Tag: healthy potluck recipes

Mexican-Inspired Black Bean Quinoa Salad {Gluten-Free}

It’s summer, and you know what that means?

Cookouts!

When the weather is warmer, we often crave lighter, more cooling foods. For that reason, I like to prepare healthier alternatives to the heavier potato, egg and pasta side salads we typically see at picnics, potlucks and cookouts.

If you want a¬†quick and delicious dish¬†to bring to your next cookout or potluck, give this one a try! It’s packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats, filling fiber, and TONS¬†of flavor.

It also gave me a reason to use these beautiful spring onions ūüôā

Aren't these pretty?

This recipe was inspired by one¬†from Angela, who writes an amazing blog over at ohsheglows. She just came out with her first cookbook, too! It’s on my wish list.

I made a few tweaks to the salad itself and the dressing based on the flavors we like.

The original recipe called for 3 times as much cilantro, but I find cilantro to have a very strong taste, so I reduced it. I also tossed in some creamy avocado and added a little more flavor to the dressing by throwing in some chili powder and a subtle pinch of cayenne pepper.

As always, Bill added a few shakes of hot sauce on top of his bowl and liked it so much that he went back for seconds! Success ūüôā

Cumin-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad

This salad was delicious. Bill went back for seconds AND had leftovers for lunch the next day! Servings: 6

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked). Click here for how to cook perfect quinoa every time. You could also sub in brown rice instead.
  • 1 thumb-sized piece kombu¬†(find it in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (or 1.5 cups cooked), drained and rinsed. We like the brand “Eden.”
  • 1/2¬†cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4¬†medium carrots, grated/shredded¬†(about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup¬†extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Set quinoa aside.
  2. Add ghee to medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute 3-4 minutes or until they start to soften. Then, add garlic and saute 1 more minute.
  3. Add quinoa to pot along with kombu and 2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover about 12-15 minutes or until you see little white tails pop off the quinoa and no water remains. DO NOT STIR the quinoa during this time.
  4. After cooking the quinoa, dispose of the kombu piece, and let the quinoa cool for 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork if needed.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cilantro, carrots, green onions and avocado.
  6. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour the dressing onto the salad, and toss to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad the day before your next cookout, potluck or party, and the flavors will come together even more once you serve it. If you make it ahead of time, throw the avocado on just before serving, so it’s as bright green as possible.

“Upgraded” Kale Waldorf Salad

I almost had the privilege of staying at the renowned Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City when I was a senior in high school.

Unfortunately, due to lots of picketing and some sort of boycott, my classmates and I had to change locations and stay at a different hotel during our senior class trip to the Big Apple. Oh well!

The salad I’m sharing today originated in the Waldorf Hotel in the late 1800s and is often a potluck favorite due to the combination of creamy dressing, crunchy celery and walnuts, and sweet, crisp apples.

A bunch of healthy ingredients go into this salad recipe

A bunch of healthy ingredients go into this salad recipe

One of the things I like to do when preparing meals is make some upgrades. “Upgrades” are little changes that basically boost the nutrient score of a particular food or dish. The more nutrients we get in our food, the more our bodies will thank us by staying well and feeling energized!

I made this salad, which puts a healthier spin on the class Waldorf Salad, for a friend’s baby shower last summer, and it was a big hit.

The sweetness comes from apples and raisins instead of the white sugar used in the traditional recipe, and the Dijon mustard, apples, and walnuts blend together to create a creamy dressing without using mayo.

The main “upgrade” to¬†this recipe is¬†the addition of dino kale (a¬†superstar vegetable!). This is a great way to introduce friends and family to kale. It has lots of different textures and great flavor. Bring it to your next potluck!

“Upgraded” Kale Waldorf Salad¬†

IMG_4761

Ingredients

  • 4 cups packed finely chopped raw kale, preferably dinosaur kale
  • 1 large red apple, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

The dressing will be pretty thick, but I just massage it into the kale. If you find that you need more than 2 tablespoons of water to thin it out, feel free to add in one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice instead of adding more water.

Click here for the full recipe from Whole Foods Market Recipes (one of my favorite recipe apps!).

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