Chopped Kale & Quinoa Salad (v/gf)

Vegan Chopped Kale And Quinoa Salad

So, about today’s recipe. When we were in California last fall, we had lunch at a place in Sausalito called The Trident. I had their Kale & Quinoa Salad minus the cheese and it was amazing. I was craving it when we got back, so I attempted my own version. Since then I’ve made it several times and it has evolved into one of my favorites. I’ve made it for others as well, and the reviews are always great. So, grab some kale, let’s get started.

Vegan Gluten Free Chopped Kale & Quinoa Salad

Chopped Kale & Quinoa Salad - Gluten Free and Vegan

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Broccoli & Chickpea Rice Bowl (v/gf)

Vegan Broccoli and Chickpea Rice Bowl

I’m back! I’ve missed you. How are you? I hope your new year is off to a good start. If you resolved to start eating healthier this year, then you’re in the right place. Today, I have an especially healthy, nutritious recipe for you. It’s vegan of course, and also gluten-free. The flavor is light and refreshing, but it’s also a hearty, filling dish.

Broccoli Chickpea Rice Bowl (vegan, gluten-free) 06Often I’ll make a big batch of brown rice at the beginning of the week. It makes recipes like this one so quick and easy. Reheat the rice, steam the broccoli, whip up the dressing and toss it all in a bowl. Done. See, this is what drives me nuts. This is such a cheap, quick, easy meal—why can’t I find something like this on the menu at most restaurants? Maybe it’s just where I live—rural midwest America. But that’s about to change.

Broccoli Chickpea Rice Bowl (vegan, gluten-free) 05

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Kale Salad with Blackberries and Toasted Coconut-Pecan Clusters (v/gf)

Vegan Kale Salad With Blackberries And Toasted Coconut Pecan Clusters

I used to think kale was only used for garnish. I mean, really, who eats that stuff?! I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of plain ol’ raw kale. It’s bitter and tough and has a terrible aftertaste. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to transform this super nutritious leafy green. A little lemon, a little olive oil, some salt/pepper and of course, TLC in the form of massage (yes, that’s right—massage) and suddenly kale is not only tolerable, it’s delicious. Especially when you toss in fresh blackberries and toasted coconut-pecan clusters. Now we’re talkin’.

Kale Salad with Blackberries and Toasted Coconut-Pecan Clusters #vegan #glutenfree (3)My aunt Gloria has always been the queen of gardening. Recently she told me about her abundance of kale—then she asked me what to do with it. So I rattled off a few ideas…add it to smoothies, salads of course, soups, finely chopped and “hidden” in burgers, casseroles, tacos, etc. Honestly, you can sneak kale into just about anything. If I have extra kale, I wash it, dry it, de-stem it, tear it into bite-sized pieces it and freeze it. Then I can toss a handful in a smoothie. Or toss the whole bag in a pot of soup. It’s great for juicing, too—stem and all.

So, Aunt G, this salad is for you. I hope you like it.

For those of you who are totally anti-kale, try spinach instead. And if blackberries aren’t readily available, try raspberries, strawberries or blueberries—or all of the above. Dried cherries would be great as well. No pecans on hand? Walnuts will work, too.

Kale Salad with Blackberries and Toasted Coconut-Pecan Clusters #vegan #glutenfree (5)Toasted Coconut-Pecan Clusters #vegan #glutenfreeThese toasted coconut-pecan clusters are amazeballs. In fact, it’s kind of hard not to eat ’em all right off the pan. Sweet, salty, nutty, and perfectly crunchy. More, please. They would make a great hostess gift during the holidays. Fill up a small canning jar, tie on some festive ribbon and you’re good to go. Oh, and your house will smell heavenly while they are baking.

If you have trouble finding unsweetened coconut flakes, try your local health food store or order online.

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Curry Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli and Cashews (v/gf)

Vegan Curry Sweet Potatoes With Broccoli And Cashew

What a gorgeous holiday weekend it was here in West Michigan. We had perfect weather. A long bike ride, a BBQ/fireworks bonanza with neighbors, a lazy beach day, dinner with friends, a late night movie, sleeping in—we took full advantage of the long weekend. The party didn’t end there. Last night we got together with friends for a potluck. We sat on their deck, enjoyed the company and ate great food. I took a bit of a risk when I decided to make a dish I’ve never made before. Fortunately, it was a winner.

Curry Sweet Potato Salad with Broccoli and Cashews #vegan #gluten free (01)

I can’t say I’ve always loved curry. For me, it was an acquired taste. Hubs loves it. These days, I’m pretty crazy about it, too. This recipe is an adapted version of one I found in Terry Walters’ cookbook, Clean Food. Hers called for tempeh, but since I was the only vegan at the potluck, I thought it best not to freak ’em out with fermented soybean “meat”. I opted for sweet potatoes and broccoli instead. Then end result was fantastic.

Curry Sweet Potato Salad with Broccoli and Cashews #vegan #gluten free (06)

Curry Sweet Potato Salad with Broccoli and Cashews #vegan #gluten free (08)

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Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad (vegan, gf)

Vegan Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad

Not just another pretty salad! Not only is it vegan, gluten-free and delicious, but it’s also packed with fiber, protein and calcium. A healthy lunch option that will keep you feeling fuller longer.