Strawberry and Frisee Salad

Strawberry Salad

I love spring and all the things I associate it with: new growth, freshness, sunshine, warmer weather, and even renewed hope. I typically feel happy and hopeful all the time, but sometimes during the colder months, I can get to feeling a little less motivated than normal. And when I feel that way, I end up eating more comfort food (or fatty, rich food), which ends up making me feel even worse.

So when spring hits, I start to think more about cleanliness, both inside and out. I’ve already started a little spring cleaning at home, and now I need to get a little more serious about eating a little cleaner. And there’s no better time to do that with the availability of a lot more colorful fruits and veggies. I love that California strawberries are in peak season now - they look fabulous!

One of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries is in a salad. I like to toss them with greens like arugula, endive, sunflower sprouts and frisee. Adding strawberries to these veggies is like adding earrings to a great outfit – they just make everything pop!

The secret yumminess to this salad is the dressing which is a little savory, a little sweet and citrusy.

I wish you a happy spring – a lots of colorful eating!

Strawberry and Frisee Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 head frisee, roughly torn
  • 6-8 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 mint leaves, finely diced
  • 3-4 fresh Thai basil leaves, chiffonade
  • For the dressing
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced
  • 2 drops fish sauce (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. In small jar or bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. In another bowl, toss together all vegetables. Add the dressing, toss and add to serving plates. Arrange strawberry slices as desired. Garnish with additional mint leaf or two.

Beautiful Boiled Beets

When I’m at farmer’s market stuffing all the fruits and veggies in my basket, I  sometimes have a tendency to just ignore beets simply because they take up too much room in my basket, and the refrigerator. That’s a really bad idea when I think about it, because I love beets and their wonderfully colorful, healthful and delicious selves. And the best part about them is they don’t really require much effort before they can be enjoyed.  

I love to eat them raw, but on a recent cool and foggy day I was uplifted by the simple thought of boiled beets.  So in just a few minutes, there was this bowl of gorgeous beets just sitting there with steam rolling off them. They were so pretty I had to stop and take a photo! And then I tossed them with a tiny bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of kosher salt and dried dill – and ate them up!

Beets are so versatile. They can be roasted (whole with skin on) in the oven at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes — or you can boil them until tender, like I did. They are also a colorful and crunchy addition served raw in any salad. You can eat them how you like, or season them any way you like! And don’t forget about the bett greens – just wash them, sauté in a little garlic and olive oil and you have delicious greens.

Beautiful Boiled Beets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 medium red beets
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • pinch of dried dill
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Peel beets and cut in large pieces. Boil until you can stick a fork through - about 20 minutes.
  2. Toss with olive oil, vinegar, salt and dill.

Baked Onion Rings

Baked Onion Rings

I have had a mad love affair with onion rings since childhood. I was the kid ordering the onion rings when most of my friends were getting the fries. Back in those days I never gave a single thought to how healthy they were (or anything for that matter) - and back in the day, our parents didn’t seem to say too much about that either. And maybe that’s because many of us were eating a lot more home-cooked meals and a lot less fast food.

That brings me to this recipe. I definitely like the idea of baking things we think only taste good fried. And I LOVE when those things actually taste good baked. These baked onion rings definitely fall into that category! Here you go…

Baked Onion Rings
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Ingredients
  • 2-3 large yellow onions
  • 1-2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice onions horizontally (forming cirlcles) to desired thickness.
  2. In bowl, lightly whisk egg with milk and set aside.
  3. In separate bowls for each, add the flour and breadcrumbs. Season both with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Dredge onions in flour first, then egg mixture, then panko crumbs.
  5. Wipe olive oil (with a brush or paper towel) on baking sheet. Arrange breaded onions on same sheet and spray with olive oil cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 385 F (or a little higher) for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Enjoy as is or dip in your favorite condiment!

 

Tabouleh Inspired Quinoa Veggie Delight


If I were a poet, I’d write a poem about quinoa because it’s just so wonderful! Every time I prepare it, I think about how it just has everything going for it: good taste, low carb (but tastes like a carb), versatile and high in protein. The other day I wanted to make tabouleh, but remembered that I’m not big on bulgar, and thought about my bff quinoa and thought I’d try something new. So with a little tabouleh inspiration and some fresh ingredients, this is what happened. I will definitely make this again and again because it’s now on the top of my “feel good” foods list with its crunchy and carby texture and lemony, minty flavor.


Tabouleh Inspired Quinoa Veggie Delight
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (white is best for this dish, cooked according to directions)
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, diced
  • ¼ cup cucumber, diced (preferably small persian cukes)
  • ½ medium red or white onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • optional – ¼ cup fresh tomatoes, diced
Instructions
  1. Add all veggies (accept the mint) to a mixing bowl and give it a couple tosses. Fold in the cooked quinoa after it has cooled. Now add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, mint and olive oil. Try it and add more mint, salt, etc. to your taste.
  2. Serving Suggestion
  3. Wonderful side dish that can serve as a salad, but it's awesome as a meal, especially when you're trying to feel good and stay healthy.