Chickpea, Broccoli and Carrot Salad with Lemon-Mayo-Mustard-Olive Oil Dressing

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Chickpea, broccoli, carrot salad with mustard-mayo-olive oil-lemon dressing. Delicious!

Sometimes I think I can be a raw foodist, but then I remember how much I love sweet potato fries and my Mom’s homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies and I scrap that idea. I can be an occasional raw foodist, one who eats a lot of various kinds of salads, right? Right. In fact, this was my lunch today.

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 C chopped carrots
  • 1/2 C broccoli florets (cut really tiny)
  • 1/4 C chopped onions

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Put chopped veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl, drizzle the dressing and mix until the beans and veggies are well-coated. I measured out the dressing and it’s about 1/3 of a cup. I did add a little more mustard because the flavor is just so nice.

Smoky Lentil Mushroom Soup

lentil mushroom soup

Nice and warm on a snowy February day.

I was in 70 degree and sunny temps in FL the other day…only to come back to 27 degrees and snow in NYC. So, why not make some soup? Not that soup fills the void of fresh Florida produce like tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes….Oh well. I think this soup would benefit from some homemade croutons sprinkled on top and a glass of red wine. Enjoy!

  • 2-3TB olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 package of white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2C. red wine
  • 1 carton of vegetable broth
  • 1 14oz.can of diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
  • 2 cans of lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 container of spinach, rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

(Use a Dutch Oven or soup pot) Heat pot first, over medium heat, when pot is hot, add olive oil and then add shallots and garlic, sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and yellow pepper and cook for another few minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add half cup of red wine and stir. Let the wine cook down, then add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes and then the lentils and spices, stir. Then cover and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Add the spinach just before you’re about to eat and let that get wilted. Serve with crusty bread or, make some whole wheat bread croutons* and sprinkle on top of soup. Serves 4 with some leftovers.

*To make croutons: Cut two slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread into 1 inch pieces. Heat 2TB of butter in a pan, add bread and make sure the bread is coated with the melted butter. If bread isn’t coated, then add a little olive oil. Add some salt, pepper to taste.

Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

Kale, black bean, onion, sweet potato salad with spicy avocado dressing!

Kale, black bean, onion, sweet potato salad with spicy avocado dressing!

I was going to make guacamole, but decided to make a creamy and spicy avocado dressing for a kale salad. (I’m trying to be good and eat lighter dinners. We’ll see how long that will last. wink). I also added a can of black beans and half of a diced sweet potato. I think this salad would also be good with some corn and roasted pumpkin seeds, but I didn’t have either on hand.

For the salad:

  • 1 head of lactino kale
  • 1/2 of a roasted sweet potato
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4C. minced white onion
  • 1/2 of a red/orange/yellow bell pepper, chopped

For the Dressing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of one lemon
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2tsp chili powder
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4C olive oil (eyeball it, you may want to use more to have a thinner dressing, or use water to have a thinner dressing
  • 2TB water

Make the dressing: I used my mini food processor (which is an awesome addition to my kitchen). Add avocado, oil, lemon juice and spices and blend until creamy. You may have to add a little bit more oil (or water) to thin out the dressing. Adjust spices to your taste.

Thoroughly rinse and pat dry kale leaves. Fold leaves in half, then cut into strips a few times so the kale is in bite-sized pieces. Add chopped kale to large bowl, drizzle with dressing and massage into the kale until it’s well coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Add some crumbled Bulgarian feta too…that might be good. I wish I had thought of that when I made the salad!

Simple Vegetable Bean Soup

Mmmm, soup is good food (I usually sing the Dead Kennedys song in my head)

Mmmm, soup is good food (I usually sing the Dead Kennedys song in my head)

Did I jinx the nice, unseasonably warm weather that we had the week of Christmas?? Dammit, I miss the 60 degree days and not wearing a winter coat. In fact, I just wore my winter coat for the first time last Monday when it was in the low 40’s here. Sigh. Well, when the temps drop, I like to have a nice bowl of soup and some crusty bread for my dinner. I also seem to make a TON of soup so, I end up freezing most of it. I definitely need a larger freezer. This is a basic vegetable soup recipe…and of course, you can add any type of beans or vegetables you like and adjust the seasonings. I only had white beans on hand, but this is also good with chickpeas. I have also added tiny diced potatoes, chopped broccoli or cauliflower to the soup and it’s delicious.

  • 2TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 a bunch of lactino kale, chopped
  • 1 28oz can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cartons of unsalted vegetable stock (I always use Kitchen Basic’s unsalted veg stock)
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 cup cooked macaroni or small shell pasta
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning spice
  • Salt & pepper

In a stock pot or Dutch Oven (I used my Le Cruset dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat, then sauté the garlic, onions, carrots and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and diced tomatoes, let simmer and then add the kale and beans. Add the seasonings to taste. For a kick, I added some crushed red pepper. Simmer over low heat until the kale is cooked. Add the pasta last (so it’s not overcooked). Serve immediately. Grate some pecorino romano on top too while you’re at it.

I miss the DKs:
Soup is good food!

Tangy Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

I didn’t feel like roasting brussels sprouts and I had some purple cabbage lying around…so, why not some slaw in December? This recipe comes together very quickly. You can even make the dressing well beforehand and add it later. Note: I used half a 16oz bag of pre-washed sprouts and half a 6 oz container of shredded, washed cabbage because it’s just me and I wanted to used both items later on in the week for another couple recipes.

Slaw

  • 8oz of Brussels Sprouts, thinly sliced/chopped
  • 3-4 oz chopped purple cabbage

Dressing

  • 1 1/2 TB Olive Oil
  • 3 TB mayonaise (plus more to taste)
  • 1 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp spicy paprika
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add sliced Brussels and cabbage to a large bowl (you may want to use your kitchen shears to further cut up the veggies) and set aside. For the dressing-use a small bowl and add all ingredients. Use a small whisk or a fork until well blended. Taste as you go and adjust the flavors. Add the dressing to the slaw and stir until well coated. You may find that you have to add a tiny bit more mayo to thicken the dressing, which is what I did. Trust your judgment. Adjust seasonings as needed.