Burrata + Beet + Blood Orange Salad

IMG_3763Have you ever had Burrata cheese? If your answer is no, stop what you are doing and immediately go buy some. Burrata is the God of all cheeses. It looks like a ball of Mozzarella cheese, but when cut into it reveals itself as a distant (and way cooler) relaitive . It oozes out a rich, buttery and creamy filling. Buratta tastes amazing on it’s own, which is why it is important to keep the recipe simple when it involves this gem of a cheese. Today I tossed it with some arugula, roasted beets, blood orange and finished it off with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The spiciness of the arugula, sweetness of roasted beets, tartness of blood orange and overall amazingness of the burrata came together to create magic. Serious deliciousness.

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Sesame Seared Ahi Salad

IMG_3294This recipe is a bit of a tease for me. I love love love seared ahi tuna but for the next 5 months it is off limits (one of the many perks of being pregnant…major sarcasm). Making this salad without taking a bite of the ahi was torture, but I managed to do it. Lucky for Taber he got double the amount of ahi while I enjoy the salad vegetarian style.

This salad is crisp and refreshing, which is a nice break from holiday comfort food. I tossed the cabbage, carrot, pepper and tomato mixture with a sesame dressing and then topped it with seared tuna. It is substantial enough for a main course salad.

With that I will leave you the recipe. The more I write about it the more I want seared ahi. So this post is done.

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Fall Salad + Maple Tahini Dressing

IMG_3178The first of November marks the day I officially start planning my holiday menus. It also appears to be the day stores start playing Christmas music.  I love Christmas music and was definitely singing along, but shouldn’t we let the Halloween treats digest before jumping to December?  Anyways…back to holiday menu planning. It is one of my all time favorite things to do. If I were on match.com it would forsure be in my bio under interests. Thank goodness I am not on match,  I am pretty sure that would deter all potential (cool) dates. By the second week in November I have a folder full of potential dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I am not brainstorming recipe ideas, I am in the kitchen recipe testing. Gotta test out the recipes and make sure they are holiday table worthy! Today I tested a Fall Salad with Maple Tahini Dressing. It definitely passed the test and will be on the holiday table. Tart granny smith apples mend well with the sweet dressing, salty pumpkin seeds and red onion. I threw in some chewy dried cranberries, which complements the crunchy apples and seeds. Very well balanced and a  great way to get some greens on your holiday plate.

Use whatever nuts or seeds you have in your pantry. The pumpkin seeds are perfecto in the salad, but walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or any other nut/seed would work well too. A little blue cheese would also taste great on this salad.

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Thai Broccoli Salad

IMG_2221I have been making this Thai Broccoli Salad for about a year now, and it has become one of my favorite meals.  It is my go-to when I am craving Thai flavors, which is often. I love that it embodies the flavor of Thai without the sodium often found in dishes from Thai restaurants (not all Thai restaurants). Thai flavors with no bloat or MSG- pretty awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a plate of authentic Pad Thai from my fav Thai restaurant every once in a while.  If you find yourself in the same Thai craving boat, give this recipe a try. You will be satisfied.

Thai Broccoli salad  is substantial enough to stand alone or can be served as a side. It would also be great with some added chicken.

Recipe tip- If you don’t have dates at home and aren’t heading to the grocery store, replace dates with 1 tablespoon raw honey.

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Ranchero Quinoa

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I am a self confessed juice bar junkie. I can’t stay away. My favorite juice bar, Juice Land, is a short hop, skip and jump away from my house.  It isn’t just the juices and smoothies that lure me in more than once a week. Juice Land also offers grab and go health supportive, super delish foods. My all time favorite dish  is their Quinoa Ranchero. It is the type of meal that makes you sad when you take the last bite. Has that ever happened to you?  I never want it to be over.  Since the day I tried Quinoa Ranchero it has been on my list of recipes to attempt. As of yesterday, I can officially cross it off the list because I finally made it! It is slightly different than the Juice Land version, but still so good it leaves me wanting more.

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Fig + Mint+ Goat Cheese Salad

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How beautiful are these figs? Serious stunners. I was at my second home the grocery store when these pretty little tiger striped figs caught my eye. Figs were not on my shopping list but I couldn’t resist, not that I tried to.  By the time I made my way to the check-out, I had dreamt up an arugula, feta, mint,  and goat cheese salad with a lemon vinaigrette.  The flavor combo of sweet figs, spicy arugula, salty goat cheese and tangy vinaigrette is ah-mazing.

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Chickpea + Tomato Salad

The Seattle weather Gods have gone above and beyond this summer. They have blessed us with 18 straight days of sunshine.  If you are not from the Northwest 18 days of sun may seem like no biggie.  Around this neck of the woods it’s a big deal. We are 33 days away from breaking Seattle’s record of 51 days with no rain. I am loving this weather and the extra dose of natural vitamin D that comes along with it. What I am not loving, hanging out and sweating by the stove all day.  Which is why I give my Chickpea Tomato Salad the award for best summer salad. It requires no cooking. Zero, nada, none. Not only does it require no cooking, it’s also uber satisfying and substantial enough for a main course. Chickpeas, tomatoes and scallions are tossed with a creamy raw foods miso dressing to deliver a fiber and protein rich salad.  Enjoy it on a bed of greens or marry it between two pieces of bread to make a sandwich. Either way it is the perfect accessory to a summer picnic.

The 411 on the raw miso mayo…Say adios to jarred mayo, a new and improved spread/dressing just moved into town. The new kid on the block is made of raw cashews, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, miso and garlic. It can be used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches or as a dressing.  It may taste like mayonnaise, but that is where the similarities stop. There are several health benefits that come along with miso mayo, which cannot be said about traditional jarred mayonnaise.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT                                                                                                                                                               Chickpea/Garbanzo Beans

These nutty beans are full of protein and fiber. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy digestion and helps stabilize your blood sugar. The body metabolizes garbanzo beans at a slow rate providing energy to your body for a longer amount of time. These little beans are also high in folate, a vital nutrient to all the preggo ladies. Even if you aren’t preggo,  folate is an important nutrient. In the school of nutrition garbanzo beans receive an A+.

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Watermelon Salad

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Summer and watermelon are BFFs. You can’t have one without the other.  I decided it was time for watermelon and summer to add a few more friends to the mix…feta, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and spinach.  If watermelon and summer could talk, they would  be thanking me for broadening their social circle, because this salad is amazing.  The sweetness of the watermelon combined with the saltiness of the feta and the tang of balsamic vinegar is heaven.   Although the recipe is simple, the flavors are complex. There is something in it for everyone.

Another reason I love this salad is for how versatile it is. Swap spinach for arugula, micro greens or kale. Fancy up the dressing by making a vinaigrette, add red onion or shrimp… do whatever your little heart desires, and the outcome will still be mouth watering delicious.

INGREDIENT SPOT LIGHT
Watermelon

No matter how you slice it, watermelon’s health benefits are incredible.  It goes well beyond being super hydrating. Watermelon is high in B vitamins, which helps with energy production, the vision protecting vitamin A,  immune boosting vitamin C  and a valuable source of lycopene, an antioxidant known to  reduce the risk of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer.  Watermelon packs a lot of punch for being 92 % water.

Go ahead and beat the heat with a big piece of watermelon. Your body will thank you.

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