CHICKPEA, DANDELION & APPLE SALAD

Now that apples are coming into season, I love to use them in salads whenever possible. I also love using dandelion seeds because they are great for cleansing your liver, and who doesn’t need a bit of a liver cleanse every now and again? Dandelion leaves, however, can be a bit bitter, so I like to saute them and then pair them with the sweetness of a crisp apple. This salad takes a few minutes to throw together and makes a perfect fall lunch or dinner appetizer.

1 can organic garbanzo beans*

2tbsp coconut or canola oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4tsp red pepper chili flakes

2 cups dandelion leaves, washed and removed from stems

2 medium crisp apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped.

Balsamic vinegar (make sure it’s aged vinegar, as in the thick, syrupy stuff).

Sea salt and pepper

* I love Eden Foods ¬†for canned beans because their quality is excellent and they are one of the few companies that don’t use BPA in the linings of their cans.

 

Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans

Heat the oil in a large skillet

Add the garlic, chili flakes and leaves. Saute over a medium heat until the leaves have really wilted. Remove from heat.

Arrange the garbanzo beans on a dish and top with the wilted greens. Pile the apple pieces on top and drizzle with a little fruity balsamic vinegar.

Season with flaky sea salt and pepper.

WARM QUINOA SALAD

Ooooh – you’re in for such a treat with this superb winter salad. Last week I was lucky enough to eat at Fig restaurant, which is located at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. I was very excited as I’d heard chef, Ray Garcia, doesn’t just pay lip service to “Sustainable” cuisine, but he actually lives and breathes it. You’ll find him wondering around the local farmer’s markets, purchasing only what is fresh and seasonal to cook up into some of the most exquisite dishes I’ve tasted in years.

I was given a little bag of red quinoa and a recipe on leaving the restaurant and decided to give it a go this weekend. The result was utterly delish – and here it is. I have taken a few liberties and customized it according to what I could find at my farmer’s market.

3 1/2 ounces quinoa (red quinoa if possible)

1 1/2 cups of veggie stock

1 sprig rosemary

1tbsp olive oil

1 small bunch of broccolini (or broccoli florets), chopped into bite sized pieces

1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and cubed

2 ounces swiss chard, stalks and veins removed, roughly chopped

2 ounces butternut squash, cubed

1 ounce slivered almonds

 

Dressing:

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

 

Reduce the orange juice down to 1/2 cup by simmering in a pan, and then chill. When cool, mix with other dressing ingredients and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F and roast butternut squash sprinkled with a little olive oil until it’s tender (about 20 minutes.)

Cook quinoa in the stock, adding the rosemary. When cooked, drain and toss in a little olive oil.

Saute apple, Swiss Chard and blanched broccolini (to blanch, simply add to pan of boiling water for 1 minute).

Mix roasted and sauteed veggies with quinoa and dress with a little of the dressing. Careful not to overdress the salad, you’ll have a lot of dressing over, which you can keep in a jar for later.

Sprinkle with almond flakes.