Kale, Apple and Pine Nut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

On August 7, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We are on vacation in Michigan enjoying not going out for every meal, so I’ve been making quick, easy vegetarian dishes that help us enjoy vacation even more.  Eating good, healthy food helps too.  This salad is a great example of something easy to make with just a few ingredients.

This morning was the Northport Farmer’s Market where I found some great purple kale for this salad and the bread too!

Kale, Apple and Pine Nut Salad with Maple Vinaigrette 
Serves 4

1 bunch purple kale
1 apple, diced into small cubes
1/2 red onion, diced into small cubes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

For Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste

Chop kale into thin strips and place in bowl along with the diced apple and red onion. Meanwhile heat a saute pan on medium heat with the olive oil in the pan. Add the pine nuts and sugar and let it cook for a couple minutes just before they begin to brown. Remove from heat and add to bowl with kale.

To make the dressing combine the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and maple syrup in a bowl and add the olive oil a couple tablespoons at a time whisking each time to combine.  Continue until all olive oil is added and then season with salt and pepper. Taste to make sure you are good with the mix. If too acidic, add some more olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the kale salad and mix to coat.  Serve with some fresh bread.

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Abundance Bowl

On April 28, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We often take a long drive out to Ojai on Sundays to get out of the city and to experience one of our favorite Farmers’ Markets. There is a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables plus some great cheese vendors, but it’s more about the experience.  An experience of driving through the hills to eventually spend an afternoon enjoying the market and park in the center of town.

Our other stop is a great vegan restaurant called Hip Vegan, of course. Dumb name aside it really is a wonderful place to have lunch. One of our favorite options is choosing from some of the abundance bowls they serve.

What’s an abundance bowl?

It’s basically a bowl full of various vegetables along with some grains or beans and a dressing. I had been wanting to try a version at home since we only get out to Ojai maybe once every couple months. Thanks to Pinterest I found a pretty solid Abundance Bowl recipe.

The Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce in this recipe from the blog My New Roots is a bit of a different take than what we get in Ojai at Hip Vegan.  However, it’s even a better take. You’ll love the dressing here and it does keep for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [My New Roots Winter Abundance Bowl]

 

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Vegan Curried Sweet Potatoes

On August 29, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Finding a new food blog full of amazing vegan (or vegetarian) recipes makes my life planning 3 to 4 vegetarian meals a week a whole lot easier. We are trying to eat half of our dinners without meat so I’ve been spending some time searching for some great recipes. I was happily surprised to find Healthy Blender Recipes.

Healthy Blender Recipes is more than just smoothies and things to do with a VitaMix blender. There are some great vegan recipes to try too which brings me to tonight’s dinner and my first recipe attempt from The Blender Girl’s blog.

I reduced the original recipe by half, since I only bought 3 sweet potatoes at the Coppell Farmer’s Market yesterday. They were beautiful sweet potatoes from a local farm near Dallas. I also had picked up some fresh lettuce at the Farmer’s Market that went well with a simple lemon and oil dressing I’ve been making.

 

Lemon and Oil Dressing

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

shavings of lemon peel

Squeeze the lemon, I usually just cut a lemon in 1/3 and extract the juice. Shave the lemon with a lemon zester. Add about half of the olive oil and mix the dressing with a fork. Add remaining oil and mix. If you want, add a small dash of salt too.

Makes enough for 2 small side salads.

I reheated some rice and dished out a couple heaping spoonfuls of the vegan sweet potato main dish then added a side of salad.

For the recipe: Vegan Curried Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

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Pear and Gorgonzola Cheese Salad Dressing

On February 23, 2009, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I celebrated my birthday, earlier this month, at one of my favorite local restaurants – Sweet Lorraine’s in Southfield, Michigan. They make some great food that is always very fresh and sometimes very interesting. I had a mixed grill dish with couscous, lamb sausage, shrimp and chicken all in a Moroccan styled marinade. It was excellent (sorry don’t have the recipe for that.)

I did have a disappointment on my last visit. They had by far my favorite salad dressing, a Pear Gorgonzola dressing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ordered enough so they discontinued making it. Well that got me thinking about trying to replicate their recipe. After some Googling of pear and gorgonzola salad recipes, I found a basic pear dressing recipe that I modified a bit to emulate Sweet Lorraine’s dressing.

My mother in-law was over at dinner last night when I served the dressing with some fresh greens, sliced red onions and sliced carrots. She says I should bottle it. It was amazing. A four out of four stars, according to her. Everyone else really enjoyed it too, especially odd from a bunch of people who don’t like Gorgonzola. So, even if you are anti-stinky cheese, this recipe is sweet and very tasty I’m sure you’ll find it to be one of your favorite dressings too.

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad Dressing

Makes enough for approximately 10 salads

2 canned pear halves in natural juice
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper

Separate the pear halves from their juice, keep pear juice aside. In a blender or food processor, puree the drained pear halves with the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper until very smooth and silky. You may need to adjust by adding some pear juice liquid to thin the dressing or add another drained pear to thicken the dressing. Puree to desired consistency and add Gorgonzola cheese at the last moment and pulse the blender or food processor to quickly blend into dressing. Transfer to a jar, cover and refrigerate.

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