Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Since the fall, I have been in LOVE LOVE LOVE with brussels sprouts.  I was like the masses and was intimidated by the vegetable.  You have the horrid 60’s or 70’s image of the mushy bitter smelly vegetable.  For some reason, my conception of brussels sprouts before were based on reruns of Leave it to Beaver (which I’d watch with my mom when I was younger).

But within the last 2-3 years, it’s been a bit of a trendy vegetable, much like kale.  So last fall, when they were selling some at Trader Joe’s, I put it in my basket to try it out.  Of course, I cooked it the way I do most vegetables that I’m trying out for the first time, simply roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  AMAZING!  Why hadn’t I tried this before (Oh yeah!  Brussels sprouts are pretty foreign to asians, so my mom didn’t add them to our dinners growing up.)?  I even got my mom and sister hooked.  Even my sister’s boyfriend gave them a whirl when I made them for Thanksgiving.  He was quite pleased with the results.  He never had brussels sprouts before because his mom hated them as a child.  Next I tried adding balsamic vinegar or mustard vinaigrette or parmesan cheese (but cheese makes everything butter so that was a no brainer).  Still delicious.  I made them into chips, similar to Kale chips.  I roasted them as well as fried them.  Such a tasty snack.  Then I thought about trying it raw.  A couple of bloggers were sharing their recipes for shaved brussels sprout salad, so I figured I’d try it.  It was DELICIOUS.  It’s almost like a slaw and this southern girl LOVES her slaw.

For this recipe, I added avocado for creaminess and mustard and vinegar for tang.  I also added quinoa for some protein (plus I had some that I needed to use up).  I wish I had a bowl right now to gobble up.  Minus the shaving or thinly cutting of the brussels sprouts, this recipe is SO easy to make!

Note:  I don’t give exact measurements for this recipe, as I made the salad for one.  Plus I make my dressings more on the low fat side (more vinegar than oil) than others.  But as a general rule of thumb when making vinaigrettes,  its 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  The mustard is for creaminess, extra tang, and to help emulsify the dressing.  TheKtchn has a great guide on how to make your own vinaigrette at home.  I’m a huge fan of making your own dressing because 1) you have the ingredients at home 2) it’s much much much healthier (can’t stress this enough) for you because you know exactly the quality of the ingredients and fat content of what you’re putting into your food.  

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Brussels sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced
Avocados
Cranberries (optional)
Almonds (optional)
Quinoa (optional)
Dijon Mustard
Vinegar
Olive oil
Sugar
Salt and Pepper, for seasoning

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor or bowl, take your avocado, mustard, vinegar and olive oil and mix the ingredients together.  If you don’t have a food processor and are using a bowl, you’ll want to mash the avocado to smooth creamy consistency before adding the other ingredients.  When it is a smooth texture, add a small amount of sugar to balance out the tang of the vinegar and mustard.  Then season with salt and pepper to your liking.  If needed, add more of an ingredient to your liking.

In a bowl, place the brussels sprouts, cranberries, almonds, and quinoa.  If you’d like more avocado, cube some up and add it to the mixture at this time (p.s. I’m so excited for avocado season!!!  So happy Eva loves it as much as me!).  Then add the dressing and gently toss to combine all the ingredients together.

What vegetables have you tried and loved as an adult, but received a bad rap or didn’t like it as a child?  I love trying new vegetables and fruits, especially since the farmers market is opening soon.  Comment below about what non-typical vegetables or fruits you’re a fan of, how you prepare it, etc.  I’d love to try it!

Crab Louie Salad

Have you experienced the crab hut dining hype?  Have you tried Crab Hut, Boiling Crab, CrawDaddy, or something similar?  It’s quite tasty.  Whenever we have visitors we take them to Boiling Crab.  My in-laws were in town watching Eva while I was away on a business trip and when I returned they decided they wanted Boiling Crab for dinner.  Dungeness crabs are in season right now and local to the Bay Area, so they and the hubs ordered that, while I ordered shrimp.  Dungeness crabs are pretty big.  The average size of these crabs start  2 pounds.  For a girl who loves her blue crabs, that’s about 6-8 blue crabs! Since these crabs are so massive, they didn’t end up finishing them, so we took out the meat and saved it for later.  I was trying to figure out what I wanted for lunch one day and knew I wanted to have a salad (trying to eat healthy).  Then I remembered  I had a Dungeness Crab Louie salad while on my work trip so I decided to make something similar.  Like most recipes on this blog, it’s not the exact recipe for Crab Louie; however, it is my take on the recipe.  The salad is pretty easy to assemble after you’ve taken all the meat out of the crab shell.  But you could always go the easy route and buy lump crab meat.  🙂  Any kind of crab meat will do.  You could do imitation crab meat if you’d like, blue crab (my FAVE!), dungeness, or stone crab, etc.

NESSA’S CRAB LOUIE SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Crab meat, shredded
Mayonnaise (I used light)
Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)
Olive Oil
Sriracha (optional)
Celery, diced
Lemon juice
Salt & Pepper
Romaine lettuce
Avocado, chopped
Tomato, chopped
Cucumber, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, mix together the crab meat, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, olive oil, celery, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste to determine if the seasoning is to your liking.  If necessary, add more of  an ingredient until its seasoned to your liking.  If you’d prefer, add the sriracha at this time, depending on how spicy you would like it.  Set aside the bowl.  Note:  I used about 1/4 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1/4 tbsp of olive oil, and 1 tbsp of greek yogurt for one portion size.  I wanted it creamy but not overly dressed.  

In a salad bowl, assemble the chopped romaine, avocado, tomato, and cucumber.  Squeeze lemon juice over the salad and drizzle with olive oil.  Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Top with crab salad.

Halfway through eating the salad I remembered a recipe that I saw on A Beautiful Mess, that was called Sushi Salad.  I had nori seaweed sitting in my pantry, so I took it out and started placing my salad into my nori, like it were a filling.  It was almost like a carb-free California roll.  Quite tasty might I add.

Yum!

Misoba Salad

I love creating my own salads and right now with the holidays right around the corner, salads for lunch are a must, especially with all the sweet treats and delicious food that will be going around.  I’ve been able to shed and keep off all but 5 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.  YAY me!  I need to work out to shed the other pounds but it’s been a bit hectic at work and home these past few weeks so I haven’t been able to go to the gym.  AHEMEXCUSESAHEM.  HA!  And while they are excuses, I’m not in a complete rush to bounce back to the gym.  While I cringe at my clothes may fit a bit snugger than usual, they fit again (not at the places I’d like to) and I will eventually get the weight off.  Really, I cherish my sleep (which can be a hit or miss depending on Eva’s mood) so I try to catch up on that because when I don’t I feel miserable and could potentially get sick, especially with the weird weather changes going on.  Anyhow, I always find that salads for lunch help me when watching my weight (maintaining or losing).  It can get tiring and boring to eat salads everyday, so I always try to switch up the ingredients.  One day I’ll have a bad salad with fried chicken strips but load up on the veggies, the next day I’ll do something more simple, the next day I’ll add a fun ingredient like pasta.  And sometimes cafes and restaurants are where I find inspiration to try out new salads.  Oh and Trader Joe’s (you know I couldn’t forget about TJ’s)!

About a month ago, I shared a picture on Instagram of my take of Sweet Green’s Misoba salad.  My sister tried out this salad at their DC location and after she told me about how delicious it was, I knew I had to try to recreate it.  I’m hoping to stop by there (we’re planning to go to DC one day to take Eva and perhaps see the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse) when I go home for the holidays because their salads look delicious.  Anyhow this salad has everything I love about a salad:  greens, noodles, asian flavors, and a spicy kick.  This is my spin so you know I had to add more veggies than the recipe called for because I’m always trying to get those veggies in.  It was quite tasty.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients:

Note:  Items in bold are ingredients in Sweet Green’s Misoba salad.  Anything not bolded is an addition I made.

Salad

Soba Noodles (These can usually be purchased dry at an Asian Market)
BokChoy, Chopped
Spinach or Salad Mix (I just had spinach on hand)
Broccoli Florets
Carrots, Thinly Sliced
Avocados, Chopped
Corn
Bell Peppers, Chopped
Green Onions, Chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Sesame Seeds (The original recipe says seed mix, but I’m not quite sure what’s included in that, but am positive Sesame Seeds are included)
Sriracha

Dressing

Note:  The dressing is labeled as Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, so I came up with something that would hopefully have the same flavors.

1 1/2 Tbsp Miso Paste
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/4 c Warm Water
1/4 c Grapeseed oil (don’t use Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Olive Oil because you don’t want it to overpower the Sesame Oil.  Use a light flavored oil like Grapeseed or Canola)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Soy Sauce

Directions

Toss salad ingredients together in a bowl minus the Sriracha.  In a mason jar, place all the dressing ingredients in and shake until well incorporated.  Pour dressing ingredients over salad bowl.  Top off the salad with as much Sriracha you’d like.