Arugula + summer fruit salad

DSCF2795

The first days of summer always seem to smell the sweetest. The sun burns a little brighter and no one seems to notice. But even the best seasons have their off-days and summer is no exception. You know the ones – where the air is thick, thunderstorms are in the air, and so hot that you would hide away in the fridge if you could.

For those hard dog days of summer where lifting a finger threatens to bring on another shower, this salad is a quick chop and toss (thankfully mostly toss!) away to remind you of summer’s best. If you’re in a pinch, add 3 tablespoons of rhubarb compote to dress your salad and forget the oil. After all, it’s summer and you make the rules.

  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup pea tendrils (optional)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 cup Rainier cherries
  • 2 sprigs mint, julienned
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

Gently toss together the ingredients and dress at the last minute. Serves 2-4.

Advertisements

Jicama mango salad

JicamaSalad

I fell in love with jicama in Mexico and have since looked for every opportunity to integrate it into a meal. Last night, we had baby back ribs for dinner and the refreshing, clean flavour of jicama was the perfect complement to the saucy, smokey flavour of the ribs.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5 people)

  • 1/2 jicama, peeled and finely sliced into strips
  • 1 regular cucumber (not English cucumber), peeled and finely sliced into strips
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 2 stalks of cilantro (coriander), chopped
  • 1 green mango (mango that isn’t quite ripe), peeled and finely sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of cracked pepper, or to taste
  • 3/4 tablespoon of cracked salt, or to taste

Preparation:

  1. Combine the sliced jicama, cucumber, and mango in a bowl and hand toss until everything is evenly distributed
  2. Juice the limes over the salad and toss again
  3. Add the olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss yet again. Note, you’ll need a lot of salt and pepper to flavour the salad

And that’s it, the salad is ready to serve!

JicamaSalad2

Tomato salad

This tomato salad is probably one of my favorite go-to salads to make. It’s quick, simple, easy, and lets the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (can also substitute with basil)
  • 1 buffalo mozzarella, sliced
  • 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • ground pepper, to taste

Coarsely chop your tomatoes into eighths, or slice them. Whether your chop or slice your tomatoes is up to you. Either way, they should be relatively chunky with the seeds intact. Chop up your cilantro and slice the mozzarella.

If you substitute with basil, a trick I use is to arrange the leaves into a fan pattern, one on top of the next first, roll up the leaves and them chop across the roll. You will get the even strips of basil this way.

Throw your ingredients together in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add the salt and pepper to taste, and give it a good toss so everything is evenly mixed together.

You’re done! Ready to serve. In less than 15 minutes.

Sprouted buckwheat spinach salad

Ah, sprouted buckwheat, the Hercules of healthy green food – perhaps rivaled only by kale. The great part about sprouted buckwheat is that it is one of the most complete sources of protein you can find (containing all eight amino acids), which is particularly fantastic for our vegetarian and vegan friends, but also for meat-eaters too. It’s also gluten-free and jam packed with enzymes and important nutrients. So imagine how thrilled I was to found a beautiful fresh stash of sprouted buckwheat as part of our foodshare bag recently.

Sprouted buckwheat

It felt like a waste to blend it down into a protein shake, which is what it’s often used in, so I decided to integrate it into a fresh spring salad. Sprouted buckwheat tastes a lot like a grain food, while not being a grain, so the flavour is rather neutral. This makes it a great complement for just about anything. I went with spinach – another green superfood. My recipe below makes enough for two people, so if you have a larger family, you may want to increase the portions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sprouted buckwheat (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 cups of spinach (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
  • 1-2 ripe vine tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic fig vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste

    Continue reading

Tomato Dill Chickpea Salad

It’s a glorious, sunny spring day and I came home feeling inspired to have something as spring fresh as it was outside. I ended up settling on making a tomato dill chickpea salad.

Ingredients:

  • 3 vine tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 baby cucumbers or 1/2 english cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 5 green onion sprigs, finely chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of salt, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper, or to taste Continue reading