Every winter, right around now, I start to crave a perfectly ripe summer tomato, straight from the garden, so that I can make Caprese Salad – a classic Italian dish of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Caprese Salad made with tomatoes at the peak of their ripeness is pretty close to heaven on earth. That’s why I miss it so terribly come winter. So this is my solution – Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Cashew Pesto, a/k/a Winter Caprese Salad. Simply roast up a batch of plum tomatoes and serve them with pesto and fresh mozzarella. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness. They won’t be as tasty as garden fresh tomatoes but they’re a good substitute during the cold winter months. (more…)
It’s hard to believe that a dish as simple as Chickpea Spinach Salad can be so delicious – it contains only a handful of ingredients and takes just minutes to prepare. If eating healthy is on your list of resolutions for the new year, then you’ll want to add this nutritious salad to your cooking repertoire. (more…)
This recipe for Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters comes with a warning – you will NOT be able to stop eating these! The combination of salty, maple sweetness is seriously addictive. Fortunately these delicious little clusters are a healthy treat, as they contain no refined sugar and are roasted in coconut oil instead of the overly processed oils that are typically used for roasting nuts and seeds. In addition, pumpkin seeds are one of the best plant sources of zinc, a mineral that is important for optimum immune function. Maple Glazed Pumpkin Seed Clusters are super simple to make – just a couple of minutes of prep and 20 minutes in the oven. (more…)
The idea for trail mix on cobb salad came to me a few years ago while I was vacationing with my family on Turks and Caicos. Every January, in order to decompress from the holiday madness, we rent a condo on this beautiful island, fully equipped with a fantastic kitchen. Turks is a blissful place to visit and about the only negative thing I can say about this tropical paradise is that food there is dreadfully expensive. As a result we eat breakfast and lunch at our condo and only go out for dinner. This is the lunch salad that has become my family’s favorite while we are there. I make a variation of this salad at home quite often and usually include dried cranberries and candied pecans. However, without my normal pantry items available in a vacation rental, I once improvised and used the trail mix we bought for snacking as a topping. We liked it so much that this is what I now use at home on our salads. Aside from the trail mix the other thing that makes this salad unique is that I substitute two of the ingredients typically found in cobb salad – bacon and blue cheese – with goat cheese and crispy prosciutto. I like the milder flavor of goat cheese and think it pairs nicely with the fruit and nuts in the trail mix. And the crispy prosciutto in lieu of the bacon works well because it has the same general texture and flavor profile as bacon (crispy, salty, pork). For this reason, I often use crispy prosciutto in recipes that call for bacon because it is so much easier and less messy to prepare. You roast it in the oven on a parchment lined sheet pan. It’s done in under 20 minutes and there is very little grease so clean up is a breeze (see below for directions). (more…)
When I developed this recipe I wanted it to be as colorful as possible so I called upon the mnemonic device we used in grade school to remember the colors in a rainbow – Roy G. Biv – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. If you look closely at this salad you’ll see that the array of whole foods used in this recipe represents all the colors in that mystical spectrum of light. I’m counting the flecks of cabbage in the broccoli slaw for indigo and violet – maybe that’s cheating a bit but the important thing to remember about this salad is that it is beautiful, healthy, AND delicious. Save this recipe to make for your first picnic or backyard barbeque of the season.
Microwave the frozen corn and peas on high for about 2 minutes, stirring, and checking their temperature after each 30 second interval. You want to defrost them but not heat them through. Once they are at room temperature, blot away any excess water with a clean paper towel. If don’t own a microwave, or don’t want to use one, simply leave the peas and corn out on your counter, at room temperature, until they are completely defrosted.
I usually use grape tomatoes for this salad but you could substitute cherry tomatoes, just make sure you cut them into bite size pieces. My grape tomatoes were kind of big the day I made this salad so I cut them into quarters. Once they are cut up add them to the bowl of peas and corn and set aside while you make the vinegariette. (more…)
The right balance of colors on a plate can rouse the senses before even the first morsel of food is put into your mouth. We taste with our eyes first. Black Bean Salad in Pepper Cups is a perfect example of how just seeing a dish can fire up your taste buds and ready them for a delicious meal. (Check out this short article on How Color Affects Your Perception of Food.) Whenever I’m serving an entree that’s lacking in color I can always count on this salad’s bright and vivid ingredients to make an otherwise bland looking plate come alive. Using the peppers as a serving vessel provides an extra pop of color and makes beautiful presentation. (more…)