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Kale with Liquid Aminos

This dressing has a weird ingredient called Bragg’s liquid aminos.  Even after reading about it I’m still not entirely sure what it is.  From what I can tell it’s a gluten-free soy sauce replacement with no added salt.  If you’re not worried about gluten I’d think using soy sauce would be just fine.  We’re obviously not concerned about gluten since we’re enjoying our salad with a nice slice of gluten-filled-bread.  I believe this salad recipe came from a pre-made one we bought at a grocery store and we tried to re-create it from the list of ingredients.


makes 5 servings

  • 2 bunches of kale, de-stemmed
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds


  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • 1/3 c braggs liquid aminos (or substitute soy sauce)

Thinly slice 1/2 red onion and marinate in dressing for a few hours or overnight.  Pour onions and dressing over kale and toss with toasted sesame seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, and toasted sunflower seeds.

Mexican Inspired

Back to posting….We’re getting good at making up our own salads.  I can just whip one up now on the fly for dinner with things I have in the fridge/cupboard.  It’s funny, we joke about how we all have half open bags of every kind of nut and grain known to man in our cupboards.  This one makes use of canned corn and beans, also something we keep on hand in the cupboard.


makes 5 servings

  • 1 can organic whole kernel corn, strained
  • 1 can organic black beans, strained
  • 12 salad tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup diced cilantro
  • 2 chopped bell peppers
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 minced jalepeño
  • spring greens mix
  • small tortillas


  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/8 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP pepper
  • 1/4 TSP cayenne

Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Toss dressing with salad ingredients and serve along side spring greens and tortillas.  Wrap ingredients up in tortillas to make little salad tacos.

Jicama Herb Salad in Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a remake from the first salad I posted.  The picture looked so great I had to post it again.  Who knew salads could look so artistic.  See the old post for the recipe.

Arugula Tomato Feta Quinoa

I am extremely behind in my posts…again.  I can’t even remember when we had this salad, probably a month ago.  I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum for these next few, or this might be it for tonight.


makes 5 servings

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1 package arugula


  • 1/4 cup  lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar

Cook quinoa according to package.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Toss salad ingredients with dressing and serve.

Pasta Salad with Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Corn, and Basil

Not the healthiest salad, but it tastes sooooo good.  If it’s not summer, the key is frozen corn, thawed overnight.

Adapted from Catherine Walthers’s “Raising the Salad Bar” book.


makes 5 servings

  • 1 pound elbows or other small pasta
  • about 1½ cups frozen corn, thawed overnight
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1½  cups fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • about 8 ounces of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves


  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced or pressed garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook according to package directions until pasta is al dente.  Drain the pasta and add oil to keep it from sticking together.  Shake the strainer to distribute the oil and stop cooking.  Let cool.  In a large serving bowl, toss the pasta with the corn, fresh mozzarella, and lemon zest.

To make the dressing, mix or blend the dressing ingredients.  Just before serving, dress the salad, add the tomatoes to the salad, then slice the basil leaves into thin strips and gently stir them in.

Arugula Butternut Squash

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this site before, but if not, I should have.  I can only dream of getting the look of Shutterbean.  But, man, I do not have time to take all those step by step pictures and lay out the ingredients all pretty.  I wish.  I believe she even thinks about putting something pretty underneath the plates/pans/bowls.  She’s thought of everything.  Hmmm, I’m back to thinking my paper plates are pathetic….

Adapted from Shutterbean.

  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the orange juice, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Arugula Fig Jam

I added the wild rice to this salad just to bulk it up.  I also made this salad as a side dish this weekend without the rice and it was great too.  Without the rice step, it is super easy and fast.  Cooking wild rice is frustrating because it takes so long, but I’ve learned to just put it on a burner with a timer and then walk away and do something else.

The fig jam is the best part of the salad.  I don’t think it’s that hard to find, although I brought mine back from France.

Adapted from Shutterbean.


makes 5 servings

  • 5 oz. (about 6 cups) arugula
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmegiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fig jam
  • salt & pepper

Cook wild rice according to package.  In a small jar mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fig jam. Season dressing with salt & pepper. Lid jar and shake until dressing is well incorporated.  In a large bowl, toss the arugula, onions, rice and cashews with the dressing.  Add the shaved Parmesan, lightly toss and serve in two large bowls.

Kale and Brussel Sprouts with Soba

When I’m going to sliver brussel sprouts, I always buy the big ones.  I think just using a knife to do this is easier than a mandoline.  Brussel sprouts are too small to be using a mandoline, yikes scary for fingers.  I also like sauteing these first.  I’ve never eaten raw brussel sprouts.  I’m ok with raw kale, so maybe I’ll give them a try someday.

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen.


makes 4 servings

  • 1 bunch dinasaur kale, sliced
  • 10 large brussel sprouts, slivered
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • ~6 oz. soba noodles (2 of 3 sleeves of noodles in a pack)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced


  • 3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 plump clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • juice from 2 lemon wedges
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes

Slice brussel sprouts into thin slices.  Toss with olive oil and saute in a pan until slightly softened and browned.  Volume will reduce by ~half.

Whisk together dressing ingredients.

Slice kale into thin slices, removing thick middle stem.  Cook soba according to package.  Toss brussel sprouts, kale, green onions and soba noodles together.  Top with sesame seeds and serve.

Sauteed Tofu with Greens

Updated with picture!

I couldn’t find kale at the grocery store today.  So I just had to settle for greens.  The recipe also calls for tempeh, but tofu is about as hippie as I’ll go.  Although I did just try kombucha for the first time last week.

I also only had 1/2 a lemon on hand, so I supplemented the lemon juice with rice vinegar.  It seemed to taste just fine.

Very loosely based on Love and Lemons.  I made a lot of changes.


makes 5 servings

  • 1 bag of Trader Joes Power to the Greens
  • 1 bag of Trader Joes Herb Greens
  • 5-6 chopped scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 15 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • shaved parmesan cheese


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (or rice vinegar)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • a few pinches of red pepper flakes
  • water to thin, as needed

Mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.  Pour this mixture over the tofu cubes and let marinate for ~10 minutes.  Cut up red pepper and green onions while marinating.  Heat up a non-stick fry pan and saute the tofu cubes (drain off excess marinade). Cubes will become browned.

Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Thin with water to desired consistency.  Toss greens, pepper, green onion, tofu, cranberries, nuts and cheese with dressing.

Asparagus Power Greens

Trader Joes is always coming out with new bags of mixed greens.  This salad uses the Power to the Greens bag (organic baby kale, chard and spinach).

Inspired by Eating Well.


makes 5 serving

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 small clove garlic
  • 2 bags “Trader Joes Power to the Greens” Greens (or any mixed greens)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To prepare dressing:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Rub excess papery skin off garlic head without separating cloves. Slice the tip off, exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the garlic head on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and wrap into a package. Put in a baking dish and bake until the garlic is very soft, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Unwrap and let cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 450°F.

Squeeze the garlic pulp into a blender or food processor (discard the skins). Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce; blend or process until smooth. Season with pepper.

To prepare salad: Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

To toast sesame seeds, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Toss greens and asparagus with dressing.  Sprinkle salad with toasted sesame seeds and serve.