Roasted Beets and Asparagus with Farro

roasted beets and asparagus with farro - conveganence

I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday, and I found that the offerings were much more plentiful than they were a few weeks ago. I went overboard, as usual. I bought fresh garlic, swiss chard, 2 bunches of asparagus, a bunch of beets, sugar snap peas, purple potatoes, and a lavender plant.  Now all I have to do is eat it. All of it. Well, except for the lavender. That’s for decoration.

roasted beets and asparagus with farro - conveganence

It’s already Tuesday and so far I’ve only used a bit of asparagus for the crepes I made on Sunday. Therefore, I decided to try to kill three birds with one stone by combining the remaining asparagus with the beets and fresh garlic. Short story long, that’s how this dish came to be. I must admit, I have never been a huge fan of beets, but this recipe has converted me. The sweet, tender flavor of the beets paired nicely with the savory roasted asparagus and shallots. The lemon and chive dressing pulls everything together with a light astringent finish. The addition of the farro makes this dish fit for a main course, but you could also serve the veggies over a bed of greens or on their own.

roasted beets and asparagus with farro

Roasted Beets and Asparagus with Farro (and Lemon Chive Dressing)

Serves 2-3

Prep time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

1 bunch beets, peeled with tops and bottoms removed

1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1″ pieces with woody stems broken off

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 large shallot, sliced very thin

1.5 C farro (I like Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Farro)

For the Dressing:

1/2 C fresh lemon juice

3-4 tbsp finely chopped chives

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling it with a layer of salt. Place the beets on the salt and bake for 45 minutes. Then, add the asparagus, garlic, and shallots and bake for another 15 minutes.

2. While the beets are baking, prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Set aside.

3. Cook the farro according to package directions. Set aside.

4. When the vegetables are roasted, remove the beets from the baking pan and cut into 1″ cubes.  Remove the asparagus and shallots from the pan using a slotted spoon or spatula so you can sift out any excess salt.

5. Divide farro among plates. Top with vegetables and drizzle with dressing. Serve warm. (Although I ended up eating it cold, and it was delicious!)

3-2-1 Salad

3-2-1 Salads - conveganence blog

When I worked as an attorney, I ate lunch at my desk almost every single day. Most of the time, the food I ate wasn’t very healthy. It was heavily processed, high in sodium (think frozen lunches, canned soups,  or even chips and crackers). By the time 2pm rolled around, I would feel exhausted, bloated, and crabby. I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about!

If only I had known that I could avoid the mid-afternoon doldrums with just a little bit of planning. (Actually I probably did know that, I was just too miserable to do anything about it.) Anyway, this recipe is something I think I will make every week for both myself and my husband, whose office eating habits are even worse than mine used to be.

I call this the 3-2-1 salad because the recipe makes 3 salads for 2 people in under 1 hour, AND for less than $15 (assuming you’ve got olive oil and vinegar or your favorite dressing on hand). This simple, budget friendly recipe is vegan (of course), gluten free, soy free and sugar free. Plus, each salad is full of my two favorite nutrients: protein and fiber.

3-2-1 Salad

Prep time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 salads

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 small head of broccoli, chopped into very small florets

1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into very small florets

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 C red quinoa

1 can artichoke hearts

1/2 C kalamata olives

3/4 C julienne sliced sundried tomatoes

1/2 C shelled pistachios or other nuts of your choice (optional)

Dressing ingredients: (or use your favorite dressing)

1 C cilantro, chopped

1/2 C olive oil (probably less)

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

juice from 1 lemon

3-4 cloves garlic

1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp ground cumin

Instructions:

1) Combine ingredients for dressing in a food processor (except for olive oil). Drizzle in olive oil, a few tablespoons at a time, while pulsing food processor. Taste test every so often and stop adding olive oil when the spice becomes milder. Chill dressing for at least 30 minutes.

2) Preheat oven to 400F. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toss with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, put quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.

4) In a food processor, combine artichoke hearts and olives until minced. You could also chop by hand.

5) Create Salad #1 (left photo) by layering the quinoa, artichoke hearts, olives, sundried tomatoes, and half the kale. (This salad would probably be fine without dressing. I just put a bit of extra oil from the sundried tomatoes in mine.)

6) Create Salad #2 (middle photo) by layering the remaining kale, chickpeas, chopped red pepper, and pistachios.

7) Create Salad #3 (right photo) by layering the white beans, kidney beans, broccoli and cauliflower.

8) Refrigerate salads and dressing until ready to serve. Each salad should last a few days. When you’re ready to eat, just add a bit of dressing to the jar, close the lid, and shake it up!

3-2-1 Salads - conveganence blog3-2-1 Salads - conveganence blog3-2-1 Salads - conveganence blog

Strawberry Rhubarb Salad

This weekend was the official opening of the farmer’s market in my town. It was a little anticlimactic because there weren’t many vendors yet, and most of the vendors didn’t have much in the way of offerings. Fortunately, I managed to score some beautiful ruby red rhubarb.

 

rhubarbconveganence blog - strawberry rhubarb salad

I was too lazy to go grocery shopping or look for recipes that use rhubarb, so I just combined it with some ingredients I happened to have around the house.

This salad is on the sweet side, and it’s perfect for the hot weather we’ve had lately. If you can wait a while before eating it, I recommend serving it chilled. I ate it warm (I’m impatient like that) but that didn’t stop me from wolfing this down.

Strawberry Rhubarb Salad

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus chill time)

Ingredients:

For the Salad

1 C quinoa, cooked according to package instructions

2 large stalks rhubarb, diced (about 2 C)

2 tbsp vegan cane sugar

1 1/2 C strawberries, sliced

10 oz watercress or other green (spinach would work nicely here too)

optional: almond slivers (I didn’t use any but I thought it would go well with this salad)

For the Dressing

1 C  strawberries, stems removed

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

2 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice from 1 lemon

1/2 tsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1″ grated fresh if you’ve got it)

cracked black pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 450F. Toss diced rhubarb in a bowl with sugar until rhubarb is evenly coated. Let sit about 10 minutes. Arrange rhubarb in a single layer on a baking sheet, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before combining it with other salad ingredients.

2) Meanwhile, mix all dressing ingredients together in a food processor.

3) Toss watercress, sliced strawberries, rhubarb, and almonds, if using.

4) If you are chilling the salad, chill dressing, quinoa, and watercress mixture in separate containers for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, place quinoa in a salad bowl or on a plate, and top with rhubarb mixture. Drizzle with dressing and cracked pepper. (You could also mix it all together if you want.)

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