Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Fennel Seed

Orange and Beet Salad with Fennel Seed

This beautiful, yet simple salad is a cut above the ordinary—stunning with its range of colors and flavors.  Orange, beet and arugula are a classic combination, and the fennel seed adds a pleasant crunch and hint of licorice flavor.  If you don’t enjoy the taste of fennel, substitute a sprinkling of toasted walnuts.

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Apple and Celery Salad with Toasted Seeds

This salad covers all the bases—sweet and salty, crisp and crunchy. Herbal. It’s a perfect throw-together dish when you don’t have much in the fridge beyond the usual—like apples and celery.  Substitute raisins or currants if you don’t have grapes.  Leave out the greens altogether if you like. Or chop up the bright-tasting celery leaves and toss them in (yes, they’re useful beyond being just compost additives or guinea pig fodder). Cubed fennel bulb and their feathery fronds would be a nice addition as well.

Pepita is the Spanish term for hulled pumpkin seeds.  You’ll find them packaged at Trader Joe’s.  Be sure to toast extra—they make a nutritious and addictive snack.

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Quinoa Salad with Apple and Fennel Three Ways

This salad is light and nutritious.  It’s also loaded with fennel—three versions:  the raw feathery fronds, braised bulb and toasted seeds.  For those less enamored with the licorice-like flavor of the raw vegetable, use more of the cooked bulb, and less fronds. Taste as you toss the salad, and let that be your guide.  Substitute candied nuts if you enjoy a hint of sweetness—I keep a bag of Trader Joe’s Candied Walnuts on hand.  No need to toast them; they’re ready straight out of the package.

Quinoa is an excellent vegetarian source of protein—and a complete one, unlike most other grains.  It offers a wide range of minerals and nutrients as well.

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Kohlrabi Slaw with Peanuts, Carrot and Ginger

By now you may have noticed that I like a crunchy slaw. There are endless versions to try. What renders salad into slaw at a most basic level, is an abundance of crisp vegetables—cut just so.  Shredded with a box grater or sharp knife or cut into julienne, matchstick-sized lengths—any of these will do.  It all depends on your preference.  For some reason the mere act of cutting the veggies this way creates a different feeling in the mouth—something close to sublime.  Ask any crunchy-raw-vegetable-addicted slaw fiend.

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Avocado Salsa with Strawberries, Mango and Arugula

We think of this vibrant dish as a cousin to guacamole—a chunky, sweet one.  Feel free to substitute liberally.  By all means add cilantro if you have it, or chopped spinach.  Tomato or peaches add to the fun.  Maybe something crunchy besides the radish, like diced jicama or daikon per chance?  Whatever you do, don’t forget the chips—or warm corn tortillas—for scooping.

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