Green Carrot Club

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Quinoa Grape

We’ve realized quinoa is a bugger to photograph.  I guess the small phone screen and the small grain, make it hard to see if its in focus.  Sorry again.  We’ll get this right someday.

The original recipe calls for roasted acorn squash, which I coincidentally did have in my kitchen, but didn’t have the time, nor did I think this salad needed it, so I left it out.  I think this salad has great texture with the grapes, celery, pecans, and quinoa.  Use a mandoline to thinly slice the celery, it’s a time saver.  I bought a cheap mandoline a while back when I made ratatouille for the first time, and didn’t think I’d use it much, but turns out I use it all them time, and the cheapness is showing through.  It is broken on one side now, so it’s probably time for a new one soon.

The dressing will be light green in color (from the green onions) and a thicker consistency.

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen, without the main ingredient.


makes 4 servings

  • 1 package of arugula
  • 2 cups of red grapes, halved
  • 1.5 cups of quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan


  • 4 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Cook quinoa (boil 3 cups of water, add quinoa, cook for 15 minutes on low, covered).  In a mini food processor, blend all dressing ingredients together until smooth.  Adjust honey, lemon juice and salt to taste.  Toss together all ingredients with dressing.

Cauliflower Bean and Feta

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen.


makes 4 servings

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained
  • 1 bag of chopped green lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until edges are dark and caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.

While cauliflower is roasting, combine remaining 1/3 cup olive oil and rosemary in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Cool.

Whisk lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Combine roasted, still warm cauliflower (can also be served cold), beans, carrots, celery, walnuts and rosemary oil in medium bowl; toss. Mix in cheese. Add lemon juice mixture and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Veggie with Whole Wheat Pasta

Sorry again for the bad photo…of a half-eaten salad.  Sometimes we’re hungry and forget to take the picture before we dig in.  Nothing too special about this salad.  Whole wheat pasta is growing on me though.


makes 5 servings

  • 1 package whole wheat pasta, spirals
  • 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, thinly sliced
  • 10 oz green beans, chopped into 1″ pieces and blanched


  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed (dried or fresh)
  • salt & pepper

Boil water and cook pasta according to package.  1 minute before pasta is done, add the green beans to the boiling water.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Toss dressing with pasta/beans and other sliced vegetables.

Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan

This salad is also very festive.  If mixed together and allowed to sit for a few hours before serving, the dried cranberries get rehydrated and slightly crunchy.

Adapted from simply recipes.


makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup brown rice:wild rice mix (1:1)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Typically straight brown rice is a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Straight wild rice is a ratio of 1:3 of wild rice to water. For a 1:1 brown rice: wild rice mix use 1 cup of rice mixture to 2 1/2 cups of water. Bring rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, and water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover. Remove from stove and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff up with a fork, and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a medium sized serving bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and green onions together.

In a separate container, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Spinach with Butternut Squash

This is another rendition of Kale Butternut Squash that we made back in July.  Just substitute spinach and mixed greens for the kale.  I’m waiting on some pictures to post our latest salads, but had this one saved up from before Thanksgiving.

Also, happy 2 year anniversary salad club!  We started this 2 years ago, the week after Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe it.  And, I can’t remember if I’ve given a new headcount lately, but we are up to 5 members (well technically we are down to 4 right now, since one person is taking a temporary leave of absence after having knee surgery, not because they can’t eat salads, but because getting to the grocery store is difficult).  Maybe you can win friends with salad, but I’m still not changing our slogan.

Holiday Salad with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette

When we put this salad together in the bowl and dressed it, it looked liked Christmas.  So beautiful.

And then we stirred it and plated it.  Unfortunately, it kind of lost its beauty.  It still tasted amazing, but it’s not the prettiest thing to look at, so keep this in mind if you’re going for presentation.

Adapted from oh she glows.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and I hope you ate more salads last week than I did.  I spent the week in Texas eating meat.


makes 4 servings

  • 2 – 3 heads red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 3 large apples, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 -2 cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • Pepita (peeled pumpkin) seeds


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:  In a medium pot, heat the cranberries, maple syrup, and vinegar over medium heat until the cranberries burst, about 7-10 mins.  Slightly cool cranberry mixture and place in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except salt and pepper). Blend until smooth. Now add salt, 1/4 tsp at a time, to taste. Blend again. Adjust other ingredients to taste if necessary.

Toss salad ingredients with dressing.  Serve.

Napa Cabbage and Almond Ramen Crunchies

Ick, this picture looks like scrambled eggs.  But it’s not, it’s cabbage.  We’ve done different versions of this salad before, but this one might be the tastiest, perhaps because of the “chicken flavoring.”  We mistakenly broke the no meat rule with this salad.  Sorry M.  Leave the seasoning packet out or use “oriental” flavor if you want to keep it vegetarian friendly.


makes 4 servings

  • 1 head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 packages of chicken Top Ramen noodles, crushed
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro


  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil total:
    • 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
    • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
    • remainder vegetable oil
  • 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 seasoning packets from the Top Ramen

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and let stand until the sugar dissolves. Toast the ramen noodles, almonds and sesame seeds in a dry fry pan.  Stir continuously over high heat until lightly browned.  Toss the cabbage, onions, almonds, sesame seeds and noodles together.  Add dressing to taste , toss and serve. May not need to use all of the dressing.


Purple Farmer’s Market Salad

Isn’t it pretty?  Purple grapes, purple onion, purple peppers!  It’s amazing what combinations taste good together.  Loved this salad.  Loved that most ingredients are in season and sourced locally too.


makes 4 servings

  • 2 heads kale, torn
  • 6 purple mini bell peppers, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups red grapes
  • Pistachios


  • Juice from 1.5 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Olive oil,  approximately double the volume of lemon juice
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Slice onion and peppers and tear kale into bite size pieces.  If grapes are large, these can be halved.  Toss ingredients with dressing and serve.

Sweet Potato Quinoa

Sorry about this picture.  I outsource my photography to my fellow salad club members with smart phones, since my phone is dumb.  At the beginning I tried bringing in my point-and-shoot to work, but half the time I forgot it at home and half of the times I didn’t, I forgot it in my office when we went to lunch.  Bringing my DSLR to work isn’t really an option either.  I do get really jealous looking at other food blogs with all their fancy pictures, but this will have to do for now.  In the meantime, I’ll work on getting things in focus.

This salad is reminiscent of a past salad we had, but with a few different ingredients.


makes 4 servings

  • 1.5 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, and chopped
  • 1 bag frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 package of mixed greens


  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Roast sweet potato at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to make clean up easy.  Cook quinoa (add quinoa with 2.25 cups of water and bring to a boil, turn to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes).  The corn just needs to be defrosted before use.  No need to heat up or cook it.  Whisk together dressing ingredients.  Toss with vegetables, beans and greens.



Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut with Shallot Dressing

I usually don’t like fennel, but I’ve grown to like it in salads, even raw.  This salad has roasted fennel in it, which I never had before, and it really tames the flavor, almost to the point that you can’t taste it.  And I never knew you could eat the fennel fronds.

A trick we used to coarsely chop the hazelnuts was to add them in a tightly sealed plastic bag and then roll them over with a rolling pin.

Adapted from Veganomicon.


makes 4 servings

Roasted vegetables:

  • Bulbs from 2 heads fennel, diced
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt


  • Fronds from 2 heads fennel, chopped
  • 1 ½ heads red leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • about 2 cups roasted hazelnuts, broken into pieces with rolling pin
  • about 1 cup dried cranberries


  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the shallots and diced fennel bulbs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some ground black pepper.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges of the fennel are browned and the shallot is starting to carmelize. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing: in a food processor or blender, combine the roasted shallots, olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, tarragon, thyme, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until creamy, pour into a container, cover, and chill until ready to use.

Assemble the salad by placing the lettuce, chopped fennel fronds, roasted fennel, hazelnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl.  Pour in the dressing and toss until combined.  Serve immediately.