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Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad with Guava Dressing (no oil)

I have always had a love for guavas or guayabas, but this year I can’t seem to get enough of them. We are still spending time at my parents’ house in Mexico and guavas are in season right now. My kids are eating crazy amounts of them and I have started looking for other ways to use them. This week we came up with this Spinach Avocado Jicama salad with guava dressing. Baby spinach, creamy avocado, crisp jicama, juicy orange segments, and toasted pistachios are tossed with a sweet and tart guava dressing.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.

I’m happy to report that homeschooling is going great! Now that we are surrounded by family, I feel more supported, and my rowdy 7 yr. old has finally gotten around to accepting that mom is the teacher for now. Of course, we still have difficult days with a lot of whining, mostly from him, but sometimes from me. The great thing about it is that if we’re both having a bad day we can stop and move on to other activities as we please. It’s already January, which means that we have been doing this for 6 months! Honestly I didn’t think I was going to last this long.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.

 

We are hoping to relocate to San Antonio or Austin to be close to family. I’m excited about having access to more Mexican ingredients, and to create tons of new recipes inspired by our new home. The sale of our book Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is going great, and this makes me wonder if I should write another book.  A reader suggested I should write a book on Vegan Pan Dulce, and I have to say that seems like a pretty good idea to me!

The Recipe: Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad

You can use mixed greens or kale instead of spinach for the salad. Pecans and cashews would also be a good substitutes for pistachios.

This Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad combines baby spinach, creamy avocado, jicama, orange, and pistachios tossed with a guava dressing.
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Spinach Avocado Jicama Salad with Guava Dressing

Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

Guava Dressing

  • 4 Guavas, seeds taken out, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic, small
  • 1/2 cup Water

Salad

  • 1 package (6 oz.) Baby spinach, washed
  • 2 Oranges, peeled, cut into segments
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup Jicama, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup Chopped pistachios, roasted

Preparation

Guava Dressing

  1. Place the guava, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and water in the blender and process until smooth. If the dressing is too thick add a little more water or orange juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Salad

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the salad and toss with guava dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted pistachios. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Chef's Notes

You can use mixed greens or kale instead of spinach for the salad. Pecans and cashews would also be a good substitutes for pistachios.

 

 

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The Vegetable Butcher Review and Jicama Grapefruit Salad

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

This is the book I’ve been waiting for! Whenever somebody approaches me about wanting to transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet I can see the concern in their faces. Vegetables, all you eat is vegetables? The problem with vegetables is not that they are not tasty, it’s that hardly anybody knows how to prepare them. Vegetables are some of the most versatile of all natural food items. Just think of the countless dishes and recipes that you can make using just potatoes. This book does a great job of demystifying vegetables and offering practical ways of preparing them in your own home.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayParsnip and Ginger Cake. Photo by Matthew Benson

The Vegetable Butcher was written by Cara Mangini. Cara comes from a family of old school butchers, and over the years found that her passion was in vegetables not meat. She trained as a professional chef and worked in New York, St. Helena, and now Columbus, OH, where she runs her own produce stand and vegetable centric restaurant, Little Eater Produce and Provisions. She has spent years devoted to teaching and helping others discover how to make delicious meals from vegetables.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayGrilled Smothered Artichokes. Photo by Matthew Benson

Her book takes you through 53 vegetables from A to Z detailing the season in which the vegetable can be found, the varieties, and how to select and store them. There are also step-by-step pictures on how to prep and breakdown these vegetables, cooking methods that can be used to cook them, and several recipes where you can put your new found knowledge to use.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayPotato Gnocchi. Photo by Matthew Benson.

I really enjoyed the crisp pictures, the detail in which each vegetable is approached, and the recipes. Even though the recipes are not necessarily vegan, they can be easily adapted. I can’t really say I disliked any part of the book, rather I wish the less accesible vegetables like crosnes had been left out and more emphasis had been given to other vegetables, like how to prep and work with a greater variety of mushrooms.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

I loved Cara’s approach to being vegetable centric. There is no preachy speech on how you should eat more vegetables, there’s no mention of saving animals, and there is one (only one) reference to health. Vegetables are spectacular. They can be luscious, sexy, satiating, and this book is just what you need to make that happen in your kitchen.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

Jicama Grapefruit Salad

This jicama grapefruit salad with sweet soy dressing from The Vegetable Butcher  is refreshing, tangy, crunchy, and the right amount of sweet.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway
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Jicama and Grapefruit Salad

Recipe courtesy of The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini (Workman Publishing Company; April 19, 2016); reprinted with permission.
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Cara Mangini

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head Red cabbage, cored, and neatly sliced (about 6 cups ; see Notes)
  • 1 tbsp. Sea salt, plus extra as needed
  • 3/4 cup Whole pecans
  • 2 tbsp. Canola or grapeseed oil, plus extra as needed
  • 2 tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra as needed
  • 1 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. Minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 Medium jicama, cut into matchsticks or shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded (about 1 1⁄2 cups )
  • 1/2 cup Loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Pink grapefruits, skin and membranes removed, cut into segments (see Notes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Place the cabbage in a large bowl, add 5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt, and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. (This will make the cabbage less chewy and more crisp.)
  2. Place the pecans in a medium-size skillet over medium heat, and toast, stirring frequently (watch them closely to ensure they don’t burn), until they become fragrant and golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil and a generous pinch of salt and stir to coat the nuts. Add the brown sugar and continue to stir to melt the sugar and coat the pecans, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread out the pecans on a piece of parchment paper to cool. Coarsely chop them completely.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, granulated sugar, garlic, and red pepper akes in a small bowl.
  4. Toss together the jicama, carrots, and remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of oil in a large bowl. Drain the cabbage well, wrap it in a kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture, and squeeze it with your hands to encourage softening. Add the cabbage to the jicama mixture, then drizzle with the dressing to taste and toss to coat. Add about three quarters of the mint and three quarters of the grapefruit, half of the pecans, and salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Toss to combine.
  5. Transfer the salad to individual plates and top with the remaining mint, grapefruit, and pecans.

Chef's Notes

A food processor will cut down your prep time. For the cabbage, use the thinnest slicing disk and quarter cabbage half to fit in the feed tube. For the carrots and jicama, use the shredding disk. Cut the carrots into lengths to fit in the feed tube and stack them in the feed tube, horizontally, on their sides. Push them through to shred them. Do the same with the jicama, cutting it in half lengthwise, then cutting each half into thirds lengthwise to fit in the feed tube.
To segment (or supreme) grapefruit: Cut a small piece on both ends, and stand the grapefruit on its widest at end. Moving from top to bottom, slide your chef ’s knife just under the skin, between the fruit and the pith, cutting them away and turning the fruit as you go until peel and pith are completely removed. Then hold the fruit in one hand, and slide your knife at about a 45-degree angle, between the fruit segment and its membrane, releasing it from both sides. If your grapefruits are particularly juicy, release the segments over a bowl to catch the juices.

 

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

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Noche Buena Salad

This recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve Salad is a classic in every Mexican household. Ok, maybe not in every Mexican household but it´s a pretty popular Christmas recipe. It brings a little bit of healthy into an otherwise indulgent season. Think of it as a palate cleanser, with the earthiness of the roasted beets, the sweetness of the apple, and the acidity of the orange and pomegranate your body will be thankful for some light fare.

I spent the last two weeks running around like crazy. I made over 200 tamales to sell! With the packing and the school recital and everything else, the making of the salad kind dropped down to the very bottom on my to do list. Even with all the craziness, I’m glad I get to share this recipe with you.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.

The kiddos and I are enjoying our time at my mom’s house, of course we are being spoiled silly. My grandmother passed away a couple of months ago, so even with the joy of being together there is still a hint of sadness. This will be our first Christmas without Güeli. My heart goes out to all of you who might be grieving the death of a loved one this Christmas. We will try to focus instead on the beautiful smiles of children on Christmas morning, the good food, and the birth of a baby unlike any other who came into this world to bring us joy. Merry Christmas!

The Recipe: Noche Buena Salad

It is thought that this recipe or variations of it have been around since the 1830’s. It is a true Mexican classic. You can also use boiled or canned beets. If you do not want to make your own dressing, this salad will pair really well with balsamic vinaigrette.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.

This vegan recipe for Noche Buena salad or Mexican Christmas Eve salad has crisp lettuce, apples, oranges, jicama, beets, and pomegranates.
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Noche Buena Salad

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 hds. Romaine chopped
  • 3 Beets, medium, roasted or steamed cut into slices
  • 1 cup Jicama cut into matchsticks
  • 3 Oranges cut into supreme
  • 1 Apple, sliced
  • ¾ cup Pomegranate, seeds
  • 1/3 cup Peanuts, roasted, chopped

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Orange juice fresh
  • ¼ cup Vinegar white
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil optional

Preparation

  1. Toss the chopped romaine with the rest of the ingredients, or arrange the ingredients on top of the lettuce.
  2. To make the dressing whisk the orange juice, vinegar, and garlic together. Slowly add the oil and continue whisking. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad.

Chef's Notes

You can also use boiled or canned beets. If you do not want to make your own dressing, this salad will pair really well with balsamic vinaigrette.