Category Archives: Salads

“Get Your Protein On” Bean Salads

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Curry Chickpea Salad, Italian White Bean Asparagus Salad + Black Bean Avocado Salad

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with people about how to make sure you get enough protein following a vegan diet. Honestly, this is the most common conversation that I have about eating vegan. The answer for me is by eating a healthy variety of whole plant-based foods that includes beans, nuts, nut butters, seeds, tempeh, tofu and some whole grains like quinoa.

I’m not big on tracking this kind of thing and I don’t count calories, but for a nutrition class I took while I was in culinary school I was required to track my food intake for two weeks. What I found is that my vegan diet met all of my protein needs perfectly. So I don’t sweat this too much. My focus and energy is directed toward holistic wellness and I trust that my healthy lifestyle will always support me.

Matt Frazier, an ultramarathoner and author of the book No Meat Athlete says “If you’re eating enough for your activity level and consuming a variety of whole foods, you will get all of the protein you need.” He explains that for his weight and activity level he needs about 2,500 calories per day and shoots to get about 10% or 250 calories from protein.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Pomegranate

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I guess you know you’re a grown up when you can say with a straight face that you like brussels sprouts. Because I’ll tell you, even just a few years ago, I would have never even wanted to try them. Now I love these little guys so much…especially roasted.

Discovering the wonderful world of vegetables has been such a fun process for me. I started this journey about 15 years ago when I decided not to eat meat anymore. I haven’t missed it a bit. But for years, I still ate eggs and dairy and many of my meals centered around cheese.

Then about 5 years ago, I thought I’d try eating a vegan diet for health reasons. I have never felt better in my life and now I can’t wait to try new veggies whenever I get the chance. And luckily for me, there are so many more choices available at restaurants for vegetarians and vegans today.

The idea for this recipe came from a lunch I had recently with my friend Missy at True Food Kitchen. The concept behind this restaurant (which has locations in Texas, California, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona and Virginia) is an anti-inflammatory menu based on the work of Dr. Andrew Weil. The omnivore menu changes seasonally and identifies items that are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.

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Festive Cranberry Wild Rice Salad

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Tis the season for hosting gatherings, sharing meals and savoring moments. I brought this simple salad to a holiday party recently and it was a hit. I knew I wanted to use fresh cranberries, but honestly didn’t really know how it was going to turn out. Well, it worked and I was asked by several guests for the recipe, so here you go.

I cooked some Lundberg Countrywild rice according to the package directions, but you could use any wild rice really. Then while the rice was still warm, I added chopped fresh cranberries so they would soften but not be too cooked. I chopped celery, apple and pecans to add. The whole thing was pulled together with a simple cranberry vinaigrette. I found the most amazing cranberry vinegar here in Houston at an oil and vinegar store called Vom Fass. If you can’t find that flavor, simply use a plain balsamic vinegar.

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French Green Lentil Potato Salad

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photo 2 (16)While traveling recently, I found myself having the nicest summer supper on a screened in porch in the beautiful little village of Mariemont, Ohio. The meal was unfussy and the company was relaxed. My friends, Mike and Shelley, know good food. They mostly make it themselves from scratch and seek out the best fresh local ingredients they can find.

On this night, Mike made French green lentils from a Julia Child recipe he’d been wanting to try. With his vegan friend visiting, he thought it was the perfect time. I agreed. He’d also picked up some newly harvested potatoes from the farmer’s market and threw together a french style potato salad. To round everything out, Shelley sliced some gorgeous local tomatoes and we had a feast.

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Shaved Raw Vegetable Salad + Ginger Dressing

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Had the best simple salad just like this while visiting my old hometown, Cincinnati, last week. It tasted as if the greens were just picked from the farm and the raw vegetables were sliced impossibly thin. In case you didn’t know, the Ohio Valley is home to a most excellent foodshed and the chefs in this town really know how to take advantage of the bounty of the summer season.

This salad idea came from a fabulous meal I had at Salazar in Over the Rhine (OTR). The food scene in the OTR neighborhood has exploded over the last few years. Every time I visit, there is some new cool hip trendy spot to hit. This year, one of the places to see and be seen at is definitely Salazar.

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Caribbean Cobb Salad

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Foodie Yoga Girl made the big leap from the blogosphere into the real world last weekend with her very first cooking class event. The hands-on class was in honor of my friend Heather’s birthday. I shared Heather’s raw oatmeal raisin cookie recipe a while back. She and I met during our yoga teacher training. She’s lovely and it was so much fun being a part of her celebration.

For the class, we set up three stations, each focusing on a different cooking method. One group was in charge of baking jerk tofu. Another group at the stove made sauteed plantains and cilantro lime rice. And the third group (Heather’s parents who were visiting from Colorado) was in charge of this beautiful recipe for Caribbean Cobb Salad.

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Macrobiotic Bowl

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Food fascinates me. Well, clearly, I write a blog about it. Seriously, I love how I introduce some new thing about food into my life and then it leads to something else. Or I meet someone or go somewhere and learn something completely new.

Eating an amazing meal in Boulder, CO inspired me to transition to vegetarian eating. Reading the World Peace Diet during my yoga teacher training affirmed my commitment to a vegan lifestyle. My first macrobiotic meals, at Casa de Luz in Austin and Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio, felt life changing too.

Although, I’ve only had a few macrobiotic meals so far, I love the way they make me feel. Balanced. Energized. Vibrant. Healthy. There is something to it and I want to learn more.

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