Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!

Kale and Sprout Salad

For those of you who are not familiar with Kris Carr, you should become familiar…quickly. Her story is incredible! She was diagnosed with a very rare and incurable form of stage 4 cancer which encouraged her to make a total lifestyle upgrade inside and out. She focuses on a nutrient dense, plant-based diet and her books (and now her recipes) are so much fun. Her cookbook came out not too long ago so it’s no surprise that my girlfriends thought it would be the perfect hostess gift for me – thanks ladies of WC! The reason I like this kale salad so much (other than the fact that I am obsessed with kale) is that it uses avocado to give it such a great texture. It a modified version of her salad in the book and is oh so yummy (and super easy to modify to make your own)!

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Crazy Sexy Kale Salad + a little extra!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded by hand (I prefer dino)
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1½ avocados, pit removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp flax oil
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (I prefer orange, yellow or red over green)
  • 1 cup pea shoots, chopped in half
  • 2 cups of sunflower sprouts, chopped in half
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cucumber, sliced (for serving, see picture)
  • 2 Tbsp pepitas
Instructions
  1. Combine kale, parsley, avocados, flax oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Massage and mix with hands to wilt the kale and cream the avocado.
  2. Add the bell pepper, pea shoots, sunflower sprouts and salt and mix to combine.
  3. Serve on a plate and wrap with cucumber slice.
  4. Top with pepitas.

Avocado Cabbage Rolls

There is nothing I love more than some good spring rolls! However, it is not always easy to have rice paper at your disposal. Tip: order it from Amazon and just keep it on hand because there is nothing better than a nice homemade spring roll when you have a craving. You can enjoy the pleasure of putting whatever you want in it and they are a total crowd pleaser for a dinner party appetizer… and if you are my like my husband it can be fun to make it the size of a small burrito :). Anyhow, I saw this recipe on Whole Living and thought it was a great way to still get the look, feel and taste of a spring roll but with a little more ease. It is a bit messier who cares about a mess when peanut sauce is involved, right?! Feel free to play around with the filling – I’m sure they would be awesome with the spring roll filling as well!

Average Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce – found here!

2 cups watercress, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

2 cups jicama, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch basil, stems removed

1/2 bunch mint, stems removed

1 avocado, pitted and mashed

Salt

4-8 cabbage leaves (depending on size and number of rolls you want to make)

Directions

1. Toss watercress with carrot, jicama, basil, mint, avocado, and salt.

2. Roll in cabbage leaf and serve with peanut sauce.

Photo Credit: Whole Living

 

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash

We enjoyed a drink with our dear friends Joel and Shanna the other day and what came up? Food, eating and recipes we enjoy, shocking I know! This recipe is courtesy of Tim Ferris and we actually enjoyed it at a dinner we had with him a few months back but I totally forgot about it until our friends reminded us of it. This recipe is an awesome alternative anytime you feel like a potatoe-y goodness but want a bit fewer cals and carbs. It tastes delicious and given that is it pretty much all vegetables, it is packed with a ton of nutrients and is quite filling. Last night we made some homemade curry and put it over this. It was phenomenal!

Coconut Curry Cauliflower Mash
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 small head cauliflower (about 1½lbs), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cashews, chopped (soak for 30min up to 8 hours prior to making)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk (feel free to use a light version if you’d like)
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • Ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews for 30 min to 8 hours. Not required but suggested for a creamier mash.
  2. Place cauliflower, cashews, coconut milk, salt and water to a boil. Reduce heat cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in curry and a dash of cinnamon. Mash with fork or immersion blender until it is a mashed potato like consistency. Add more salt, cinnamon or curry as needed.
  4. Serve as a side with your choice of topping, or top with anything of your choice!

Photo Credit: Detoxinista

Brussels Sprout Chips

Brussels Sprout ChipsIf you like kale chips (and who doesn’t?!?!), you are going to love these amazing little bites of heaven. They take a bit of TLC to get all the leaves separated but it is oh so worth it. Feel free to sprinkle with Parmesan for a non-vegan version… Next on the menu: kale/brussles chips combo, can you say wow!

Brussels Sprout Chips
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp good olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off outer leaves. (I save the remainder of the brussels sprout to saute or roast).
  3. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside. Sprinkle with more kosher salt (I like these crisp and salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Photo Credit: Nomnompaleo

The Best of 2012

I think these best of post’s are such a good reminder of all the goodness we have enjoyed over the year. It’s been a wonderful and healthy 2012 and I look forward to the many delicious bites we will take in 2013! Happy New Year 🙂

January: Spanakopita with Cucumber and Yogurt Sauce

February: Homemade Heart Shaped Granola Bars

March: Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

April: Easter Deviled Eggs

May: Dilled Green Beans

June: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

July: Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

August: Vegan Lettuce Wraps

September: Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad

October: Mushroom Risotto

November: Tofu, Peanut Butter and Roasted Tomato Panzanella

December: Strawberry Santas

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds

Brussels Spout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds

It seems that every fall, I find a new Brussels Sprout Salad to share with you (which is amazing because at one point, I could not even fathom the thought of eating raw brussels sprouts). First came the Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts and Manchego, next came the Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad and now here is a new way to do Brussels in a salad. This recipe is completely dairy free but you could feel free to sprinkle with any cheese of your choice. This is a great side to your Thanksgiving meal so go forth and conquer!

Brussels Sprout Salad with Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 avocado, sliced
Instructions
  1. Whisk lemon zest and juice and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss dressing with brussels sprout leaves and pumpkin seeds. Gently stir in avocado and adjust seasoning.

Photo Credit: WholeLiving.com

Tabbouleh (Cracked Wheat Salad)

  As you can tell, I have been really into using fresh herbs lately. I love how it makes things taste like they came straight from the garden. Unless you have an herb garden of your own, you are often left with a whole lot of extra herbs since you have to buy them by the bunch. There is no doubt that you’ll have some extra mint when you’re finished making your Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Part of the reason I love to travel is because I love to eat and I started making this recipe after I went to Dubai a few years back. So I was reminded of this as I was wondering what to do with all my extra mint.  This is a great recipe because you can make a big batch of it to use up your extra herbs and eat it all throughout the week. Use it as a side, put it on salads or inside wraps. The uses are endless and all quite delicious.

Tabbouleh (Cracked Wheat Salad)
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 firm tomatoes, cubed small
  • 1 large cucumber, cubed small
  • 2-3 scallions, diced small
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil – more if needed
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice – more if needed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Place bulgur in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the bulgur.
  2. Let stand for about ½ hour, or until all water is absorbed.
  3. Drain well, squeezing out any excess water. You can use a sieve and remove excess moisture by pressing down with the back of a spoon.
  4. Add tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, and mint (optional) to bulgur.
  5. Season with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate, covered, a few hours or overnight.
  7. Serve cold.

Serving Suggestion: If you would like a gluten free version, use quinoa in place of the bulgur. Also, feel free to add raw onion or sprinkle some feta on top.

Photo Credit: Diva:flava

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

I will be a on a plane returning from Europe this Fourth of July so instead of a fun themed recipe (you’ll get that next year!), you get a tried and true favorite salad of mine which will be a nice balance for all those savory and sweet treats you will find at your BBQ’s. This salad screams summer and is very easy to make. If possible, try to use fresh corn, it really makes a difference. Happy Independence Day my friends.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 ears yellow or white corn, shucked and kernels cut from the cob (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the mint and set aside.
  2. Make an ice bath in a large bowl by combining 3 cups of ice with 3 cups water; set aside. In a large pot of boiling water, add a tablespoon salt. Add the corn kernels and the asparagus and boil until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Strain in a colander and place into the ice water. When completely cool, strain again.
  3. Place in a large bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, reserved dressing, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Photo Credit: iVillage

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato FriesSweet potatoes are not a super food for no reason. They have countless health benefits including being a great source of the vitamins and minerals that help regulate heartbeat, ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging. They are also a great source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral. And they taste delicious! Sounds like a win-win to me… and when you make them at home without the deep fryer, they taste just as good.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Olive Oil (feel free to use a flavored oil, such as hickory smoked)
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch long slices, then ¼-wide inch strips
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Spray a sheet tray with olive oil or line with parchment paper. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestion: Feel free to roast in combination with onions and or garlic. Eat alone as a side or serve with sauteed veggies and beans on top for more of a main course.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Dilled Green Beans

Dilled Green Beans

Who knew green beans could be so flavorful? I received a copy of Heidi Swanson’s cookbook for my birthday (thanks Nic and Britt), and never have I earmarked so many different recipes to try in one book. This was the first one I made and it was absolutely delicious and tasted so fresh. Honestly, you have to try it. It seems too simple to be true but the combo of the leeks and dill is incredible. Her book gives the option to add some items to make it more of an entree which I tried but below is what I’d suggest as the dish so flavorful that I personally think you don’t want to add much more to it to dilute the flavors. You can check out her blog here. I’m looking forward to trying many more of her recipes and then sharing with you all!

For new and improved recipes, please visit The Simple Kitchen!

Dilled Green Beans
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • 4 leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into ½-inch segments (see here)
  • ⅓ cup fresh dill, well chopped
  • ¾ pound green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 2½ cups or 1 can (15 oz) white beans
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet of medium-high heat add olive oil, a pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are browned and glossy, roughly 7 – 10 minutes.
  2. Add the dill, the green beans and 4 Tbsp water. Cook for a couple more minutes then add the white beans and cook until the green beans brighten up and lose that raw bite (you may need to cover to cook the green beans thoroughly).
  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serving Suggestion: Top with some roasted sliced almonds for an added crunch.