Category Archives: Salad

Israeli Couscous with Enoki, Parmesan and Lemon-Truffle Vinaigrette

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Addicting pasta gems!

I apologize for my hiatus. A lot has happened where I am now happily single again. I will not bore you with the details so on to my favorite topic…food!

LAX has made the best change ever to their Delta terminal (T5) recently. Lemonade moved in! Lemonade serves seasonal So Cal comfort food and some of their items like the Israeli couscous, wild mushroom, parmesan, lemon-truffle vinaigrette (that’s just one item) is uh-mazing! I travel often so when I travel with Delta, I make sure to stop by and get a container full of these little pasta guys to eat on the plane.

Ingredients: Serves 6 ish as an appetizer
1-2 pack of enoki mushrooms (stems cut off and rinsed)
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup lemon-truffle vinaigrette (see below)
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese

Dressing: Makes 1/2 cup (mix all ingredients)
Juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbs canola oil
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp white truffle oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Guide:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the mushroom on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle sea salt, pepper then toss. Roast them in the oven until it turns brown and caramelized (20 min)

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On a large skillet, toast the couscous over medium heat until they are golden brown. (5 min)
Pour in the broth, cover and simmer until tender. (10-12 min)

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Once the couscous cools down, mix couscous, mushrooms, dressing and parmesan cheese in a bowl.

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Serve room temp. or cold and enjoy!

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Keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days or so. Ingredients won’t go bad but the couscous starts to harden over time.

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Caramelized Roasted Beets

 

Beets beets beets. What to do with beets besides juice them in the juicer? Roast them!

Ingredients:
3 medium sized beets
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp finely ground sea salt
1 tsp fresh thyme – chopped

Guide:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Scrub the beets clean of any dirt (you’re not going to peel them).
Chop off ½ inch on the top and bottom to get a clean base.
Use a mandolin and slice them thin (5mm) very carefully, or slice them using a knife very carefully.
Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and thyme.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, lay the beets flat making sure they’re not overlapping each other too much to ensure even roasting. Pop them in the oven for 16-18 minutes. Once time is up, put the baking sheets on a cooling rack and let them cool for few minutes. You’re done!

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Roasted beets caramelize and come out very sweet. They go perfect in a salad that uses vinaigrette dressing (something zesty or tart).

Herbed Quinoa with Lemon Zest

This is another dish I crave like no other. It’s extremely popular amongst my friends too. When I think about it, I can almost smell the lemon zest, basil, and the nuttiness of the Quinoa (keen-wa). I saw Giada make this on her show once and although I had NO IDEA what on earth QUINOA was (they’re seeds), I decided to go buy a bag to see how I like it since I enjoy trying new things. As a result, I am a QUINOA LOVER.

Ingredients: Serves 4
Quinoa:
2 ¾ cups Low sodium chicken stock
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice (for me, it took 2 juicy lemons)
1 ½ cups Quinoa

Dressing to mix into cooked Quinoa:
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice (2 more juicy lemons)
¾ cup Fresh basil – thinly chopped
¼ cup Fresh parsley – chopped
1 Tbs Fresh thyme – chopped
2 tsp Lemon zest
*Kosher Salt and pepper (optional)

 

Guide:
Cook Quinoa by combining chicken stock, lemon juice, and Quinoa in small-medium pot.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.
If you see the Quinoa puffed up, and no liquid on top it’s ready. *Should not be watery like porridge.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, other ¼ cup of lemon juice, basil, parsley, thyme, and lemon zest in a bowl large enough to mix the Quinoa into and set aside.
Once the Quinoa is cooked, dump the quinoa in the dressing bowl and toss to mix. (Do not mash it up)
Taste it and add salt and pepper if you’d like. I usually don’t find it necessary.

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I think it tastes best fresh and at room temperature but it’s still delicious for another couple of days if stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Healthy Refreshing Kale Salad

I’m in LOVE with kale and this is one of my favorite ways to eat it, as a SALAD!

I had kale salad for the first time at Whole Foods Market (which I don’t go too often since I spend way too much) and immediately fell in love with it. Went online, found out what they use in their dressing, added a couple of my favorite ingredients to make it more fun and now it’s something I make at least once a week if not more!


Ingredients: Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side salad
1 bunch kale

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a juicy lemon, or 1 whole not so juicy lemon)

2 tsp chili powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts (I toasted them in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for about 4-5 minutes/ warning: burns easily)

¼ cup dried cranberries

Guide: 

Wash the kale leaves, spin dry, rip the green leaves off the ribs and remove stems – basically just want the green leaves)

Grab them by a handful, squeeze them in your hand and finely slice them – the finer you slice them, the softer and fluffier the salad will be

To make the dressing, whisk olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chili powder, salt together

In a large bowl, combine kale, dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, and dressing

Toss well until kale is fully coated and serve!

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I personally prefer almonds over pine nuts for this salad since it adds more CRUNCH to it, but I didn’t have any left, so opted for pine nuts!

Key to this salad is to cut the leaves FINE – you can also chop or dice but the texture will be much more coarse

Since kale doesn’t wilt like most lettuce, you can make this the night before, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it’ll still taste great the next day

Chopped Salad Goodness

When I prepped this salad in the morning, I wished it was lunch time already so I can dive into this delicious goodness.

Ingredients for the dressing: (makes multiple servings)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

3 small garlic cloves – crushed and  minced

1 tsp ground mustard

pinch of salt

pinch of ground black pepper to taste


Ingredients for the salad: Serves 2  (large portions)

1/2 head of romaine lettuce – chopped

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce – chopped

3-4 slices of turkey deli meat – chopped

8-10 slices of salami – chopped

1 can of garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed

handful of mozzarella cheese – chopped

1 avocado – sliced

*you can change the amount for each of these items to your preference of course!


Guide: 

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk it vigorously

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl (except for the avocado slices)

Pour A LITTLE BIT of the dressing into the salad bowl and toss then taste (I just try a leaf to see where it’s at)

Keep repeating until you get the taste you want

Divide it up and top it off with the avocado slices

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*If you’re not going to eat it right away, keep the dressing and salad separate if you don’t like the leaves to wilt although, I personally like it!

*Squeeze lemon juice over the avocado slices or pour some dressing over them so it doesn’t oxidize and turn brown