You all know I’m a huge fan of raw salads, but sometimes I crave my greens with a little warmth. For this salad I roasted the kale in the oven which gives it a nice crispy yet tender bite. Now, don’t be fooled by appearances. This salad may really only have a few ingredients, but it is a whole lotta delicious. Sometimes combining just a couple seasonal elements in a simple way, allows each ingredient to shine without a lot of fuss. For a main course, this is on the lighter side. Feel free to add some quinoa or brown rice to make it a heartier meal.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, copper and potassium. This combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients makes kale a health superstar, for real. It is also the richest source of carotenoids in the leafy-green vegetable family, making it a top cancer-fighter. The calcium in kale is more absorbable by the body than milk (and ounce for ounce, contains more calcium than milk)! This makes it an excellent choice for both prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, arthritis and bone loss.
I think you’ll be surprised how easy and tasty this kale preparation is! Why not give it a try this weekend?
Roasted Kale Salad
- large bunch of kale
- olive oil for drizzling
- sea salt and pepper
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or any seed or nut you like)
- 1-2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Rinse kale and pat dry thoroughly. Roughly chop leaves.
- Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on to a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so, until the edges are crispy and browned and the centers are wilted. Remove from oven, let cool to room temp.
- Add scallions, parsley, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast before serving. Enjoy!
This is what happened one day when we felt like making our own vegetarian sushi but were too lazy to go through the whole Japanese rice and rolls procedure. Inspired by nori rolls I’ve had at various raw food restaurants, I set out to create a flavorful veggie sushi bowl. It may not be raw, but I was craving something warm, so instead I boiled some brown rice, chopped our favorite vegetables, cut the seaweed into pieces and turned sushi into a meal. And what a meal it was! It has that sushi feeling with a more nourishing twist. We quickly realized that this dish actually had made it to our top-list of favorite dinner recipes.
Veggie Sushi Bowl
Vegan & Gluten-free
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1.5 cups of water
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 4-5 florets of broccoli, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, cut into slices or cubes
- 1 handful bean sprouts
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- 2 sheets nori seaweed, cut into 2×2-inch squares
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Serve with: wasabi & soy sauce
- Boil the rice according to the instructions on the package or combine rice and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes. When it’s done, stir in vinegar.
- In two separate bowls, toss in prepped veggies, bean sprouts, nori and rice. Top off with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
With the cold and rainy days here in Ireland, this has been the perfect soul-warming kind of meal to cozy up to in front of the Christmas tree. The familiar flavors in this dish are reminiscent of the holiday season. This salad is something to savor with it’s mix of fresh greens, wheat berries, roasted sweet potatoes, pecans, cranberries and a few herbs and spices. Everything comes together for a good cause: feeding your body with warmth!
Wheat berries are the whole grain form of wheat – the whole complete grain before it has undergone any processing. They’re a high-fiber whole grain that can be used much like any other whole grain. When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They are loaded with B vitamins for extra energy and battling holiday stress; as well as fiber, protein, folate, vitamin E, and calcium. Consuming whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Substituting whole grains for their refined counterparts can also help with weight control.
This dish combines some serious fall power-players when it comes to nutrition, and not coincidentally, are excellent choices for preparing the body as we head into a long winter. It can certainly be served as an accompaniment alongside a main course, but it is also hearty enough to suffice as a comforting dinner. It is delicious warm or cold.
Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato
Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish
- 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
- 1 large sweet potato, chopped into cubes
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups mixed greens
- a few fresh or dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. pecans or walnuts
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
- pinch of salt & pepper
- Cook wheat berries according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Chop the sweet potato into bite sized cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, chili powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly browned.
- Stir the dressing ingredients together, set aside.
- Place washed greens in a large bowl. Place the wheat berries and hot sweet potatoes over them. Add the dressing and toss. Add in the cranberries and nuts or seeds of your liking. Gently toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!
How are you staying warm during these colder months?
Autumn has definitely fallen over Ireland and colder weather is blowing in. When I’m out wandering about town, I pull my collar up to keep the chill from slipping down my neck. Even though the sunshine has managed to pop it’s head through the clouds, I can’t seem to get warm.
This salad is a gorgeous starter for a comforting bowl of soup. Sometimes combining just a couple seasonal elements in a simple way, allows each ingredient to shine without a lot of fuss. It’s easy, uncomplicated and just the kind of food I like to eat every day.
Squash blossoms are a seldom seen treat in most super markets due to their incredibly short shelf life – several hours once plucked in worst cases and only several days in best cases if handled very carefully. Typically, you have to come by these bright and fragile delicacies at your local farmer’s market or even better yet, in your own home garden. Once these bright blossoms make their way into your kitchen, it won’t be long before your little finger foodie and family realize what a treat they’re in for – not only will you get quite a kick out of eating flowers, you will also reap a few health benefits. Squash blossoms are high in calcium and iron and especially high in vitamins A and C.
The easiest and arguably the best way to use squash blossoms is raw, eat them with a drizzle of great quality oil and salt or toss them into any salad. The squash blossom is simple, ethereal and easily over powered so try to go easy on the dressings and accouterments.
Squash Blossom Salad
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- assorted greens
- 1 radish, sliced
- 2 cups small squash blossoms, stems removed
- 3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Divide greens, assorted vegetables and squash blossoms on two plates. Drizzle with dressing and top with sunflower seeds. Devour.
(Photo Credit: my sister, Jenny Norris – jjnorris.com)