Our theme this month was “summer salads”. We don’t often do salads, but the warmest weather calls for some cooler foods. These are all great dishes to make ahead of time and take to a party or a picnic and each could easily stand as a main dish themselves or a great side. As always, these recipes are meant to be a jumping off point…please add what looks the most fresh and makes you happy (for example, the Mediterranean quinoa dish would go great with feta cheese, if that’s your thing). But, also try to keep it clean! We want you to eat well.
Asian “noodle” Salad
2 zuchini, “noodle style” (see below)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 tablespoon agave or honey
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 knuckle of ginger grated/micro planed
1 carrot, thinly sliced or julienned
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced or julienned
5 green onions, bottom 4 inches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage (we used purple but napa is good, too)
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or julienned
1/2 cup julienned bok choy
1 cup bean sprouts, optional
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
We used our mandolin to finely julienne the zucchini so that they were noodle-like. If you don’t have a mandolin, try using a box grater. Rice noodles would work great in this dish as well and still keep it gluten free.
In a medium bowl combine, sesame oil, vinegar, tamari sauce, srirachca, agave/honey, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Mix thoroughly and then combine prepared vegetables (and cilantro) and noodles. Garnish with the sesame seeds.
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced fine
1.5 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 firm-ripe avocado (about 10 oz.)
1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas
1 can blackbeans (* 1.5 cups each)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 red onion
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1 pint grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, mix vinegar, jalapeño, oil, and garlic. Peel, pit, and cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.
Drain and rinse beans and bring corn to room temperature (if needed, toss it in a skillet on med-high for just a minute or two). Add remaining ingredients (beans through tomatoes) to avocado; mix gently to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it with chips or inside tacos or in lettuce wraps or….you get the point. It’s good any way you do it!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1.5 cup uncooked quinoa
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup (about 10) pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced, seeds removed
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jar Pickled beets
1 can Artichoke hearts
Handful chopped spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Prepare the quinoa- combine quinoa and water/broth, bring to a vigorous boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and thread-like spirals will appear around the grains. Let the quinoa cool. This can even be done a day or two in advance.
In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients (from the onions to the mint) with the cooled quinoa. Toss with the olive oil and the lemon juice, adding more to your taste preference. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Again, all of these recipes are very versatile. You can add some lightly steamed veggies to the quinoa- or add quinoa to the Asian salad instead of the noodles. The more time you spend experimenting with your food, the better you will know what it is that you like. And the faster you will get at cooking.
Please let us know what variations you come up with!