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Salad Challenge

I dearly believe that children watch you, learn from you, and mimic you.  With that said, I want to be a great influence for them. Some days, my patience wears thin as I feel tired and worn out, but I strive to be an image for them that I hope will create great thinkers, adventurers, cooks, friends, and generally good people.

Meals are an important part of physical performance.  Being sensitive to my body chemistry, I can feel when I’ve had too much salt, sugar, bread, not enough water,  & not enough sleep.  Being that today marks a year since our move, I figured I’d give myself a challenge.  I already eat really well, mostly cook from scratch, extremely limit processed food items, and drink ample water each day.  Since watching FedUp, I’ve cut down heavily on the amount of sugar I was allowing; which quite honestly was not too shabby anyways…but I am trying to abide by the recommended 25 grams/day. So, what does that mean?  I figured my challenge was to have a salad a day for a month, with the aim to go longer once I hit that mark.

Having an organic garden within 30 steps from our place, this is completely feasible.  My mom is great at getting my children to taste things they would otherwise turn their nose up; if it were me suggesting it.  It’s pretty funny that kids will listen to grandparents over parents sometimes. I’m thrilled that my own parents create an environment of curiosity. They now regularly partake dandelions flowers, nasturtiums, violets, fennel fronds, alpine strawberries, arugula, uncooked green beans, sweet peas, etc. They pretty much eat their body weight in the fresh food from these 6 acres. They are always full of chagrin when they’ve spent time with my mom in the garden and are eager beavers to get busy making their own salad. There are so many salads one can make: bean salad, fruit salad, green salad, etc. Hopefully, my children will join me on my salad challenge.  Will you?

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Today’s Salad: swiss chard, arugula, nasturtiums greens/flowers, quinoa, fennel fronds, dried cranberries, avocado, & toasted pine nuts dressed with home-made Honey-Dijon dressing.

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Chilled Beet Salad

We left for Washington State on July 5th; just shy of a year ago.  It has been a bittersweet experience.  We miss our friends so incredibly much, and think of them daily.  Their companionship, conversation, laughter, shoulder to cry on, ideas to bounce back and forth, and their genuineness is something that cannot be replaced.

Our recent journey back to CA was incredible.  This recipe makes me think of one of my besties, Brianne Wells.  It was at her house, prior to her son’s birthday party, that I was asked to prepare this.  I love everything about it.  Thank you Brianne for this recipe.

I will miss gathering this year, as we have done for the last 14 years or so, to celebrate our favorite holiday alongside you and your family.  Cheers!  I’ll be eating this beet salad on Saturday, and be thinking of you guys.

Ingredients:

6 large beets or 5 1/2 cups of medium diced beets

1 cup dill pickles, mince

1/2 cup “mayo”

1/4 cup pickle juice

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. dried dill

1 tsp. sea salt or to taste

dash ground black pepper

Directions:

Steam diced beets until tender. Set aside and allow to cool.  In a mixing bowl, prepare “dressing” by combining pickles, mayo, pickle juice, garlic, dill, sea salt, and black pepper.  Whisk well.  Add the dressing to the steamed beets, and mix well.  Allow to chill for two hours.

 

 

 

Potato Salad

A brief photo of what is left of the potato salad.  It went quick. I guess that’s a good thing.

The weather was a warm 72 degrees, allowing us to bbq on the open fire pit, and enjoy summer style foods, and bask in the warmth in our bathing suits. It’s been a year since we’ve been in our CA wear. Felt great.

Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes, large diced

1/2 cup mayo (Just Mayo: vegan substitute)

1/2 cup diced red onion

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 + 1/8 cup diced pickles

2 Tbsp. pickle juice

2 tsp. dried dill

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. tumeric

2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Directions:

Boil a large pot of water, then allow to simmer with the diced potatoes until al dente. While potatoes are cooking, prep the “dressing”.  Combine the “mayo”, red onion, dijon, garlic, pickles, pickle juice, dill, paprika, turmeric, sea salt and onion powder. Set aside. When potatoes are done cooking, drain and run cold water on them to stop cooking.  Place in a large bowl and throughly coat with the “dressing” mixture.  Best served chilled.  Adjust sea salt to your liking.

 

 

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

I cannot take the credit for this wonderful salad. I would first give my brother credit, as he is the one who shared it with me. However, I don’t think it originated from him either. It is one of those recipes, that I am sure has been passed around time and time again.  I wish I did know where credit was owed.  But, regardless, I know you’ll love this light yet hearty salad.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/4 cup currants

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup currants

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped mint

1/4 cup diagonally cut scallions

1/4 cup parsley

, 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tsp. agave syrup

1/2  tsp. cumin

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Allow to chill for 20 minutes before serving.

 

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Red Cabbage, Cranberry and Apple Coleslaw

My dear friend knows how much I love my vegetables.  Having taken the last two seasons off from our own garden, due to our move, her garden fresh cabbage was the perfect gift. Thank you Brianne Wells for knowing the ways to my heart.  You’re a very true friend in all matters, and I will miss the heck out of you.

This simple recipe is perfect for a summer afternoon.  Light and crisp.

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(yield: 8 servings)

Ingredients:

5 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup agave syrup

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 1/4 cup fuji apples, thinly sliced

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Combine cabbage and cranberries into a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine: vinegar, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Mix throughly.  Cover the cabbage combo and allow to chill for 2 hours. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.