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This Simple Recipe for Cabbage Salad will Blow Your Mind

This Simple Recipe for Cabbage Salad will Blow Your Mind

I’m not kidding, this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. This recipe for cabbage salad contains just four simple ingredients (+ dressing). And heck, you could actually make the whole salad without any chopping (see tips below).

Inspired by Veggie Power

When I built this recipe, I was scanning my list of favorite healthy ingredients. I have a sheet with ’hero,’ gut health, comfort and beauty ingredients I like to use frequently. Red/purple cabbage comes up on ALL of my lists. Come on… I just HAD to make a recipe with this true super food.

(If you haven’t had it, red cabbage tastes similar to green, but has an extra dose of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. Plus, it’s so much prettier. Here’s a link to a Healthline article on red cabbage.)

I then added carrots because they are on nearly every list and can stand-up to the structure of our hearty cabbage friend. Plus, the addition of carrots reminded me of the traditional Greek summer salad of ’cabbage & carrots.’

By including garbanzo beans, you ’entree’ level protein. Or, you can choose to axe the beans and instead, top with grilled chicken or salmon.

Then, the green onions provide a pop of color and spice.

A Few Extra Tips

  • EASY BUTTON – To make this salad uber easy, you can simply buy the pre-shredded red cabbage and carrot bags in the ready-made salad-in-a-bag section of your produce department. Add a can of garbanzos and even skip the onions and you’re set sans-chopping.

  • MIX-IT-UP – Add a bit of southwest menu flair be using black beans and corn instead of garbanzos. Use a touch of ancho chili powder in the dressing to spice it up a notch. Strips of grilled steak would be a nice touch. (if you eat meat)

  • LEVERAGE THE DRESSING – I use this salad dressing constantly. (In fact, there’s a jar on my kitchen counter right now.) I’ve actually used this same ’recipe for cabbage salad’ dressing on many of my other salad recipes, even if the original recipes don’t use it.

    I’m including links to two other salads where you can use this exact same lemon/olive oil dressing. As noted, the original versions of these salad recipes you’ll find in these links don’t use the exact same dressing. Yet, I’ve altered them in my own kitchen to use the same one on all three now. You can bring all three salads to a party this summer and nobody will ever know what an efficiency diva you are (unless you want to brag about it).

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Cabbage & Carrot Salad

  • Author: Nichole Banducci

Ingredients

Scale

SALAD

  • 1/2 Medium Red/Purple Cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 green onion (or more to taste)

EASY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or Aleppo seasoning)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

SALAD:

  • Cut the red/purple cabbage into 1/4” strips and then cut again into bite-sized pieces
  • Shred the carrots in a food processor or with a grater (with a medium/large blade… not the super fine one)
  • Open and drain the can of garbanzo beans
  • Finely chop the green onion

All all of the prepared ingredients to a large bowl.

Toss with about 1/4 cup of the salad dressing, then add more to taste. (You can use the leftover dressing on ANY salad. Store at room temperature, away from sunlight, for up to 4 days.)


Beet, Hemp Hearts & Parsley: Your New Hearty Antioxidant Salad Buddies

Beet, Hemp Hearts & Parsley: Your New Hearty Antioxidant Salad Buddies

As you get to know me, you’ll soon realize that I LOVE a good salad. They’re such a great opportunity to cram a bunch of veggies into one meal, while delivering on flavor. Bonus points for a salad that can hold-its-own at any time of year. This hearty antioxidant salad certainly makes the grade!

The other day, I was craving tabbouleh. Yet, it was about 50 degrees outside and I called ‘crazy’ on myself. Tabbouleh and all of its parsley-filled goodness is truly a summer salad (hello, ripe tomatoes). So I cobbled together some ingredients that could potentially fit the bill.

Parsley served the parsley role. (Duh) Then, I substituted beets for tomatoes. Instead of bulgur, I opted for higher protein and antioxidant rich hemp hearts. From there, feta and almonds just felt right.

My Favorite Salad Ingredient Strategy

I think you’ll agree with me that this hearty salad does a fantastic job of checking a lot of yummy boxes. To me, each salad needs to have a great balance of ingredients, without overdoing it, Achieving that balance typically means a base (greens or grains), ‘hero’ veggie, texture and savory touch.

This salad’s breakdown is as follows:

  • Base = Parsley
  • Hero = Beets
  • Texture = Almonds
  • Savory = Hemp Hearts (nutty) & Feta (creamy/salty)

If you add too many more things, then it becomes confusing to your palette. Too few, snooze.

Bonus: A Universal Dressing

This recipe includes one of my favorite yummy-on-everything salad dressing. So if anything, make sure to take note and save it to your recipe file. I’ve used this dressing as a household standard on so many salads. It delivers once again on this hearty antioxidant salad.

Olive oil and lemon juice are a phenomenal partnership for any dressing recipe. You can make it as-is, or feel free to add fresh herbs, red pepper flakes or other seasoning to adjust for nearly any salad.

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  • Author: Nichole Banducci

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8.8oz beets (I use ‘Love, Beets’ pre-cooked)
  • 2 bunches curly parsley
  • 1 cup feta crumbles (I love ‘Follow Your Heart’ vegan Feta)
  • 2 cups shelled hemp seeds (or hemp hearts)
  • 1/2 cup chopped marcona almonds (almost any nut would be delicious… pecans, walnuts, cashews)
  • juice of two lemons (about 6 Tbsp or 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder

Instructions

  1. Dice beets into 1/2” pieces (note – if you want to keep you cutting board beet-juice-free, you can dice the beets in the same large bowl where you’ll be mixing the salad.)
  2. Chop the parsley into pieces smaller than 1/4” (aka ‘fine chop)
  3. Rough chop almonds
  4. Put beets, parsley and almonds into a large bowl
  5. Add feta and hemp seeds to the same bowl
  6. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard powder to a jar. Shake well and pour over salad in bowl.
  7. Mix well and serve. (I love this salad with an amber ale!)

Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for about three days.


My Ultimate Fridge Staple: Easy and Flexible Walnut Pesto Recipe

My Ultimate Fridge Staple: Easy and Flexible Walnut Pesto Recipe

What’s the #1 tactic I use to make sure I’m eating healthy? Keeping my fridge stocked with pre-made meals, dips/spreads and ingredients. My absolute favorite fridge staple recipe is homemade Pesto. I have tons of versions, but this Walnut Pesto recipe is phenomenal!

I like to have lists of key ingredients that support important health benefits. These lists include: gut health, hero ingredients, beauty pantry, and comfort & calm. This recipe rocks the beauty pantry category with skin-nourishing ingredients like spinach, walnuts, nutritional yeast and olive oil. You can also toss-in some avocado if you have one on hand. 🙂 Or, boost beauty benefits by topping with pumpkin seeds.

Walnut Pesto on Everything, Please!

When I have this Walnut Pesto recipe in the fridge, I want to put it on EVERYTHING possible! It’s something my body craves, so I’m glad it lasts for days. Naturally, adding it to pasta gives a fantastic nutritional boost. Yet, you can try it on toast, veggies, tofu, chicken, meat….get creative! (I’ve even tossed it with popcorn.) This recipe is also wonderful with zoodles!

The best thing is that when you’re super hungry and want to make sure you’re eating healthy and/or getting the nutrients your body needs, you can grab your pre-made container of walnut pesto and add it to whatever else you have available.

Walnut Pesto Recipe - Nichole Banducci - Stocking Your Easy Pre-Made Fridge
One of my favorite snacks… Walnut Pesto on whole wheat bread, topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and red pepper flakes.

Simply Blend & Serve: Can’t Get Much Easier

This Walnut Pesto recipe is about as easy as it can get. You simply dump all the ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend. (I like to keep mine a bit chunky, so I pulse till fully incorporated.)

You can follow the recipe as-is, or add ingredients you have around the house, Other great add-ins include:

  • Avocado
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Arugula or Basil instead of Spinach
  • Chili Peppers
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Onion
  • Parmesan Cheese instead of Nutritional Yeast
  • Sundried Tomatoes
  • White Wine
  • Garbanzo or White Beans

Of course, the recipe is fantastic as-is.

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Recipe Photo for Walnut Pesto

Walnut Pesto

  • Author: Nichole Banducci
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

There are so many ways to make pesto. I love this simple recipe because it just has a handful of ingredients focused on boosting your skin health. Spinach, walnuts, olive oil and nutritional yeast are all known to increase the quality of our skin. I created this pesto recipe to give you a go-to beauty treat you can have on-hand in your fridge.

Many pesto recipes feel like they’re dripping in oil. Not this one. You get the benefits of olive oil without having it drip from your chin with each bite. (We’ve all been there, right?) 


Ingredients

  • 5 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper 

Instructions

Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend till almost smooth… leaving a few chunks gives a great consistency.

Toss about 1/4 cup with warm pasta and garnish with walnuts and red pepper flakes. You can vary the amount used based on how much pasta you’re eating/serving.

Or, use the finished pesto to spread on toast, top tofu or meat, or as a dip for veggies.


Keywords: Walnuts, Pesto, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast

Ultimate Healthy Comfort: Recipe for Barley, Butternut Squash and Walnuts

Ultimate Healthy Comfort: Recipe for Barley, Butternut Squash and Walnuts

I’m a big fan of doing a bulk meal prep of a few dishes at the beginning of the week. It streamlines your time in the kitchen, plus ensures you have a quick, healthy options available at all times. Bringing together a handful of delicious ingredients in this recipe for barley adds a new favorite to my rotation.

Salads are a traditional no-brained for the summer, yet I truly love eating a healthy, comforting salad any time of the year. No matter how crazy your day gets, a hearty salad is a perfect go-to option.

Choosing Comforting Ingredients

When I make new recipes, I start by focusing on lists of targeted ingredients. This recipe is chock-full of what I call my Comfort & Calm foods: barley, squash, walnuts, cheese, olive oil and antioxidants. I’d never actually had a recipe for barley salad before, but it my mouth started to water when I imagined it paired with the other ingredients,.

Each item is super ‘sturdy,’ so it’s also a great on-the-run option to toss into your car or bag at the beginning of the day. You can dive-into lunch on the go or enjoy nibbles to keep you fueled during the day. (Doesn’t everyone graze throughout the day like me? Ha Ha)

Flexible Recipe for Barley: Pre-Cook or Quick Build

It’s so funny… I dreamed up this recipe quickly, but then took a day to actually make it. Sure, you can cook/prep all ingredients at one time and then compose the salad. Yet, I had a busy day and ended up cooking the barley in the morning, then roasting the butternut squash in the afternoon. Finally, I tossed the salad together for dinner.

That’s just how my day flowed and it was nice to have a recipe that could work with my small windows for cooking.

Sure, it took me a day to build the salad. If you wanted to build the salad all at one time, it’ll take about an hour total to prep, cook, cool and toss. Of course, there are multi-tasking windows there while the barley and squash are cooking, then cooling. Take it as an opportunity to hide in the kitchen with a good book, or plan a dance party with your kiddo… totally your call.

This is certainly a new favorite of mine! (I’m craving it as I type…) Looking forward to hearing your comments; please share below.

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Comforting Barley Salad in a Bowl

Ultimate Healthy Comfort: Recipe for Barley, Butternut Squash and Walnuts

  • Author: nicholebanducci
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

Scale

BARLEY SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cooked Pearl Barley
  • 1 cup roasted butternut squash (see ingredients and recipe, below)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles (or vegan feta)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6 Tbsp easy vinaigrette dressing (see ingredients and recipe, below)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

EASY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Dice small butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces
  • coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • place on baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes till tender, but not soft
  • Remove from oven and let cool

EASY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

  • Mix olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a jar or small bowl
  • Set aside to dress the salad, to taste
  • Note – the recipe makes 10 tablespoons/5 servings, you’ll use about 6 tablespoons for this salad. Save the remaining amount for a future salad.

PEARL BARLEY:

  • Cook the barley per package instructions (30 minutes for stovetop)
  • Let cool

BUILDING THE SALAD:

  • Add the cooked/cooled butternut squash & pearl barley to a large bowl
  • Mix-in the walnuts, feta and pomegranate seeds
  • Add the vinaigrette dressing, mix and season as needed to taste
  • Garnish with freshly chopped oregano

Serve the salad right away (cool/room temperature) or store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.


Delicious Plant Based Recipe Everyone Will Love:  ‘Chorizo’ Green Beans

Delicious Plant Based Recipe Everyone Will Love: ‘Chorizo’ Green Beans

Looking to eat more plant based meals? Are your vegan or vegetarian family members tired of salads and rice at get together? This phenomenal recipe is savory and hearty enough to satisfy anyone, while delivering on a plant based lifestyle.

Before eating plant based, one of my favorite meals was Chinese green beans with pork (Pad Prik King). It’s a super flavorful dish that always made me feel good about eating more veggies, while satisfying my cravings for a hearty, savory meal.

Today, I center much of my personal meal planning on plant proteins, paired with vegetable sides. This recipe, however has the vegetable as the hero ingredient, with the plant protein added for seasoning and texture.

Simplifying Plant Based Meals

Because my family still eats meat, meal time typically means creating two separate recipes. Often, I can simply make myself tofu or tempeh and add it to whatever side dishes I’m serving the rest of the gang. Making a separate recipe is often out-of-the-question… unless I can make it super easy in just one pan.

This recipe simply involves one pan and a microwave. Easy-peasy. Although fresh green beans are a snap, I like having frozen beans on hand. Most grocers have the microwave-in-a-bag variety of frozen beans. Microwave the green beans for 3 minutes instead of 5 and then toss into the pan with sautéed shallots and plant based chorizo.

A Super Flexible Recipe

The animal lover in me hates to tell you this, but you insist… you can easily substitute dairy butter and pork chorizo into this recipe. Heck, you can add nearly any meat… plant based or not and it’ll surly be delicious. (I may try a tofu taco meat version someday soon.)

Yet, I beg you to try this plant based version first. We can all do well by increasing our intake of veggies & plants. Click on these links to learn more about Miyoko’s Butter or the Simple Truth Sausage. Why not check the box with a delicious and simple recipe that everyone will love? 🙂

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A serving bowl of green beans with plant based chorizo and shallots

‘Chorizo’ Green Beans

  • Author: Nichole Banducci
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (as a side) 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This recipe works well as side or entree


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bag Birds Eye Steamfresh Whole Green Beans
  • 1 Simple Truth Plant-Based Meatless Chorizo Sausage (just one sausage), diced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter
  • 2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  • Add sliced shallot to a large pan with 1 Tbsp of butter, stir until translucent
  • Microwave the green beans on high in the unopened bag for 3 minutes. This is less than the package directions, but help ensure they don’t overcook. Let them sit in the microwave to cool once done.
  • Add diced sausage to the shallots
  • Cook the shallots and sausage, stirring occasionally, until they both are browned
  • Take the green beans out of the microwave, open the bag and add them directly to the pan with shallots and sausage. (Make sure they’ve cooled enough before opening the bag.)
  • Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and 2 Tbsp of butter to the pan and stir to incorporate
  • Serve with your choice of entree or eat as a meal

Strawberry Crisp Cereal: My New favorite healthy Breakfast Treat

Strawberry Crisp Cereal: My New favorite healthy Breakfast Treat

Want to enjoy a healthy strawberry crisp cereal for breakfast? This easy-to-make recipe is delicious cold, hot or over yogurt as a parfait.

To be honest, this recipe started as a total mistake. I was trying to make moist oatmeal bars and ended up with dry, crispy bars. Because I don’t like wasting food, Strawberry Crisp Cereal was born.

Here’s the story. I was developing a Strawberry Oatmeal Bar recipe for RAISE Magazine and my first round turned out wrong. The result of the first round didn’t taste bad; it was just not as chewy and moist as I intended.

They were dry because I tried to short-change the amount of brown sugar in the recipe. (I’m always trying to cut-out sugar.) Yet, it was still pretty delicious. So, instead of throwing away the batch, I tossed it in the fridge and kept on working.

After finishing and photographing the final (phenomenally moist & delicious) strawberry oatmeal bars, I remembered their crispy cousins in the fridge.

“What if I put them in a bowl with soymilk,” I asked?

OMG. What was once a crispy mistake became a delicious homemade strawberry crisp cereal. Simply take about 1/8 of the recipe and crumble it into a bowl. Then, add your favorite milk.

In cooler weather, you can microwave the strawberry crisp cereal for 30 seconds prior to adding the milk. You’d swear you were eating dessert for breakfast!

It is also fantastic crumbled over yogurt for a new twist on a homemade parfait.

To keep things healthy, I developed this recipe using a strawberry chia jam: strawberries + chia + lemon juice. (Trust me, you’ll want to make an extra batch of the jam to keep in the fridge.) You can also substitute your favorite fruit in the chia jam. Or, in a pinch, use store-bought jam.

Most importantly, I hope you enjoy!

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Strawberry Crisp Cereal

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked

Ingredients

Bar Base:
1 stick (8 tbsp)           salted butter, softened
2 cups                         rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup                           whole wheat flour (white flour works, too)
1/4 cup                       brown sugar (pressed)
1 tsp                            baking powder

Strawberry Filling:
2 cups                         frozen or fresh strawberries
2 tbsp                          chia seeds
1 tbsp                          lemon juice


Instructions

Strawberry Filling:

  • Put strawberries into a saucepan over medium heat
  • Soften for about 5 minutes, then smash with a potato masher or wooden spoon
  • Once mashed strawberries reach your desired consistency and being to bubble, then remove from heat
  • Stir-in chia seeds and lemon juice
  • Cool for about 30 minutes. The chia seeds will thicken the strawberries and create a jam-like consistency.

Bars:

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees
  • Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with either parchment or non-stick spray/butter
  • In a large bowl, mix together butter, oats, flour, brown sugar and baking powder. Once incorporated, the ingredients will be crumbly and slightly moist
  • Spoon just over half of the mixture into the 8×8 pan and press down firmly
  • Spread 1 cup (8oz) of strawberry jam over the pressed bar base
  • Sprinkle remaining mixture from the bowl over the jam layer. Press down lightly, but don’t push through to the jam layer
  • Bake for 35 minutes in a 350-degree oven
  • Remove and let cool about 15 minutes
  • Crumble about 1/8 of the recipe into a bowl. Top with your favorite milk.

Notes

Store uneaten bars in the refrigerator. 

When ready to eat more, you can crumble directly into a bowl or over yogurt.

In cooler weather, you can microwave the strawberry crisp cereal for 30 seconds. Then, pour milk over it for a dessert-like treat.

Keywords: Strawberry, Oatmeal, Breakfast, Chia