Entries in Lemon (3)
Whenever I take a trip to Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods, which doesn't happen as often as I might like, lunch is almost always planned at the hot and cold salad bar. There's just so much to choose from and you want it all! Every kind of veggie and greens you can think of, hot soup, I still have yet to try out the stir-fry station, and the bakery goodies are so tempting. But one of my favourite things to get is the Detox Salad. I've really wanted to re-create this one for a while now. I love how they list the ingredients on the label. The ingredient list is quite simple. There's broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, sunflower seeds, currants, parsley, lemon juice, raisins, kelp granules, salt, and pepper.
No wonder it's called a detox salad. Talk about your raw cruciferous vegetables! The broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are the main body ingredients to the salad. They contain tons of vital nutrients that will help your body's natural detoxification system along the way and give it a little boost.
I love having this salad for lunch because it's one of those fast make ahead lunches that will have you set for the whole week.
It's super healthy and tastes great!
Once you start to add the sunflower seeds and dried fruits the salad really starts to come together. The sunflower seeds add some extra satisfying crunch and the currents and raisins give it some much needed natural sweetness to contrast the raw veggies.
The parsley and lemon juice add a nice fresh taste, but little did you know they also play a part in the detoxifying process. I didn't bother to add the kelp granules, but I did add pumpkin seeds.
Of course you could most definitely add whatever fresh herbs you prefer. I imagine mint and diced pinapple would be quite good in this together.
Detox Salad gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian (makes 8-10 cups)
- 2 heads of broccoli (stalks removed, and cut into florets)
- 2 1/2 cups of roughly cut cauliflower florets
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Place the broccoli florets into a food processor and pulse until chopped very fine. Empty out into a large bowl.
- Do the same with the cauliflower florets. Depending on the size of your food processor you may have to work in batches.
- Next add the carrots and pulse until finely chopped and add to the bowl along with the broccoli and cauliflower. Give it a good stir to mix everything together.
- Stir in the parsley, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and currants. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To store: keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. I like to keep it in a big sealed glass container because I find that the glass keeps the salad fresher than plastic.
I have a confession to make.
I have never made pesto before in life! There I said it.
Every spring I grow my own basil right outside my back door and around this time of year it turns into a magnificent fragrant bush. And yet I have never made pesto... until now. I know shocking isn't it?
I wish someone would have told me sooner what I've been missing out on. There's nothing like fresh pesto with whole grain pasta.
The one thing that got me was how easy it was to make. I always thought it would be some long drawn out process. Boy was I wrong. You basically throw everything into your food processor and presto! ...you have pesto. You probably even have everything you need to make this in your cupboards and pantry already.
This sweet peppery herb has some pretty unique health benefits too...
Nerd alert! It's time for some health facts:
Research has shown that basil has anti-bacterial properties, anti-inflammatory effects, is a very good source of vitamin A & beta-carotene, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, iron, and is a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
Beta-carotene is a very powerful antioxidant that can be converted by the body into vitamin A. It's usually found in dark orange coloured vegetables and fruits, but is also found in high concentrations in certain leafy greens such as spinach, basil, mustard greens and kale. Remember when your mom told you that you would see in the dark if you eat your carrots; well that may have been a lie to get you to eat your veggetables but there is some truth to it. It is essential for good vision, growth and development, and proper immune system function.
Clean Eating Basil Pesto (makes about 3/4 cup)
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 3 cups fresh basil
- juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Pulse garlic and walnuts in a food processor until chopped. Add basil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Continue to pulse until chopped.
- With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until smooth. You may need to stop and scrap the sides down a few times.
- Add the Parmigiano and blend until all ingredients are combined.
*Note: This will stay good for up to a week when kept in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
This will be wicked on that whole grain pizza dough I made the other week, recipe here! Panini's, pasta, and pizza OH MY!
The other night when I came home from the gym I tried it as a topper for some chicken that we sauteed up in some olive oil (6 minutes per side on the stove top in a fry pan) it was like gourmet fast food. I think the next time I'll try it in stuffed chicken breast with goat cheese.
FYI. This hardly made a dent in my basil plant.
Do you ever get stumped trying to answer that recurring question "what's for dinner?" Me too. And that's when I like to let my inspiration take over. It's easy, all you have to do is ask yourself what kinds of flavours + things you like. Enter spring time veggies and outdoor farmers markets.
Colourful, fresh, bright, crispy asparagus.
Just like Spring! You can't go to any market without seeing it all over the place right now.
I love this time of year when it's half way through the season and we get those lovely warm summer like temperatures without the humidity.
Now about that dinner, it's quick, it's delicious and its an easy clean up. What could be better? Now I have to note that this was one delicious chicken dish. I basically took four of my favourite ingredients and turned it into a dish.
Shallots (lovin' these roasted right now), big purple garlic, lemon zest, and fresh rosemary. mmm...this just screams spring fresh.
Lemon Baked Chicken (serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
zest of one lemon
1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 shallots chopped
sea salt & black pepper to taste
Combine lemon zest, garlic, and rosemary in a small bowl.
Trim chicken of any excess fat and place in a baking dish. Season with a small pinch of sea salt and pepper if you wish. Top with mushrooms, shallots and combined lemon mixture.
Cover with foil and place in a 400* oven for 25 - 30 minutes until chicken is cooked. Serve immediately with roasted asparagus.