Autumn Salad with Roasted Pumpkin & Orange Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

Autumn Salad with Orange Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

Just because it’s November doesn’t mean you can’t eat salad… but when I look back at my recipe posts and see that I haven’t given you a salad recipe since June… JUNE!!!… I berate myself.  This might lead you to believe I only eat salad in American summer.  ‘Tis not true, friends!  I eat some sort of salad nearly every day.  However, I reckon most of them are not worthy of a whole post, …

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Strawberry Coconut Salad with Spicy Pecans & Fresh Strawberry Dressing

Strawberry Coconut Salad with Spicy Pecans & Fresh Strawberry Dressing

Soooo… I know half of the world is buried under at least a meter of snow, and the East Coast of the United States is just now digging out from “Snowzilla”- the blizzard that shut down airports, schools, and even US government offices for more than a day.  But over here in Philippines, we’re harvesting fresh strawberries from the highlands of Baguio.

Fresh Baguio Strawberries

I’m not being smug or anything.  I know you’ll have a “right back achta” moment as I lay panting in the heat of April & May whilst you enjoy your own fresh, cool strawberry season.  What comes around does indeed go around.  Plus, you’ll have this wonderful recipe with which to showcase your lovely fresh strawbs, while for me there will be not a berry in sight, straw or otherwise….

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Salad Seed Mix

Salad seeds

Happy Monday post-Christmas, friends!  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas full of love and family and wonderful food.

I know that after a couple of days of indulgence in heavier-than-normal treats, I’m really craving getting back to my regular routine of green smoothies and salads.  How about you?

Salad seeds

I made up this salad seed mix earlier this month as I mowed through my Ottolenghi salad seeds that I brought back from London in November.  Folks, this mix is amazing!  Crunchy, toasty, salty, just a bit spicy… it’s everything you want on your salad without that crouton-y carb-i-ness.  And sadly, I only brought back one jar.  So I knew I had to come up with a decent replica to last me until my next trip (??) to London, whereupon I will buy at least a dozen jars to last me maybe… a month.  It’s that good.

Salad seed mix

Let me say a few words about seeds: YOU NEED MORE OF THEM IN YOUR LIFE!!  Ok?  Seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition, for the obvious reason that they contain everything necessary to fuel the growth of an entire plant- just add water and soil.  Seeds are the richest plant sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you will ever find, all packed into a cute, portable package.  The trendy seeds these days are hemp and chia, but let’s not forget about the good old standbys: sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds, all of which are used in this mix.  All of these seeds are excellent sources of copper, manganese, and magnesium, and sesame seeds are also a good source of calcium.  If you are vegetarian, and especially if you’re vegan, seeds are a must-do in your life.  But even if you’re not, adding seeds to your diet enhances your nutrition in every way.

Salad seed mix

Making this seed mix couldn’t be easier: just toast the seeds on a baking tray, stirring every so often to brown them evenly.  Then add your spices of choice, let it cool, and store in an airtight jar.  Done!  It makes a nice gift too, but considering how good it is, I won’t blame you one bit if you “forget” to give it away.

Salad seed mix

I promise you’ll eat salad every day, just to sprinkle pour this seed mix on it.  But don’t stop there: you can also use it to jazz up hummus or other dips, as a finishing touch over steamed or stir-fried veggies, or atop any cooked grain.  I also have been known to just pour myself a handful on my way through the kitchen.  No wonder it goes so fast…

Salad seeds

Salad Seed Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Salad Seed Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup flaked almonds
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup brown flax seeds (or black sesame seeds)
  • 1-2 T. dried chili flakes
  • 2 t. coarse sea salt
  • 1 T. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F.)
  • Place all seeds and almond flakes on a large rimmed baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even browning.
  • Remove from oven and stir in chili flakes, salt & pepper. Cool completely and store in an airtight jar. Makes about 3 ½ cups.

Notes

You can use more or less chili flakes depending on how spicy you want the mix to be... 1 T. gives a very mild mix while 2 T. makes it really spicy!

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Salad seeds

Salad seeds

Asian Salmon Salad

Asian Salmon Salad

I’ve been hearing rumblings for this salad…

… and who am I to ignore rumblings??

I demo’d it last Thursday at the Asia Health Summit to show people how easy it is to make a simple salad to pack for lunch.  Bringing your lunch from home vs. eating fast food (as so many do here in Philippines) not only saves you money, but also protects an immensely more precious commodity- your health.  Fast food is excessive in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and harmful additives. But I think folks sometimes eat out simply because they don’t plan ahead, or they don’t know what to bring.  So here you go, a quick and easy main-course salad that is chock-full of beneficial nutrients.  Check it out: …

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