Dec
13

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

The chill in the air has had me craving warm comfort foods and oh, how I have indulged. Rosemary potatoes and sauerkraut smothered in mustard, cornbread, cheese, crackers, wine, pierogies, gluten-free raspberry muffins slathered in butter, veggie burgers with french fries, tomato soup, and apple butternut crisp have all found their way in to my kitchen and my belly lately. 

As good as it’s been (YOLO), I could feel that it was time to reintroduce some greens in to my life so I bought some brussels sprouts and Lacinato kale. With the two, I crafted this salad that not only cures the craving for comfort foods but offers a burst of healthy, raw, organic greens.

I began this salad by combining shredded (finely chopped) kale and brussels sprouts which are softened with a creamy avocado dressing. Contrasting color is added with chopped carrots and cherry peppers, then I topped the salad with comfort: shredded parmesan and homemade garlicky croutons.

I don’t typically use veggies out of a jar but I did for this salad. Cherry peppers are not in season the same time of year as brussels sprouts, which makes it practically impossible to combine the two ingredients together unless using a preserved pepper. The preserved pepper is perfect for this salad, the slight pickling softens them and adds a subtle layer of sweetness. Plus, the pickling juices can be used in the dressing.

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and chopped to a fine shred
  • ¾ cup finely chopped or shredded carrots
  • 5 canned or pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cherry pepper juice
Crouton Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopper
  • 1 cup cubed baguette bread crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. butter, and the chopped garlic. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Stir to combine then set aside and let the flavors infuse while you chop your bread.
  3. Cube the baguette bread, then put them in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the seasoned olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss until the bread cubes are evenly saturated.
  4. Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown.
  5. While the croutons are baking, make the salad dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients, stir until the dressing is a smooth consistency. It's ok if the dressing is thick.
  6. Toss your salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. Toss the salad with the dressing and top with croutons just before serving.
Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Love

Crista


Nov
18

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

The Holiday season provides an opportunity to share time with the ones you love and to create and share beautiful meals with friends and family. I won’t be with family this year, but I will be with a few girlfriends and a couple cutie dogs, celebrating my first ever Friendsgiving. i.am.so.excited

We have so many plans, so much food to cook including Grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie with marshmallows on top, a Butternut Squash Crisp, a Brussels Sprouts Gratin, a colorful Quinoa Salad (recipe below!), some Stuffing, a Green Bean Casserole, a Winter Squash PieCranberry Apple Sauce, and potentially even a Vegducken.

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to gather and develop recipes because of all the beautiful colors and flavors that are associated with the fall season. As excited as I am to cook, I’m equally as excited to devour my friends’ home-cookin as well.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

Most people that I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with are traditional meat-eaters and haven’t shown much interest in my plant-based dishes so every year in the prior years, I’ve created an extraordinary plant-based Thanksgiving meal on Black Friday for myself and whoever was willing to share it with me. This year, I’m going to share my plant-based meals with my friends ON THANKSGIVING. // another reason I am SO excited.

TruToots Quinoa

This beautiful Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad will be one of the dishes I craft and share at my Friendsgiving Celebration this year. The salad combines a healthful Sprouted Quinoa, colorful pistachios and pomegranate seeds, and a ginger-citrus vinaigrette that offers an unexpected flavor and scent.

I take pride in the dishes I serve, especially around the Holiday season, I will only use the finest of ingredients to create the biggest shared feast of the year.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad

The construction of this salad is quite simple, it can be done in just a few minutes. First, you start with the quinoa. I prefer to use truRoots Sprouted Quinoa because it is moist, fluffy, and sweet. Color is provided by the pomegranate seeds, orange slices, and roasted pistachios. The most labor-intensive part of crafting this salad is making the dressing, although once you’ve gathered all of the ingredients it’s simple to blend them all together (and can be done in advance!).

I love the idea of having truRoots products on my Thanksgiving table because their mission statement mirrors my Thanksgiving goals: “We are passionate about offering the best organic food while doing our part to better the world around us. In doing so, we help bring more families together for memorable meals and moments.” 

With jewel-toned colors, irresistible fragrances, delectable foods, amazing friends, belly laughs, shared stories, belly rubs (the dogs, not us silly!), classic movies, and coexistence, I look forward to the memorable meals and moments that will be made.

Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad
5.0 from 1 reviews
a Pomegranate Pistachio Quinoa Salad w/a Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups truRoots Sprouted Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (use only the seeds)
  • 5-6 clementines, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios
  • ¼ tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar or a citrus vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Make the vinaigrette first and toss all ingredients together just before serving.
  2. To make the vinaigrette blend the ginger, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, and honey together in a food processor or blender. After all the ingredients are fully blended, add the olive oil and blend again. Set aside while you construct the salad.
  3. Toss together the quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and clementines. Drizzle with the citrus ginger vinaigrette just before serving // you may or may not use all of the vinaigrette depending on your taste: use discretion.
  4. This salad can be served at room temperature or chilled (I prefer room temperature).
Transparency: truRoots collaborated on this post with me, supplying the quinoa and moderate compensation. I would not have accepted the collaboration had I not believed in the company’s products and philosophy.

Love

Crista


Aug
06

 Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

The dog days of summer, phew it.is.hot.
The begin of summer, we had too much rain nowadays I pray’ll pray to anyones god for a little relief from the hot, hot, hot sun. My plants are thirsty, the grass is scorched, and I’m sitting in front of the AC. I cross my fingers for rain every.single.night.

Three times within the last week we have tried going to a public pool (don’t judge us, it’s hot as F%$#) but they have all been closed for crazy things like “some kid pooped in the pool”…. (ew) 

Ok, scratch that.

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

On my most recent denial of pool usage, I detoured to the farmers market and bought more fruit than I really need – I mean, I already had peaches, kiwis, grapes, pears, and oranges laying around. A little extra fruit never hurt anybody.

FACT: Fruit is colorful so that it attracts humans to eat it. If we lived in the wild days and had to hunt and gather, we’d know what to pick and eat because of the attractive colors. 

I know my eye is drawn to the beautiful colors that will keep me nourished on these sizzling hot summer days.

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

Since the poopy pool is a no-go, I’ve found a little activity to keep myself busy indoors (air conditioning) – I’m rummaging through old magazines and THROWING THEM AWAY because there is absolutely no reason that I need magazines from 2009. Or is there? Ok, now you know that I’m a hoarder (excuse me, Martha Stewart Living has a special place in everyone’s home, I’m sure of it). I’m tearing out all the recipes and cute little quotes that probably prompted me to keep the magazines in the first place, so then there’s THAT project. But whatever, it feels good to throw stuff (ahem, garbage) away. 

I found this sweet Sprouted Quinoa Pineapple Summer Salad from Whole Living Magazine that inspired me to make this Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad. Also, mangoes – yum. Also, I had just purchased TruRoots Sprouted Quinoa at the market. TruRoots hooked me up with a few bags of goods, but the quinoa was purchased with my own money. 1. I was stoked to find it being sold .05 miles away from my home. 2. I made TruRoots Spaghetti with a Lentil (TruRoots) Sauce. Basically, I’ve been eating good lately. (I’ll probably fall flat on my face with a waffle tonight after saying that, whatev)

If you would like to get your hands on some TruRoots Originals goodies, leave a comment on THIS POST before Aug. 17 to enter the giveaway! 

In all seriousness, I’m really excited to share this recipe because I think you’re going to like it. It’s: 

Healthy
Easy-to-make
Fresh
Colorful
Has a little kick
In my belly
& will be made again in my kitchen, soon.

I used mint (from the garden!) in this salad but I had to debate between it and basil. Either way, there is no losing, Both mint or basil would perfectly compliment this salad and keep it “fresh.” 

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Salad

Sprouted Quinoa Mango Summer Salad
Author: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 mangoes, peeled & sliced
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup sprouted quinoa, cooked
  • 2 Tbl. raw cashews
  • 2 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili pepper flakes or fresh chili pepper, chopped
  • a few sprigs of mint
  • a pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar. Add the chili, onion, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Arrange the mango slices on a platter or two plates. Top with quinoa, cashews, and mint.
  3. Drizzle with the chili-onion mixture.
  4. Serve immediately.

 

Love

Crista


Jun
19

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

I’ve had a long, long, non-stop, crazy week. I spent hours and hours on the road in extremely painful traffic patterns that tested my patience. There were moments when I was swept with anger, my cheeks even got red, just because I’d been stuck in the car so much longer than anticipated. BUT the week is over.
Sigh. of. relief.

We are going camping at Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend. I hate/love camping. OK, I don’t really HATE it, but the preparation and packing prior to the trip can be agonizing tasks ESPECIALLY when you’ve got no free time. Anyway, I am not writing this post to project my ill feelings on you, the week is over and my ill feelings have all passed. Last night, I slid in to the yoga studio just seconds before the last class of the night began and I woke up early to attend the first class of the day. I feel fresh, rejuvenated, and anxious to bond with the mountains, and spend quality quiet time with my boyfriend this weekend.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

A few nights ago, we laid in bed putting together our food menu for this weekend, and this cucumber + berry fruit bowl came to mind. I made this exact fruit bowl a few years ago, a really awful photo I took of it showed up in my Timehop feed recently.

I don’t remember how or why I decided to pair cucumbers with cherries & blueberries – if I had to guess, I’d say that I was making a conscious effort to pair a green food with my fruit. I try to incorporate green foods in most of my meals even it if it’s a few pistachios or pumpkin seeds in my morning granola.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

This cucumber + berry salad is made with 3 ingredients: chopped organic cucumber, organic sweet cherries, and organic blueberries. The 3 fruits blended together create a perfectly colorful combination and is refreshing, hydrating & filling – it’s perfect for a sunny summer morning or afternoon.

These 3 ingredients will be going with us to camp this weekend, I plan to throw them in a bowl as use them as a centerpiece on the picnic table at our camp site. I have a feeling we’ll be eating out of that bowl all weekend long – during breakfast, as a sweet snack after lunch, and after our planned 8 mile hike for nourishment and hydration.

Cucumber Berry Fruit Bowl

In addition to this colorful fruit salad, we have several awesome camp meals planned, I hope to share them in a future blog post. If I have cell service at camp this weekend, I’ll post a few photos on Instagram, but no guarantees.

Happy weekend everyone! 
xox

Love

Crista


Jul
19

Curry Cauliflower Salad

I really really enjoy eating from the salad bar at Whole Foods – in fact, there have been many nights that I’ve “gone to dinner” there. Often times, I’d rather eat that salad bar versus going to a restaurant. I remember one time my mom was visiting me in Chicago shortly after the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park opened up. I took her there to show it off as if it were a Chicago Landmark.”Look at the wine bar!! oohhh ahhhh” “Look at the salad bar!! ooooooohh ahhhhhh” “Look at the make-your-own-trail-mix-station!!!!” She’s all like “mmmhmmm….”

Anyway, the point is: I LOVE me some Whole Foods. Sometimes I make the MOST PERFECT salad combinations there and I get pissed at myself if I don’t remember what it was, when it’s THAT good I want to duplicate it, and/or share it with someone else who could totally appreciate it.On one of my recent visits, I made one of those MOST PERFECT salad combinations and DID remember all of the ingredients and now I’m sharing it with someone (you) who can appreciate it.

This salad is not complicated to make, but does require the round-up of a few ingredients. AND it requires you to curry some cauliflower, which is best to do about 1 hour before you are serving the salad.

Curried Cauliflower Salad
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • ¾ cup cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ cup broccoli, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ an avocado, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a small baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with the coconut oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until they are softened and slightly brown, stirring every few minutes.
  4. After removing the cauliflower from the oven, allow them to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before tossing them with all of the other veggies to create the salad.
  5. Dress the salad with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette to taste. Sprinkle the salad with a pinch of curry powder, if your heart desires.
  6. Toss and serve.

Curried Cauliflower Salad

Love

Crista


May
29

I could eat salad on the daily and never get sick of it – there is something about the greens and vibrant colors that offers vitality and tickles the palate. Now that the weather has broken (HOPEFULLY we won’t get any more snow this season) I’ve stepped away from warm, comfort foods and I’m craving …SALADS…. 

I’m remaking some of the salads I’ve made in the past (I can’t stop with the Chickpea & Tomato Salad) – I’ve even been putting “salad” on top of black bean tostadas and grilled veggies. Basically, ever meal includes greens & fruits this time of year. I found a bunch of awesome salad recipes I plan on making in the near future – I couldn’t help but share. 

Banana Fantasy Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Banana Fantasy Salad w/ Curry-licious Dressing – peace. love. quinoa
Chakra Fruit Salad with Enlightened Tahini Sauce – My New Roots
Strawberry Asparagus Salad – I Heart Nap Time
Mango Coconut Quinoa Salad – Layers Of Happiness

my favorite kale salad // peace. love. quinoa

My Favorite Kale Salad – peace. love. quinoa
Diced Summer Salad – One Happy Table
The Vegan Cobb Salad – Healthy. Happy. Life.
Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette – Ambitious Kitchen

Chickpea & tomato Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Chickpea & Tomato Salad w/ Fresh Basil – peace. love. quinoa
Raw Butternut Squash and Kale Salad – Free People Blog 
Deconstructed Guacamole Salad – Donal Skehan
Crunchy Cabbage Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing – Scaling Back

Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños // peace. love. quinoa

a Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños – peace. love. quinoa
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad – Pickles & Honey
Mushroom, Lemon, and Lentil Salad – Delicious Everyday
Summer Salad with Beets, Carrots, Fennel, and Blood Orange – Amsterdam Food Stories

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad – peace. love. quinoa
Garlic Lemon Kale Salad – the Vegan 8
Green Bean & Avocado Quinoa Salad – Love and Lemons
Black Quinoa Chopped Salad – Camille Styles

Love

Crista


Mar
07

banana fantasy salad

One of my favorite vegan restaurants, the Dandelion Communitea Cafe in Orlando, FL, serves this amazing Polynesian salad topped with something I would have never in a million years thought to top my salad with: BANANAS!! 

Just about every time I’ve paid a visit to my grandparents in Florida, we’ve gone to the Dandelion Communitea Cafe, but it’s been a while…. and I’ve been craving that salad… so I made my own version of it at home. 

My version of this salad is made up of the following ingredients all tossed together:

mixed greens
cooked quinoa, chilled
chopped celery
shredded carrots
sliced cucumbers
sliced banana
rasins
walnuts
coconut flakes

….and topped with curry-licious dressing.

Love

Crista


Mar
06

curry-licious salad dressing

I’ve been on the search for a good salad dressing using yellow curry to top a salad I’ve been wanting to make.

My first attempt at making the dressing ended up a failure, I threw it away because it tasted like mayonnaise and onion. Yuck.

After more experimentation in the kitchen, I have crafted the perfect curry-licios salad dressing. It’s sweet with a little kick, not necessarily spicy…. just curry-licious. 

Curry-licious Salad Dressing
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • 1½ tsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • few dashes of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until creamy.
  2. Serve atop a fresh mixed greens salad.

 I would recommend this salad dressing atop a mixed green salad that contains ingredients such as: banana, dried coconut, raisins, nuts, and/or celery.

Love

Crista


Sep
12

Jalapeno Kale Salad
Last week I got to visit my family in Indiana. The initial reason for my trip was to visit my grandpa was in town for the week (with his new girlfriend!) But I also got some quality time (shopping) with my mom. It was fun to visit and catch up and spend some time running around the house (and watching Mickey Mouse) with my 2 year old niece, Claire.

Colorful Kale Salad w/ Jalapeños // peace. love. quinoa

My mom makes a salad at least once a day whether it be for dinner or packed in her lunch. Whenever I visit, she seems to have various salad ingredients on-hand and can always whip up a quick meal. Together, we put together this salad using a few ingredients that she had and a few ingredients that I had packed. In a previous post, I mentioned that we’ve got hundreds of cherry tomatoes in the garden, so I picked a bagful (my mom LOVES tomatoes!) and took them with me, along with some jalapeños and a cucumber.

Jalapeno Kale Salad

In this salad, we used a baby a kale & greens mix, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots, butter beans, dried cherries, and jalapeños. I would have NEVER thought about slicing up a jalapeño and adding it to a salad had my grandpa’s new girlfriend not suggested it. My family was brave enough to try the salad only because they did not know what our secret ingredient was.

Jalapeno Kale Salad

Often times, I see people pick jalapeños out of our garden and just take a bite – it seems as though the peppers aren’t as spicy/hot when grown in a home garden. If anything, they pack flavor and that’s exactly what they did for the salad. You can see in the photos, I chose to slice the peppers very thing, long-ways but I think I would enjoy them chopped as well. 

Would you be brave enough to add jalapeños to your salad?

Love

Crista


Aug
07

I have an announcement to make.
I GREW MY FIRST CUCUMBER EVER.
Save the applause for later, I have a recipe to share.

cucumber
But before I share that recipe….
Have you ever seen a YELLOW watermelon?
No? Me either.
Not until today.

yellow watermelon

When I was cutting open this watermelon, I had no idea it would be yellow.
I was slightly disappointed that it wasn’t a pretty pink watermelon, that was until I tasted it. The yellow watermelon is actually sweeter than a pink watermelon (can you even imagine that?) and less juicy which means it’s less messy.
I like.

Mint Plant
So I made a salad, a really good salad…. using that yellow watermelon, quinoa, and 2 ingredients fresh from the garden: {my very first} cucumber and mint. The kind of salad that is filling, refreshing, and perfect for a summer afternoon.

I made my salad with the yellow watermelon but you could certainly make this with a pretty pink watermelon. *smile*

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad // peace. love. quinoa

Cucumber Watermelon Quinoa Salad
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups watermelon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the lime and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the watermelon, cucumber, quinoa, and mint. Toss.
  3. Drizzle the lime-honey mixture over the salad and serve immediately.

 

Love

Crista