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. 


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


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.


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.


Fave ways to eat vegetables??


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


  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!

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

  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).

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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?

  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.

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

  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!).


  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,

  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.

  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!

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

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

    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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