Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

I have to say, this is really delicious. It would be great to pack in your lunch. It’s very light and extremely healthy!

Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

1 lb broccoli, finely chopped (5 cups)
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 3 minutes. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, and slivered almonds.

In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and adjust seasoning.

Refrigerate salad in an airtight container up to two days.


Spicy Black Bean Quinoa Burger on Baby Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

I can already hear the the ughs! You know who you are! I know Quinoa and kale are a trend, but I happen to like it and this veggie burger got rave reviews.  If you don’t like it, go visit the It’s All About the Bacon blog! (Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon too!)

There are many health benefits in eating high-fiber plant protein sources. A high-fiber diet lowers your risk for colon cancer.  And trust me on this, you don’t want to get colon cancer!

Spicy Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Serves 5

1 can black beans (16 oz, reduced sodium), rinsed and drained completely
¼ cup uncooked quinoa
½ cup no salt added vegetable or chicken broth
¼ cup chopped bell pepper (variety of colors)
½ cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbs chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
¼ cup egg whites or egg substitute
Nonstick cooking spray
Kale salad (recipe below)

In a small sauce pan, combine uncooked quinoa, cumin, turmeric and broth. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low, then cover pan and cook for 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, until all broth is absorbed and quinoa has sprouted.

Roughly mash black beans with a fork to get a paste-like consistency.

Thoroughly mix cooled quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, hot pepper flakes and egg into black bean mixture.

Make 5 patties.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with spray. Cook patties until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Baby Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Serves 2-4

Roasted Chickpeas
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 oz Baby Kale or Kale/Dark Greens Mix
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Regianno, shaved

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the chickpeas on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until the chickpeas are slightly shrunken and crispy. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the greens and toss until evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt). Arrange on plates and top with Parmigiano-Regianno shavings and crispy roasted chickpeas.

Arugula Salad

Arugula (also known as rocket), is a leafy green vegetable with a peppery taste. It is usually eaten raw in salads but can also be cooked and served with meat, pasta or on pizza. I love the simplicity of this salad.


Arugula Salad

Serves 4

5 oz baby arugula
juice of ½ lemon
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Rinse arugula; pat dry. Add lemon juice and vinegar to bowl. Whisk while drizzling in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Add arugula and toss. Season to taste.

Serve with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Carrot & Radish Salad

A salad from last week’s farmers market haul. This is very light, crisp and refreshing.


Carrot & Radish Salad

Serves 4

4 carrots, thinly sliced
6 radishes, thinly sliced
¼ tsp lime zest (freshly grated)
1 Tbs fresh lime juice
1½ Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste

Whisk together zest, juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss with vegetables.

Potato Salad

Last week I had several back to back catering events. One of them was for 100 people. I was asked to make potato salad. Making potato salad makes me nervous! People are very particular about their potato salad and making it for 100 is tricky. I used 3 kinds of potatoes – red, purple and white. I did this so I did not have to peel them (all 16 pounds!). Fortunately, I had the foresight to boil the purple ones separately. They would have turned the entire dish a grayish / blueish tinge. I scaled the recipe down for you! This is a very simple and basic recipe, but it ended up being a big hit.



Potato Salad

Serves 6

2 lbs small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 to 4 eggs, hard-cooked and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cut the potatoes into small, bite-size chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just tender. Pour off water, set the pan in a sink or larger pan of cold water to cool the potatoes quickly.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with eggs and green onions. In another bowl, combine the sour cream and mayonnaise. Add to the potatoes and stir gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

I have been know to wake up in the morning and eat pickled beets.  Yes, I know I’m weird!  My favorite being Pickled Beets and Eggs.

Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals, and the juice from red beets has been actually shown to reduce high blood pressure. Beets help cleanse your liver, boast your sex drive (nature’s Viagra), combat depression, relaxes the mind, contributes to a sense of well being and the list goes on.

n 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR’s Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beet soup) in zero gravity.

Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

Serves 4

4 medium beets, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
1 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
4 scallions, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
crumbled goat cheese

Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste on a baking sheet.

Roast at 450 degrees F, stirring once or twice, until tender, 35 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; toss with scallions and lemon juice. Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Kale has been deemed the number one superfood, a nutritional powerhouse. The benefits of eating kale are too numerous to list. I was recently in a supermarket and notice a whole wall of kale in the salad section. There is some sort of kale salad on almost every restaurant menu these days.

Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is another superfood, which is a complete protein. It has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and is one of the best sources of protein you can get from a plant source. By pairing these two superfoods, you’ve now got an explosion of nutrition, not to mention flavor!


Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Serves 6

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup tahini
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup parsley

Put the quinoa, stock and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and let it sit covered, for 10 minutes.  Fluff quinoa with a fork.

Mix the tahini, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Then stir in the kale and massage with your hands so that the kale breaks down.  Next, add the onion, sunflower seeds, parsley and quinoa.  Mix to combine.

Long Lake Lentil Salad

This recipe comes from my friend Jacki. She calls it Long Lake Salad.

Du Puy lentils or French green lentils were originally grown in the volcanic soils of Puy in France, but now they’re also grown in North America and Italy. They’re especially good in salads since they remain firm after cooking and have a rich flavor. They cook a bit slower than other lentils.

I used golden raisins and dried apricots instead of currants and added goat cheese and toasted walnuts.


Long Lake Lentil Salad

2¼ cups (1 lb) Du Puy lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers

1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs strong mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins
Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Crispy seasonal veggies

Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!

While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.

When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple of days.

Fig Salad with Crème Fraîche, Mint, and Prosciutto

Our fig tree is exploding. Having a fig tree is a mixed blessing. They are a huge mess and we basically have 1,000 figs that need eating. Here is one way to get the job done. Oh, did I mention we also have overgrown mint and a lemon tree?


Fig Salad with Crème Fraîche, Mint, and Prosciutto

Serves 6

1⁄3 cup crème fraîche or whole sour cream
1 Tbs water
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
24 small dark-skinned fresh figs, halved (such as Black Mission, about 2 lbs)
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint
3 very thin slices prosciutto, cut into 1⁄2-inch strips (about 1⁄2 cup)
Mint sprigs (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.

Arrange figs on a platter. Drizzle with crème fraîche mixture. Sprinkle with chopped mint and prosciutto. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Lentil Salad with Mint and Orange Zest

My friend, Jessica, recently gave me this cookbook called Coming Home to Sicily.


Lentil Salad with Mint and Orange Zest

Serves 6

2 cups green lentils (not Le Puy)
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
leaves from 1 large bunch of mint, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
zest of one orange, finely grated
fine sea salt

Cover the lentils with 4 cups of cold water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain.

In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, mint, orange zest, and salt to taste.  Add the warm lentils.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.