Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthy Crunch Salad

Well, Chickens, I hope the weird weather where you are is as exciting as the roller coaster we are having here in Chi-town...60 in January???

Mmmm.  Global Warming.  Hello, tiger.  Welcome.

Things here are good, weather notwithstanding.   Despite a 24 hour stomach bug, UGH, I have managed to finish my new book, Out To Lunch, coming to a retailer near you this December.  It is off to my editor, and I am in that blissful brief time when it is actually out of my hands, and I cannot do anything about it till I get my edit notes.  Can we say brain vacation?  It's another foray into foodie fiction, with more recipes than ever before, and I hope you are going to love it.

Charming Suitor and I have been sticking to our commitment to healthier living, he has joined me in my low-carb diet, and we are exercising together regularly, which has been so much better than going it alone.

As a part of this plan, Tuesday nights after work we are taking a group tennis lesson.  This has required some planning, since after a full day of work and an hour of running around we are both starving and have little desire to cook.  And since takeout is a little counter-productive after a workout, Tuesday nights have become either slow-cooker meals, or quick salads.

This salad has become a fave, since it is very healthy, very delicious and insanely simple, and goes well with any protein, especially a quick cooking fish or a rotisserie chicken.  My local Whole Foods Market has a terrific salad bar that has a variety of cooked grains and legumes in addition to the usual veggies, so for me this is an easy set up.  But if yours doesn't, you can use leftover grains or cook some specifically for this salad.  Raw cauliflower makes up almost half of the salad, for plenty of crunch and making the grains stretch, perfect for anyone doing low-carb.  Plus it is the perfect thing to serve to your veggie or vegan or gluten-free friends.

Healthy Crunch Salad

2 c cooked mixed whole grains (I use a mix of black and red quinoa, farro, bulgur, and kamut, but use what you like)
1 c cooked lentils or the bean of your choice
1/2 c shredded carrot
1/4 c sunflower seeds (or the nut of your choice)
2 c finely chopped raw cauliflower, about 1/2 a head of cauliflower  (I blitz it in my chopper or food processor, to get a size and texture close to the grains)
3 T chopped parsley
4 T red wine vinegar
8 T extra virgin olive oil or pumpkin seed oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the grains and veggies in a large bowl.  Dress with red wine vinegar and olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

What are your go-to quick dishes?

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. This salad sounds great! I am definitely going to try it:))

  2. How many people does this serve?

  3. This serves about 6-8 as a side dish.

  4. You should follow "Peace, Love and Low Carb" on Facebook. She posts a TON of low carb recipes on there and on her blog, and she has a cookbook coming out. Her stuff is so good you don't even think of it as being low carb. Good for you!

    P.S. I finally met Jen Lancaster last night! I bet you guys are a riot together.

  5. I used to refuse to pay what I thought was an exorbitant price for bagged, pre-made salad greens but soon realized that they are ideal for a one or two-person household who couldn't eat up the equivalent amount of fresh produce before it went bad. So now my quick meal is bagged salad, preferably the one labeled as "very veggie", some heated-up leftover steak or chicken and whatever low sugar/low carb salad dressing I have on hand. I happen to really like dried cherries in salads so I'll dump in some of those, too. If I found some little packages of exotic mushrooms on sale, I'll add those as well.