This recipe is a flexible way to use up extra vegetables and to extend their shelf life.
Quick pickled vegetables will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Red onions and shallots will be good for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It’s a perfect way to make sure your produce doesn’t die in the produce drawer, or get wasted when a large garden harvest comes in all at once!
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups vinegar of your choice*
2 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
Possible Vegetables to Use
Summer squash (zucchini or yellow squash)
Peppers (hot or mild)
Possible Spices and Flavorings to Add (dried or fresh herbs)
Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano
Red Pepper Flakes
Whole, dried chilis
Make the brine: Add brine ingredients to a medium pot and fit with a lid. Bring to a low boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Stir if needed to dissolve. Turn off the heat and leave covered to keep it hot.
Slice the vegetables while brine comes to a boil:
Cut long vegetables, like asparagus and carrots into pieces that will fit into a jar. Slice carrots either in long, really thin matchsticks, or in thin coin slices, so they pickle well.
You can use a mandolin to thinly slice radishes, cucumbers, red onions, shallots, summer squash, or even raw beets (if you slice beets really thinly they don’t need to be roasted first).
Add flavorings of your choice. You can crush the garlic with the side of a knife, so more of the flavor comes out, throw in a bay leaf and some peppercorns.
My favorite pickled radish seasoning is to add thin slices of ginger and a ½ teaspoon to a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
Asparagus is great with dill and garlic.
Just have fun experimenting with different flavor combinations!
After placing sliced vegetables into ball jars, pour hot brine over them. Leave 1 inch of head space at the top of the jars. Let cool down for 30 minutes or so. Cover tightly with lid and refrigerate. Enjoy in 24 hours!
* If you use balsamic vinegar, it will change the color of the vegetables. If you want to maintain the color, then use a white or apple cider vinegar.
**Beets need to be roasted (or boiled) before pickling.
Roasting instructions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Put ½ inch water in bottom of a 9×9 baking dish. Cut beets in half and place cut side down (no need to peel) in baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes, or until knife easily goes all the way through. Once cool, chop into quarters or eighths. No need to peel them unless you want to.
This is a wonderful warming and unique winter salad that will fill you up and make you feel oh so good for your day. I like to roast a bunch of squash or different kinds of vegetables all in one go, and then have them on hand to throw together salads like this. It might look like a number of steps in the recipe below, but if you do this once a week, then many of these components can be re-used and re-created into new and different meals all week long.
Cook once, and assemble several interesting, delicious and good-for-you meals. That’s what makes life simpler mentally, and is good for your physical health too.
If you roast some of this delicata squash, you can use some to make soup, add to a risotto, serve as a side to chicken or fish, or use in any variety of salads. I’m sure there are so many other ways to use it too! Let me know in the comments what dishes you like to make with it. I hope you love the recipe below.
Feel free to play around with the spices in this dish and change out the rosemary. Moroccan spice blends also go great with the squash and lentil combination. Yum!
Kale & Delicata Squash Salad with Lentils, Toasted Walnuts & Quinoa
Yields: 6 hearty salads
1 bunch kale, you want about 8 cups of torn leaves (Lacinato or curly leaf)
½ – ¾ cups walnuts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoon safflower, sunflower or grapeseed oil
1 small/medium delicata squash
1 cup dried lentils
½ cup raisins (optional)
1 cup dry quinoa
6-8 ounces feta cheese (optional)
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Toasted delicata squash seeds for garnish
½ cup Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut off the stem of the delicata squash and then slice it down the middle longways. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place squash guts and seeds in a colander to rinse under water so you can separate the seeds. Save the seeds for toasting later. There is no need to peel the delicata, as you can eat the peel. Remove the seeds and separate from the strings. Discard the strings/guts and compost if you have access to compost. * Now slice each of the sides of delicata squash into ½ inch half moons. Place the half moons in a bowl and coat with the safflower, sunflower or grapeseed oil, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. You can add dried or fresh rosemary or thyme if you’d like.
Once coated, place squash half moons on baking sheet and spread them out so they don’t touch too much. This helps them caramelize better. Roast for about 15-25 minutes, or until pieces are golden brown and cooked to your liking. A fork will go easily through the pieces. Check them after 15 minutes, and according to how hot your oven runs. Flip them at 15 minutes so they cook evenly.
While squash is roasting, rinse and dry the squash seeds. Coat with a bit of the sunflower or other oil, salt and pepper to your taste. You can always adjust the flavor of these with spice blends of your choice. Spread seeds evenly on a baking sheet and place in oven for 8 minutes. Check at 5 minutes if your oven runs hot. Flip or toss with a wooden spoon if needed. They’re toasted when lightly golden brown, but watch them because they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and set aside on a plate to stop them from cooking further.
Prepare the quinoa and lentils according to package directions. It’s best to rinse quinoa and to cook it with 2.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa. Lentils can be cooked to your liking. I prefer them still with a tiny bit of firmness.
*See instructions below.
Hold the stem of the kale and use your other hand to pull the leaf from the stem. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. You can save the stems to compost them, or freeze in a sealed bag to make vegetable broth later.
Place the leaves in a large salad bowl. Coat with olive oil and massage the kale leaves with your hands, crushing the leaves and massaging the oil into the leaves well. This breaks down the cellulose and makes the kale much more palatable.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts to the dry pan and toast for 5-8 minutes, or until barely golden brown and fragrant. Turn off the heat and set aside. Add walnuts, raisins, lentils, and quinoa to the kale and toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust dressing. Add black pepper, toasted squash seeds, and feta cheese if desired and enjoy!
Any extra quinoa and/or lentils can be saved and used for other meals.
If making salads for 2-3 days of lunches, follow these directions:
Tear the leaves and massage with oil. Then add to your meal prep containers. Add the walnuts and raisins to the salad. Put cooked quinoa and lentils on the side or in a separate compartment from the salad.
The morning you are going to eat your salad you can combine the quinoa and lentils with the rest of the ingredients.
Take the vinaigrette and optional feta in small containers with you to lunch and dress your salad with a few tablespoons when ready to eat. Enjoy a hearty lunch or dinner!
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Yields: 1 cup vinaigrette
Serves: Covers about 10-12 salads.
2 large lemons
⅔ cup olive oil
½ small shallot (optional)
1 or 2 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)
3 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon or brown mustard (optional)
¼ cup parsley leaves
½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
Mince garlic cloves. Remove the parsley stems and save for stock. Rough chop the parsley.
Roll lemons under your forearm to release juices before slicing in half. [Tip: Zest them first if you need zest for another recipe. Can keep in a small amount of oil in the fridge for a week or so until use.]
Juice lemons and add to small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Taste with a lettuce leaf and adjust ingredients to your taste.
Label and date before refrigeration.
Empowered Kitchen Tip:
I recommend doubling this recipe so you always have a stock of it in your refrigerator.
This salad is so hearty and refreshing. It’s a huge crowd pleaser and a great palate cleanser. It’s typically a winter salad, but I’d recommend it any time of year. It’s a meal in and of itself, but great with a side of soup, or in the picture below, a French Tartiflette. Mmmm….lots of potatoes and cheese. 🙂
Give this salad a try and you’ll really impress your guests. It’s a good one to have on hand for about 2 days. Just leave out the mushrooms and dressing until you’re ready to serve. If you sprinkle the apple slices with a little lemon they’ll be less likely to brown over the 2 days, if you decide to use this for a meal prep day.
French Winter Alpine Meal. Yum!
Yields: 6 cups salad
2 cups of mâche (or mixed baby greens)
1-2 fennel bulbs, depending on size
1 green apples
1/3 cup walnuts
3-4 ounces button mushrooms (any white mushroom)
1/2 small white onion
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic or champagne vinegar
1- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, according to your taste
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon honey
Cut off the ends of the endives and then slice once lengthwise. Place flat side down, and continue to slice into 1-2 inch pieces. Place in a salad bowl with mâche or mixed baby greens
Thinly slice the fennel bulbs and add to the salad bowl. Rough chop the walnuts. Cut the apples in half and core them. Slice into thin slices. Thinly slice the mushrooms and finely dice the onion. Add everything to the salad bowl and toss to combine.
To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and black pepper. Whisk to combine well. Toss over salad and serve.
You can also make this salad a few hours ahead and chill it. Just wait to add the mixed greens or mâche and the vinaigrette until time of serving.
This is a WONDERFUL side dish for Thanksgiving or any holiday meal. It’s fresh, light and a huge crowd pleaser. This is a simple, gourmet salad that’s easy to throw together, and perfect to make ahead!
Fennel is great for digestion and the citrus gives you a boost of vitamin C. An added benefit to help ward off sickness this time of year. 🙂
Any extra fennel you have can be used to make homemade stock or you can roast it and throw it in a puréed soup!
Citrus Fennel Salad on Mixed Baby Greens
Citrus & Fennel Salad With Toasted Almonds
Yields: 8 ½ cups
Serves: 8 as a small side salad
2 ruby red grapefruits
2 blood oranges
½ fennel bulb thinly sliced
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
(1 medium or 2 small limes)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ small shallot
pinch of salt
¼ cup roasted almonds
Carefully peel and segment the fruits using a paring knife. Slice the fennel bulb where it meets the branching part of the stems. Thinly slice the bulb and cut a wedge out of the heart of the bulb, which is fibrous and difficult to eat.
Finely mince the shallot. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl and whisk well. Alternatively, put ingredients in shaker or mason jar. Fit tightly with lid and shake well. Label with name of dressing and date if there is extra and refrigerate.
Arrange fruits and fennel slices/shavings on serving plate(s).
You can toast the almonds if you’d like. If doing this step, heat a small skillet over medium heat. No oil is needed. Add whole almonds to the hot pan and toast for about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once they smell fragrant and become golden brown, they’re ready. Remove almonds from the pan.
Coarsely chop the almonds (toasted or raw) and rough chop a few fennel fronds. Top the salad with almonds, fennel fronds and vinaigrette. Toss well to combine and enjoy!
The Empowered Kitchen Tips:
You can put this on a bed of fresh greens to make it even heartier. If you want to meal prep this, you can make the recipe as above and even add the dressing. It will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If putting on fresh greens, add the greens right before serving, so they stay crisp and fresh.
This is a wonderfully flavorful sauce that seriously takes just a few minutes to put together. If you can operate a blender, you can make this sauce! 🙂 It’s also a great use for an abundance of parsley in a backyard garden and the parsley stems get blended in too, so less food waste!
You’ll get all the benefits of the antioxidants in the parsley and health benefits of extra virgin olive oil and red pepper too! It’s a great nutrition boost to add to any meal.
Yields about 1 1\4 U.S. cups
1 cup fresh parsley sprigs with stems included (don’t waste that flavor!)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicier, but you might start with less)
Salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
Cracked black pepper to taste
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (more if desired)
Simple ingredients for Chimichurri.
Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour in the olive oil and stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasonings or other ingredients as desired. Goes great with fish, steaks, on veggie burgers, on seared tempeh, with pork or chicken. It’s also delicious as a condiment for roasted vegetables.
Hope you enjoy trying out a new sauce! Let me know if you try it and how it turns out!
You may not have tried cooking with turnip greens, or turnips at all for that matter. I encourage you to head to your local farmer’s market and pick up a beautiful bundle of turnips. When fresh from the farm or garden, they’re tender and wonderful shaved into salads, roasted, and sliced thinly for salads or sandwiches. If you roast them, they’re a fantastic addition to soups and stews.
Ingredients for this warm summer salad. Delicious & gourmet use of turnip greens.
You can use the whole plant in your cooking too! Save the stems for stock that you make the say of, or place in a sealed bag and freeze your vegetable scraps until you have enough to make stock.
I love using the greens in warm salads like the one below. They can also be added to risotto, beans with greens or a Tuscan soup with beans.
Turnip Greens With Cherries & Walnuts
Yields about 3 1/2 cups salad
Greens from 5 large turnips
2 small garlic cloves
1/4 cup red onion
8-10 red dark cherries
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Thinly slice the red onion and mince the garlic cloves. Rough chop the walnuts. Set aside.
Cut the turnip greens at the base of the leaves from the stems. You can save the stems for stock. (Tip: Add to a sealed freezer bag of vegetable scraps to make broth later)
Tear the turnip greens into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Pit the cherries and break up with your fingers or slice into quarters. Do this carefully, as cherry juice will stain.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the coconut oil. When oil is heated, after about 1 minute, add sliced onions and saute for 4=5 minutes. The onions will be starting to become translucent. Cook longer if you want them more caramelized.
Add garlic, walnuts, cherries, greens and balsamic vinegar to the skillet. Saute for another 2-3 minutes, or until the salad is cooked to your liking.
You want the turnip leaves to still be bright green, but cooked through. Serve hot! Goes great as a side to a leg of lamb or a peppery steak.
This fresh, satisfying salad is a great way to get more parsley into your diet. It’s SO MUCH MORE than a garnish! 🙂 Parsley tastes great when prepared well and has wonderful antioxidant properties, lots of fiber and is all around super healthy for you. It’s a great detox salad.
Combined with fresh lemon and nutrient-rich almonds, this salad is a health power-house. It’s a fantastic addition to many dishes, and is easy to devour all by itself.
Ingredients for the Parsley Salad, minus the toasted almonds
Parsley, Lemon & Toasted Almond Salad
Yields: 3 ½ – 4 cups
Serves: 7-8 sides
½ cup almonds
1 small shallot or 2 tablespoons red onion
¼ – ⅓ cup olive oil (high quality extra virgin is best) (adjust amount of oil according to taste)
1-2 cloves garlic (depending on your taste)
1 Tablespoon brown or dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey
About 25 sprigs of parsley, or 1 full bunch
Set broiler to low. Rough chop the almonds and place on a baking tray. Toast almonds for 2 minutes. Watch closely, as you want them only lightly golden brown. Alternatively you can toast the chopped almonds on a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Watch and stir occasionally. Ready when fragrant and lightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
Finely mince shallot or red onion and garlic. Slice the lemon in half. Rough chop the parsley, including stems.
Juice the lemon into a medium mixing bowl.
Add all ingredients into mixing bowl and gently stir to combine.
Serve as a side or garnish to veggie burgers, on a falafel platter, or with fish, chicken or lamb.
The Empowered Kitchen Tips:
You can add this to 1 or 2 cups cooked brown or wild rice for a heartier side dish. Basmati would work well too, but has slightly less nutritional value.
Haven’t tried beets? Well, here’s your chance. They’re super nutritious and oh so tasty! Or if you love beets, here is a fun way to use them. (Remember to use those tops too!) Beets are high in iron, so they’re great for maintaining healthy blood. Plus they taste so darn good!
Just whipped up this fab Beet Salsa with cilantro, jalapeño and lime. Would love to know if you give it a try and what you think.
Beet, Cilantro-Lime Salsa
Yields 3-4 cups
3 large beets
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 inch jalapeño
1/3 of a small, red onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off tops of beets and keep greens to use in another recipe, such as cooked greens.
Slice beets in half. Place in a loaf pan with about 1 inch of water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in heated oven for 45-55 minutes to steam. They’re ready when a knife goes through easily to the middle.
Drain the liquid carefully into the sink (Watch out because it will stain!) Let them cool and the peels should slide off easily with your fingers. Slice into thin, small strips.
Rough chop the cilantro and finely mince the onion and jalapeño. (Wash hands thoroughly after handling jalapeño and do not touch eyes or face.)
Juice the lime into your mixing or serving bowl and add all the fresh ingredients. Top with salt and slices and toss well to coat everything.
Let chill in fridge for at least 1 hour. Longer is better as the flavors will develop.
Enjoy on burgers, on fish tacos, veggie tacos, and with tortilla chips. Have fun experimenting with the uses!
I’d love to hear how you like it and what creative ways you come up with for this tasty salsa.
The Empowered Kitchen Tips
This salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cover to keep fresh. Cooked beets do not freeze well, so enjoy this the week you make it.
This was my first try at a vegan caesar dressing, and it was delish! Loved it. Great option for the vegans in your life, or if you just want to mix up your dressing routine. The cashews have healthy fats, so this salad has lots of great nutritional value with the protein and fats from the garbanzo beans, avocado and cashews.
Yum! A hearty lunch to get you through the afternoon feeling great!
For meal prep you can get your boxes ready for 3 days with torn salad greens, roasted garbanzo beans and nuts in the containers. Make the dressing for the week and store in the fridge. Then take half an avocado and your dressing with you to work. Slice the avocado with a butter knife at work and toss on your dressing. 🙂 Great with a piece of bread or a side of soup.
Vegan Kale Caesar Salad
Yields: 6 salads
1 bunch curly leaf kale (about 8 cups kale leaves)
4 cups romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup Chili Powder Roasted Garbanzo Beans* (see recipe below)
½ cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup Cashew Caesar Dressing* (see recipe below)
Separate the kale stems from the leaves and tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Place in a serving bowl and pour a tablespoon or two into the bowl and massage the leaves with the oil. This makes them taste better and easier to chew.
Tear the romaine lettuce leaves and add to the kale. You can alternatively use buttercrunch lettuce or arugula.
Slice the avocado. Coat the salad with the amount of caesar salad dressing that you like. Top with walnuts and optionally the toasted garbanzo beans. Enjoy!
Chili Powder Roasted Garbanzo Beans
Yields: About 3 cups roasted garbanzo beans
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Rinse and drain the garbanzo beans. Pat them dry with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
Combine the oil, spices and salt in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and zest if using. Mix well.
Add garbanzo beans and toss to coat well. Spread them out evenly on a well-greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown and crispy. This will take 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want them to be. You can shake the tray to toss after about 15 minutes, or stir with a heat-proof spatula.
Remove the garbanzo beans. from the oven and when cooled transfer them to a serving bowl or storage container.
The Empowered Kitchen Tips:
These are a great snack to keep on hand and go well with tahini sauce, baba ganoush or on a salad. They’ll keep well in the fridge for a week. Label and date before putting in fridge.
Cashew Caesar Dressing (Vegan)
Yields: 2 cups
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
5-6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Dijon or other brown mustard
½ teaspoon honey (optional)
Salt & black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
Boil water in a kettle. Place the cashews in a glass or metal bowl. Pour enough water over the cashews to cover them with about ¼ inch of water. Let soak for 10-20 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients (including the water used to soak the cashews) in a blender until smooth.
Adjust salt, pepper, lemon, garlic powder and other ingredients to your taste. More cracked pepper is always great on a caesar salad. If you aren’t vegan, you can also add 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese when you blend the ingredients together.
This dressing will keep for about 1 week in the fridge.
This is seriously my new favorite sauce. It’s SO simple and everyone who tastes it is really surprised by how easy and delicious it is. Smooth and exquisite.
Tahini Sauce With Aleppo Pepper
Yields: 2 cups tahini sauce
⅔ cup tahini paste
⅔ cup water
1 ½ small lemons
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
4-6 sprigs parsley (blended with other ingredients)
Sprinkle of Aleppo pepper
Peel garlic and slice lemons in half. Juice lemons into blender.
Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. If you blend parsley into the sauce, it will be green and have an added boost of antioxidants.
Enjoy with sliced carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, or as a sauce for lamb meatballs, roasted eggplant, falafel, in a pita or shawarma. They’re very filling as a snack with roasted garbanzo beans. Mmm…
Keeps well in a sealed container in the fridge for about 5-6 days.