As always, I had a wonderful time on Better Kansas City on KCTV 5! For this show, I made delicious vegan and vegetarian salads that would be perfect for your Easter celebration or any celebration for that matter! If there is anything I have learned while prepping for parties, it’s to make as many dishes ahead of time as possible. I can’t tell you how much easier it makes things on the day of the event. These salads are perfect for just that! Each one is made from delicious ancient grains that are rich, filling, and good for you. And if the fact that they are delicious and healthy is not enough for you, what if I told you that the longer they stayed in the refrigerator, the better they taste?! So now you see why I LOVE these salads and hope you will too!
Santa Fe Quinoa Salad You can't get more perfect than Quinoa, With its mild flavor, light crunch and impressive protein content, quinoa is the perfect gluten-free and non-GMO substitute for pasta, rice or couscous. The below salad is fabulous for any party and can be prepared ahead and stored for up to three days or more! Serves 6-8 Six cups of cooked Quinoa 1 can of black beans 1 cup of cilantro 1 cup of frozen corn or one can of canned corn 1 cup of red pepper (chopped) 1/4 cup of chopped red onion 1 cup of chopped tomatoes 1 avocado Dressing 1/2 cup Olive oil 2 Garlic Cloves Minced 1 teaspoon of cumin 2 tblsp of lime juice 1 tsp honey salt and pepper to taste Instructions In a bowl combine your black beans, red pepper, corn, onion, cilantro, and cooked quinoa. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, pepper and honey together and toss over bean and corn mixture. Refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes When ready to serve, add your tomato, cilantro, and avocado. Gently toss and combine well. If you plan on refrigerating this salad for a couple of day, leave out the tomatoes and avocados until right before serving. You can serve this just as a salad or add just a bit of quinoa and instead serve the "salad" with crackers or chips, more like a dip. Orzo and Feta Salad with Lemon and Mint Orzo is a delicious pasta which takes this spring and summer salad to a whole new level. Orzo is simple to prepare, is small in size, and has a wonderful ability to soak in flavors from other ingredients. It's a perfect addition to soups, pilafs, and SALADS!! Serves 2-4 4 cups of cooked orzo 1 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper 2 finely diced large cucumbers (remove seeds) 4-6 oz of Feta cheese 4 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves Dressing 1/3 cup of minced shallots 1/4 cup of Olive oil 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice 1 minced garlic clove 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest salt and pepper to taste Combine the ingredients for the dressing... olive oil, shallots, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Mix until well blended. For the salad combine cooked orzo, yellow bell pepper, cucumbers, mint, and feta cheese. Pour salad dressing over salad and toss well. You can serve immediately or for an even more intense flavor, let sit for 1-2 hours at room temperature. If you plan on making this salad a few days before eating, leave the mint off until right before serving. Spring and Summer Barley Salad with Mint and Green Beans Whole grain barley is a healthy high-fiber, high-protein whole grain boasting numerous health benefits. When cooked, barley has a chewy texture and nutty flavor, similar to brown rice. Although soup is the most popular way to eat barley, it was wonderful for salads as well. 4 cups of cooked barley 1 cup of green beans (steamed and cut into one inch pieces) 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 shallots (minced) 3 (about 1 cup) ounces white mushrooms (stems discarded and sliced thin). 2 fresh lemons (juiced) 2 tbsp minced fresh mint 2 tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley salt and pepper to taste Heat 3 tbsp of olive oi in a small pan and cook the shallots unitl softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given off their liquid and it has evaporated. Add lemon juice and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and let cool. When mixture is cool, pour over the barley and set aside. Whisk together the remaining olive oil with the juice from one lemon. Pour the mixture over barley and toss everything until well blended.