Category Archives: Salads

Quick Pickled Beets with Serrano

pickled blog

Beets have made plenty of appearances here before. I love them. They’re gorgeous, for starters. Most are an unbelievably intense red, but some varieties are golden, or even striped like candy canes. How could it not be love at first sight? But beyond their good looks, they’re deliciously sweet and earthy. I enjoy them raw, steamed, in salads, roasted, in soups, in dips, or even in desserts. But I also love them pickled.

However, sometimes I think about having such things way too late. The other night, when preparing dinner, it occurred to me that I wanted pickled beets. But typically, making any type of pickle takes advance time. But this version doesn’t. Once you steam the beets, you simply pour over a vinaigrette and serve immediately. Of course, you can store the rest in the refrigerator for a week or more, and they stay just as delicious. I’ve enjoyed having a few slices along with all sorts of meals. They bring a happy brightness that just screams of fresh spring/summer produce.

So if you have a bunch of beets and are wondering what to do with them, why not try making some quick pickles? Eat them as a side dish, as a condiment, or on a salad – any of those options sound delicious to me!

What are your favorite ways to enjoy beets?

Print Recipe

Quick Pickled Beets with Serrano (gluten-free, vegan)

About 6 medium beets, stems trimmed to about an inch

1/3 c apple cider vinegar

1/4 c olive oil

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper

1 small Serrano chile, sliced thin

Place beets in a large pot and cover with water by at least an inch. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low boil. Allow to cook until the beets are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and let cool enough to touch. Peel the beets. This ought to be fairly easily and can be done with your hands – the peels should slip right off. (If you don’t wish to dye your hands pink, you can wear plastic gloves for this) Slice the beets into 1/4 inch slices and place in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the Serrano chile to the beets, and then pour over this dressing. Toss the beets to coat completely.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for a week.

 

 

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Serrano-Lime Dressing

zucchini ribbon salad fg

It’s that time of year around here – time for everyone to unload their massive bounty of zucchini and summer squash upon their friends, family, and neighbors! Everyone except me, that is.

You see, as soon as I plant any squash plant, every squash bug within a 10-mile radius comes to visit. It’s insanity. I’ve tried every organic deterrent that’s been suggested to me, from squishing them on the plant, cayenne pepper, soap and vinegar, diatomaceous earth, sticky traps. They’ve all failed. I even spent last summer with a shop-vac, vacuuming up squash bugs. There were just SO. MANY. BUGS. attacking one plant, and I was afraid if I pulled the plant, they’d go on to attack my melons and cucumbers. So while I’m not proud of being the girl that sucks up bugs in a vacuum, I’m just being honest – I feel like I’ve tried everything. I can’t win the war against squash bugs.

So until I come up with a solution that works, I’ll allow others to grow zucchini and squash, and I’ll gladly take donations. One friend donated a sizeable amount of zucchini and peppers the other day, so I’ve been coming up with ways to consume it all (and not resort to just making zucchini bread, as much as I love it). One night, as I was preparing tacos for dinner, I opted to use some of the same flavors and make a little zucchini salad to go along with them.

The beauty in this salad is that it’s simple and takes just a few minutes to throw together. It’s fresh, and the zucchini ribbons are tender and tasty, especially as they start to absorb the citrusy notes from the lime and the touch of heat from the Serrano chile. It’s easy to eat the entire salad by yourself. (Not that I would know or anything…*cough cough*)

If you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden, or if you were one of the fortunate recipients of zucchini (or even if you avoided all of this insanity and purchased some!), this salad is a great way to use it up and please your palate.

Print Recipe

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Serrano-Lime Dressing (gluten-free, vegan)

1 large zucchini or several small zucchini

8-10 small cherry tomatoes, halved

Small handful of pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

2 T chopped fresh cilantro

2 T lime juice (from 1 large lime)

1/2 t lime zest

1 t minced fresh Serrano chile, seeds removed (can substitute jalapeno)

2 T olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Using a vegetable peeler, peel long “ribbons” from the zucchini, lengthwise, until you hit the seeds. Rotate the zucchini and do this all the way around. Place ribbons in a medium bowl along with the tomatoes, pepitas and cilantro.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, Serrano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the salad in the dressing and serve.

Serves 2 (or one hungry person).

Radish Salad with Dill Buttermilk Dressing

radish salad blog

Sometimes, the simplest of things can be the most delicious. I remind myself of this often-forgotten fact every spring, when fresh vegetables start appearing in my garden and in the farmer’s markets. Just a few super-fresh ingredients thrown together can make for a delicious dish. Case in point – radishes.

I feel that for me personally, radishes have gone underappreciated for many years. They’ve always been present in a salad, but I’ve more often celebrated other components – cool cucumbers, crisp lettuce, spicy or bitter greens, or a perfectly ripe tomato. But in truth, they provide a crisp, cool crunch, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, a bit of spice. I’ve found that a fresh radish is truly a delight in itself.

And since the bounty of spring is beginning to show here – my garden is just now producing lettuces big enough to pick, as well as a good amount of cilantro, a ton of kale, and even the spinach is looking pretty tasty – I figured it was high time to create a simple spring salad. I gathered some fresh radishes, a little lettuce, and a few colorful carrots from the farmer’s market, and tossed it together.

I wanted to really bring those flavors together with an easy, delicious dressing. I am also growing dill and chives, and so I whisked together a quick buttermilk dressing with these herbs that was reminiscent of a ranch dressing, only fresher. It’s also easily made dairy-free by swapping out the buttermilk for a coconut milk & lemon juice mixture (I’ll show you how below) – something I often did in my dairy-free days.

This salad is an easy way to bring some fresh spring flavors to your meal. It only takes a few minutes to throw together, and its simplicity allows you to really enjoy each component.

radish salad blog 2

Print Recipe

Radish Salad with Dill Buttermilk Dressing (gluten-free, dairy-free/vegan adaptable)

1 small bunch green lettuce (such as Bibb, romaine, or green leaf)

1 bunch radishes

3 small carrots

2-3 T crumbled feta (omit for vegan)

Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place into a medium bowl. Slice the radishes thin and add to the lettuce. Peel the outside of the carrots, and then peel into ribbons for the salad. Add the feta and toss. Place on plates.

Makes 3-4 side salads.

For the dressing:

1/3 c buttermilk (or 1/4 c coconut milk + 1 T lemon juice, whisked)

3 T mayonnaise (can substitute vegan mayonnaise for vegan)

1 1/2 T chopped fresh dill

1 1/2 T chopped fresh chives

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t garlic powder

Whisk together the buttermilk and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the dill, chives, salt and garlic powder. Chill until ready to use, up to 4-5 days.

Makes about 1/2 cup dressing.

Autumn Kale Salad with Apples and Candied Pecans

kale salad thanksgiving

If your Thanksgiving menu is anything like mine, it’s filled with the traditional fare: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, rolls, casseroles, pies, and more. All of these dishes are iconic, and I wouldn’t leave any of them out for anything. But honestly, it’s all so heavy. So when I’m brainstorming for vegetable or additional side dish ideas, I want something a little lighter to balance it all out. Something fresh. Something green.

Now I know kale has been the latest darling in the “healthy eating” industry. I’ve posted recipes with kale before. I love it, personally, and eat it because it tastes good to me. But lately kale is everyone’s favorite “detox” vegetable. I’m not a believer in detoxing – I have juiced and such in the past, and I enjoy the flavor. I sometimes even feel the green juices give me a boost of energy. I will admit, in the past I did have a touch of obsession with ensuring I got what was in reality a crazy amount of greens into my body on a daily basis, thinking I was healthier for doing so. (I wasn’t healthier…) I’ve since backed off and have listened to my body and just focus on whatever vegetables are fresh and sound good to me at the time. (And sometimes, that’s kale!) But I’ve never believed that squeezing juice out of fruits or vegetables somehow “detox” your body – that’s what your liver does, all on its own. It doesn’t mean that the vegetables, including kale, don’t have great vitamins and such – they do. They’re just not magical.

Anyway. I digress.

Thanksgiving. And this salad. It’s fresh. It’s easy. It can be made in advance. unlike lettuce-based salads, and can still hold its crunch. In fact, I find it’s tastier made a bit in advance of eating. It allows the lemon juice to really meld and mingle. With the sweetness of the apples and cranberries, and the candied pecans, it’s a lovely autumn salad. Most of all, it’s a great, refreshing addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Print Recipe

Autumn Kale Salad with Apples and Candied Pecans (gluten-free, vegan, grain-free)

1 bunch kale, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

1 T olive oil

A couple pinches of kosher salt

1 carrot, julienned

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/4 c dried cranberries

1 crisp apple (such as Honeycrisp), cut into 1/2 inch dice

1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, leaves coarsely chopped

1-2 T lemon juice

Candied Pecans (recipe follows)

Drizzle the olive oil over the kale, and sprinkle with salt. Massage the oil evenly over all of the kale leaves. Add the carrot, celery, cranberries, apple, and parsley, and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice. Toss well and taste. Adjust salt and lemon juice as desired. Top with candied pecans and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Candied Pecans (gluten-free, vegan)

1 t coconut oil

1/2 c raw, shelled pecans

3 T brown rice syrup

A couple pinches of kosher salt

Dash of cinnamon

In a small skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the pecans, brown rice syrup, salt and cinnamon. Stir to coat completely. Keep stirring over heat until sugar bubbles and clings to pecans, pulling away from the pan and becoming “drier”. Once everything really seems to stick together in a “glob”, remove from heat and turn out to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading out the pecans as much as you can with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool completely and break into small pieces.

Watermelon-Cucumber Salad with Basil

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I’m sure you’ve seen my cucumbers. I’m growing Armenian cucumbers for the first time, and boy, are these things prolific. I love them. They seem to enjoy this Texas heat – they’re never bitter no matter how hot it gets. They are more mild than a typical cucumber, and ever-so-slightly sweet. But they certainly take over. I planted them in a 4 foot square raised bed, and they’ve filled that bed entirely, climbing up and over the trellis, nearly filling the neighboring bed and a good bit of the lawn all around. But because of their ease to grow, I’m definitely growing them again next year.

Meanwhile, however, I am accumulating cucumbers like nobody’s business. I’ve brought them to work and dumped them off on coworkers. I’ve given a few to my husband’s coworkers. People that show up at my house go home with at least one. I’ve even brought them to my soccer games, donating them to anyone who wants them. I’ve juiced them in my green juices. I’ve snacked on them, eating as much as I can handle. I love cucumbers. But even I can’t keep up – I still have two, each about 18 inches long, in the fridge right now. Good thing I also have watermelon – because that means this salad can be made.

This is one of the easiest salads I’ve made in a while. It’s only 5 ingredients. It’s lovely just snacked on by itself (which is what I did), or enjoyed along grilled chicken or fish. I love the perfectly refreshing combination of cucumber and watermelon, highlighted by the punch of basil. It’s bright and cool and the epitome of summer.

But seeing as how I’m still growing cucumbers, I think I’ll need more watermelon.

Print Recipe

Watermelon-Cucumber Salad with Basil (gluten-free, vegan)

3 c cubed seedless watermelon

1 1/2 c thinly sliced cucumber (if you don’t have Armenian cukes, English cucumbers will do)

1 T chopped fresh basil

2 t lemon juice

About 1/4 t kosher salt

In a large bowl, toss the watermelon, cucumber and basil with lemon juice and salt. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Crazy For Kale Launch Party, and a Lemony Kale Salad with Candied Black Walnuts

Today is the official release day for Hallie Klecker’s (author of the blog Daily Bites and of two amazing books, The Pure Kitchen and Super Healthy Cookies) newest creation – the Crazy For Kale e-book! This e-book contains 40 recipes using kale in everything from salads to main dishes to snacks, and yes, even sweet treats.

It’s really no secret that I adore kale. I use it in my green juice. I make salads with it. I even have some growing in my garden. But for those of you who are new to kale, or even seasoned kale veterans looking for some new kale inspiration, this e-book is definitely handy to have in your arsenal.

This book, which will have 40 recipes (33 are Paleo/grain-free, 31 are vegan or have vegan alternatives) includes recipes such as:

Orange Greensicle Smoothie

Tropical Asian Fusion Salad

Kale in Almond Cream Sauce

Burgers with Avocado Kale Slaw

Green Goddess Tart

And much more! This e-book goes for only $5.99, so purchase your copy today!

Of course, in honor of this release, I’m sharing a kale recipe that’s fast and easy to make – Lemony Kale Salad with Candied Black Walnuts. This is something you could throw together to serve alongside any meal. It would pair perfectly with a soup for a light lunch, or could accompany a simple seared fillet of salmon, and everything in between. I couldn’t get enough of it, personally!

Print Recipe

Lemony Kale Salad with Candied Black Walnuts (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

5 oz of baby kale (I used Earthbound Organic’s Mixed Baby Kales, but you could substitute 1 bunch of any variety of kale and tear the leaves from the stem into bite-sized pieces)

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste

1/4 c black walnut pieces

2 T coconut palm sugar

1 t water

Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle over the lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Gently massage the leaves, tossing, until the lemon juice and olive oil coat them all. Massaging the leaves will make them more tender. Set aside.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the black walnut pieces and heat to medium heat. Stir the walnuts and allow to toast for a minute, and then add the coconut palm sugar and water. Keep stirring until the sugar melts and clings to the nuts. Remove from heat and allow the nuts to cool and for the sugar to crisp up. Break into smaller pieces if needed.

Add the candied nuts to the salad, toss, and serve immediately. Serves 3-4 as a side salad.

To purchase your copy of Crazy For Kale, visit here!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Balsamic Lamb Heart Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette

Hold on, hold on…hear me out. I know that titling a blog post with “lamb heart” is likely to instill fear in many readers, or at the very least, cause them to leave and hope that more Ding Dong recipes come their way soon. I promise, I’ll be sure to share more desserts again shortly. I can’t stay away from them for long.

But for now, let’s talk about lamb heart.

Still with me?

Okay.

Heart, along with many other offal (organ) meats, are quite nutritious. Over at Mark’s Daily Apple, he discusses the benefits of eating all sorts of offal. Heart in particular is an excellent source of lean protein, thiamin, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, CoQ10, and several B vitamins. I’m no stranger to offal, and I’ve posted about making barbacoa and liver and onions before. We eat liver and onions fairly often at our home, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes. Lamb heart (or the more easy-to-find beef heart) is not as common, but after this salad, it very will could be.

As far as the flavor of heart is concerned, it’s definitely more approachable than many other cuts of offal. Many newbies to organ meats try it by grinding it along with ground beef and serving it in hamburgers, thus “disguising” it. I promise you, heart is so mild, if you wanted to start by taking that route (use a 1:4 ratio of heart to ground beef), you’d never notice you were eating it. To me, though, eating heart even in this salad isn’t too “weird”. Heart is tender when cooked quickly and left at a medium or medium-rare temperature, and nearly has the taste and texture of a super-lean steak. There is no “livery” taste or texture to it, which is what tends to turn people off to much offal. And when combined with some strongly flavored greens, spicy radishes, and a creamy vinaigrette, it’s simply heaven. This is the kind of thing I could eat every day – no joke.

I opted for lamb hearts because that was what was easy for me to obtain from my local farmer, and honestly, I find lamb heart and lamb liver to be milder in flavor when compared to beef. You could certainly substitute beef for the lamb in this recipe and it would be delicious as well.

The list of ingredients might seem a tad long on this recipe, as you’re making a marinade, a dressing, and a salad, but in all honesty, it doesn’t take long to come together. The marinade takes moments to make, as does the dressing and the salad. The last time I made this, it was on a weeknight and I served it with sweet potato and rosemary flatbread. It was an easy and delicious dinner. In fact, as we were starting to eat, my husband confided to me that he’d been looking forward to it ever since the previous time I’d made it. (He also mentioned that he preferred this vinaigrette over ranch dressing, which in my book is a definite WIN.) I think it’s time to order more lamb heart, so we can experience it one more time.

Print Recipe

Balsamic Lamb Heart Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, sugar-free)

For the lamb:

1 lb lamb hearts, trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (can substitute beef heart)

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t ground black pepper

1 t freshly picked thyme leaves

Combine all of the ingredients in a plastic zip-top bag and toss to coat evenly. Allow to marinate, refrigerated for at least 8 hours.

For the dressing:

1/2 c mayonnaise (I love to make my own using this recipe)

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 t honey

1 t sherry vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)

1 1/2 t Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.

For the salad:

1 head of green leaf lettuce

1 bunch watercress

1 c flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

1 c celery leaves

A handful or two of alfalfa sprouts (or your favorite sprout)

1 bunch red radishes, sliced

Tear the lettuce leaves into small pieces and divide among 3-4 salad plates. Top each plate with watercress, parsley leaves, celery leaves, sprouts, and radishes.

When the dressing and salads are ready, remove the lamb from the marinade, lay it out on a plate, and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and add a bit of coconut oil, rendered lard, or your favorite cooking oil and swirl about. Add the lamb, spreading out into a single layer, and allow to brown for a minute or two. Toss and allow to brown on the other sides for another minute, and then remove. Divide among the plated salads and drizzle with dressing. Serves 3-4.

Do you eat offal/organ meats? Chime in on this topic (and more) at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Turnip “No Potato” Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon, and Pickled Red Onions

Potato salad is a staple side dish in just about any household. I’ve had many versions – salads heavy on the mayonnaise, versions with a ton of pickles and yellow mustard (like my Mom’s recipe), German-style potato salad, and I’ve even made a dill and caper salad for a Daring Cooks’ challenge. I imagine that there are as many recipes for potato salad as there are summer barbecues in the United States.

But what if you are trying to stay away from potatoes? Many people on gluten-free diets also steer clear of nightshades as well in order to keep inflammation down. Many people following a paleo diet also stay away from potatoes. In those cases, how do you satisfy that potato salad craving? If you’re like me and a) have several turnips lying around from your local box and b) are looking for a unique twist on this traditional comfort food, this might just be the answer to a “no potato/faux-tato” salad!

I’ve used turnips before as stand-ins for traditional potato dishes, like in this turnip-rutabaga mash. They’re a great budget-friendly root vegetable, and one that stands up to longer-term storage quite well. They’re tasty in pickles and are lovely roasted. But I do believe that this salad has become my new favorite way to enjoy them.

Of course, part of what makes this salad so bright and fresh (even when it’s still winter, and bright and fresh aren’t descriptors for much of our food this time of year) are the pickled red onions. Many times, I forget how a simple pickle can transform a creamy, heavier dish into something that really pops. The tart, sour taste of the pickle balances out the fat in a creamy sauce so perfectly. Such is the case with these simple pickled red onions. They’re not just good for this salad, though – I enjoyed them on top of some pork carnitas the other day, and I can imagine they’d be wonderful on a burger or to garnish a pot roast. The recipe makes plenty, so you’ll have some for enjoyment on all sorts of dishes.

But back to this salad. It’s a relatively simple mix of some of my favorites – a good, grainy mustard, homemade mayonnaise, bacon, and the red onions. You get a mouthful of creamy, salty, piquant, sweet and sour, all in one bite. Pair this with some barbecue, with roast beef, or with a good soup, and you have a delicious, simple comfort food. In fact, this is my contribution to this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! – Comfort Foods. (It’s not too late to join us, either! Just check out how to participate here.) This salad will definitely show up at a future barbecue around these parts, as I gear up for spring and break out my smoker!

Print Recipe

Turnip Salad with Grainy Mustard, Bacon and Pickled Red Onions (gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly)

4 c diced turnips

3 slices bacon, diced

¼ c mayonnaise (I used homemade, based on this recipe)

¼ c coarse/grainy mustard

½ t freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

3 T diced pickled red onions (recipe below)

¼ c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add turnips and reduce to medium-high heat. Boil until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain turnips and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium heat and add bacon. Cook bacon, stirring every minute or so, until crisp. Remove and set on paper towels to drain.

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, and black pepper. Add the turnips and bacon and toss well to combine. Add salt if needed and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours.

Once chilled, add the pickled red onions and parsley and toss again. Serve.

Serves 4-6.

 

(This recipe makes a lot more pickled onions than are needed for this salad. Enjoy these onions on burgers, in other salads, on tacos, or as a garnish on top of rich, heavier dishes such as pot roast or chili.)

Pickled Red Onions (gluten-free, vegan)

¾ c apple cider vinegar

¼ c red wine vinegar

2 T lime juice

1 T natural cane sugar (for vegan) or honey

1 T kosher salt

1 bay leaf

½ t black peppercorns

½ t cumin seed

½ t coriander seeds

½ t whole allspice

1 large or 2 medium red onions, sliced thinly

Combine everything but the onions in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Add the onions and bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. (It’s okay if the onions aren’t covered by the liquid at first. They’ll cook down.) Reduce to low and partially cover. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not falling apart. Transfer the onions and liquid to a glass lidded container or a jar and allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

BELA Sardines: Sardine And Wilted Mustard Greens Salad (And A Giveaway!)

This giveaway is now closed. Renata, commenter #3, is the winner of the gift box of BELA sardines! Congratulations, Renata!

An alternative title to this post could be “How To Make A Healthy Meal in 10 Minutes Or Less.” Because truly, this meal took about 5 minutes to make. That’s it. It’s a perfect mix of nutrient-rich vegetables and quality protein, not to mention the excellent dose of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. The fact that the colors and flavors are so vibrant certainly doesn’t hurt matters either. It’s pleasing to the eyes and the taste buds!

This dish originated from a combination of sources. One, it was late and I didn’t have much time to prepare a meal. Two, I was about to head out of town, and didn’t have much in the way of groceries, save a few veggies (These gorgeous purple mustard greens, and a tomato) I needed to use up from my CSA share before I left. Three, I was contacted several weeks back and was asked to review these BELA Sardines. So I took this as an opportunity to compose a healthy, quick meal, and it turned out to be quite the success.

I opted to cook the mustard greens slightly to temper their spice. This left them with plenty of peppery bite, which played well with the briny capers, the sweet tomato and onion, and the bright and fresh lemon and basil. Of course, the sardines truly were the star of the show. I used the ones lightly smoked in tomato sauce (in keeping with the Mediterranean-style theme), and the slightly smoky flavor was intensely satisfying! I’d definitely make this quickie meal again.

I’m sure that many of you reading this post are stuck on the whole “sardine” thing. It seems a lot of people are turned off by the little fishes in a can. I’m here to tell you – the BELA sardines are quality stuff. If you are a sardine newbie, or if you’ve previously tried them and didn’t like them, try these. They’re fresh-tasting, and they offer several flavors (like tomato sauce or lemon) that can help ease you into the world of sardines.

After all, sardines are so good for you. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and are a great lean source of protein. Since they are a smaller fish, they’re more sustainable, and they are also lower in mercury and other contaminants. They’re also much less expensive than other omega-3-rich fish such as salmon and tuna. I love to keep a few cans stashed in my pantry for quick meals like this, or for when I’m packing my lunch at the last possible second. It gives me peace of mind knowing I have something on hand when I’m rushed that nourishes my body, rather than the typical junk food that’s so easy to reach for.

Would you be interested in winning a sampler pack of BELA Sardines? Yes? Well, today is your lucky day! I’m giving away a pack of assorted flavors to one of my readers! All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me how you’d like to enjoy your sardines.

One winner will be chosen at random at the close of the contest, which will end at 11:59PM Saturday, October 6, 2012. Winner must be at least 18 years of age.

And now, onto the “Healthy Meal In 10 Minutes or Less” recipe!

Print Recipe

Sardine and Wilted Mustard Greens Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)

1 t olive oil

1 bunch mustard greens (I used these purple mustard greens, which are a tad milder than regular), chopped if desired

1/4 c thinly sliced red onion

1 t capers

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small tomato, cut into wedges

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tin BELA sardines in tomato sauce

1 T chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the mustard greens, onion, and capers and saute for 2-3 minutes, or just until the greens have wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set on plate. Top with tomato and sprinkle with lemon juice. Top with sardines and garnish with basil.

Serves 1.

What are some ways you make sure you get your dairy-free calcium? Join in the conversation over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Beyond The Peel

It’s time for another rendition of Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger! This month is being hosted by Sunny of And Love It Too - and there’s still time to sign up – deadline is tomorrow, July 28th – so if you want to participate, leave Sunny a comment on her sign-up post and you’re in! If you are interested in signing up for August, check back here – I’ll be hosting!

This month I decided to adopt France and Joshua from Beyond The Peel. Their blog, videos, and book all focus on providing easy ways for you to fit delicious, healthy, whole foods meals into your life. If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, you’ll know I’m a big fan of delicious, healthy, and whole foods – and easy is always a goal! Needless to say, this is my kind of blog. While all of their recipes are not gluten-free, many are (you can check out the gluten-free selection here). And just as promised, many are easy and have short ingredient lists. (Like 5-minute 4-ingredient protein bars – how awesome is that?) Even more, they all look absolutely terrific.

I opted to make her Chipotle Corn and Zucchini Salad, since corn and zucchini are everywhere at the farmer’s market right now. And because chipotle is one of my most favorite ingredients ever. This salad is fresh-and-bright meets smoky-and-spicy, a.k.a. a southwestern party of flavors. Sweet corn, fresh mint, crunchy celery, tender zucchini, and lime juice brought a lovely summer flair, and that chipotle oil really sealed the deal with a touch of heat. (While I know I’m a bit of a chile-head, the heat level in this salad is mild enough for even the most timid.) I made it to accompany grilled chicken one night for dinner, and happily munched on leftovers throughout the next few days.

Also on my menu for this weekend – these pork and kale tacos with cherry-cilantro salsa. I just scored some organic cherries yesterday, and the photo was so enticing, I just knew this dish was in my future. I’m sure there will be very few leftovers on this one!

And if I need a sweet treat, I definitely think this almond butter banana fudge is on order. Anytime something healthy can satisfy my sweet tooth, it’s a win-win!

Beyond the Peel is another excellent resource for healthy, whole foods cooking, so definitely check it out!