Archive for the 'salad' Category

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Rice and Beans


Recovery from Wildflower is going really well.  I ended up taking 3 complete rest days, and then somehow found myself committing to a marathon that’s 5 weeks away.


My sister’s last race marathon was in San Francisco two years ago, and she wants to get revenge on the course (it was a rough day).  “Hmmm maybe” turned into “registration confirmed” within 24 hours, and the best part is that my dad is doing it too!

I’m planning on running 16 or 17 miles this Saturday, I have a trail half marathon next weekend, and I’ll do a 20-miler the week after that.  It will definitely not be my best marathon, but I think it will be fun (which is kinda weird, since just a few weeks ago I was fairly certain it would be years before I signed up for another one).

We started getting a CSA box last week, and our first two deliveries have been awesome.  There was some zucchini this week, and although I usually hate it raw, it’s fine if it’s shaved into ribbons.  I usually keep some kind of cooked grain in the fridge, and this week it was brown rice, so I just tossed that with some black beans, green onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and sunflower seeds for a quick, healthy dinner.




Wheat Berry Salad with Kale and Feta

If I could have three wishes, I would be super tempted to make Mondays off one of them.  I was lucky enough to have two in a row in January and again in February, and I definitely made the most of them.

Even though it was unusually chilly (we got super spoiled with the awesome weather the last couple weeks), we went to the playground in the morning.


After lunch and a nap, we met up with the grandparents at the zoo!


We spent most of the time in the little house with the monitor lizard, but also said hello to some birds, the elephants, and the meerkats.

Dinner was really quick and easy.  I cooked up a whole bunch of wheat berries this weekend, so all I had to do for this was crumble up the feta and slice up some vegetables.  There are a ton of variations on this, and the leftovers are perfect to take for lunch.



Coconut-marinated Kale Salad

I ate a LOT of sugar over Christmas.  It was honestly kind of gross.  But today’s a new day, ripe with possibility and marinated kale.

This is not a kick-start-your-2013 weight loss recipe, because it’s not low fat in any way (hello almond butter AND coconut milk), but it’s a great change of pace after ingesting far too many cookies the past couple days.  The list of ingredients might look a little random, but it blends up to a balanced, creamy, piquant sauce.

Speaking of Christmas, I hope yours was great!  I woke up, ran 4 miles, then spent the day relaxing with family and cooking.  Unfortunately I got sick right afterwards so my grand plans of ramping up my training like crazy over this break didn’t really work out. Womp womp.

Ellie got a chair that she’s obsessed with, and definitely got pretty into the whole unwrapping idea.

I got this cookbook and I cannot wait to cook pretty much everything in it!

This salad isn’t from this book, but it’s from another vegan favorite.  You could add all sorts of stuff to this – carrots, cherry tomatoes, sauteed tofu, chopped nuts…


(adapted from I am Grateful)

Chickpea and Pasta Salad

Life is about to get real.  I worked every day last week making copies, planning lessons, and prepping my room but now the school year and marathon training are starting and I’m going to have 240 students (and all their work) to keep track of.

It’s a good thing I like to be busy.

The key to the next couple months is going to be PREPARATION.  No more dawdling around all morning and then deciding to go on a leisurely stroller run at 11 AM.  No more abandoning meal planning because I can drop by the grocery store (it’s around the corner) any time I feel like it.  Time will be precious and there is a LOT to squeeze in now!  I need to get everything done and make sure I have time to hang out with my favorite people.

Right now my bike is set up on its trainer, my outfit for the work day is ready to go, and my lunch is packed. I’ve talked about my Sunday prep before, but I’m back at it again now (today I baked tofu and cooked up a ton of quinoa).  It took me awhile to realize it, but I’m able to get so much more done when my schedule is heavily booked, so I’m actually looking forward to having so much on my plate.

The beauty of this salad is that it’s quick to prepare, and it’s great to make ahead for lunches throughout the week.  It’s a little lacking in fresh vegetables, so I serve it over a big bed of greens (unpictured) for a healthy one-bowl meal.


Kale and Red Cabbage Salad

I feel like the “reset button” has been a popular topic on a lot of blogs.

You know, that reset you need after too much beer or too much cake or too much sitting on the couch watching the Olympics but not actually doing any physical activity yourself?

A good intense workout can be a great way to reset.

But my favorite version of the reset button (because lord knows there have been MANY occasions I’ve needed one) pretty much always involves a gigantic glass of water, possibly with a squeeze of lemon, and kale in some form.

A salad like this is perfect for when you know you should eat dinner even though you spent the afternoon grazing on cookie dough, or when you frosted cupcakes but also consumed just a bit more frosting than you intended to.  Don’t feel guilty, just have something healthy!  This is nice and light and has enough fiber to leave you the right kind of full, not the whole bag of chips kind of full.

I will probably making it as soon as we come back from Portland, because I plan to spend the entire time eating a ton of amazing food (recommendations always welcome! I grew up there but the food scene changes so fast)


Napa Cabbage Slaw

The other day my friend and I were talking about time.  Having time, finding time, and making time.  I know none of this is new, but I think it’s a good reminder.  Basically the bottom line, no matter how OMGSOBUSY you are, is that if you really want to do something, you’ll make time to do it.  It might mean unpleasant sacrifices, getting up at ungodly hours, and going longer than is socially acceptable without showering, but if you’re determined to find time for something, you have to make that time.

I will always make time for this kid.

I am lucky in that as a teacher, I have a decent amount of time (especially right now, between my summer job and the start of the school year).  I don’t know what it’s like to try and work crazy hours while training for an Ironman like this total badass, but I do have my own share of things going on, and I try to prioritize time with my kid, time on the roads, and time in the kitchen (in that order).  It sometimes means this blog gets a little neglected or I miss out on a little bit of sleep, but I made a rule for myself that I need to run at least 30 miles a week (unless sick or injured), and I do what I can to stick to that.

Please remind me of this in October when work is kicking my rear, I’m reaching peak volume of marathon training, and all I want to do is nap on the couch.

Another totally obvious realization I made was that if I never had time for something, it was because deep down, I didn’t really want to do it.  I spent months trying to find the time to go to yoga before I realized I’d much rather either go for a run or sleep.  Similarly, I used to wonder how I’d ever find time to decorate cookies like these, before remembering that I’m much more into the throw-together-basic-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-and-eat-half-the-batter style of baker.  And I’m okay with that. (But damn, those cookies are beautiful).

Anyway, I made some  slaw to go with baked tofu and rice and was pleasantly surprised with how delicious raw bok choy can be, since I’ve only had it cooked before.  The ume plum vinegar is worth seeking out at an Asian grocery store or Whole Foods – it’s salty with an intoxicating sweet and sour ending and it is great with the earthiness of the sesame oil.  The original recipe didn’t have any sweetener in the dressing but I like my slaw a little sweet so I added a little agave.

Leftovers make great lunch! To make the tofu, I just brushed some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos over extra firm tofu slices and pan-fried them until browned and crisp on the outside.


(adapted from Clean Food)


Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Salad

Mike and I tend to get really into TV shows after they’ve been on for a couple years.  Right now we are OBSESSED with parenthood and are working our way through the first season on Netflix.

I feel ridiculously behind the times that I’m just now watching this, but it’s so good I don’t care.  I love that it’s set in Berkeley (although clearly not filmed there), but it also already has me nervous about Ellie’s teenage years.

Speaking of Ellie, she’s officially crawling now.  Help me.

What I really want to call this is African Peanut Stew Salad.  I wanted the flavor of that, but the lightness of a salad, so I roasted some sweet potatoes and tossed them with fresh spinach and kidney beans.  For the dressing, I made a super simple tomato sauce (just butter, onion, and tomatoes), but added some peanut butter and curry powder.  When you pour the warm sauce over the salad, you get the spinach to wilt just the right amount.


Roasted Beet Salad with Maple Dressing

The sun is shining, and I just DOMINATED my track workout.  My mood is about 203498 times better than it was when I woke up.

I am one of those people who likes to have my plate completely full at all times, but that usually means I’m running around like a stressed out maniac, which I know isn’t too great for my health.  When I woke up, I was nervous about hitting my paces on the track, anxious about my lessons for today (it’s only the second day of summer school and even though I’ve been teaching for awhile now, any new classes take some getting used to), and I have another math test coming up in a month. Not to mention that small issue of our lease ending August 1st with no idea where we’re going to live.

But it’s amazing how focusing on nothing but running and running hard can erase that feeling of overwhelming anxiety.  When I woke up, I thought about skipping my run altogether so I could study.  After hanging out with Ellie for a little while, and then after dropping her off at daycare, I realized I NEEDED that run.

I needed to run fast.

Last night I decided that today would be a set of 800s. I plugged in my 5K goal time (20 minutes) to the McMillan Calculator, and it told me I should do them between 3:03 and 3:12.  That sounded scary fast.  I slowly jogged a mile over to the track, then did the first one.  I didn’t look at my watch the whole time, but I felt pretty good. 3:07!  The next three were okay (3:09, 3:12, 3:10), but then my legs started to feel pretty heavy.  I managed to survive the last two in 3:08 and 3:10. Success!

And that marks Day 24 of my running streak, which I’m pretty sure is a new lifetime record.  I don’t really have too much to say about streaking right now, but I liked Marie’s post about it.

Summer means salads, and Mike and I have been eating TONS of them.  My absolute favorite is this one (but with Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of water in the dressing), but this weekend I had three more that I wanted to share (in the picture, these are clockwise, starting at the top)

1. Kale Market Salad  from 101Cookbooks.  For the millionth time, I’m head over heels for one of Heidi’s recipes. I doubled the farro to make it more of a main dish (and so we could have lots of leftovers).

2. Buddha Bowls with Miso-Ginger Dressing from Eat Spin Run Repeat.  Alyssa made this when we had dinner together the other night and it was incredibly flavorful and ridiculously healthy.

3. Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.  I’ve made other beet salads before (with oranges and with grapefruit), but it’s not citrus season now, so I tried something different.


Avocado and Dill Pasta Salad

I have found the dish I want to bring to every potluck from now on.

Except I don’t really go to potlucks. But if I did, I’d bring this always.  So full of vegetables, and the dressing is INSANE (in a good way).

It has been one heck of a week.  On Monday, I turned 28.  There was Chinese food, great friends and so much cake (funfetti with pink frosting, perfect for a 28 year old).

Alyssa and I decided the cake must be magic, because we both had AMAZING runs on Tuesday. She busted out some crazy fast mile repeats, and I did a 6 mile run with 4 tempo miles all under 7:00 min/mile!

We started a space unit at school, and this week the kids made Alka Seltzer rockets. I love my job.

Today I went for my second run of the week (I guess I’m going for quality, not quantity at the moment) and ended up doing 4.5 miles at 7:30 min/mile. It didn’t even feel that hard! I don’t know where this speed came from– or if it will stick around — but I like it.

I just made a few changes to this salad as it was originally written on Ashley’s beautiful blog. I served it over a bed of mixed sprouts, which was heavenly, and I left the sweetener out of the dressing. There are so many little tweaks you can make to personalize it!


Eat to the Beat: “Beet It” Salad

Elly Says Opa, a blog I’ve been reading since before I started blogging, is 5 years old! Elly used to host a blog event “Eat to the Beat,” which involves creating a recipe based on a song or band, and she brought it back to celebrate the blog’s fifth birthday. You can participate too! Here’s some more info.

I knew I wanted to participate, but I couldn’t think of anything food and music related, until I brought home some golden beets from the farmer’s market. This is most likely the lamest submission to the event, but as soon as I added roasted beets to my salad the other night, I immediately thought of Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It.”

I could eat an entire pan of roasted beets on their own, but they’re also pretty great tossed with some butter lettuce, oranges, and pistachios. The vinaigrette is slightly sweet and not too acidic. I think spinach would also work really well instead of butter lettuce, if you’d rather use it.


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