Now that fall’s here, it’s time to embrace root vegetables once again! How about some Curried Sweet Potato & Fig Soup, Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread, or Vegetarian Borscht with Kale? However, when it comes to root vegetables, we rarely think of cold salads or slaws. That’s why I was intrigue by my friend, Robyn Webb’s recipe for Celery Root Salad at Diabetes Forecast, the magazine put out the American Diabetes Association. It seemed like a root vegetable version of a coleslaw type salad using celeriac (celery root), fennel (anise), and a little bit of carrot. Plus the photo by Kyle Dreier and food styling by Whitney Kemp (the online thumbnail shot doesn’t do it justice) was gorgeous and inspiring.
Unfortunately, going over the recipe, I found a few things I needed to change. First, I couldn’t eat it due to my food sensitivity to sour cream. Second, a lot of people don’t like the taste of fennel/anise, so I’d have to disguise it or play it down somehow. (Fennel has a black licorice taste, which I love but many people hate.)
Third, when you buy celeriac, it’s usually a huge bulb, so either you have to make a double batch or throw half of it into the compost. So, I had to increase the ratios so you wouldn’t have to waste food. Fourth, I wanted more of a “bite” to the sauce and felt adding some NAKANO rice vinegar and ground chipotle chile pepper instead of cayenne would do the trick. Fifth, I wanted to add more carrot to it for sweetness and color.
In addition to all my changes, I wanted to make this as allergen friendly as possible – gluten free, egg free, milk free, etc. To do this I used a dairy and egg free no fat mayonnaise from Trader Joe’s and a Tofutti Sour Cream. In addition, I used NAKANO rice vinegar since all their vinegars are gluten free. It's naturally nut free, too. However, this vegetarian slaw salad is not soy free. That was one allergen I couldn't avoid.
While Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad is a great on it’s own, I liked serving it up in a brown rice tortilla wrap. But the best way was with grilled fish tacos with some avocados and salsa – delicious. This would make a great tailgate party or potluck slaw salad, too!
Finally, celery root is rather tough to grate – too tough for a box grater in my opinion unless you’re a lineman for the Denver Broncos with big, strong hands. I highly recommend using a food processor to shred it. Using a good processor for the fennel and carrots will make things much easier, too.
Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad
- 2 3/4 cups peeled and shredded celery root (celeriac)
- 1 cup shredded fennel bulb
- 5 large carrots peeled and shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Tofutti sour cream
- 1/4 cup no eggs, no dairy, no fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced green onions (white bulb ends only)
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- whole chives for garnish (optional)
- In a large serving bowl, combine the shredded celery root , fennel, and carrots.
- Toss well, then add the lemon juice and toss again. While tossing, pick out any large pieces of root vegetables that weren’t shredded by your food processor.
- In a small bowl, gently whisk together Tofutti, mayonnaise, spicy mustard, olive oil, NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, and ground chipotle chile pepper.
- Fold the minced green onions and chives into the Tofutti dressing.
- Add the Tofutti dressing to the celery root slaw salad and toss well. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Garnish slaw salad with whole chives, if desired.
- Serving size: 1/2 cup
With Labor Day weekend coming up and football season starting, I’m sure you’ve got lots of potluck or tailgating parties coming up. Since it’s still in season, watermelon is the perfect choice for a healthy party side dish. By now, I’m sure you’ve had your fill of Watermelon Mint & Basil Salad with Feta or something similar. So why not try this Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad using NAKANO Citrus Seasoned Rice Vinegar? This would go well with my Sriracha Chicken Skewers or teriyaki beef or chicken cooked up on the grill!
You can assure all your gluten free and nut free guests that the salad is OK to eat because you’ve used tamari sauce instead of soy sauce, and pine nuts instead of peanuts. Just make sure to double check that the fish sauce doesn’t have any wheat or soy sauce in it. (The kind I used didn’t.)
Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon flavored olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari sauce
- 3 tablespoons NAKANO Citrus Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1/2 Thai pepper, seeded and minced or 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 5 cups seedless watermelon cut into 1” chunks
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- Whisk together sesame seed olive, olive oil, fish sauce, tamari sauce, vinegar, lime juice, red onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno in a large bowl.
- Add the watermelon and toss to combine.
- Let sit 10 minutes.
- Add the cilantro, basil, mint and pint nuts to salad.
- Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
- Serving size: 3/4 cup
Along with the interview, Laa Loosh and I did a recipe exchange. They’ve featured my adaptation of Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South, Saffron Braised Celery and Grilled Fish with Hot Sauce Buerre Blanc. In return, today I’m featuring this healthy and colorful Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad, which would be a wonderful Meatless Monday meal. You can also use this as a side dish or bring it to a potluck party.
To make this nut free, use sunflower butter instead of peanut butter. (This will change the nutritional information, however.) To make the quinoa salad gluten free, make sure to use low sodium tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. No honey in the house? Try agave nectar, sorghum or even some real maple or brown rice syrup.
Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
Recipe by Laa Loosh
Servings: 8 (serving size 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup green onions, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup Better’n Peanut Butter
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice from 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together Better’n Peanut Butter, sesame oil, lime juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and salt and pepper.
- Once quinoa has come to room temperature, add all the vegetables. Pour dressing over top and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Nutritional information: 177 calories; 4.5g fat; 24g carbohydrates; 8g protein; 4g protein. Each serving = 4 Points+
Recipe and photograph used with permission.
During my recovery from brain surgery, I’m featuring recipes from brands I use and love. This one comes courtesy of Bertolli, a brand that I trust and cook with often. They were nice enough to send me a complimentary bottle a few weeks ago – always good to stock up on staples when you can’t get to the grocery store too often!
This elegant, easy and quick to make dish is from Chef Fabio Viviani. You can watch him make the dish below. This dish is naturally gluten free and a great way to serve your meat and salad all on one dish.
Flank Steak With Chickpea Arugula Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 pound flank steak
- 1 teaspoon Bertolli® Extra Light™ Tasting Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Grated peel from 2 lemons
- Grated peel from 1 orange
- 2 tablespoon Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini
- 4 cups arugula
- Season steak with salt and ground black pepper. Heat Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook steak, turning once, 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
- Whisk together lemon juice, lemon peel, orange peel, and Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive oil in medium bowl. Add chickpeas, olives, green onions and pepperoncini. Add Arugula; toss to coat.
- Slice steak and serve salad on top.
Recipe and photo used with permission.
Here’s a Fourth of July guest post from Holly Clegg featuring a recipe from her new cookbook, Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis: 200 Easy Recipes and Practical Tips to Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Symptoms [affiliate link]. Serve leftovers (if you have any) as a pasta salad the next day.
Red, White and Blue
Fourth of July is right around the corner, and I wanted to share the perfect summer recipe to add to the red, white and blue festivities. For a classic, any-occasion dish the pasta salad is where it’s at – and this Sensational Summer Pasta does not disappoint, especially since it is “red and white!” Fresh ingredients at their best, ripe juicy tomatoes, basil, and creamy mozzarella, meld together for an all-star crowd favorite.
An easy tip to seed tomatoes - cut the tomato in half from side to side and gently squeeze the tomato to watch seeds easily pop out. Try growing basil in pots as it is fairly easy and nothing beats fresh basil in the summer! You can easily chop fresh basil by rolling it up and slicing it into pieces. If you don’t have fresh basil handy, you can use dried at a ratio of 3:1. In other words, 1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Add a side of blueberries, or your favorite blueberry cobbler and you have a delicious red, white and blue spread! Highlighting the fresh ingredients of the season to accompany the meat you throw on the grill, this trim&TERRIFIC recipe is sure be worthy of the fireworks on those hot summer nights.
Sensational Summer Pasta
- 4 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn or chopped
- 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces bowtie or curly pasta
- In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, green onion, basil, cheese, and olive oil. Season to taste. Cover, and keep at room temperature at least 2 hours up to 6 hours.
- When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to tomato mixture.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 278
- Calories from Fat: 97 (35%)
- Total Fat: 11g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Unsaturated fat: 8g
- Sodium: 19mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 36g
- Sugar: 4g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 12mg
Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat
Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club challenge, I was thrilled to be assigned a food blogger from my old home state of Colorado, Lea Ann Brown of Cooking on the Ranch. I so miss Colorado’s food blogging community! While I was tempted to try out several of Lea Ann’s breakfast recipes (anything with an egg is A-OK with me), I decided trying her Mexican Christmas Eve Salad would be more seasonally appropriate. Yes, yes, I know it’s June, but making a nice salad for dinner seems like a good idea when it’s too hot to cook. Don’t you agree?
I took Lea Ann’s advice and make this a chopped salad and arranged it in a trifle bowl, since she felt the Mexican Christmas Eve Salad reminded her of an English trifle. In addition, I did a little research on Ensalada de Nochebuena or Christmas Eve Salad. According to Hispanic Kitchen,
Although many variations exist, three ingredients are at the core: beets, pomegranate and jicama. The root vegetable – jicama is also known as "Mexican potato," so it's an appropriate member. Beets are included for color along with pomegranate seeds sprinkled across the top. Apples, oranges, and sometimes bananas round out the list.
Lea Ann’s version uses pomegranate seeds, romaine lettuce, peanuts, oranges, jicama, along with red and golden beets. I’ve seen other recipes use pepitas (pumpkin seeds), apples, bananas, and pine nuts. I kept pretty true to her recipe, but omitted the peanuts due to my daughter’s nut allergy. I’ll serve pepitas on the side if anyone’s interested in adding them to their salad, though I doubt my kids will go for it. For the dressing, most recipes call for Crème Mexicana, which is Mexican sour cream. If you cannot find it in your grocery store or want to use something lighter, use nonfat Greek yogurt instead. I found Lea Ann’s version super thick, so I thinned it with rice vinegar. Finally, I doubled Lea Ann’s recipe so it would fit in my Pampered Chef trifle bowl.
How to smoke beets
After having smoked cauliflower at Pulaski Heights BBQ in Athens, GA, I started experimenting by smoking various vegetables from beets to kohlrabi. While you can roast beets in the oven using my method for cooking and peeling beets, I love smoking beets in my electric smoker. Here’s how:
- Set smoker to 275 degrees. Add your favorite type of wood chips. And don’t forget to add water to the drip pan!
- Coat an oven safe roasting pan with cooking spray. (Make sure your pan will fit inside your smoker.)
- Remove beet tops from beets and set aside. (Use the beet tops to make a Simple Beet Salad.)
- Wash beets. Cut into quarters and place in your roasting pan.
- Place roasting pan in your smoker and cook for 3 hours or until the beets are soft when pricked with a knife or fork.
- Remove from smoker and let cool.
- Peel skin off beats with a paring knife.
Layered Mexican Christmas Eve Salad
- 6 red beets, smoked, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 romaine heart, coarsely chopped
- 1 small jicama, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 navel oranges, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 (5.3 ounce) containers pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Crème Mexicana
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 canned chipotle chilies, minced
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Layer ingredients in your trifle bowl in the order listed. For fun you may want to break up the romaine lettuce into two layers.
- Since beets have a tendency to run, you may want to have them as the bottom layer.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine ingredients and stir until blended.
- Serve on the side.
- Serving size: 1 large bowl
More from the Secret Recipe Club!
This week and next, I’ll be sharing some recipes from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis: 200 Easy Recipes and Practical Tips to Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Symptoms [affiliate link].
Let’s start with Holly’s Hummus & Tabbouleh Salad. She told me she made this for a party and everyone was raving about it. She’s been using the Hummus &Tabbouleh Salad as an appetizer, yet it's kind of like a salad, too - but with a lot of hummus! I think it would make a wonderful vegetarian sandwich spread, don’t you?
Hummus & Tabbouleh Salad
Did you know that parsley is also a good source of plant iron? One cup contains about 20% of your RDA.
- 1 (5.25-ounce) box Tabbouleh mix wheat salad (makes 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (flat leaf preferred)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (10-ounce) container roasted red pepper hummus
- 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- In bowl, prepare tabbouleh mix according to package instructions. After water is absorbed, fluff with fork and add olive oil, mixing well.
- To tabbouleh, add red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, lemon juice and season to taste.
- On large serving plate, spread hummus, top with tabbouleh salad and sprinkle with feta. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 308
- Calories from Fat: 103 (34%)
- Total Fat: 12g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Unsaturated fat: 11g
- Sodium: 909mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 47g
- Sugar: 7g
- Fiber: 11g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
Dietary Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 fat
Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.
Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.
You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.
With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!
California Fiesta Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed. Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds. Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes. This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
- Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
- Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together. Toss lightly with salad. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.
Recipe and picture used with permission.
The Salad Bar Nation initiative by the Whole Kids Foundation is committed to improving the nation’s health by challenging Americans of all ages to eat a salad every day. A great idea in my opinion, because we all need more leafy greens and vegetables in our diets! They’re also utilizing text-to-give and online fundraising with the hopes of raising $5 million to fund 2,013 salad bars in schools across the country 2013. That’s is why I’m sharing the the infographic below, so you have some quick stats about Salad Bar Nation and the benefits of salad bars in schools.
In addition, to inspire you to eat more salads, the campaign’s website, SaladBarNation.org, is featuring a new salad each week along with simple healthy salad tips, so check it out! This week’s salad is the Mediterranean Crunch Salad – yummy!
I love having Thanksgiving leftovers, but at some point I’m tired of reheating a plate of turkey, stuffing and sides. Instead, I’ll try out some gluten free and whole wheat pasta and turkey leftover recipes from the National Pasta Association, a trade association that promotes the goodness of pasta.
I chose the the Rigatoni-Turkey Salad since it combines leftover vegetables from the Thanksgiving feast like carrots and peas along with the leftover turkey. Also, since you’ll be tired of cooking anything too complicated after Thanksgiving, this recipe is easy and quick to prepare.
Recipe courtesy of the National Pasta Association
- 8 ounces Rigatoni, Elbow Macaroni or other medium pasta shape, uncooked (gluten free, whole wheat or conventional pasta will all work well)
- 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.
- Combine turkey and vegetables in a large bowl. Add pasta.
- Combine oil, vinegar and seasonings in a jar. Shake until well blended.
- Pour over pasta and stir well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Photo courtesy of the National Pasta Association and used with permission.
Here’s another wonderful gluten free recipe the folks at San-J sent me from Amie Valpone of The Happy Apple. It would make a terrific side dish most nights, but is perfect for Meatless Monday as a main dish since quinoa is an excellent source of vegetarian protein – just double the amounts so you have plenty to serve.
Coconut Quinoa Salad
By Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups cooked shelled edamame
- 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup finely diced red bell peppers
- 4 button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/3 cup San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad by combining edamame, beans, red peppers, mushrooms, scallion, dried cranberries, coconut and carrot.
- Remove quinoa from heat; set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa to the bowl of salad ingredients.
- Pour San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing on top; gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, parsley, lime zest, sea salt and pepper.
Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.