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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

In Vancouver, we get about one month of summer each year. We spend our June-uary days in sweaters and jackets; I’ve even attended an early July fireworks celebration wearing a down vest and toque.

Just so you know, it’s not like this in all of Canada. We don’t live on ice floes with the polar bears. Many parts of the country, including other cities in British Columbia,  have lovely, sweltering summers.

When summer finally arrives here, it’s glorious – except no one has air conditioning. And I live on the second floor, where it becomes unbearably hot and airless. That means I avoid my oven like the plague and rely on refreshing salads like this one.

This cucumber salad is light and cooling, plus it only takes a few minutes to prepare, so I can spend more time languishing in the shade trying to beat the heat.

How often do you use your oven in the summertime?

Cool Cucumber Salad
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, five ingredients or less

1 small cucumber
2 tbsp chopped green onion
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
salt to taste

Using a spiral slicer, mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the cucumber into very thin slices and toss them into a small bowl.

Add the green onion to the bowl, then drizzle the vinegar and maple syrup over the cucumber. Mix well, then sprinkle with salt.

Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serves two as a side dish, one as a main.

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I could tell you plenty about the healthful properties of carrots. Like they are loaded with antioxidants, are great for the cardiovascular system, keep our eyes healthy and help prevent cancer.

But I won’t bore you, because all you need to know is this carrot salad is ah-mazing.

It’s the perfect mix of sweet and tart, with a little bit of crunch for good measure. And with only five ingredients, it will take you no time at all to throw together. This one is definitely going to be part of my summer repertoire.

What’s your favourite simple salad?

Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.

Carrot Raisin Salad
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

First, shred your carrots and toss them into a medium-sized bowl. Take your raisins and chop them finely, as this disperses them throughout the salad. Chop the walnuts and add them along with the raisins to the bowl.

Drizzle the salad with maple syrup and lemon juice, then mix well. Taste and adjust the dressing if necessary.

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Raw kale isn’t for everyone. It’s a heartier, bitter green that most people prefer sautéed or tossed into stews.

I thought I didn’t like raw kale, but I was wrong. Turns out you just need to have it prepared in the right way. The trick is massaging the kale with lemon juice, which causes it to wilt as if you had lightly steamed it.

This salad is a beautiful mix of colours, flavours and textures. You’ve got the garlicky sweetness of the butternut squash combined with the lemony kale, along with tart cranberries. So fresh, so delightful.

Want to switch things up? Use sweet potato instead of butternut squash, or dried cherries to replace the cranberries. You could also use a different green, though kale is such a nutritional powerhouse I encourage you to try it just once!

What are your thoughts on kale? Do you like it raw, or can you only tolerate it cooked?

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale Salad
From The Taste Space

1 medium butternut squash (~3lb), peeled, seeded and chopped into one-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
couple pinches of sea salt

1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
3 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¾ cup dried cranberries

In a medium bowl, combine butternut squash cubes with the oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast until fork-tender, but not falling apart (around 30-40 minutes).

Meanwhile, mix the kale, lemon juice and salt with your hands, massaging it together. It should wilt into half its volume after three minutes or so.

Make dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar, salt, maple syrup and mustard together. Pour over kale, toss to coat.

When the butternut squash has finished roasting, remove from oven and let cool for five to 10 minutes. Add to kale and gently toss together. Stir in the dried cranberries. Season to taste.

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Salad dressings are a challenge for me and 99% of the time, I run straight for the incredibly delicious miso-tahini dressing.

But the bright green hue of this parsley dressing was so vibrant and mesmerizing I felt compelled to at least try it.

Parsley isn’t something I use often, and I’ll bet most of us view it as merely a garnish destined to remain on the side of our plates. But parsley is an incredibly healthful food. It’s an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and K, making it a great choice for protection against inflammation, heart disease and cancer.

And interestingly, gram for gram, parsley has more iron than a hamburger. An 85-gram beef burger patty has 2.5 mg of iron, while 85 grams of parsley has 5.1 mg. Of course, it’s more challenging to eat 85 grams of parsley, which amounts to about a cup and a half, but it’s not completely out of reach.

This dressing helps a lot. It’s tangy, fresh and delicious. You can certainly drizzle this over salads and veggies, but it also works well as a dip if you use less water – which will thicken it up.

Do you have a delicious salad dressing recipe to share?

Parsley and Avocado Dressing
From Choosing Raw

1 small avocado
½ bunch parsley, washed
Juice of 2-3 lemons (2 large, or 3 tiny ones)
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water
½ tsp Himalayan salt
black pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender till smooth. Serve.

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It’s January again, the time when we emerge from our holiday food comas and pledge to eat healthier, hit the gym or change our self-destructive patterns.

Back in the day, the period between Christmas and New Year’s was my favourite time of the year. That’s when all the holiday candy would go on sale, and I’d stock up on brightly wrapped Hershey kisses and tins of Quality Street.

Happily, those days are over for me, but I’ve certainly indulged at a few holiday meals this season. Overeating is overeating, even if you’re consuming something on the healthier side.

This salad is incredibly tasty and will help you feel healthy and energized. You won’t feel deprived while eating it, I promise! I’m usually not crazy about raw broccoli and raw cauliflower, but in this recipe they totally work – it’s amazing how consistency and shape can transform the flavour of a dish.

Whether you use a food processor, box grater or a high-speed blender, the important thing is to get everything chopped up small. This recipe makes a large quantity, so you may want to halve it. And if you’re making it ahead of time, wait to add the dressing right before serving.

Do you have any resolutions to be healthier this year? Share them in the comments!

Interested in more information about detoxifying foods? Head over to my latest post over on the Health on the Drive blog for a few suggestions!

Detox Salad
From Oh She Glows

2 heads broccoli, stems removed
1 head cauliflower, stems removed
2 ½ cups shredded carrots
½ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 cup currants or raisins
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
4-6 tbsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Pure maple syrup, to drizzle on before serving

In a food processor (or chop by hand) process the broccoli until fine. Add into large bowl.

Now process the cauliflower until fine and add into bowl. Do the same with the carrots.

Stir in the sunflower seeds, currants or raisins and parsley. Add lemon juice and seasonings to taste.

Drizzle with maple syrup to taste, then serve.

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Okay, I know it’s hard to actually see the dressing in this picture.

But it’s there and it’s delicious.

In all honesty, I haven’t eaten a real Caesar salad in a long time so I don’t fully remember what it tastes like. And that makes it harder to judge how close this vegan version comes to the real thing.

However, I will say this: the dressing is creamy, garlicky, tangy, aromatic and full of flavour. Really, what more could you ask for in a salad dressing? I don’t think you’ll regret giving this one a try.

I added a lot of veggies to my salad to give it more substance and fashioned some croutons out of my almond pulp crackers. If you want a more traditional Caesar salad, feel free to leave the extra vegetables out, or you could add in some tempeh bacon.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, do you have a hard time recalling what old favourites taste like?

Vegan Caesar Dressing
From Making Love in the Kitchen

2 tbsp almond butter (or ground almonds)
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp Braggs or tamari
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil (or flax oil)

Blend all ingredients together and pour over your salad.

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I’ve mentioned my distaste for salad a number of times. I never thought the day would come where I’d feature a salad dressing on this blog.

And yet…

Oh, this dressing. This dressing cries out for lettuce. I dolloped it atop mixed greens – mixed greens! – four days in a row at lunchtime. So you know that means it has to be delicious.

It’s got a sharp tang from the rice vinegar, a nuttiness from the tahini and sesame oil, and a wonderful saltiness from the miso. You could also use this as a dip for veggies or even in place of mustard or mayo on a sandwich, since it’s nice and thick.

Have I gone to the dark side?

Miso-Tahini Dressing
From Delectably Free

2 tbsp sesame tahini
3 tbsp miso
1 ½ tbsp Bragg’s
3 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp water

Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Add more miso for extra thickness, if desired, or water to thin to desired consistency.

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