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Lentil Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

This is a delicious and healthy salad with lentils, cucumber and roasted tomatoes.  It can be served as a side dish or even as a main dish.

This is a simple and tasty lentil salad…it is sure packed with flavors and texture. The flavors are intense…sweet roasted tomatoes to the spicy cumin and the texture are from soft and creamy to crunchy. It can be served as a side dish or as a main meal as I have done many times.

The leftover can be stored in the refrigerator for next day lunch…

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup dry lentils
  • 1 bay leaf (dry)
  • Salt to taste
  • 16oz sugar/grape tomatoes, washed and cut into half
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh thyme to taste, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 cucumbers cut into small cubes
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Wash the lentil and soak overnight in water, changing a few times

Cook the lentil in water with the bay leaf and a pinch of salt, first at high heat until boiled and then in low heat until the lentil is soft but not mushy.

In the meantime, cut the tomatoes in half and preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix gently until all the tomatoes are cover with oil.

In an oven safe tray, lay the tomatoes in a single layer. Roast for 40 minutes, and then increase the temperature to 425F if you want to caramelize them a bit.

Once the lentil is all cooked, drain well and place in a medium bowl. Let it cool.

Add to the lentil bowl roasted tomatoes, cucumber, cumin, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.

I hope you enjoy this healthy lentil salad loaded with flavors, please check on Farro Salad with Roasted Tomatoes recipe.

Did you know that lentils are legume? Lentils are high in protein and fiber. Moreover, lentils are a good source of folate and manganese and so easy to prepare.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Zucchini Ribbons Salad

This salad made with ribbons of zucchini is so simple and yet so tasty. The zucchini ribbons are layered with Manchego cheese and drizzled with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Before I get into this week post, today early morning, I received the news that my friend is now resting…I know that she is in peace and there is no more suffering…no matter how I comfort myself that it is better…still hurts a lot…so I will just keep what I had scheduled to post…

I really want to share this simple recipe that I learned while in North Carolina with my friend before Autumn arrives… This is a super simple salad…contains mainly zucchini and yet so good…very refreshing. Isn’t so interesting that the texture and almost the flavor of any vegetable, fruit, meat, poultry and fish can change according the way that the item has been cut, chopped, sliced, minced, grated…and so on.

I was in love with this salad from the moment I tried it…yes, it sounds like a love story…my friend niece husband is a fabulous cook and on our first dinner, they made lasagna and this zucchini salad, which I adapted slightly…there is no secret…just a few ingredients and voila…you have a beautiful ribbons of zucchini salad. Since I came back I already made this salad many many times…and I am still “in love” with it! Not to mention that this salad is great served with any dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size organic zucchini, regular or yellow
  • Fresh parsley to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Fresh grind salt and black pepper
  • Manchego cheese, thinly sliced to taste (or Parmesan)

Method:

Slice the zucchini into thin ribbons and place in a medium bowl.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Gently mix until all the zucchini ribbons are coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes, so the zucchini ribbons are slightly wilted.

In the meantime, chop parsley and slice the cheese.

Add the parsley to the zucchini ribbons and mix until all the parsley are even distributed.

Add the slices of cheese and mix again.

Serve cold.

I hope you enjoy this simple salad made with only a few ingredients…for more salad like this please check on  Zucchini Noddle Salad recipe.

Curiosity Corner 101314Did you know that parsley is a good source of vitamin K? Moreover, parsley contains more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than orange. So parsley is more than a decorative herb… go ahead and feel free to add parsley to your next dish.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Simple Fennel Salad

This is a very easy and simple salad using just a few ingredients. The fennel is thinly sliced therefore it is light, crunchy and refreshing.

Have you ever used fennel in your cooking?

I have been very skeptical since I do not care for licorice and was always reluctant to buy fennel, but after seeing so many nice recipes using fennel, especially in salad I decided to try when I saw it at Trader Joe’s a package of a couple of plump fennel bulbs. The simple shaved fennel salad recipe from Kitchen Riffs just clicked, when I searched for the recipe, I then realized that I have been contemplating in trying this salad for more than a year.

I followed the recipe as described by John and I must admit, it was so good…light, crunchy, slightly sweet, a touch of anise (not overwhelming)…now I know what I have been missing all this time.

So if you have never tried fennel, I urge you to try…especially that it is such a simple recipe therefore nothing can go wrong.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Wash the fennel and remove the stalks. Use a mandoline to slice the fennel.

Place the shave fennel in a bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (I omitted the salt).

Toss gently and serve.

If you enjoy this simple recipe for fennel salad you might want to check on Zucchini Ribbon Salad recipe.

Did you know that fennel belongs to the same family as parsley, carrots, dill and cilantro (or coriander)? Moreover, fennel is a good source of vitamin C and fiber.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Citrus Kale and Quinoa

In spite of many people already feeling Fall, we are still enjoying summer. As a matter of fact, part of July and August were so overcast here that we thought that this year we would not have summer at all…luckily, summer is finally here at the South Bay. We have been spending a lot of time walking at the beach and enjoying the weather…with that being said, I am still in the mood for salad.

This is the first time that I made salad with kale. I usually make kale chips or add to soup….after seeing so many kale salads,  I decided to  eat it raw, and I felt in love with it, although I must admit that my husband did not care much for it. He is a little biased because he never liked kale and after baking loads and loads of kale chips he finally started to accept them…maybe after more batches of kale salad, he will acquire the taste for it…

Since kale is kind of chewy, I decided to add quinoa so the texture of the  kale could be masked by the soft and nutty flavor of quinoa. And citrus dressing was a natural way to break the bitterness of the kale…

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale, I used the curly ones
5 to 6 tablespoon orange champagne muscat vinegar, I used the one from Trade Joe’s
½ red quinoa (or regular quinoa)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Dry cranberry to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can of Mandarin oranges
Roasted sliced almond

Method:

Cook the quinoa according to the instruction on the package. Once cooked, let it cool and place in the refrigerator for approximately 1 to 2 hours.

In the meantime, remove the kale leaves from the ribs and torn the leaves into small pieces (1/2 inch). Wash thoroughly and spin it dry.

In a bowl, add the orange champagne muscat vinegar and using your hands, gently squeeze the kale leaves until tilted. Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove the kale leaves from the refrigerator and add all the ingredients but the toasted sliced almond and Mandarin oranges.

Mix until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with the toasted almond and Mandarin oranges.

If you enjoy this simple and quick recipe of kale salad you might want to check on Kale Chip or Quinoa Salad with Mint recipe.

Did you know that kale is super rich in vitamin K? Vitamin K is crucial for the body function but one has to be cautious since too much vitamin K can interfere with some anticoagulant medications. Moreover, kale contains oxalate which affects the absorption of calcium, therefore avoid eating calcium rich food with kale.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!




Quinoa Salad with Mint

I hope all of my friends from US had a great holiday weekend…we had a wonderful time with family and friend with lots of BBQ and to finalize the party we saw the fireworks from the rooftop…it was a beautiful day…

I got this idea after having quinoa salad at the Stonefire Grill. Although the one that is offered at the restaurant comes only with lemon, mint and green onion, I decided to dress a little more when making my version of the quinoa salad.

This simple recipe for quinoa salad is refreshing and so good…super simple to put together…just prepare the quinoa as described on the package and have cucumber, tomatoes and lots of fresh mint. It is great as a side dish for any kind of meat, poultry, or even as a whole meal.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup cooked quinoa, cooled
2 tomatoes seed removed and chopped
1 small cucumber, seed removed and cut into small pieces
Fresh mint to taste
Fresh lemon juice to taste
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate for ½ to 1 hour before serving.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for quinoa salad…if you are looking for more recipe with quinoa, you might want to check on Red Quinoa with Chicken or Bell Pepper Stuffed with Quinoa.

Did you know that FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations) has officially declared the year of 2013 as “The International Year of the Quinoa” ? Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain and its amino acid balance is close to the idea, similar to milk.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!




Cucumber Salad

First of all…ALOHA! Today I want to share a very easy, simple and refreshing salad. You just need a few ingredients and you have a very light, tasty cucumber salad.

Ingredients:

2 English cucumbers or 3~4 Persian cucumbers
1 teaspoon salt

½ tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon thinly cut fresh ginger
1~2 tablespoons apple vinegar
Hot pepper flakes to taste

Method:

Wash and cut the cucumber (1/2 in), sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. Drain the water from the cucumber. In a small bowl mix the sugar, apple vinegar, ginger and hot pepper flakes. Pour on the drained cucumber, mix gently and serve.

And here are some pictures of our Spring Break…

Did you know cucumbers are flowers since they have enclosed seeds and were developed from flower?

Thank you for visiting Simple Recipes!




Salad with Strawberries

When I heard for the first time the term “fast food”, immediately came to my mind that is a dish that you can prepare really fast. Only later I learned the real meaning of “fast food”. Here is one of my version of fast food. It is really fast if you have handy the ingredients, I promise you that it will not take more than 15 minutes. You can substitute “Old Bay” spice with celery salt, pepper and paprika.

Ingredients:

2 filets of salmon
Old Bay spice
1 tablespoon olive oil

½ bag of mix greens
1 carrot shredded
3~4 leaves of romaine lettuce
½ cup of strawberries
2 tablespoon pine nuts
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method:

Turn the convection oven to 375F, if you have a timer, set it to 15 min. In the meantime, in a oven safe dish add the olive oil and place the salmon, turn it so the whole filet is cover with the oil. Sprinkle with the Old Bay spice and place in the oven for 12 minutes.

Once the salmon are in the oven, prepare the salad.

Rinse the romaine lettuce and strawberries and cut in small pieces. In a salad bowl, place all the greens, and top it of with the carrot, strawberries and pine nuts.

When the oven goes off, add the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the salad and mix gently. Serve with the baked salmon.

 

Did you know that balsamic vinegar is not a vinegar? But a product make from a reduction of cooked grape juice.
Aged balsamic vinegar is rich, thick and has a deep brown color. The flavor is a balance between sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice, with a hint of wood barrel that was aged in.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!




Grill Salmon

When I heard for the first time the term “fast food”, immediately came to my mind that is a dish that you can prepare really fast. Only later I learned the real meaning of “fast food”. Here is one of my version of fast food. It is really fast if you have handy the ingredients, I promise you that it will not take more than 15 minutes. You can substitute “Old Bay” spice with celery salt, pepper and paprika.

Ingredients:

2 filets of salmon
Old Bay spice
1 tablespoon olive oil

½ bag of mix greens
1 carrot shredded
3~4 leaves of romaine lettuce
½ cup of strawberries
2 tablespoon pine nuts
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method:

Turn the convection oven to 375F, if you have a timer, set it to 15 min. In the meantime, in a oven safe dish add the olive oil and place the salmon, turn it so the whole filet is cover with the oil. Sprinkle with the Old Bay spice and place in the oven for 12 minutes.

Once the salmon are in the oven, prepare the salad.

Rinse the romaine lettuce and strawberries and cut in small pieces. In a salad bowl, place all the greens, and top it of with the carrot, strawberries and pine nuts.

When the oven goes off, add the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the salad and mix gently. Serve with the baked salmon.

 

Did you know that balsamic vinegar is not a vinegar? But a product make from a reduction of cooked grape juice.
Aged balsamic vinegar is rich, thick and has a deep brown color. The flavor is a balance between sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice, with a hint of wood barrel that was aged in.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!




Chicken with Potato Salad

This salad is almost like a potato salad, with some modification. It is great for a picnic or even for a side dish for a backyard BBQ. Makes a hearty meal, with lots of protein in it.

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast
4 hard boil eggs cut in small pieces
4 medium potatoes cooked
2 carrots
2 stalks celery finely chopped
20 black olives chopped
2 tablespoons relish
2/3 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Preparation:

Shred the chicken breast, after being cooked in water, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
Dice the carrot and boil for approximately 3 minutes, strain the water.
In a big bowl add all the ingredients above, mix gently and serve cold.
Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature before you mix them together.
If you like a little more “sweetness” on it, add some raisin on top of the salad, the combination of the flavor is just great. Make sure that you add just before serving, otherwise the dark color of the raisin will diffuse, darken the color of the salad.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes and have a great week!