GRILLED PEACHES WITH BURRATA, ARUGULA & HAZELNUTS

What happens when you bring together fresh peaches, local arugula,burrata and hazelnuts? LOVE.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 peaches ( I usually do 1/2 a peach per person for the salad, but you can add as much as you like.)
  • 1 ball of burrata
  • arugula
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts. lightly toasted
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic Glaze:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Put the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced into a thick syrup. Add the honey and set aside.
  2. Slice peaches in half and remove pit. Brush the cut side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the peaches cut side down and grill until you start to see grill marks and until the peaches turn a golden color, about 2-3 minutes.
  4.  Remove from the grill and set aside.
  5. It is not necessary to clean then pan, but turn heat to medium-low and lightly toast the hazelnuts.  Put aside.
  6. To assemble place baby arugula on a platter, add the peaches and using your hands gently rip the burrata and place on top of the argula and peaches.
  7. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic glaze over the peaches and burrata.
  8. Sprinkle the burrata with a little sea salt and  freshly groud pepper and then the hazelnuts.
  9. Serve immediately with a very crusty baguette.

ASPARAGUS, STRAWBERRY AND QUINOA SALAD FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

Last Saturday, my friend Deborah invited me to come with her to a Nia class.  It was a special class with live music.  I danced free style and felt free.  After class we had lunch at my house and I put together this salad with fresh Ontario asparagus, strawberries, quinoa and some seeds on top for crunch. Kind of like dancing, but in a bowl!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (cut off the tough ends)
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced in half or quarters depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, or fresh mint, or a combination, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, you may need more
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

2. In a large skillet sauté the leeks and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas and heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.  Let cool slightly before adding the dressing.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. Pour dressing into the cooked quinoa and veggies. Add the sliced strawberries, parsley and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or any seed or nut you like.

KALE MARKET SALAD WITH HONEY POPPY SEED DRESSING

I just came home with basket full of honey crisp apples, perfect for this recipe.

We ate this salad two days in a row for lunch – to great fanfare from Yale and guess what, not a  protest from Gordy.  I am pretty sure it was the honey in the poppy seed dressing and crisp apples in the salad that won him over, I can be sure it was not the kale!

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1/2 to a full bunch kale
  • 1 -2 apples, sliced thin (pears would be great if you did not have apples)
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 cup radicchio, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • a big handful of pumpkin seeds
  • a big handful of dried cranberries, (look for the unsweetened kind, which you can find in most health food stores). I have been using Prana Organic Cranberries, they are fruit juice sweetened.
  • 1 block of tofu cut into small bit sized cubes, (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the kale. Cut out and discard the tough stems. Arrange the leaves into stacks, slice crosswise into 1/4-inch ribbons, and add to the bowl
  2. Core the apples, cut them into 1-1/2-inch-long matchsticks, and add to the bowl.
  3. Slice the raddishes, cabbage, and raddico and add to the salad
  4. Half the cherry tomatoes and add to the salad
  5. Dice avacodo into small chuncks and add
  6. Add tofu cubes
  7. Add pumpkin seeds and cranberries
  8. Toss everthink well with the poppyseed dressing and eat.

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey, check for sweetness, you can always add more
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • start with1/2 cup of vegetable oil, your may need more.  I like to use an organic grapeseed oil
  • 1/3 cup small-dice red onion

Directions:

  1. Place the vinegar, honey, mustard, poppy seeds,  salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3.  While whisking add the oil slowly until all of it is incorporated.

THE BEST LENTIL SALAD, EVER

I love this lentil salad recipe,  I have been making this salad all summer long and am often asked for the recipe.  My sister-in-law Marilyn is my biggest fan and I am sure that I have seen her eating it at the cottage for breakfast!

You can really make this recipe your own by adding  your favourite veggies, nuts and some crumbly cheese.  I like to toss in some raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds and baby arugula, and if it is lunch time I just may crumble in a bit of goat cheese too. 

The Best Lentil Salad

I found this recipe on the food blog My New Roots and it is for sure a recipe you will come back to time and time again.

Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups (1 lb.) Du Puy lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers

Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. strong mustard
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins:
Arugula
Nuts and seeds
Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Sprouts
Crispy seasonal veggies

Directions:
1. Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with a 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!
2. While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.
3. Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.
4. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add other onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple days.

VEGGIE BOWL WITH GINGER-TAHINI DRESSING

Yale is back in Toronto and living at home. I now have another veggie-lover in the house, Gordy you are outnumbered! Yale loves her veggies as much as I do so last night we made this bowl of veggie goodness with a raw tahini dressing.

Tahini dressing is popular at many vegetarian and raw restaurants.  I wanted to try and recreate it at home so I have been playing around in my kitchen and I think that this recipe works well over raw or lightly steamed veggies.  I  love tossing this with rice or quinoa and veggies for lunch or drizzling it over tofu for dinner.

This is what Yale and I made  and guess what …Gordy happily ate it too! (Thought I must add that he did eat a a steak sandwich for lunch)!

This beautiful veggie bowl is simple, colorful, and healthy!

Ginger-Tahini Dressing

  • 2 T raw tahini (you can buy raw tahini at the health food store).
  • 1  1/2 t fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T lemon juice (about 1/2 small lemon)
  • 1 to 2 t Nama Shoyu or tamari
  • 1 to 2 t agave
  • dash of cumin

Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Taste and then play around with it until you get your desired thickness and taste.
Store any leftovers in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

For these bowls I used cooked quinoa (follow package directions), then topped it with steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato, raw shredded beets, carrots, sprouts and a handful of beans. Make this recipe your own and use whatever vegetables you like.

AVACODO KALE SALAD DRESSING

My favorite part of going  to Montreal is deciding where to eat.  Dinner is usually saved for trying a new restaurant but for lunch we have a family tradition that takes place on boulevard Saint-Laurent – Together  we go, but not for long, we say ’Au Revoir’ to Gordy as Yale and I don our scarves and walk north to lunch at the vegan restaurant Aux Vives  and Gordy south to Schwartz’s for their famous smoked meat sandwich, ordered medium, what a surprise!   Yale and I usually eat the California Salad with grilled tofu or grilled tempeh, and always with their amazing house salad dressing.

The California Salad at Aux Vives.

On the drive home I know Gordy is dreaming about when he will eat his next smoked meat sandwich and my thoughts turn to salad!

Can I  recreate Aux Vives salad dressing?

So now  I am back in my kitchen experimenting and here is what I came up with.  I am pretty sure that the salad dressing at Aux Vives does not have avocado or kale, but I am sure that it has green onion and lots of dill.  Thank you Auv Vives for inspiring me and for your delicious healthy salad.  I will be back soon.

My dressing with avacodo and kale.

My recipe for Avocado Kale Salad Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1 to 2 green onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup flat leafed parsley
  • 2  large kales leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.

QUINOA SALAD WITH FRESH MINT AND PISTACHIOS

It’s lunch time and I feel like eating something grainy and crunchy and healthy. 

I don’t usually use a recipe when I make a quinoa salad; I just see whatever I have kicking around in the kitchen.

 For example today, I have a jar of pistachios on the counter, fresh mint in the fridge and a ripe tomato in the fruit bowl.

 Thirty minutes later I was eating this delicious salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 TBS. honey
  • 1  cup chopped  pistachios (toasted if you like)
  • 1 cup finely chopped flat parsley
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped, discard seeds
  • 3 to 4 green onions, finely chopped (⅓ cup)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place cooked quinoa in large bowl.
  2.  Stir in lemon juice and honey and let cool for 15 minutes.
  3.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
  4.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well

The longer this salad sits the better it gets, so if you have time make it early in the day.