Tag Archives: Salad

Lentil Confetti Salad

24 Jun

petite green lentils, diced veggies, tomatoes, radish, parsley, dijon olive oil sherry vinegaigrette  #140characterrecipe #yummy #powerfoods #scrumptioussalad #healthandwellness #healthcoach #chefinstructor 🥕👩🏼‍🍳😋

© 2017 Steppingstone-wellness.com

Beet, Carrot, Orange & Quinoa Salad

11 Jun

This is a simple and delicious salad, inspired from a recent Yoga Retreat at Full Belly Farms. They grow wonderful, organic food on 350 acres in the Capay Valley of Northern California.

Roast Beets (approx. 1 cup) and Carrots (approx. 1 cup or 4 medium-size)  in a 350 F oven, drizzled with a little Olive Oil, until tender (approx. 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables, and Carrots may be ready earlier). If Beets are large, cut in half and put cut side on baking tray, on some parchment paper for easier clean up  (note, you could steam if you prefer).

Once cool, peel the Beets, if they were large (small Beets are tender so may not be necessary). Cut Beets into small dice size, and slice Carrots into half lengthwise and then into small slices (not too thin).

While the veggies are roasting, cook 1 cup of Quinoa. Cool before adding to the bowl.

 Then, finely zest 1 Orange into a medium bowl (I like using a Microplane zester). Remove the peel from the Orange (with a knife is easier), and squeeze any juice from the peel into the bowl. Cut up Orange into bite size pieces.
Combine all ingredients with Olive Oil, Rice Vinegar and Salt/Pepper to taste.

Optional: add Feta Cheese, garnish with Fresh Herbs (Mint, Cilantro, or Parsley), Pumpkin Seeds, Chopped or Sliced Almonds.

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Kumquats

19 Jan

Great combination of flavors…Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Kumquats from K & L Bistro in Sebastopol.

I sure wish I could figure out how to get my Kumquat tree to be more productive!

20130119-222500.jpg

Spring Asparagus Has Arrived!

10 Mar

Artwork courtesy of Krank Press

I’m getting hungry reading recipes online and thought why not share them? They sounded especially appetizing to me! You might also be interested to know that Asparagus is one of the “Clean 15” (lowest in pesticide) and not one of the “Dirty Dozen”. Organics are best, for many reasons, but I know they are not available or affordable all the time, so if you’d like, you can refer to EWG’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.

Spring Asparagus and Bacon Hash (tasty for any time of day…Pancetta would also be a nice option)

Spring Asparagus Salad (or roasted, with a Lemony Vinaigrette and Capers would be great too)

Chicken and Asparagus Rolls

Asparagus and Gruyere Tart (perfect for an Easter Brunch!)

Chopped Spring Salad with Asparagus and Peas (I’d probably add some toasted Almonds or sliced or quartered Radishes for a pop of color, or maybe Tofu or White Beans to make it into an main course)

Do you have a favorite Asparagus recipe to share?

Crab Louie Salad and Spud Point Marina

20 Feb

There is nothing like freshly cooked Dungeness Crab, dipped in garlic butter! I also like to make a second dipping sauce from Mayonnaise, Lemon Juice and some Curry Powder. The flavors pair very well with the Crab and a simple shaved Fennel & Apple salad (tossed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt & Pepper), along with some crusty bread, can’t be beat. By the way, family members, please note for my “Last Supper”!

We wanted to cook up some live Dungeness Crab for dinner a few weekends ago, so took a drive out to Spud Point Marina in Bodega Bay in Northern California. It’s just a few minutes north of Lucas Wharf. Lucky for us, Seafood Watch considers this type of crab sustainable and Paisano Brothers Fisheries had a holding tank full of them–being well into the season, we were surprised by the large size of 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. It’s a good idea to take an ice chest since they only have plastic garbage bags, which are easily punctured by their claws, making your trunk wet and possibly having them escape!

If you’re not up for cooking them yourself, Spud Point Crab Company is across from the Marina and serves Crab sandwiches and Clam Chowder, among other things.

We had plenty of leftover Crab, so I made a salad with a “Louie” style dressing (including Mayo, Sweet Pickle Relish, Ketchup, Lemon Juice, Chopped Capers).

Hopefully, we’ll do this again at least one more time this year! The season begins in Mid-November (perfect for a pre-Thanksgiving meal) and runs to June, but it’s best to get them in the winter months. Do you have a favorite Crab recipe to share?

How To Prevent A Cut Apple From Browning In Your Lunch

21 Jan

Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that bring me happiness. This one did! To prevent a cut apple from browning in your kid’s lunch box, secure a rubber band around it. I wish I had thought of this, but I found it after stumbling upon the Bragg Blog (Bragg Live Food Products include a delicious Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar). I actually like the idea for myself too, since I prefer to cut up an apple rather than biting into a whole one, especially at my desk at the office.

You surely know the trite expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and it’s a good reminder that most of us are not eating enough fruit and vegetables each day.

The new USDA Guidelines suggest you fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables–here is a link with some guidelines and nutrition data: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. I’d try going lighter on the fruit and eat more vegetables, since some fruits are quite high in sugar…mangoes, bananas, oranges, for example. On a side note, I read recently that the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Just imagine what a pile of that looks like!

Do you remember the Seinfeld TV show episode with Elaine who wants a “BIG” salad? That’s the kind of salad I like, that really satisfies my cravings for raw vegetables, and makes me feel super healthy with no remorse after eating a meal. You’ve probably heard of the “Meatless Mondays” campaign. What do think about “Salad Saturdays” or “Salad Sundays” where you fix a BIG salad for dinner instead of a eating heavy meal? Uh oh, I’m off on a tangent but I’d love to hear your ideas of what you’re doing to eat more fruits or vegetables!

Calamari Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

14 Jan

It’s the New Year and eating healthier is definitely on my mind. Have you tried Calamari? It is sustainable, delicious and tender when cooked properly.

One of my favorite ways, other than grilling it, is to gently steam it for several minutes, in a vegetable steamer, over simmering water infused with a few strips of Lemon Zest and 1-2 Bay Leaves. It cooks very quickly over steam so don’t walk away from it. It won’t take long to become firm and will continue to cook even after you have it off the heat. Then, throw it into the Vinaigrette, which will help stop the cooking process.

Salad for 2 people:

  • 4-6 Calamari, depending on the size (steamed and sliced into rings)
  • 1 Carrot, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Romaine Lettuce (I suggest using the heart and keeping the leaves whole, or Butter Lettuce would be nice too)
  • Arugula, 1 handful
  • 1/2 Bulb Fennel, shaved thinly
  • Olives, about a handful, cut in half (I had green ones on hand, but Kalamata would also work well)

 For the Vinaigrette:

  • 3 Parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
  • 1 Part Lemon Juice*
  • Juice of 1/2 an Orange*
  • 1/2 Shallot, finely chopped (or thinly sliced Red Onion)
  • Parsley, a few sprigs, finely chopped
  • Red Pepper Flakes (1-2 pinches or to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

*Note: if you prefer a sharp dressing like I do, use 2 parts Oil and 1 part Juice . You could also use the leftover 1/2 orange, cut  it into segments, and add them to the salad.

  1. Combine the ingredients of the Vinaigrette in a Salad bowl
  2. Toss in the steamed Calamari and let it marinade for about 10 minutes
  3. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients with the Vinaigrette and Calamari and enjoy!

I first heard about the technique of steaming Calamari while watching one of Lidia Bastianich’s cooking shows, Lidia’s Italy, on PBS. You can view her recipe here and for instructions on how to clean them, here is a link from Monterey Fish Market.

Carne Crudo with Enoki Mushrooms & Black Truffle Bruschetta

7 Jan

This dish is from Manzo at Eataly in New York. It was one of the memorable dishes from my recent vacation and I feel it is worth blogging about for several reasons…it was beautifully plated, had an excellent combination of flavors, and for using Grass-fed Beef.

I had not previously heard of Piemontese Beef. It comes from a breed of cattle originally from the North-West region of Piemont in Italy, and considered among the best in the world for being especially tender and lower in fat.

I am a big proponent of Grass-fed Beef, especially after watching the video Food, Inc. (which I highly recommend),  and it’s my preference for the limited occasions when I eat Beef. As you probably know, Grass-fed Beef farms provide a more humane livestock system, a healthier human diet, less deadly E. coli, and elimination of feedlots that are filthy, require tons of antibiotics, and cruel to the animals. Manzo’s Razza Piemontese Beef is American-sourced, coming from Brewer Ranch in Miles City, Montana.

As usual, our preference was taking a seat at the counter rather than at a table, so we could watch the food being prepared and hopefully, get better service, which we did…the bartender was prompt, friendly and guided us in the right direction with his top recommendations.

I was quite surprised to see the meat for this Crudo being freshly ground up, right before our eyes, in the smallest, individual-size grinder that I’ve ever seen. I’m going to search for it and will put up a link in My Tasty Store when I find it (remember to check out My Tasty Store on the side bar of the blog when you’re viewing on a computer–unfortunately, it’s still not working well on mobile devices…it’s a project for the New Year!). The earthy flavors of Mushrooms and Black Truffles, together with the delicate Quail Egg Yolk, were divine.

We also enjoyed a Roasted Cauliflower and Romaine Salad with an Anchovy  Caper Vinaigrette. I will definitely be duplicating this salad at home!

Chef Michael Toscano, the former Sous-Chef of Mario Batali’s Babbo, definitely impressed me and I look forward to going back.

If you’d like to see some of the other dishes, here is a link to the Fall menu. Be prepared to get hungry!

What restaurant dish has given you inspiration to try at home?

Scrumptious Salads for Thanksgiving

12 Nov

The photo above is a Frisee & Arugula salad with Walnuts, Fourme D’Ambert and Dried Apricots from the recently opened Broadway by Amar Santana (former Executive Chef of Charlie Palmer) in Laguna Beach. Very tasty!

What I love about salads is that you really don’t need a recipe, so I hope you won’t be upset that I don’t give you a specific one. Think about a few components, and then compose!

First of all, for the base of the salad, this time of year, I especially like using Escarole, Arugula, and Belgian Endive. I enjoy their slightly bitter and peppery flavors. Of course, Spinach is great year round and easily accessible. It’s nice to toss in a bit of Radicchio for color, or thinly shaved Fennel for crunch.

Next, think about what pairs well with these type of greens or in the case of Radicchio, the lovely magenta leaves…

Fruits that are in season are perfect to pair with them. Here’s a list of options:

  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Tangerines
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmon (the Japanese Fuyu Persimmon, available at farmer’s markets, is best for slicing–do not use the Hachiya as it’s too soft)

Dried Apricots, Cranberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, or Golden Raisins are also tasty alternatives.

Cheese is another wonderful component to add to a salad. I am particularly fond of Blue cheeses like Gorgonzola, Roquefort and Cambozola. Shaved Parmesan is another great one to add, as a garnish. Using a vegetable peeler works the best!

A handful of Nuts or Seeds mixed in or tossed on top is not only healthy, but delicious! Try any of the following:

  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cashews or Sesame Seeds are nice if you’re doing an Asian dressing

Speaking of dressing, I prefer my vinaigrettes on the sharp side. You can’t go wrong with the traditional French ingredients (Dijon Mustard–1 teaspoon, a small Shallot–finely minced, 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar–I like Sherry Vinegar the best, a good pinch of Sea Salt and a few coarse grinds of Black Pepper, and 6-8 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

If you’re interested in changing the flavor a little, remember freshly squeezed Lemon, Lime or Orange Juice, Nut Oils, a dash of Soy Sauce or Sesame Oil, Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar, grated Ginger or Garlic, Honey, fresh Herbs like Parsley, Tarragon or Chives, dried Herbes De Provence and lastly, Truffle Oil–one of my favorites.

Of course there are all kinds of other options to add into your salads. Radishes are always nice for a bit of color and Celery, which is often underappreciated, is another good one for adding texture. Crispy bits of Bacon or Pancetta–need I say more?

The next time you make a Spinach salad, try adding Mushrooms, grated hard-boiled Egg and Sunflower Seeds.  Shaved Fennel, sliced Mushrooms and shaved Parmesan with some Lemon juice and Olive Oil is another nice combo.

I could go on and on, but as you can tell, the possibilities are endless!