Baby Spinach Salad with Homemade Mango Chipotle Dressing

This is a simple yet nutritious salad that is sure to please your toughest critic. Not only is the flavor out of this world, but the benefits of eating this salad can be called “healthy on a plate!” Let’s look at each main ingredient and talk about how each one adds to value to this delectable dish.

Baby Spinach Leaves

SPINACH

  •  contains an antioxidant that is known to lower glucose levels
  • contains chlorophyll, which is active in cancer prevention
  • is high in potassium, so it can lower blood pressure
  • aids in bone health
  • helps to prevent constipation and aid in regularity
  • helps to build and maintain collagen, which is required for healthy skin and hair
  • is low in calories, but high in iron, calcium, and magnesium
  • very high in vitamins A and K

 

Latin-style Black Beans

BLACK BEANS

  • one cup is equivalent to 15 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein
  • has many health benefits that aid the cardiovascular system
  • aid in bone structure and strength
  • high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • aids in managing diabetes
  • helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and obesity

 

Avocado (halved & sliced in shell)

AVOCADO

  • contain more potassium than bananas
  • loaded with heart-healthy fatty acids
  • full of fiber – about 10 grams in one avocado
  • aids in lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels
  • are naturally nutrient-dense, containing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals
  • great for vision
  • high levels of calcium plus vitamins D and K assists in preventing osteoporosis
  • helps prevent cancer in the colon, stomach, pancreas, and cervix
  • improves digestion
  • is a natural detoxifier
  • helps prevent chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease

 

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

TOMATOES

  • aids in cancer prevention; specifically bladder, breast, cervical, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and skin cancers
  • high in vitamin C; which is good for the adrenal glands, reducing stress, and boosting the immune system
  • rich in potassium; which is known to lower blood pressure
  • rich in folate; which is known to lower blood pressure
  • a good source in vitamin K; which is necessary for strong, healthy bones
  • very low in calories
  • high in biotin; which is good for healthy hair, skin, and nails

 

Red Onion Slivers
Sliced Boiled Egg
Raw Jalapeno Rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other ingredients include red onion, boiled egg, and jalapeno peppers. Each of them have a number of added nutrients and health benefits.

Mango Chipotle Dressing 2

The salad dressing for this recipe is a “golden treat” that is super easy to make. It can also be used as a vegetable dip or a taco topping. Be sure to store it in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator for use up to 2 weeks.

Baby Spinach Salad

You can enjoy this salad for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. No matter which mealtime you choose to have it, I can guarantee you it will never disappoint. Click the link below for the salad dressing recipe. Enjoy!

Mango Chipotle Salad Dressing 2

 

 

 

Our Take on the Cook the Book Challenge, Week 1

In a previous blog post we stated there was a slight mix-up on our end regarding Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe, Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs. Well, as promised, here’s our take on that dish.

Quinoa Veggie Bowl with Egg

Our version has some of the same ingredients: like quinoa and an egg. But it also introduces a variety of alternative ingredients that turned out to be a surprising delight of a dish. I didn’t follow any type of protocol with this one. It was just one of those random things that literally “popped” in my head.

I developed this recipe within a matter of minutes. You should have seen me scrambling around my kitchen trying to find a pen and a piece of paper to jot down the culinary thoughts that were running through my brain. It was truly a whirl-wind experience, but I have to admit that I love being the vessel for such a spontaneous burst of culinary creativity. It’s truly inspirational.

One of the best things about this dish is that it can be eaten ANY time of day. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this version of a “quinoa bowl” will be a light yet filling treat to anyone who indulges in it.

Now, let’s get you to the good stuff … the recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy cooking!!!

RECIPE: Quinoa Veggie Bowl with Egg

Quinoa Veggie Bowl with Egg

Marcus Samuelsson’s Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs (Week 1)

warm-quinoa-salad

When I learned that one of my favorite chefs of all time was doing a cooking challenge, I was super elated! I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was fate. Chef Marcus Samuelsson announced the #RedRoosterCookbook Cook the Book Challenge. Once a week until the end of the year, Chef Marcus will post a bonus recipe from is latest cookbook, The Red Rooster Cookbook, on his website. Home chefs (yah, that’s me) can take the challenge by cooking the recipe and instagramming the dish pic using the hashtag #RedRoosterCookbook. Each week, Chef Marcus will select his favorite pic and regram it on his account. Sweet challenge, right? I know! The Cook the Book challenge was mine for the winning, and I couldn’t wait to get started.

So why do I think it’s fate this challenge came about? You see, I just so happened to have run into the man himself this summer. It was the strangest thing! I was walking around the Detroit Eastern Market in a Saturday morning (as I usually do … nothing new there). It’s routine for me to go to the market on a Saturday morning to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers. Actually, the Detroit Eastern Market is the oldest farmers market in the country; as it 1st opened in 1841. Yes, that’s right … 175 years ago. Cool uh? Anyways, I usually arrive at the market around 9 or 10am, but not this Saturday. This time, I didn’t get there until about noon. I really don’t like shopping this late because all of the best produce is either gone or picked over. But this particular time I woke up late. So I scurried to dress and ran out the house.

Since I hadn’t eaten in about 12 hours, I ordered take out from the Russel Street Deli (another local gem). There I was … walking down the side walk … basking in the sunlight and minding my own business when I noticed something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone who looked familiar. He was standing alone in front of a store in the market talking on his cell phone. I turned my head as I walked by (in what seemed like slow motion) to get a good look at his face. Then out of nowhere I said, “Marcus?” I sounded like I had just caught a glipse of a friend from junior high, like “Oh hey Marcus! Boy, is that you?” Not Chef Marcus, not Mr. Samuelsson, but Marcus. What was I thinking? Well, as it turns out, it was the one and only Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Holy S*#t!!!

marcus-and-aj

Ok, ok, back to the challenge. Week one’s recipe is for Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs. It’s a beautiful culinary experience that combines fluffy quinoa, crunchy cauliflower, and peppery arugula. It also adds a touch of Chef Marcus’s Scandinavian background by incorporating a raw egg. I know you’re thinking after an intro like this I must have won this challenge, but much to my dismay I did not. It’s okay though. I still support my culinary step brothers and sisters (LOL)! Below I’ve posted the pic of my dish that I submitted to this challenge along with the link to the recipe. I hope is that you will attempt this recipe in your own kitchen.

warm-quinoa-salad

RECIPE: Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs

With this being a new cooking challenge, I didn’t initially find the recipe. So me being the culinary creator that I am, I was hit with a whiff of inspiration and came up with my own rendition of what Warm Quinoa with Vegetables and Eggs looks and tastes like to me. So … please stay tuned to my blog because I will definitely post this recipe soon.

 

Antioxidant Salad

Not only is this dish a display of beautiful colors, but it’s also extremely nutrient-dense. This salad has everything from cucumbers to carrots, peppers to pomegranates, and seeds to scallions. And yes, I case you were wondering, those are black beans.

So, what exactly is an antioxidant? An antioxidant is a substance that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals. This can lead to chain reactions that may damage cells. That’s why it’s so important to get your fair share of antioxidants from your food.

Antioxidant Salad 1

Antioxidant vitamins are A (fruit, vegetables, and eggs), C (fruit and vegetables), and E (vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds). We constantly hear how various berries are full of antioxidants, but did you know you can get the same (and in many instances, more) level of antioxidants from fresh vegetables? Let’s take a look at the nutrient (protein, vitamin, and mineral) breakdown of our Antioxidant Salad …

Romaine Lettuce: vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium.

Spinach Leaves: iron, vitamins A, C, and K, vitamins B1 and B6, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

Black Beans: fiber, protein, vitamin A, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and manganese.

Cucumbers: fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C and K.

Carrots: beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, folic acid, and fiber.

Red Bell Peppers: fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

Pomegranate Seeds: fiber, vitamins C and K, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium.

Pumpkin Seeds: magnesium, manganese, B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc.

Scallions (Green Onions): fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamins A, B6, C and K, and copper.

Antioxidant Salad 2

Now you know why this colorful display of vegetables, legumes, and seeds has been named the Antioxidant Salad. Click on the link below and follow this delicious yet nutritious recipe to “Eat the Rainbow” and all the antioxidants your body needs and loves!

RECIPE: Antioxidant Salad