Massaged Kale and Veggie Salad with Toasted Ramen

Massaged Kale and Veggie Salad with Toasted Ramen

This was originally supposed to be a soba noodle salad.

The other day at work, I got really fixated on making one. I just knew it would be perfect with the various leftover veggies lurking in my crisper. I wouldn’t even have to go to the store! Major success.

Then I got home and found we had no soba noodles. Major failure.

Massaged Kale Salad with Veggies and Toasted Ramen

So I went to the grocery store. AND THEY ALSO HAD NO SOBA NOODLES.

What. The. Hell.

So back home I went, dug wayyyy to the back of my (very deep) cabinet, and pulled out some ramen noodles. Cha-ching! Salads with ramen noodles are totally a thing. I know because my mom and grandma make one, and that makes them official. And also delicious. A few minutes later, I was digging into this!

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Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

Hello, beautiful.

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dressing

You should know that I’ve been wanting to post about this salad for a looong time. Ever since I started this blog, in fact. It’s a copycat of my favorite salad at (probably) my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake, Caffe Niche. But every time I’ve made it, it hasn’t quite lived up to the restaurant version, and I had to get it juuust right. But I think I finally did!

Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Lemon DressingWarm red quinoa, roasted tomatoes and onions, and lemon dressing served over a bed of arugula. It is just as good as it sounds – the nutty flavor of the quinoa, the sweetness of the roasted vegetables, and the bite of the lemon and arugula all combine to make my perfect salad.

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Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Miso Ginger DressingSometimes doing the same thing over and over again is a bad thing. It’s called getting stuck in a rut.

But sometimes doing the same thing over and over again is a good thing. You’re hitting your stride. Perfecting the art. Getting it down to a science.

What I just learned from writing those sentences is that sports, art and science all involve doing the same thing over and over again. And I often feel like cooking is all three of those things! Definitely art. Definitely science. If you’re skeptical about the sports bit, you should see the sweat I can work up trying to get three dishes ready at the same time. It probably counts as my workout for the day, right? I thought so.

Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been roasting a lot of vegetables lately. I’ve put them in tacos, I’ve had them on lentils, I’ve eaten them as sushi, I’ve called them poutine. April has kind of been The Month of the Roasted Vegetables around here. Stride = hit. Art = perfected. Science = …gotten down to? Sure. All of those things.

And so, just as the weather is getting warm enough here in Salt Lake that I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be wanting to turn my oven on, here is another roasted vegetable recipe. And it’s a really good one, too, this time over kale for Dole National Salad Day on Wednesday.

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Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

Thank you for all your sweet birthday wishes yesterday! It means so much. I had a great birthday, and I even got to eat one of the cupcakes leftover from yesterday’s blog post. I love it when the leftovers stick around that long!

Sometimes, like yesterday, I like to eat a cupcake… or two. And sometimes, especially after two weeks of experimenting with cupcake recipes, I like to eat a salad.

Then, because I ate a salad, I can totally justify a cupcake. I love the way that works.

So here is this week’s salad, which might be one of my all-time favorites. And that’s a good thing, because I have a lot of cupcakes to make up for earn!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad

This salad is a combination of all my favorite salad-y things. Red cabbage, which is randomly (but truly) one of my favorite foods. Quinoa and spelt, which are not only some more of my favorite foods, but make this salad much heartier than it would otherwise be. And then edamame, carrots, green onions, and pepitas for more protein, sweetness, flavor and crunch. Not to mention the the light and lemony dressing, which adds the perfect zing.

What could be better than all your favorite healthy foods stacked together in a cute and portable jar?

Not much, I’ll tell you that. In fact, when you taste it, you just might start yelling, OH MY GOD, DOUBLE RAINBOW!

Sorry for that reference. I know it’s so 2010. I just couldn’t resist.

This salad makes the absolute best leftovers (as long as you keep the dressing separate), which is key in my life. I’ve been eating it for lunch all week!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

All the ingredients are very sturdy, which also means the salad is super crunchy. (Spelt and red cabbage will do that.) So I may have even liked it best on day 3 or 4, when it was a bit easier on the jaw. (To make it less crunchy, you can put the red cabbage in a strainer and pour a pot of boiling water over it. This will soften it up a bit, but I didn’t bother.)

Enjoy this salad and have a fantastic weekend!

Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing

5.0 from 1 reviews
Double Rainbow Layered Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 5-6 servings
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 cup uncooked spelt berries
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
  • 2 cups shelled cooked edamame, defrosted if frozen
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup pepitas
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • heaping Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In separate small pots, bring spelt berries and quinoa to a boil with 1 1/2 cups water each. Simmer until tender but still chewy, 50-60 minutes for the spelt berries and about 15 minutes for the quinoa. Drain excess water and set aside to cool. This can be done ahead of time.
  2. While grains cook, prepare the salad dressing. Blend all ingredients together with an immersion blend (or regular blender).
  3. To assemble salad, layer ingredients in single-serving jars or clear bowls. You can also layer the entire salad in a large clear bowl, or just toss all ingredients together. Serve alongside dressing. Will keep for up to a week in the fridge (with dressing separate).
Notes
Inspired by Oh She Glows.

 

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

Good morning!

I’m sure some of you have the day off today because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Lucky! For the rest of us, it’s just another Monday at work.

Although I didn’t have a long weekend, I did have a nice relaxing one. On Friday night, Nate and I went out for sushi and then watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which everyone at work has been talking about since it came out on Netflix. I’m glad we had some sushi to go with that movie! It would have been torturous otherwise.

Saturday we went to our first Sundance film of the year, a shorts program. We got tickets to a bunch of Sundance movies this year, all of them down here in Salt Lake City. As much as I’d like to go up to Park City, do some celebrity spotting, etc., when it comes down to it, I’m too lazy to drive up there! Or at least, sometimes I am, so I don’t want to buy tickets there ahead of time. The shorts program we saw had some funny shorts and some really weird ones… welcome to Sundance. In any case, I’m excited for the rest of our movies later this week!

Then, of course, Sunday was all about football.

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

I did manage to ignore the first football game, but then watched the Patriots vs. Ravens with some friends at our place.

I don’t have too much to say about that game. Partly because I’m from New England. And partly because I really only watched part of the 4th quarter… that’s generally how I “watch” football.

I’ll be honest… I was in the kitchen. Because no football game would be complete without some football munchies.

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

Which brings us to these potato skins. And begs the question: Have you started planning your Superbowl food yet?

If not, that’s OK, you have plenty of time. But here is something to get the ball rolling.

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

I wasn’t lying last week when I said that potato skins are kind of my new thing. Potato skins stuffed with vegetables, that is, instead of of the traditional bacon and sour cream.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that these particular potato skins are some of the best things ever. After I made this batch, Nate and I proceeded to devour the entire thing. Later in the week I made them again, same result. I’ve actually now made them 3 times before posting this recipe. What I’m saying is, you might just want to make 2 or 3 batches up front, especially if you are bringing them somewhere. You will NOT regret it.

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

This is a healthy twist on a combination of two classic football foods: potato skins and buffalo chicken. Minus the chicken. I loaded the potato skins with a buffalo Brussels sprout mixture, then topped them with cheddar cheese, a light blue cheese dressing, and cute little celery and carrot sticks. Just to emphasize the whole buffalo flavor theme.

Do not be turned off by the idea of Brussels sprouts here. They are smothered in buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing, encased in a crispy crunch potato skin, and topped with more melted cheese. The emphasis, taste-wise, is not on the Brussels sprouts… but you still get their healthiness. Bonus!

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

These are a huge crowd-pleaser, and I seriously can’t emphasize enough how amazing they are. I know they take a bit of time to make, but a lot of that is just passive time, with the potatoes baking in the oven. They are SO worth it! Be sure to get the potato skins nice and crispy – we found that these skins were tons better when we let the skins get all golden and crispy-crunchy than if we took them out of the oven a few minutes too early.

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing | coffeeandquinoa.com

Buffalo Brussels Potato Skins with Lightened Up Blue Cheese Dressing

Makes 12 small potato skins

Dressing adapted from Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

For the skins:
6 small yukon gold potatoes (1 ½-2 lbs total)
olive oil
salt
pepper

For the buffalo Brussels:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup hot sauce such as Frank’s red hot
3 cups thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (about 10-12)

For the lightened up blue cheese dressing:
½ cup crumbled or chopped blue cheese
6 oz. non-fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ¼ of a lemon)
1 Tbsp white vinegar
sprinkle of garlic powder
sprinkle of onion powder
sprinkle of ground black pepper

For garnish:
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 carrot, very thinly sliced (optional)
1 stalk celery, very thinly sliced (optional)

Instructions:

First, bake the potatoes. Preheat oven to 375. Pierce each potato several times with a fork and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. (The foil will make clean-up from the next step easier!) Bake until the potatoes no longer feel hard when squeezed (with an oven mitt on!) – they should give slightly. This took 50-55 minutes for my small potatoes.

(If you like, you can bake the potatoes ahead of time and put them in the fridge, whole, before proceeding. I found that they were easier to scoop out this way. However, you will need to bake the skins a little longer once the insides are scooped out to crisp them up.)

While the potatoes bake, make the lightened-up blue cheese dressing. In a medium-sized bowl, mash together crumbled blue cheese and Greek yogurt with the back of a fork. (To be honest, I would do this in a food processor next time, but I hate cleaning that thing!) Once no large chunks of blue cheese remain, add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Keep covered in fridge until ready to use.

Remove potatoes from oven. On a cutting board, cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the middles (you can save the extra potato for mashed potatoes, etc.), leaving a thin layer of potato on each skin. Return to lined baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450. Bake skins at 450 for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp (10 minutes if the potatoes were hot when you put them in, more like 15 minutes if they had just come out of the fridge).

While the skins are getting nice and crisp, make the buffalo Brussels sprouts. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and saute until starting to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add hot sauce and Brussels sprouts and stir to coat. Saute until Brussels sprouts are tender, which happens quickly – about 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove golden potato skins from oven. Spoon several tablespoons of the Brussels sprout mixture into each one and top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted.

Finally, remove from oven. Top each skin with small pieces of carrot and celery. Serve with blue cheese dressing alongside, or go ahead and place a dollop on each skin.

Enjoy!

Time:

80 minutes

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