Red Quinoa Salad with Spiced Roasted Squash, Black Beans, Maple Toasted Pepitas and a Chipotle Dressing

This post is half recipe, half product review. I must admit, I was never a fan of mayo or miracle whip growing up. However, after transitioning to a plant based diet, I fell in love with Vegenaise (a vegan version of miracle whip). Recently a new company, Just Mayo, released a vegan mayo. We brought some into the deli and I played around with it, but wasn’t in love with it. Two new products from Just Mayo happened to catch my eye – Chipotle and Garlic infused. I am a fan of spice, so I gave the Chipotle a try. Turns out, it’s pretty great. I had it on a veggie sandwich yesterday and today I made a fabulous quinoa salad. The flavored mayos are definitely versatile and can be utilized in different ways. It would be fun making a pasta salad or mashed chickpea (faux chicken) salad as well!!

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Ingredients

– 1/2 kabocha squash, seeded, peeled and diced
– Arizona spice mix from Penzey’s
– 2 c cooked quinoa
– 1 c cooked black beans
– a handful of maple toasted pepitas (recipe follows)
– 2 Tbls Maple Syrup
– 1 Tbls melted coconut oil
– Cayenne
– Cinnamon
– salt
– olive oil
– Just Mayo Chipotle style
– Apple cider vinegar

1. First, preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the squash in olive oil and toss with Arizona spice mix and salt. Roast until soft
2. Next, make the dressing by mixing together Just Mayo chipotle, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, chipotle, olive oil and salt
3. For the pepitas, I only use a handful – but I make a large batch because they’re fun to snack on and always disappear quickly. I toss 2 c of raw pepitas with maple syrup, olive oil, cayenne, cinnamon and salt. I roast at 400F for a few minutes then set outside to cool
4. Assemble the salad by adding quinoa, beans, squash, pepitas and dressing. Salt and pepper to taste

Warm Spinach Salad with Sautéed Garlic, Butter Beans, Goat Cheese and Roasted Beets

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After a 5 days on the road, indulging on a variety of food and spirits, my body needed a detox. I knew once I got home, did a mound of laundry, put things back in their places; I would not be enthused to spend a large amount of time in the kitchen. I made a quick and practical meal which utilized elements I had on hand. You can apply this concept to other ingredients you have. No spinach? How about bok choy, cabbage, kale or swiss chard? Not a fan of beets? Try a different root veggie, perhaps a carrot or roasted sweet potato. To make it vegan, omit the goat cheese, or make a delicious vegan parmesan topping! Whichever you choose, I am confident you can use a minimal amount of ingredients for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Ingredients
– 1 16oz package organic spinach
– 1 12oz can butter beans
– 1 clove garlic
– olive oil
– salt
– 1 medium beet
– goat cheese
– lemon infused olive oil for garnish
– salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat the beet with some oil. You can leave the skin on. Roast the beet until it can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, cool, peel, then cut into diced pieces
2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium. While it’s warming, slice a clove of garlic very thin. Add the garlic to the oil, cook until fragrant
3. Add the butter beans to the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then slowly add in the spinach. Cook the spinach until just wilted
4. Dress the salad with some goat cheese, serve with beets on the side (for presentation purposes only, prevents the salad from becoming discolored)

Broccoli Salad

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This broccoli salad is absolutely brilliant. There are 5 basic ingredients and you are in charge of how creamy and/or sweet you want it. I really didn’t measure anything. I simply blanched half a head of broccoli florets and rinsed them with cold water. Once cooled, I added them to a bowl along with a scoop of vegenaise, handful of raw sunflower seeds, handful of craisins and about a teaspoon of chopped shallot.

You could easily make this into a pasta or rice salad as well. It would go great with a wild rice!

Raw Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing

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Kale is one of my favorite foods to work with. I’ve made several kale salads before and this is definitely a keeper. Unfortunately I did not measure out the dressing, but I will do my best to give an estimate. Feel free to play around with it as needed.

I truly believe kale salads are an essential staple to have on hand. I usually make one batch a week and play around with different dressings for each one. Avocado based dressings are quite excellent since they provide a creamy texture and a healthy fat. When you finish this nutrient-packed meal, you feel fully satisfied!

Ingredients
– 1 bunch of kale
– oil
– 1 avocado
– 1 clove garlic
– 2-3 Tbls nutritional yeast
– 1-2 Tbls lemon juice
– 1/4 tsp cayenne
– salt/pepper to taste
– water to thin to desired consistency

1. Destem kale, tear into bite sized pieces. Massage with oil for 5 minutes or until tender and wilted. Rinse and set aside
2. In a blender/food processor, add avocado, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Thin with water as needed. Pour over salad. I used about 2/3
3. Add in toppings such as raw sunflower seeds and shredded carrots

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Thai Cucumber Salad

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The flavors of this cucumber salad are amazing. And the best part? It is light and healthy! You simply need a few ingredients that are listed below and your cucumber salad will be ready in just a couple of minutes.

Ingredients

– 2 cucumbers, peeled, sliced
– 2 roasted red peppers, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 Tbls tamari
– 2 Tbls vegan fish sauce
– 1 Tbls lime juice
– 1/4 tsp cayenne
– 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
– 1/4 c cashews
– 1/4 c green onion, chopped

1. Slice cucumbers and dice peppers, set aside
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne. Add to sliced cucumbers. Top with cilantro, cashews and green onion

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

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I had the pleasure of making this dish at the Green Scene in Walker, Minnesota. It is light, refreshing and extraordinarily delicious! I suggest making a batch of this on a Sunday night and you’re set for lunch for the week.

Ingredients

– 2 c sliced cauliflower
– 3 roasted red peppers, diced
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp marjoram
– 1/4 chopped green onions
– 3 Tbls lemon juice
– 1/2 c kalamata olives, sliced
– 1/4 c olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add everything together and let sit for 20 minutes before eating

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Roasted Beet Salad

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I’m not quite sure what all the fuss is about beets. They have a beautiful, earthy flavor and are packed full of nutrients such as folate, potassium and fiber.

To make them the star of this salad, I simply roasted a golden and red beet, with skins on, drizzled with oil, at 400F until tender.

After roasting, I let them cool, then peel the skins off. Chop them into bite sized pieces and add other salad ingredients to your liking. I had some local goat cheese on hand, so I used that along with diced yellow peppers. I dressed the salad with a simple olive oil/balsamic dressing. Serve with a nice piece of warm bread and butter.

Kale Salad with Spicy Chickpea Dressing

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This was my last dish I made at the Green Scene. It was totally bittersweet. In just a few short weeks, the women at the shop opened their arms, minds and kitchen in allowing me to get creative. I’ve focused primarily on raw foods, but my peanut butter graham cups were a huge favorite, along with the sweet potato noodle dishes. I honestly never had more fun at work and it’s incredibly difficult leaving this wonderful work environment behind.

Using local kale and greens blend, I made a simple salad with a chickpea dressing. Here is the recipe for the dressing:

 

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Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

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I was just telling a co-worker that if I ever get a tattoo of a vegetable, it will be of kale. I love the stuff so stinking much. And my spicy peanut salad is out of this world. If you aren’t a fan of spice, just omit the red pepper flakes. If you aren’t a fan of kale…well…I’m sorry 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 Tbls peanut butter
  • 3 Tbls rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbls agave
  • 1 Tbls amino acids
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  1. Wash, de-stem, and tear kale into bite sized pieces. I like to soften my kale by giving it a nice 5 minute massage, a teaspoon or so of oil and dash of salt will help break things down even more
  2. In a processor, combine dressing ingredients. Pour over kale. Enjoy!

Fajita Salad

Some days we just need a go-to meal and this is one of those meals. If I ever open a restaurant, my fajita salad will definitely go on the menu. It’s full of flavor and incredibly satisfying. It was so good, I really didn’t even need a dressing!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • chili seasoning (about 1-2 tsps)
  • oil (I used a chipotle infused oil)
  • black beans, about 1/3 c
  • avocado, about 1/3 sliced
  • brown rice, about 1/3 c cooked
  • lettuce
  • balsamic vinegar (I used garlic infused)
  • Parma raw vegan cheese (chipotle cayenne)

First, saute the peppers and onion in a little oil. As they become tender, sprinkle the chili powder in. Once soft, remove from heat.

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Now, you’re ready for plating! Put down some lettuce, then add the rice, corn, fajita veggies, black beans and avocado. Top with some garlic infused balsamic vinegar and cayenne chipotle parma. Enjoy!!

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