salads Archives - Plant Based, Family Friendly Meal Planning by Stephanie Dreyer, Los Angeles

September 6, 2017
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We’ve had a few cooler days the last week or so and although, I am not quite ready to give up summer, my body has been craving heartier salads than the usual bowls I tend to throw together. The Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite side dishes, but I was inspired to turn it into a salad for a beach outing last weekend. The grain medley includes Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It’s all kinds of awesome and makes a great alternative to pasta in a traditional pasta salad, which is what I was craving when I created this Kale Harvest Grains Salad recipe.

The grains blend is tasty on its own but I added more flavor with some cubed dairy-free mozzarella, sliced baby tomatoes and chopped basil. When it comes to dressing, any vinaigrette will do. I made a homemade Greek style dressing with Penzey’s Spices Greek seasoning blend. It wouldn’t be a salad without some greens! I started with the Power to the Greens blend from Trader Joe’s (kale, chard, and spinach) and topped it with the grains salad mixture and drizzled it all with my dressing. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that I have been enjoying all week. I hope you do too!

If you try my Kale Harvest Grains Salad, please be sure to tag me. I love to see your creations with my recipes!

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

The grains mixture stores well for about 3 days. Store your greens and dressing separately until you are ready to eat it. It also makes a great lunch to pack for work.

 

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Kale Harvest Grains Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Medley
  • 2 cups Imagine No-Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 ounces dairy-free mozzarella, diced
  • 2 cups mixed greens (such as kale, chard and spinach)
  • Greek or Italian Salad dressing vinaigrette (such as red wine or balsamic)

Instructions

  1. Prepare grains medley according to package directions, using the broth. Set aside to cool.

  2. While the grains cook, chop the basil, slice the tomatoes and dice the cheese. Prepare the salad dressing if not using store-bought.

  3. Fluff the grains medley with a fork and add the basil, tomatoes and cheese.

  4. Place two cups of greens on a plate, along with a 1/2 cup of the grains salad mixture. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons of dressing.

  5. Store leftover greens, dressing, and grains salad separately for additional servings.

Kale Harvest Grains Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 


August 2, 2017
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During these warm summer days, all I want to eat is salad! But, sometimes I crave something a little heartier from the salad family…which takes me back to my days by the pool as a kid. My aunt would fill a huge Tupperware bowl with a delicious pasta salad. It was full of raw veggies and my favorite – olives! She’d toss it all with Paul Newman’s Italian dressing and we’d feast on it all day.

This salad is my Mediterranean twist on the traditional pasta salad. I don’t need many reasons¬†to whip up a spread, but give me some guests (even if they are impromptu), and you can guarantee that I will use it as an excuse to throw together a few appetizers or a meal for everyone to enjoy. That is exactly what happened when I created this recipe for Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad.

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

It was a weekend of busy. Wonderful busy – seeing friends, family popping in during an out-of-town visit, other family coming over to watch a movie. So much fun! We had just gotten home the night before so I knew I was going to have visitors for lunch, but had not thought about what to make. I settled on paninis (my favorite go-to lunch for feeding a crowd) and thought I would make my roasted vegetable orzo salad to go with it. I had a few zucchinis to use thanks to the bounty I was gifted from my dad’s best friend, which was one of the key ingredients. After checking my pantry, I realized I was missing a key ingredient – orzo – so I used pearl couscous instead. I also realized I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes to use (also from my dad’s best friend), and decided to roast those with the zucchini.

As I roasted those, I saw some artichoke hearts and kalamata olives calling my name, so the dish instantly transformed into a whole other recipe altogether. One of my favorite moves is the shredded parmesan cheese from Follow Your Heart. I use any excuse to sprinkle it on everything! That was the final touch to this recipe, and my Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad was born. I hope you enjoy this salad doing something fun this summer with lots of friends and family!

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Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1 can quartered artichokes, in water (drained)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup basil, sliced in a chiffonade
  • 8 oz pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan Parmesan cheese, (such as Follow Your Heart)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Greek seasoning blend
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the zucchini, tomatoes and garlic on a baking pan. Drizzle on the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables so that they are thoroughly covered with the oil and seasonings. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous according to package directions. Drain and cool when cooked.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and the Greek seasoning blend. Whisk together until well blended.
  5. Stir in the couscous, artichoke hearts, roasted vegetables (with juices), basil, and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

 


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