It’s official, spring has sprung and the markets are exploding with asparagus. You can’t walk two feet without getting assaulted by these vibrant green spears.
I’ve fallen in love with this cold preparation for asparagus salad. It’s perfect for a big brunch or dinner party because you can easily prep it in advance and let it sit at room temp. Plus the presentation of the dish with the mimosa of hardboiled eggs is dramatic.
Have you heard of eggs mimosa before? No, this is not some bizarre brunch cocktail with an egg in it. This kind of mimosa is simply finely chopped hardboiled eggs, often used as a garnish. The preparation gets its name from the yellow blossoms of the mimosa flower. Spring blooms for a spring meal!
Whether you are in detox mode or just gearing up to tackle the new year with some good, healthy veggie-fueled energy, here are some delicious and nutritious ideas for your meal plan this week.
- Beets with Endive, Citrus and Radish Salad. I discovered Christopher’s gorgeous food photography on 500 px and was delighted to find out that not only could he shoot a mouthwatering photo, he could cook too! This artful beet salad is just the thing to brighten these winter days. (It’s so darn pretty, keeping this in mind for Valentine’s Day!)
- Kale, Cabbage and Carrot Salad. This is a great salad for busy people. People like you. Make a big batch and keep it in the fridge. It gets better with time as the hearty greens soak in the flavorful creamy caper dressing.
- Roasted Eggplant Salad with Almonds, Feta, and Mint. This salad packs a flavorful punch with eggplant that is roasted in olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Add bunches of salad greens and some grilled chicken and this is one healthy, filling, and satisfying meal.
- Beet and Orange Salad. Ok, so there are two beet and citrus salads on this list, but I couldn’t choose. Besides, they’re totally different and fantastic in their own right. I love this version for its simplicity and sunshine. This is a no fuss kind of recipe for any day (written in Michael’s distinct hilarious fashion).
- TREAT YO SELF: Just because we are being good doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves. Heidi’s “Nikki’s Healthy Cookies” have been a favorite of mine for years. The recipe uses mashed bananas and a bit of coconut oil as a binder, and is butter-less, flour-less, egg-less, and potentially sugar-less. They are so much better than you would ever expect.
What are you eating this week to feel good?
Today’s High Five Friday is dedicated to one of my favorite ingredients: squash. Wintertime means an abundance of winter squashes – butternut, acorn, kabocha, and delicata. I love that all you have to do is toss it in some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw it in the oven. Roasted squash can be the base to so many satisfying dishes. Here are five that I can’t wait to make:
- Butternut Squash Polenta Two Ways. Option 1 is rich, sweet butternut squash polenta paired with tangy, saucy pulled pork. Option 2 sees that polenta in cake form, this time topped with a roasted veggie spread. Decisions, decisions!
- Chili-Lime Roasted Butternut Salad. A little sweet, a little spicy, a little tart…love the hit of chili and lime in this, and toasted pepitas and cotija make this salad cravable.
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Hazelnuts and Balsamic Reduction. Simple and satisfying. The balsamic reduction and toasted hazelnuts make this easy dish feel fancy. This would be great with sweet kabocha squash or delicata squash too.
- Wild Rice and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. Hearty, wild rice, cannellini beans, roasted squash, herbs, and a simple EVOO and balsamic dressing make this a beautiful harvest bounty kind of salad. Hello, delicious packed lunch.
- No-Bake Pumpkin CrÃ¨me Brulee. OK, so technically this isn’t a squash recipe, it’s a pumpkin recipe…same same Regardless, this is one to remember. Easy, make ahead, and no-bake…although it does require a blow torch if you’re not using the oven to broil the sugar topping. It’s a fun take on a classic and a great idea for holiday entertaining!
Well, since we’re recovering from Thanksgiving feastivities this week, I thought it would be an apropos time to get some ruffage into the diet…you know, before we start drowning in eggnog and stop breathing under an avalanche of holiday cookies. You feel me?
Super Salads, work your magic!
- Kale Caesar Salad. No super salad list would be complete without superfood #1: Kale. This is one of my favorites, featuring fresh ribbons of raw Tuscan kale coated in a salty, garlicky, lemony dressing. Yum yum.
- Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnut and Pomegranate Seed Salad. This beauty is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Jerusalem. Like all of Ottolenghi’s food, it is vibrant and interesting with pops of color, flavor, and texture.
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts. Rustic, hearty, and simple. I’m looking forward to trying this Brussels sprouts salad. Walnuts seem like wonderful pairing here.
- Salade NiÃ§oise. For some reason I always forget about this one, and then I kick myself for not remembering it sooner. I love the flavor combos of tuna NiÃ§oise and it’s so full of goodies – potatoes, beets, green beans, olives, radishes, eggs – that it easily makes a filling and satisfying meal. For a luxe spin, I’ll try subbing in rare seared tuna in place of canned.
- TREAT YO SELF: Sweet Potato with Maple-Oat Crumble. Who says you can’t be good and treat yo self at the same time? Warm, roasted sweet potato topped with an easy crumble of oats, almonds, maple syrup, and cinnamon. This sounds like the perfect guilt-free treat.
Kale is insanely good for you. It’s packed with Vitamins A & C, and is also rich in beta carotene, potassium, calcium, and phytonutrients that are believed to help fight cancer and repair cells. Kale is like the Hulk of cruciferous vegetables, bulging with nutrients and antioxidant properties.
But with all healthy foods, comes the question of taste. It may be a superfood uber-veggie, but if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not gonna eat it. (I’m a grown up so I’m allowed to say that). Kale newbies may be dubious, but with the right preparation and wise selection of the type of kale to best fit the dish, this healthy, versatile veggie will become a staple in your diet before you know it.