Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Treats

I always feel a little more motivated to cook when it doesn't get dark at 5pm and a little more motivated to look good when I'm walking around in a bathing suit. I recently invested in a Blendtec blender and I haven't looked back. Although expensive, this wonder is as good as the Vitamix yet doen't take up as much precious counter space. If you are in the market for a Vitamix or a Blendtec, my recommendation is to get the 20% of coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond and buy it there (you can get it online by signing up for emails and then obviously unsubscribing or from multiple magazines). My two favorite things to make with my new high-powered blender are salad dressings and smoothies/juices. 

I've also been loving Kale this summer and am admittedly obsessed with Gwyneth's new cookbook. It is perfection. A week ago, I had the same lunch for a week straight: kale with Gwyneth's Green Goddess Dressing, rotisserie chicken, Gywn's quinoa with mushrooms, almonds and carrots. I never got sick of it. This week, I decided to substitute the GG dressing for a yummy and healthier dressing, the apple cider vinegar one featured in her cookbook. Both dressings can keep in the week for a week or more and they are so yummy. Below are a few recipes I'm excited to try!

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Yields 3-4 servings
INGREDIENTS:
4 cups chopped kale
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
 
For the Meyer lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave
 
DIRECTIONS:
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Meyer lemon zest and juice, and agave in a small bowl; set aside.
To assemble the salad, place kale in a large bowl; top with avocado, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, pecans and goat cheese. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately. (recipe from Damndelcious.net)


Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad
Yields 12-16 oz.

INGREDIENTS:
Ingredients 12 to 16 oz. fresh Brussels Sprouts, very thinly sliced (about 4 to 5 cups) 2 large kale leaves, ribs removed, and finely chopped (about 2 to 3 c.) 1/2 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped 1/4 c. sunflower seeds 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 1 T. extra virgin olive oil 1 T. pure maple syrup 1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice 1/2 T. whole-grain mustard Pinch salt
Read more at http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2013/07/shredded-brussels-sprouts-salad.html#imovtLJm023u3iud.99
Fresh Brussels Sprouts, very thinly sliced (about 4 to 5 cups)
2 large kale leaves, ribs removed, and finely chopped (about 2 to 3 c.)
1/2 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 T. whole-grain mustard
Pinch salt



DIRECTIONS:

1.      In a large salad bowl, combine the sliced Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and crumbled bacon. Toss together.  
2.      In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Whisk with a fork until well mixed. 
3. Pour the dressing over the Brussels sprouts mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.  
(Recipe from http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/)


Quinoa Salad with Roasted Tomatoes, Avocado, and Pesto 
 
INGREDIENTS:
For the quinoa and vegetables

2 cups cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt

2 cups dry quinoa

1 avocado, cut into chunks

1/3 to 1/2 cup diced mozzarella (about 3-4 ounces)

3/4 cup chickpeas, more if desired

For the pesto vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1 cup basil leaves

pinch cayenne

1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4-6 tablespoons olive or canola oil or a mixture of the two
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. 
  2. Make sure the tomatoes are completely dry, then drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat them all. 
  3. Bake the tomatoes for about 35 minutes, flipping once, until they are brown and poufy. They will deflate when you take them out of the oven. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Make the quinoa: Combine the quinoa with 4 cups of water in a small, lidded saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, give it a stir, put on the lid, and turn the heat down as low as possible. Cook for 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat but leave the lid on for 5 more minutes. Then, spread the quinoa out onto a baking sheet to let it come to room temperature and dry out a bit so it
(Recipe from Laurenconrad.com)

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