Sunday, October 15, 2017

Magic Kale Salad with Tempeh

MAGIC KALE SALAD.  We can thank Peas and Thank You for this amazing recipe - I don't know whether this salad make it into either of her books, but I've been guarding this recipe with my life for years.  I daresay everybody who tries magic kale salad loves it - it is truly a crowd-pleaser, has become one of my go-to potluck recipes, and has made it into the standing "Christmas Dinner" menu at our house.  With the addition of some grilled or broiled tempeh, it turns into a substantial, power-packed lunch!  I couldn't consider a salad series without including this one, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 8 oz tempeh, grilled or broiled
  • 2 bunches kale, stemmed and shredded
  • 1/2 c roasted, shelled, salted pistachios

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the lemon sesame vinaigrette: combine the lemon juice, oils, mustard, agave, and salt in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly among each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the apple, carrot, tempeh, and kale in the jars.  Divide the pistachios evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pistachios.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use pre-washed bagged baby kale in place of the stemmed, shredded kale.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegan and gluten-free as-is.  For a nut-free salad, substitute salted, hulled sunflower seeds for the pistachios.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Pear, Walnut, and Bleu Cheese Salad

Pears are a fruit I definitely don't eat often enough.  It's so easy for me to get distracted by the wide variety of apples available this time of year, that I completely overlook pears!  My mistake - and definitely one to correct with this salad.  Pick up a couple of ripe, sweet pears and your favorite bleu cheese this week, and dig into this salad - it's a classic way to feature this oft-overlooked fruit!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large, firm but ripe red or green pears, diced
  • 4 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 4-8 oz mixed baby greens
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the champagne vinaigrette: combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and oil in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer the pear, bleu cheese, and mixed greens in the jars.  Divide the walnuts evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with walnuts.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite store-bought champagne vinaigrette in place of the homemade dressing.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and gluten-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute agave for the honey in the dressing, and your favorite vegan bleu cheese or cultured tofu product for the dairy cheese.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seeds or pepitas for the walnuts.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Collard & Dried Tomato Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Last summer, we had a bounty of tomatoes in our garden - a bounty so large, I was unable to keep up with eating, canning, and freezing them, and had to explore other preservation options.  Dried tomatoes to the rescue!  Tomatoes are surprisingly easy to dry in a very low oven, and will store, once dried, almost indefinitely in the freezer.  If you don't have your own stash of dried tomatoes, pick some up at the store this week to add rich flavor to this unique salad!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 28 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c cilantro leaves
  • 1 c mint leaves
  • 1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c pine nuts, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the roasted chickpeas: preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the chickpeas with 1 tbsp oil, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Bake the chickpeas for about an hour, or until evenly dried, crispy, and golden brown.  Cool.
  2. Make the lemon vinaigrette: combine the garlic, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, red wine vinegar, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper (to taste) in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternatively, puree and emulsify the dressing in a blender or mini food processor.)
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the dried tomato, green onions, cilantro, mint, and collard greens in the jars.  Divide the chickpeas and pine nuts evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with chickpeas and pine nuts.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute your favorite store-bought lemon vinaigrette for the homemade vinaigrette.  Substitute store-bought roasted chickpeas for the homemade roasted chickpeas.  Substitute pre-washed, bagged baby kale for the collard greens.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegan and gluten-free as-is.  For a nut-free salad, substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the pine nuts. 

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

(Sorry for the delay in last week's post - life got in the way!)

Beet and goat cheese salads tend to be a staple on many restaurant menus, and for good reason - the variety of both texture and flavor tends to be a crowd-pleaser, even among those who are a bit more reticent to consider beets.  I highly recommend looking for individually-wrapped 1-oz rounds of goat cheese for this salad - it makes packing these salads a breeze!  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c flax oil (or more olive oil)
  • 2-3 large beets, peeled, diced, and roasted until tender
  • 4-8 oz mixed baby greens
  • 4 1-oz, individually-wrapped rounds of goat cheese
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegars, and oils in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer in the beets, greens, and goat cheese rounds.  Divide the walnuts evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies or 2-oz jars, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with cheese and walnuts.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute your favorite prepared balsamic vinaigrette for the homemade vinaigrette.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and gluten-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute 1 can white beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry for the goat cheese, or your favorite vegan goat cheese.  (I would recommend packing the beans, if using, following the dressing, instead of at the end as recommended for the goat cheese.). For a nut-free salad, substitute roasted, salted sunflower seeds for the walnuts.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

BLT Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing

We still have quite a few gorgeous heirloom tomatoes ripening in our garden this week, and I can't think of a better way to feature ripe, juicy, sweet, garden-fresh tomatoes than a BLT salad!  Although simple in its ingredients, this salad (with smoked almonds instead of the bacon for me) is one of my favorites, and received envious glances from both Rob's and my coworkers.  Maybe next time we'll make enough to share!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4-6 oz baguette or other crusty bread, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 heads of romaine, shredded
  • 8 thick-cut strips of bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the bread cubes with the 2 tbsp oil, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and garlic.  Bake the croutons for 10 - 15 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown.  Cool.
  2. Make the basil mayo dressing: whisk together the mayo, yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, 1/4 tsp pepper, and basil until well blended.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the red onion, tomato, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the bacon and croutons evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with bacon and croutons.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute precooked bacon for the cooked, crumbled bacon and store-bought croutons for the homemade croutons.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, substitute smoked almonds, roughly chopped, for the bacon.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan mayo and plain vegan yogurt for the mayo, yogurt, and buttermilk in the dressing.  For a gluten-free salad, omit the croutons or use your favorite gluten-free bread.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Chicken Gyro Salad

We can thank Smitten Kitchen for this beauty - crunchy romaine, fresh veggies, and flavorful chicken, all smothered in what is quite possibly the best tzatziki I've ever had.  (I make this tzatziki alllllll the time, as a general/all purpose veggie/cracker/bread/falafel/everything dip, as neither Rob nor I are huge hummus fans.)  Grab some garden-fresh, in-season cucumbers and tomatoes this week and whip up this fantastic salad!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, grated and squeezed dry in a dish towel
  • zest and juice of one lemon, divided
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane, divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 a medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced or diced (or 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup lightly-crushed pita chips

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the tzatziki: whisk together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, 2 tbsp lemon juice, vinegar, dill, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper until well blended.  Refrigerate.
  2. Make the gyro-style chicken: combine the remaining lemon juice, all of the zest, remaining garlic, remaining salt, remaining pepper, paprikas, and oregano in a quart-sized zip-top baggie.  Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible.  Through the bag, massage the seasonings into the chicken.  Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better!)  Grill, broil, or roast the chicken.  Cool, and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Pack the salads: add 1/4 c tzatziki to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Reserve the remaining tzatziki for another use.  Layer the chicken, onion, tomato, sliced cucumber, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the pita chips evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pita chips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute store-bought tzatziki and rotisserie chicken for the homemade tzatziki and gyro-style chicken.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, substitute seitan, lightly pan-fried and cooled, for the chicken.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite plain vegan yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth-lined colander overnight, for the Greek yogurt.  For a gluten-free salad, omit the pita chips.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Early September is an exciting, exhausting, time to have a garden - the tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and eggplant are all going crazy, and it seems like you can't eat them fast enough! If you find yourself with a few spare zucchini, eggplant, and peppers this week, I highly recommend roughly chopping the lot up, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, grilling up the lot, and making this salad! It's a hearty, nutritious way to use up some of that late-summer produce.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 c pearl barley
  • 1/4 c + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red chile, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, halved and sliced into half-moons
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 c parsley leaves
  • 1 c cilantro leaves
  • 4-8 oz arugula
  • 1/2 c shelled, roasted, salted pistachios

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded barley: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain, and toss with the 1/4 c olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper.  Cool.
  2. Make the grilled vegetables: toss the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.  Grill or broil until the veggies are tender and lightly charred; cool.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the barley evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer in the roasted veggies, feta, green onion, parsley, cilantro, and arugula.  Divide the pistachios evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pistachios.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use frozen, pre-cooked brown rice in place of the barley.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa or brown rice for the barley.  For a nut-free salad, substitute toasted, salted sunflower seeds for the pistachios.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Greek Salad

I love Greek salad.  (I love Greek food, but that's a different post entirely!)  Spring, summer, fall, or winter, I never seem to tire of cucumbers, tomato, feta, and olives piled on a bed of romaine and drizzled with red wine vinegar and olive oil.  Add chickpeas, grilled chicken, red onion, artichokes, and pepperoncini, and you've got yourself one delicious lunch!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (only if your seasoning doesn't contain salt)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 16 olives (pitted or whole, green, kalamata, whatever you love!)
  • 8 pepperoncini
  • 8 whole canned artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, grilled or broiled and diced
  • 2 c cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded chickpeas: combine the chickpeas, red wine vinegar, olive oil, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Allow the chickpeas to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.) 
  2. Pack the salads: divide the chickpeas evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the red onion, olives, pepperoncini, artichokes, feta, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, and romaine in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked beans.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, omit the chicken.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta, or double the quantity of marinaded chickpeas.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Zucchini, Chickpea, and Edamame Salad

Late summer often means a bounty of fresh zucchini, and this salad is a delicious and unique way to enjoy it!  The lemony dressing and crisp veggies lend this salad a light, summery freshness, while the hearty richness of edamame, chickpeas, and parmesan keep you feeling satisfied.  This was an early salad we tested when we were first exploring this blog project, and remains one of our all-time favorites.  Wrangle up some zucchini this week (if you know anyone who has a garden, I bet that won't be difficult,) and give this salad a try!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c frozen shelled edamame, thawed and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas, patted dry
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the zucchini salad: in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Fold in the edamame, chickpeas, zucchini, red onion, Parmesan, and basil.  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the zucchini salad evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Divide the romaine evenly among the containers. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked chickpeas.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian, nut- and gluten-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute sliced or slivered almonds for the parmesan, and pack on the side.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Antipasti Salad

I have always loved antipasti.  It almost feels like an adventure to me, navigating all of the different cheeses, olives, veggies, pickles, and other delicious snacks.  I often over-nibble and end up too full for my meal, so why not just make a meal out of antipasti?  Adding fresh, green romaine and crunchy, vibrant bell pepper to the traditional, flavorful, rich ingredients lightens up this salad for a satisfying lunch.  Enjoy!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 4-8 pickled pepperoncini
  • 1 14-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
  • 16 whole kalamata olives
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, patted dry and diced
  • 4 oz smoked provolone, cubed
  • 2-4 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded cannellini: combine the cannellini, red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Allow the cannellini to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.) 
  2. Make the marinaded mushrooms: wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the stems.  Simmer the mushroom caps in water for 5 minutes or until tender; drain and pat the mushroom caps dry.  Combine the 2 tbsp oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, red onion, oregano, parsley, salt, peppercorns, and coriander seeds.  Add the mushroom caps and stir gently.  Allow the mushrooms to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.) 
  3. Pack the salads: divide the cannellini and mushrooms evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the pepperoncini, artichokes, olives, cheeses, prosciutto, bell pepper, and romaine in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked beans.  Substitute store-bought marinaded mushrooms from the olive bar at your local grocery store for the marinaded mushrooms.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, omit the prosciutto.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite vegan cheese for the mozzarella and provolone.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

summer vacation

We're taking a break this week for summer vacation.  See you next week with two new salads!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Insalata Caprese

Despite the unusual growing season we are having in Minnesota this year, we are finally starting to get some tomatoes out of our garden (and loads of lettuce and basil!)  I can't think of a more fitting way to feature the season's freshest garden tomatoes than in a caprese salad - tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and greens simply dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Check lunch off the list this week with this fresh and flavorful salad!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4-8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 2 (or more) cups tomatoes, halved or roughly chopped (depending on size)
  • 1/2 c fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz mixed baby greens

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pack the salads: add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp vinegar to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Layer the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and mixed baby greens in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS:

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian, gluten-, and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan mozzarella for the dairy mozzarella.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad

I may have been quoted recently saying, "I find it hard to get excited about a salad if it doesn't involve cheese."  Yeah ... I do love a good cheese.  However, I definitely had to go to the mat with this salad, as I had a helluva time figuring out how to grill the halloumi without melting or burning it. 

Here are my tips for grilling halloumi:
1. Leave the halloumi in the big brick you buy it in.  Cutting it thinner or cubing it prior to grilling will result in a melty mess.
2. Freeze the halloumi before grilling.  Again, this will help you avoid a melty mess.
3. Generously coat your halloumi with canola or another high smoke point oil prior to grilling.  
4. Preheat the grill as hot as you can, (Rob refers to this technique as "burying the needle") and keep the halloumi on the grill only long enough to get nice, toasty grill marks.
5. Let the halloumi cool before you dice it for the salad, for cleaner cubes.

I hope you find these tips helpful, and this salad delicious! 



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz halloumi, grilled (or broiled) and diced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups pitted, halved fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stemmed and shredded
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded barley: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.  Drain, and toss with the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Cool.
  2. Pack the salads: divide the barley evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer in the halloumi, cherry tomatoes, cherries, and chard.  Divide the almonds evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use pre-washed, bagged baby spinach in place of the chard.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute grilled or broiled tofu for the grilled halloumi.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa for the barley.  For a nut-free salad, substitute toasted sunflower seeds for the sliced almonds.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tabouli

It's tabouli time!  The mint and parsley are going crazy in my herb garden, and farm-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are starting to hit the co-ops and farmer's markets the city over.  (We've even harvested a few cherry tomatoes and one "Early Girl" from our own garden.)  Bulk up this summery staple with some cooked chickpeas and you've got yourself one healthy, refreshing lunch to enjoy all week long.


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup bulgur, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5-10 ounces baby spinach

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the tabouli: combine the bulgur, chickpeas, cucumber tomato, green onion, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Fold the ingredients together until well-combined.  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the tabouli evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Divide the spinach evenly among the containers. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked chickpeas.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian/vegan and nut-free as-is.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa for the bulgur.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Several summers ago, I practically lived on cucumber and tomato salads - freshly chopped cucumbers and tomatoes from the farmer's market, dressed simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then finished with a shower of feta.  This salad never seems to get old for me, although bulking it up with chickpeas, bell pepper, and romaine makes for a more satisfying lunch.  (You could pack a few wedges of pita on the side to soak up any remaining tomato juices, but you certainly don't have to.)  I hope this simple, satisfying salad becomes a regular at your house as well!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Greek seasoning
  • kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 oz feta, diced or crumbled
  • 1-2 c cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1-2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded chickpeas: combine the chickpeas, vinegar, oil, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Allow the chickpeas to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.)  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the chickpeas evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the feta, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, and romaine in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked chickpeas.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian, gluten-, and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta, or double the quantity of chickpeas.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Indonesian Vegetable Salad

This salad, based on a recipe from Real Simple, is a take on "lalab" - a raw vegetable salad typically served with chili paste; this version incorporates a few other Indonesian staples such as curry, peanut sauce, and tofu in place of the chili.  This fresh, colorful, flavorful, protein-packed salad makes for a filling, nutritious lunch - I hope you enjoy it!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/3 c peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
  • cooking spray
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the peanut sauce: combine the peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste, and salt in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the sauce using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Make the tofu: combine the cornstarch, curry powder, and salt in a low bowl or on a plate.  Cut the tofu into 4 equal pieces, and dredge each piece in the cornstarch mixture.  Pan-fry, broil, or grill the tofu until browned.  Cool, and slice into 1/2-inch pieces
  3. Pack the salads: divide the peanut sauce among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the tofu, egg, carrot, green beans, bell pepper, cucumber, bean sprouts, and cabbage in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Add 2 tsp curry paste to 1/2 cup of your favorite store-bought peanut sauce and substitute for the homemade peanut sauce.  Use bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of the cabbage and carrot.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, omit the egg.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce, and check to make sure your curry paste is labeled "gluten-free."

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Firecracker Slaw

As we gear up in the U.S. to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, I'm finding fireworks are very polarizing ... some people love 'em, some people (and dogs) loathe 'em.  This slaw, however, is far less polarizing - the tangy-sweet dressing and bold, crunchy, colorful veggies make everyone happy!  Happy Independence Day to all!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, grilled or broiled
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c cilantro leaves
  • 1 small green cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 small bunch collard greens, stemmed and shredded

DIRECTIONS: 
  1. Pack the salads: add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, and salt and pepper to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the jalapeño, chicken, corn, carrot, bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, cabbage, and collards in the jars.  (You may have extra cabbage or collards; reserve for another use.)  Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use pre-shredded coleslaw mix (green and red cabbage and carrot) in place of the cabbage, carrot, and collards.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian/vegan salad, substitute grilled or broiled tempeh for the chicken.  This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

One of my favorite parts of my garden is the strawberry patch - when we built three new beds last year, we dedicated an entire one to strawberries, and we're not sorry!  The strawberries have started to ripen the past few weeks here in Minnesota, and they are so delicious - we have enjoyed several batches of shortcake so far, and of course, this salad!  Strawberries and spinach just seem to be made for each other, and the tangy-sweet balsamic vinaigrette, salty cheese, sharp onions, and crunchy almonds take this salad over the top, if you ask me!  I hope you are able to find some locally-grown strawberries in your neck of the woods so you can make this salad with a quickness.  Enjoy! 



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c flax oil (or more olive oil)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, grilled or broiled
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 4-8 oz baby spinach
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the balsamic vinaigrette: combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegars, and oils in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer the chicken, feta, red onion, strawberries, and spinach in the jars.  Divide the almonds evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite store-bought balsamic vinaigrette in place of the homemade dressing.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, omit the chicken.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta.  For a nut-free salad, substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the sliced almonds.  This salad is gluten-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Salade Niçoise

Before social media took over how we humans connect and interact on the internet, blogs used to be an avenue for like-minded individuals to "meet," support each other, and share ideas.  I found so many cool vegetarian and locavore food blogs to follow "back then," and ended up making friends in "real life" with some of those bloggers as well!  Crystal was one of those cool internet people I actually met in real life - and although we haven't seen each other in years, we still follow each other on social media, and I still make her recipe for "Tempeh Niçoise" on the regular.  Her recipe is practically perfect as-is, (and I love love love her vinaigrette recipe, which is basically my standard vinaigrette recipe I vary salad by salad for this here blog project, and pretty much every salad we eat,) but I decided to adjust the recipe slightly for the mason jar, and also to include tuna (which is traditional in a Niçoise) for Rob, as he loves fish.  I hope you enjoy this flavorful, nutritious Salade Niçoise!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c flax oil (or more olive oil)
  • 1/4 c capers in brine, drained
  • 16-20 pitted Niçoise or other French olives
  • 2 cans chunk albacore tuna, drained well
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed and steamed until tender
  • 1 cup 1-inch pieces green beans, lightly steamed
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the vinaigrette: combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegars, and oils in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Pack the salads: add 2 tbsp dressing to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers; reserve the remaining dressing for another use.  Layer the capers, olives, tuna, egg, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and romaine in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute your favorite store-bought vinaigrette for the homemade vinaigrette.  Substitute frozen green beans, thawed, for the steamed green beans.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, substitute grilled or broiled tempeh for the tuna.  For a vegan salad, also substitute 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed, for the hard-boiled egg.  This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Black Bean, Quinoa, and Mango Salad

Early into my forays of vegetarian and vegan cooking, I discovered Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks, and both Vegan with a Vengeance and Veganomicon remain favorites at my house.  Isa has the ability to make vegan food both punk rock and entirely accessible at the same time, and I appreciate her recipes for both everyday staples (pancakes, lentil soup, a million tofu and tempeh marinades, black bean burgers) and recipes that push the limits and challenge even the more seasoned cooks (seitan and veggies in mole, jambalaya, apple peanut butter caramel bars.)  Her recipe for "Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango" seems to straddle the boundary between an everyday staple and a limit-pusher - a crowd-pleaser (one of my go-to potluck recipes,) that is simple, nutritious, colorful, deliciously sweet-savory, and just a little bit unusual in its combination of ingredients.  I like this salad so much, it deserves a place in the mason jar salad rotation!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c quinoa, bi- or tri-color (if available in your area)
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
  • 5-10 oz baby spinach


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the quinoa: combine the quinoa with 1 c water in a small saucepan; season with salt.  Bring the quinoa to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove the quinoa from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and cool.
  2. Pack the salads: add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers or mason jars; season with salt and pepper.  Layer the black beans, quinoa, red bell pepper, mango, green onion, cilantro, and spinach in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well, for the 2 cups home-cooked black beans.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Sushi Salad

We were just talking about sushi the other day - about how there is so much mediocre, overpriced sushi in the world, and about how I find it pretty easy to make sushi at home.  One of the things I most like about making my own sushi is that I can use brown rice, and can control how much salt and sugar goes into that rice.  And, sushi salads!  Sushi salads do away with the fussiness of making my own sushi rolls, and I can load up on the veggies in this Japanese-inspired rice bowl.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp powdered wasabi
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 c short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 c shelled edamame (thawed if from frozen)
  • 2-4 oz sushi grade tuna, grilled or broiled medium-rare
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated or julienned
  • 1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 sheets toasted nori, cut into small strips


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the Ginger-Wasabi Vinaigrette: combine the canola oil, sesame oil, 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar, soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Make the rice: combine the rice, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan.  Bring the rice to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.  Fluff the rice with a fork, uncover, and cool.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the edamame, tuna, avocado, carrot, cucumber, red bell pepper, green onions, and rice in the jars.  Divide the sesame seeds and nori evenly among four snack-sized zip-top bags or 2-oz jars, one for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with sesame seeds and nori strips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce and prepared wasabi to taste for the Ginger-Wasabi vinaigrette.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian/vegan salad, omit the tuna and increase the shelled edamame to 2 cups.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute gluten-free tamari for the low-sodium soy sauce.  This salad is nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.