Celebrate Citrus with My Farro, Kale, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad!

Citrus fruits are at their peak right now — so what better time to find new and unique ways to use them. My all time favorite? Juicy, red grapefruits from Texas. I literally can not get enough of these when they are in season. I eat them like an orange and devour them in a matter of minutes. Rich in vitamins A and C, I love their sweet, tart flavor. Grapefruits from other parts of the country are also great right now – but after biting into my first Texas grapefruit when I lived there a few years ago, I’ve been a convert. So to celebrate my grapefruit obsession, I created this recipe featuring a variety of other citrus fruit and a couple of my other favorite super-foods (avocado, kale, and farro). I’m also rather obsessed with this citrus vinaigrette dressing. I like to make a big batch and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and use to top salads or to marinade chicken or fish.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Farro, Kale, Citrus and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

farro salad

(serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups kale, cleaned well and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and cut into wedges (a regular orange can be used if blood oranges are unavailable)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • Citrus Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Instructions

  1. To cook farro, place ½ cup uncooked farro in about 2 cups of water (to add more flavor, you could use vegetable or chicken broth).
  2. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain any excess water.
  3. Assemble dressing (see separate recipe). In a large bowl, pour half of the dressing onto the kale and toss/massage well to coat the kale.
  4. Toss the sliced oranges and grapefruit with the kale along with 2/3rd of the toasted hazelnuts, avocado and cooked farro. Make sure everything is combined.
  5. Garnish with the remaining hazelnuts and drizzle over additional dressing, if desired.

Basic Citrus Vinaigrette

(makes just enough for salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (from about ½ a lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar or medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. If using a jar, shake to blend. If medium bowl, whisk until combined.

Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made/stored for 1 week. Cover and chill. Shake before using.

Nutrition info (1/5 of recipe with dressing): 304 calories, 6.6g protein, 18.9g fat, 31.8g carbohydrate, 7.7g fiber, 9mg sodium

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Fall Flavors: Recipes Packed with Superfood Deliciousness

This past Tuesday I taught a class on foods that help fight inflammation at our Ravenswood Mariano’s for patients of Swedish Covenant Hospital. The recipes I demonstrated and served were a hit among attendees so I thought I’d share here.

What makes them great (besides how good they taste)? The soup contains butternut squash which has a high amount of beta-cryptoxanthan – a powerful antioxidant of the carotenoid family. It is converted to vitamin A in the body and researchers from the UK found that those who consumed more foods containing beta-cryptoxanthin were better protected against arthritis. The soup also contains my favorite fall fruit: apples. Researchers at Florida State University have suggested that apples are truly a “miracle fruit” that convey benefits beyond fiber content. The USDA-funded study, conducted in 160 randomly assigned women ages 45-65, found that women who consumed dried apples daily for a year experienced a lowering of lipid hydroperoxide levels and C-reactive protein compared to those given the same amount of dried prunes daily for a year. The researchers concluded that consumption of dried apples can be beneficial to human health in terms of anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.

The salad contains kale – a power food encouraged by everyone these days. But is it really powerful? An 11-year Mayo Clinic study found that intake of cruciferous vegetables – like kale, broccoli and cabbage – has been shown to be protective against the development of arthritis.

I hope you enjoy these easy to make, delicious, super food packed recipes this fall!

Smokey Apple Butternut Squash SoupNew Picture (5)

Adapted from the U.S. Apple Association

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped (about 4−1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks (about 6 cups)
  • 1 pound sweet apples (I like Galas), peeled and cut into chunks (about 3−1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup apple juice (more if necessary)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil and butter in large saucepan; add onions and chili powder; cook and stir until onions are tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add squash, apples, apple juice, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat until apples and squash are very so, about 30 minutes. Cool.
  4. Puree with an immersion blender or a food processor; return to saucepan.
  5. Add additional apple juice or broth, if needed.
  6. Garnish with toasted pecans, plain Greek yogurt swirls and thin apple slices, if desired.

Pomegranate, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Walnuts and Fetapom kale salad

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

Salad –

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3 cups chopped baby kale
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese

Dressing –

  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 squeeze lemon or orange juice

Directions:

  1. Prep the salad ingredients (chop, rinse, toast, etc). Chill the ingredients in the fridge while you’re making the dressing if you want a cold salad.
  2. Combine shallot, walnut oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and orange juice in a food processor; blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just before serving. Serve at room temperature or chilled.