Curried rice and lentil salad with grapes and celery

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If the Waldorf-Astoria merged with the Best Marigold Hotel, this would be the new hotel’s signature dish. This salad, which eats as a meal, combines flavourful Indian spices, the crunch of celery, the sweetness of grapes and the staying power of lentils and rice. It’s also an easy dish to make that will last for 3-4 days in the fridge and travels well, which makes it great for toting for lunches, picnics or pot lucks.

Ingredients

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The salad

2 ½ cups cooked brown rice (that’s about 1 cup uncooked)

1 cup of cooked du Puy or beluga (a/k/a black) lentils (about ½ cup uncooked)

2 green onions sliced

2 stalks of celery sliced

1 ½ cups red grapes cut in half

¼ cup slivered almonds toasted*

The dressing

The juice of 1 lemon

4 Tbsp canola or peanut oil**

1 Tbsp curry powder

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp turmeric

3 – 4 cloves garlic minced

¾ tsp ground ginger

¾ tsp salt

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Directions

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a cup or small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss everything thoroughly to combine. I like this salad after it’s had time to sit and the flavours can marry. I usually make it in the morning for lunch.

Serve up and enjoy!  This makes 3-4 servings.

*To toast the almonds, place them on a small cookie sheet or other heat-proof dish (I used a miniature casserole dish). Place the almonds in the oven (To save power, I use my toaster oven.) at 400F for 3-4 minutes. Seriously keep your eye on them! They can burn in a flash. Remove the almonds from the oven as soon as they are toasted or they’ll keep cooking.

**Use an oil that is flavourless and will not go solid (like virgin coconut oil does). I tried this salad with melted coconut oil once and the minute the oil got cold, I was left with unappetizing mini-chunks of “oil” throughout the salad.

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A creamy, beany Southwest-style salad

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Sometimes I just need salad. Not often, but it happens (I have to consciously choose to eat my leafy greens). This salad is colourful, crunchy, hearty enough to eat as a meal or fun to serve as a side with Mexican food.

Ingredients

The salad

1 head of lettuce, chopped. Use a sturdier lettuce such as romaine or even kale

1 green, red or yellow pepper, chopped

15 ounces (1 ½ cups ) black beans – drained except reserve 1 tablespoon of the brine for the salad dressing

½ a small red onion, chopped

1 cup corn niblets (I use frozen corn and just let it defrost).

2 tomatoes chopped

 The dressing

1 avocado

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp brine from the canned black beans

2 Tbsp pickled jalapenos

1 Tbsp brine from the pickled jalapenos

2 -3 Tbsp cilantro

The juice from one lime

Directions

Add all dressing ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth.

Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss with the salad dressing and enjoy.

If you do not dress the salad or add the tomatoes, this salad will last covered in the fridge for 2-3 days. Just add the dressing and tomatoes before serving.

Omit the lettuce and this salad makes an amazing creamy, beany salsa to eat with natchos.

My recipes is closely based on one I read on Buzzfeed, but I modified it to lower the fat in the dressing and turn up the heat.

 

Buffalo “wing” salad

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Buffalo wings are one of those things that people go gaga over. I don’t think folks are actually that excited about the sad, bony, cartilaginous bits of chicken death, but rather they love the hot and spicy wing coating and the creamy and crunchy blend of dip with celery and carrot sticks.

I’ve recreated all the goodness of Buffalo wings with hot sauce, ranch dressing, celery and carrots and added fibre, minerals, micronutrients and a big old dose of compassion. Try this!

Ingredients

For the salad

5 -6 cups of kale washed and torn into bite-sized pieces (that’s one big bunch of kale)

2-3 carrots sliced into coins

2-3 ribs of celery sliced

 

For the buffalo chickpeas

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (that’s one 15 oz can), rinsed and dried

½ cup Frank’s hot sauce

1 Tbsp neutral tasting oil (I use peanut oil since it can take high heat)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

 

For the ranch dressing

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 Tbsp plant milk

2 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill*

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley*

Optional garnish – slices of avocado

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Directions

Turn the oven on to 400F. Mix the hot sauce, garlic powder, oil and salt in a bowl and toss the chickpeas in the dressing until they are coated. Turn them out onto a cookie sheet. Do NOT pour any remaining dressing that’s in the bowl onto the chickpeas, but just set it aside.

Bake the chickpeas for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven, give them a stir, pour the remaining hot sauce dressing on them and then return them to the oven for another 40 minutes.

When they are done, just let the chickpeas cool on the cookie sheet.

You can make the roasted chickpeas ahead of time and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days.

While the chickpeas are baking, mix the kale, carrots and celery in a large salad bowl. Add the roasted chickpeas.

In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients. Taste. Swoon. Add all or some of the dressing to the salad (depending on how creamy you want it). Toss everything together and serve up your Buffalo wing salad. Enjoy!

*Here’s how I always have “fresh” herbs on hand. Store your fresh, clean herbs by the bunch in the freezer in freezer bags. Whenever you want fresh herbs for soups, sauces, stews, dips or dressings, just take some from your frozen supply. You won’t even need to chop – just crumble the frozen herbs. Frozen herbs do not work well as garnishes.

 

Seize her salad….and eat it yourself

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If you like creamy, garlicky Caesar salad dressing, pay attention.

This recipe comes from Esther’s Kitchen Esther being the wonder pig. My embellishments are the kale, chickpea croutons and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Get out your blender and let’s get started.

Ingredients

One head romaine lettuce – washed and torn into bite sized pieces

TIP – check prices. It’s December in Canada and a big head of local, organic kale costs less than the imported romaine so this salad is got the nutrition boost of kale. Mmm.

½ cup water

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 tsp miso

2-3 cloves garlic

1 medjool date, stone removed

Salt and pepper to taste. I used about ¼ teaspoon each.

Directions

Put everything but your salad greens into the blender and blend until creamy. You will have a thick dressing, but it should not be a paste. If it is, add a bit more water and keep blending.

Put your greens in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss well. I added roasted chickpeas (see recipe below) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Roasted chickpeas

½ cup cooked chickpeas patted dry

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp each of black pepper, smoky paprika, garlic powder

Toss all the ingredients together in a cup or small bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool before eating. When they are done the chickpeas will be almost melt-in-your-mouth crunchy; they won’t have any chewiness/moisture to them. If they don’t have that texture, roast the chickpeas for another 5-10 minutes.

My salad days

My salad days

It’s September 1st and the garden is bursting with goodies: yellow and green beans, savoy cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion, green pepper, cucumber and tomatoes.

Summer is having a hot and steamy farewell this week so I opted for a quartet of salads for my dinner.

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  1. Spicy Asian coleslaw (top of the plate)
  2. A creamy cucumber salad (on the right)
  3. A traditional bean salad (front and centre), and
  4. My mom’s potato salad (on the left).

Each recipe makes about 3-4 servings. Each salad is better after sitting overnight but you MUST let the bean salad sit overnight or you won’t get the full flavour effect.

Spicy Asian slaw

4 cups of green cabbage shredded or diced (that’s about 1/3 of a savoy cabbage)

1 carrot sliced or shredded

½ stalk celery sliced thinly

¼ of a large onion diced

¼ of a green pepper diced

2 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp hot chili paste (I use sambal oelek)

About 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl and enjoy! I like this salad with roasted tofu too and a few chow mein noodles.

Note – if you have radishes they are great in this salad too and add pretty colour.

Creamy cucumber salad

About half of a large English cucumber. Do not peel. Cut into quarters and then slice.

1 green onion sliced – I use the white and green

1 tsp fresh dill or more to taste

A few grinds of black pepper

½ tsp salt

I Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!

Traditional bean salad

¾ cup fresh beans

15 oz can of mixed beans (not bean salad) – drained and rinsed

¼ of a green pepper diced

½ of a large onion cut in half and then sliced in thin rings

½ stalk (or more) celery thinly sliced

¼ cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil (or good vegetable oil)

3 Tbsp sugar (use raw sugar, processed, white sugar may have been made with animal bone ash – ugh)

½ tsp salt or to taste

A few grinds of black pepper to taste

Cut the stem end of the beans off and put the beans in boiling water until they are cooked – about 5-10 minutes. Drain the beans and let them cool. When the beans have cooled, cut into 1” pieces and place in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Toss everything together and let marinate for a few hours or overnight. You really must let this salad marinate!

My mom’s potato salad

3 cups of boiled potatoes (I live the skin on), cooled and cut into bite-sized pieces

¼ of a large onion diced

1 stalk celery sliced thinly

1-2 dill pickles diced

1 ½ Tbsp olive oil or other good vegetable oil

2 Tbsp dill pickle juice (the brine from the jar)

3 Tbsp Vegeniase or other vegan mayo-type dressing

Salt and pepper to taste (careful on the salt – the pickle juice is already salty!)

In a large bowl toss the potatoes, onion, oil and pickle juice together until the potatoes and onion are coated. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together.

p.s. My mom would not be happy that I shared her recipe. She would be delighted that we’re all still gushing over her potato salad though.