Quinoa Salad with Celery and Grapes

quinoa_celery_grapes

Spring has sprung…FINALLY! It got up to almost 60 degrees today. And boy, am I in looooove.

Unfortunately, although it was beautiful out, I spent most of my time indoors in a soccer dome completing a National E Coaching License this weekend. 12 hours Saturday and 7 hours today. To say I can hardly walk is an understatement. Getting in and out of a car is ridiculously hard. I imagine that’s what it’s like when you are 9 months pregnant. Not that I know obviously, but someday I’ll know if that is an accurate representation!

Tonight, my friend and I spent the evening chatting over dinner and bloody mary’s. The best part?! We got to sit out on the patio. My first patio of the season! It was beyond amazing.

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It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

With this nicer weather comes my craving for light, fresh dishes. This quinoa salad with celery and grapes is definitely one of them. It sounds like a strange combination, I know. I actually had planned to make this quinoa salad, but we didn’t have all the ingredients. So I Googled what I did have in the house, and came across this recipe from Rachel Cooks: http://www.rachelcooks.com/2013/05/13/quinoa-salad-with-grapes-and-celery/

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Now, I can’t take an inch of credit for this recipe. I pretty much copied it exactly, but with the addition of slivered almonds (about 1/4 cup) that we had in the house. Also, I added feta cheese when I brought it as leftovers to work. Yum! It’s not a complex recipe, but light and refreshing and exactly what I needed last week. Especially with the unexpected snowstorm we had on Friday!

That better be the LAST time I see snow this spring. If I see snow one more time I might just…just…just…well I don’t know. Freak out I suppose. :)

Here’s to another beautiful week.

Happy clean eating ya’ll!

Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

quinoa_carrot_kale_salad

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours was filled with another Ugly Sweater Party with some of my high school friends, drinks and dinners out with some of our other friends, and Sunday with our families. Doesn’t get much better than that. Besides, we also got to see the new Hunger Games! I would say the second was just as good (if not better!) as the first. I read the books long ago, so I just love seeing what they do with the movies. Now only another year or so until the next (oh the anticipation!)….

Yesterday I stayed home after lunch with some of my family, and got right to cooking and baking. I made this delicious quinoa salad, as well as some gluten-free pumpkin cookies (coming soon!).

This salad is super simple, and quite delicious. Roasted carrots, sautéed garlicky kale, chickpeas, quinoa, and a tahini dressing. Did I mention it’s also super healthy? :)

Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

Slightly adapted from http://dishingupthedirt.com/carrots/garlicky-kale-with-roasted-carrots-and-tahini-sauce/. 

Ingredients

3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks

1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)

salt and pepper, to taste

olive oil

For the dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1/8-1/4 cup water (depending on consistency desired)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Cook quinoa according to directions, set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until starting to golden brown (about 10-20 minutes, depending on oven).

3) Heat 2 TBS olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4) Add in kale, cooking until vibrant green and soft (approx. 5-7 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.

5) Toss in chickpeas and heat through.

6) Take off heat and add in quinoa.

7) Combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and red pepper in food processor. Slowly add in water to thin to desired consistency (can also use olive oil). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8) Drizzle dressing over salad.

9) Enjoy!

quinoa_carrot_kale_salad

Carrot, Kale, and Chickpea Quinoa with Tahini Dressing
Serves: 4-6
 
A quinoa salad with roasted carrots, garlicky kale, and chickpeas. Healthy and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchsticks
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ⅛-1/4 cup water (depending on consistency desired)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook quinoa according to directions, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss carrots in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until starting to golden brown (about 10-20 minutes, depending on oven).
  3. Heat 2 TBS olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in kale, cooking until vibrant green and soft (approx. 5-7 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss in chickpeas and heat through.
  6. Take off heat and add in quinoa.
  7. Combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, and red pepper in food processor. Slowly add in water to thin (can also use olive oil). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Drizzle dressing over salad.
  9. Enjoy!

Real Recipe: Watermelon with Mint and Feta Salad

Watermelon Salad

Umm, it’s already July 22nd. July 22nd! Can you believe it? Summer goes by way too fast.

However, now that my spring/summer traveling soccer team is finally done I’ve got the next few weeks to really enjoy summer before the fall soccer season (and my first year as a head coach!) begins. So yes, I’ve been trying to live it up. Last weekend a couple of college friends and I had a girls weekend. So fun! Complete with dress shopping for a wedding, lunch grabbing, riding the PedalPub, and a night full of dancing. Oh and lots of wine drinking. Doesn’t get much better than that!

What is a PedalPub might you ask? It’s a ridiculous “bike with a barrel”. A non-moterized trolley like thing (that you pedal of course) in which you can bring alcohol on and ride around town in. Sound like fun? Oh it is. I believe this was the 4th time I’ve been on one, each time a different theme (this time was Christmas in July – complete with blasting Christmas music and singing our hearts out while riding around downtown Minneapolis). Love it! Here’s my beautiful friends and I (I’m the short blonde one in front, with the awesome black sweater vest on):

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Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, summer. I’ve still got a couple of things on my list of things to do before this beautiful weather fades. Don’t think I’ll make it to all of them, but hey, a girl’s gotta dream… :)

They are as follows:

1) Try paddle-boarding for the first time

2) Check out another farm that makes/serves food (like A to Z Pizza!)

3) Play tennis (used to play ALL the time in college, but not so much anymore)

4) Mini-golf at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (Artist-designed mini-golf = cool!) http://www.walkerart.org/channel/2013/artist-designed-mini-golf

5) GO TO THE BEACH (There are 10,000 lakes here in MN, and I haven’t laid out at one of them yet this summer!)

And now that summer is in full swing some of my favorite foods are as well (corn-on-the-cob and watermelon specifically). It’s a little early for watermelon here still but I just couldn’t help myself. I bought a big ‘ol melon the other day. And it was in perfect timing too. I had to bring a dish for an all staff meeting at the yoga studio I teach at. Well, yoga teachers are (generally speaking of course!) pretty conscious of what they put into their body. I figured there wouldn’t be a lot of meat or cheese, and boy was I right. In fact, besides the feta cheese in this dish and some mozzeralla cubes in another, the whole spread was vegan! And no, I’m not complaining about that :) Lots of fresh veggies, hummus, pesto, and quinoa dishes. Mmm mmm.

Besides, I’ve been seeing a lot of watermelon salads on menus recently, and figured I might as well attempt to make my own.

Seems like an odd combination of ingredients, but everything comes together just perfectly. So light and refreshing! Perfect for a picnic, barbecue, or summertime get together.

Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 large watermelon, rind and seeds removed, cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 sweet onion (such as Vidalia), sliced thinly

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

Combine vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl

Whisk oil in slowly

Add chopped mint to dressing, stir

Mix watermelon, onions, and feta in large bowl

Pour over dressing, toss to combine

Enjoy! :)
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Watermelon Salad
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Fresh watermelon salad made with mint and feta cheese. A perfect summer dish!
Ingredients
  • ½ watermelon, rind and seeds removed, cut into chunks
  • ½ sweet onion (such as Vidalia), sliced thinly
  • ⅛ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl
  2. Whisk oil in slowly
  3. Add chopped mint to dressing, stir
  4. Mix watermelon, onions, and feta in large bowl
  5. Pour over dressing, toss to combine

Real Recipe: Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella

arugulasalad

Happy belated 4th of July! Besides two games Monday and Tuesday, this is the only week I have off from soccer for the summer…so you can bet I’ve been soaking it up as much as possible!

Lounging on the dock at the cabin, splashing around in the pool, cheering on the Twins, playing some golf, sleeping in, and lots of time with family and friends = a great week. And tomorrow I’m going to sneak in some boat time with the bf and a couple friends. Oh, how I do love you summer. Did I mention the weather has been perfect?! :)

Check out our view for the game this week at the beautiful Target Field (unfortunately we lost, to the Yankees, boo!):

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Anyway, on to the important stuff. Last night to celebrate this great country’s independence, we went to a friend’s house for a barbecue and fireworks. On the menu was some delicious smoked pork and chicken. Mmm, so good. Seriously, it was enough to convince me that maybe I need a smoker (not that I have any idea how to use one, nor have the space right now). Maybe some day :) Although that might not help my “eat less meat” approach to life…

And for the BBQ, all attendees were in charge of bringing a side (as the meat was provided for) and our original plan was to bring Caprese Salad (see my recipe here!).

However, what we ended up making was this beautiful arugula salad, with tomatoes and mozzarella. Very similar flavors to caprese, just a bit different texture and taste with the arugula.

Pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Perfect for a summer BBQ. It even tasted good the day after (which is not very common with salads). Enjoy!

Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella

Ingredients:

1) 5 oz Arugula leaves

2) Two pints Cherry Tomatoes, halved

3) 1 ball fresh Mozzarella, cubed

4) 1 package Basil leaves (or 1 large bunch), torn

5) Balsamic Vinegar

6) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

7) Salt, to taste

8) Pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Combine arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in large serving bowl

2) Season with salt and pepper

3) Drizzle with equal parts vinegar and oil

4) Toss to combine

5) Enjoy!

arugulasalad

Arugula Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Delicious, light salad perfect for summer!
Ingredients
  • 5 oz Arugula Salad
  • Two pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ball fresh Mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 package Basil (or 1 large bunch), torn
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine arugula, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in large serving bowl
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Drizzle with equal parts vinegar and oil
  4. Toss to combine

Real Recipe: Green Bean Salad

Green Bean Salad

Hello all! Sorry it’s been sooooo long since I’ve posted. Spring is a busy time for me, as spring/summer soccer starts back up. And I’m teaching more yoga. And I’ve been out of town. And I’m trying to build a community vegetable garden and run a blood drive at school! Yep, b-u-s-y.

The last couple weeks I’ve started a handful of posts but never finished (one on Earth Day, one on the 1-year anniversary of my blog). Yep, just one year ago last week I set out to start Eat Clean with Kate. Once upon a time I wanted to be a writer, and as early as 5 years old I was writing (and illustrating!) my own “children’s” books. I’ve always loved writing, and the opportunity to share my passion for eating (and living!) clean with you is a dream come true. This blogging adventure has been oh-so-fun, and I’m glad you’ve all joined in on the ride!

As for today, I’ve got a recipe for a green bean salad I made last night. I was never super crazy about green beans growing up, however, this recipe changed my entire outlook on the things! I ate it cold, and my-oh-my was it delicious! Not to mention it is soooo easy. Just be careful not to overcook the green beans, you want them to have a nice lil crunch! You can also substitute basil (or perhaps another favorite herb!) for cilantro.

Here’s the recipe for my Gorgeous Green Bean Salad:

Ingredients:

12 oz. green beans, steamed, blanched, or boiled until just tender

1/2 cup red onion, very thinly sliced

2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup cilantro

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Steam, blanch, or boil green beans until just tender. Careful not to overcook the beans! You want them to still have a little crunch. Drain and place in large bowl.

2. Add in tomato, onion, cilantro, oregano, and feta.

3. Whisk oil and vinegar together. Pour over salad. Toss to combine.

4. Top with your favorite homemade croutons (see my recipe here!).

5. Pepper to taste, and enjoy!

salad2

 

Real Recipe: Gorgeous Green Bean Salad
 
A delicious green bean salad that's easy to make and sure to please!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. green beans, steamed, blanched, or boiled until just tender
  • ½ cup red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Steam, blanch, or boil green beans until just tender. Careful not to overcook the beans! You want them to still have a little crunch. Drain and place in large bowl.
  2. Add tomato, onion, cilantro, oregano, and feta to bowl.
  3. Whisk oil and vinegar together. Pour over salad. Toss to combine.
  4. Top with your favorite homemade croutons
  5. Pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Caesar Salad

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With the holiday party for the my school this week, I needed to bring something that would go with the pasta we were having catered. Knowing of the delicious caesar dressing the boyfriend makes, it was the obvious choice. I don’t think I’ll ever buy bottled caesar dressing again. Actually scratch that, I won’t ever buy bottled caesar dressing again!

How do you do it? Easy. Continue reading :)

Step 1) Buy some good romaine lettuce. I like buying the whole leaves, and then I wash and chop up. Remember, lettuce is one of the highest pesticide sprayed crops, so I recommend you buy organic if possible.

Step 2) Make your croutons (I’ve got the recipe here). Cube some old bread (any kind will do!), toss with olive oil, add some seasonings and fresh garlic (if possible), and bake for about 12-14 minutes on 350 or until brown and crispy!

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Step 3) While the croutons are baking, make your dressing. Here’s what you’ll need (fresh garlic too!):

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Step 4) Add the mayo and mustard in first (about a 2:1 mayo to mustard ratio).

Step 5) Add the minced garlic, a few anchovies (I know some of you are thinking “eww!” but I promise it won’t taste fishy at all!), a few capers, and juice from half a lemon. After pulsing together, add the canola oil in slowly while pulsing on low. Continue until desired consistency. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and pepper. Pulse on low to combine. Taste. Mmm.

Step 6) Grate some parmesan cheese.

Step 7) Put your salad together! Toss the lettuce, croutons, dressing, and cheese together.

Step 8) Enjoy your famously easy, deliciously clean caesar salad!

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Caesar Salad Dressing

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Fish
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Lunch, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish, Starter
Occasion Casual Party, Formal Party
An easy delicious Caesar dressing, made without raw egg.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Note

Add a chipotle in adobo sauce to the mixture for an added kick!

Directions

Step 1
Add mayo, mustard, garlic, capers, anchovies, and lemon juice to food processor. Mix on high until combined.
Step 2
Add in oil while mixing on low, until emulsified.
Step 3
Add in red wine vinegar and pepper. Mix on low.

Real Recipe: Caprese Salad

caprese

As most holidays can be pretty heavily food-centered, the 4th of July here in the United States is no exception. It is also one of my favorite when it comes to good eats. The night before the 4th the boyfriend and I were at his friend’s parent’s place on the river celebrating early. As part of our meal we enjoyed Caprese salad (using fresh mozzarella from Cossetta’s in St. Paul – yum!). Wednesday morning I was craving it again; I just can’t get enough these days! So I stopped at the co-op to get some fresh mozzarella (already had the tomatoes and basil) Wednesday morning, and went to work. I brought my fresh, all-natural Caprese salad to the cabin as a perfect compliment to the chicken and steak kabobs, juicy watermelon, and corn-on-the-cob. Life doesn’t get much better than this :)

Here’s how to make your own simple, oh-so-delicious Caprese Salad:

Ingredients:

1 ball fresh mozzarella, cut into thick slices

3 large tomatoes (preferably organic), sliced thick

Basil leaves (stems removed)

Balsamic vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh sea salt and ground pepper (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Lay the tomato slices down on a plate or serving platter

  2. Layer the mozzarella slices on top of the tomato slices

  3. Layer the basil leaves on top of the mozzarella

  4. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil

  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper

  6. Enjoy!

Note: If you have the time, consider making a balsamic reduction. To do so, pour a small amount of balsamic vinegar (1/4 to 1/2 cup should be plenty – depending on how much balsamic you like on your Caprese!) into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low to medium heat (be careful not to let it burn!). Let reduce down until starts to thicken, approximately 10 minutes (or more depending on how much you started with). Remove from heat when it is nice and thick, but still thin enough to pour. Let cool and then pour over your Caprese salad.

 

Photo courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com

Real Recipe: Easy Peanut Noodles with Lime Vinaigrette Salad

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Stopped at the farmer’s market today to pick up some fresh cucumbers, the last ingredient I needed to make a Peanut Noodle dish I have been craving for the past couple of weeks. It was a perfect dish for a hot night, in which one of my best friends and I sat on the porch catching up on our lives, sipping our glasses of wine, and eating what turned out to be a delicious meal!

This dish is light enough for a warm summer night, yet filling at the same time. I made mine without meat (you’ll find I don’t cook with meat very often!), but you could add cooked chicken to yours if you prefer the extra protein.

Easy Peanut Noodles (adapted from smittenkitten.com’s Peanut Sesame Noodles) (feeds approximately 6 people)

Ingredients:

1 lb. soba or spaghetti noodles (I used organic whole-wheat spaghetti noodles)

4 scallions, thinely sliced (organic preferably)

2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (organic preferably)

2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced (organic preferably)

1/2 cup peanut butter (organic preferably)

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced (organic preferably)

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp honey

1 pinch red pepper flakes, or a squirt of hot sauce or chili paste (more if you like it spicy!)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

 

 Directions:  

  1. Boil 6-8 quarts of water (covered with a lid to save time and energy!)

  2. While water is coming to a boil, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, honey, and pepper flakes in a bowl; whisk to combine (can add hot water to thin out sauce, I used about 1/4 cup)

  3. When water reaches a boil, cook noodles according to directions (or until tender)

  4. Drain noodles and add back into pot

  5. Pour in peanut sauce

  6. Add scallions, bell peppers, and cucumbers; stir to combine

  7. Garnish with chopped peanuts (optional)

  8. Can serve warm immediately, or put into fridge for 10-15 minutes and serve cool

Lime Vinaigrette Salad

Ingredients:

6 cups salad (I used Romaine, but a Spring Mix would work well too!) – organic

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1/4 cup peanut oil

1/2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

2 limes, cut into quarters (approximately 1/4 cup lime juice)

 

Directions:

  1. Add peanut oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice (from whole limes), and peanuts together in bowl; stir to combine

  2. Combine salad, scallions, and cilantro leaves together

  3. Pour dressing over salad; toss to combine

Mmm…nothing says summer like a light, refreshing, clean dish like this! Enjoy!