Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Welcome the season of “How Many Parties, Booze, Snacks, Sweets, Treats, and Good Times Can I Shove Into My Face and Schedule”.

But there is one big problem with this season.

My stomach. She’s such a fun killer.

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Given my cranky belly and gluten intolerance, I often go to holiday parties and find that there is hardly anything that I can eat without severe consequences. Lately, my trick for getting through party after party is to bring a delicious, healthy, and festive dish that I can eat and enjoy. By doing this I hopefully won’t be the one over in the corner munching on a pound of carrots and staring like a voracious dog at others eating seven layer bars, molasses cookies, sausage balls, and chocolate covered pretzels…. “No no no, I’m good. I LOOOOVE carrots. I hate other delicious things. No go on. Please keep eating. Please, I’m fine. I’m FIIIINE.”

This Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing has been my go to Christmas salad this season.  It’s incredibly delicious with great crunch from the broccoli and brussels sprouts and crisp apple. Plus the savory tahini-maple dressing will have you wanting to lick the spoon! I have taken this salad to four different parties and have had great responses. It also holds up very well as leftovers for lunch the next day.

Broccoli, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing // Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Oh and look how festive this salad looks! Greed, Red, and White! Sometimes I even add dried cranberries for more red pop!

So Happy Holidays to you and yours!  Make a plan during this holiday season and don’t get overwhelmed!  You can do it!

Broccoli, Apple, and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 broccoli crowns, florets only, chopped
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts (about 2 big handfuls), stems removed and discolored leaves discarded
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta (do not include for dairy free option)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Tahini-Maple Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli into small bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Use a sharp chef’s knife or mandolin slicer to slice the brussels sprouts as thin as possible. Alternately, a food processor’s slicing disk could be used. Add the brussels sprouts to the large bowl with the broccoli.
  2. In a separate small jar or bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup together to form a paste. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is creamy and pourable like vinaigrette (not too watery). Pour the dressing over the broccoli and brussels sprouts and toss to combine.  (The salad can be made a few hour ahead of time to this point and refrigerated).
  3. Add the chopped apple, feta, and sliced almonds to the salad and toss lightly.  Serve immediately.

Notes

  • For paleo friendly, vegan friendly, and dairy free, do not include the feta cheese.
  • If you don’t have tahini, almond butter could be used.
  • For added protein and a complete meal, add some cooked quinoa or shredded chicken.

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Carne Asada Salad (Paleo Friendly and Gluten Free)

Carne Asada Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Have you ever lost your mojo? Felt lost?

If you are frequent reader or friend of mine or even someone I have passed on the street, it has been a bit too obvious that I have lost my mojo.  I’m typically so goal-driven, mega type A, and awesome…or anal, whichever you deem it. But not for sometime. For a while I have felt like a feather in the wind with no direction, which is TERRIFYING to me. I think we all have a threshold of how much willpower we have and how much we can endure. And then one day you snap…for me it was the lack of ketchup in our house when I had made sweet potato fries…. FOR THE LOVE OF PETE WHY CAN”T I HAVE WHAT I WANT!

Too dramatic? naaaah.

Carne Asada Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

But there has to be a certain point when you just have to realize that life just is what it is. We get handed certain things in life and we can either roll around in it like a stinky pile of poop or we can make poop pie and throw it at someone that deserves it. I’ve decided to quite rolling in poop and throw it. Wait…I don’t think that came out right.

Well, you get what I’m saying right?  Take out your frustrations on others, am I right? That’s what friends are for? right? Friends? Thanks for being there for me. 🙂 No really. Thanks.

This week has been operation “get my mojo back”. If you have often felt like your mojo is gone, I challenge you to get it back by realizing that we can’t compare ourselves to others (even past versions of ourselves). We are where we are and we have to try to enjoy these moments, even the hard ones, because our time is short and our love is vast.

Carne Asada Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Here are a few of the things I did to get mojo back this week that you can try:

  • Exercise – Go for a walk. Listen to the birds, see the trees in bloom, embrace the now.
  • Treat Yo’ self – Hello mani/pedi.
  • Cook – Try something simple and fresh for yourself and family. Your belly will thank you.
  • Laugh – This is the most important thing of all.

As part of my “get my mojo back” week, I decided to cook something fresh and simple. I thawed out a strip steak from our purchase of 1/4 of a COW. (I don’t know which fourth I got, but he’s tasty.)  Strip steaks are nice and thin and are great for carne asada! So I whipped up a quick carne asada marinade when I got home from work. Fresh limes are key to the marinade. Let your steak marinade for at least an hour and up to 4 hours. Fresh greens are abundant in the farmers market and in my garden so I decided to create a fresh salad instead of tacos.  I used fresh baby butter lettuce, baby kale, and cilantro that is growing in our garden and some other goodies that I picked up at the market to create a Carne Asada Salad that was quick, delicious, and something that I will be making many times during this grilling season. Feel free to modify your toppings, but focus on fresh and good quality items.

Carne Asada Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Carne Asada Salad / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Strip steaks are thin and will not require a long time on the grill. For medium, you will likely only need to grill it 4 to 5 minutes per side, or less. Keep an eye on it. You could even cook your steaks inside in a cast iron skillet or grill pan if you don’t have a grill.

Carne Asada Salad (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly)

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 lb strip steak (flank steak would work too)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, smashed and minced
  • juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Salad Ingredients

  • Mixed greens (baby kale, spinach, arugula, butter lettuce, etc)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • green onions, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • crumbled feta (optional)
  • fresh limes
  • avocado
  • salsa

Instructions

  1. Place the strip steak in a large glass bowl or baking dish.  Do not use metal because it may react with the acids in the marinade. Salt and pepper on both sides. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the steak. Make sure that all of is covered and saturated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. Pull out of the refrigerator and allow the steak to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). 
  2. Preheat your grill or grill pan using medium-high heat or flame. Brush the grates of your grill with a bit of olive oil so that the steak does not stick to the grates. Remove the steak from the marinade and place onto the hottest part of the grill and cover the grill. Grill until the underside of the steak is browned, about 4 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak.  Flip the steak and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal. This will help the steak from being chewy.
  4. Prepare four salad bowls and place sliced steak on top. As another option, prepare these as tacos using grilled corn tortillas. Mmmmm! Happy eating!

 

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

We are all getting antsy around here. Am I right? I hate getting taunted with a few days of warm weather, then blasted with too many days of cold. It’s a terrible tease. Tulips are peaking out of the ground. Trees are beginning to bud. Patio weather one day and then fire-place/wool socks/snuggy weather the next. Ugh.

Does anyone else feel a little bipolar weather insanity coming on?  My body and cravings are in a constant state of flux… Sun!!!!! Give me fresh veggies! Give me fresh fruit! More spring greens!!!!

OOOOoooooh wait…clouds? Snow? Blaaaah. Carb me up it’s cold! Where’s the chili? Where’s the chowder? Salad, really???? Why is it not covered in cheese? Helloooo! I like my cupcake handles, thank you very much! Gotta keep some padding on this bod against the polar vortex!

Wait. But NO! Let’s think positive. Let’s all send out SPRING THOUGHTS. (Don’t roll your eyes! I’m trying to quit being so crabby….I said trying, people).

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Wish for camping. Wish for tulips. Wish for gardening. Wish for the smell of grills. Wish for the sound of neighbors chatting with each other. Wish that your lawn will mow itself (get a goat). Wish that those cupcake handles will magically disappear once bathing suite season rears its ugly head (or maybe swimming t-shirts will come back in style).

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

As you send out your good vibes into the world, here is my positive food vibe. I used one of my fave winter veggies, brussels sprouts, to make a springy slaw! Lime and cilantro pump this puppy up another notch. Red cabbage makes this a total beauty to serve.  Oh ya, give me a badge! Healthy and Hawt!

Personally, I love this slaw on my fish tacos. Mmmmmm….recipe to come later. So put down the carbs and chili for just a few minutes and try to get a positive spring mind.

Maybe if we all think positive, spring will finally move in for good. But summer will stay asleep for a loooong time.

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw / Big Eats Tiny Kitchen

Lime Cilantro Brussels Sprout Slaw

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb medium-sized brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 head small red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onion, white and green parts sliced
  • juice of 1 large lime (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Remove any brown or spotted out leaves of the sprouts. The sprouts can be shredded several different methods: shredded in a food processor (using the slicing blade), sliced as thin as possible using a good knife, or using a mandolin slicer. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Shred half of a head of small red cabbage or slice as thin as possible. Add the shredded cabbage, cilantro, and green onions to the large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, salt, and olive oil together. Pour dressing over shredded veggies. Toss and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the dressing. Eat up!

Strawberry and Cucumber Ribbon Salad

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My husband pulled the trigger this week. Four years of waffling on my end.  But he just woke up one morning this week and decided it was time. He jumped in and started pulling up the 85 layers of laminate and tile and fiber board that covered our kitchen floors. Good thing he stopped just before hitting the asbestos tile. What a man!

He sent me pictures of the destruction while I was at work. Needless to say I was shocked. And then kind of excited. But then it hit me…

“Wait… You JUST did this???? Are you kidding??? No stove? No fridge? No floor?  Is that asbestos? Are you dying? Is that a respirator? Are you drinking water???? Don’t eat the floor! Don’t die on me.”

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I guess this means I’m GETTING A FLOOR!

What do you eat when you don’t have a kitchen and your garden is going gangbusters with cucumbers? Cucumber salad!

Let’s get fancy….cucumber ribbon salad! Oooooh gurrrrl!  Ya, I did it. I used a vegetable peeler for something besides collecting dust in my kitchen utensil crap drawer. Boom!

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I also threw some fresh strawberries, basil, mint, and feta into the mix. Personally, I think the fresh herbs and feta really bring this dish together. I also drizzled a little bit of good balsamic vinegar on top. This has been my go to lunch of choice this week. Summer in a bowl!

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This also is a perfect picnic salad! Because I’m basically picnicking every meal until our kitchen floor installation is complete.

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Strawberry and Cucumber Ribbon Salad

Makes 4 side salads or 2 large salads

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh mint and/or basil, slivered
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler or or mandolin slicer, cut the cucumber lengthwise into long thin ribbons. Stop before you get to the seeds.
  2. Place cucumber ribbons in a bowl with sliced strawberries, crumbled feta, basil, and mint. Drizzle with good balsamic vinegar when ready to serve.

Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

I like simple things….

t-shirt and jeans…

a warm day in the middle of a cold spell…

a hug after a long day…

and winter citrus! 

Winter citrus is an anomaly to me: bright and flavorful fruits that are at their peak when everything else is dormant.  I can’t seem to get enough grapefruit, Meyer lemons, clementines, oranges, and especially blood oranges!  Have you had a blood orange? Eating them is like a secret escape to my own tropical island. Where’s my mai tai? Where’s my pool?  Where’s my hammock????

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The salad I made is adapted from Alice Water’s amazing avocado and grapefruit salad from her-must have cookbook The Art of Simple Food.  A girlfriend of mine had this cookbook and I poured over it every time I was at her house. And then I received a copy for my birthday!!!  The recipes are so simple and so flavorful.

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I swapped blood oranges in for the grapefruit and served it over a bed of mixed greens. Using blood oranges makes me feel like I just bedazzled my salad.  I whipped this up for a quick lunch and took it to work, eating with some leftover salmon. It totally made feel like I was on vacation in the tropics and not sitting inside an office cage in the middle of winter peering out a tiny jail-sized window. Womp womp.

Hrmmm….note to self…get a hammock for my office….and more winter citrus!

Blood Orange and Avocado Salad (adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 cups of mixed salad greens, washed and dried
  • 2 Blood oranges
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Divide the salad greens evenly among four plates.
  2. With a sharp knife, peel the rind from the blood oranges down to the flesh. Slice in thin rounds. Divide the orange slices evenly among four plates.
  3. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Sprinkle the inside lightly with salt. Inside the skin, slice the avocados in 1/4-inch slices. Carefully scoop from skin and divide the avocado slices evenly among the four plates.
  4. In a small lidded jar, add vinegar and olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake well. Drizzle the vinaigrette lightly over each salad. Store leftover vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.