Category Archives: salad

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sweet and Simple Mango Dressing with Three Delicious Salad Ideas

This harvest moon is just gorgeous and I can’t WAIT to start decorating for fall.  However, I’m finding it hard to get in the mood here when it’s 100 flippin’ degrees outside.  Yellow leaves, hot apple cider, scarecrows and soup are the farthest things from my mind.  All I want to do is jump in a pool, sip smoothies, and eat salads.  So keeping with the theme here of hot fall nights, I am sharing three fun and easy salad ideas, all topped with one simple mango dressing.  Theoretically, you could just blend up a super ripe mango and use that as a dressing, but I’ve added just a few other ingredients to give it some depth of flavor.  I know we will get our cool down soon.  Until then, you’ll be seeing more warm weather dishes here on The Tasty Alternative.  Salud. 
*

Sweet and Simple Mango Dressing:

Ingredients:
-1 VERY ripe mango, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-3 tablespoons filtered water
-1 tablespoon oil (I use grapeseed)
-1/8 teaspoon salt 

How To:
1.  Blend all ingredients in food processor (or blender of choice) until smooth.  
2.  Will keep in fridge up to 4 days.   

Notes:
*If the mango is not super ripe, I recommend adding a sweetener. 
*vinegar variations: you could add just 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.  Alternatively, you could add in just two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, but the color will turn very dark.  Any vinegar would work really, perhaps even lemon juice.  
Here with Salad #1 we have a spinach and spring mix topped with crispy red apple, pumpkin seeds, dried figs and dried apricots.  Pistachios or walnuts would also taste fabulous, as would chopped Asian pear or crunchy kohlrabi
Salad #2 is fiesta inspired.  Spinach, romaine, and spring mix topped with garlic sauteed black beans, red onion, roasted pumpkin seeds, avocado and tomatoes.  The mango dressing is the perfect sweet flavor against the savory toppings.  Grilled chicken, green peppers, cilantro or cashew sour cream would also be fabulous on this salad.  
Lastly, salad #3.  A bed of spinach and spring mix topped with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted pumpkin seeds, diced shallot and dried cranberries.  The warm sweet potatoes wilt the greens just enough and the splash of cool sweet mango adds quite the flavor dimension.  Roasted delicata or butternut squash would taste divine, other ideas for this salad include fresh or dried figs, nectarine, or roasted sunflower seeds. 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: main dish, salad, vegan, vegetarian.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Candy Cane Beet, Strawberry and Black Plum Salad with a Ginger Lemon Honey Dressing.

Okay, so how GORGEOUS are these beets?! Have you ever tried a candy cane beet (aka Chioggia beets)?  Before you click away because beets aren’t your thing, hear me out.  Not all beets are created equal.  If you can get your hands on this variety, please give them a try.  You will be pleasantly surprised by their mild (almost sweet), tangy flavor.  They are perfect in salads and wonderful raw.  And my kids even love them.  It sort of tastes like kohlrabi meets radish (meets a carrot)?  Hard to describe the flavor.  Anyway, I’m smitten with these candy striped cuties.  

Salad Ingredients:
-4 oz of spring salad mix 
-6 oz black plums (5 small plums), small chop
-3 oz strawberries (6 strawberries), small chop
-4 candy cane beets, sliced (or your favorite cut)
-1/4 cup ginger lemon honey dressing
-(optional: walnuts & green onions) 

Ginger Lemon Honey Dressing:

-2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
-2 tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed)
-1 1/2 tablespoons honey
-Pinch of salt

How To:
1.  Prepare salad fixens’
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.  
3.  Pour dressing on salad immediately before serving.  
4.  Serves 4


You can find candy cane beets by looking at the stems!

Health benefits of beets 
(content source)
  • Garden beet is very low in calories (contain only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain only small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants.
  • The root is rich source of phytochemical compound Glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine, one of highly toxic metabolite, promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic-plaque formation, which is otherwise can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocystiene in the blood results in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.
  • Raw beets are an excellent source of folates; contains about 109 mcg/100 g (Provides 27% of RDA). However, extensive cooking may significantly depletes its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis in the cells. When given during peri-conception period folates can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • It contains significant amounts of vitamin-C, one of the powerful natural antioxidant, which helps body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancers development.
  • Beet greens (tops) are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A; contain these compounds several times more than that of in the roots.Vitamin A is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • The root is also rich source of niacin (vit.B-3), pantothenic acid (vit.B-5), pyridoxine (vit.B-6) and carotenoids, and minerals such as iron, manganese, and magnesium.
  • In addition, the root indeed has very good levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root has 325 mg of potassium or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.
Posted by Amber at

Labels: go ahead honey, salad, SCD, summer cuisine, vegetarian.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Raw Cauliflower Apricot Curry Salad (SCD) and The Whole Earth Festival

Every year over Mother’s Day weekend the most awesome festival is held here in town on the UC Davis campus.  It’s called The Whole Earth Festival.  Now, you know I’m passionate about the environment, and so I get super excited about this festival.  It’s a no-waste event, which means great efforts are made to create zero landfill waste.  This is an amazing feat considering the size of this event.  But this is a model concept that ALL festivals should adopt.  I personally gave up on Earth Day festivals years ago.  The waste produced by these gatherings was so counterintuitive, and for me, there was a sharp sense of detachment to the heart of the cause: THE EARTH.  See below for pictures of The Whole Earth Festival, featuring eco friendly gifts, vegan, raw, and vegetarian food booths, music, pertinent environmental causes, and a glorious sense of community.  I made a raw dish inspired by one of my favorite restaurants, Lydia’s Lovin Foods, a local company from the Bay Area.  I have pictures of the food below (they offer organic, raw, vegan, sugar free, gluten-Free, eco-Friendly cuisine).  These are MY kinda peeps, ya’ll.  So awesome.   
Raw Cauliflower Apricot Curry Salad 

Ingredients:
Salad Mix
-1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, chopped (two small heads)
-7 ounces dried Turkish apricots (preservative free) 
-1 cup raw cashews, small chop
-3 medium carrots, small chop
-2 ounces yellow onion, small dice (about a 1/4 onion) 

Dressing
-1/2 cup oil (use a neutral oil – my fave is grapeseed) 
-1 heaping tablespoon green curry paste (or any curry of choice)
-1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
-1 teaspoon honey (vegans, use coconut sugar or other vegan sweetener of choice) 
-1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (I used 1/8, some might like more)  
-1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon garlic granules (I used 1 tablespoon, some might light less – you could also use fresh minced garlic to your taste). 
-Fresh ground pepper to taste 

How To:
1.  In a bowl add dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.  Check for seasoning and spice factor.  
2.  Combine salad mix and dressing in shallow dish (like a roasting dish, this just makes it easier to mix together) then transfer into glass storage and refrigerate overnight (or least 8 hours).  Serve cold.  
3.  Serves 6 to 8. 

The Whole Earth Festival: Davis, CA (May 11, 12, & 13)
Skylar and Ethan rocken’ out to the groovy music 
Later in the daythe crowd enjoying the music 
Yoga anyone? 
I love walking around looking at the booths
here are some of my favorites 



This booth is made entirely of sticks.  
How’s that for eco friendly – no plastic!
Fun area for the kids:

Mommy and Sky doing some yoga
THE FOOD! 
Here’s my favorite booth: a local company I adore.  
See below for pictures of the food and what we ate!

This is a no waste event, so they provide plates and utensils, or bring your own.  
We bring our own
Snacks before lunch
Lunch
Raw Middle Eastern Plate:
 Dolmas grape leaves with Raw “Rice,” a scoop of
Coconut Almond Hummus & Lydia’s Crackers topped with Sesame Dill Sauce served with Greek Salad
French – Mex Crêpe:
(made with sprouted buckwheat) 
black beans, salsa fresca, avocado, spouted beans, & greens 
topped with a “Kreemy”Chili Sauce

My loves.
What a great day! 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: festivals, raw, salad, SCD, sides, summer cuisine, vegetarian.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Walnut, Cranberry, and Apple Salad with Raspberry Honey Vinaigrette

We’ve had some gorgeous spring weather with pleasant afternoons and cool nights.  Perfect weather for after dinner bike rides and early morning jogs.  Something about spring kicks my cravings for salads into high gear.  I made this salad last week for Ethan’s birthday party and have made it twice since then.  It’s a winner salad.  And my kiddos love this it too.  It’s just the right balance of sweet and tart and the textures are very pleasing.  I just love having prepared salad on-hand ready in the fridge, such an easy snack/lunch.  If you’re looking to incorporate a salad into your weekly rotation, perhaps you’ll give this one a try.   

Ingredients:

Salad Fixin’s

-1 pound mix of fresh baby spinach and romaine (or your preferred greens)

-1 ½ cups dried cranberries

-1 ½ cups toasted walnuts, chopped

-2 medium size red apples, small chop

-1 cup red onion, small chop

Raspberry Vinaigrette

-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

-1/2 cup oil (I use grapeseed)

-2 tablespoons of honey

-2 tablespoons of raspberry preserves, no added sugar, preferably (I use this brand)

-1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or ½ small garlic clove, minced – check for heat)

-1/8 teaspoon onion powder 

How To:
1.  In a large bowl, combine salad fixin’s.
2.  In a separate bowl add vinegar, honey, jelly, mustard, salt, garlic, and onion powder – whisk.
3.  While briskly whisking, slowly drizzle in oil.
4.  Add dressing to entire salad (your desired amount, heavy or light) and about 5 minutes before serving.  Or drizzle dressing on individual servings bowls. 
5.  Store leftover dressing in glass container in the refrigerator  

Notes
*Serves 6 – 8 adults.  
*Adjust seasoning, sweetness, and flavors to your preference.  I like dressings on the tart side, I don’t care for overly sweet.  So, make this your own and to your taste preference. 
I like to store my leftover dressing in an old honey jar 
I make a big batch of salad and store in a glass container, it keeps all week in the fridge. 
Posted by Amber at

Labels: dairy free, salad, sides, summer cuisine, vegetarian.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicken, Mango, and Black Bean Salad Topped with Vegan Cilantro Lime Sauce (SCD Friendly)

Last month we were out to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Dos Coyotes (a certified gluten-free establishment)*, and Scott had the most amazing burrito: chicken, mango, and black beans with a cilantro lime sauce.  Let’s just say we had the exact same thing the very next night, here at home, SCD style. 

Ingredients
-1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 8-10 hours
-1/2 cup cilantro 
-1/4 cup filtered water
-3 tablespoons oil
-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
-1/4 teaspoons salt
-1/4 teaspoon garlic granules 

How To
1.  Blend above ingredients until creamy 
2.  Serve with grilled chicken and mango salad (or skip the chicken and rock this salad vegetarian style).

Notes:
*This restaurant (North Davis location) is not only certified gluten free, but also eco-friendly.  All their to-go boxes are biodegradable, no plastic is used, no plastic bags, and they utilize sustainable energy sources.  

Build your Chicken and Mango salad!
#1: Curly (aka savory) green cabbage
I also mixed shredded romaine with the cabbage
#2: Black Beans  
These were soaked for about 48 hours, boiled, then cooked with water, Mexican spice mix, and onion
#3: Grilled Chicken 
Top with mango, red onions, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro lime sauce, and fresh cilantro 
Serve with a side of grain free Spanish rice 
Salud!
Posted by Amber at

Labels: main dish, salad, sauces, SCD.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Simple Curtido (El Salvadoran Cabbage Salad) SCD Friendly

A few years ago, my dear friend Deborah introduced me to curtido; and it was love at first bite.  I’ve made it many, many times since then.  Today this dish holds a special place in my heart, an example of how food connects us. Last October Deborah moved to Connecticut with her family and we miss them all very much. We met when our daughters were just about 2 years old.  They were fast friends, and so were we.  And we were pretty much inseparable for the better part of four years.  Among so many other things, she shared my love of food and cooking.  And let me tell you, she can bake a cake like nobody’s business!  So whenever I make curtido, I think of my special friend across the countryand smile.
You know I’m a sucker for cabbage. This dish is typically made with slightly wilted cabbage (from a quick blanch) and much more vinegar.  However, I prefer to make this raw and wilt the greens in a small amount of vinegar.  This dish is best served after marinating for 6-8 hours.  My advice is to make it the night before!

Ingredients
-1 lb green curly cabbage, thinly sliced
-2 large carrots, peeled and grated (or julienne)
-4.5 ounces red onion thinly sliced (about 1/2 an onion)
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-3 tablespoons oil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried cumin 
-1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey (for vegan, add agave or a few drops of stevia) 
-A few turns of the pepper grinder

How To
1.  In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots and onions.
2.  In a separate bowl (I use a Pyrex), combine vinegar, oil, salt, oregano, cumin, garlic, honey and pepper.
3.  Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage.
4.  My favorite method for mixing all the ingredients is to cover the bowl with a lid, then shake, shake, shake.  
5.  Store covered in fridge until ready to serve (at least 6 hours).

This is my son’s favorite salad!  

And up next
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, SCD, sides, vegetarian.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Radicchio with Fennel and Apple Topped with Fresh Orange Juice

For a long time there eating anything raw and green was out of the question.  And that’s hard for someone who LOVES salad!  But since starting medication and eating a (mostly at this time) SCD diet, I’ve had a very peaceful digestion (all you Cronies know what I’m talking about).  I’ve enjoyed indulging in salads again from the purples to the greens. However, it should be noted that radicchio is another name for chickory root, which is an illegal food.  So, please take caution when eating radicchio if you are on SCD, especially if you’re having symptoms.  Wait until you’re clear of symptoms to include this in your diet (and thank you to one of my readers for pointing this out to me!  You are awesome).  

This recipe fit the bill on a cold and rainy Tuesday.  The warm fennel and apples were savory and cozy, wilting the radicchio just enough, with buttery toasted walnuts, a burst of tart from the cranberries and a splash of fresh orange juice.  Love.  I ate two HUGE bowls for lunch and more with dinner (added in some SCD legal chicken apple sausage).  
Call me a salad eaten’ girl again! 

Ingredients 
-I head of radicchio, cored, sliced and washed  
-2 navel oranges
-3 fennel bulbs, sliced
-2 large red apples, peeled and sliced (I used Fuji)
-1 cup walnuts
-1 cup dried cranberries (sugar free and sulfur free)
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Oil of choice 
Serves 4 

How To
1.  In a large sauté skillet, add a drizzle of oil, salt, and fennel and sauté on med heat for about 5 minutes, or until slightly tender.  Add apples and walnuts and continue to sauté on med/low until apples are just tender.  Remove from heat.
2.  Build your salad.  
3.  To a plate, add a few handfuls of radicchio.  Top with warm fennel and apple sauté, cranberries, and serve with 1/2 an orange.  Use the orange as the “dressing.”   


Posted by Amber at

Labels: ACD, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, salad, sides, vegan, vegetarian.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kale and Golden Beet Salad with Tahini-Cider Dressing

I really love kale, but it doesn’t love me! Having Crohn’s makes it incredibly hard to digest, which is why I rely on green drinks to get my kale.  The other day I was shopping at our local Coop and perusing the salad deli.  There I spotted a tasty looking raw salad with kale as the base ingredient.  I tried it and just about fell over.  It. Was. Amazing.  So I wrote down the ingredients, ran through the store gathering what I needed, raced home and within an hour I had like 5 lbs of this salad – and I am pleased to say it tasted exactly like the deli version.  I was lucky with my ratios, especially with the dressing.  My daughter loved it and we both enjoyed it for our afternoon snack.  It was so good and I tried not to eat too much.  Although  I can’t go wild on this salad, I enjoy making it for others. I served it as an appetizer that evening for dinner and my husband asked if there was Parmesan cheese in the salad.  Pssh…are you serious?, I asked him.  I know, I know he replied, it just tastes so…cheesy.  It really does have a wonderfully complex flavor.
Ingredients
-1 bunch of kale, chopped (with the large vein removed)
-1 large carrot, grated (I used the shredder on my food processor)
-3 golden beets, grated (same as above)
-1 large green pepper, chopped
-1 bunch of green onions, sliced (use both white & green)
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
Dressing
-1/4 cup tahini (start with that and see how you like the flavor, add more if desired)
-1/4 cup walnut oil (or oil of choice)
-1/2 cup coconut aminos
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
How To
1.  Mix together the kale, carrot, beets, green pepper, onions & hemp seeds in large bowl
2.  Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix until thick and emulsified
3.  Pour the entire bowl of dressing onto salad ingredients and mix
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, sides, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

If you’re looking for a little something different to munch onplease look no further.  Meet kohlrabi.  It’s hard to describe the texture and flavorit’s like cucumber meets radish meets carrotI don’t know, that sounds like a strange combo so just try it and see what you think!  If you are familiar with this delicious (root-looking but not actually a root) vegetable than you are a lucky-duck.  I envision endless opportunities with kohlrabi.  However, I kept this recipe simple and easy.  It’s a stifling 100 degrees here in Northern California and so I wanted something cool, crunchy and delicious.  Kohlrabi gets a check, check and check on that list.  
Ingredients
-3 to 6 kohlrabi, julienned 
-Drizzle of oil (I like walnut oil) 
-Lemon juice to taste 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc. 

How To
1.  To kohlrabi, add lemon juice, salt and oil to taste 
2.  Toss and place in fridge for 30-45 minutes
3.  When chilled garnish with favorite herb

**************************
Kohlrabi Benefits

Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidant to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer.

Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduces the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer.


Kohlrabi helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is beneficial for hypoglycemia and diabetes.


Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C; a 1/2 – cup serving provides 50% of the adult RDA. This vitamin so essential for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and a strong immune system.


Kohlrabi is a good Source of Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium is important for proper functioning of every cell in the body and is critical for muscle contractions and controlling the heartbeat. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet can also reduce blood pressure in those who are hypertensive.


Kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber. A serving of kohlrabi provides five grams of soluble fiber – the kind that’s important for heart health.


Kohlrabi is low in calories and fat, with only 36 calories in a cup of raw kohlrabi, it’s a food you can enjoy without regret. Its little fat content is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.


Nutrient Content 
per 1 cup (140g) raw Kohlrabi

Vitamin C: 84mg

Potassium: 472mg

Carbohydrates: 8.4g

Protein: 2.3g

Fiber: 4.9g

Calories: 36 

 

    Shared on: Summer Salad Sunday
Posted by Amber at

Labels: raw, salad, sides, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

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