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Delicious Vegan and Vegetarian Make Ahead Salads!

March 25th, 2016

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!

Lisa Teachman and Arina Lanis

Lisa and I after our segment. Love her!!!

Quinoa, Barley, and Orzo salads

Santa Fe Quinoa Salad (lowest bowl), Mint and Green Beans Barley Salad (middle bowl), and Feta and Mint Orzo salads (top bowl) (all are on the left) and Santa Fe Quinoa Salsa with chips and bread (right)

RECIPES

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.

ALL WHITE CRUDITES or VEGGIE PLATTER

October 2nd, 2015
vegetable plate

Delicious all white vegetable plate

If you think that vegetable platters need to be an assortment of colors, I beg to differ.  I served this all white crudités at last year’s holiday party and it was a hit!  Most people are so impressed to see that vegetables come in all sorts of different colors, like white asparagus.  It’s one of those “surprise” elements I like to incorporate into all my parties.  Alternatively, creating a colorful veggie plate with purple cauliflower or heirloom tomatoes, also gets “oohs and aahhs” from guests!

SIMPLE VEGGIE PLATE

May 5th, 2015

veggieplate

Sometimes the simplest thing can be the most beautiful on your table.  That is what I love most about fruits and vegetables, they are so gorgeous and no matter how you arrange them, they WILL look beautiful.  This simple vegetable platter was created by my sister for one of our parties a few weeks ago.  I bought a large vegetable tray at Sam’s and I’ve used it non-stop for YEARS!!  I don’t even bother putting it away, because it gets used on a regular basis.  It looks great with all kinds of things, but it looks the BEST with fruits and vegetables.  My sister also made sure to separate the colors, which plays a big part in presentation.  But all in all, it was one of the simplest food items at our party and the most popular!

A Veggie Kaleidoscope With Beet Hummus – FABULOUS Veggie Plate!

May 4th, 2015

veggiekaleidoscope

I don’t know if you heard the news, but the Kansas City Royals won the World Series!!  It’s a pretty big deal in KC.  In fact, they closed all the schools yesterday so that everyone can enjoy the Rally and Parade.  Over half a million people attended and it was a celebration like no other!  And while most of Kansas City was enjoying the parade, I decided to skip the crowds and instead, had a watch party at my house.   My friend brought over delicious Dean and Deluca salads, while I created this vegetable platter.  Unfortunately, no blue vegetables (Royals color)… but this  Kaleidoscope of colors did the trick!  The Beet and White Bean hummus was delicious.  I found the recipe on Marthastewart.com and played around a little with the ingredients, which I will post at a later date.  But for now,  Martha’s Beet and White Bean Hummus recipe is very good!!

DELICIOUS VEGGIE WHEEL PLATE

May 3rd, 2015

veggiewheel

Who wouldn’t love a Veggie Wheel Plate at your next gathering?!  You don’t need those fancy schmancy veggie bowls with the separate compartments for your vegetables, just make your own.  I used different colored carrots to separate the vegetables.  It was easy and beautiful.

SIMPLE VEGGIE PLATTER

May 1st, 2015
simple veggie plate

Delicious, healthy, and simple veggie plate

What do you do with the leftover veggies from yesterday’s Monster Veggie Platter?  You make a new veggie plate and serve it up as a delicious snack while watching the World Series game!  Super easy and delicious!!