Spicy Pineapple and Pepper Salad

Makes 6 cups.

Note: This salad’s burst of sweet and sour flavors, plus a kick from the serrano pepper, make it extremely refreshing. It sits well in the refrigerator for even a week, and tastes better as it marinates in its own juices. Change the look and taste by adding finely chopped red onion. It can be served as a small side dish, as a topping for bruschetta or added to a healthful grain bowl with rice, lentils, greens and a sliced avocado. The salad needs to be refrigerated for an hour or two before serving, and can be refrigerated for up to a week. From Visi R. Tilak.

• 2 c. fresh pineapple, cut into 1/4-in. pieces (about 1 lb.)

• 2 c. red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-in. pieces

• 2 c. orange or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-in. pieces

• 1 medium serrano pepper, seeded and minced

• Juice of 1 lime

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/4 c. shelled, chopped roasted/unsalted pistachios, for garnish

Directions

Combine the pineapple, peppers, lime juice, oil and salt in a mixing bowl, tossing to coat and incorporate. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or two. Garnish with the chopped pistachios just before serving.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 90 Fat 3 g Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 8 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

 

Chickpea, Crisp Apple and Coconut Salad

Makes 6 cups.

Note: This salad may remind some Indians of the traditional chickpea and mango snack called a sundal. To make this into a different kind of gazpacho, mix each serving of this salad with a cup of room-temperature coconut milk. From Visi R. Tilak.

• 2 tbsp. minced shallot

• 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

• 1 tbsp. liquefied coconut oil

• 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

• 1 tsp. sea salt

• 1/4 tsp. cane sugar

• 2 c. Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/4-in. pieces

• 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

• 2 c. rinsed and drained no-salt-added canned chickpeas (from one 14.5-oz. can); may substitute raw sprouted chickpeas

• 2 c. fresh mung bean sprouts

• 1 c. fresh or frozen/defrosted grated coconut, at room temperature

• 1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro

• 1/4 c. roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds, for garnish

Directions

Whisk together the shallot, jalapeño pepper, coconut oil, vinegar, sea salt and cane sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Toss together the apples and lemon juice in a separate bowl, until well coated; this will help keep them from browning.

Combine the chickpeas, sprouts, coconut and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Stir in the apples, then add the shallot mixture and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Garnish with the sunflower seeds just before serving.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 190 Fat 8 g Sodium 370 mg

Carbohydrates 25 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 9 g

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

 

 

Spicy Beet and Carrot Coleslaw

Makes 6 cups.

Note: The tartness of the lemon, the sweet flavor of the carrot and beets and the bite of jalapeño combine in a stunning and palate-tingling way. Serve as side dish, as filling for a whole-wheat tortilla wrap or as a component in a grain bowl. The salad can be refrigerated for up to a week. From Visi R. Tilak.

• 12 oz. raw beets, peeled and grated (2 c.)

• About 5 medium carrots, scrubbed well and then grated (2 c.)

• 2 tbsp. minced shallot

• 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

• 1 tbsp. sunflower seed oil or olive oil

• 1 tsp. sea salt

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 2 c. fresh mung bean sprouts or mixed sprouts

• 1/2 c. finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

Directions

Combine the beets, carrots, shallot, jalapeño, oil, salt and lemon juice in a stainproof mixing bowl, tossing to incorporate. If you’re serving the salad right away, mix in the sprouts. If not, cover and refrigerate for a day, then gently mix in the sprouts just before serving. Garnish with the cilantro.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 80 Fat 3 g Sodium 430 mg

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 8 g

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

 

Cucumber, Red Onion, Tomato and Feta Salad

Makes 8 cups.

Note: Crunchy with creamy makes this salad work. You can also use it as a topping for bruschetta or garlic naan. The bulgur wheat needs to be soaked overnight in room-temperature water. The salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Persian cucumbers are small and thin, with tender seeds. They are available in supermarkets or farmers markets. From Visi R. Tilak.

• 1 medium garlic clove, crushed

• 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tsp. sea salt

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 2 c. diced Persian cucumbers (peeled or unpeeled; see Note)

• 2 c. diced heirloom or vine ripe tomatoes

• 2 c. diced red onion

• 1 c. bulgur wheat, soaked overnight in room-temperature water, then drained

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

• 1 c. diced feta cheese

Directions

Whisk together the garlic, pepper, salt, oil and lemon in a mixing bowl; let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, the soaked/drained bulgur, mint, parsley and feta to the bowl, then toss gently to incorporate without crushing the cheese. Refrigerate just until chilled before serving.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 170 Fat 8 g Sodium 450 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 15 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

 

Mango, Grape and Celery Salad

Makes 6 cups.

Note: Dessert salad — why not? Change the look and taste by adding seasonal berries. From Visi R. Tilak.

• 1 medium clove garlic, crushed

• Juice of 1/2 lime

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

• 1/2 tsp. sea salt

• 2 c. mango, peeled and diced (use the green variety that is raw or the half-ripe ones)

• 1 c. red grapes, each cut in half

• 1 c. green grapes, each cut in half

• 1 c. diced celery (1/4-inch)

• 1 c. sweet white onion, diced

Directions

Whisk together the garlic, lime juice, oil, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and salt in a mixing bowl; let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the mango, red and green grapes, celery and onion, tossing gently to coat and incorporate. Cover and refrigerate for a bit, until chilled, before serving. Discard the garlic.

Nutrition information per 1 cup:

Calories 100 Fat 3 g Sodium 190 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 17 g

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g