Category Archives: Salads

Picnics are Bomb

Collabo post! Finally in the same city for one weekend, we naturally had to embark on a meal mission. Finding ourselves wildly overwhelmed in the produce section of the monster Whole Foods on Lincoln, we decided to throw together an Asian/vegetarian taco themed picnic. Which, if you’ve succumbed to all the hipster foodie quackery floating around Los Angeles, isn’t a ridiculously uncommon theme these days. Add a side sesame slaw, sangria and some good people for a gorgeous Sunday afternoon!

Rainbow Peanut Slaw

1 whole red cabbage
1/2 mango (preferably only semi-ripe)
1 whole apple
1 packed cup cilantro
1 cup peanuts
1 shallot or thinly sliced red onion
3 grated carrots
One lime

2 parts toasted sesame oil
1 part rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper

Combine cabbage, mango, apple, shallot, and carrots in a large bowl.  Combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, and salt and pepper and toss. Add peanuts and cilantro just before serving.

Shitake Mushroom & Lentil Tacos  with Miso Herb Sauce
Adapted from here

Miso herb sauce:
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. white or yellow miso
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 packed cups basil leaves
1 packed cup cilantro
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

Shitake Mushroom & Lentils
1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil, divided
half of a yellow onion, diced
6 oz. shitake mushrooms (halve any large ones)
3/4 cup cooked lentils (I used de puy)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
sea salt + pepper

For the sauce, pulse garlic cloves with the rice vinegar in a food processor to blend. Add herbs and drizzle in oil until desired consistency is met.

In a large pan, heat coconut oil and add onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and just leave them to heat up and start to release moisture*. Once they have reduced in size, about 4 minutes, add the remaining coconut oil and saute to mix. Add the lentils and another pinch of salt and pepper and saute to warm through. Lastly, add the vinegar and stir to scrape up any brown bits in the pan.

Assemble tacos as desired!

Dainty Little Salads

In my favorite cooking blogs and magazines I often find the Dainty Little Salad – ultra light, usually with shaved this or grated that, and featuring some type of seasonal fruit, usually pink – the most idealistic recipe there is. I usually write these off as a highly attractive, but kind of improbable meal. Then I had a labor day weekend that included a buffet of four types of mac & cheese, several some serious Giants ballpark fare, and copious amounts of beer at every turn. In a cruel coincidence (?), both pairs of jeans I own ripped straight down the bum. True story. So I thought it might be time to give one of these trophy wife salads a try.

Turns out this salad was as delightful to eat as it is to look at, provided you keep a few things in mind:

Recommendation one: thinly shaved fennel is a must. I have really enjoyed having a roommate with a mandolin, and can confidently say that the recommendation to buy this particular kitchen gadget is sound advice. When you’re crunching into a big old piece of fennel, you really do lose the effect.

Recommendation two: a salad bowl. It makes food ten times better. Even if it’s ridiculously large for one person. Just try it.

Recommendation three: sturdy greens. I used a spinach mix from the farmers market. If there’s one culinary pet peeve I have, it’s wilted, wimpy little lettuce leaves – and these guys have lasted a week and still look peppy.

Final and probably most important recommendation: supplement your salad. Dainty Little Salads are a lot more enjoyable when you aren’t starving. I threw a little tuna salad on the side of this one night, and had it with a fried egg over a slice of dark bread the other. I promise it doesn’t make you any less cute.

Spinach Salad with Sprouts, Fennel, and Grapefruit
1 bag of mixed spinach leaves or other fresh greens
1/4 of a grapefruit
1 bulb fennel
1 packet sprouts – alfalfa, broccoli, or mung bean
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Dijon mustard

Wash spinach and sprouts and throw in a big salad bowl. Shave fennel with a mandolin and add to the bowl. Slice grapefruit with a knife into any dainty shape you want – you can slice it or just chop it.

Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts olive oil. Add some freshly ground pepper and a little squirt of dijon mustard. Beat with a fork and pour over salad.