale, walnuts, sprouts, goat cheese and a tangy ginger vinaigrette. Th

Watermelon Radish Salad with Ginger Miso dressing
Watermelon Radish Salad with Ginger Miso dressing

 

This is the first lunch I have made in my re vamped kitchen. It’s been a month of no cooking as the kitchen was gutted and resurrected again…shiny marbly white:) Looks too clean to cook in right now but I am sure I will wear it down.

A trip to restock the kitchen located this beautiful watermelon radish and a sprout mix at the local MOMs organic market. I am still looking for my pots and pans but thought I can certainly do a delicious spring salad.

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The dressing is a blend of fresh ginger and miso with rice vinegar and honey.IMG_2265

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Watermelon Radish salad with Ginger Miso vinaigrette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Dressing:

Ginger 1 inch

Watermelon Radish Salad with Ginger Miso dressing
Watermelon Radish Salad with Ginger Miso dressing

Miso paste 1 tsp

Rice vinegar – 2 tbspn

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Raw honey – 1 tbsp

Grapeseed oil – 1 tbsp

Pink or Sea Salt – to taste

 

Salad:

A bunch Baby Kale

One Thinly sliced watermelon radish

One cup Mix of power sprouts ( Alfalfa,  radhis, garbanzo, lentils)

Crumbled goat cheese

Toasted walnuts about 1/2 cup

 

Putting it together:

Put the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Assemble the salad topping with cheese and walnuts. Spoon over the dressing.

 

 

Its been a while since I joined Angie and friends at Fiesta Friday but am ready to join the party co hosted by  Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook