1 Dish 2 Spoons: Salad

23 Dec

Tess and Jess show you some healthy salads to keep you balanced during the holidays 🙂

Jess’ Take:

I’ll admit it: I’ve been feeling a teensy-tiny bit guilty over the fact that I’ve been broadcasting only sweets and unhealth(ier) dishes these past few posts.

What can I say? I’m not perfect and I don’t spend my days eating nothing but tofu and kale.  Well, sometimes I do, but then I’ll feel guilty for that and eat 3 or 10, cookies.

It’s a vicious, vicious cycle I tell you.

So after my last few postings, I figured it would be fun to show you all my “healthier” side to eating since you’re probably tempted enough as it is by the office pot-lucks and Mom’s famous shortbread. Thus this week’s edition of 1D2S was born. Oh, and Tess makes some truly killer salads so really, it’s a win-win for you guys.

Kale salads have sort of become my “go-to” dish whenever I feel the need to pack a punch of greens into my diet, especially in the winter where warm kale salads rock.  Seriously- who wants to mow down on a cold salad when it’s -20 outside?

This version utilizes some root veggies I had in the fridge that were begging to be used up:

After this dish, I am pleased to announce that was the last of the parsnips. Well, until I buy another bag anyway.

For my protein, I decided to use some tofu, but for you non-vegetarians, grilled chicken would work nicely or use some white beans if you want to stay away from the soy.

The key to making good tofu is to press the excess liquid out. Tofu acts like a sponge, so when you press the liquid out, it naturally wants to absorb the flavours you give it, thus creating good flavor and a much better texture. For mine, I typically use 1-2tbsp olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, ½ tsp herbabmare seasoning, and the juice of 1 lemon.  Dice your tofu into ½ inch cubes and toss with the marinade; let it sit while you prep the rest of your salad ingredients.

Since my oven is still broken (hoping it will be fixed by the time I get back from Holidays), I had to steam my beets and parsnips before sautéing them with the tofu.  Just make sure you steam the beets first for a bit as the parsnips will cook faster.

Once the tofu has had some time to marinate and your root veggies are ready to go, heat up the good ol’ frying pan over medium high heat.  Toss in your tofu with a chopped up shallot.

Stirring constantly allow the tofu to get crispy and golden before adding in your parsnips and beets.  Cook for a few more minutes then toss in your kale.  Sauté for 2 more minutes then remove from heat and toss in your dressing.

I decided to use a cashew-cream based dressing but your favorite vinaigrette would do too.

Serve and enjoy!

Warm Kale Salad with Beets and Parsnips

1 bunch of kale, torn into bite sized pieces. Large stems removed.

3 small golden beets, peeled and cubed

3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

½ lb tofu, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

½ tsp Herbamare seasoning

1 shallot, finely chopped

Directions:

Combine tofu, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and herbamare into a small bowl. Let marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam parsnips and beets until tender crisp and then set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then toss in your marinaded tofu along and shallot and saute stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes.  Once tofu is golden and crispy, add in your parsnips and beets and cook for another 2 minutes before adding in your kale.  Saute mixture until kale is slightly wilted then remove from heat and add in your dressing.  Serve and enjoy.

Cashew-cream dressing

1/3 c. cashews

¾ c. water

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

¼ tsp herbamare seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Let your cashews soak for at least 20 minutes, then pop everything into the blender.  Blend until smooth- add more water if you want to thin it out a bit.

Tess’ Take

Jess is right – I make the biggest, busiest salads ever.  John likes to say I eat them out of a trough, because they’re so huge.  My concept is basic: to have each colour of the rainbow represented in my bowl.  Blue is the only tricky colour, as there aren’t many fruits or vegetables that are blue, with the exception of blueberries.

After saying all that though, I didn’t choose to make one of those types of salads for this post – sometimes I just want something fancier than “the trough”.  One of my go-to sites for creative salads is Martha Stewart Living.  Hey, say what you want about the woman, but she  makes some good food!  Sometimes one has to sort through the recipes to find some “clean” or healthy ones (she also really loves her butter and fats!) but there are some real gems if you look for them.

Which brings me to my recipe: Seared Shrimp with Cucumber Salad

Unfortunately, since I'm home for the holidays I can't post my pictures until I get back to Ottawa, so this one from the website will have to suffice.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) hearts of palm, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails removed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Directions:

1. Mix together the onion, pepper, palm, oj, and vinegar.

2. In a separate bowl, mix up the s&p, cumin, coriander, and oregano and coat the shrimp.

3. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over high.  Add the shrimp, and cook until brown.

4. Mix the cooked shrimp with veggies, and enjoy!

I served my salad with a side of couscous to complete the meal.

I liked the recipe, though if I had to make it again I’d use less onion, maybe even cook the onion, and use freshly squeezed oj instead of the carton stuff.  I absolutely LOVED the heart of palm though.  I’d never had it before and it added a really cool texture.  I think I’ll have to start using it in my trough salads as the white colour representative 😉

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