Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lighten up Lunch: Travel Wine & Dine's Warm Winter Salad

I'm trying to lighten up my meals now that the holidays are over.  More whole grains, veggies & fruits.  Fewer processed and refined foods.

The first couple days of re-training myself to eat healthfully are always difficult.  It's like breaking an addiction, and I need all the help I can get.  I threw out a lifeline on twitter, and asked for recipe reccos.  I was so excited when I received these recommendations from Pam at Cave Cibum, Kim at Lighter and Local, Sarah at Semi-Sweet, and Meghan at Travel Wine and Dine.

They all sounded great - and I'm hoping to try a few more of them.  But for this first recipe I went with Meghan's warm winter salad - believe it or not I had roasted beets already sitting in my fridge....and almost all of the other ingredients (with a few substitutions).
Instead of spinach, I used some lacinato kale, and instead of wheat berries I used farro.

 Warm Winter Salad 
Adapted from Meghan at Travel, Wine, and Dine

2 cups Lacinato Kale
1 large beets, roasted, peeled, and chopped into half moons
1 cup shelled walnuts
1/2 cup farro, prepared according to package directions
1/2 container plain greek yogurt 
juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp each brown sugar and cayenne pepper

I already had some roasted beets in my fridge, so I took those out and sliced them up according to the directions.  Then I washed my kale, removed the rib, and cut it into a thick chiffonade.  I then put it in a steamer basket just to soften the leaves.  I put the walnuts in a cast iron pan to toast, and when they were nearly done sprinkled them with olive oil and a combination of brown sugar, cayenne, and a sprinkle of salt.

In a clean jar I mixed the orange juice and Greek yogurt, and assembled everything in a plastic container to take for my lunch.


Yes, that is one of my kitchen tips - I learned from Rafe and his mom.  Save your extra glass jars: mustard, jelly, etc.  You can use them to easily mix dressing.


This dressing is so fresh tasting with the orange juice - I'm sorry I never thought to do this!  And I love the play of the bitter greens and the natural sweetness of the beets.  Oh, and if you head to Meghan's page, you will see that she calls for 1 cup of walnuts for 2 people.  I made 1 cup but only put 1/2 a cup on my salad.  The other half went in my belly. Those things are addictive.....

But its still better than chocolate turtle pie, right?

9 comments:

  1. I'm always looking for new different salad ideas! This one sounds awesome...except I'm not the biggest fan of beets...I know I know, its mroe of a texture issue. What do you think would be a good substitution??
    I always save my little jars for this reason!

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  2. Hi Bridget,
    No worries about the beets! I realize they are polarizing (Rafe won't touch 'em) - but I bet you could sub roasted carrots or squash. Both of them have a similar sweetness to beets when roasted. And the carrots in particular would taste great with the dressing.

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  3. Meghan always has some great recipes! I'm still going carb-free and the first few days were hard but now I'm in the groove with exercise and healthy eating.

    BTW, I love how frequently you've been posting. Don't think I haven't noticed :-)

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  4. that is one awesome looking salad. great tip about the jars, I never think to do that.

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  5. I agree with Michelle! I love coming back here everyday and seeing a new post. I love this salad; it is so nutritious!

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  6. I'm not sure that walnuts are better than chocolate turtle pie. Hmmm... :)

    The salad looks delish! I love that you were able to modify based on what you had.

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  7. I opened up this post, scrolled down to the beet pic and swooned. Beets are the best.

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  8. I've been on a salad kick lately! :-) I'm so glad to have a few more winter salads to try. Thanks for the shout out!

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