I like stability and routines and mostly eat the same things over and over until I find a new obsession so I’m ok with being a creature of habit….however, the pandemic lockdowns have me feeling like it’s Groundhog Day on steroids. Everyday is a repeat! The same schedule, the same handful of foods, the same scenery….day after day after day!!! The time melts together into one long blur.
There was a time when I’d get deja vu browsing a restaurant menu and seeing the SAME grilled Romaine wedge with blue cheese dressing every place we went!! Ugghh..it was like salad groundhog day!! I was frustrated by the complete lack of inspiration.…and missed the times when I’d order a salad that was so inventive I couldn’t wait to replicate it at home!
Are you getting enough greens? Most people will answer “no” to this question which is why I’m posting this vibrant and nutritious Kale and Quinoa salad.“Recent research estimates that the optimal intake for reducing our risk of heart disease and early death to be around ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day” (source). Therefore, we are aware of the research but struggle to put it into practice.
My neighbor Ann is amazing! Despite being in her 80’s (and still working part-time as a lawyer) she’s my entertainment guru. Whether she’s throwing a holiday gala, decadent dinner party, or casual drop-by of wine and nibbles she entertains with grace, charm and elegance. She always sets a beautiful table and serves wonderful food making her fêtes very memorable. At her last dinner party, she served this stunning gem lettuce salad to the oohs and ahhs of all her guests. Not only was this salad well received but not a leaf of lettuce was left. Now, I’m sharing this beautiful salad here.
Not far from my home is a healthy Asian bistro that my husband and I have patronized for years. I always order their “Ho-sum” (wholesome) Napa Cabbage Salad with crunchy noodles and an irresistible gingery, tamari-ish “magic” dressing. The dressing is sooooo good that they won’t reveal their secret recipe. So, I’ve contemplated working there to get it. My heart leaps with excitement when the waitress sets the heaping bowl of cabbage, shredded carrots, and tofu in front of me. My chopsticks ready to catch any precious pieces that threaten to tumble off the top. Who knew Napa cabbage could taste so good?
To my devastation, the restaurant closed a year ago after being destroyed by a kitchen fire. While my husband and I patiently wait for them to reopen, I’ve played around with this Ho-Sum inspired Napa Cabbage Salad and Sweet Tamari Vinaigrette.
As it turns out, cauliflower isn’t always the vegetable on people’s minds. In fact, this humble superfood often goes completely unnoticed. Seriously, when was the last time you ate cauliflower? If you can’t recall, you are not alone. It’s easy to overlook this white Brassica but it ranks among the top 20 foods according to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index score (source). I am certain this cauliflower detox salad will surprise you. It’s fresh, tangy and delicious, you’ll hardly notice that you’re eating cauliflower!!
This healthy lentil quinoa protein salad was one of the first recipes I made from Oh She Glows, Angela Liddon’s amazing vegan cooking blog (and still my favorite). It’s got all the things I love mixed together in a mouth watering bowl of plant based protein. Lentils, grains, leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy Tahini dressing that would make anything taste divine.
I am loving this Quinoa and Edamame Asian Chopped Salad right now. I often get obsessed with new salads and they become the only thing I want to eat. So I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge adding it to greens, Buddha bowls, or scooping spoonfuls into a bowl when I want something light and delicious. You know what they say about eating the rainbow! Well, this rainbow in a bowl is snappy, crunchy, tangy, beautiful and HEALTHY so it checks all of my boxes. Throw this salad together for your family, guests, or a potluck/BBQ.
I’m calling this an Everyday Kale Salad not because it’s ordinary but because you will WANT TO EAT IT EVERYDAY!! I recognize that not everyone loves kale the way I do – but this salad will change your mind. The thing you will love about kale is how HEARTY it is. It’s not “bird food” or fluffy like a butter lettuce salad. No, kale is strong and bold like Filet Mignon. It takes center stage as a complete meal that WILL satisfy your mind, body and spirit. Big shoes to fill?? Not for this green superhero.
I’m always trying to find more ways to eat kale. I love how hearty it is and that it can stand up to strong flavors. It also hugs any dressing making each bite ooze with flava. And since kale is a superfood, you simply feel great eating it. Better then Popeye chugging spinach from a can.
I also became curious about green peas after noticing how many vegan protein powders use “pea protein” as a major ingredient. So, I researched recipes featuring green peas and kale and stumbled upon this nutty pea and quinoa bowl by Deliciously Ella. Now, I make this dish or a modified version of it, all the time. It’s an easy recipe to adjust to your preferences and you will want to put the Tamari almonds on everything.