I am ridiculously and totally excited to report that it feels like summer out here in Oakland, and it is incredible.
Lately I have been working as a farmer’s market vendor once a week with a fancy-pants raw vegan superfood chocolate company called Coracao. I am in LOVE with coracao’s locally produced, organic, low glycemic and raw chocolate, but that’s a post for another day. Today’s post is about the perks of working a far-mar, AKA FREE SALAD. That’s right, my dudes, in addition to chilling with vegan treats and hanging outside with my very cool co-worker’s, my position with Coracao provides me with market trade, which means this salad was 100% inspired by the beautiful things I got for free the last time I worked.
I have a thing for pairing cooked foods with raw foods, mostly because I DO WHAT I WANT. I love raw veggies sometimes, but the deep flavor of a panfried leek or a roasted asparagus gets me every single time, and I think pairing the texture of cooked and raw food is a straight up great idea. To top my veggies, I whizzed up a fresh and light dressing and chopped my favorite protein to produce a salad so large I was almost sure I couldn’t finish it.
(Spoiler alert, I downed that sucker in fifteen minutes flat, every last bite of it. I may as well have licked the bowl, by which I mean I did lick the bowl. #sorrynotsorry)
|Thai Inspired Zoodle Salad|| |
- 1 medium large zucchini, spiralized
- coconut oil spray
- 1 generous handful thin asparagus, washed and trimmed
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ a medium leek, sliced thin
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
- ½ orange bell pepper, sliced thin
- 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup protein of choice. I used Beyond meat but other suggestions would be tempeh, chickpeas, or baked tofu.
- 1" fresh ginger
- 1 tangerine, juiced
- 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- spiralize your zucchini and chop all your veggies and protein.
- Place your veggies and protein (except for the asparagus and leeks) into a giant bowl. Add your protein to the bowl.
- spray your cast iron stove top grill with coconut oil, add asparagus to the pan, spray a bit more coconut oil and top with salt and pepper. Add a slight bit of water to the grill for extra help steaming and cover with the lid of a pot (your lid doesn't fit the grill skillet perfectly, it just needs to trap some of the steam in. Alternately you can pan saute these with the leeks if you are sans grill.)
- Cook asparagus for 5 minutes, flip them, and cook for five more.
- Spray a non stick skillet with coconut oil and add your leeks to the pan. Cover the pan and heat your leeks until they are just a bit soft and have crispy brown edges. (approximately 7 minutes)
- While your veggies are cooking, put the dressing ingredients (ginger through tamari) in a high speed blender. Whiz until completely smooth.
- Once veggies are cooked to your liking, add them to the bowl with the raw vegetable ingredients.
- Toss with dressing, using enough to cover the salad. I used about ½ of the batch that I made.
What flavors are inspiring you recently? Is the farmer’s market bumpin’ in your town yet?
Did you have a good Halloween? I had kind of a weird one. As you all know, I threw a party, and then the time came to go for it and I suddenly felt anti-social. COOL. This happens to me sometimes, where I’m just not super stoked to hang with people (I’m an extroverted seeming introvert, a weird creature that doesn’t know what the fuck she wants socially.) BUT. All ended well. By 11PM I was dancing to Ke$ha, drinking bubbly water, and in short shorts. By midnight I was asleep. Could have been way worse.
Yesterday, I sprained my ankle.
I did it just walking, it’s an ankle that has been sprained twice before that is weak, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t depress the crap out of me. As I mentioned, I have been doing a 16 week coaching program with Christy Morgan and the results have been phenomenal. I am five weeks in and I am seeing muscles I didn’t know existed start to pop, eating so awesomely it’s ridiculous, and feeling good, energized, strong, and healthy. I hate to think that this could derail my process of she-hulking out, but shit. What can you do? I’ve been down this road before, and I know the only really answer is acceptance.
So, that’s the run down on my brain, here’s the run down on my food:
I have challenged myself to eat a large and vibrant meal salad every single day. It’s getting a bit colder- even in Oakland- and I have had to adjust my definition of “salad” to keep up with my goals. In steps the warm salad.
Would you LOOK at that beauty? I ate this thing five days in a row after I made the recipe, and if I could keep an ever-flowing stock of the ingredients I would eat it every single day. It’s very damn near completely unprocessed, satisfying, has an awesome varied texture, an incredible dressing, and can you say PROTEIN? This weight lifting babe isn’t even TRYING to mess around with a meal without a deep plant based source of the muscle building stuff.
Here’s the recipe:
|Warm Winter Salad|| |
- ½ cup cooked short grain brown rice
- 1.5 cups steamed cauliflower
- 2 cups lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
- 2-4 tablespoons miso ginger dressing (recipe below)
- ⅓ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup sauerkraut (I used Bubbie's brand)
- ¾ cup cooked beluga lentils
- ¼ cup pinto beans
- 6 tablespoons chickpea miso
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- Prepare short grain brown rice according to instructions. Set aside what you don't use for stir-fries, soups, stews, or just munching on.
- Cut cauliflower into small florets and steam to desired texture. I steamed mine for 12 minutes.
- Stem and chop kale
- Make dressing by placing all ingredients in a blender and whizzing until smooth. Add water to get desired consistency.
- Massage kale with desired amount of dressing. Really work it, so it starts to wilt!
- Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix together
- You can leave the salad mostly raw, or if a bit more warmth is desired, put the whole mix into a dry skillet with just a touch of water (1 tablespoon?)
- cover and steam until just warm
- I ate this whole salad by myself, topped with a drizzle of tahini and nutritional yeast. You can split it into two, but if it is a whole meal, eat the whole damn thing.
There has been a lot of eating in my world lately. Between testing for the cookbook, my anniversary with my sweetheart, and a general love of the beautiful combo of dark chocolate and peanut butter, I am a little burnt out on rich foods. Naturally, I find myself craving big, bursting bowls of greens, and when that happens kale salad is usually the first thing I want.
I love kale salad. It’s hearty and fresh testing, and I feel like massaging the dressing into it infuses the whole thing with just a little more love. Problem is, raw kale salads can be hell on my IBS-laden guts. My answer to this? Steam the kale. Just a little bit, so most of the nutrients are in tact. This gives me the ability to chow through a whole bunch of kale, gut pain free. I lose a bit of vitamin and mineral content in the process, but hey. It’s worth it to me.
I also always make sure to pair my kale salads with a good dose of healthy fats. For whatever reason, when raw fruit and veggies have a little fat cushion, they are about ten times easier to digest. Weird, but true.
|Simple Kale Salad|| |
- 1 large bunch dino kale, chopped (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon oil (Vega Antioxidant Oil, olive oil, hemp oil, and flax oil are good choices)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small avocado
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional toppings: sunflower seeds, chopped carrots, chopped bell peppers, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds
- Steam kale until just bright green, about 3 minutes
- Take kale off of stove and run under cold water to cool down and stop cooking process
- Ring kale out, so that the entire amount fits in two cupped hands
- In a blender, puree oil, lemon juice and avocado
- Massage dressing into kale, making sure it is in every nook and cranny of the leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste
This is the size of my kale, pre-steam.