Salads

roasted citrus salad

Revamp your salad game to keep from getting bored towards the end of a salad filled summer. Roasted caramelized oranges are just what you need to add depth and complexity to mundane salads. Pair them with the bitter tang of arugula and smooth avocado and you get a salad that’ll feel sinfully gourmet.

IMG_5737

 

Roasted Citrus & Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from bon appétit

Ingredients:

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and sliced, seeds removed *
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thin sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

IMG_5736Preheat your oven to 425′ F. Toss your citrus slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast your citrus, flipping occasionally, until you get a light char and a caramelized sweet scent (10-15 minutes). Let cool. **

 

Meanwhile, combine your onion and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will soften and mellow out the flavor of your onions.

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and roasted citrus. Pour onions and lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat

 

* Don’t feel like you’re limited to oranges here. If you’ve got blood oranges or love the taste of grapefruit try those! You could even do lemons for more flavor.

** Feel free to make your oranges ahead of time and keep in the fridge. They stayed pretty nicely for me and were in the fridge all day.

IMG_5746

We ate this tasty little salad with some tangy korean ribs and potato salad (recipes to come), but it was great with some pesto chicken salad the next day too!

 

 

Perfect Prepping

I did some prepping this past weekend. Took the trip to Whole Foods, spent my Saturday chopping and dicing and organizing, and then got to enjoy my week without all the food hassle that comes along with packing lunches and scrambling for snacks. It’s been smooth sailing and I wanted to share some of the methods to my prepping madness. Here’s what I did:

  • Made a salad mix:
    • I bought mixed greens (I make my own blend of romaine, mixed, and spinach), a variety of colored peppers, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumbers. I chop them all up and put them in a big container together.IMG_5413
  • Made brown rice & quinoa:
    • Nothing fancy here, just bought some no-gmo basmati brown rice and tri-color quinoa, cooked some of each, and stored them in two separate containers in the fridge to grab whenever I need some healthy carbs in a pinch. They are perfect for salad toppers too!IMG_5410
  • Made snack baggies
    • I put together little snack baggies that I could grab in the morning and stuff in my lunch box so I’m never too hungry during the day. I made carb baggies: few with mixed berries (fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) and a few with some fresh cherries. I made healthy fat baggies: a few trail mix baggies (roasted unsalted nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a little dried fruit). And a few protein baggies: two hardboiled eggs in a some baggies.IMG_5414
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
    • Having some diced or whole roasted sweet potatoes in the fridge is another essential grab for me. I can take a hunk smothered in cinnamon and almond butter to have with my snack or throw some on my salad. They taste just as good in a cold salad as they do when you make them hot!IMG_5411
  • Got my meats.
    • At the Whole Foods deli, they had thin sliced skirt steak they wrap up like deli meat that I bought for my first few lunches. You can also get chicken like that here!
  • Other ideas include portioning out nut butters or hummus into small containers to grab and go with, make a batch of chicken or tuna salad, grill up some chicken breasts for high quality protein in your lunches, make your own dressing (I like to keep it simple with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and some chia seeds)

Now that you’re all prepped, here are two killer salads you can make for lunch or dinner using leftovers and the stuff you’ve got in your fridge that take under 10 minutes to throw together on your way out the door.

Steak and Roasted Red Pepper SaladIMG_5447

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad & veggie base mix
  • 4 oz sliced and diced skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or sub brown rice)
  • 1/6 of an avocado, diced
  • handful roasted red peppers, chef’s cut
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon craisins
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions:

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

 

Go-To Salmon SaladIMG_5444

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad and veggie base mix
  • 4 oz leftover salmon filet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1 Tbsp craisins
  • 1/6 avocado, diced
  • almonds & cashews
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions: 

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

shredded sprout salad

Posted by Corie

images-3Thanksgiving is comin’ in hot. Before you know it, there’ll be turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and then all the other stuff that’s always on the table, but no one talks about. You know what I mean. There’s always like one or two vegetables that get passed around and everyone feels obligated to take, but really we all just want another scoop of mashed potatoes covered in gravy ’cause that’s the shit that tastes good. Well, in honor of this phenomenon, today’s post is all about finding new appreciation for one of those unappreciated Thanksgiving veggies… the Brussels sprout.

 

900c8a714b5c6897b53069c1342ce9b2206322e2bb5caab7c2c53cbdc4c54df6Brussels sprouts look like cute little bundles of cabbage. They are a cruciferous vegetable meaning they are in the same class as broccoli, kale, bok choy, and cauliflower. Cruciferous veggies are rich in nutrients like carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, minerals, and fiber. They are even being studied for their association with cancer prevention. They get a bad rap for being smelly and tasting bad, but that’s just because all those people saying that haven’t had them this way yet.

Shredded Sprout Salad

For the Salad:

3 tbsp fine chopped shallots

1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded

2-3 large handfuls spinach or kale

 

Last night was a feeding frenzy, but I managed to get a picture of the sprouts in my salad today!

Last night was a feeding frenzy, but I managed to get a picture of the sprouts in my salad today!

For the Dressing:

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, diced

1 tbsp minced shallot

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp dried)

1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp water

Salt & Pepper to taste

To make the dressing, combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, thyme, and hazelnuts in a blender. Blend on medium while adding in oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and water. Add salt and some pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan heat up shallots in an oil of your choice [you could use coconut oil, olive oil, or even just throw some bacon in there] until transparent and fragrant. Throw in your Brussels sprouts and continue to cook until they begin to soften. Add the dressing and the kale or spinach to the pan. Work it all together and cook until the kale or spinach begins to wilt.

Remove from the pan and plate. If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts this dish will change your mind. If you already love Brussels sprouts… why haven’t you started making this yet? Go! Go! Go!

images-4

recipe adapted from edible Jersey

Resources:

http://www.cancer.gov

http://www.cancer.org

whfoods.org

fajita salad

Posted by Corie

The fajita. A beautiful union of sizzling hot peppers and onions, with tender, juicy chicken or steak, slathered in guacamole and covered in a mound of fresh tomato salsa. Ditch the tortillas and add a bed of crisp lettuce… ayup, fajitas just became your new best friend.

stepbro

This shit I’m about to drop on you all is super easy. You can make everything from scratch or you can buy some of your favorite brand salsa or guacamole, it’s all up to you. These have tons of muscle building protein from the chicken, vitamins and minerals in all your veggie toppings and healthy fats from avocado. The brown rice is optional, but it definitely gives the dish a faux-chipotle feel and satisfied my complex carb craving. Sometimes, the body wants what the body wants, and it’s important to listen. But if gluten bothers you or you’re going all full-scale paleo, then by all means leave it out. Last note, you can definitely make this with steak or shrimp or a mix. Have fun with it.

friggen’ fresh fajita saladIMG_3629

serves 4-5 w/ leftovers

For the Chicken:

(Feel free to use your own marinade instead)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp grainy mustard

2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro

4 cloves garlic, minced

Throw the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. Season with the salt and pepper. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, when combined, pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and let that stuff sit in the refrigerator for one to a few hours. If you’re pressed for time, a half hour will do, but you won’t get all the flavor. Also… some adobo sauce would be bangin’ in there, but I didn’t have any.

Take the chicken out and cook over medium high heat on the stove in a sauté pan. Get a nice deep golden brown color on the outsides and then let them cook on low until done throughout. Make sure they are cooked all the way through because we don’t need any cases of salmonella round here. Then slice then and set aside.

For the Rice:

1.5 cups brown rice

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut oil

juice of 1 lime

chopped, fresh cilantro

put your brown rice and 4 cups water in a pot over high heat. Throw in a pinch of salt and let that come to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed by your rice. Fluff with a fork and then stir in the coconut oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

For the Peppers: 

3/4 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips

2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips

In a large saute pan, heat the onions and some coconut oil over medium-high. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown and caramelize. Throw in the peppers and continue to cook and stir until the same thing happens to them. You want to get a real good color and flavor on these so taste often if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salsa: 

I made a fresh avocado salsa, but feel free to sub here.

2 large tomatoes, small chopped

1/2 small red onion, small chopped

1.5 avocados, chopped

juice of 1 lime wedge

pinch of salt

fresh cilantro

Just throw it all together and let sit in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to let all those flavors mesh.

Put it all together: 

Over a bed of thin chopped romaine and mixed greens, pile high a small scoop of rice, a healthy handful of those peppers and onions, slices of the chicken, and then the salsa. You can put all the salads together ahead of time or make it like a fajita salad bar where everyone makes their own. Get a good simple dressing, I used a chili-lime vinaigrette my mom picked up at whole foods, and drizzle that all over your salad. DIG IN. Gainz galore.

 

 

tips to up your salad game

Posted by Corie

I’ve eaten a lot of salads in my day. Okay I’m only 22, but regardless I’ve eaten a shit ton of salads. You go out to eat or you go to a party and for the most part, you see the same salads. You got your house, your caesar, your spinach, maybe a pear walnut, if you’re lucky. Ugh, it gets boring. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient.  Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the creativity?

sad-woman-salad-vert

She’s sad cause her salad sucks.

Listen, I’m all for salads. I pack a salad for lunch everyday. But if you’re packing the same, boring salads, void of excitement, every single day… well, you’re going to end up hating it. Not only that, but you’re probably going to stop doing it and write off healthy eating for a little while or develop a deep seated hatred for any green vegetable resembling a salad. I don’t want that. I want you to look forward to your salads as much as I look forward to mine so here are my tips for upping your salad game:

  • Leftovers are always fair game. This is where I get most of the proteins in my salads. Did you have flank steak for dinner? How about some pork chops? Maybe bbq chicken? Whatever the case, it’ll probably make for a bitchin’ salad ingredient the next day.

 

  • Not much left over? No worries. Throw in a hardboiled egg with your leftovers. It’s basically a little package of protein AND eggs have this really cool ability to tie your salad all together when it’s all mixed up. You’ll get it.

 

  • Ditch the iceberg and limit the romaine. Iceberg lettuce is nothing. It’s just not worth it. There are so many choices out there for nutrition packed greens. Used mixed lettuce, spinach, baby kale and collards. The options are endless and so are the benefits of a diet packed with vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Cook some stuff. This is my FAVORITE way to spice things up. I roast or sauté veggies like zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, and sweet potatoes either right before or the night before. These are DEE-LISH-US salad toppers, even cold the next day. Throw them in and you’re getting a whole other level of flavor. Also, kale can be hard to stomach. Let’s be honest… it tastes like dirt. Guess what though? It tastes a lot better sautéed in olive oil and garlic, then sprinkled with salt. Kale can be your friend, just give him a chance.

 

  • Use whole nuts in your salad. I’ve got this weird thing for roasted, unsalted cashews and almonds. I throw a little handful of them in my salad and get so excited when I come across them come lunch time. Those good fats, the ones we’re not afraid of anymore, are good for keeping you more satisfied and fuller longer to get you through those long days.

 

  • Play around with fun fruits. Buy a mango or some kiwi. Dice those babies up and you’ve got a salad that’ll make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. Use a vegetable peeler and shave in slices of apples or pears. This is another one of those ingredients that really pulls a salad together.

 

  • Last, but not least, keep your dressing simple. You want your flavor to come from your salad ingredients, not a heavy dressing that’s gonna weigh you down all day. I was never into buying salad dressings, but I recently found a very simple vinaigrette that I’m into. Check the ingredient list and stay away from anything with sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients. That shit’s no good. You don’t want to put in the time making a kick ass salad to just smother it in something gnarly.

Here’s a recipe for the salad I made today that inspired this post.

IMG_3452

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ a Tropical Twist

1/4 sweet potato, chopped

1 handful kale, rough chopped

1 large handful mixed greens

1 large handful baby spinach

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1/4 mango, chopped

4-6 oz rotisserie chicken

small handful roasted, unsalted almonds and cashews

dressing of choice

Take your sweet potatoes and throw them in a hot sauté pan with some olive oil. Let them cook until nice and golden brown on all sides and sprinkle with some course salt.

While those are cooking, prep your salad. Throw the mixed greens and spinach, cucumber, mango, chicken, and nuts all into a large bowl. My salad was pretty big, so feel free to adjust the ingredients as needed.

When your sweet potatoes are done and cooked through, toss them in there. Throw your kale in the same pan and splash a little olive oil in there. Throw in some minced garlic and let that stuff cook until wilted and fragrant. sprinkle with that salt and throw that in your salad too. I like to eat them still hot. I’m all about that hot and cool mix, but if you’re not, feel free to cook these ahead of time and let them cool in the fridge. You can even cook them the night before for easy prep on a weekday.

Drizzle with your dressing, toss, and enjoy. Eat this one slow. It’s the first of many tasty salads to come.