One of the most interesting things about cooking and experimenting in the kitchen is that is all starts with specific guidelines and cooking instructions evolving to instinctive creativity. From putting together the ingredients to getting the processes right, it’s all too exciting to indulge. But, how do you feel when you are making a salad – Imagining a bowl full of leafy greens – raw or cooked with some basic vinaigrette or seasoning. Bored already? This stereotypical description of a salad isn’t inspiring and we know it. Now, think of a bouquet of flowers on a bright sunny day – there is no reason why your bowl of salad can’t look like it.
Check these interesting salad recipes out and tell us what you think:
1. APPLE WALNUT SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
This apple walnut salad is the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. Sweet crisp apples tossed with nutty walnuts and salty feta in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette. Gala apples bring the in it the mild and sweet flavour while feta adds the perfect amount of saltiness.
PREP TIME – 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME – 15 minutes
8 cups chopped red leaf lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (I used gala apple)
¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
¾ cup walnut halves, toasted
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. In a large bowl combine lettuce, apples, red onion, and walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and serve immediately.
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients together and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
1. Chop and prep all the ingredients. In a large bowl add the broccoli florets, chopped kale, red onion, shredded carrots, chopped apple, dried cherries, and sunflower kernels.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper, and salt, until smooth.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until thoroughly coated. Then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Can be made up to 3 days ahead.
3. SOUTHWESTERN KALE POWER SALAD
From Kate’s kitchen, here is a salad made out of massaged kale, quinoa, spicy sweet potatoes and black beans served with a dollop of creamy avocado sauce, feta and pepitas for good measure. It’s a hearty, healthy, texture-rich, gluten-free, vegan salad that packs great for lunch, too!
– Quinoa and kale
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into very small, bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt
– Sweet potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), sliced into small, ¼-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons salt
– Avocado sauce
2 avocados, sliced into long strips
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
1 handful cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon ground coriander, optional
Salt, to taste
– Everything else
1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans
⅓ cup crumbled feta, omit for vegan/dairy-free salad
¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
2. To cook the sweet potatoes: In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and toss to coat, then add the cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine. Once the pan is sizzling, add a scant ¼ cup water, then cover the pan and reduce heat to low to avoid burning the contents. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3. Uncover the pan, raise the heat back to medium and cook until the excess moisture has evaporated and the sweet potatoes are caramelizing on the edges, about 3 to 7 minutes (add another little splash of olive oil if the potatoes start sticking to the pan). Set aside to cool.
4. To prepare the kale: Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chopped kale with salt and use your hands to “massage” it, which improves the flavor. Just grab handfuls of kale in your hands and scrunch it up in your palms. Repeat until the kale is darker green in color and more fragrant. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the kale and toss to coat.
5. To make the avocado sauce: Simply combine the ingredients as listed in a food processor or blender. Blend well and season with salt, to taste.
6. To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are turning lightly golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Once the quinoa has cooled down a bit, pour it into the bowl of kale and toss to combine. Divide the kale and quinoa mixture into four large salad bowls. Top with sweet potatoes, black beans, a big dollop of avocado sauce, and a sprinkle of feta and pepitas.
*This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for a few days. To keep the avocado sauce fresh, store it separately in a small bowl, with plastic wrap pressed against the top surface to prevent oxidation.
CHANGE IT UP:
Butternut squash or carrots would be good substitutions for the sweet potatoes.
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