First of all, how are you doing? I hope you are feeling well and hanging in there. Are you trying to make sense of how your life is changing? Me too, and some days it’s easier than others. I’m thinking it’s pretty normal to feel like things are out of our control, and to not really be sure what we can do to be of some help. Maybe one thing we can all do is to try and stay as healthy as we can, and that means keeping our social distance, eating right and getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.
I am attempting to balance the goal of eating right with limiting my once usual daily trips to the grocery store. This has proven to be as challenging as not reaching for a second chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. However, I have become determined to grocery shop only once a week, and this has changed my strategy and approach to the grocery quest, especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables.
An easy way to eat right is to make sure you can throw together a salad that is hard to stop eating. This one is chock full of nutrients and packs a flavor punch as well. When shopping only once a week, fresh lettuce can be a challenge, so here’s another alternative. This salad is made with items that can stand a week or two in the refrigerator with no problem. Let’s start with a nice head of red cabbage, which to me is sweeter and juicier than regular old green cabbage. You usually only see cabbage in slaws, but here it takes on a whole new personality. Red cabbage is chopped into decent sized pieces, then tossed with thawed frozen green peas and green onion. From there on in, you can make this thing your own, but I always like to add freshly roasted radishes, beets, and a yellow or orange pepper if I happen to have one hanging around. Strips of bright orange or purple carrots and even more color and crunch. To round everything out and add some sweetness, toss in some dried cranberries or apricots. To top it off and add a salty crunch, here come the roasted pumpkin seeds. Then all that’s left is to pour on your own favorite dressing. You’ll feel good after eating it – that’s a promise. And after you’re finished, treat yourself to a couple of cookies. After all, as my heroine Julia Child often said, “Everything in moderation”. Exactly.
Let’s talk about this roasted radish idea for a minute. Have you ever tried them? They don’t really taste much like a radish, but more like a little new potato. They are super easy to roast with just a twenty minute visit in the oven. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and you’re home free. They are a beautiful deep pink right out of the oven, so this recipe suggests you toss them on the the salad while still warm. In reality, I never usually get that coordinated so they end up at room temperature. They are still delicious, but will lose some of that deep color but that’s really no big thing.
And now, a word about red cabbage. It’s addictively crisp and juicy when freshly cut. I’d suggest you just chop as much as you need for each serving because it does tend to dry and and lose some of it’s crunch on the second day. You can feel free to make everything else in this recipe up to a week ahead of time though, and they will all be good as new. …and I hope you try and roast some pumpkin seeds. They are salty and crunchy and are a nice balance to the vegetables in here. Be sure to make about three times what you think you’ll need because they have a tendency to disappear fast.
Be sure to use your favorite dressing. After all, this is your salad now. Add what you like to make it just perfect for you. Personally, I love a healthy spooning on of blue cheese dressing, as well as a nice big slice of blue cheese on the side. Nobody ever said healthy has to be boring!!
….just horsing around with the camera on this one. My mom and I discovered these cones on a walk recently, and the wild currant is in bloom so just kind of went with it.
Hope you enjoy this one, and would love to hear how you changed it up to make it your very own!! Thanks so much for reading today, and please take care. xoxoxo
I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email me at: birdsnestbakeryandcafe@ gmail.com I promise to answer each and every note you send.
- FOR THE SALAD
- Red Cabbage diced into ¼ inch pieces or smaller if you prefer (Figure on about ½ cup cabbage per serving. It’s better to dice the cabbage the day you eat the salad because it has a tendency to dry out the second day. Everything else in the ingredient list can be made in advance and added to fresh cabbage every day).
- Green onions, sliced thinly
- Frozen peas, thawed and rinsed (figure about ¼ cup or more per serving)
- 3-4 bunches radishes, greens removed and rinsed (To roast radishes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Slice each radish in half and lay them in one layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss them with your hands to make sure each radish has been oiled and salted. Roast until a sharp paring knife inserted in the center of your fattest radish goes in smoothly – this will take about 20 minutes or more but start checking about the 15-minute mark since every oven is different. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then use to garnish the salad. NOTE: These radishes are both beautiful and delicious right out of the oven. One hour later, they are still delicious, but their bright color has faded. Don’t let that stop you.
- Big handful of dried cranberries
- Pumpkin seeds roasted (To roast: Place about 3 cups of raw pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil over the seeds, and sprinkle with salt. Now smoosh the seeds together with your hands until all the seeds are covered with a light coating of oil and salt. Place in a 350-degree oven and roast for about 10-12 minutes. You’ll be able to smell them roasting by then, and when you take them out of the oven, they will probably make little popping sounds. Let them cool to room temperature before using).
- ADDITITONAL OPTIONAL SALAD ADDITIONS
- 1-2 carrots, peeled and grated, sliced, or cut into thin strips
- 1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
- Red or yellow roasted beets, sliced
- Dried apricots, each one sliced into about 4 pieces
- Crumbles of blue cheese or other cheese of your choice
- TO ASSEMBLE
- In a large bowl or platter, toss the red cabbage together with the peas and green onion. At this point, you can also toss in any additional salad additions you want: carrots, yellow/orange peppers, dried fruit, etc.
- Maybe it’s just me, but I like to garnish the salad with some of the more tender stuff, like roasted beets, blue cheese, etc.
- You can either serve the roasted pumpkin seeds on the side, or sprinkle on top of the salad.
- Serve with your favorite dressing. (PS: I love blue cheese dressing with this salad – it adds a really nice creamy finish).