June 17, 2016

Quinoa Avocado Kale Power Salad

I LOVE plant-based power meals! Especially when it includes the magical combination of quinoa and avocado ;) Invite kale to the party and ohhh my - heaven in a bowl! If this recipe seems a little familiar, it's because I adapted it from one of our (and your!) favorites: the Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad. For this updated version, I tweaked it a little and then replaced the spinach with another nutrient-packed combo of kale + hemp hearts! SO GOOD and incredibly energizing. It's also awesome for packed lunches, picnics, potlucks... you get the idea :) Feel free to use a fresh burst of lemon juice on top before serving, or in the dressing to replace the vinegar - it's a great substitute. Enjoy!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4 (or 8-10 as a side)

3/4 cup dry quinoa
2 cups kale (or more)
2 medium avocados
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
3 green onions
1/4 cup hemp hearts

{For the dressing}
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt, more to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package directions in 1 1/2 cups water (I often use a little less water to create fluffier quinoa).
Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a small bowl stir together ingredients and set aside.
Roughly chop or tear the kale into small pieces, stems removed, and place in a large bowl.
Slice the green onions, halve/quarter the tomatoes, and dice the avocado.
When quinoa is done cooking, add it to the large bowl with kale.
Add the green onions, tomatoes, hemp hearts, and dressing. Stir to combine.
Add the avocado and lightly toss.
Serve immediately or refrigerate to let flavors blend more.

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June 16, 2016

Cucumber Tomato Salad

This salad has been a summer staple for years, with crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and a super easy tangy vinaigrette. It's a keeper because of how fast it comes together, and how totally refreshing it is - such a summer treat! I often use hothouse cucumbers, but it's a fantastic recipe for those garden-fresh cucumbers and tomatoes if you have them. It's incredibly versatile and works with any tomatoes you have on hand. Have fun experimenting with other herbs, especially fresh ones if you have them!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4-6 as a side

2 large cucumbers (I used English/hothouse)
1/2 small red onion
4 roma tomatoes (or other tomato)

{For the dressing}
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or red)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano*
1/8 tsp. salt

Make the dressing: add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Slice the cucumbers and onion. Chop tomatoes, removing excess juice. Place in a bowl.
Add the dressing and toss to coat.
Best if refrigerated at least an hour to let the flavors combine. Stir before serving and add more salt/pepper/vinegar to taste if desired.

*Note: change it up with other herbs - especially fresh ones if you have them!

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June 14, 2016

Sautéed Portobello with Spinach

Portobello mushrooms are AMAZING! I think they're one of nature's best plant-based gifts - so tender, "meaty", and nutrient-rich. They've been a long-time favorite, and this is one of our go-to recipes. Intermingled simply with spinach, garlic, and tamari, the portobellos really shine. This recipe is loved by the entire family and it's such an easy, satisfying side dish (or you can pair it with rice or quinoa for more of a meal!) Hope you enjoy as much as we do :)

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4-5 as a side

3 large portobellos
6 oz. baby spinach
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. tamari
2 tsp. olive oil
Optional: sesame seeds for serving

Mince garlic. Remove stems of portobellos and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Cut into 1/2 inch slices.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 6 minutes or until just tender.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Reduce heat to med-low and add tamari. Stir.
Add spinach (in smaller batches if necessary) and gently stir/turn often until just wilted.
Drizzle a touch more tamari to taste if necessary, and top with sesame seeds (optional).

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Love portobellos?
They're great in these Portobello Fajitas too!