Cilantro Stem Dressing…say what?

Sometimes my own nerdiness takes me by surprise. I’ve never claimed to be cool but I never thought myself to be someone who would dance around the kitchen after tasting a salad dressing. Eli cocked his head to one side perplexed as he watched the scene take place.

I just couldn’t help it. After years of project managing creatives and allowing myself to believe that I personally was not “creative” it still amazes me that I can concept and actualize ideas of my own. It’s a lovely feeling that the swirling and pondering of a thought can become a tangible recipe I get to share with others. Another benefit the world of blogging has allowed me.

Anyway, on to the recipe.

Being in New York last weekend and not having a chance to get to the grocery store this week we’ve been eating what we have. We, of course, have more than enough food to pick from but our veggie supply is getting low. Our vegetable drawer currently consists of brussels sprouts, a 5lb bag of carrots, spinach and the ends of a bunch of cilantro.Cilantro

I eat a lot of cilantro, usually a bunch a week. I will greedily eat up all the leaves, pushing the stems to the back of the crisper to wither and die until I buy the next bunch.

A few days ago I had what is now annoying referred to as an Aha moment. I ran across this Veggie Belly post that used the cilantro stems in a soup and it suddenly hit me that I was wasting a flavorful part of the cilantro.

I quickly dug out those stems and got to work on a what I hoped would be a delicious salad dressing. It was honestly better than I could have imagined and avoids wasted food and money. Win win.

Cilantro Stem Salad Dressing (vegan, gluten-free)

1 bunch of cilantro stems, chopped finely

2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

————

Wash cilantro stems thoroughly, the stems tend to hold a lot of dirt, don’t skip this step.

Chop stems finely and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients.

Blend until well combined. I ran my processor for over a minute.

Adjust seasonings to taste.

cilantro salad dressing

Makes 1-2 serving depending on salad size.

I massaged the dressing into 3 cups of spinach and topped with slivered almonds. I think it would be wonderful with avocado and baby tomatoes as well.

spinach salad with cilantro dressingspinach salad with cilantro dressingspinach salad with cilantro dressing

Happy Friday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Seeing Red

All anyone can talk about in these parts is the big storm headed our way tomorrow. It could bring up to 24″ of snow and everyone is acting like it’s the first time New England has ever seen snow. I’ve never actually experienced a blizzard myself so I don’t totally understand what the fuss is about but I’m sort of excited to see. Famous last words I’m sure.

Just in case we’re covered in white all weekend, let’s talk red today.

This recipe wasn’t intended as a Valentine’s Day recipe, I’m not really one to celebrate the holiday anyway, but as luck would have it I made this dish in February and I think it would make a great addition to a love themed dinner. It has quinoa in it after all. What’s not to love?

This was an impulse purchase. I don’t usually buy red quinoa, mostly because white quinoa is always cheaper, but I was standing in a ridiculously long Trader Joe’s line last Sunday that wrapped around the aisles and grabbed it on a whim.

When I got home I noticed an unused pomegranate and thought the two together might make a good combo. Turns out they not only look pretty together but taste wonderful.

red quinoa pomegranate salad

Red Quinoa Pomegranate Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

For the salad:

1 cup red quinoa

2 cups water

pinch of salt

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp lemon zest

For the dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1.5 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/8 cayenne pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

————

Rinse quinoa then place in a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat for 20 minutes or until water has evaporated. Stir to fluff.

Place cooked quinoa in a big bowl with black beans and pomegranate seeds.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss dressing with quinoa, beans and seeds.

Top with lemon zest.

red quinoa pomegranate saladred quinoa pomegranate black bean salad

I ended up eating this salad for breakfast after shooting the photos. 🙂 Yum!

As a total aside, I went to my first power class in many months at Baptiste Yoga yesterday. It was so hot in the room I felt months of cold melt from my body. It reminded me how much I love hot yoga and that as a naturally cold-blooded person it’s important that I feel hot from time to time. I can’t believe I waited so long to go. I have an unlimited month’s worth of classes. If you can’t find me in all the snow I’ll be sweating it out in the studio.

Lastly, teaching 12:15pm at Sangha, 4:30pm at All One and 7pm back at Sangha today. If you’re in Boston come do some yoga!

Enjoy and Exhale!

Works in Progress

I’ve made three recipes over the last few days. They are all good. Tasty. Consumed. But none of them made my taste buds do handstands and arm balances at first bite. My official taste tester was also less than impressed with one of the three recipes, he didn’t taste the other two. I believe his exact words were ‘it’s a little bland.’ I’m not going to share a little bland with you all.

But, because I still wanted to post something and say hello today I’ll share the works in progress. Not so secretly, I also wanted to show off my new camera which makes my bad photo skills a little more palatable. However I’m still hoping to find a Photography 101 class I can take over the next few months. I don’t think good equipment equates to stunning photos without some knowledge behind them.

On to the recipes or lack there of, I mentioned this beet quinoa salad yesterday. I liked the earthy mixture of the beets with the quinoa and I love the addition of slivered almonds. I also made a cashew garlic cream to go on top which was exceptional on it own. The salad just didn’t sing when everything was mixed together. It has potential and I have another beet waiting in the wings so I’ll work on it. The color is pretty fabulous though right?

beet quinoa salad

Next up, another calcium rich smoothie. Yep I’m making smoothies when it’s 10 degrees outside, God knows why. This smoothie was a mix of banana, apple, pineapple, almond milk and chia seeds. It was perfectly fine. I drank the whole thing this but it wasn’t amazing. I probably wouldn’t have shared it at all if not for the fact that the picture is nice. I’m going to try coconut milk instead of almond milk and may also add some sunflower seed or peanut butter. I’ll report back when I’ve got a winner.

Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Lastly, I tried to make gluten-free banana bread this morning. I wasn’t in the mood for dates so following my recipe for Banana Bread Muffins was out. The recipe I concocted seemed promising as I mixed the wet and dry ingredients separately. When I combine everything though it resembled something oddly familiar. This! It was by far the tastiest of the three recipes and I ate two slices for breakfast but this is not banana bread. It’s more of an oat loaf. It was lacking the airiness of bread with all its heaviness. I think I’ll play around with the flour mixture, maybe try my hand at some gluten-free baking flour that’s been sitting in my pantry since the pancake debacle of 2012.

Banana oat loaf

As you see, a lot of WIPs but not a lot of results. I suppose that’s all part of the process though. You have to cook a few duds or semi-duds to get to the really good stuff.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. It’s still supposed to be bitterly cold here again tonight. But never free, we have a hot date planned with our fireplace and a bottle of wine.

I’m also teaching a bunch this weekend. My usual classes tomorrow at 9 and 10:30 and then subbing Sunday at 9 at Crossfit and teaching a special community class at Athleta on Newbury at 10. The community class is free if you’re not busy.

Happy Friday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Grapefruit, Pomegranate Salad with Brown Sugar Sauce

My aunt lives in Arizona with a very productive grapefruit tree. For Christmas she sent me two boxes filled with grapefruit. I’m very fond of the grapefruit but having 20 staring at you every time you walk into the kitchen is a little daunting.

I took six of them to my sister last weekend but that still left a lot to use up! I’ve been juicing some of them but it feels like a cop-out. I needed a recipe that showcases them in all their winter glory. This simple salad is just the recipe. Pairing the grapefruit with another winter fruit star, pomegranate, made this dish really shine.

Grapefruit Pomegranate Salad

Grapefruit, Pomegranate Salad (gluten-free)

1 grapefruit, sectioned

1/2 pomegranate, seeded

2 tablespoons brown sugar or feel free to sub maple syrup if you’re looking to vegan-ise

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons grapefruit juice

Pinch of salt

————

Section your grapefruit. I tried this two ways. If you cut the grapefruit in half and then work a knife around each section you can get the sections out but they won’t look particularly pretty. You can also peel your fruit and then take off the white casing by hand. This was a total pain but the slices looked so nice. If you aren’t worried about how it looks I’d go with the first option.

Grapefruit

While you’re sectioning the grapefruit work over a small bowl. Mine was very juicy and I was able to gather a few tablespoons of liquid while working, which I then used in the sauce.

Deseed your pomegranate. The easiest way I know how to do this is to fill a large bowl with water. Cut the pomegranate in fourths, then turn the sections inside out under the water. The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl, any white rind will float. Remove the rind and strain the seeds. The water keeps the juice from going everywhere and staining your clothes and kitchen.

Add brown sugar, white balsamic vinegar, grapefruit juice and salt to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes.

Brown Sugar Sauce

Remove from heat and let cool.

Place grapefruit and pomegranate seeds in a bowl, top with sauce.

The sauce is slightly sweet which cuts the acidity of the fruit. I love how pretty this looks. It would be a great first or last course for a dinner party. Adding some avocado and some macadamia nuts to the top would also be nice.

Grapefruit Pomegranate Salad

Have a great weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Shredded Brussel Sprout and Kale Salad

When I was planning our holiday meals I knew I wanted to include lots and lots of greens. As I was searching epicurious I came across this salad and it sounded simple and delicious. My family loves brussel sprouts and I adore kale (duh!) so this seemed like the perfect marriage. It ended up being a big hit around our table not only from the veggie inclined but from the omnivores as well.

Always wanting to give credit to the original source, here is the link but be warned, my version deviates so much that it almost doesn’t seem like the same salad. I simplified my recipe a lot, not so much because I didn’t like the idea of cheese and nuts but because it was the last thing I made that night and I simply forgot to add them. My mom and Michael both said they liked how simple it was without, points for forgetfulness.

Shredded brussel sprout and kale salad (vegan, gluten-free)

1 lb brussel sprouts, shredded

1 bag of torn kale

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 tbsp garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

4 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

pinch of salt

1-2 tbsp water

————-

Bring a pot of water to boil.

Shred brussel sprouts. I did this with a knife and it took forever but I imagine a food processor would work well and be much faster. Wash and tear kale. I used a prepackaged bag of kale from Trader Joe’s for simplicity sake.

Shredded brussel sprouts

shredded brussel sprouts and kale

Once water is boiling, dump in brussel sprouts and kale for 30-45 seconds. Drain and rinse veggies with cold water.

Saute shallot and garlic in olive oil until shallot is soft, about 2 minutes.

Add shallots/garlic to a bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust accordingly. You can replace the water with olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar if you feel like something is lacking. You want the dressing to be fairly thin so it coats the salad evenly.

Place vegetables in a big salad bowl. Mix with dressing.

shredded brussel sprout and kale salad

The salad was great the day of but was equally as tasty the 2 days after, by the third day it was pretty soggy.

I again apologize for my horrible pictures. My new years resolution is to get a better camera and learn how to take better photos.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Christmas in Pictures

We had a great holiday. Hope you did too.

My mom is still here so I won’t spend my short time with her writing a long post but here are a few highlights in pictures.

Eli and Michael

Eli waiting patiently for a little scrap of daddy’s sandwich.

Eli

Eli’s holiday necklace.

Me

Cooking in my father’s daughter apron. A gift from my mom last Christmas.

Sarah and Me

Pearls in the kitchen.

Holiday veggies

Root veggie hash, roasted brussel sprouts with grapes and chocolate soufflè cake in the back.

Christmas Eve Dinner

The Christmas Eve spread.

Christmas Eve Dinner

Close up of my plate.

Mom

My mom by the tree.

Christmas Day Lunch

Christmas day lunch: leftover salad with Field Roast loaf.

Holiday Presents

His and hers gifts. Can you guess which is mine?

Christmas Cards

Our mantle with my sister’s holiday card for Michael.

Christmas Day Dinner

Christmas day meal. Pumpkin mashed potatoes with spinach, brussel sprout and kale salad and a lentil loaf peeking out from the back. I changed up the lentil loaf recipe a little which made it much easier and faster to make. I’ll update the recipe in the next few days.

Sarah and Teddy

Sarah and my brother Teddy.

Sibs

Horvath kids.

Michael and Teddy

Michael and Teddy.

Sarah

My sister’s boyfriend made a custom puzzle from a picture he took during their last visit to Boston. Nice work Will!

Family

Dinner shot.

Now time to get back to work. Teaching at Crossfit at 12:15 and 7, All One Yoga at 4:30. If you’re in Boston come by.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Fire Trucks and Blueberry, Orange Salad Dressing

I admit that yesterday’s post was a bit of a downer. So much so that Michael’s mom called me just to say hello. Too sweet.

We had a little bit of drama after I posted last night. Around 10 I was watching the 49ers/Pats game and started to smell a little bit of smoke. This isn’t unusual, it was very faint. We have a fireplace and sometimes the wind will blow back down the chimney and make it smell a little smokey. But, then I started to hear sirens at the front of the house. When I looked outside there were four fire trucks and a bunch of cop cars. Not wanting to be the stupid girl who stayed in a burning house I put on my parka, leashed up Eli and headed out in the rain.

Turns out it was next door. Not sure if it was a small fire or just a false alarm but after 15 minutes the firemen started to roll their hoses back up so I headed inside. I did take a few pics of what drama there was though.

fire ladder fire trucks

Also not wanting to let another rainy, gray day dampen my spirits I made something bright and full of citrus. I bookmarked this salad dressing before Thanksgiving. A fellow blogger (whom I cannot locate now to link to her blog) suggested using blueberries instead of cranberries like the original recipe suggests, which I did.

I also added some cornstarch to thicken this up as I’m not a huge fan of the runny-ness of vinaigrettes but feel free to adjust to your liking.

This was tangy and sweet with a bit of spice from the hot mustard. Family take note, you may be seeing this on the table next week.

Blueberry, Orange Salad Dressing (vegan, gluten-free)

Recipe originally from Oh She Glows

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt to taste

1 teaspoon corn starch

————

Bring blueberries, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup to a boil in a pot.

frozen blueberries blueberries and maple syrup

Reduce to medium heat for 10 minutes.

Let mixture cool then place in a blender or food processor with orange juice, mustard and olive oil. I made fresh juice from some mandarins I had but you can easily use store-bought juice.

The original recipe also calls for Dijon mustard but I didn’t have any. Chinese hot mustard worked well but feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand.

IMG_2967

Blend or process mixture until smooth. Add salt.

I used my processor and it never got fully smooth. Although I decided not to strain the mixture, you can if you want silky smooth salad dressing. I personally felt like the original recipe was too thin even without straining so I added a little cornstarch.

Mix cornstarch with a tablespoon of the dressing.

blueberries dressing and a bit of cornstarch

Place remaining dressing in a pot. Bring to a boil and add cornstarch. Boil until thick, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Let salad dressing cool before using.

IMG_2975 IMG_2980

Looks a little like a jar of jam.

I served it over a spinach salad with dried cranberries, diced apples and pecans. The perfect holiday salad.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad

Welcome to the weekend or pretty darn close to it.

I am feeling sort of bummed out today. I don’t have a particularly good reason, maybe it’s the cold, gray day or maybe it’s because today I officially retired my San Francisco jacket and bought a heavy Boston parka.

My new Boston winter coat

Whatever the reason, I wanted something bright and colorful for lunch. Something to remind me of sunshine and summer and San Francisco. I didn’t have the fixings for a margarita so this salad was the next best thing.

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

1/2 kabocha squash, deseeded

1 bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 green chili pepper, diced. I honestly can’t remember the name of the pepper I used and couldn’t find it online. I bought it at Whole Foods and it was very mild.

1 can pinto beans, drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 green onion

juice of one lime

salt to taste

————

Preheat oven to 375.

kabocha squash

Cut kabocha squash in half, deseed and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Kabocha squash can be eaten with the skin on so if you’re substituting butternut or another type of squash you should peel and chop it before baking. Bake for 25 minutes or until you can run a knife through it.

While squash is cooking, dice peppers and avocado and add to a serving bowl.

pepper

Place pinto beans in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic salt, chili powder and cumin. Warm beans on the stove then add to peppers and avocado.

pinto beans

Let squash cool then chop into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.

Chop green onion over the mixture and add lime juice and salt to taste.

Squash, Bean and Pepper Salad

The lime adds a wonderful brightness to the salad and works well with the slightly sweet kabocha and crunchy peppers.

This salad would also be perfect with a margarita…and some warmer weather.

I’m teaching a double header tomorrow. 9am at Crossfit Back Bay and 10:30 at All One Yoga, come see me.

Happy weekend all, enjoy!

Poblano Hemp Seed Salad Dressing

I’ve always been a big sauce person. If the normal person eats their french fries with ketchup, I eat mine with ketchup, bbq sauce and ranch. So a few years ago when I started examining my diet more closely I was a little horrified by the amount of processed sauces I was actually eating; especially in the form of ranch dressing.

I can honestly say that I was probably going through a huge bottle of Hidden Valley Light Ranch almost every month! And justifying it because it was ‘light’ of course, simply ignoring the mile long ingredient list. In full transparency, I still indulge in ranch every once in a while when dining out but I’ve started creating my own salad dressings for every day use. I have also created a vegan ranch, with Michael’s help, but that’s not today’s recipe.

This dressing came about because of a sad looking poblano pepper sitting in my fruit basket. I intended to use it last week in some recipe I’ve long forgotten about. The thing is, I really hate to waste food, so I started wracking my brain for recipes using this poor pepper. While looking through my pantry I came across a big bag of hulled hemp seeds I bought this weekend. Between the two I figured I could come up with a flavorful salad dressing made of whole foods.

Poblano Hemp Seed Salad Dressing

1 poblano pepper, de-seeded and diced

1/4 cup of hulled hemp seeds (these are sometimes also called hemp hearts)

3 tablespoons water

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil (or regular olive oil and a teaspoon minced garlic)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

salt

————

Soak hemp seeds in 3 tablespoons of water for 15 minutes. When I attempted to make this yesterday I didn’t soak the seeds and they wouldn’t blend in my immersion blender. If you’re using a food processor or high-speed blender you may not need to soak but I found that adding this step helped create a creamy, smooth dressing.

Dump hemp seeds and soaking water in food processor. Add all remaining ingredients except salt.

Whirl until smooth. You may need to scrap down the sides a few times.

Add salt to taste at the end. I didn’t measure how much salt I put in but if I had to guess I’d say 1/2 teaspoon, maybe a bit less.

I had this dressing over a kale salad with delicata squash but this would also be great over a taco salad. The poblano has a hint of spice but is very mild. For a spicier version, try with a jalapeno.

 

Enjoy!

A walk, greens and some beets.

Thank you for all of your kind words about my MindBodyGreen article.  Although writing is something I’ve been doing forever, being so public with it is a very new thing.  I appreciate all the support and love.

This morning I got my first taste of autumn.  Eli and I went out for a morning walk around 7 and the sun was just starting to come up.  I don’t think I’m ready for shorter days and I definitely have not prepared myself for snow!  Is there a way to prepare for snow?  If so, can someone give me some pointers?

We walked along Comm Ave and then down to the Charles River.

There were so many people out running. This is a very healthy city; I already feel at home.

This is my favorite picture from the walk, Eli looks to be contemplating the deeper things in life.

When we got home I had a green juice made with swiss chard, lemon, ginger and a Macintosh apple.

I love my juicer.  I got it as a Christmas present a few years ago and although it takes up a ridiculous amount of counter space and sounds like a plane about to take off, it makes the most delicious juices.  So much cheaper than buying them, not that I even know where to get fresh juice right now. Must research.

After playing around with my digital camera trying to get the above picture to look better than some green sludge, I set out to roast some beets.  I picked them up at the farmers market in Copley Square after yoga on Friday.  I intended to juice them but had some fennel to use up and thought they might go well together in this salad:

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad with Lemon Dressing

5 large golden or red beets, trimmed and washed

1 bulb of fennel, sliced

Juice of a lemon

2 1/2  tablespoons of olive oil; 2 tablespoons for the dressing, 1/2 tablespoon to coat the beets in before roasting

1/2 tablespoon garlic

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt

Preheat the oven to 375.

Trim the stems from your beets, if your beets still have their greens.  Discard or keep for use in your morning juice.

Wash beets well, then coat in olive oil and salt.

Wrap beets in tin foil and place on cookie sheet.

Roast in the oven for 55 minutes.  Once a knife will easily slide through the beets, they’re done.

Let the beets cool.  Once cool, peel the skin from the beets and chop.

Cut the fennel into slices and place in bowl with beets.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.

Pour dressing over salad and enjoy!