Watermelon Mint Feta Salad

Who knew getting engaged would be so consuming! I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since it happened (meaning 2 weeks since my last post!) – it’s still setting in! Dave surprised the heck out of me with the proposal, but I couldn’t be happier or more excited to plan a wedding with the man of my dreams!

Here’s a refreshing salad my mother mentioned she’d made the other night. Perfect for a hot summer day when you’re feeling thirsty and sluggish – four ingredients and that’s it! Even more, it’s so delicious you could eat it as a healthy dessert.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4.5 oz (130 g) light feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix together in a large bowl, chill until serving and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings of about 2.5 cups each.

Per serving: 168 calories, 29 g carbs, 4 g fat, 7 g protein, 2 g fibre

 

Jicama & Mango Salad

Dave and I had dinner at my cousin Karen and her husband Shaun’s place a few weeks ago in Vancouver. They prepared an unbelievable dinner for us including this light crunchy tangy sweet salad. Who knew 4 ingredients could make such a delightful dish! Make it as a side dish or throw in some chicken, shrimp or fish and make it a meal.

Dave and I were even thinking it’d even make a great popcorn substitute if we cut the jicama and mango a little larger, and if we ever get around to watching a movie…

I had never cooked with jicama (a.k.a. yambean) before and I’m really sorry I’ve been missing out! This stuff is awesome! I’d call the texture a cross between a raw potato and an apple – though more like an apple in terms of water content. It’s ever so slightly sweet and PACKED with fibre. Here’s how it stacks up to 120g each of apples and potatoes:

Jicama   Apple       Potato

Calories                  46             62             83

Carbs                   10.6g       17.2g       18.9g

Sugars                   2.2g        13.3g         1.2g

Fibre                      5.9g          3.9g         2.0g

Protein                  0.9g             0g          2.2g

Most people have trouble getting enough fibre into their diets, but this salad contains nearly all of your recommended daily intake (25 g in a 2,000 calorie diet) in one serving. For sure a new staple in my house!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 mangos, julienned
  • 2 large jicama, julienned
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix in a large salad bowl, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 203 calories, 48 g carbs, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 21 g fibre

Chicken Feta Fajita Salad

Hot summer days call for light summer salads! We were totally craving Mexican food yesterday to go along with all the heat, but figured we’d replace the carbs from the fajita tortilla shells with a couple of Coronas 🙂

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 chicken breasts (450 g)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 10 drops tabasco sauce
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 60 g light feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

DIRECTIONS

  • Slice chicken into long strips.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large frying pan.
  • Add chicken strips and stir until all sides are cooked, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add in chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne, pepper and tabasco.
  • Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Stir and cook until vegetables soften. Remove from heat.
  • Divide baby spinach among serving plates and top with chicken and veggies, followed by avocado, feta and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedge on the side and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 386 calories, 18 g carbs (4 g sugar), 14 g fat, 43 g protein, 8 g fibre , 334 mg sodium

Jerk Chicken Mango Salad

I went over to my girlfriend Afshaan’s last night to plan her baby shower (baby due late August!) but naturally we ended up more focused on the food we were going to eat right then than the party we should have been planning… guess we’ll just have to get together for another girls night!

Afshaan mentioned she had had an awesome jerk chicken salad with mango and coconut at a restaurant in the city, so we took that as inspiration for this spicy and coconutty-sweet salad.

All I knew about jerk spice was that it was made up of a plethora of spices, so we just threw whatever sounded good into a bowl with a little white vinegar and olive oil and voila, jerk spice! It actually turned out REALLY tasty. I must say, we impressed ourselves.

The salad dressing was even more delicious and simply coconut milk, lemon juice, chives, red chili flakes, salt and pepper. Easy to whip up and only 30 calories per tbsp!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups spring mix salad greens (or spinach would be great too!)
  • 12 baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbs crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbsp craisins
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 small mango, cut into bitesize pieces

Jerk Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 2 tsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all jerk spice ingredients together in a small bowl. Lay 1 tsp of sauce on baking sheet and place chicken breast over top. Pour remaining jerk sauce over chicken. Bake for 28 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Mix all salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Lay lettuce mix over serving plates followed by carrots, craisins, mango and feta. Top with salad dressing.
  • Remove cooked chicken from oven. Slice, lay over salad, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 395 calories, 36 g carbs, 15 g fat, 36 g protein, 7 g fibre

Broccoli Apple Grapefruit Salad

I wanted a super light and juicy salad to accompany the dense savoury crispy garlic mint pressed tofu I made for dinner tonight. This salad worked great, beautifully contrasting the garlic and mint flavour with one of dill and mustard.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups broccoli, bite-size pieces
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

DIRECTIONS

  • Microwave broccoli on high for 3 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Mix well.
  • Toss broccoli, apple and grapefruit in dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 large servings.

Per serving: 202 calories, 30 g carbs, 10 g fat, 5 g protein, 7 g fibre

Fennel, Cannellini Bean & Prosciutto Salad

I got a reservation at Noma!!! I cannot believe my luck! Noma in Copenhagen is, for the 3rd year in a row, rated the #1 restaurant in the world.

Dave and I are taking a trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm in September, so naturally we had to do a bit of research on the food we’ll be exploring over there. We marked our calendars for June 11th, 2012, reservation day for the month of September at Noma. We weren’t expecting success as an estimated 20,000 people try to get a reservation on reservation day, and we only have a 4-day window in town, but somehow, at 2 AM (10 AM Copenhagen time), after 7 minutes of Chrome browser refreshes we got through to find but a single time slot left that works for us! Lunch date at Noma on September 4th!

So because I was feeling so stoked all day, I thought I’d keep the mood light and fresh with a delicate summer salad for dinner. Fennel, cannellini beans, peas, carrots, egg and prosciutto made for a playful combination of flavours and an extraordinarily satisfying salad, packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 handful fresh dill, loosely chopped
  • 4 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (or white/brown sugar)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices lean prosciutto

DIRECTIONS

  • Discard tough outer layer of fennel and slice thinly. Submerge fennel in an ice bath and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook eggs for 9 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Meanwhile, blanche peas and carrots in another pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and plunge into cold water.
  • Combine fennel, peas, carrots and beans in a large bowl.
  • To assemble dressing, mix lemon juice, dill, mustard, olive oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a small dish.
  • Toss fennel salad with dressing.
  • Warm a drizzle of olive oil in large frying pan and cook prosciutto until crispy.
  • Arrange salad on serving plate, garnishing with quartered egg and prosciutto.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 480 calories, 50 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 17 g fat, 31 g protein, 16 g fibre

And what to do with the fennel tops you now have lying around? Pop them in a vase and you have an instant green centrepiece!

Orange-Ginger Broiled Salmon with Massaged Kale & Edamame Salad

Yum yum yum, this dinner was a total winner. I’m not sure it gets much healthier or nutrient-packed than salmon, kale and edamame.

Orange-Ginger Salmon

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 hoisin sauce (look for an MSG-free variety)
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 boneless skinless salmon fillets

DIRECTIONS

  • Whisk together orange juice, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, orange zest and pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Place salmon and marinade in a large ziplock bag, seal and turn to coat salmon in marinade.
  • Refrigerate salmon for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prepare salad (below) while fish marinates.
  • Remove salmon from refrigerator and arrange on baking sheet sprayed in oil. Broil fish on high for 8 minutes.
  • Serve over salad and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (salmon only): 253 calories, 11 g carbs, 9 g fat, 29 g protein, 1 g fibre

Massaged Kale & Edamame Salad

I won’t post the recipe for this salad on my blog as it is courteous of The Taste Space. Please visit the post here to see this awesome accompaniment to the orange-ginger salmon.

I will add though that I forgot to add the 1 tbsp of sweetener (agave) and found the dressing really didn’t need it, which is perfect in my opinion, as I’m not a fan of agave for health reasons – it being hard on the liver and linked to cardiovascular disease.