Blueberry Corn Salad

I made this salad last year, and apparently forgot to blog about it.  It’s a great summer salad, super refreshing and full of surprising flavors.  I made it for our Fourth of July party and forgot to mention what it was.  Sister thought it was olives and corn, and was quite surprised when it was sweet (pleasantly surprised)!  The blueberries and corn burst with sweetness against the smokiness from the cumin, and the tartness from the lime juice.  It takes full advantage of the fresh produce this season.  This works great as a salsa over grilled chicken, or is a great on it’s own as a side salad.

Blueberry Corn SaladBlueberry Corn Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 3 ears of corn
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your shucked corn, boil for about 5 minutes.  Drain and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine blueberries, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, and red onion.  Once the corn has cooled enough to handle, cut kernels off the corn and add to bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over salad.  Chill until ready to serve.

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Pico de Gallo

Pico de gallo is a great light and fresh salsa.  It’s not very spicy, and has a fresh vibrant taste from the fresh tomatoes, lime juice and cilantro.  This is great for a light dip with chips,  would go great over grilled chicken, or is a wonderful topping for beans and rice.  However you serve it, it’s simple to make and is perfect for this time of year as the tomatoes are ripe and flavorful.

Pico de Gallo

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 4 Roma or plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped*
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt, to taste

Cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  Finely chop the tomatoes and add to a bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients,  cover and let sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

*If you don’t like raw onion, chop the onion first and let sit in cold water while you assemble the remaining ingredients.  Drain and add the the bowl when ready.  The water bath helps lessen the bite that onions can have.

Cabbage Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing

We’re getting temps up in the 90s already in the DC area. So I’m already focusing on meals that don’t require cooking. Salads are also great for taking advantage of spring produce. The star of this is really the dressing, the salad can be made with whatever you have in the fridge (although I am partial to Napa cabbage). This would also be great with chicken or tofu, although I kept it simple by using thawed edamame. And while I’m not usually a huge fan of peanuts, they add a great crunch and extra peanut-y taste to this salad. As with all nuts, make sure you roast them briefly before using them. It really brings out their flavor, and if you’re like me and store nuts in the freezer, it also helps thaw them out. All you need to do is spread the nuts on a dry pan and place them in the oven. Set your oven to 350 or 400 and by the time it beeps to let you know that it’s preheated the nuts will be perfectly toasted.

Cabbage Salad with Thai Peanut DressingCabbage Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Canadian Gift Guide

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1 cup peanuts, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Dressing:

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 limes, juiced
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

 

Baked Falafel

Falafel are great.  They’re a wonderful vegan option (I was surprised to learn they don’t even use egg to bind them).  They’re super flavorful, have a nice texture and are a great compliment to other delicious foods.  I’ve always thought of falafel as being rather fussy and something better ordered out than made at home.  However, this recipe is a game changer.  Baking falafel not only makes these healthier, it’s also easier than frying.  The result, while not as crunchy as traditional falafel, is still wonderfully moist, tasty.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, I’ve already made these twice in two days.  Once with friends and once (when I doubled the recipe, seen below) for my parents.  These are super delicious, and I can’t wait to make them over and over again this summer with a nice big Greek Salad.

Baked FalafelBaked Falafel with pita

Makes about 20 golf-ball sized falafel

Adapted from Hungry Girl

  • 1 large (32oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Generously grease a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large food processor, add chickpeas and onion and pulse a few times until minced.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to mix.  Baked Falafel

If you don’t have a food processor, you can smash the chickpeas with a fork by hand, or use a blender.  Mince the other ingredients and add everything to a large bowl and mix by hand until it comes together.

Taking about 3 Tbsp of the mix, roll into ball and place on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining mixture and then spray the tops of the falafel with cooking spray.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the falafel halfway through.

Avocado and Chickpea Dip

After all the feast of the past several weeks (months?), having something simple, light and green is exactly what I need.  This is a really simple recipe, but all the ingredients really shine.  This is a great dip to take to a party, but it also makes for a great sandwich.  This combines healthy omega-3s of avocados with the protein of chickpeas.  Add it to some whole grain bread and you have a wonderful filling meal.  I served this on thin slices of a baguette which makes nice appetizers or snacks.

Avocado and Chickpea DipAvocado and Chickpea Dip

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large (28oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper to taste

In a large bowl, use a fork to smash the avocado flesh and chickpeas together.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve with chips, pretzels, bread and/or crudités.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this recipe.  It’s not exactly an exciting, standout recipe (glowing review, I know).  However, it is convenient and perfect for those times when you know you need to be eating healthy things but just want to stuff your face with the nearest and easiest anything, preferably carbs.  We’ve all been there, and salads just don’t sound like they’re going to satisfy the way something dense and starchy would.  So if you’re looking for a way to bulk up a salad without a lot of work during the week, this is your guideline (it’s super adaptable, so run with the idea).

Southwestern Quinoa Salad 

Serves about 6

Adapted from FitSugar

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes,  halved (you might do this right before serving so they don’t water down the salad)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a small saucepan, toast the quinoa over medium high heat for a few minutes, until quinoa starts to turn golden and smells fragrant.  Add the water to the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve on a bed of lettuce with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette.

Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food process and pulse until well mixed.

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Sorry for the delay in posting!  Unfortunately I still don’t have power at my house, fortunately my uncle and his family are on vacation so we moved into his house for the time being.  I’ve also been busy doing a Peripheral Blood Stem Cell donation (a type of bone marrow donation).  I signed up through DKMS Americas to be a donor in case someone with a type of blood disease was a stem cell match (you do a cheek swab to sign up to be a donor).  And I started a new job!  It’s been a busy week for me! Hopefully things will settle down now and I’ll try to stick to more regular posting!

For last Tuesday’s dinner I made the Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette and this chickpea salad.  It was a great combination!  I loved this salad, it’s full of fresh, bright, summery flavors.  The lime and cilantro are a great match with a hint of smokey cumin flavor, it will definitely be a summer staple.

Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad

Serves 15

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  • One huge (5lb) can of chickpeas (or 5 15oz cans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup vidalia onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 an onion)
  • 5-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 3 bunches cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp Agave syrup, or honey
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

In a large bowl combine chickpeas, onion, carrots, romaine, and 2 bunches of the chopped cilantro.  In a blender, food processor, or magic bullet, combine the remaining ingredients and blend well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Pour dressing over salad about 10 minutes before serving.  If you want to make it ahead, just wait to add the romaine before serving so it doesn’t get soggy in the dressing.