Chickpea Salad Sandwich Without Mayo

Get out of your lunchtime rut and make packing lunches more exciting with this Chickpea Salad Sandwich. 

half of a chickpea salad sandwich on a cutting board

Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question.

I always pack my lunch for the next day the night before. If not, I’m typically running out the door and a Siggi’s yogurt, KIND bar, and a piece of fruit are just tossed in my bag on my way out. I don’t mind those “snacky” kind of lunches once in a while, but I’d prefer more of a meal kind of lunch.

Plant-Based Proteins:

This chickpea walnut sandwich is a plant-based tuna/chicken salad makeover. I always try and make sure protein is present at lunchtime to help keep me full through the afternoon. Chickpeas are the perfect pulse for this recipe because the firm texture holds its shape. The addition of the walnuts is key for the crunch factor, while also providing heart-healthy fats.

chickpea salad sandwich on rye bread with an apple

Are garbanzo beans the same as chickpeas?

Yes. Originally the name garbanzo bean came from the Spanish community and over time different cultures have referred to them as another name. Eventually, these beans came to be known as chickpeas to most people in the world today.

Are chickpeas lectins?

Yes, chickpeas are considered a legume, and all legumes contain lectin. Lectin, a protein, binds to carbs and is known to some as an anti-nutrient. This is somewhat a controversial concept, because people with stomach sensitives may see an effect, but most do not. Also, most foods containing lectin are high in antioxidants, so the good outweighs the bad. If you are concerned about lectins, know that once they are cooked, the lectin is deactivated.

chickpea salad sandwich on rye bread cut in half

Ingredients for Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

  • chickpeas
  • walnuts
  • plain Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise to trim back on saturated fat and replace it with a boost of protein and calcium instead.
  •  Dijon mustard
  •  honey
  • scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • whole wheat bread, toasted
  • (Optional) Toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion

How to Make a Chickpea Salad Sandwich Without Mayo

Mash the chickpeas in a small bowl using a fork. Don’t over-mash, we aren’t making hummus!

Mix in the nuts, mustard, greek yogurt, honey, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the chickpea salad on your bread to make the perfect sandwich. You can also add it on top of a salad, or dip with crackers – this chickpea walnut mixture is versatile to get you out of your lunchtime rut.

vegetarian chickpea salad sandwich on a cutting board

Should you rinse canned garbanzo beans?

You should and mainly it’s because the liquid contains a lot of unnecessary sodium which is why. most recommend draining and rinsing chickpeas before using.

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cut in half chickpea sandwich

Chickpea Walnut Sandwich

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: sandwich

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • (Optional) Toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion

Instructions

  1. Add chickpeas to a bowl and lightly mash with a fork. (Not too much. We aren’t making hummus!) Add walnuts, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, and scallions and mix together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Add a desired amount of the chickpea mixture to the bread and add desired toppings. Top with the other slice of bread.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Keywords: sandwich, vegetarian, plant-based

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Cranberry Relish

With just five simple ingredients this Cranberry Relish will add a pop of color and a side dish full of nutrients that will be a great addition to the table at any holiday gathering.

a small bowl of cranberry relish next to lemon, garnish, and single cranberries


With Thanksgiving just a few days away, everyone is finalizing their Thanksgiving Day menu. Thanksgiving dinner is all about timing. What needs to be in/out the oven or stovetop. I am always a fan of the menu items that can be made ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about factoring that in the day of the festivities.


This recipe is inspired by one of my friend’s aunt’s recipe. (Hi Steph!) I was scrambling last week to get a menu together for my Thanksgiving cooking class at work. I’ve been teaching multiple Thanksgiving Day-themed cooking classes for work the past 3 years now. I get a lot of the same people attending the classes, so I didn’t want to repeat any previous recipes used in class.


I tend to catch up with family and friends on my way to and from work in the car. Whoever invented Bluetooth, thank you! I was chatting with Steph on my way home from work and I mentioned how I didn’t know what I was making yet for my class the next day. She was told me about her Aunt’s cranberry relish recipe that her family goes crazy for every year. What I really loved about it was it was only a few simple ingredients and everything goes right into a food processor. Plus, it is a recipe that can be made ahead of time. I did tweak the original recipe to make it healthier.

Cranberries: What’s So Great About Them?

I’m so glad you asked! Cranberries are actually full of antioxidants known as PACs, which may help reduce inflammation related to chronic diseases and aging.

A cup of fresh cranberries is a great source of fiber and Vitamin C, but the downside is that they only come into season during the fall.

The good news is that you can buy up several bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them to have year-round!


Also, research indicates that consumption of flavonoids in foods and beverages may decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.

In vitro and in vivo experiments with flavonoids demonstrate that flavonoids are dietary antioxidants and inhibit LDL oxidation, inhibit platelet aggregation and adhesion, inhibit enzymes involved in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism that affect the immune response to oxidized LDL and their uptake by endothelial macrophages, may induce endothelium-dependent vassorelaxation, and may increase reverse cholesterol transport and decrease total and LDL cholesterol.

Cranberries contain both hydroxycinnamic acids and flavonoids. The cranberry flavonoids belong to three groups: anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins, which make cranberries a great addition as part of a heart-healthy diet. Source: The Cranberry Insitute.

infographic describing the health benefits and nutrition of cranberries

What You Need For Cranberry Relish

  • fresh cranberries
  • lemon
  • pineapple rings – I am using canned with the juice drained, you can use fresh if you would like.
  • sugar
  • honey

How To Make Cranberry Relish

Add the cranberries to the food processor and pulse until they begin breaking down. Depending on the size of your food processor you may have to do this in batches.

Slice the lemon into wedges and remove the seeds. Add the wedges, with the peel on, to the processor and pulse just until it breaks down.

Then add the sugar, honey, and pineapple rings. Continue pulsing until the relish reaches your desired consistency.

Can You Make Cranberry Relish with Nuts?

Yes! Because I recommend chilling cranberry relish overnight so all of the flavors come together, fold them in just before serving. Pecans and walnuts pair well with cranberry dishes, but you can add any variety of nuts.

I like smaller pieces, so if you have whole pecan or walnuts chop you can chop by hand or throw them in a food processor for a few pulses.

close up of cranberry relish made with real cranberries next to lemon half

What’s the Difference Between Cranberry Sauce and Cranberry Relish?

Relish is made with raw ingredients that are blended together then chilled. Traditionally cranberry sauce is actually cooked (unless you are eating it from the can) and is much sweeter.

Can You Use Frozen Cranberries?

You can use frozen, just know the flavor is much more muted, but that’s usually the case when you swap frozen fruits and veggies for fresh.

Be sure you allow for some additional time so they can thaw completely. Then drain the cranberries to remove the excess liquid.

Cranberry Relish Serving Suggestions

In case you were wondering, here are some of the popular ways cranberry relish is served.

  • As a holiday side dish
  • Over Brie or cream cheese
  • With crackers – you could use a salty variety or graham crackers for a sweeter version
  • Topping – use the leftover to top off your pancakes, waffles, or yogurt bowls

How Long is Cranberry Relish Good For?

You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. This also means you can make it ahead of time if you are prepping for holiday meals to ease the stress! 

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cranberry relish in a white bowl

Cranberry Relish

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: side dish

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, juice drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Place cranberries in a large food processor and pulse to begin to break down the cranberries.
  2. Cut lemon into small wedges and remove any seeds. Add the whole lemon to the food processor with the cranberries (do NOT remove the peel). Pulse to begin to break down the lemons with the cranberries.
  3. Add pineapple, sugar, and honey. Pulse to reach desired consistency.
  4. Let chill overnight to allow the flavors to come together.

Notes

*If using frozen cranberries, let thaw completely and drain to remove any excess liquid before preparing this recipe.

Keywords: cranberry relish, cranberry, side dish, thanksgiving, holiday

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of chefjulierd.com
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Roasted Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts have just enough tang and the right amount of sweetness! The perfect side dish that pairs well with just about any meal! 

close up of maple mustard glazed brussels sprouts in a white bowl

Some people may turn their nose up at the thought of Brussels sprouts, but honestly, they just need to try cooking them a different way! The maple mustard glaze brings in so much flavor, adding a twist to just regular roasted sprouts. 

With the holiday season just around the corner, these become a staple around our house. Once you try them I promise you will be eating this delicious side dish all year long! 

Because this is a sheet pan recipe, it’s easy to make and almost hands off! So while these are great during the week, you can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a larger crowd without much more prep work.

Why I Love Brussels Sprouts

For starters, brussels sprouts are packed full of nutrients and rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin C. They also contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, that may help to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy heart. 

If you aren’t a seafood lover, double up on your Brussels because they are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3s! 

So besides all of the amazing health benefits, Brussels sprouts can be cooked in so many ways which makes them really versatile in the kitchen.  Simply changing out the sauce, glaze, or seasoning offers a whole new side dish. Let’s not forget they are great in salads when they are shredded too! 

top shot of roasted maple mustard brussels sprouts in a white bowl

Ingredients for Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts 

lemon juice

Dijon mustard

maple syrup

olive oil

salt and pepper

Brussels sprouts

How to Make Roasted Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts 

Prep your baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray or using parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. 

Once you have halved and trimmed the Brussels sprouts, mix those in and stir until they are fully coated. 

brussels sprouts roasted with a maple mustard glaze in a white bowl

Pour the mixture in an even layer onto the baking sheets. You can drizzle the remaining glaze over if there’s any left in the bowl. 

Roast for about 30 minutes or until the brussels are tender and caramelized. Stir them occasionally or flip with a spatula half way through. 

Can You Use Frozen Brussels Sprouts? 

You can if that’s all you have. Allow them to thaw completely before roasting.

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roasted brussels sprouts in a white dish

Roasted Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasting

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  3. Mix in the Brussels sprouts until they are fully coated. Pour the Brussels sprouts on an even layer on the baking sheet, drizzling any remaining glaze on top.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Brussels sprouts should be tender and caramelized to your desired doneness.

Keywords: Brussels sprouts, roasting, vegetable side dish

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of chefjulierd.com
close up of roasted brussels sprouts with a maple mustard glaze with text overlay

White Bean Shakshuka

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

cast iron skillet with white bean shakshuka with a piece of bread

What is Shakshuka?

Shakshuka is a Mediterranean meal of poached eggs in a simmering tomato sauce with spices.

The beauty of this dish is that you can play around with the ingredients to customize it for your preference. I’ve even made a green shakshuka before!

Why you should always keep a well-stocked pantry.

Writing this blog post now, we are in the midst of COVID-19. We are taking fewer trips to the grocery store and may need to rely on pantry staples to create nutritious meals around. Mealtime inspiration is just a can opener away.

cast iron skillet with shakshuka

Is canned food healthy?

Canned foods are an easy, cost-effective way to eat healthy year-round. They are a simple, realistic way people can incorporate nutrients into meals.

Nutritionally speaking, canned food is comparable to its cooked fresh and frozen counterparts. Canned fruits and vegetables are packed at their peak of harvest, which means they are packed at their peak nutrient value. Crops that go directly from the field to the processor often retain vitamins better than those that travel hundreds of miles across the country and sit for days in produce bins. (resource)

portion of white bean shakshuka on a ceramic plate

What ingredients give this shakshuka a smoky flavor?

The smoky flavor mainly comes from two ingredients in this recipe – the fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.

  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
    Fire-roasted tomatoes are made by charring the tomatoes over a flame before they’re diced and canned. You may even see little black flecks within your can. That is from the tomato making direct heat with the flame creating that smoky flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika
    Smoked paprika is made from pimiento peppers that have been dried and smoked over an oak fire, then ground into a fine powder, creating that earthy and smoky taste.
Cast iron skillet with a brunch recipe scooped with a wooden spoon

What equipment you need to make shakshuka:

  • Cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan* (see FAQ below if you don’t have one!)
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Colander
plate of tomato sauce mixture with an egg and bread
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White Bean Shakshuka

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Whip up this one-pan smoky White Bean Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!


Ingredients

Scale

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed baby spinach
4 large eggs
Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup feta crumbles
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Red pepper flakes, if desired
Crusty bread or pita, for serving


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet, preferably cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
  2. Add the smoked paprika, oregano, and tomato paste, consistently stirring for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. 
  3. Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices, beans, and spinach. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to come together and spinach has wilted.
  4. Turn off the heat. Use the back of a spoon to make a well in the tomato/bean mixture and crack the egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers. (Keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.) Cook to preferred doneness.
  6. Transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with crumbled feta, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or pita on the side.

Notes

Don’t have an oven-safe pan or cast-iron pan? No problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

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plate of white bean shakshuka with poached egg and a slice of bread

FAQ:

What if I don’t have a cast-iron pan?

Not a problem! Once you have cracked the eggs into the skillet, lower the heat and place a lid on top and cook until the desired doneness.

What if I can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes?

You can use regular crushed tomatoes for this recipe! If you are looking for an extra smoky flavor, then add a little extra smoked paprika.

What if I don’t prefer the smoky flavor?

Use plain crushed tomatoes and paprika (not smoked).

Tomato Cucumber Salad

With just five simple ingredients, this Tomato Cucumber Salad will become a regular side dish to serve up with any spring or summer recipe.

Tomato Cucumber Salad in a wooden bowl

Why I love this Tomato Cucumber Salad recipe

Who says salads have to start with a bed of lettuce? We’ve chatted before about how salads don’t have to be boring! What I love the most about this recipe is simple its ingredients, taking less than 10 minutes to put together, and can turn into so many new variations. (see below)

Using mini cucumbers is key

While any kind of cucumber can work in this recipe, I urge you to seek our mini cucumbers, because I think it really makes the recipe. No need to peel the skin. The skin of mini cucumbers is tender and delicate. Just simply slice into coins and they are ready to go.

When I develop a recipe, I always think about the perfect bite. When slicing mini cucumbers into a coin, it takes the same shape and size of the cherry tomatoes so you are able to get everything all in one bite. Plus, it’s more time consuming to peel, seed, and quarter a regular cucumber.

Recipe Tip

If you are using a conventional cucumber, I recommend removing the seeds. Why? Because they are bitter and don’t want any bitterness added to the dish. For a conventional cucumber, peel, scoop out the seeds, slice and cut in quarters for this recipe.
For other cooking tips, go here.

Tomato Cucumber Salad in a wooden bowl

How to make this Tomato Cucumber Salad

  1. Chop vegetables.
  2. Whisk together dressing.
  3. Toss together.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
    It doesn’t get much easier than that!

Storage Tip

Keep this Tomato Cucumber Salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Tomato Cucumber Salad in a wooden bowl

Variations

Additions

Chickpeas: Drain and rinse a can or two of chickpeas and add to the mixture. This will add different textures, plus a good source of plant-based proteins

Feta cheese: I love feta cheese. Hold off on seasoning with salt and pepper at the end after tasting with the feta cheese. Feta cheese will add salt to the dish, so maybe a little sprinkle of pepper will be fine. Also, if making this dish in advance, add feta just before serving.

Red onions: The key is to thinly slice red onions, so they don’t overpower the whole dish. If you are looking for something a little sweeter or more tang, try adding my Quick Pickled Onions.

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baby cucumbers with cherry tomatoes in a wooden bowl

Tomato Cucumber Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: salad
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Light and refreshing salad to compliment any spring or summer dish. 


Ingredients

Scale

3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
8 mini cucumbers, sliced into coins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Instructions

  1. Add cherry tomatoes and cucumbers to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Drizzle over cucumber and tomatoes. Add basil.
  3. Toss everything to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Notes

Variations:
– Add chickpeas
– Add feta cheese

Keywords: cucumber, tomato, salad, no cook, vegetables, low carb, recipe

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Other recipes you may enjoy

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Salads don’t have to be boring! By adding cooked and raw elements like in this Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad can elevate any salad experience.

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad in wooden bowl with wooden serving spoons

There is nothing worse when trying to enjoy a kale salad and your jaw becomes numb with all the chewing. It’s most likely that the kale wasn’t treated properly. Kale is very fibrous, but the simple technique of massaging kale can change your whole kale salad experience. I’ve talked all about this already here.

Salads don’t have to be boring! Mix and match with various food groups, flavors, and textures. I like to add both raw and cooked elements to add different depths of flavor.

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad in a white bowl

Perfectly roasted sweet potatoes provide additional sweetness from their caramelization.

Tips to perfectly roast vegetables:

  • Cut vegetables approximately the same size. This will prevent smaller pieces from overcooking and larger pieces not being cooked through.
  • Don’t overdo it on the oil. One tablespoon of olive oil is enough for a full tray of vegetables. Instead of drizzling the oil when the vegetables are already on the sheet pan, toss in a large bowl then place vegetables on the sheet pan. This will ensure all vegetables are evenly coated.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Vegetables should be an even layer on the sheet pan. Overcrowding can result in the vegetables steaming rather than roasting.
  • Stop stirring. Simply flip vegetables halfway through the cooking process. Constant stirring won’t allow the vegetables to caramelize evenly on each side.
  • Looking for easy cleanup. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad in a wooden bowl with wooden serving utensils

With a little meal prep, this salad can come together in minutes. Roast sweet potatoes in advance, wash and chop kale, batch cook quinoa, and make the dressing. By getting the prep process started earlier on can help put meals together in minutes. With kale being very fibrous, it lasts longer in the refrigerator. I wash and chop kale for the week and store it in a breathable produce bag. Then, I can easily prepare a salad; add it to a smoothie, or sauté for a quick side dish.

Fun Fact:

Have you ever notices kale that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a longer period of time, the edges start to turn an orange/yellow color. Yes, the kale is aging, but it’s not going bad. As kale ages, the deep green chlorophyll color begins to fade and the vitamin A & C colors shine through. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamins A & C.

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Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad in a wooden bowl with wooden utensils

Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Salads don’t have to be boring! By adding cooked and raw elements like in this Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad can elevate any salad experience.


Ingredients

For the salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, chopped, cut into cubes
8 cups kales, stems removed and chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:
1/3 cup golden balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup
salt, to taste


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through until sweet potatoes have caramelized and are fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool completely. 
  3. In a large bowl, add the kale and massage to become tender. Add the sweet potatoes, quinoa, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Toss to combine.
  4. In a mason jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and maple syrup. Secure lid and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine. 

Notes

The addition of feta cheese to this salad is great if desired. 

Keywords: salad, quinoa, sweet potato, kale, walnuts, cranberries, healthy

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Play around with this salad combination. For a more filling meal add protein, like beans, grilled chicken, shrimp, etc. Switch up the dressing. Add fresh fruit, like pears, apples, or pomegranate seeds too.

Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup

Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD

There is nothing better then cozying up to a warm bowl of soup on a chilly evening. Soups can pack in a ton of flavor utilizing various food groups creating a balanced meal.

A couple of weeks ago I had a cooking class called “Hearty Soups & Salads” and in the class, we discussed when making soup, the ingredients and steps are well thought out to build and develop depths of flavors.

Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD

You might think, pairing butternut squash and Honeycrisp apples would yield a soup too sweet, but with the addition of sharp cheddar and plain yogurt, adds a balance of salty, with a hint of tart and tangy.

When blended, this creates a silky smooth soup. Batch cook and freeze some for later.

Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD

Properly cool, freeze, and reheat soup:

  1. Refrigerators and freezers cannot cool soups quickly enough for food safety protocols. Speed up the cooling process by placing the pot of soup in a bath of ice water in the sink. Stir soup to help release the heat.
  2. Label and date large ziplock plastic bags. To help pour soup in the bag, place bag in the bowl and cuff the bag over the edges. Ladle soup into each bag, let out excess air and seal.
  3. Lay bags flat in a single layer in the freezer. When completely frozen, stack bags to save space in the freezer.
  4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
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Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup in a white bowl

Butternut Squash Apple Cheddar Soup

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD

Ingredients

Scale

1 tablespoon butter
½ sweet onion, diced
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup) [I used Cabot’s sharp cheddar]
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish


Instructions

Saute onions with butter over low medium heat in a large stockpot until translucent.
Add squash, apples, and stock or broth in a large pan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan and simmer squash for 20 minutes or until very tender.
Uncover and let cool. Puree in blender or food processor, in batches, if necessary.
Return puree to saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir in yogurt, cheese, and ground red pepper. Add salt and ground pepper to taste.
Whisk soup just until heated through (do not allow to boil). Serve sprinkled with chives.


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Greek Pasta Salad

Did you know April 23rd is picnic day? What are your favorite picnic recipes? Add this Greek Pasta Salad to your next picnic spread.
Greek pasta salad - Banza (chickpea) pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, chickpeas, feta cheese, in a white dish
I had many summer jobs during high school and in between college semesters. One of them was at an outdoor catering business. We did a lot of BBQ’s and graduation parties, which served the classic outdoor fair, including burgers, hot dogs, barbeque chicken, and ribs. Plus, the typical sides like, potato salad, pasta, salad, and coleslaw.

Making the sides was one of the tasks I simply dreaded. With catering, every recipe is made in mass quantities to serve a crowd.
Do you have a certain food or ingredient that just skeeves you out? For me it’s mayonnaise. For a large party, I would have to make potato salad in these large buckets and wear these giant gloves to toss the mayonnaise in.
Greek pasta salad - Banza (chickpea) pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, chickpeas, feta cheese, in a white dish
I used Banza pasta for this recipe. I feel like there are never enough plant-based protein options available at barbeques. This is a great way to have a protein-packed option for those who don’t eat meat and want to enjoy this as more of a meal than a side dish.

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chickpea pasta with vegetables in a white bowl

Greek Pasta Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: pasta, side dish

Description

Everyone will love it when you bring this Greek Pasta Salad to your next BBQ!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces box rotini Banza pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1-pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and quartered
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. In a large bowl combine, pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and olives.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt to taste.
  4. Drizzle dressing over pasta salad and toss to combine. Gently fold in feta cheese just before serving.

Keywords: pasta salad, side dish, vegetarian

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of chefjulierd.com

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Greek pasta salad - Banza (chickpea) pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, chickpeas, feta cheese, in a white dish

Squash and Wheat Berry Salad

This Squash & Wheat Berry Salad captures all the different flavors of sweet, savory, tart, and nutty. Batch cook for the week for a satisfying meal or side dish. 
Squash & Wheat Berry Salad via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #wheatberries #wholegrain #squash #sidedish #salad

One of my meal prep strategies is batch cooking at least one whole grain for the week. Then that whole grain is incorporated throughout the week in various ways.
I’ve been utilizing my Instant Pot to quickly batch cook grains for my weekly meal prep. Wheat berries can take up to an hour to cook and require you to keep a constant eye on them. Throw them into the Instant Pot and voila – done in half the time!
Squash & Wheat Berry Salad via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #wheatberries #wholegrain #squash #sidedish #salad
I’ve had a little extra time on my hands this week being completely snowed in the past two days. With an already prepped batch of wheat berries in my fridge, I utilized the ingredients in my kitchen to create this dish.
I feel like many of my recipes are like I am a contestant on Chopped. The items that are in my kitchen are my “mystery basket”. I must say it is a much easier mystery basket than what the contestants end up with. Chopped viewers voted, mashed potatoes candies were voted the weirdest basket ingredient on the show. What even are those?!
Squash & Wheat Berry Salad via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #wheatberries #wholegrain #squash #sidedish #salad
Squash season is not over yet! I love using delicata squash because of its more tender flesh and skin, making this variety easier to work with. No need to even peel the skin!

Make your own vinaigrette:

You know I love making my own dressings. It’s SO easy. Want to create your own signature vinaigrette? Use my guide with your favorite flavor combination!

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wheat berry salad with squash in a white bowl

Squash Wheat Berry Salad

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: side dish

Description

This Squash & Wheat Berry Salad captures all the different flavors of sweet, savory, tart, and nutty. Batch cook for the week for a satisfying meal or side dish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups wheat berries, cooked
  • 1 delicata squash (about 2 cups), or your favorite squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup sliced almond

Instructions

  1. Cook wheat berries according to package directions (or try my Instant Pot Wheat Berries recipe for a simple method). Let cool once cooked.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice delicate squash. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a mason jar, combine remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup. Secure the mason jar lid and vigorously shake. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, combine wheat berries, squash, kale, dried tart cherries, and sliced almond. Dress with salad dressing. Toss to combine.

Notes

Instant Pot Wheat Berries recipe here

Keywords: side dish, farro, whole grain, squash, salad

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of chefjulierd.com

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Squash & Wheat Berry Salad via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #wheatberries #wholegrain #squash #sidedish #salad

Everything but the turkey, Thanksgiving menu

My favorite holiday is just a few days away! I love Thanksgiving because it’s all about friends, family, and FOOD! 
Everything but the turkey, Thanksgiving menu via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen

I realized I have a ton of recipes that would be a good addition to a Thanksgiving menu. Turkey is pretty much a staple, but the sides are just as important. I get sad when I see a Thanksgiving spread of just beige/white foods. Bring on the colors! Bring on the flavors! All of these recipes contain ingredients or concepts of a traditional Thanksgiving recipe, but with a dietitian/chef twist.

Soup:

Soups are a great way to start the Thanksgiving meal. Soups are an easy way to pack in nutrients and big bold flavors. This Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup has easily become one of my favorites. It’s creamy without any cream or dairy! How? Check out the recipe to find out.

Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup

Salads:

Skip the boring tossed salad and add some seasonal ingredients to create a colorful dish.
Citrus Beet Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing via RDelicious Kitchen via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen #salad #citrus #salad #beets #seasonal

Citrus Beet Salad 

Warm Kale Salad with Delicata Squash and Pomegranate via RDelicious Kitchen via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen #kale #delicatasquash #squash #fall #pomegratate #warm #salad #thanksgiving

Warm Kale Salad with Delicata Squash and Pomegranate

Side Dishes:

The side dishes really make up the bulk of the Thanksgiving Day menu. Aim to create a very colorful spread. Different colors mean different nutrients. Think outside the traditional Thanksgiving menu and add new recipes to your holiday table.
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #mashed #potatoes #cauliflower #lowcarb #sidedish #healthy #thanksgiving #garlic

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Relish via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_kitchen #cranberry #relish #lowsugar #thanksgiving #sidedish #wellness #recipe #healthyholiday #holiday

Cranberry Relish

Roasted Maple-Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts via RDelicious Kitchen via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen #brusselssprouts #thanksgiving #sidedishes # lowcarb #maple #mustard

Maple Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchen

Garlic Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Honey Roasted Carrots via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen #carrots #honey #roasted #sidedish #thanksgiving

Honey Roasted Carrots

Shaved Asparagus via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #asparagus #salad #greens #lowcarb #sidedish #thanksgiving

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Vegan Green Bean Casserole via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #greenbean #greenbeancasserole #vegan #glutenfree #thanksgiving

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

*To access this recipe, try a FREE trial of my anti-inflammatory meal plan

Desserts:

If you are looking to lighten up your holiday desserts, simply just trim back the amount of sugar. Trust me, no one will even notice. You can also try one of my seasonal dessert recipes too!
[No Bake] Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #pumpkin #tofu #cheesecake #mousse #dessert #lowsugar #singleserve #healthy #pumpkinspice #thanksgiving

Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

Orange Cranberry Bread via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen #wholegrain #cranberry #orange #bread #quickbread #muffins

Whole Grain Orange Cranberry Bread

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Bars via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #pumpkin #pumpkinpie #wellness #healthy #dessert #lowfat #bars #thanksgiving #holiday

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Pie Bars

Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of chefjulierd.comEverything but the turkey.. Thanksgiving menu via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen #thanksgiving #menu #healthyholiday #healthythanksgiving #sidedish #turkey #lowcarb #glutenfree #dairyfree #lowsugar #healthy