Baby Arugula Salad w/ Navy Beans and Pickled Red Onions

Baby arugula with Navy beans and pickled red onion

An appetizer that’s all about flashy presentation, great for dinner parties because you can make everything ahead of time and just assemble the day of. The bean mix is best made a day or two ahead, so that the flavors develop.

Serves: 4 as a hearty appetizer
Time: 20 mins actual work, but add on time for soaking & cooking beans

Ingredients
For the pickled red onions:
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water at room temperature/ chilled
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
1/4 tsp salt

For the bean mix:
3/4 cup dry navy beans
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

And of course…
4 handfuls of baby arugula

Instructions

Pickled Red Onions:
1. Slice the onion as thinly as possible. A good serrated knife is your best friend for this task. You can leave them thicker if you like, I just love the presentation when the onion is paper-thin.
2. Fill a tea kettle with water and bring to a boil.
3. Assemble the marinade: cider vinegar, water, brown sugar, salt, and peppercorns.
4. Put the onion in a colander over the sink, and pour the boiled water over it. Drain well and then place in the marinade.
5. Allow to marinate for at least a few hours. Store in the refrigerator; this can be made the day of or even weeks in advance, as it will last (almost) forever.

Bean Mix:
1. Soak the beans overnight. Technically these beans can be cooked without prior soaking, but the soaking process makes them easier to digest & reduces the gas factor. Rinse, then bring to a boil then bring to a simmer. Skim any foam off of the top. Cook until the beans are tender but not too soft.
2. Allow the beans to cool to room temperature/ chill in the fridge. If you want, you can do this after mixing the ingredients together; but I prefer chilling the beans first so that the garlic and parsley stay 100% fresh.
3. Leftovers will keep well for 5 days. If you tire of the salad combo, you can also mash the beans into a paste and put on a sandwich, or throw it into a food processor to make a dip (you might need to add a little bit more olive oil/ water for thinner consistency).

Assembly:
Place a handful of arugula on the plate, top with 2 spoonfuls of the bean mix and a couple forkfuls of pickled red onions (it’s okay to take a little bit of marinade with the onions).

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Wheat Berry Salad w/ Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea, and Red Onion

Wheat berry with Roasted Cauliflower Red Onion Chickpea

A hearty and simple salad with a delightful texture, born of last night’s half-asleep mistake–I soaked wheat berries instead of short grain rice.

Serves: 3-4 as a meal
Time: Overnight soak + 1 hour

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup uncooked wheat berries
3/4 cup uncooked chickpeas (or replace with 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed)
2 cups chopped cauliflower
2/3 red onion
2 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 juicy lemon
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt + additional to taste

Instructions

1. Soak the wheat berries and chickpeas overnight in cold water, covering with 2-3 inches of water (don’t soak canned chickpeas).

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. Rinse the chickpeas, add water, bring to a boil and then skim the foam off of the top. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender; depending on the soaking time, could be done as quickly as 5-7 minutes. Check periodically and add water if needed.

4. Chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Cut onion into wedges, and then cut each piece in half the other way to make triangle-shaped pieces.

5. When the chickpeas are done, throw onion, chick peas and cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add grapeseed oil and 1 tsp salt. Toss everything so it’s well coated in oil and salt, and then place in a baking dish and put in the oven. Check and mix every 10 minutes until browned, should take 35-40 minutes.

6. Rinse the wheatberries, add water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, should take 20-25 minutes. Check periodically and add water if needed.

7. When cauliflower and onion are browned, remove the dish from the oven. Toss with wheatberries, extra virgin olive oil, rice vinegar, parsley, lemon juice to taste, and additional salt to taste. Serve warm.

Kale, Radicchio, and Fuji Apple Salad

A very refreshing and clean salad, with a bitter/sweet combo that will awaken your taste buds! This salad is loaded with dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory power (thanks to the kale), anti-oxidants, minerals such as iron and calcium, and a range of vitamins.

kale radicchio salad

Serves: 3-4 as an appetizer
Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half of a lemon)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp white miso (if you use a darker miso, use a little bit less)
6 leaves dino kale, or another type of kale
1/3 small radicchio
1/3 fuji apple
3 tbsp chopped raw almonds
sea salt to taste

Instructions

1. Assemble the dressing: olive oil, lemon, miso (mash it in), and sea salt (you won’t need much, because of the miso).

2. Remove the thick stems from the kale and cut into bite-size pieces. Throw half of the dressing over the kale, massage the dressing into the kale and let it soak for 15 minutes. The acid helps to break down the kale and make it more digestible.

3. Cut the radicchio into strips, and sliver the apple. Add them into the salad once the kale is done soaking, and add part of the remaining dressing; depending on your taste there may be a little bit of extra dressing.

4. Top with almonds and serve! Be sure to chew– especially with fibrous greens your poor stomach will have to pick up the slack, which it’s really not meant to do. Take a bite, close off the back of your mouth so you don’t swallow while chewing, and go for it.