Power Chopped Salad & Quinoa with Mushrooms and Arugula

Power Chopped Salad/Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

I don’t usually post two recipes in one post, but when I was dishing out dinner last night it just looked so pretty on the plates that I had to take a picture. I posted it on Facebook and immediately got a request for the recipes.

So here they are. Two bright, vegetable-filled recipes; a perfect meal for hot end-of-summer days . (Because, despite what many people may believe, it IS still summer.)

Power Chopped Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing

For the dressing:

leaves from 1 bunch of Italian parsley (about a cup)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Veganaise (I used light mayo, because I already had it on hand)

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon xylitol (you can sub sugar, if you want to)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or in a cup using an immersion blender, until completely pureed. Will keep for up to a week in a jar in the fridge.

For the salad:

2 hearts of romaine, finely shredded

2 handfuls of baby arugula, roughly chopped

Creamy Parsley Dressing

1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced

2 cooked beets, peeled and diced (I used THIS method) (I used 3 beets)

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered (I used 5 eggs)

Toss the romaine and arugula with 1/4 cup of the dressing in a large bowl. Place onto individual plates or a large platter, and scatter the remaining ingredients over the top. Drizzle with more dressing, if desired.

Makes 4 servings

Quinoa with Mushrooms & Arugula

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

Coarse sea salt

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 large handfuls of arugula, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned.

2. Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl, add the quinoa and arugula, and stir to combine. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 4 serving

Both recipes from It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Back in March I went with Chaim on one of his business trips to Georgia. One of the stops we made while we were there was the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base. Chaim’s gotten the kids very into airplanes, and we wanted to pick up some stuff for them at the gift shop.

Along with the gifts for the kids, I picked up a copy of The Military Wives’ Cookbook for myself. It just seemed fitting to make something from it for Memorial Day today. There are tons of recipes in there that I want to try, but I wanted something light and fresh to go along with the barbequed chicken and roasted potatoes that we had for dinner. I decided on this simple cucumber salad.

This is a slight variation on the recipe in the book, since I wanted to use what I already had on hand.

Cucumber Salad

5 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chopped cucumbers and onions in a medium bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, mix well, and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

4-6 servings

Adapted from The Military Wives’ Cookbook, by Carolyn Quick Tillery

Camp Sumter / Andersonville Prison (Civil War POW Camp)

A small portion of Camp Sumter / Andersonville Prison (Civil War POW Camp)
(Another place we visited while in Georgia. It was heartbreaking to think that I was standing on the ground where so many men suffered and died.)

Tabbouleh Veggie Burgers

Tabbouleh Veggie Burgers

I got the idea for these burgers when I was making different bulger-based veggie burgers a few weeks ago. Bulger is traditionally used in tabbouleh, a lemony salad filled with lots of herbs. I knew that the flavors in tabbouleh would make a great summery veggie burger.

I served these for dinner over mixed greens drizzled with a garlicky tahini sauce, with a homemade pita on the side. I was originally planning on serving these in the pitas, but for some reason my pitas ended up pocketless. I’m not sure if it was the recipe or if it was an error I made (possibly rolling the dough too thin?). However, they were still delicious—so soft and fresh. You can find the recipe on one of my favorite baking blogs, A Pastry Affair.

Homemade Pitas

This recipe makes a lot of burgers, but the leftovers reheat wonderfully (I reheat them in the toaster oven). I ate the leftovers for lunch on leftovers pitas (I cut the pitas in half, making two half moons, and just used it as I would a bun), drizzled with sriracha. This was actually my favorite way of eating them!

Tabbouleh Veggie Burgers

Tabbouleh Veggie Burgers

If you do not like feta, or want these to be dairy-free, you can leave the feta out. Feel free to add more herbs, if you would like.

1 cup bulger

2 cups water

1 (28 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped mint

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup crumbled feta

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Optional: Tahini Garlic Sauce, for serving (recipe below)

1. Place bulger and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Puree the chickpeas and eggs together in a food processor until smooth.

3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked bulger, the chickpea mixture, parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, lemon juice, feta, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Divide into 8 large burgers.

4. Heat a large skillet (I used cast iron) over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.

5. Add the burgers to the pan, 2 or 3 at a time. Cook until browned and crisp on the outside, about 6 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches.

Makes 8 servings

Tahini Garlic Sauce:

I made half a recipe of this sauce, but if you make the whole thing the leftovers are great as a dip for pita, vegetables, and falafel.

2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced


1 cup tahini

1/2 cup lemon juice (or more, to taste)


In bowl whisk together the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and tahini. Whisk in the lemon juice; the mixture will stiffen up. Whisk in water, a little at a time, until the sauce has the consistency of a runny yogurt (you may need to use up to 3/4 cup of water for this). Add additional salt and/or lemon juice to taste, if desired.

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups

*Tahini sauce adapted from Mediterranean Harvest, by Martha Rose Shulman

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Greek Panzanella

I’ve always been hesitant to try panzanella (an Italian salad, typically made with tomatoes and stale bread). I assumed that if you let pieces of bread, even stale or toasted bread, soak in a vinaigrette, they would get soggy. And that just sounded completely gross to me. However, when I saw the picture of this recipe in Ina Garten’s new cookbook I decided it was time to try it.

This recipe combines the typical ingredients of a Greek salad with chunks of toasted bread. And, WOW, is it good!!! Briny olives, salty feta, fresh vegetables. And the bread…. Oh, the bread!  The bread ended up being my favorite part! Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and full of so much flavor – not only from the dressing, but also from the vegetables that it marinates with. I already can’t wait to make this one again!

Greek Panzanella
Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips, Ina Garten

3/4 cup good olive oil, divided
6 cups (1-inch) diced rustic bread
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and large-diced
1 yellow red bell pepper, seeded and large-diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 pound good feta cheese, 3/4-inch-diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan until hot. Add the bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Set aside.

Place the cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl and toss together.
For the vinaigrette, place the vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Whisking constantly, slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil to make an emulsion.

Add the feta, olives, and bread to the vegetables in the bowl, add the vinaigrette, and toss lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.

6 servings

Veggie Slaw

This is a great fresh-flavored alternative to a creamy coleslaw.

Veggie Slaw
The Kosher Palette II
1 head red cabbage, shredded, or 2 (12-ounce) bags shredded red cabbage

1 pound carrots, shredded
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 each orange, yellow and red peppers, chopped

1 Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into small pieces

Garlic Herb Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh dill weed, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon mustard

2 to 3 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine cabbage, carrots, red onion, and bell peppers in a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until well mixed.
Toss the salad with the dressing and avocado, and mix well.
12-14 servings