Tuesday, March 6, 2012

new spin on the salad…

It may be slightly cliché, but usually I find myself eating a giant salad around dinner time, not just because it’s easy and fast to prepare, but because it’s a really good chance to sneak in some veggies. You may think that eating vegetables comes naturally to a dietitian, but I definitely have to be intentional about working them into my meals. 

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And salads can certainly be more refined than the icky iceberg lettuce and dried out carrot shreds that compose most packaged mixes. I have found this spiralizer super helpful in making my salads a little more creative. The above salad contains:

  • spiralized cucumber
  • spiralized sweet potato (roasted in olive oil and dijon mustard at 400 for 15-20 minutes)
  • candied almonds (slice almonds and heat in a frying pan with a slight sprinkling of sugar)
  • feta cheese
  • spring mix

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Tahini is a nutrient packed and makes a great salad topper. I like it mixed with a little balsamic vinegar or BBQ sauce (weird, I know but so good). I also will often top my salads with hummus. I find that eating so many green things at once is both energizing (hate eating heavy meals and then going to bed a couple hours later) and definitely filling.

If you find that salads just don’t fill you up, add some extra protein in the form of nuts, seeds, cheese, or an egg.

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Also a new soup recipe for you (adapted from here).

Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in heavy soup pot, add diced onion and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are just starting to brown.  Add minced garlic, chili powder, and fresh-ground black pepper and saute 1-2 minutes more or until spices are becoming fragrant. Add cubed sweet potatoes, black beans, and stock. Simmer on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked.

And wouldn’t you figure…after a crazy weekend of snow traveling and skiing, it was 60 degrees today, and I ran a lovely 4 miles outside in the sunshine in shorts. Crazy winter, but I’m not complaining.

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Fave ways to eat vegetables??

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p.s. post on wheat grass in the works…

16 comments:

  1. A spiralizer is a lot of fun! I usually eat a salad for lunch. Lately, my favorite way to eat veggies has been lots of spinach, kale, and other greens in my kefir smoothies.

    Love your snow pic!

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  2. lovely salad recipe and wow funny weather looking forward to you joining in with the Tues Food Market fun

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  3. Can't wait to read about wheat grass!
    I love salads too, an not just because they are "healthy" (or at least, they CAN be healthy....) but because they are a blank canvass. Last night Nick and I made the most AMAZING salad with so many great veggies included. I do want a spiralizer though (the spiralized sweet potato sounds super interesting).

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  4. Ooh, I love the idea of the spiralizer, though I try to avoid buying new kitchen gadgets. (Minimalism, gah!)

    Do you ever bring salads for lunch? If so, how do you pack it so it stays fresh? For example, I wanted to pack my lunch salad last night, but I have to wait to add the avocado because it will just get brown, blah.

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  5. Gosh, I LOVE veggies, but I have to intentionally work them in too. I wonder why that is...it's just not where my mind goes when I'm in the kitchen. I'm always in the mood for a salad though!

    We're going to hit almost 60 today too! Loving it.

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  6. I love my spiraler as well, but hands down love asian type sauces (peanut tamari, tahini lemon, or light cocounut curry with basil) over OVEN roasted veggies.

    I am going to make that soup next week! Thanks for the inspiration. Some day I'll have to share my quinoa burrito recipe. It has black beans, quinoa and slaw inside with a guac sauce on top. wrapped in a whole grain flour tort...yummy!

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  7. ooo i'm all about making salads fun and new. never thought about spiralizing a sweet potato before! tahini is definitely one of my favorite salad dressings. hummus too. guac, yum! i've been enjoying my veggies cooked lately, prolly b/c of the cold weather! :) the quinoa bean soup looks clean and simple, love it. how do you like to make your homemade veggie broth?

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  8. That spiralized salad looks so tasty! I've been living on roasted veggies this winter... sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini. Roasting brings out such a deep flavor that I love, and it's so simple. Yum.

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  9. you're making me think i need a spiralizer!! i love roasting veggies, or making homemade hummus for raw ones!

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  10. I love crunching into raw veggies especially with hummus. In the winter when they aren't as fresh I LOVE roasting them (especially brussel sprouts!).

    Emilie
    www.liveeatsmile.blogspot.com

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  11. Hi Emily! It's been quite some time again. How are you and where are you working these days? I love humus topper idea here; your blog is informative and fun as always. Glad to see it going strong :)

    I am enjoying working life, finally! I graduated the MS degree from Tufts in December and immediately moved back to California to job search. I started an internship which turned into a full time job 2 weeks ago! I am doing nutrition communications (writing) for a PR firm in Sacramento that serves California wineries, food companies and food commodity boards. Learning lots!

    Will be in touch,
    Rachel

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  12. So I've never tried "spiraling" my veggies... this salad looks really good like that and I imagine you can use this slicer for a bunch of different things! This soup sounds really good and I love it b/c it's not a page full of ingredients.

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  13. I'm a big fan of salads too because they are just so refreshing. I've never tried spiralizing before, but it looks fun :) I have some tahini I need to use up and will try it in dressing, yum!

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  14. These are fabulous salads and a great reminder that these can be made into healthy meals by themselves.

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  15. Did I miss the quinoa in the recipe? :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh, you're right! I added 1/2-1 cup of cooked quinoa to the recipe. you could also try cooking it in the broth. :)

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