Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Arugula Salad with Avocado Dressing

I finally get a chance to share one of my very favorite salad (and dressing) recipes. I love to bring this salad along to parties as it looks absolutely beautiful and trumps all other simple salads. It may look complicated to make but it is so easy and you can take this salad from a 4 serving salad to a 20 serving salad in no time. It is perfect and never disappoints!

Arugula Salad with Avocado Dressing

5 oz baby arugula
1 cup frozen corn
1 Gala apple
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil

Avocado Dressing

1/2 of a large avocado
1 Tbsp olive oil
squeeze of 1/2 of lemon (approx. 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2-3 Tbsp fresh tangerine juice
1 tsp. maple syrup
salt and pepper to desired taste

In a large bowl, add your arugula. First, you will want to gently brown the pinenuts in a frying pan. I advise not to leave the pan for a second because browning can turn to burning with a blink of an eye. There have been many of a pinenut lost in my kitchen due to attempting to multitask. Once the pinenuts are gently browned, add to the arugula. Next, in the frying pan, place your frozen corn over a low heat. Let the corn defrost and slowly add about 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. Turn up heat and cook the corn until there is a bit of browning. Add the corn on top of the arugula.

Finely slice your onion, add into the frying pan with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté over a low heat until translucent. Toss in with your arugula. Finely slice the cucumber, apple, and tomatoes (I like to peel my apple before slicing but that is simply a matter of personal preference). Add all three to the salad bowl.

In a food processor or blender, add the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, tangerine juice (start with 2 Tbsp and add more after a taste test), maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until perfectly smooth. Take a little taste test and add a bit more lemon/tangerine juice or salt/pepper if needed. There is no exact measurements for this dressing. It is more of a give and take.

Toss your salad with the Avocado dressing. You may not need to use all of the dressing so add a little at a time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

Brussels sprouts are never number one on my list for eating. I don't hate them but whenever I eat them I feel like there's just something missing. Mike (my husband) loves brussels sprouts and so we find these little vegetables in our house quite often. I literally roasted a bucket full this past weekend when I decided there had to be a way to 'spice' them know, make them deliciously yummy. I knew they needed a bit of maple syrup and of course, a little richness from almonds and tahini. This sauce turned out so incredible! It balances the Brussels Sprouts with just enough sweet and salty. The Almond Tahini sauce takes these green round veggies to a whole other level.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 ½ lbs. Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp ground black pepper

Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 cup Chickpeas
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce...if using soy sauce only use ¼ tsp salt)
1/3 cup water

PREHEAT the oven to 400F.

Cut off any brown ends of the Brussels Sprouts and remove discolored outer leaves. In a large bowl, mix the Brussels Sprouts with the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the Sprouts onto the sheet. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes shaking the pan half way through to make sure they are roasted evenly. Remove once browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

While the Brussels Sprouts are roasting in the oven, you can start on the sauce. Using a food processor (or blender), add your chickpeas, nutritional yeast, tahini, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut aminos, salt, water. You may have to do this in two batches if using a small food processor. You want this sauce to have a thick creamy consistency so that it slowly pours off a spoon when tipped. You may need to add a bit more water. You can always add more or less to get the exact consistency you want. I covered my brussels sprouts with the sauce and left a bit of dipping sauce on the side (because it is so good!).  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ravioli Filling

Wow, it took me so long to get to this follow up post to my Ravioli Pasta but finally it's here! Ravioli is so fun... the filling options are limitless and of course, you have all the fun sauces you can create as well. It just doesn't get boring. I know it is a bit of work but the beauty is that you can freeze the raviolis (put them in the freezer before boiling). The recipe below is a guideline, adherence optional! You can add or take away. I wanted to show how incredibly healthy you could make filling and raviolis.

Delicious Ravioli Filling

1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
½ avocado
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes ***soaked in water for 30min.
1 ½ cups shiitake mushrooms
½ cup diced onion
½ cup chopped spinach
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon
optional ½ – 1 tsp agave nectar

First you'll want to saute your shiitake mushrooms and onions with the 1 ½ Tbsp of olive oil. Saute over a low heat so that the water is slowly pulled from the mushrooms. After about 5-8 min, I would add salt (about ¼ tsp) and the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, throw in the spinach and cook for only a few more minutes...set aside.

In a food processor, add the avocado, 2 soaked sun-dried tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Blend. This won't be easy as there isn't enough water to let it blend smoothly but do your best by pulsing the food processor then clearing the sides and pulsing again. If you are using a small food processor, you'll want to do this all in sections. Once the avocado/garbanzo/tomatoes are somewhat blended, slowly add a bit of your sauteed mushroom and onions. If you need a little help with the blending, add a bit of olive oil and your bit of lemon juice (only about 1-2 tsp is needed, you can always add more!). Add the nutritional yeast and agave nectar, start with ½ tsp. Pepper to taste. Add more salt if you think necessary. You'll want this blended to a relatively smooth consistency but don't feel you need to make this as smooth as hummus (a little texture is nice).

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a roaring boil (that's when you'll throw in your pasta but a roaring boil takes time so make your pastas while waiting).

Lie your ravioli sheets flat (see below) and scoop spoonfuls about ¾ to an inch apart. Top with a second ravioli sheets and slice down the sections...sealing each ravioli with the end of a fork. If they are not sealing tight enough, simply use some water to close the sides. Gluten-free pasta likes to break so be patient and gentle. Little breaks will not ruin the pasta. Once you throw it into the boiling water most will remain intact. Add your pasta to the boiling water and wait – it should take about 6- minutes for the pastas to rise to the top. At 8 minutes, check to make sure there are none stuck to the bottom...this happens. Scoop out or carefully drain. Add some oil to keep them from sticking and ENJOY!