Roasted Veggie and Lentil Salad

imageHands down my new favorite!  This salad is super versatile too…if you don’t like asparagus you can use haricot verts (the super skinny green beans) or try carrots sliced in skinny strips. The asparagus is best when you can find the very narrow spears.

This takes a few steps but it gets better as it sits in the fridge so it’s perfect to make on a Sunday and bring to lunch the following week.  I used Trader Joes steamed lentils that they sell in the produce section.  Of course, you can easily start from scratch with a bag of uncooked lentils.  Lentils are a great source of protein and the veggies are loaded with an array of vitamins and antioxidants so this is perfect for a one bowl lunch or dinner.  You will definitely want to consider doubling this recipe!

Roasted Veggie and Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

1 c lentils

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

2 ears sweet corn

9 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 c chopped dill

1/4 c chopped basil leaves

3 T red wine vinegar

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling on veggies prior to roasting

sea salt

If cooking your own lentils:

Combine lentils, garlic, and 1/2 t salt in a saucepan.  Add enough water to cover lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl.

While cooking lentils, bring pot of  salted water to a boil and cook corn for 4 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.  Using a sharp knife, cut kernels from cob.  Combine corn with cooked lentils.

Preheat oven to 425.  On large foil-lined cookie sheet place halved cherry tomatoes and asparagus (and/or any other veggie that suits your fancy).  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Season with sea salt.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Some of the veggies should be starting to brown on top. I like them a little crunchy!

Add remaining ingredients to lentils, corn, and veggies and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm or cold.  YUM!

Eat your veggies:)

Melissa

Oh My Crunchy Thai Salad!

IMG_2842This is YUMMY!  I’ve made it twice this week so that tells you something!  I like it even better the second or third day so make it today for a great weekend lunch.  This salad is loaded with vitamins, fiber, anti-oxidants…all good-for-you ingredients.  But the best reason for making it is how delicious it tastes.  This can be served as an entrée, makes about 4 large servings, or as a side to just about anything.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 c uncooked quinoa

2 c shredded red cabbage

1 diced red bell pepper

1/2 diced red onion

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 c chopped cilantro

1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas

1/4 c diced green onions

1/2 c cashew halves or peanuts

fresh lime

FOR THE DRESSING:

1/4 c natural peanut butter

2 t grated fresh ginger

3 T soy sauce

1 T honey

1 T red wine vinegar

1 t sesame oil

1 t olive oil

2 t sriracha sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Rinse quinoa in cold water.  Add to saucepan with 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and place in large bowl to cool.

Place peanut butter and honey in small dish and microwave for 20 seconds.  Whisk in remaining dressing ingredients and add a little water to thin. You want the dressing to be easy to pour over salad and thoroughly coat everything.

Next add all remaining veggies and beans to the quinoa except green onions and cashews.  Fold together and then drizzle on the dressing and toss to coat.  Finish with a squeeze of lime and sprinkle each serving with green onions and nuts.  ENJOY!

Curried Cauliflower Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I realize that it’s April but since Mother Nature isn’t exactly cooperating I’m still in the mood for a hot bowl of soup!  I saw this recipe and thought it sounded delicious. Did you know that just a cup of cauliflower has 85% of our daily value for Vitamin C?  There are also tons of studies linking cruciferous veggies to cancer prevention.  Comforting AND super good for you….can’t get much better than that!  I’m on my way out for the ingredients…

Thanks to www.thekitchn.com for sharing their wonderful recipes!

Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 medium white onions, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets

4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 cup coconut milk

Freshly-ground black pepper

1/4 cup roasted cashew halves, for garnish (optional, see Recipe Note)

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

red chili pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Cook the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt until onions are soft and translucent, 8-9 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add cauliflower, vegetable broth, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth, and then return the soup to the soup pot. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot.) Stir in the coconut milk and warm the soup. Taste and add more salt, pepper or spices if you’d like.

To serve, ladle the soup into favorite bowls and garnish with a handful of toasted cashews, a few springs of parsley, sprinkle of red chile flakes and a dash of olive oil to top.

Hope this keeps you warm today!

Melissa

Trying Jessica Alba’s Green Drink

After seeing actress Jessica Alba on all the talk shows this week, we decided to try her green drink that she mentioned.  We didn’t have her exact proportions, just the ingredient list, so it was “experimental” to say the least.  But, hey, we had fun and certainly got a good dose of greens in the process!

Caramelized Roasted Tomatoes

Here is a terrific side dish for fish or chicken.  I actually made a big pot of quinoa and had the tomatoes over quinoa tossed with a little lemon olive oil and parmesan cheese…a perfect lunch!

I love the small heirloom tomatoes available at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I used one container for this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

1 container small heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or 10 plum tomatoes

4 T extra virgin olive oil

1  1/2 T balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 t sugar

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half and arrange (cut side up) on foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper.  The garlic is messy but I placed a piece on each tomato one by one. ( I didn’t want any to be left out of the party!)  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to caramelize.  May be served warm or at room temperature.

Peace and veggies,

Melissa

Sweet Carrot Puddin’

My two youngest children have a fun book called The Giant Carrot, by Jan Peck. The last page offers up a recipe for Little Isabelle’s Carrot Puddin’. I think Charlie has been talking about trying this recipe for at least a year and we finally got around to it yesterday. It was super easy to make and so delicious and comforting on a chilly day that I just had to share. I love that it uses honey as the sweetener but I actually cut the amount in half. The recipe calls for one cup, I used just a half cup and it is plenty sweet!

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when dessert can be good for you too! Most of the previous research has focused on the benefits from their carotenoids and antioxidants, but now we have another reason to eat more carrots. A recent study from the Netherlands shows that carrots offer great protection against cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.

Enjoy!
Melissa

Little Isabelle’s Carrot Puddin’

Combine and blend until smooth:
(I used my Vita-mix on low speed and pulsed a few times…worked perfectly)

1 c peeled and grated carrots ( I threw 2 c of baby carrots in the blender with the following ingredients)

1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
1/2 to 1 c honey

When smooth (you still want it to be chunky enough that you see the carrot shreds), stir in gently:

4 slices whole grain bread cut into cubes
1/3 c raisins
1/4 c chopped nuts (optional, we omitted these)

Pour into greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve warm, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Great New Ways to Eat Your Greens

Happy New Year! Our kids are STILL enjoying their break but things will get back to normal around here next Tuesday and we promise you will hear a bit more from us! In the meantime, I saw this blog and thought I would share these yummy ideas for getting greens in your meals. Some have ingredients that I wouldn’t eat on a daily basis but might be fun for a splurge and they certainly look and sound delicious! Somedays it may take a recipe like one here to get your kids to happily clean their plates…thanks to thekitchn.com for sharing!

Hope your year is off to a happy, healthy start!

Melissa

http://www.thekitchn.com/15-ways-to-eat-your-greens-in-the-wintertime-recipe-collections-from-the-kitchn-182676?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Kitchn+011413+-+Winter+Grains&utm_content=Kitchn+011413+-+Winter+Grains+CID_0c33cc7e4a025aefa0658a8476f076cb&utm_source=email_newsletter&utm_term=15%20Ways%20to%20Eat%20Your%20Greens%20in%20the%20Winter