Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

I didn’t make any resolutions for 2013, or maybe I just don’t want to call them resolutions.

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Whatever the case, I do have a few goals:
I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon (high hopes), and I want to make this blog a bit more consistent – posting every Tuesday and Thursday, etc. Also I want to test out a few new segments. Running topics for example, and overall “favorite things” from the month. We’ll see how they go, but hopefully you like them!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

I posted a big a beautiful cookie recipe last, but I wanted to give you some green stuff. This particular salad makes me swoon. It’s full of candied walnuts, goats cheese, buttered croutons and fancy arugula. Get in my belly! Also, it’s another recipe from Shutterbean, who has been filling my weekly menus lately. Thanks Tracy!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

To start making this, get your candied walnuts ready. Combine brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a heavy large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking. Boil 1 minute. Add walnuts and stir.

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Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes.

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Transfer nuts to sheet of foil sprayed with oil and quickly separate nuts with fork. Cool.

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Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Place arugula in large bowl. Drop in croutons, and goat cheese.

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Add the candied walnuts on top and then toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Enjoy!

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts
Recipe adapted from Shutterbean
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Candied walnuts:
1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups walnut halves

Salad:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 5-ounce packages baby arugula
1 5-ounce packages soft goat cheese, broken into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
4 tablespoons of packaged croutons (I used honey-butter flavour)

Directions:
For candied walnuts:
DO AHEAD: Can be made the day before or 1 hour ahead.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a heavy large skillet. Bring to boil, whisking. Boil 1 minute. Add walnuts; stir. Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to sheet of foil sprayed with oil and quickly separate nuts with fork. Cool.

For salad:
Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Place arugula in large bowl. Drop in nuts, croutons, and goat cheese. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Enjoy!

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Kale Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Avocado

Yesterday was just another day for me. No Thanksgiving deliciousness, and a giant Kale salad on my dinner plate. I’m Canadian after all, so I ate my weight in mashed potatoes last month.

But with all the gorgeous Thanksgiving recipes that have been popping up all over the internet, I thought I’d give you guys a big kale salad to help detox the body and make you feel like all that binge eating never happened.

This salad is chalk full of goodness. The dressing is simple with fresh squeezed orange juice, olive oil and salt, and the salad itself consists of kale, juicy chopped oranges, almonds, avocado and pomegranate seeds. HELLO health food!

To make this make your dressing first. Combine the juice of one orange with olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, cut the middle stem part off the kale and place it into a bowl. Peel your second orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Kale Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate Almonds and Avocado
Recipe lightly adapted from Eat Live Run
Makes one big salad (and dressing for 3 salads)

Ingredients:
1 bunch lacinato kale (“dinosaur” kale”), washed and roughly chopped
2 juicy oranges
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 avocado, diced
10 whole raw almonds
1/2 pomegranate (seeds, of course)
pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
First, make the dressing. Combine the juice of one orange with the olive oil, pinch of sea salt and pepper. Shake or stir until very well combined. Set aside.

To assemble the salad, peel the other orange and separate the sections. Chop orange sections roughly and place in a bowl with the kale, pomegranate seeds, chopped avocado and almonds.

Drizzle 1/3 of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Enjoy!

Notes:
-I actually like to let the dressing soak into the kale for about 10 minutes before eating.
-Extra dressing will stay good in a sealed jar for a about a week.

Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives

After three full days of being vegan I can honestly say my my life hasn’t changed very much. I’m a vegetarian anyway, and all that’s really changed is that I haven’t been adding cheese to my food or baking with butter (which I can totally miss out on for a month).

Two questions keep popping up that I thought I would address:
1. “What do you eat for protein”?, and
2. “Don’t you run out of choices”?

I went out for dinner with my Grandparents last night and they asked “when are you going to eat normal again?” which pretty much translates to “if you don’t eat what we eat, how can you possibly eat at all?” It’s a bit annoying, buy hey! We can’t all understand each other. And I’d like to give answers to the above two questions, that might be helpful to you too!

1. Protein isn’t just meat, and I certainly do not only eat tofu. If I want a snack I’ll eat some hummus and carrots, peanut butter and banana, apple and almond buter or some raw nuts. For lunch and dinner I like eating as many different beans as possible see here, here and here. This recipe is also chalk full of protein! Protein can be found in grains like quinoa, lentils, beans (black, garbanzo, kidney, etc.), tofu, tempeh, nuts and so many more things than I can possibly explain. Hopefully this helps!

2. If you read the above answer, NO I do not run out of choices. That’s part of the reason that I’m doing this vegan month. I want to be able to cook with foods I haven’t before, explore different ways of cooking, and try new things. If you honestly thing vegans and vegetarians eat the same thing every day. You are so, so, so wrong. It’s like asking a meat eater how they eat chicken every day. Silly question right? Exactly.

Anyway, I’m excited for the rest of this month to progress, and look forward to all the exciting new recipes I’ll be making. Like quinoa….so good!!

To make this recipe, preheat your oven to 400. Spray foil with cooking spray and place cherry tomatoes on top. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes. They will start to burst and char—you want this! After 30 minutes, remove tomatoes from the oven and place in a big bowl.

Spread the walnuts out on a foil-lined sheet try and toast for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove and place toasted walnuts in the same bowl as the tomatoes.

Combine the quinoa, bay leaves, water (or broth) and spices in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Add the quinoa to the walnuts and tomatoes and stir in the olives. Season with salt to taste. Serve chilled.

Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes, Walnuts and Olives
serves 4 (or 6 as a side-dish)
Recipe taken from Eat Live Run

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water or vegetable broth
16 oz cherry tomatoes (mix of orange and red if you like!)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt (or, to taste)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.

Spread the walnuts out on a foil-lined sheet try and toast for 3-5 minutes, until golden. Remove and place toasted walnuts in a mixing bowl.

Spray foil with cooking spray and place cherry tomatoes on top. Roast tomatoes for 30 minutes. They will start to burst and char—you want this! After 30 minutes, remove tomatoes from the oven and place in the same bowl with the walnuts.

Combine the quinoa, bay leaves, water (or broth) and spices in a saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

Add the quinoa to the walnuts and tomatoes and stir in the olives. Season with salt to taste.

Serve chilled.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds

I have been in a bit of a fall salad rut for a while. I had trouble coming up with anything other than roasted squash and beets on lettuce. A normal conundrum. One I have every year.

For me, having a salad for lunch is ideal, and I was so happy when I came across this simple salad on the Kitchn. Simple, easy, different, and awesome! Who knew I would be so into kale?

All you need to do is gather up your ingredients. Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese.

Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together.

Transfer the salad to a bowl and leave the salad for about 10 minutes (this makes the dressing soak into the kale a bit). Slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad. Enjoy! And if you have any fall salad ideas, let me know! I’m always up for suggestions.

Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Almonds
Serves one
Recipe lightly adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients:
6-8 ounces of raw kale
5 dried apricots
small handful of raw almonds (I used about 10)
1 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 avocado
salt and pepper

Directions:
Fold a piece of kale in half lengthwise and use your fingers to tear out the tough inner stem. Repeat with the other leaves of kale. Tear all the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Cut the apricots into little bits and add them to the bowl with the kale, along with the almonds and the cheese. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour the vinaigrette and a healthy pinch of salt over the salad and use your fingers to toss and rub everything together. Transfer the salad to a bowl.

Just before eating, slice the avocado into cubes and spoon them over the salad.

Note: This salad will keep for about 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad

After my sister and I were about 3 km (1.9 miles) in to our 6.5 km walk today, I noticed that I did not have any sunscreen on…or any protective clothing or water in my backpack. It’s 33 degrees C (90 F) outside.

Shit. Yes, that was the only word that came to me. Now I’m at home, can barely touch my arms, and find sitting painful. WOO HOO! Sunscreen matters people. Don’t be silly like me.

Since my brain and body are a bit fried, I can only handle cold salads and ice cream right now. That’s it! And this salad is perrrrfect! It’s filled with black beans and grapefruit and totally made me happy.

Hope you like it too! I recommend in on non brain-fried days as well.

To make this, bring quinoa to a boil with three cups water and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from stove and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.

Place black beans, red onion, grapefruit, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and shucked corn kernels in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add quinoa to salad then pour over dressing.

Toss well and serve.

Now that’s a summer salad.

Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad
Recipe lightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, minced
1 large grapefruits, divided into segments and chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
2 ears fresh corn, kernels chopped off’
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 large (ripe but firm) avocado, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, minced (optional)

Dressing:
juice of 3 limes
2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:
Bring quinoa to a boil with three cups water with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from stove and let cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Place black beans, red onion, grapefruit, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and shucked corn kernels in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add quinoa to salad then pour over dressing. Toss well and serve.

Salad will keep in sealed tupperware containers for up to five days in the fridge.

Lentil Feta Salad {Vegetarian Collection}

This year I turn 25 and because of that I started this little list. There are 30 things I want to do before I turn 30, and baby, I’m going to do them no matter what!

Besides wanting to drink in a pub while singing an Irish bar song in Ireland, I also have a few things that are a little more right now instead of in the futre. One of those things is to cook my way through a book from cover to cover.

When choosing a book I had to take two things into consideration. The first is that I am a vegetarian so I can’t choose a book with meat in it, and the second is that I like the way my body is shaped now and didn’t think choosing a baking book was the best idea. I bake once to twice a week already and that’s more than enough!

Lucky for me I work in a book store so during my breaks I had a ton of cookbooks to look at. After browsing many, many, cookbooks I choose Canadian Living’s The Vegetarian Collection and have made 6 recipes from it so far – all delicious! This was the first recipe I made and the very first recipe in the book. I hope you enjoy this lovely, healthy salad, and this new segment on my blog!

To begin, toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together your oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and garlic; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Disgard garlic.

Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley to a large bowl.

Toss with dressing to coat.

Stir in almonds and about ¼ cup of feta cheese. Sprinkle remaining feta just before serving.

Enjoy!

Lentil Feta Salad
Recipe from The Vegetarian Collection
Makes 4 regular and 6 small servings
Per 1 of 6 servings: 305 calories | 14g protein | 18g total fat | 25g carbohydrates | 6g fibre

Ingredients:
½ cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried green lentils
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olove oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano (or fresh)
salt and pepper
1 ½ cups cucumber, diced, seeded and peeled
1 cup halved grape (or cherry) tomatoes
½ cup red onion, diced, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:
In a small dry skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 5 minutes.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add lentils and garlic; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Disgard garlic.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and parsley. Toss to coat.
Stir in almonds and about ¼ cup of feta cheese. Sprinkle remaining feta just before serving.

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

The leaves are falling here in Ottawa. Dropping from the trees and reminding us all that winter is on it’s way. I’m ok with that – I like winter. I enjoy winter running, tubing, sliding, skating and skiing like many 13 year olds people that live in this fine capitol, but the thing I miss most in winter is colour.

Spring brings new blossoms. Summer radiates with tulips and summer gardens. And fall brings the changing leaves. Winter brings…white…and a whole lot of it! I thought it would be fun to make a beetroot salad that popped with some colour. I wanted it to be warm to make me feel cozy, and have a nice taste to make the whole thing come together.

I found this recipe in the Canadian Living magazine I subscribe to. I got it as a gift from my boyfriend’s mom, and it has really been useful for finding tasty, seasonal, recipes. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I did!

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins.

Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

Place baby greens and onions in a large bowl.

Toss in fresh parsley, dill and chives.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar.

Add the sauce to greens. Add beets. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Enjoy!

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad
Taken from Canadian Living Magazine
Makes 4 servings
Per Serving: 184 calories | 15g total fat | 3g fibre | 5g protein

Ingredients:
6 baby beets, trimmed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Pinch each of salt and pepper
6 cups loosely packed baby greens
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, dill and chives
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 F. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and roast on a baking sheet for about an hour until tender.

Let the beets cool enough to handle and then remove the skins. Cut beets into wedges. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, parsley, dill, chives and beets.

Toss to coat. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad

My belly aches. With yesterday’s and today’s candy consumption my body is beginning to think Reese’s peanut butter cups are a food group. So, with my rumbling belly telling me to cut the sugar I decided to make a quick and healthy Moroccan dish with whole wheat couscous, toasted almonds and pistachios and citrus flavour. Not the salad I’m posting here, but close in terms of the nutritional benefits.

This salad is chalk full of good stuff. It has protein from the quinoa, healthy fat from the avocado, olive oil and tahini, and vitamins A, C, and K from the fresh, crunchy, red peppers. I made this salad in September when I was home alone for a month and needed something healthy to make in a big batch. Do you ever do that? Make a dish that lasts you 5 days? The first day is AWESOME and then by day 5 you never want to see that particular meal again. ’tis life. To begin, cook up your quinoa.

Chop your red pepper and onion.

Add chopped avocado.

Mix up your dressing ingredients – tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, water and salt. Oh, and make sure to take a really blurry, bad photo of it!…haha.

Mix your quinoa, dressing, and chopped red pepper, avocado and red onion together. If you like cilantro you would add it in here. I don’t like it so I left it out. Enjoy! And, Happy November!

Lemony Quinoa and Avocado Salad
Recipe adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 red pepper, diced
2 avocados, diced
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Tahini Dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from two big lemons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions:
Rinse the quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa and water until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the hot water to thin a bit and then the salt.

Toss the cooked quinoa, pepper, avocado, red onion, cilantro and half of the dressing. Add more dressing if you like and season with more salt to taste. Serve garnished with a bit of cilantro.

Strawberry Salad with Sugared Almonds

This salad makes me feel good all over. I feel womanly. I feel thin. I feel sexy.

I like this salad so much because it has all that I need to fill me up, and taste great at the same time. I love the way that the sweet poppyseed dressing goes with the strawberries, sugared almonds, goats cheese, and cranberries. The lettuce adds a little green and screams “you are healthy, baby – strut it”.

So eat this for lunch with a cocktail in hand and sunscreen on your skin. You’ll feel unstoppable. Oh, and make sure to wear cute sandals too. That’s always a good idea.

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk sugar, mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and poppy seeds.

Pour that dressing over the rest of your ingredients and enjoy!

Strawberry Salad with Sugared Almonds
From the Bite me cookbook
Serves 6

Ingredients:
Poppy Seed Dressing
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp poppy seeds

8 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 recipe of sugared almonds
1 cup sliced strawberries
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup crumbled goats cheese (I used goat cheese balls)

Directions:
Prepare sugared almonds.

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk sugar, mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and poppy seeds.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, strawberries, cranberries, and sugared almonds. Toss with dressing and goats cheese and serve.

Note: A BIG thanks to Alicia Leroux for taking all of these photos. You rock my world! AND…I want your camera.

Seasonal Fruit Salad with Honey-Mint Lime Dressing

It has been amazing weather-wise here in Switzerland. Since I arrived on April 1st, the sun has made sure to shine her rays every. single. day! It has of course rained here and there, but it is never for very long, and it never seems to happen when I walk to and from work. Someone is on my side.

To celebrate the lovely weather, I thought I’d make a bright and colourful fruit salad with a little kick. I regularly make fruit salads with either no dressing or an orange juice dressing, but when I saw this on Tasty Kitchen, I knew I had to try.

I made this salad with ripe mango’s, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and pineapple.

For the dressing I threw together honey, lime juice, brown sugar, and mint.

Then I mixed this dressing until everything was well incorporated. Then I poured the dressing on top of the fruit, shared it with some friends, and ate it. I might have had a cocktail with it too…you know you want to too.

Seasonal Fruit Salad with Honey-Mint Lime Dressing
Dressing recipe taken from Tasty Kitchen
Serves 10 people

Ingredients
3 Tablespoons Honey
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, Chopped
10 cups Seasonal Fresh Fruit: I used Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches, Kiwis, Mangos, and Pineapple.

Directions:
In a small bowl whisk together honey, lime juice, brown sugar, and mint until well incorporated.
Toss with your bowl of fresh cut fruit and serve.
Garnish with optional mint sprigs.