April 22, 2013

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

I'm excited to introduce our all-time favorite salad - this gorgeous, nutritious, delicious burst of color! I'm revisiting the recipe from a while ago because we make it often and love it, so I wanted to get better photographs to share with you all. That and I recently made a homemade creamy cilantro-lime dressing to toss it with and WHOA baby; flavor explosions with every bite!! The dressing and salad are a perfect marriage - so crisp and refreshing. I love to grab a spoon and scoop up all the beautiful colors. For us, one recipe of the cilantro dressing is a great match for the amount of salad below. Hope you give it a try!

Come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram 🍓 and share a photo if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up!

Vegan, gluten-free

Large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

{For the dressing} click to read more about notes and variations to the dressing
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil (for oil-free, sub a little water to thin)
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
Recommended: agave/honey, cumin

Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Toss with desired dressing.

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Looking for more awesome salads? Check out:
12 must-try fresh, colorful salads!

April 15, 2013

Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing

I've been wanting to make my own creamy cilantro dressing ever since we tried the one from Trader Joe's last year. Store-bought dressings are convenient, but making your own brings a whole new level of flavor and freshness that's hard to beat. Plus you can control the ingredients, leave out additives/preservatives, and tweak it so it suits your taste buds just right. Yogurt is a great alternative for achieving creaminess and it works fantastic in this dressing. (Update: avocado also works, and is my go-to now!) You can serve it right away, or make it ahead of time to chill in the fridge so it's ready to go whenever you are. It's great on salads, wraps, drizzled on tacos for an extra flavor boost, and as a fun veggie dip. We love tossing it with the Southwestern Chopped Salad - delicious! :)

Notes and variations
We love this basic, light, refreshing dressing as is, but it's also super customizable. Here are just a few ideas if you'd like to play around to please your own taste buds:

To add heat, use cayenne pepper or jalapeno.
For a different flavor combo, add cumin, more garlic, or more lime juice.
If you prefer to tone down the tartness, add a little honey/agave.
Avocado also works great! (You can also use this recipe as a guide, replacing lemon-basil with cilantro-lime.)

Vegan, gluten-free
Recipe yields 3/4 cup dressing

1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain dairy-free yogurt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
Recommended: cumin, honey/agave

Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

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Come join me on Instagram! I love to see what you guys are cooking up :)

April 10, 2013

Spinach + Tomato Quesadilla with Pesto

I needed a quick lunch this past week so I found some odds and ends around the kitchen, channeled my inner Napoleon, and made myself a dang quesa-dilluh 😉 I love the two cheese combo of mozzarella and feta. The mozzarella holds everything together while the feta adds awesome flavor. The spinach wilts as it heats, so don't be afraid to pile it on!

PS - come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram 🍓 and share your creations! I love to see what you guys are cooking up! :)

A peek inside

Vegan (with dairy-free cheese and pesto)
Gluten-free (with gluten-free tortilla)
Makes 2 servings

1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
Baby spinach
Pesto (try homemade!)
Feta crumbles
Shredded mozzarella
2 large flour or gluten-free tortillas

Place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat, and spread a layer of pesto on top.
Add a light layer of mozzarella cheese, then feta.
Add tomato slices, spinach, and top with another layer of mozzarella cheese.
Place the other tortilla on top, heat for about 5 minutes, flip, and heat for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

*Note: for easier flipping, just use one tortilla per quesadilla. Fill half with the toppings, then fold the top half over.

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April 1, 2013

Mexican Made Meatless

I definitely love my fair share of Mexican-inspired food! Here's a collection of 40+ meatless recipes including quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fajitas, nachos, salads, and more. These past couple years I've especially enjoyed making my own corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, salsa, cilantro-lime dressing, avocado cilantro sauce, and taco seasoning - all of which I highly recommend trying. It's so much fun and has definitely taken our enjoyment of Mexican cuisine to an even greater level!

Black Bean Lentil Tacos (pictured above)
Vegan Crunchwrap (Family Food Finds)
Huevos Rancheros (Family Food Finds)
Baked Black Bean Taquitos (Naturally Ella)

Mexi-Style Quinoa Mac & Cheese (Around the Table: Loving Food in RI and Beyond)
Easy Veggie Tostadas (Vegvacious)

Mexican Quinoa Salad (pictured above)
Mexican Potato Bake (How to Ice a Cake)

Taco Salad (The Inventive Vegetarian)
Seven-Layer Tostadas (Kalyn's Kitchen)

Double Decker Chickpea Tacos (pictured above)

Quinoa Fajita Burritos (pictured above)
Lentil Tacos (Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes)
Taco Soup (My Green Diet)
Lentil-Veggie Tacos (Peas & Crayons)
Zucchini Enchiladas (Taste of Home)

Check out this list of 30 vegetarian enchilada recipes as well!