Grilled Caesar Salad with Gluten-Free Croutons

grilled caesar saladGrilled Caesar Salad—because grilling is one of the easiest ways to put a fresh twist on a classic. And Caesar salad, an uber classic, is as welcome at a backyard BBQs as sit-down dinners. But, for Grilled Caesar Salad, select small, compact Romaine hearts, ideally about six inches in length. Anything bigger, anything floppy, skip it. Those greens simply won’t hold up to the heat of the grill. Continue reading

Parmesan Chickpea Croutons for Salads or Snacks

Parmesan Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea Croutons

Parmesan chickpea croutons are one of my favorite salad toppings. They add flavor, texture and protein to a salad, and bonus—they’re also gluten-free!  The croutons can be made a day in advance and, once completely cooled, stored in an airtight container. If using canned chickpeas, look for cans with BPA-free lining. Either way, be sure to make plenty. They make for an addictive snack, especially hot out of the oven! For vegans, simply skip the parmesan. 

Tip: For more of a parmesan ‘crisp’ with cracker-like shards of parmesan, freely add parmesan so that it covers the spaces in the pan between the croutons and let it melt!

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can or two cups cooked chickpeas, well-drained and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: black pepper to taste
  • Garlic, onion powder (or other seasonings of your choice) to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Parmesan Chickpea Crouton Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and cook.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over chickpeas.
  5. Continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the chickpeas are lightly roasted and slightly browned.
  6. Sprinkle the parmesan over the chickpeas and place pan in the oven and cook for another 35 minutes, for a total of about 1 hour total cooking time. Enjoy!

Note: If chickpeas are not crisp after an hour, lower the heat to 250°F and let them dry out as long as needed. And if you won’t be around to monitor them, simply turn off the oven when they are close to desired crispness and let them continue drying in the residual heat of the oven.

Roasted Chickpeas 1

 Roasted Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea Croutons for Grilled Ceasar Salad

Herbal Lemon Vinaigrette

Lemon Vinaigrette

Yes,this lemon vinaigrette dressing is as bright as it is versatile. With just a change of fresh herbs; cilantro, parsley or mint —or a combination of several herbs, it will complement a range of salad ingredients. The key here is using fresh lemon juice and balancing it with a small amount of natural sweetener. Continue reading

Phytonutrient-Rich Dressings to Make Any Salad Even Healthier

Phytonutrient Salad DressingsWhile any salad dressing adds a bit of moisture and palatability to a vegetable medley, the right dressing is a game changer. In fact, these four phytonutrient-rich dressings will not only give your salad a distinct flair, they will take the nutrition quotient to 11! 

How can phytonutrient-rich dressings make a salad even healthier?

First, fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as many phytonutrients need fat for absorption. So, you’ll get more nutrition out of your carrots and sweet potatoes (vitamin A), mushrooms (vitamin D), nuts and seeds (vitamin E), greens and broccoli (vitamin K). That is why friends don’t let friends use fat-free salad dressing!

Second, adding herbs and spices will significantly increase the antioxidant power of your salad to ward off inflammation-causing free radicals. A little goes a long way. For most herbs, simply go by taste and add the amount that tastes right to you. Consistency is more important than the quantity.  Continue reading

Creamy Horseradish Dressing

A bit of silken tofu gives this creamy horseradish dressing such a luscious texture you won’t believe it’s vegan. Freshly grated horseradish delivers not only another source of cruciferous goodness but also gives this dressing a very distinct flair. If you really want to make it zesty, add more horseradish. For best results, either use a

You can find fresh horseradish in the produce section of most grocery stores. For best results, either use a microplane, or finely chop the horseradish after grating, if you’re not using a blender. To prevent drying out, wrap unused horseradish in a damp towel. It will keep for at least a month refrigerated. 

Grated Horseradish Dressing

CREAMY HORSERADISH DRESSING

Adapted from Natural Gourmet Institute
Yield: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon peeled, freshly grated horseradish
  • 1/2 pound silken tofu (squeeze out extra water)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea miso
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or other dairy alternatives
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Tabasco or hot sauce
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the Tabasco, salt and black pepper. Process until the dressing is creamy and smooth. Add salt, black pepper and Tabasco to taste and blend again until incorporated.

 

 

 

Turmeric Tahini Anti-Inflammation Dressing

Turmeric Tahini Dressing

This versatile dressing makes it easy to bring turmeric into your daily cooking. Pour it over cooked fish, grain bowls, soba noodles and vegetables. And with anti-inflammatory ginger, probiotic-containing miso and alkalizing sesame in tahini, this dressing will boost the health quotient of almost any meal!

Continue reading

Chipotle Coleslaw

Chipotle Coleslaw

This dish is all about the creamy chipotle avocado dressing. Combine silky avocado, zesty lemon and the smoky kick of chipotle pepper. You won’t miss the mayo!

Customize the vegetable and fruit blend to make it your own. Savoy cabbage is particularly good for slaw salads. Savoy cabbage is more tender and less bitter than the green or red cabbage typically used for coleslaw. As such, there’s no need to salt it before serving it uncooked. Dice, grate, slice…it really doesn’t matter much. But, keep the produce sections thin to ease even dressing coverage. Customize the volume as you like. But, who doesn’t like having a salad ready to go in the fridge? Chop now and be veggie-ready for days!

Continue reading

Quinoa & Black Bean Confetti Salad

Quinoa Black Bean SaladIt’s not easy to love a minimum wage job at a mall. But, I loved my part-time job at Pasta & Co. In the 80’s, fresh pasta was a retail novelty. While Pasta & Co was one of Seattle’s first retailers to offer fresh pasta, it was their specialty sauces and prepared foods which captured my imagination. The owner, Marcella Rosene put a creative twist on everything in that store, from selecting unique and defining recipe ingredients, such as black sesame oil to her beautifully hand scripted product labels. In her stores, something as simple as croutons were memorable. Pasta & Co. The Cookbook, the first cookbook I ever bought myself, is still with me today, dog-eared and splattered. The book is now out of print. But, I noticed a few new copies available on Amazon for $215! Continue reading

Mustard Seed Vinaigrette & How to Make Sulforaphane!

Make Your Own Sulfurophane!As discussed in an earlier post, there are three strategies to get the benefits of raw crucifers when cooked. This supporting recipe is not just a recipe for a mustard vinaigrette. When used to dress a salad containing cooked crucifers or to top cooked crucifers, it is a recipe for the wonder compound, sulforaphane!

This vinaigrette recipe includes mustard seed powder, which provides a source of myrosinase. Remember, mustard greens are crucifers. So, the ground seeds are a potent source of the all important enzyme. Theoretically, whole mustard seeds should work as well. However, do not roast, toast or otherwise apply heat to the seeds or you will denature the enzymes, rendering the seeds just another ingredient. Further, you can adapt any dressing recipe to make it a sulforaphane-maker simply by adding some mustard seed powder. Following is a recipe I now keep on hand and drizzle a little over steamed broccoli or cabbage. I have tried it with apple cider vinegar, but prefer the version with balsamic vinegar.

MUSTARD SEED VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey, ideally raw and organic (or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, prepared and powdered mustard and mix well. Add all remaining ingredients, except the oil and mix well again.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Or, if using a jar, shake vigorously, adding the oil in stages until emulsified.
  3. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Do you have a dressing with mustard seeds or powder you like to serve with cruciferous vegetables? Please share!

Radicchio Salad with Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette

Raddichio SaladIn 1988, I moved to Napa Valley with dreams of launching a catering career. I had no job and no local industry contacts to help me get one. But, I had my college friend Heidi. A native of the Valley, Heidi introduced me to Jamie, the executive chef for Inglenook winery. It was a good start. Continue reading