Here you’ll find 2 new recipes I developed for my Alberta at Noon food column for CBC Radio One. I hope they’ll inspire you to eat more fruits and vegetables. The current recommendations are 5 – 9 servings each day or about 4.5 cups. Are you getting enough? Are you getting any? (nudge, nudge – wink, wink)
Eat the Rainbow Salad
1 cup frozen organic soybeans
1 cup frozen (or fresh in season) blueberries
2 Tablespoons olive oil – divided
2 yams – cut in 1 – 2 inch cubes
1 chopped red onion
1 bunch chopped purple kale
2 chopped green bell pepper (or snap peas or asparagus depending on the season)
2 chopped avocados
2 chopped yellow bell peppers
2 chopped large tomatoes or 2 cups grape tomatoes
¼ cup finely cut fresh herbs (mint, parsley, cilantro)
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/3 to ½ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt – or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper – or to taste
6 – 8 cups of leafy greens (spinach, arugula, mixed greens)
Remove the soybeans and blueberries from your freezer and set in separate bowls to thaw.
Preheat the oven to 375°F oven (use convection if you’ve got it).
Coat the yam cubes with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil and spread them – so they are not touching each other – on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the yams for 20 – 30 minutes (a convection oven will be closer to 20 minutes and a regular oven more like 30 minutes) until they are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a rack; let the yams cool there for later use.
Note: While the yams are baking, you should be able to do the rest of the prep that follows.
Heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft and transparent – not brown – about 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the kale and cook stirring for about 5 minutes or until kale is brightened in colour and not wilted or soggy. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Chop the green bell peppers, avocado, tomatoes and yellow bell peppers and set them aside in individual piles.
Make a dressing by whisking the herbs, mustard, vinegar, honey, oil and salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined (emulsified).
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter and arrange all the vegetables on top in a rainbow shape and colour pattern – purple (onions and kale), blue (berries), green (bell peppers, avocado and soybeans), yellow (bell peppers), orange (yams) and red (tomatoes).
Drizzle the dressing on top and serve as a main for lunch or along with grilled fish or lean meat for dinner.
The next recipe was inspired by a recent trip to visit friends in Orange County, California. The O.C. really does have its share of oranges and gorgeous citrus. Ever since I got back home I’ve been loading these vitamin C powerhouses into my day. The salad that follows is deeply satisfying. I hope it helps you savour it all this citrus season.
Citrus Bowl Salad
2 ruby red grapefruit
2 blood oranges
2 navel oranges
1 fennel bulb, topped cut in half and sliced very thinly (save the fronds)*
6 cups chopped leafy lettuce (bib, purple leaf, frisee, baby romaine)
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 – 2 Tablespoons blood orange olive oil or avocado oil
Maldon salt or Fleur de Sel – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Diamond the grapefruit and oranges using the following technique:
Cut the top and bottom off the citrus fruits and then remove the outer skin including the white pith from the sides. Slice between each segment to remove the fleshy fruit. Cut over a bowl to save any juices that drip as the fruit segments accumulate.
Cut the avocados in half and then in cubes.
Top the fennel bulb, remove the outer segment of bulb and slice the remainder in half and then finely slice the halves crosswise. Tip: use a mandolin slicer if you own one.
Wash, dry and stack the lettuce leaves before chopping them in crosswise slices.
Arrange the lettuce on a platter, top with the fennel and then alternate rows of citrus and avocado.
Sprinkle the green onion on top and drizzle with the oil.
Finish with the salt and pepper to taste.
Toss just before serving and serve on individual plates garnished with the reserved fennel fronds on a pile of citrus and avocado.
*Optional: to add even more vegetables – if available – you can also add 1 cup of chopped sugar snap peas and or 1 cup of sliced baby cucumbers.