raw: “superfood” salad.

what is a super food?  if you google “super foods” you’ll get lists and lists of different foods, many of which i wouldn’t necessarily consider super foods, but hey, we’re all different.  many of these lists do, however, include the likes of kale, avocado, blueberries, and perhaps goji berries, all of which i used in this salad, hence the super food name. 

this recipe really came about  because i was craving me some kale salad.  to be honest, i was never a fan of raw kale.  that is, until i ate it this way.  first off, in my opinion, kale salad is NOT complete without avocado.  as long as you have avocado and some lemon juice at hand you’ll be set.  
for this salad, i also happened to have plump blueberries, really ripe cherry tomatoes, goji berries and some raw trail mix hanging around.  all these ingredients (and a bit more) combined was delicious!  try it this way, but i also encourage you to have fun with your own combinations.  enjoy!

superfood salad.
serves 2 - 4

1 bunch kale, stripped and torn into pieces
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup blueberries
3 large medjool dates, pitted and diced
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp goji berries
1 lemon, juiced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp reduced sodium tamari

in a mixing bowl, combine kale with squeeze the lemon juice.  massage kale leaves with hands until it becomes tender (about 1 minute).  sometimes you’ll see that the kale changes color - a bright green - just like when you steam it.  add diced avocado, minced garlic and tamari and mix well.  add remaining ingredients and toss just before serving.  will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

©2012 amanda corissa 

sunshine slaw.

my mom is so cute. we made this dish on the fly to add something fun and light to our tapas dinner. at the last minute we decided we’d share the (really simple) recipe with you.

when i asked her, ”mommy, what do you want to call it? light summer slaw? or just summer slaw?” she looked down at the beautiful bright plate and said, “sunshine slaw.”

and how appropriate. it is a plate full of sunshine. its flavor is light and bright and a perfect addition to a summertime meal.

sunshine slaw.
serves 2 - 4

2 carrots, peeled & grated
1 orange
1 tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt & pepper

peel orange and separate into segments, removing the pith. squeeze pith over raisins and set aside to soak. (if pith does not provide enough juice, squeeze an extra orange segment over them.) dice orange segments. in a bowl combine ingredients and toss well. we actually enjoyed this with a couple tablespoons of my coconut curry mustard dressing, rather than the vinegar. both work well.


with love, from spain. ©2012 amanda corissa

coconut curry mustard dressing: serious flavor punch.

the first time i ever visited south florida, i was introduced to the curry mustard dressing at chicken kitchen. those of you who live here know what i’m talking about – it’s also a favorite at pollo tropical.

i loved it so much that years later, when i lived in tampa, i would make that drive across alligator alley with a cooler just so i could buy it by the bulk to bring home.

since i try not to eat oil anymore, i recently created a similar version. instead of oil, i used a mixture of shredded coconut and water to get that great creamy texture.

some of the reasons why i don’t use oil: um, have you seen forks over knives? read the china study? if not, it’s time my friend.

i don’t recommend eating coconut in huge volumes, or even on a daily basis. although it has been touted for many health benefits, its high saturated fat content makes it dangerous for people with heart problems. i suggest using it sparingly as a treat.

if you are staying away from it, you can use cashews, macadamia nuts or walnuts in this recipe instead. what if you’re also avoiding nuts? use chickpeas! note that each substitution will have its own flavor profile, but you can always add coconut extract to get that tropical effect.

if mustard seeds aren’t available in your area, no worries – i’ve also used poppy seeds and they’re great. while both work in this recipe, you’ll get a stronger flavor from using the toasted mustard seeds – and it’s the version i prefer to make at home. if you like mustard and curry, this dressing will definitely seduce your taste buds. serve this over your favorite salad or as a dip for crudités. it also works well as a spread for wraps and sandwiches!

coconut curry mustard dressing.
makes about 1½ cups

½ - 1 cup water
½ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup yellow onion, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 - 2 tbsp raw honey (or your preferred sweetener)
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 – 2 tbsp black mustard seeds, dry toasted (can also use poppy seeds)

combine all ingredients except for the mustard seeds in a blender and blend until smooth. start with the half cup of water and for a lighter consistency, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. note: if your curry powder isn’t the same bright color it used to be, add a half teaspoon or so of turmeric to your dressing to get that great, vibrant color! pour into a jar or bowl and mix in mustard seeds. enjoy over your favorite salad fixings. stores well in an airtight container in the fridge.

©2012 amanda corissa

coconut black bean dip.

maybe it’s the heavy, humid heat of this floridian summer, but all i’ve wanted to eat lately is fruit, black beans and corn.  i’ve always enjoyed corn, but never to this degree.  i must admit, i’ve become a bit obsessed.  i’ve been eating it in as many forms as i can get it: oven-roasted corn on the cob, frozen corn, polenta, corn muffins and popcorn (sprayed with bragg’s and nutritional yeast - yum!!).  i’ve even discovered a love for freeze-dried corn!  who knew.  i’ll eat it right out of the packet.  and i’m not shy about it either.  i will literally tear open that little ziplock bag, tilt my head back and pour as much as i can in my mouth.

one corn product that i haven’t been able to live without are these amazing oil-free corn tostadas that i found in the international section at whole foods market.  they are thick and crunchy and they make eating salads so much more fun!  it’s just an added bonus that there’s only two ingredients: corn and salt.  

my favorite way to eat them is as a vehicle for this amazing coconut black bean dip that i made a few months ago, on a whim.  you know those days when you really can’t be bothered cooking, but don’t have anything that can readily be eaten?  well, i was having one of those days.  

sometimes i feel like a magical kitchen genius.  i’m sure you’ve had these moments too - when you look in your pantry and fridge and feel like you have to go to the grocery store because you don’t have anything to eat?  but then you spot a can of this and a bit of that, and you somehow throw it all together and all of a sudden you’ve whipped up an amazing meal?  well this, my friends, is exactly how this bean dip came about.

in my pantry was a can of lite coconut milk and a can of black beans.

i also happen to have in my fridge some fresh cilantro and one lonely head of romaine.  inspiration hit.  

i was hungry.  i wanted a meal fast.  usually, this is when i turn to my vitamix.  literally, no more than fifteen minutes later, i had a damn good meal on the table.  

this is one of those dishes i’ve had to make again and again and again because it is so good.  i love to pour this dip, warm and saucy right off the stove, onto a big bowl of romaine and sprouts, scooping it up with my beloved tostadas.  it’s also great room temperature or cold, as the coconut helps thicken it up.  it is so versatile, so have fun with it!  enjoy .

coconut black bean dip.   
serves 4

2 cans black beans (i like eden organics because of their bpa-free lining)
1 can lite coconut milk
1/2 bunch of cilantro
2 dried chili peppers
2 limes, juiced
sea salt to taste

rinse and drain beans.  (in a perfect world, i prefer to make the beans from scratch, but when time is precious and bellies are empty…)  combine with remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  pour mixture into a pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.  taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  

dip will thicken as it cools because of the coconut.  due to its saturated fat content, coconut is solid at room temperature.  

serve warm over brown rice.  try it as a warm dressing over romaine and sprouts like i mentioned earlier!  enjoy it on tostadas with avocados and fresh salsa.  it’s great for leftovers the next day - the flavors meld together even more.  you’ll love it.

we enjoyed it over romaine, topped with a chunky avocado salsa and of course, tostadas on the side.

©2012 amanda corissa