Posts tagged spinach
barley chickpea salad with purple cabbage, spinach + an almond sesame miso dressing

I've got a salad for you today ... because I just got finished with two weeks of marathon eating, and this week all I want to eat are gigantic salads for every meal. I cannot think of or look at pictures of christmas cookies right now, I am still so full from the past few weeks. 

And .... I know in the weeks to come there are going to be so many sweets and bacon wrapped whatevers. I want to psych myself up for all the upcoming indulgence, and to do that I will be eating salads and super healthy stuff on the in-between days. 

Don't worry, you and I can get back to talking about more serious holiday eats and treats next week.


So let's talk about this salad. Sometimes I find myself using quinoa and kale for everything, but I am trying to make a better effort to change things up once in a while. You can certainly make this salad with quinoa and kale instead of barley and spinach, but I decided to give barley and spinach the spotlight here, because other grains and dark leafy greens deserve our love too. 

Since this this salad is more grain-heavy, it feels more like a meal. Something you can eat for dinner, or a hearty lunch. It's filling but it won't put you over the edge, and it's loaded with healthy goodness. It would also make a great side dish, or brunch salad, or you can just snack on all by yourself all week long (that's what I've been doing).

My favorite part about this salad is the dressing. This dressing is killer. Almonds, sesame oil, and miso ... some of my favorites, all blended together. You can easily use this over so many things .... other salad combinations, roasted vegetables, noodle dishes. I just want to dive in and take a bath in this dressing, it's so darn good. 



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grilled pear and eggplant salad with a honey mustard dressing

As I was making {and eating} this salad, I thought to myself ... I am going to start off this post by saying I am not one who likes fruit in my salad. Then I thought ... well ... that's not really true. Ever since I had my first watermelon / tomato / feta salad, I can no longer say that I am a person who "does not like fruit in their salad".

I generally do feel like there is a place for fruit, and there is a place for vegetables. Sometimes it's keeping them separate, and sometimes they go so well together it seems like it was meant to be. 

Eggplant and pear might not seem like a likely combination, but you have to trust me on this one ... these two were totally meant to be. 

The savory eggplant enhances the sweet pear, the sweet pear enhances the savory eggplant. With grilled fruit, there is something about those caramelized, charred grill marks that seems to play so nicely with vegetables.

I first stumbled on a pear and eggplant recipe in last month's issue of Food & Wine magazine. I was intrigued, but I also had a hunch that this combination would be amazing. And it is. My rendition here is a little different, omitting the butter and cheese and adding some greens and a honey mustard dressing. A different, and if I might add - more healthy, way to enhance the pear and eggplant combo.

This salad would make a great starter for a fall dinner party. It's a bit of a conversation piece. Feel free to declare the eggplant and pear is the new watermelon, tomato, and feta. I surely will be. 

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how to make a green smoothie

Recently, I've been getting asked [a lot] what it is that I have for breakfast. My answer is: on most days, a green smoothie. Then, the question that usually follows is: aren't you hungry shortly after? To which I answer: Nope. Not with the amount of veggies and greens I'm consuming. 

Because of this, I decided to post the recipe [well, actually it's more of a guideline] for how I make my green smoothie. I have to warn you though, there is no exact science to this, and some days it tastes amazing and some days it's ... well .... to be frank, not so amazing. It all depends on the freshness and/or the ripeness of certain ingredients. But the one thing remains the same is that I love the way I feel when I drink a green smoothie in the morning. 

Smoothies are different than juices. There are definitely stronger arguments that smoothies are better simply because the vegetables are being consumed whole, the way they were meant to be. I also find that for a meal in the morning, the green smoothie is much more filling and will hold you over better than a green juice. 

So what are the benefits when you drink green smoothies most mornings? Lots. Besides getting a boat load of vitamins and minerals from the gorgeous variety of greens, you are also getting a hefty dose of our best friend, fiber. Fiber helps us detoxify, and helps keep our insides happy. When our insides are happy our outsides look happy ... simple as that. 

With that, I bring you some directions for crafting your smoothie. Play around with different ingredents, see what you like and what you don't like, and always switch things up depending on what you find is fresh, local, seasonal, and organic. 

Happy Smoothie-ing!

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