Mediterranean Farro Salad with Chickpeas

This is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty salad that lasts for days in the fridge.

Inspired by Ina Garten’s Farro Tabbouleh with Feta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (if you like parsley, use the entire bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces feta, 1/2-inch diced-not crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Pitted Kalamata olives, drained

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the farro and place it in a large saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. I highly recommend cooking farro the way it is prepared in Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain the farro and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the warm farro to the vegetables and herbs and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Carefully stir in the feta and olives.

*I have found with most beans and grain salads that much less oil is needed in the dressing than typical green salads. Therefor typical oil to acid ratios don’t apply.


Blue Zones Kitchen Black Eyed Pea Salad with Mint & Onions

Adapted from The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound black-eyed peas (or four 15-ounce cans, drained) (pinto or white beans work well too)
  • 3 green onions, tops removed and coarsely chopped (I chop the tops as well)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated (I like using 2 carrots)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup greens like spinach, baby kale, or sweet dandelion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (at least 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Dill (optional for garnish)
  • Juice of 2 lemon (my addition – I don’t think the vinegar adds nearly enough acid so I like to add lemon juice)
  • 3-4 roma tomatoes, chopped (my addition)
  • 1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped (my addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (my addition)

Directions

  1. If using dried black-eyed peas, place them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid, tilting lid slightly to let some steam escape.
  2. Cook for an hour, or until peas are tender.
  3. While peas are still hot, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. If using canned black-eyed peas, just drain, rinse, and heat on a stovetop over medium heat with all other ingredients until warmed through (5-6 minutes). (I usually use canned beans and don’t bother heating them).
  5. Garnish with dill, if using.
  6. Serve warm or cold.


Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard

This is a simple, nutritions, and surprisingly delicious dish that comes together in about 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 servings Soba noodles, 110g (I like Eden Organic)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1 medium bunch Swiss Chard, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken (or vegetable flavor)
  • Freshly cracked pepper 
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Cook soba noodles according to package.
  2. Drain the soba noodles, reserving a little cooking water.
  3. Optional: Stir the noodles with a little butter and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little oil or butter in a large saucepan or pot.
  5. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add bouillon and 1/4 water and stir.
  7. Add chard and cook until soft and wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chard and soy sauce to the noodles and toss well. If the noodles seem dry, add a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid.


Kettner Exchange Kale Salad {Copycat}

The kale salad at San Diego’s Kettner Exchange is arguably the best kale salad in town. I was so pleased with myself when I made a version that tasted just like it! This salad will make a kale lover out of anyone.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly kale (Kettner uses purple kale)
  • 1/2 apple, thinly sliced (I use a mandolin)
  • 1/3 cup cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds (or sliced roasted almonds)
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (Kettner Exchange uses lemon-flavored olive oil and probably uses double this amount. I prefer it a little more acidic)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (I like mild clover honey for salad dressing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper or place in a jar and shake well.
  2. Shred the kale as finely as possible. Place in a salad bowl and gently massage the kale with your hands until it starts to break down.
  3. Add the apples, almonds, raisins, parmesan, and dressing, and toss well to combine.
  4. Allow to sit 5 minutes and toss again.


Trader Joe’s Lentil Salad

Made from ready-to-eat items from Trader Joe’s, this is a quick, delicious, and healthy salad that holds up for days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 container Trader Joe’s Bruschetta Sauce (refrigerated)
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils (refrigerated)
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Basil (optional)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine entire packages of lentils and bruschetta sauce.
  2. To serve – lay a bed of baby spinach onto the bottom of a bowl. Top with a scoop of lentils and garnish with feta cheese and torn basil.


Sweet & Spicy Ginger Green Beans

Photo from Milk Street

Ingredients

Recipe by Milk Street. My alterations are always in parenthesis.
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional – I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound green beans, stemmed and halved on the bias (I just snap them into smaller pieces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Ground white pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the beans and cook, without stirring, until beginning to color, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water and immediately cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the beans are bright green and barely tender, about 2 minutes.
  4. Clear a space in the center of the pan, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I don’t add any more oil) to the clearing. Stir in the ginger and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the sugar-fish sauce mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened and coats the beans, about 1 minute.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar.


Beaming Rockstar Smoothie Copycat (my favorite smoothie)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • Coconut water (at the end if needed for thinning)
  • 1/2 frozen banana or (1/4 Avocado to make low-glycemic)
  • 1 date or (1 teaspoon Yacon syrup to make low glycemic) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Beaming *Protein Powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon coconut butter (optional)
  • 5 cubes of Ice
  • Add: blue spirulina, adaptogenic mushroom blend (I skip this)

My additions – sometimes I throw in a spoonful of cacao nibs or 2 tablespoons of granola

*A comparable protein powder substitute that is much more affordable. I use 1 scoop of the unflavored whey plus 1/2 scoop of MRM Vanilla Veggie Protein with Superfoods (see image below).

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a high speed or regular blender. If adding cacao nibs, blend a bit first and add at the end to maintain crunch.

My sub for Beaming Protein Powders. Veggie one found at Sprouts. Unflavored on Amazon.

Black Bean & Corn Salad (low fat)

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (rinse in cool water to defrost quickly)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few basil leaves, julienned or a handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (taste with one tablespoon and add another tablespoon if necessary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Crumbled tortilla chips for serving

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss again and serve with crumbled tortilla sprinkled on top.


Blueberry Banana Chunk Muffins

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (add up to 1/4 cup more if you like really sweet muffins)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1-2 bananas (depending on size), cut into chunks

Crumb Topping (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400-F and grease muffin tins or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. In a measuring cup for wet ingredients, first add the oil, then add the egg. Next, add only enough milk to reach the 1-cup mark, (approximately 1/3 cup milk – the idea is to add only one cup of liquid to the dry ingredients). Mix with a fork until just combined.
  4. Fold in the blueberries and bananas. Pour into the muffin tins all the way to the top.
  5. Sprinkle with topping (if using).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. If they appear to be done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it doesn’t come out clean, check again in 3 minutes.

For the topping

Mix all the ingredients together and use a fork to smash and incorporate the butter or use your fingers to smash it all together. Sprinkle on the top of each muffin .


3 Bean Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (canned works too)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 white or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Add the green beans to the pot and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the green beans into ice water. Drain again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss well. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight (the longer it sits the better); and toss again before serving.