Fresh from the Cupboard Salad

canned vegetable salad - trust in kim

This is my new favourite quick salad for bringing leftovers to work or a picnic (when we’re back in picnic season, that is). Everything you need can be found in the cupboard (if you stocked up ahead of time) except the spinach, which you can easily do without. Plus it is healthy and so tasty.

It’s really as easy as adding  a vinaigrette to cans of veggies and adding some greens. If you leave the spinach out it keeps great for leftovers, and you can just add the greens when you eat it.

I found the recipe in a terrific cookbook that has a lot of great information about which vegetables to eat for different needs, like improved energy, stronger bones, stress relief, cardiovascular care, and so much more. The recipe is called ‘Veggie Yard Dash Salad’ in the cookbook; I’m not sure my title is any better, but I wanted to call it something that would let people know that it didn’t have a lot of ingredients that you might not have on hand. The book is The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure by Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe, aside from adding the spinach as I served it instead of mixing it in, was to use home-roasted red peppers instead of jarred. I think they taste way better, and I make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. But jarred work well too!

Feel free to use more or less of whatever you like; I made my recipe a lot bigger so I’d have more leftovers, and I love red peppers and artichokes, so I used more of them. This recipe serves four people, more or less.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup jarred or homemade roasted red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained
  • 1 cup peaches and cream (or whatever kind you like) canned corn
  • 1 – 227mL can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup canned sliced artichokes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup vinaigrette of your choice (herbed vinaigrette recipe below)
  • a bunch of baby spinach

What you do:

  1. Pour the canned goods into a bowl, chopping the artichokes up a bit if they aren’t already. I used the juice from the canned corn, but the original recipe says to drain it – up to you!
  2. Add the sunflower seeds.
  3. Add the vinaigrette and combine all the ingredients.
  4. Chop up some spinach and add it to the portion you will be serving, or add a whole bunch of you think you’ll eat the whole thing in one go.

Enjoy!

Here’s the vinaigrette recipe:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a bit of chopped fresh or frozen basil (recipe say dried but I think this is 100x better!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

What you do:

  1. Crush the garlic and let it sit for 5 minutes, which is supposed to release more health-promoting properties.
  2. Combine the ingredients.

Voila, done!

Summer Kick-Slaw

It’s finally summer in Vancouver, for today at least, so that means it’s time to try out new salad recipes.  This one’s got lots of flavour, a great way to up your veggie intake!  Chop it up, pour the dressing on, and stick it in the fridge to munch on with your meals or bring  to a picnic.

I found this recipe in Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton, and altered it slightly.  The author calls the recipe kick-slaw because the ginger, lime and garlic give it a kick of flavour.  I like the name because coleslaw sounds so boring.  This recipe isn’t boring!

What you need:

1/2 small head of red cabbage

1/2 small head of green cabbage (or just one of either red or green if you prefer)

1 package snow peas, ends cut off, then cut on a sharp diagonal

2 carrots, shredded with a grater, or julienned

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 & 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil

a little chopped cilantro

optional: toasted, crushed sesame seeds

What you do:

1.  Mix the veggies together in a large bowl.

2.  Mix the dressing ingredients together in another bowl and add to the veggies, tossing until combined.  Top with the optional sesame seeds

Voila, easy peasy!

Lemon Tahini Chickpea Salad

This salad is so easy to make, tastes amazing, and has lots of nutrients tp keep you healthy!  Chickpeas have plenty of dietary fibre, vitamin B6, folate and manganese.  One third of a cup of sweet red peppers contains your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, as well as lots of vitamins A and E, B6, folate and many other nutrients!

What you need:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 sweet red pepper, sliced into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon red onion, chopped finely

1/4 cup loosely packed chopped basil

2 teaspoons olive or flax oil

1 tablespoon tahini

1/4 teaspoon cumin

juice of 1/2 a lemon

optional: fresh mint

What you do:

1.  Mix the oil, tahini, cumin and lemon juice.

2.  Put the chickpeas, onions, pepper and basil in a bowl.  Mix in the dressing.  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

3.  Before serving, chop up some mint and place on top of the salad.

Cool Cucumber Salad

This salad is great for a hot summer day when you want something light and refreshing.  And a great way to use those cucumbers you’ve got coming up in the garden!

What you need:

cucumber

2 red or green hot chillies, thinly sliced, seeds removed if you don’t like too much spice

sweet red pepper, very thinly sliced

freshly toasted peanuts, chopped

1 small package rice noodles, vermicelli style

for the dressing:

2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 tablespoon boiling water

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

What you do:

1.  Put a pot of water on to boil.  Use this to cook the rice noodles: after the water has boiled, take it off the heat and add the noodles.  After a few minutes, when the noodles are al dente, strain them and pour cold water over to cool them.  Set aside to continue cool.

2.  Add one tablespoon of boiling water to the coconut, then stir in the brown sugar.  Leave this to cool, then add the lime, vinegar and soy sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

3.  Toast peanuts in a frying pan, being careful not to burn them.  When they are cool, chop them up.

4.  Chop peppers finely, and use a vegetable peeler to make long slices of cucumber.

5.  To assemble the salad, first put down some noodles; make sure they have been well-drained.  Place some slices of cucumber on top, then pour on the dressing.  Add some sweet peppers, peanuts and hot peppers.

6.  Enjoy your refreshing salad!

Optional toppings include grated carrots, cilantro, tofu or some shaved beef, if you feel the need for some meat.