Roasted Mediterranean Salad

Photo 2014-08-27, 4 03 11 AMMediterranean food is one of my favourites. It truly encompasses my food philosophy in that it uses wholesome, simple and good quality ingredients and allows them shine! We all long to look like the people of Greece, Italy and Spain etc… with their beautiful glowing skin and slim physiques. People have even gone as far as following the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. There is no real trick here.  It all goes back to the basics of clean eating. Heart healthy and tasty olive oils, vegetables, protein rich grains and legumes and lots of fish make up the Mediterranean cuisine. All fall under the various clean eating categories and most impotently, they are all delicious.

With colder days ahead, I think it is is really nice to serve a warm salad. What is also nice is that it also works great cold, straight out of the fridge. Throughout the week, I actually used this salad inside of an egg white omelette for a super quick breakfast or light dinner. It was also an amazing topping for my beloved avocado toast! yum…

This salad really involves just a little prep and then the oven does the work for you. A light toss in a lemony dressing with lots of fresh herbs makes it super light and refreshing. Lentils provide a boost of fiber and protein while you get lots of vitamins and antioxidants from all those veggies. I hope this salad eases you into the colder months with a smile on your face (and in your belly)! Bon appetit!
Photo 2014-08-27, 2 41 21 AM
Photo 2014-08-27, 2 57 35 AM Photo 2014-08-27, 3 33 41 AMPhoto 2014-08-27, 3 01 35 AM

Photo 2014-08-27, 3 18 37 AM

Ingredients:

• 1 eggplant (chopped in cubes)
• 2 zucchini (sliced)
• 1 red onion (sliced)
• 2 red peppers (sliced)
• 1 tsp red chilli flakes
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
• 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
• 2 cups green lentils (if from can, rinse and drain well)
• 2 tbsp chopped chives
• 1 sprig fresh oregano chopped
• 1 heaped tbsp grainy dijon mustard
• 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
• juice of half a lemon + zest
• 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
• 7-8 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
• 1 tbsp capers (alternatively, you can use chopped kalamata olives)
• salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare vegetables and place on large roasting pan.

2. Coat in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
Roast for about an hour.

3. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare your dressing and toppings.

4.In a small bowl, whisk mustard, balsamic, lemon juice + zest until combined. Slowly add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped chives and some more oregano if you desire.

5. If your pine nuts are not roasted, you can do so in a dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Watch carefully or they will burn!

6. Remove vegetables from oven and place in a large bowl. Toss together with dressing, lentils, pine nuts, capers and sundried tomatoes. Top with more fresh herbs. Beautiful on its own, but would be great served with your favourite toast, fish or chicken!

Photo 2014-08-27, 4 04 00 AM
Photo 2014-08-27, 4 04 14 AM

Spicy Asian Zucchini Cucumber Noodle Salad

Photo 2014-06-02, 7 46 16 AMLot’s of requests for this one on instagram! I had such a delicious raw pad thai at a fantastic vegan, gluten free raw restaurant here in Montreal and I knew I had to get my hands on a spiralizer. I chose the Gefu spiralizer (off Amazon) and I found it simple to use and gave great ‘zoodles’ aka zucchini noodles. I know there are some more hardcore spiralizers, but as a starter I highly recommend this one! It also takes up very little space in the cupboard which is a HUGE plus.

I really had no planned recipe for this device. I was so anxious to get that spiralizer out of the box that I put very little thought into what I wanted to make with it! So, I just went with flow of things and went for a light spicy asian salad which complimented the fish perfectly. My next time using it will probably involve some sweet potato and carrots. Some tahini or peanut based sauce would be delicious! Served warm or cold, veggie noodles are a perfect accompaniment to meat and fish or alone as a light vegetarian lunch.

For this meal in particular, I ate these zucchini and cucumber noodles with simply grilled salmon cooked in a bit of coconut oil, salt, pepper and lemon. Really my favourite way to eat fish. Simple is best. This is a perfect meal to enjoy this summer or as a side dish for BBQ. It is light and refreshing and as always gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! For those watching their carb intake these are a great alternative to italian pasta dishes. Hope you enjoy!

Photo 2014-06-02, 7 37 15 AM
IMG_4129
Photo 2014-06-02, 7 46 22 AM

Noodle Ingredients:

• 3 zucchini
• 3 mini cucumber
• 1 red pepper thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup buckwheat sprouted groats (optional)
• 1 tsp rice vinegar
• 1 tsp gluten free tamari
• 2-3 drops stevia or 1/2 tsp honey
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/2 tsp sriracha
• few dashes fish sauce

Fish Ingredients:

• Wild caught salmon
• 1 tsp coconut oil
• good pinch salt
• good pinch pepper
• lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

1. Spiralize cucumber and zucchini and place in a bowl. Add finely chopped red pepper.

2. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Taste (add some more oil if its too spicy, or add more sriracha for heat) and toss in noodles. Top with buckwheat or seeds for crunch!

3.For the salmon, coat in melted coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat on the pan or off the fire on BBQ.
Photo 2014-06-02, 7 48 27 AM

Snap Pea and Pistachio Salad

R-4r1r4hSzaaGiitjelmrD5ad7m93s24PKeqm7vgNnU
This salad is a perfect light appetizer or lunch for those hot summery days that are around the corner. Simple to put together and packed with healthy ingredients, this salad is easy on the eyes and tastes delicious. Although I often throw everything that is in my fridge into my salads, it is nice to have a planned meal where the ingredients really compliment one another. The crunchy radish, pistachio and peas go great with the soft spinach and creamy avocado. The fresh basil and garlicky apple cider vinagraitte make the salad fragrant without leaving you feeling heavy. Perfect combination!

Heres some added benefits you’ll get from the ingredients!

Avocado: Amazing source of monounsaturated fat, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin E, lutein, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and fiber. Put away that multivitamin people. Plus it hydrates your skin from the inside out!

Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Kind of like lemons, it may seem odd to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn. There are other claims that apple cider vinegar detoxes the body and can help with diabetes, weight loss and arthritis! It can also work as a great hair mask and face toner. Mix 1 tbsp of ACV in 1 cup water and see for yourself.

Pistachio: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and healthy fats these nutritional powerhouses will keep you feeling full and have shown to lower cholesterol.

Garlic: Research has shown that this tasty herb is responsible for helping with many heart conditions,cancer prevention, diabetes and to fight infections.

Tastes good. Good for you!

lU-sy0vSzvb2G8eMV3i8edfP1hJD8HILRb1RYwDrRvEpHBhSmiXOp2dxeF8kVn6ALA2GkCGkSkpOPbkYvyNJDI
Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 3 cups spinach
• 2 cups snap peas (chopped in chunks)
• 4 tbsp pistachio (roughly chop)
• 4 radish (thinly sliced)
• 1/2 avocado (chopped)

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp honey
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
• 1 tbsp shallot (finely chopped)
• 1-2 tbsp fresh basil (finely chopped)
• pinch salt
• 1 tsp pepper

Directions:

1. Prep all ingredients and place in a bowl.

2. Whisk vinegars, honey, salt, pepper, garlic, shallot in a bowl until combined. Slowly add olive oil. Then add basil. Toss salad with dressing and serve.

jd99oSZC8GSELOA2nepb50KnOVwHLpnVnVGan0StS7sA1dzRCFbX33wbfYay1Vdvwnrn5Q49iFs6_tibIoyRto