Tag Archives: salad

Cinnamini Coconutti Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

salad

I’ve been on a cinnamon kick lately.  It’s good in almost everything I eat – apples, oatmeal, nuts, and desserts.  Cinnamon has plenty of health benefits.  It regulates your blood sugar, help fight illnesses, and it has anti-inflammatory properties.  I’ve been craving for sweet potato and kale, so thought I whip something up with cinnamon.  It’s a perfect combination if you’re in for the sweeter side of salads.

 Serves 2

Salad Ingredients

  • 3 cups of chopped curly kale
  • ¼ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of paprika
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of grade b maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil

Cinnamon Maple Dijon Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of grade b maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp of ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil (I like it without olive oil, but feel free to add 1-2 tbsp if needed)

Directions

  1. Cut sweet potato into cubes
  2. Add olive oil and massage the sweet potato cubes
  3. Add nutmeg, paprika, cinnamon to sweet potatoes
  4. Add maple syrup and massage the cubes
  5. Cover your oven pan with parchment paper and bake sweet potatoes at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Flip potatoes every 10-15 minutes
  6. Chop kale in pieces.  It helps distribute the greens and the potatoes evenly
  7. Chop walnuts or pecans
  8. Once your sweet potato is baked add it to a bed of chopped kale
  9. Add dressing ingredients together and whisk.  Make sure the cinnamon and ginger are mix thoroughly
  10. Pour dressing in your salad and mix
  11. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and nuts

Dining Vegan

As much as I enjoy experimenting with vegan recipes, I love to dine out and enjoy the company of others.  Most of my family and friends are omnivores, so I go to restaurants they choose.  I do get questions like what do vegans eat when they go out?  You don’t need to live in LA or chomp on lettuce eating out as a vegan.  You don’t even need to go to specific vegan digs to enjoy a good meal.   I never felt limited.  You just have think outside of the “menu”.

Here’s a couple tips dining vegan:

Research.  Read the menu a head of time.  You’ll be prepared to know what to order, what to ask, and how to be creative.  If it boils down to limited choices then you’ll know to eat something before you leave, but save room for snacks.  It can get awkward if your friends are having dinner and you’re not eating, so munch on fries and have a beer.  You also want to reassure your friends that you’re fine if there’s not a lot of vegan choices.  By the way, there is always a minimum of one or two vegan items in any menu.  I love when people think about me, but rest assured this will never deter me from having a great time with good company.

Ask.  Don’t be afraid to ask off the menu.  I asked many times and gotten great suggestions.  In fact, chefs might make dishes for you because they’re excited to experiment with something new.  My family wanted to go out for Japanese ramen from Maneki Neko at Falls Church VA, but there’s only ramen with meat listed on the menu.  I asked the waitress and the chefs were delighted to make me a vegetable miso ramen.  It was spectacular!  My husband even got jealous of the ramen I got.

Remove.  There are items that can be removed and it tastes just as good.  I was recently at Peking Gourmet for Father’s Day.  My dad loves this place, so I was looking at ways to order.  I always loved Chinese pancakes, cucumbers, scallions, and hoisin sauce (despite the name there’s actually no seafood in this).  I can still enjoy this with everyone and leave the duck out.  I just filled it up with more cucumbers.

Substitute.  If I see something like vegetables on the menu I’ll ask to get that substituted for my dish.  We were at Arcadia in Richmond VA and they had beets with a meat dish, so I asked if I can substitute one of the dishes with beets.  Sure enough they were happy to do that.  I started out with the roasted turnips & beets, polenta, chive sauce, and gala apple.  It was perfect.  The beets and turnips complimented the polenta very well.

Sides.  You can have sides as a la carte or tapas style.  There are always sides that are vegan-friendly.  If that’s the case, order a couple dishes for your meal like this side salad and sweet potato fries I had at Bistro 27, also in Richmond VA.

Digs to satisfy both parties.  If you have the option to choose a restaurant go for Asian, Mexican, Italian, and Indian.  They will have vegan options for you, so both you and your friends can enjoy.  For instance, my husband asked me to choose a place for lunch while we were in Tampa.  I was interested in Taco Bus because number one it was on the Food Network and it had vegan and meat options.  My vegan taco was so delicious my husband had one too.

As long as your creative there are no limits dining vegan.

Naked Veggie Cobb Salad – No Dressing Needed

I was not a fan of salads, but I didn’t appreciate the true taste of raw vegetables.  I hindered the freshness by drenching my salad with a very unhealthy bleu cheese dressing.  I thought I didn’t like salads because of the greens, but it was the heavy dressing that turned me off.

Now I like my salads “naked” – little or no dressing needed.  A bit of lemon juice, herbs, salt, and pepper usually does the trick for me.  When I order a salad I typically ask for the dressing on the side, so I take it by moderation.  Sometimes I find myself snacking on lettuce or spinach by itself.  I love how light and crisp leafy greens can be, so the combination of vegetables is simply delicious.

Here’s an extremely easy and healthy Cobb salad recipe.  You’ll get the crunchy texture from the lettuce, the sweetness from the corn, the creaminess from the avocado, and a grilled smoky taste from the artichokes.  Who needs dressing when you got all those flavors and textures coming together to form a Yum-O salad.

By Shelly Chiang, Makes 1 bowl or 2 small sides

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 bag of 10 oz romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of canned chick peas
  • 1/3 cup frozen or fresh corn
  • 4 pieces of Monterey Farms Grilled Artichokes  (I got this from Whole Foods and it’s a key ingredient, so make sure to get this brand and get it “grilled”)
  • 1/4 medium avocado cubed
  • 1/4 medium red onion cubed
  • 1/2 large tomato cubed
  • 1/4 lemon wedge
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop avocado, tomato, red onion, artichokes into cubes
  2. Boil frozen or fresh corn until tender
  3. Combine romaine lettuce, chick peas, avocado, tomato, red onion, artichokes, and corn in salad bowl
  4. Sneeze lemon, and sprinkle oregano, pepper, and a dash of salt.
  5. Mix and enjoy!