Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

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This salad is a beautiful appetizer for a spring dinner or as a light lunch. The sweet citrusy flavour from the blood orange combines so nicely with the creamy avocado and crunchy sunflower seeds. These beautiful olives have the perfect amount of saltiness to counter the sweet dressing made of the orange juice and raw honey and the peppery arugula. These bright green olives are a lot less salty than the ones from the grocery store and they truly are my absolute favourite. Once you get started on a container of those bad boys, its really hard to stop. You can usually find them at your local market or at speciality stores. This salad was so easy to put together, and looks beautiful on the plate. If your not watching your dairy intake, pecorino cheese would taste amazing with this!

Heres a little nutrition info: blood oranges are “bloody” from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is reported to have many health benefits as it is a powerful antioxidant (helping slow or prevent cancer cells). Blood oranges also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, and even fiber.

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Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

• 2-3 blood oranges (sliced and peeled)
• 1 bunch arugula
• 1 avocado (chopped)
• 6-7 olives
• 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
• Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
• dairy option:pecorino cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tsp honey
• juice of half an orange
• juice of half a lemon
• 1 tsp finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Place all prepared salad ingredients in a large bowl. (If your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes).

2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients besides for olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

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Kale Salad

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We all know by now how great kale is for you. Everywhere I go I see kale in many forms. Whether it is raw, sautéed, fried or oven baked, kale packs a mean nutritional punch. Kale is by far my favourite green for salads. It is crunchy, tasty and holds onto dressing like no other green. Kale is full of fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and iron. It is detox friendly, anti-inflammatory and has cardio vascular support. Oh and… for all you dairy lovers, per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk! The whole milk makes your bones strong ordeal was really just a marketing campaign that helped boost dairy sales. What does this all mean?

Kale helps:
• you feeling full
• digestion
• protect from cancers
• cell growth, functioning of iron
• bone health and blood clotting
• lowers cholesterol
• immune system
• metabolism
• liver health

This is only one of the many kale salad combinations I make. I also add kale to smoothies, make chips and puree it into cauliflower for a beautiful green mash! This salad is filled with beautiful raw veggies, roasted sunflower seeds and hard boiled eggs and avocado for extra protein and healthy fats. I topped this salad with a mustardy vinaigrette and freshly chopped dill. It is so wonderful and fresh and is great for a filling lunch or a light dinner. Bon appetit!

Serves 2-4

Salad Ingredients:

• 1 bunch kale, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped cauliflower
• 1/4 cup chopped radish
• 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
• 1/4 cup chopped brussels sprouts
• 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup chopped celery
• 1 avocado sliced
• 2 tbsp chopped dill
• 3 tbsp sunflower seeds

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 garlic clove, finely minced
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Sea or himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. For eggs: pour cold water just enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Sprinkle in the salt. Heat the pan on medium high heat until water stars to boil.Once the eggs begin to boil, remove from the heat, and allow them to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes, covered tightly by a lid.

2. Rinse kale very well and chop. Remove tough stems.

3. Chop veggies, eggs, avocado and dill.

4. For vinaigrette: whisk lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

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This salad is a delicious and crunchy blend that is truly satisfying. With spring a week away (although it is still very much winter here in Canada), I am getting ready to move away from the comforting chili’s to refreshing salads. Brussels sprouts have really gotten a bad reputation. From experience, the only problem Ive noticed time and time again is the wrong cooking technique. Over cooking (especially steaming) gives a mushy texture along with an off smell. To avoid this mishap all together I suggest eating them raw! Raw brussels sprouts have become increasingly popular as a salad addition. They add crunch, flavour and lots of health benefits. Although I had this meal for dinner, I doubled up on the ingredients to make a salad for lunch the following day. Working full time makes healthy eating a secondary priority but making dinners that can turn into tomorrows lunch is a great way to stay on track (more tips on this later…). Salads for lunch with a protein source is key to keeping energized and avoiding a post lunch crash. This salad is quick to prepare and can be a great base for more added ingredients. I added chick peas and a hard boiled egg for extra protein but grilled chicken, salmon, tuna, or even steak are great options. If using beans from a can please rinse very well!

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Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients:

• 20 brussels sprouts
• 1/2 cup broccoli
• 5 sweet peppers
• romaine leaves
• 1/2 cup chick peas
• 5 cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 cup roasted almonds
• 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
• 1 teaspoon maple syup
• 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs (or protein of choice)
• pinch sea salt
• pinch pepper

Directions:

1. Wash and chop romaine, brussels sprouts, peppers and broccoli

2. Wash chick peas carefully (till no foaminess remains)

3. Add tomatoes, almonds and protein source of choice

3. With a fork or whisk mix lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until mixture becomes thick

4. Toss and enjoy!