Sunday, March 29, 2015

Taste the Rainbow Kale Salad

I like to call this Taste the Rainbow because it is so colorful.  To me, it is just a cheerful salad to eat.

The inspiration from this salad came from a Thai salad on another website, but I can't find the name to link it. I have changed the salad itself as well as the dressing to suit our tastes.  One of the biggest differences was that instead of blending the edamame and cashews to chop them up I left them whole. I'd rather have a chunky salad than a slaw type salad.

Thai Lime and Chili spiced cashews are recommended, but if those aren't available or you are trying to cut out sodium, plain cashews work just as well.

The dressing is quite thin, which keeps the salad from being heavy.  It stores well for leftovers the next day but needs to be shaken before pouring on leftover salad.


1 - large 10oz bag of chopped Kale
3 medium Carrots, sliced ( I used tri-color carrots)
1 Red Pepper, chopped
3/4 cup Cilantro, rough chopped
1/4 cup minced Red Onion or Green Onion
1.5 cups shelled Edamame (out of the shell)
3/4 cup Cashews
   *  ground black pepper and sesame seeds as garnish
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce, or gluten free Tamari
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp fresh grated Ginger
3 cloves Garlic, minced


1.  Rinse the kale and pick out and discard any woody stems.  In a large mixing bowl, massage the kale with both hands until it is a shiny green and reduces in bulk a bit.  This will help remove any bitterness.

2.  To the kale add the carrots, red pepper, cilantro, and onion.  Toss to combine.  

(massaged kale with carrots, red pepper, cilantro, and onion)
3.  If using frozen edamame, thaw in hot water in the microwave a few minutes. Rinse and drain.

4.  Blend dressing ingredients:  sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, ginger and garlic.  You can use a blender or whisk.  Set aside.

5.  I like to set aside two bowls of salad for lunch the next day and then plate the remainder on two large dinner plates.  Top all four servings with the edamame and cashews.  You can eat it all now or save some for later depending on how many you are feeding.

6.  Drizzle dressing over plated salads.  If you are saving salads for lunch the next day store the leftover dressing in a small plastic container for portability.  Shake before pouring the next day.

7.  I like to sprinkle the salad with fresh ground black pepper and, when I have them on hand, sesame seeds.

(Edamame added then tossed in dressing before plating)
     * Pictured above - Alternatively you can mix the edamame with the other veggies and toss with dressing.  Then plate the salad and top with cashews and black pepper.  Only do this if you are eating the entire salad.  It will get soggy overnight if it has dressing mixed in.

-Bon Appetit

" No one has ever gotten fat from eating too much kale." Author Unknown

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vegan - Ginger and Date Scones

Last week we were at Saturday morning coffee at Coffee Culture and when ordering our drinks Troubadour noticed they had ginger/date scones in the pastry case.  None of the pastries they bake and sell are vegan, so I told him I'd make him some for breakfast the next day.  These are my creation. They turned out pretty well.

In the cupboard I happened to have an old bag of un-crystallized candied ginger bought from Trader Joes. I like it because there is no added sugar.  (I have since learned they may contain lead so you might want to use a different brand) I used this ginger chopped in little pieces in combination with some chopped deglet noor dates.

For gluten free - use an all purpose gluten free flour blend.


2 Cups organic unbleached White Flour (you can use 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat) 
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar
1/4 Cup vegan Margarine such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/4 cup chopped Deglet Noor Dates
1/4 cup finely chopped Candied Ginger
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used soy)
1 tsp Vanilla


1.  Preheat oven to 450˚F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

2.  Put flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together.  Cut in margarine with pastry blender until it resembles fine crumbles.  Stir in ginger and dates.

3.  Stir in non-dairy milk and vanilla.  If the dough is a little dry turn out onto floured surface and knead to mix. Pat into a round approximately 1 inch thick and 8 inches in diameter.  

4.  Cut the round in half and then each half into 3 pie shapes wedges.

5.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden brown. Let cool a bit on a wire rack then enjoy.

- Bon Appetit

" I worship scones and danishes. If I never had another meal, I wouldn't care as long as I could eat pastries and jelly doughnuts." - Gene Simmons

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rockin' Moroccan Quinoa Salad

My salad recipes typically have spices mixed in with their dressings for flavor.  With this dish I mixed it up a little bit and cooked the quinoa in the spices to infuse the flavors directly in the quinoa. 

Here is a LINK to an article on Moroccan cuisine which includes a list of spices and herbs grown in Morocco.  Quite a few are used in this recipe and inspired the name. A typical Moroccan dish will use couscous, but I prefer quinoa for the texture and protein content.

This salad is tasty when eaten right after prepared, but after sitting overnight or made ahead several hours, the flavors increase even more.  For this reason it makes a good make-ahead potluck or picnic dish.


2-1/4 cups Water
1-1/2 cups Quinoa
2 tsp No Chicken Bouillon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 Carrot, grated
6-8 Green Onions, sliced
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 - 15oz can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Thompson Seedless Raisins
8 Deglet Noor Dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1/4 cup Orange Juice


1.  In medium saucepan combine, water, bouillon and quinoa.  Stir in cayenne, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes.  Transfer cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl to cool.  While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2.  When quinoa is room temperature add in shredded carrot, green onion, red pepper, chick peas, raisins, dates, and cilantro.  Stir well to combine.

3.  Sprinkle with the orange juice and stir again.

4.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for serving later.

- Bon Appetit

" You can do a lot for your diet by eliminating foods that have mascots." - Ted Spiker

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Pot Thai Noodle Bowl

Some time ago, a coworker gave me the recipe that was the inspiration for the dish.  I have no idea where she got it, but I looked at it, made a few changes and also made it vegan.

It has become a favorite in our house.  So much so that I will be making it for my carnivorous brother this weekend.

Tamarind paste can be hard to come by if you don't have an Asian or Indian market nearby, but you can substitute an equal amount of balsamic vinegar to mimic the tart taste.

For a gluten free option you could use a gluten-free rice or quinoa noodle, although I have not tried it. You might have to adjust the amount of liquid if they absorb more than a wheat noodle.


4.5 cups Water
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Tamarind Paste (or Balsamic Vinegar)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Fakes
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh Ginger Root
5 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
5 Green Onions, sliced
2 large Carrots, sliced in rounds
1 Green or Red Pepper, coarse chopped
1.5 cups shredded Cabbage
12 oz Linguine Noodles (broken in half)
3/4 cup Cilantro, coarse chopped
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
3/4 cup Roasted Unsalted Peanuts (for garnish)


1. In a large soup pot, on high heat, whisk together water, bouillon, soy sauce, tamarind paste/or vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, peanut butter, ginger root, and garlic.  

2.  Once sauce ingredients are combined add in green onions, carrots, green or red pepper, cabbage, and halved linguine noodles . Stir to combine.  Stirring will be awkward until the noodles soften.  Do not worry if you break a few noodles.

3.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes stirring every few minutes to make sure the noodles don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot.

4.  When there is about 2 minutes left on the timer, stir in cilantro and lime juice. The dish is done when the noodles are cooked and the sauce has thickened.

5.  Garnish with roasted peanuts.

- Bon Appetit

" Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration." - Lou Erickson