I usually make a big batch of salad, soup, and a hot dish to snack on throughout the week for lunch. I made this last week to much on and it was a hit! I love salads where any ingredient works, and this one is no exception. I call them “clean out your fridge” dishes so empty the produce drawer, add rice and beans, then top with a zesty orange dressing! This was really simple and clean, but you could jazz it up with heartier spices and ingredients. Add glazed/baked tempeh or tofu for a full meal.
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 medium size beets, roasted, peeled, and diced
1 green pepper, diced
5 stalks celery, sliced thinly into half moons
1 onion, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, minced (optional if you want some kick)
Large handful spinach, shredded
3 zucchini squash, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 batch zesty orange dressing, recipe follows
Heat 1 tablespoon oil, vegetable broth, or water over a medium high skillet and add onion. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
In a large bowl combine cooked rice, black beans, spinach, peppers, carrots, celery, beets, and zucchini. Toss and drizzle with zesty orange dressing. Season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Zesty Orange Dressing:
1 large orange, juiced (or 1/4 cup orange juice)
handful cilantro, chopped
1 spicy pepper (I used Anaheim’s here, got a whole garden full!)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 tablspoon maple syrup
Blend together in food processor, blender or in a bowl by hand.
You have to try this recipe! It’s the perfect summer meal; you could serve it by itself or with a nice green salad or ear of corn. It’s so simple to make, but beautiful enough to make for a party. In fact, I’m taking it to a bridal shower today. Enjoy!
Grilled Panzanella Salad
3 large tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 eggplant, thick sliced
1/2 loaf good-quality bread (day old is better), cubed
1 recipe baked tofu croutons (below)
1 recipe dressing (below)
The key to this recipe is to try to make all of the cubes (bread, tomatoes, eggplant, and tofu) similar in size.
I am pretty lucky in the fact that there is a sustainable salad bar 100 feet from my office. More often than not, I end up grabbing lunch or dinner there, loading up my plate with a big bowl of organic vegetables and fun sides. Last night I was craving a salad bar treat and decided to recreate it at home. My favorite item is the marinated tofu and even though I work as the dietitian, no one will give me the secret recipe. Sigh. Here is my attempt at chili-sesame tofu and miso dressing. Yes, I know it’s not the most impressive recipe, and I promise not to post salad recipes often, but I was so happy to be able to have my favorite toppings in the comfort of my own home. If the combination of flavors isn’t your thing, try the dressing with small greens (try lambs lettuce), avocado, and your favorite vegetables.
Press 1lb tofu between two paper towels to drain most of the moisture out. Dice into small cubes and toss with the following marinade: 2 tbsp. mirin or white vinegar, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. asian sweet chili sauce, 2 tbsp. gomasio (Japanese mixture of black sesame seeds and salt, you can make your own mixture by combining 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1 tsp. salt). Coat and allow to marry in the refrigerature for at least 30 minutes.
Trying to lose weight? Put the carb-loving fun back into your diet. I’m not talking about pasta and bread. I mean real carbs, the ones that make you skinny: couscous, barley, brown rice, bulgar… all delicious and all perfect for any race to a beach-body. Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you or someone you know tried an Atkins diet. More than likely, it left you tired, constipated, and smelly (all side effects of a low-carb diet).
When you lose weight on a low-carb diet, your losing “water weight.” This term describes the fact that when you empty out carb stores in your body, you lose the water that was needed for carbohydrate storage. Sure, the scale may reflect a few pound loss, but eat a normal meal again and you will gain it all back.
Whole grains are the jam. They fill you up and contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals like folate, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin E… there’s more. As I mentioned before, people who eat whole grains over refined gains are less likely to gain weight, and have lower incidences of diabetes and heart disease. WG’s contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which are been linked to preventing colon cancer and lowering LDL cholesterol.
Convinced yet? Try my newest favorite side dish/entree, Mediterranean Couscous. It’s perfect for summer and you can vary the ingredients by what you have in your fridge. I’ve made it 3 times this week and each time has been a variation of the last. Let me know if you can stop at 1 cup… I need tips
2 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned or diced
1/4 cup diced olives
1/4 cup edamame
1 tbls. capers, drained
2-3 tomatoes, diced
bunch of fresh basil- use as much as you/your family likes, chiffonade
2 tsp. chili paste
Juice from 1 small lemon
Cook couscous according to box: bring water to a boil, add couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5-6 minutes and fluff with a fork.
To couscous, add sun dried tomatoes, olive, edamame, capers, lemon juice, zest and basil. In a saute pan, heat oil 1 tbsp. oil and chili paste until hot. Add tomatoes, cover, and let sit 3-4 minutes until soft. Add to the couscous bowl. Let marinate together for 5-10 minutes, season with salt and/or pepper to taste if needed.
* feel free to add replace with ingredients of your choosing. You can add just about anything to couscous or have it plain. I also like couscous with saffron, zucchini, and butternut squash. That recipe coming soon…