Dragon Fruit, Arugula, and Avocado Salad

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This salad is a delicious combination of tastes and textures: fresh and creamy, bright and peppery.  It’s super easy and quick to make, with just a few ingredients!  Plus, it looks impressive and is perfect for serving guests; dragonfruit has a mild taste (I find it similar to kiwi) and shouldn’t scare off those who haven’t tried it before.

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Yield: 2 large or 4 side servings

  • 1 large dragon fruit
  • 1 package baby arugula
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or more, if you prefer)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or less, if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar

To prepare the dragon fruit, first cut it in half lengthwise.  Using a large spoon, separate the flesh from the rind.  Cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes.

Combine the arugula, dragon fruit, and diced avocado.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and agave nectar.  Taste and adjust with more lemon juice if desired.  Pour the dressing over the salad, gently toss to coat, and serve immediately.  *If you aren’t ready to serve the salad, hold off on adding the dressing until just before serving.*  Enjoy!

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Vegan Poutine!

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Have you made vegan poutine yet?  If not, you better get to it ASAP.

I am actually new to the poutine scene.  I hated gravy growing up, and it wasn’t until I was an adult (and eating a vegan diet) that I was open-minded enough to give it another chance.  So, my first poutine ever was about six months ago at Poutini’s (they make a vegan one!).  It was amazing!  What was I thinking all that time with all the gravy-hate?  As an aside, I’m not usually a fan of Daiya cheese, but I find that in dishes that are very hot and ensure that the Daiya is melted and well-incorporated (like when it’s covered with gravy!) it actually works well and provides quite a cheesy experience.

For this very quick dinner I used frozen shoestring/julienne french fries, cooked until crisp, cheddar-style Daiya (though R informs me that mozza-style would have been more appropriate for poutine; I’m still learning!), and this vegan gravy that is made of pantry staples and easy to prepare.

I paired this bowl of melty yumminess with a kale salad to round out dinner, but the nice thing about the vegan poutine is that it’s not all that unhealthy, having shed the traditional saturated/animal fats.

So… what are you waiting for??

Tabouleh Lentil Salad

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I love tabouleh.  I love lentils.  In this salad, they love each other.

This is more of an idea than a really specific recipe, per se.  I needed to make a quick lunch, threw this together, and it was fresh and filling at the same time (not to mention low-fat, high-protein)… perfect.

All of these measures are estimates, and I think that you could combine these ingredients in just about any proportions and the result would be delicious.

  • 1 cup green lentils, cooked and cooled (dry measure)
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 of a red pepper, finely chopped (to brighten the colour and add crunch)
  • 1/3 of an English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves (for a normal person) or ~6 garlic cloves (Garlic Fiend option), pressed through a garlic press or finely chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Mix it all together.  Eat it for all your meals and snacks until there is none left.

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Super Sandwich

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I’ve called this the Super Sandwich because it’s super easy, super healthy, and SUPER delicious.  And if your kitchen is anything like mine, you’ll pretty much always have the ingredients on hand.  The raw garlic (either rubbed or added in) is key to elevating this above a plain tomato/avocado sandwich.

This sandwich has been a staple of my diet my years.  I eat one of these for lunch several times a week, and I’m still not the tiniest bit tired of them.  It uses ingredients I always have on hand and takes only a few minutes to prepare. Virtually everyone who spends much time at my home has eaten one of these, and the reviews are invariably glowing.  It seems like (and is!) a very simple sandwich…. Just make one.  Then you’ll understand.

Per Sandwich:

  • 2 slices whole-grain bread (or bread of choice)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 smallish tomato, sliced (or some slices of a big one)
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves

1. Pop the bread in the toaster.  If you’re using something thick like ciabatta that won’t fit in a toaster, put the slices in the oven at 300 (no need to preheat) for a couple of minutes until warm and slightly browned.

2. Drizzle olive oil on one slice of bread.  Rub it in using the cut side of the garlic.  (If, like me, you are a garlic fiend, chop both halves of the garlic clove after this step.)

3. On the other slice of bread, arrange the avocado slices and mash them in a bit.  Don’t get too vigorous, or you’ll crush the bread.  (Garlic Fiend optional step: sprinkle the chopped garlic over the avocado.)

4. Layer the tomato and spinach on top of the avocado.

5. Close the sandwich and cut in half.

I usually serve this with baby carrots and olives.

Endless variations!  You can add just about anything to this sandwich.  Two of my favorite add-ins are artichokes and arugula.