Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

One of my favorite things I recently acquired a taste for are my grandmothers cucumber and onion salad, which is marinated in vinegar and sugar overnight. The sweet taste and tangy flavor from the two ingredients give this side dish the perfect touch it needs.

Sweet Cucumber and Onion Salad

Yields 2 cups

Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients

1 medium onion, sliced very thin

1 English cucumber, sliced thin

1/4 cup vinegar to start then 1/2 cup of more

1-1/2 tsp. organic cane sugar

Directions

  1. Thinly slice the onion, cucumber, and add to a mixing bowl.
  2. In another bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, and stir combined. Pour over cucumber and onions and give a good toss.
  3. Place into the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight for best results.

 

Chef’s tip: Allow the cucumbers, onion, and “brine” to meld overnight for maximum flavor.

Roasted Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Salad

Roasted Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Salad

Roasted Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Salad

Back in high school, when I was a prep chef, I was in charge of preparing a wide variety of the foods and some dishes. Normally, a typical salad is with lettuce of some kind, but not this version. My Roasted Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Salad is truly mouth-watering and light on the belly. Sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for, whether a light lunch or maybe a fun pre-dinner salad.

Roasted Balsamic Glazed Vegetable Salad

Yields

Ingredients

2 yellow squash

2 zucchini

1 eggplant

1 large shallot, minced

1 package alfalfa sprouts, garnish

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/2 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced

2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze or reduction

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cube your squash, zucchini, and eggplant. Place onto a slightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with herbs, seasoning, garlic, balsamic glaze, and place into the oven.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes; stirring half way through. Remove from the oven 
  4. Press mixture into a round mold of choice and top with sprouts.

 

Chef’s tip: Feel free to add any type of seeds or pepitas to this salad. 

Tahini-Agave Mustard Dressing

Tahini-Agave Mustard Dressing
Tahini-Agave Mustard Dressing

I don’t know about you guys, but honey mustard has always been one of my favorite dipping sauces. In my recipe, I use tahini as the base ingredient instead of mayonnaise, as well as raw agave to replace the honey. Whether you are dunking your French fries, having a “burger”, or enjoying a salad, this dressing covers it all- Literally! I usually keep a few bottles of dressing in my refrigerator at all times, this being one of those (and my homemade ranch usually being another). Having some go-to sauces is extremely handy and will make you second guess buying store bought versions they aren’t as healthy for you. Not only do they taste better, but they don’t have any preservatives and you get to control the flavor 100% of the way, making it spicier or more mild depending on your taste!

Tahini-Agave Mustard Dressing

Yields 4-5 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup tahini

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 cup raw agave

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Using a hand held emersion blender, combine all ingredients into a mason jar and blend until well-mixed.
  2. Use dressing for salads or dipping sauces.

Chef’s tip: Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a touch of spice.

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Welcome to your new favorite holiday kale salad! Kale has been one of my favorite go-to leafy greens for awhile now because it is so nutrient dense. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is loaded with powerful antioxidants (Kale Yeah!) The cranberry vinaigrette is made with freshly squeezed citrus, cranberries, vinegar, agave, and other flavorful components. Whether it is your first time trying kale or you have had it plenty of times before, this recipe is something you’ve gotta check out.

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Yields 4-5 servings

Ingredients

6 cups kale, de stemmed and sliced – need

3 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 cup Vitacost organic walnuts

2 clementine oranges

1/2 cup cranberries

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. shallot, minced

1 Tbsp. agave

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add the kale and massage with a drizzle of olive oil for 1-2 minutes, until tender.
  2. In a small pan, add the oil and shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic, lemon juice, garlic, agave, and apple cider vinegar. Cook for 1-2 minutes on low and remove from heat.
  3. Place the clementine wedges and walnuts onto the salad. Drizzle the slightly warm vinaigrette over the salad and give a good toss.


Chef’s tip: If you would like to add pomegranate seeds, they would be a delicious touch to this salad!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is usually made with buttermilk or other dairy ingredients, but not this time! My homemade ranch dressing is made with fresh parsley, dill and other plant-based ingredients. It’s really the best tasting ranch I’ve had, and better than anything store-bought. Other than it being super easy to make, the benefit of making it at home are having no added chemicals or preservatives that would otherwise been added. This dressing is great to drizzle on any salad or even as a dip for vegetables, so be sure to keep this stocked up in your fridge!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Yields 2-3 servings

Ranch Dressing:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/2 cup vegan sour cream, (optional)

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. fresh dill

1/2 tsp. chives

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Directions

  1. In your blender, add all of the dressing ingredients (except parsley, dill, and chives) and blend until well mixed. Mix in the herbs and set in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together.

Chef’s tip: Feel free to add some cayenne pepper or some sriracha to make this ranch spicy!

Chopped Salad with Homemade Ranch

Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad

Sometimes a big salad paired with homemade ranch is just what we need in life. This plant-based alternative may not have all of the dairy but it sure is not missing out on any flavor. With all of the fresh ingredients, this salad is truly something your entire family will enjoy. Whether you are making this for a lunch or a big family dinner, you can always add your own favorites to make this salad to your liking. Get ready to toss this together because once you taste the flavor this salad packs, you will be craving more with each bite!

Chopped Salad

Yields 2-3 servings

Ingredients

3 hearts of romaine, chopped and diced

1 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 (8 oz.) cherry tomatoes, halved

3 corn on the cob

2 avocado, diced

2-3 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 cup shredded carrots

Ranch Dressing:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/2 cup vegan sour cream, (optional)

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. fresh parsley 

1/2 tsp. fresh dill

1/2 tsp. chives

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Directions

  1. In your blender, add all of the dressing ingredients (except parsley, dill, and chives) and blend until well mixed. Mix in the herbs and set in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. In the mean time, prepare the salad by chopping the lettuce and filling a medium bowl. In segments, add the carrots, avocado, tomatoes, and chickpeas.
  3. Top salad with hemp seed and pour dressing on top when ready to serve.

Chef’s tip: To adjust the thickness, add or remove some cashew milk depending on your preference. 

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Cut the carbs and try this loaded salad for #TacoTuesday today! This salad is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables like red onion, juicy mango and pineapple, cherry tomatoes, and creamy avocados. One bite and you won’t be able to stop! That’s because the reviving taste of the fresh lime juice mixed with the black beans and other flavors will keep you wanting more!

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

16 oz. organic spring mix

1/2 cup black beans

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1/3 cup mango salsa

1/8 cup red onion, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

1 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup avocado oil

1/8 cup agave

1/2 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed

1 tsp, garlic

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics Ground Black Pepper

Directions

Salad:

  1. On a large plate, place all of the lettuce down in a big layer. Top with cooked black beans, hemp seed, mango salsa, red onion, cilantro, and avocado.

Dressing:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients until well combined.
  2. Top salad with dressing and serve with sides of lime wedges.

Chef’s tip: To spice things up, add 1/4 tsp. jalapeño to the dressing,

Butternut Squash Salad with Watermelon and Walnuts

Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad

Juicy watermelon with roasted butternut squash is an interesting and new way to treat yourself during those autumn nights. This light and refreshing salad paired with a red wine vinaigrette is a delicious combination of sweet and savory! If you are looking for some extra protein, hemp seeds are a great touch with also add extra texture to any dish. This dish was inspired by a recent outing to one of my favorite restaurants. I am sure glad that I was able to make my own version of this delicious fall-inspired salad.

Butternut Squash Salad

Yields 2 salads

Ingredients

1/4 watermelon, diced into medium cubes

1 butternut squash, cut in half and de-seeded

5 oz. arugula

1 cup walnuts, rough chop

Dressing:

1/2 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. balsamic reduction

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Pink Himalayan Fine Salt

1/4 tsp. Spicely Organics ground black pepper

1 tsp. lemon juice, (optional)

Butternut Squash Salad

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel butternut squash and slice in half length-wise. Remove seeds and rinse- you can dry them and store in the freezer or you can roast them.
  3. Take your prepared squash and dice it in to long pieces.
  4. Place onto a lightly oiled pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping half way through.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool.
  7. While squash is cooling, in a small measuring glass, mix together all dressing ingredients and stir until well mixed, set aside.
  8. For your salad, put arugula into a large bowl. Add watermelon, walnuts, butternut squash, and hemp seeds (save some to top salad with). Pour dressing over and mix to fully coat.

Chef’s tips: You can brush the squash with vegan butter and brown sugar if you would like to caramelize your squash a bit and add a different flavor to the salad.

Tahini Dressing

Tahini Dressing

Salad

Need a dressing that is light, fresh and fragrant minus all the extra calories? This tahini dressing packs a huge punch for only needing a little bit on your salad, sandwich, or whatever you chose. Just simply blend everything up in a blender and watch how it transforms into a creamy and flavorful dressing.

Salad

Yields 4 oz

Ingredients

1/2 cup of Vitacost Certified Organic Unsalted Sesame Tahini, well stirred

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 large garlic clove

2 Tbsp. Flat Leaf Parsley, freshly chopped

1/4 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns- Tin

Salad

Directions

In a blender, combine all ingredients above and pulse until mixture is smooth and well combined. Place into airtight container and allow dressing to set for 30 minutes, or until chilled.

Salad

Chef’s tip: I recently discovered adding 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard to the dressing adds a great flavor that is much different than the normal tahini (Thanks Elyssa and Jeff)

Raw Creamy Cucumber Dressing

Let’s be honest- we all know it can be difficult sometimes to get our vegetables in. A few vegetables at diner each evening for our entire life just isn’t enough some times. The beneficial thing about plant-based foods is majority of the time you can use vegetables in their raw nature to produce an amazing product. In this case, a dressing filled with great nourishing vitamins and hydrating properties that will leave your appetite quenched. With this easy recipe, you can take locally bought produce and make an oil free dressing. Bringing to you and your family an explosion in your mouth of fresh cucumber with a hint of lemon and a slight creamy texture from the avocado. 

Yields 4 cups 

Ingredients 

1 medium cucumber

1 large lemon, squeezed

I large avocado 

3 stalks celery

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine 

1 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns Tin 

2 cloves garlic 

 

 Directions

  1. In blender, combine all ingredients until mixture is thick and creamy. Pour into desired container and allow to chill for 1 hour minimum.
  2. Dressing will last refrigerated for 7 days in an air-tight mason jar or bottle.

 

Chef’s tip: For added freshness, add 1 Tbsp. fresh dill.