Jicama, Pear & Grapefruit Salad

This little side salad is as delicious as it is versatile. It’s bright, kicky, crunchy and can please a crowd. I served it along side some quick pork chops for dinner and then topped with chicken breast for lunch the next day.


Jicama, Pear & Grapefruit Salad

Adapted from a recipe I saw while rifling through a cookbook … which one? I was too busy day dreaming after reading the ingredient list to remember things like that

1 jicama
1 pear
1 grapefruit
2 medium carrots
1 lime (zest + juice)
Fresh mint/cilantro/basil (you’re looking for 6 Tbsp. total here)
1/4 c. grapeseed oil
1-2 tsp. sriracha (use Whole30 approved if necessary)
Flaky salt
Cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 c. toasted nuts (I had macadamias on hand)

Peel and julienne the jicama. Julienne the pear. Grate the carrots. Add each to a large bowl when finished.

Supreme & chop the grapefruit into bite sized pieces, squeezing the extra juice into a small bowl. Add the grapefruit pieces to the julienne bowl.

Zest the lime, adding the zest to the julienne bowl. Squeeze the juice into the dressing bowl with the grapefruit juice.

Finely dice the herbs. I did 4 Tbsp. combined mint & cilantro with 2 Tbsp. basil chiffonade. Add to the julienne bowl.

Add the grapeseed oil & sriracha to the dressing bowl and whisk to form an emulsion. Taste and add more acid or sriracha as needed.

Sprinkle two generous pinches salt into the julienne bowl, with a few cracks of black pepper and the toasted nuts. Toss well to combine. Pour the dressing over (you might want to start with half) and toss well to combine (I used my hands). Taste and add more salt or dressing as needed.

Makes enough to serve 4 for dinner or 2-3 big lunch bowls.

Romanesco, Radicchio & Yellow Pepper Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette & Avocado

This hearty warm salad makes a great weeknight meal. It’s light but filling and the warm roasted veg really hits the spot. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free & paleo-friendly.

Romanesco, Radicchio & Yellow Pepper Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette & Avocado

1 head romanesco
1/2 head radicchio
1 yellow pepper
5 scallions
1/4 c. blanched, slivered almonds
Big hand parsley
1 avocado
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Salt & pepper to taste

For the vinaigrette

1 Tbsp. white wine vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tsp. honey
3 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Turn your broiler onto high while you separate the romanesco into pretty little florets. Alternately, you can chop the romanesco. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt & pepper. Broil 10 minutes, flip and broil an additional 10 minutes until softened and browned.

While your romanesco is going, halve and slice the radicchio; chop the yellow pepper; and slice the scallions. Heat a large pan over medium heat with a Tablespoon of coconut oil and add the veggies, reserving the dark green scallion tops for another use. Sautee until the veggies are browned and softened. If you want a little char on your radicchio, kick the heat up a notch – charred radicchio is fabulous. Salt & pepper to taste.

While that is kicking, toast your almonds in a dry pan. Remove from the heat and chop.

Chop the parsley and scallion tops and set aside.

Make your vinaigrette. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together – salt & pepper to taste.

When the romanesco is done, add to the veggies in the pan. Turn off the heat. Chop the avocado and add to the mix, along with the almonds and parsley scallion mixture. Toss to combine and drizzle the vinaigrette over top. Toss again and taste for seasoning.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch.

So pretty…
Looks like a fractal
Vibrant color on a cold day? Yes, please.

Tart and Spicy Chickpea & Lentil Salad

This dish comes together in a flash and makes a nice, light, refreshing weekday meal. Vaguely Indian, vaguely not – big on flavor and low on fat.

Tart and Spicy Chickpea & Lentil Salad
Inspired by Wacky Chana Chaat from Herbivoracious

Salad Base
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. carrots, diced
1/2 c. black lentils (or any other lentil that stands up to cooking), cooked
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 scallions, sliced into thin rounds
1 colored bell pepper, chopped (or 1/2 to 3/4 c. mixed color peppers – whichever you fancy)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sriracha
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Big pinch salt

Yogurt Topper
3 oz. plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
Another big pinch salt

In a medium sized pan over medium heat, toast the chickpeas and carrots until browned. I did this in a dry pan and kept everything moving to prevent sticking. If you’re worried about having to babysit, add a Tablespoon or so of oil to the pan.

While the chickpeas/carrots are cooking, chop the pepper, slice the scallions, halve the tomatoes; toss into a big bowl along with the spices, lime juice, sriracha, and lentils.

Once the chickpeas/carrots are to your liking, add to the bowl. Toss and taste for seasoning.

In a separate small bowl, combine the yogurt, tamarind paste and a big pinch of salt. Stir. Taste and add more salt or tamarind as necessary.

To serve, top bowls of the salad with the yogurt mixture and mint chutney if you have any on hand. Extra splashes of tamarind or squirts of sriracha may be requested.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I Know: Another Cabbagy Slaw Salady Thing

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know: I’ve posted a bunch of these cabbagey slaw salad-ish dishes, but I love them so. Red cabbage is such a good foil for tanginess that I can hardly resist creating something magnificent or terrible for lunch with leftovers.

This version lends a tangy, sweet, crunchy and spicy backbone to simple black bean burger with avocado crema and a fried egg leftovers (or any other leftovers that aren’t a balanced meal in and of themselves, really).


Red Cabbage Slaw with Blackberry Honey and Spice

1/4 head red cabbage, sliced very thin

1 tsp. Whidbey Island Blackberry Honey (I realize you most likely don’t have this on hand – substitute regular honey, preferably with a kiss of fresh blackberry or blackberry jam alongside)

2 tsp. rice vinegar

1 tsp. sambal olek (I use chicken brand chili sauce with garlic)

A dusting of chopped cilantro

Citrus salt to dress

Combine all ingredients but salt in a bowl, finger toss until everything is playing nicely together. Sprinkle with citrus salt and toss again.

Makes a great kicky accompaniment to any kind of leftovers – if you want to turn it into a full lunch alone, add some salad greens or tuna and/or chickpeas.

Serves 1 for lunch

Red Cabbage and Fennel Slaw with Beet Horseradish

This is a great little sturdy slaw that works great as a topping for pork burgers or sausages, or as a crunchy side for any other late-summer dinner.

Seriously? I think Lasik might be in my future… I thought this was in focus.

Red Cabbage and Fennel Slaw

1/4 Granny Smith apple
1/4 bulb fennel
1/4 head red cabbage
2 Tbsp. beet horseradish
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. spicy mustard
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Shred the cabbage, julienne the apple and slice the fennel into wafer thin arcs, depositing into a large bowl as you go. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, mustard, vinegar and horseradish into a dressing. Pour over the salad & toss. Salt & pepper to taste.

Serves 2 for dinner as a side, 4 or more as a protein topper.

Sweet Summer Sunshine – aka Tomato, Peach & Basil Salad with Chili

Sometimes I try to pretend that I don’t wait for this season all year long with varying degrees of patience. Some years, I’d like to think that it’s the corn I’m really after. The berries. Burgers on the grill. But who am I kidding? It’s tomatoes. Tomatoes are what I crave in the deep recesses of winter – tomatoes are what I pine for. Sweet, umami-laden globules of liquid sunshine.

This salad highlights their peak season glory perfectly – and lucky for me, I’m the only tomato worshipper in the house. It’s a dead simple thing to whip up for lunch – barely a recipe, really.

Mine… all mine 😀

Sweet Summer Sunshine – aka Tomato, Peach & Basil Salad with Chili

Mixed heirloom tomatoes – a cup, cup and a half – thinly sliced
1 ripe peach, pitted and sliced thinly
1 tsp. thinly sliced basil ribbons
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. sambal oelek (hot garlic chili sauce – I use the brand with the white chicken – it should be located near the squeeze bottle sriracha with the same chicken and comes in a clear plastic jar with a green lid) – sub for Whole30 sriracha if going that route

Your favorite finishing salt – I used some grey sea salt, but I could see black or Maldon salt being fabulous here, or even citrus-infused kosher

Arrange your tomatoes on a plate. Scatter peaches about until you have something that looks exciting and alive. Sprinkle with basil.

In a small bowl, mix the grapeseed oil and sambal oelek. Beat with a fork to combine.

Drizzle oil mixture over salad. Sprinkle with salt to finish.

Serves 1 for lunch. Feel free to scale up to feed a crowd. If you are making for a party, prepare as close to go time as possible. This salad is best at room temperature (I would never suggest refrigerating fresh tomatoes as it kills some of their taste) or even a little above.

Update: After writing this, my DH came home from work not hungry in the slightest for dinner. I ate this salad again for dinner beefed up with slivers of fennel, crumbles of feta and citrus salt. Yum. I might just have to hit the greenmarket this weekend so I can try a version with rosemary-infused olive oil, smoky cheese and orange….

‘It’s Too Hot To Cook’ Watermelon Salad

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but in mine, we’ve been having a heat wave. And I thought it got hot in South Florida — It does, but this heat is something different. In Miami, you have a nice-to-annoying breeze continually wiping the land clean – dragging humid air in its wake. In NYC, you have humidity as well, but asphalt everywhere and tall buildings that alternately create wind tunnels and block all air from moving. It’s taking some getting used to, especially when the mercury tops out at 103, a temperature I haven’t seen since living in northern Florida.

So, what do you cook for dinner when going outside means flirting with immolation? Watermelon salad. This salad is cool, sweet, hot, savory, and delicious. I’ve been eating big bowlfuls by itself for lunch and dinner, but you could serve alongside some form of quick-cooking meat in tube or patty form to round out a meal for more than one if you can stand the heat.

A note on buying watermelon: This recipe is easiest when made with a seedless varietal, but I wasn’t thinking about that when selecting my melon – I was more excited by seeing something new – the deep green Sugar Baby Red variety – than I was concerned with practicality. If you don’t happen to remember seedless watermelon, no biggie, just more prep work will be involved to pick the seeds out.

‘It’s Too Hot To Cook’ Watermelon Salad

4 c. watermelon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (bite sized)
3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped fine
Most of a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, diced
5 scallions, sliced thin
2 jalapenos, de-seeded and diced
1/2 – 3/4 c. feta, crumbled if in a block (optional)
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. the best (thickest) balsamic vinegar you can find

Combine everything in a large bowl, stir to combine, and set back in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to marry.

Makes a ton – I’ve gotten at least 3 big bowls out of the batch I made.

Spicy Potato Salad

This potato salad makes the perfect foil for grilled meats on a hot summer’s night and only improves in the fridge. It has enough heat to make things interesting, but not so much that the fire department needs to be called.


Spicy Potato Salad

1 lb. baby red potatoes
2 Tbsp. mayo (we use olive oil-based)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. capers
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 onion
2 eggs
2 ribs celery
1 Tbsp. canned chipotle

Wash your potatoes, halve (you want potato chunks that are roughly uniform in size and around the 1/2 inch) and place into a large pot. Add enough water to cover by a few inches and a palm full of salt. Bring to a boil and let boil 8 minutes or until soft but not disintegrating.

While the potatoes are cooking, place your eggs into a small sauce pot and cover with water. Bring up to a boil and let boil 4 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and slice thin.

Dice the chipotle and add to a large bowl. Add the mayo, vinegar and lemon juice and whisk, streaming in the olive oil as you go, until a dressing is formed. Salt & pepper to taste.

Dice the celery and add to the bowl.

Slice the onion wafer thin and add to the bowl.

Add the capers.

When the potatoes are done, drain and add to the bowl. Stir to combine.

Add the egg and gently fold in.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Serves 2 for dinner and 1 for lunch.

Pea and Pepper Quinoa with Lemon and Miso

This quick weeknight meal comes together in a flash. You get a great depth of flavor from the hit of miso and preserved lemon and a light, perfect-for-spring healthy meal.

Pea and Pepper Quinoa with Lemon and Miso

1 cup quinoa
2 c. vegetable stock
1 tsp. preserved lemon, diced
2 c. snap peas, tipped and chopped
1 tsp. white miso
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
S+P to taste

In a medium pot over high heat, bring the quinoa and stock up to a boil. Knock the heat back to a simmer, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes or until the quinoa curlicues open and the grain softens.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large-ish pan. Add the pepper and sautee, stirring frequently, until the edges start to brown.

Add the peas and continue cooking until they are crisp-tender.

Add the miso and stir until combined.

Add the cooked quinoa and preserved lemons. Toss. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch.

Fire Roasted Tomato & Pepper-y Lentils with Citrus Kick

I whipped this quick-and-easy lunch up from things I scrounged in the fridge. A half-used can of fire roasted tomatoes, some crazy good fire roasted red pepper spread from Trader Joes, some leftover lentils, citrus salt I made awhile back and some of the gremolata I served at Easter that has been chilling in the back of my fridge.

Fire Roasted Tomato & Pepper-y Lentils with Citrus Kick

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup black lentils, cooked
2 Tbsp. fire roasted tomatoes with green chills
2 Tbsp. fire roasted red pepper paste
2 big pinches citrus salt
handful hazelnut gremolata

In a medium pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the cooked lentils and cook, stirring frequently, until warmed through and starting to sizzle. Add the tomatoes and red pepper paste and stir (and stir, and stir) until thoroughly combined. Let sautee a few minutes until nice and hot. Toss in a big handful of the gremolata and sprinkle with a couple pinches citrus salt.

Serves 1 for lunch.