Category Archives: Salads

ya don’t win friends with salad

So christmas is around the corner! It’s three weeks? Less? I don’t know.

My mom texted me to tell me that I’m bringing salad to Christmas day dinner. Salad.

SALAD.

Thanks Ma. Way to give me the most boring of all the Christmas foods. She claims it’s because I’m the best at making salads and they are my life blood. Therefore easy.

I see you mama hicks. I know what you’re up to.

Just kidding. She’s the bomb. And I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but – Dayummm Gina, I do know how to make a good salad.

You know how they say ‘ya don’t win friends with salad’

Yeah well, challenge accepted.

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Let’s combine the traditional brussel sprout with the festive pomegranate. And let’s lure our family into trying it by adding something that kind of maybe tastes reminiscent of bacon. DONE.

I have a million friends now.

Oh. nope. wait. I just have one.

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HERE WE GO!

Quinoa & Brussel Sprout Salad feat. coconut bacon and pomegranate
(cause why not just put all the ingredients in the title.)
Serves 4.

2 c. brussel spouts (shredded using a mandolin)

1/2 c. uncooked quinoa

1 c. vegetable broth

3 stalks of spring onions, chopped

1 pomegranate

1 c. coconut bacon

Dressing:

1/4 c. Olive Oil

2 – 3 tbsp. White Balsamic vinegar

1 small clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

First, you need to make your coconut bacon. I’m just going to link a recipe here. You only need a cup or so. Pro tip – sprinkle some spoked paprika on there before you bake. This stuff is AMAZING. I won’t lie to you and tell you it tastes like bacon, because it does not. But I will tell you that it’s smokey and delicious and you should make it immediately and put it on everything. Thanks bye.

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Next, you need to make your quinoa by combining the vegetable broth and dry quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until all the liquid is absorbed. Sometimes I have to add a bit more water or broth for all the quinoa to cook through. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow it to cool

Shred your brussle sprouts on a mandolin and for the love of god be careful. Please don’t cut off your fingers. This tool frightens me to my very core. Seriously, hold off on the holiday wine and mulled cider until after this step.

Combine your chopped onion with the sprouts and quinoa. Add in your pomegranate seeds.

Make your dressing by combining your oil, vinegar, garlic, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Whisk it up, then pour over the salad and combine!

I usually add the coconut bacon on top at the end so it stays crispy. Another recommended topping is cashew parmesan cheese. Maybe I should cover condiments and toppings in another post. Noted.

Christmas Dinner – I’m coming for ya.

20161204BrusselSproutSalad-70©chicksphoto.jpg

xxx

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Pom-tastic Kale Salad

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a BBQ. It was a pot-luck affair and I wasn’t sure what to bring. My go-to lunch is salad. It’s pretty boring. Just lettuce, carrots, avocado, tomatoes, maybe some tofu… I mean, I love it! I love my boring salads. But for a BBQ I was thinking something more exciting might be necessary.

Last time I was in Toronto, my dad made the BEST salad ever. I think it was a recipe from Chatelaine magazine. It was simple, but so delicious.

DSC_8016 copy I didn’t have all the right ingredients in my kitchen, but I improvised and even created a new dressing that I thought would be an excellent addition. It was.

This is one flavourful salad. The cranberries really make it and the pomegranate dressing adds an additional hint of sweetness that ties it all together.

DSC_8022Cranberry & Kale Salad
recipe adapted from here

1 c. dried barley
1/2 c. dried cranberries
5 c. chopped kale, about 1/2 small bunch
1/2 c. diced red onion

Dressing
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the barley as directed on the package. Usually, I add the 1 cup to 4 cups of water and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Drain and rinse in cool water. Chop the onion, and kale and toss it together with the cranberries and barley.

In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, molasses and apple cider vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss until evenly coated. The longer you allow the salad to marinate in the dressing, the better it tastes!

🙂

DSC_7760I didn’t have any pomegranate molasses and I didn’t know how easy it would be to find it, so I actually made my own. It was basically just pomegranate juice, sugar and a bit of lemon simmering for about 40 minutes until it develops into a syrup.

DSC_7765Easy peasy.

xxx

 

 

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hot hot heat

Last Friday I experienced some of the hottest temperatures that I have ever felt on my fair Canadian skin. Sydney peaked at a sunny 45 degrees celcius.

forty. five.

Granted, that is only five degrees hotter than the bikram yoga room… however, Bikram yoga is practiced at that heat to make you SWEAT, and sweat A LOT, but I usually don’t go about my daily routine in the hot room. And furthermore, I wear signicantly more clothing when I am outside a Bikram class. So… five degrees is like, ridiculous.

I don’t even know how to explain it. Really hot is pretty much it.

Anyway, Sean and I decided that an after work swim was in order… so at around 7pm we drove to the Eastern Beaches. When we got in the car the temperature had already dropped to 35 and by the time we reached the beach ten minutes later it was 24. YOU GUYS! What… the WHAT?

We took a dip anyway as the sun was setting and I was actually shivering. It’s a strange country I live in these days.

Let’s talk about summer food! Summer salads… BBQs… light… fresh!

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I got this recipe from my boyfriend’s mom. I swapped a couple of ingredients and kablammy! A delicious summer salad/salsa thing that is delish.

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Corn & Avocado Salad

4 stalks of spring onion

1 cob of corn (bbqed & chopped of the cob)

2 tomatoes (seeded and chopped)

1 avocado (chopped)

1/4 c. parsley (chopped)

1/2 red capsicum

juice of one lime

salt & pepper to taste

This salad is pretty straight forward.

First cook the corn. I BBQd mine cause I prefer that taste, but you can boil it also. Set it aside to cool.

Quarter the tomatoes. De-seed them and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt. I find that this helps them to dry out a tiny bit so the salad doesn’t get watery. Chop the spring onions, red capsicum, and avocado. Chop the tomatoes quite small and cut the corn off the cob. Finely chop the parsley and toss everything in a bowl with the juice of one lime. Season to taste.

SO yummy.

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x

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