Monthly Archives

April 2016

Dinner Gluten Free Recipes Salad Vegan Vegetarian

Wild Rice Arugula Salad

April 18, 2016

Wild Rice Arugula Salad
AKA – A vegan is coming to dinner


A dear friend of mine called me last week in a panic – a vegan was coming to dinner. Gasp! What should she feed her? Is pasta vegan? What IS vegan? After I stopped laughing (with her, not at – I thought it was refreshing for her to be so concerned about someone’s diet), I told her that feeding a vegan is not as overwhelming as you may think. While I don’t consider myself a vegan, I do cook mostly vegan or food that can easily be made vegan.


Okay the word vegan has officially been used too many times in this post and it’s weirding me out.


I said I had the perfect recipe for her. It was fresh, easy, and great for any type of eater. This can be a side dish or an entrée if you add a simple protein to it. I served it with tempeh that I dredged in flour and pan-fried.


Most people who eat v… a plant based diet and visiting for dinner are thrilled that their food choices are even being taken into consideration. There are plenty of times that I have shamelessly brought box of veggie burgers to a cookout. (Side note: Anyone know how much folic acid is in a veggie burger?)


Wild Rice Arugula Salad
Serves 4

1 cup of wild blend rice – I used Lundberg
¼ cup of raw sunflower seeds
1 cup of shelled edamame, thawed
4 scallions, sliced thinly
2 ½ – 3 ounces of baby arugula – I used half a package of Olivia’s Organics
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
Juice of a lemon – about 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon of salt, plus more to season
¼ teaspoon of pepper


  1. Make rice: Boil 2 cups of water, add rice and simmer on low with the cover on for about 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Strain off any water and fluff with a fork. Spread the rice out on a cookie sheet to allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. In a small pan over low heat, toast sunflower seeds for about 5-7 minutes until they become fragrant and browned.
  3. In a large bowl add cooked rice, toasted sunflower seeds, edamame, scallions, arugula, and cilantro.
  4. Make dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix until it is becomes emulsified. I recommend making the dressing in a jar so you can shake it until it is blended.
  5. Add dressing to bowl and toss salad. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro.


Question: Have you ever had a guest come for dinner and were stumped on what to serve?

Dinner Recipes Salad Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Rosemary Almonds

April 4, 2016

Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Rosemary Almonds
AKA – How I got myself to eat kale without crying


My family eats off each other’s plates. When we go out to dinner my fork will shamelessly take bite from my dad’s entrée and vice versa. When my husband and I first started dating he was surprised by this behavior. I promise I always asked first. JPK was under the rule of, “If you wanted to try my dish, you should have ordered it.” His rule became very lenient over time, and he even took a vow when we got married to always let me eat off of his plate. Three years later he enthusiastically always lets me take bites.


For the longest time I could not get on the kale trend. I literally once cried over it at a family dinner. Okay, maybe I was going through something, but still – I let kale push me over the edge. A few years ago JPK and I were checking out a new to us restaurant called Northern Spy. He ordered a kale salad and as I begrudgingly took a bite of it I was surprised – I could finally handle more than one bite of kale. Lucky for me, he was willing to share! This is a take on that Northern Spy salad.


I was recently at a friend’s house when she was talking about kale and how she eats it to absorb calcium, but she can barely stomach it because it’s too “woody.” I caught myself being that annoying person saying – It’s all about the preparation! Come to find out she wasn’t massaging or de-stemming the kale. As a teacher of mine once said, “If you don’t massage your kale, it would be like a freight train running through your digestive system!” It is certainly time consuming to de-stem your kale, but it’s worth it in the end.


A few notes:

  • If massaged kale is still too much, try it with lacinato/dinosaur instead of curly kale. If you’re using lacinato, I might buy an extra head due to the lack in volume in comparison to curly. It’s a little softer, but still full of health benefits like reducing cholesterol and inflammation, while increasing the detoxification process. With any food, eat it in moderation as crucifers may contribute to an underactive thyroid.
  • Liquid Aminos is a slightly controversial product. To be honest, I’m not really sure why – feel free to comment. Maybe because it’s made out of soybeans? If liquid aminos isn’t for you, feel free to swap it out with tamari or another type of soy sauce.


Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Rosemary Almonds
Serves 4



  • 1 medium sweet potato, medium dice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 head of curly kale
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup of cheddar cheese, shredded or shaved

Rosemary Almonds

  • ¼ cups of raw almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon of rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 ½ teaspoon liquid aminos
  • ¼ cup warm water


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet.
  2. Toss cut sweet potato in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt. Bake on parchment paper for 10 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until they have a golden-brown exterior.
  3. In the same oven as the sweet potatoes, roast the almonds for 5-7 minutes, or until they become fragrant. Toss in a bowl with rosemary, olive oil, and salt. Chop into small pieces.
  4. De-stem kale, wash, and roughly cut into bite size pieces. Place in large bowl
  5. While sweet potato is cooking, add the lemon and remaining olive oil to the bowl of kale. Massage thoroughly. Take out all your aggression out on this kale. When you’re done with that, massage it some more.
  6. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until it becomes a creamy consistency. You can also use a food processor or blender. You will have extra dressing; so don’t add it to the salad all at once. I tend to overdress this salad because I love the dressing, but I know people are picky about salads.
  7. Add sweet potatoes and almonds to dressed salad. Salt to your liking and garnish with cheddar cheese.


Question: How do you feel about sharing food?