California Fall (Superfood!) Salad Recipe — Easy & Quick

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“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” ~Pat Conroy

When I came across this quote on Instagram a while back, it really resonated with me. Poetic. True. It puts into words the deep meaning food can have for so many people, be it related to our childhoods, places we’ve lived in, places we love, or good times with friends.

This past Saturday, all of these things came together. During a weekend trip to Silicon Valley, I visited an old friend from Boston. She had made a delicious meal, including roasted colorful carrots, delicious vegan eggplant patties, quinoa with sweet potatoes, and lemon chicken wings. But what really stood out to me was the salad she made. I couldn’t get enough of it.

First, it had pomegranate in it. I know that’s pretty common in the U.S., but when I was growing up in Lebanon, salads were decisively salty. As a result, I don’t usually like fruits in salads. This was definitely an exception, especially because the pomegranate was always a special fruit growing up. Of course, we only had it once a year when it was in season– and we usually got it from the garden of our old family home in the country that we went to on weekends. I still remember the tree and how delighted I would be when the fruits appeared on it when I was a kid.

Second, the salad had avocado in it, (which was a really nice contrast in both texture and flavor to the sharp pomegranate seeds). We had been laughing all evening about the particular foods we eat in California (avocado, kale, etc., etc.,), and how our loved ones who don’t live here tease us about our eating habits.

Third, a simple dressing of olive oil and vinegar complemented the ingredients perfectly.

I didn’t even think about what a healthy salad of “superfoods” it was until I recreated it yesterday for my book club. So, so good. So, so simple. And so, so easy. I had to share it on this blog.

Iram’s California Superfood Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 large avocados (3 small)
  • 10 oz spinach (I recommend buying bags of pre-washed baby leaves from places like Trader Joe’s. Makes it so much simpler).
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Seed the pomegranate. Yesterday, convinced I had been doing it wrong all along because it felt too onerous and complicated, I Googled “easy way to seed pomegranate” and found this great video:

Peel and cut the avocados. Again, Instagram taught me a simple, quick way to do it that I’m very proud of:

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Wash the cucumber, slice it in half and then cut into small pieces.

Toss all the ingredients together. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Ta-da.

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Bonus:

I also was inspired to roast multi-colored whole carrots like my friend did on Saturday:

  • Scrub the carrots well.
  • Toss in coconut oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast at 400 F for around 40 minutes, turning them over halfway.

And I finally tried out this amazing, simple Pumpkin Alfredo recipe that I had found, again, on Instagram (which is clearly so good for food tips!), and highly recommend.

Book club fall dinner This Is Where You Belong Melody Warnick
All so simple to prepare, yet was such a great fall dinner.

Here’s to good seasonal food shared with friends!

 

 

P.S. Can we discuss for a moment how beautiful these carrots are? Our natural world is amazing.

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3-Minute Egg Breakfast

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For years, I would grab a “breakfast bar” — some variation of cereal, promised fiber and alleged good health — on my way out of the house. I cherished sleep, and when I had to be somewhere in the morning, either classes or work, I thought I simply did not have the time to make a good breakfast. I would eat the bar on the T in Boston, subway in New York or while walking to the office.

Last year, I was surprised to discover how wrong I had been. I realized that it took a total of 2-3 minutes to make eggs. Add another 30 seconds to wash the pan and a few minutes to eat– and you’re still under 10 minutes total.

So as post #4 in this series of re-adapting foods from my childhood in Lebanon for my current life in California, I wanted to tackle breakfast.

It was always a treat when my dad would make sunny-side eggs with sumac. One day, I realized just how simple and quick it was to make them in the mornings. I started to have this dish for breakfast more often, and that also led me to begin to experiment with other quick egg dishes too. You’d be surprise by just how fast it is to eat a healthy meal that starts your day with the right energy (both literally and figuratively).

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Recipe — for 1 serving (easily doubled, tripled or quadrupled as needed)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sumac spice (I’ve found this in the international aisle of supermarkets including Whole Foods. You can buy it online too, on Amazon for example.)
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small pan for around 30 seconds. Crack the two eggs in the pan and season with salt and pepper. Wait about another 30 seconds for the egg whites to color fully. Then sprinkle the sumac all over. Cook for 1 more minute, 2 if you like your yolks more solid. (Slice your cucumbers and/or tomatoes during this time). I suggest always adding a handful of olives to your plate, goes really well with eggs and sumac.

Yup, that easy.

Enjoy!

 

Throwback to having this same breakfast last summer in my parents’ garden in Lebanon:

 


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