3/11/12Balsamic Grilled Vegetables with Basil Quinoa Salad

serves about 3. (you will have as much grilled vegetables as quinoa).


for balsamic dressing

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper

for grilled vegetables

  • 1 small italian eggplant (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
  • 1 small zucchini (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
  • 1/2 small red onion (1/4 of a large red onion)
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped

for basil quinoa salad

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves loosely packed, chopped

other ingredients (optional)
1/2 cup pearlini mozzarella balls, or bocconcini mozzarella balls, tossed in a little salt and pepper
(substitute with pan fried tofu or toasted pine nuts or walnuts for a vegan dish)


  1. Whisk together all the balsamic dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, boil water for the quinoa salad. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered, till all the water has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, cut the eggplant and zucchini into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the red onion into rings. Place cubed eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes and thyme leaves in a bowl. Pour half the balsamic dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
  4. Brush grill grates with olive oil or non-stick spray (I used a stove top cast iron grill). Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the vegetables about 3 minutes on one side or till grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and grill other side till vegetables are tender but still a bit firm. Tomatoes will cook quicker, remove them from the grill as soon as they start to blister.
  5. Reserve the balsamic dressing that remains in the bowl, to serve with the meal.
  6. If you dont have a grill, broil the vegetables in the top rack of an oven, till one side is golden. Flip and broil other side.
  7. When the quinoa finishes cooking, toss it with the second half of the balsamic dressing. Stir in chopped basil, salt and pepper.
  8. Spread quinoa on a platter or bowl. Arrange the grilled summer vegetables and mozzarella around the quinoa. Serve warm with the reserved balsamic dressing on the side.

Recipe reprinted from:


2/23/12 – Purple Power Antioxidant Salad

serves 3-4

1 1/2 cups purple grapes, halved
2 black or purple plums
1/4 cup shopped radicchio lettuce
1 small onion, thinly sliced rounds
3 Tbsp dried goji berries
6 dried figs, de-stemmed, thinly sliced
1 Meyer Lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp Greek Yogurt
1 tsp. Olive Oil, for figs saute
1 tsp course sea salt
1 tsp agave syrup

Saute sliced dried figs and 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet for 3-5 minutes, until slightly caramelized.

Add all ingredients to large bowl and mix well. Serve right away or chill in fridge.

Serving Idea:
Serve over a bed of fresh mixed greens or as is.

Sprinkle top with black sesame seeds.


1/16/12 – Roasted Asparagus Salad

Yield: 8 Servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pt.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 avocado, sliced


  1.  Preheat oven to 425°. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; remove scales with a vegetable peeler, if desired.
  2. Stir together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp. chopped basil, 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a large bowl.
  3.  Add asparagus to olive oil mixture, and toss gently to coat. Place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4.  Bake asparagus at 425° for 13 to 15 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Cool 10 minutes.
  5.  Whisk together balsamic vinegar, garlic, and remaining 7 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. basil, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
  6.  Toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar mixture.
  7.  Arrange lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with tomato mixture and asparagus. Add avocado just before serving. Drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar mixture.
  8. Note: To make ahead, toss together tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion without dressing. Store these ready-to-use ingredients in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five hours. The dressing and asparagus can also be made up to eight hours before serving.


1/6/12 – Pomegranate Chicken Salad

This seasonal salad is ready in a flash. You will love the softness of the greens with the crunch of the radish and pomegranate.

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, diced
1 cup peeled sliced daikon radish
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 heaping cup of mixed greens
1 pear, sliced
12 ounces diced white meat chicken
2 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 pomegranate, arils only

Place the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, cooking until it has reduced by half.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Using an immersion blender or whisk, combine the mustard, juice reduction, and vinegar. Slowly add the oil to emulsify.

Place the shallots, radish, and greens in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle on the pepper.
Divide the greens among four plates or bowls, top with the pear and chicken, divided evenly. Garnish with the almonds and pom arils.

Serving Size:�Makes 4 servings, 3 cups per serving

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