Green Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado and Kale Pesto + a Giveaway!

Green Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Avocado and Kale Pesto

Do I have an exciting post for you today!

You may remember my friend Julia of The Roasted Root. Julia is a health food maven and blogger extraordinaire. She’s known for her gluten-free goodies, savory stews, and kick-ass kombucha, but most of all, the girl can roast a mean root. Not a beet, carrot or tuber gets by her without being turned into something fabulous. Julia is very clearly inspired by vegetables, and so I’m over-the-moon excited about the release of her second cookbook, Let Them Eat Kale!

I can’t think of anyone more perfect than Julia to spend months in the kitchen with countless bunches of beautiful leafy greens, chopping, massaging and braising to her little heart’s content. And now you and I get to reap the benefits. Julia was sweet enough to send me a copy of her book to review (plus another to give away!). Let’s just say I think there are splotches of drool on my copy.

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Kale & White Bean Tacos with Chipotle Fruit Salsa

Kale and White Bean Tacos with Chipotle Fruit Salsa

Let’s talk about being busy.

Busy-ness: I never thought I was one of those people that liked it. You know, the kind of person that fills their calendar to the brim with commitments until they have no room to breathe. I mean, I guess that’s everyone to a certain extent these days (and it’s certainly a hot topic), but frankly, I’m just too lazy to be one of the extreme cases.  I like to have time to myself; I hate the feeling of a million demands on me and my time.

But lately, I’ve started to think that maybe I’m more like those overcommitters than I thought. I’ve noticed that being busy makes me feel important and that, actually, I have no happy medium between busy-ness and boredom. If I’m not crazy-stressed, I’m automatically bored. What! How can this be?

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Muhammara Pita Flatbread

Muhammara Flatbread Pizza

So I have kind of been holding onto this recipe for a while. Well, “recipe” is maybe a bit of a stretch – this is really just another of my favorite ways to serve that delicious muhammara. But you see, I didn’t want to overwhelm you with muhammara recipes, so I paced myself. Kinda.

In case you missed it a few weeks ago, muhammara is a Syrian red pepper and walnut dip. It’s super flavorful and guaranteed to jazz up anything you use it in. This flatbread is a prime example!

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Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Apple-Miso Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Apple-Miso Vinaigrette

I haven’t been doing a great job of eating my leafy greens lately. Well, actually, it’s my dark leafy greens I haven’t been eating. For some reason I’ve been on a lettuce kick… maybe using up the the leftover lettuce from all those burgers? Normally, I’d choose kale or spinach over regular ol’ Romaine any day. It recently occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d bought kale. Obviously I had to remedy the situation immediately!

And I remedied it the best way I know how – by giving my kale a massage.

Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Apple-Miso Vinaigrette

A while ago I confessed that I didn’t really get the “massaged kale salad” thing. Aaaand I also confessed that I was immediately sold on the whole deal, because it really makes such a difference in texture. It softens the kale up and makes it way less jaw-achingly fibrous. If you typically skip kale salads, I beg you to give your kale a little massage! You just might turn over a new leaf… har har har.

We’re improving the kale’s texture even more by slicing it into thin ribbons. That way we can make this into a chopped salad, which is my favorite way to eat salad lately because of all the texture you can get in one bite. Start with some kale you can really sink your teeth into, and add crispy apples, crunchy walnuts, chewy roasted chickpeas, and creamy blue cheese to each bite. WHAT could be better, I ask you?! Ah yes… tossing the whole thing with a dreamy dressing of apple cider vinegar and miso.

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Raw Detox Salad with Apple Miso Dressing

Raw Detox Salad with Apple Miso Dressing

We’re back from Mexico!

Translation: It’s time for this detox salad.

Raw Detox Salad with Apple Miso Dressing

Did I mention that we leave for a wedding on the East Coast on Friday morning? This is going to have to be some quick detoxing.

We didn’t go too crazy with the food and drink on our little vacation, buuut we were staying at an all-inclusive resort. AKA I had ice cream at lunch everyday (amazing!). Also, one night we tried about four dessert wines. They were reeeeally good. I’m hoping to do a little trip recap later in the week with pictures etc., so stay tuned. In any case, some healthy food can’t hurt over the next few days.

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