Grilled 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 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!
- 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:
- Preheat oven to 300°F
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and cook.
- Sprinkle seasoning evenly over chickpeas.
- Continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the chickpeas are lightly roasted and slightly browned.
- 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.
Got inflammation, aches, and pains? A few weeks with this drink and you may understand why I fondly call this drink the Ginger Turmeric Healer. G & T for short. Not that kind.
I’m not being coy calling this ginger turmeric drink a healer. In fact, after serving this up daily during a two-week stay with relatives, they both noticed relief from their daily arthritis-related aches and pains. To quote them “It doesn’t hurt anymore to walk the dogs” and “When I get up in the morning, the pain of putting my socks and shoes on is gone.” This drink also helped me dramatically following a recent traumatic injury, a story for another day. So, for anyone trying to avoid inflammation-related aches and pains, this drink is for you. Continue reading
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
Hands down, a healthyish spicy margarita is my Cinco de Mayo beverage of choice. A ‘healthyish’ cocktail?! Okay. Perhaps it is more politically correct to say that some margaritas are much more UNHEALTHY than others. How so? Check this out.
While 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
We all know that ‘mushroom bacon’ is not really bacon. I’m talking about “bacon”. And while I get annoyed with food marketed as something else (tofurky), nothing communicates quite like a good metaphor in air quotes. So, while I’m not going to fool the pork lovers out there, using the ‘B’ word is aptly descriptive. It infers what you’re going to get; an earthy, dense bite of savory, slightly salty immune-boosting goodness.
No, I won’t bash legit bacon. I have nephews who would never forgive me if I did. But, it’s good to know that these umami bombs are totally unprocessed. And even more important, they are free from the cancer-causing nitrates added to many processed meats. Continue reading
Rich and tangy, even omnivores should give this simple vegan sour cream recipe a try. In about five minutes you’ll have a delicious dairy-free, and luscious condiment for soups, wraps, and of course, mexican food. Yet, this vegan sour cream has only a fraction of the saturated fat you’ll find in dairy sour cream. And, compared to many commercial vegan versions, making your own saves you from a laundry list of stabilizers and preservatives.
If you think tofu is a four letter word, you’ll likely be surprised. Blending the seasonings with extra firm or firm tofu results in a wonderfully smooth and creamy texture. If you’re watching calories, stick with the 2 tablespoon of oil for a lighter version. Otherwise, to get the most sour cream-like mouth feel, use the full 4 tablespoons. For the thickest texture, squeeze out any excess water from the tofu and reserve the liquid. Then, add back only as much of the liquid as needed to thin out the mixture so it will blend to the texture you want.
BASIC VEGAN SOUR CREAM
Yield: about 1 1/4 cup
- 8 ounces organic, firm or extra firm tofu
- 4 green onions, white portion only, roughly chopped (or 1/2 medium shallot)
- 2-4 tablespoons organic canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend all ingredients in a personal or regular blender. Adjust seasoning with sea salt, lemon juice or vinegar as needed. Store covered and refrigerated for three to four days.
- When selecting tofu, be sure to buy organic to avoid genetically modified soy. And, to get extra calcium, be sure to look for it on the ingredient panel, likely listed as ‘calcium sulfate’.
- Extra unused tofu? After opening, place in covered container and submerge the tofu in fresh water; change water daily.
Vegan sour cream on a purple sweet potato…cause that’s how we roll. Mmmm…purple sweet potatoes. I don’t know what I like best, their creamy texture or the almost smoky flavor. Of course, the pigment of purple foods is rich in anthocyanins, potent antioxidants which support the brain and memory.
And, Miso Spice makes 8! In the post, ‘7-Tips for Using Miso,’ I shared some miso basics and a few tips for using miso paste in cooking. Now, here’s one more tip for using this detoxifying, gut-friendly, enzyme-rich fermented food. Sprinkle it on savory dishes, showering them with umami goodness. Sprinkle miso on dishes as a condiment? Continue reading
Last year, on a whim, I entered a vegetarian chili cook-off at my alma mater. It was a festive evening, a great learning experience with my chili won a prize! However, I can’t share the recipe with you, because I didn’t use one. But, read on and check out the guidelines I always use and customize each time -as you should as well.