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.
  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.

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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

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.


Egyptian Barley Salad

Original recipe by Americas Test Kitchen

When I made this I found it needed additional dressing than the recipe called for.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cook barley according to package instructions, as brands may differ; or try ATK’s instructions: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 320mg sodium


Hearts of Palm & Avocado Salad

Somehow, without even trying, I ended up with a new family favorite salad. This clean-out-my-crisper-salad turned out so delicious, it deserves a recipe of its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red curly leaf lettuce (or endive)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 Reed or Haas Avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 sweet onion, thinly shaved
  • 1 cup hearts of palm, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place ingredients for dressing in a mason jar and shake to combine, or whisk in a bowl.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

Strawberry Salad with Shallot-Honey Vinaigrette

Recipe from All Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package baby spinach or mixed greens
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, quartered or sliced
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place almonds, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add candied almonds and strawberries to lettuce and toss with dressing.

Garbanzo Bean Salad (Vegan Tuna Salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise or tahini (or both)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon yellow or dijon mustard
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • squeeze of lemon
  • Optional mix-ins: diced raw fennel, chopped egg, toasted nuts

Directions

In a food processor pulse garbanzo beans into a chunky consistency.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.

I love to serve these open face on toasted wheat bread or on Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Norwegian Crispbread.


White Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 14.5 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • A few basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 3 scallions
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Thinly sliced radishes

Dressing:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper


Dr. Weil’s Tuscan Kale Salad

Recipe from Dr. Weil

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Lacinato or dinosaur kale (the flat leaves), chopped into small pieces
  • Juice of 1 lemon (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (I use half of a clove)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs from lightly toasted bread (I use Panko)
  • I like to add currants or cranberries

Directions

  1. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
  2. Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well, using your hands, gently massage the dressing into the leaves. This step is very important as it tenderizes the leaves.
  3. Add most of the cheese and toss again.
  4. Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.

Arugula with Apples and Pistachios

Leave no ingredient out! The combination of flavors in this salad are absolutely delicious.  

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 7 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red or white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the onion and apple.
  2. For the dressing – Whisk together all the ingredients in the serving bowl or shake in a mason jar.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.



Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad (low-fat)

Photo from NYT Cooking
A little technique transforms a simple cucumber into something incredibly delectable. Two versions:
NYT Cooking Recipe:

Ingredients

  • About 2 pounds English, Greenhouse or Persian cucumbers (thinned skin is key). (About 8-10 mini cucumbers, 4 medium-size or 2 large greenhouse)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cucumbers
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, plus more for cucumbers (I skip this)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Small handful whole cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Step 1. Rinse cucumbers and pat dry. Cut crosswise into pieces about 4 inches long. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.

Step 2. On a work surface, place several cucumbers cut side down. Lay the blade of a large knife flat on top the cucumber and smash down lightly with your other hand. The skin will begin to crack, the flesh will break down and the seeds will separate. Break or slice the pieces diagonally into bite-size pieces, leaving the seeds behind.

Step 3. Place the cucumber pieces in a strainer and toss with a big pinch of salt and a big pinch of sugar. Place a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the cucumbers to serve as a weight and place the strainer over a bowl. Let drain 15 to 30 minutes on the counter, or in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.

Step 4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar and rice vinegar. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in sesame oil and soy sauce.

When ready to serve, shake cucumbers well to drain off any remaining liquid and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with grapeseed or olive oil and toss. Add half the dressing, half the garlic and the red pepper flakes to taste, and toss. Keep adding dressing until cucumbers are well coated. Taste and add more pepper flakes and garlic if needed. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Cooks Illustrated Recipe

Photo from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar (or substitute a mixture of 2 teaspoons balsamic and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegars)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, pressed or minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions

Step 1. Rinse and pat dry the cucumbers. Cut the ends and then cut them into thirds. Place in a ziplock bag. Gently pound or press the cucumbers just until they crack open into 3-4 spheres.

Step 2. Place the cucumbers into a colander. Break the pieces into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle 1.5 teaspoons salt over the cucumbers and let them sit and drain 15-30 minutes.

Step 3. Place the cucumbers into a bowl and discard juices.

Step 4. Mix the vinegar with the garlic and allow to marinate for 5-15 minutes.

Step 5. To the vinegar and garlic mixture, add the soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.

Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.