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Salads

Couscous Salad with Kale and Blueberries

Even though it’s a week after Labor Day and the kids are back in school (myself included), there’ll still be plenty of nice weekends to cookout and have picnics. This couscous salad is light and fresh and is the perfect side dish to any meal. Not only that, but it’s super quick and easy for those rushed evenings you need something fast and preferably healthy. Go ahead and give it a try–I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! Enjoy!

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup Israeli pearl couscous, dry

6 cups chopped kale (thick stems removed)

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

4 oz queso fresco, crumbled

1 avocado, diced (optional)

Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tbs raw honey

1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Let cool and place it in a large bowl. Combine with the kale, blueberries, chickpeas, cheese, and avocado (if using).

In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Enjoy!

Adapted from the Kristine’s Kitchen recipe: Kale Quinoa Salad with Blueberries

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Avocado Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share my all time favorite salad. This avocado salad is my go-to lunch whether I’m at home or on the go. It’s so absolutely delicious, simple, and satisfying. The avocado is full of unsaturated fats and the lime juice gives it some pizzazz. The chickpeas and cheese provide a great vegetarian source of protein, too! Enjoy!

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 Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 avocado, diced

1/4 cup chickpeas

2 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese

2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped

1 Tbs. scallions, chopped

Juice of half a lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine avocado, chickpeas, and feta in a bowl.
  2. Toss with lime juice.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Fall Harvest Couscous Salad

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying fall as the air is getting crisper and the leaves are finally changing colors! Today I want to share a variation of my Sweet Potato  and Quinoa Salad. Instead of quinoa, I used couscous and replaced the sweet potato with butternut squash. At first glance, they look pretty similar, but the curry gives the couscous a totally different flavor and a bit a heat. I’d love to hear what you think or which you prefer, so feel free to comment below!

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Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 1/3 cup dry couscous
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 3-4 tsp. Penzeys Curry
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the squash in your favorite olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the squash evenly on the baking sheet and roast until tender.
  4. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, curry, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. When the couscous is done, put it in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing.
  7. Add the squash, cranberries, onion, and parsley.
  8. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve hot or cold.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Believe it or not, it’s suddenly the middle of August which means Labor Day is only a few weeks away! As cookouts are planned and gatherings are arranged, it’s nearly time to start thinking about what to make for clean, healthy, crowd pleasing side dish. This Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad is fresh and summery, but incorporates some fall flavors as well, making it ideal for the last barbecue of the summer.

0415171705a.jpgPreheat the oven to 425°F. Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potato and toss it with some olive oil. You can also add salt and pepper to taste if you wish. To make cleanup easier, put a sheet of parchment paper down on a baking sheet before spreading the sweet potato on it. Make sure there is only one layer of potato cubes so that it roasts evenly. After about 15 minutes, they should be slightly golden and tender, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, put the quinoa and broth in a pot or saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the quinoa simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. When it is done, it will be soft and fluffy and the germ ring of the grain will be visible.

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Since we’re waiting on the sweet potato and quinoa, now is a great time to start prepping the other ingredients. Chop the basil, cilantro, and scallions and set aside. Wash and juice the lemon as well.

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In a small bowl, add the minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice and give in a good whisk.

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When the sweet potato and quinoa are ready, put both in a large bowl. Add the cranberries, herbs, and onions and mix in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy warm or cold–it’s delicious either way!

 

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbs garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potato and toss it with some olive oil. You can also add salt and pepper to taste if you wish.
  3. To make cleanup easier, put a sheet of parchment paper down on a baking sheet before spreading the sweet potato on it. Make sure there is only one layer of potato cubes so that it roasts evenly. After about 15 minutes, they should be slightly golden and tender, but not mushy.
  4. Meanwhile, put the quinoa and broth in a pot or saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the quinoa simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. When it is done, it will be soft and fluffy and the germ ring of the grain will be visible.
  6. Chop the basil, cilantro, and scallions and set aside. Wash and juice the lemon as well.
  7. In a small bowl, add the garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice and give it a good whisk.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sweet potato, cranberries, onions, and herbs and  mix in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!

The Ideal Salad

Is your go-to salad bogged down with thick ranch, fatty bacon bits, and unnaturally orange croutons? Or maybe you’re just tired of the same old boring salad. Whatever your dilemma may be, I have just the solution!

Each salad begins with a base. It could be romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, or a mix of greens. Try to avoid iceberg lettuce when possible though–it has very few nutrients.

The next layer consists of any seasonal veggies you have on hand. Some of my favourites are cherry tomatoes, sweet pepper slices, and cucumber. I use whatever I have in the fridge or the garden, so no salad is exactly the same.

After all the vegetables–or technically fruits– comes protein. Typically, I use tuna and garbanzo beans, but grilled chicken breast is also scrumptious! If you’re not allergic, you could even add some hard boiled egg slices or nuts.

Now it’s time for fruit. Fresh berries are my top choice, but sliced apple or pear works well too. When buying produce, it’s important to go with organic and locally sourced items. However, that can be expensive, especially in the winter months. If organic, local produce isn’t plausible for you, that’s okay–it’s better to have an inorganic apple from 700 miles away than no apple at all.

To top off my salad, I sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese on top. (Trader Joe’s Mediterranean Herb is my favourite!) It adds one more boost of protein with a little pizazz. For dressing, I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They come in lots of flavours too, so you’ll never run out of healthy options. For instance, olive oil can be infused with garlic, basil, or blood orange and balsamic vinegar comes in maple, tangerine, Neapolitan herb, and cranberry pear.

By using this formula, you can incorporate all the food groups into one delicious, on-the-go meal. These salads not only taste better than what you would find at the average salad bar, but they are packed with fresh nutrients leaving you feeling satisfied all day. If you’re looking for a salad that’s slightly more exotic than the standard green salad, try this sweet potato quinoa salad or this avocado, garbanzo, and feta salad.