citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios

citrus on napkin
citrus on tray and napkin
cut up citrus
citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios

What to say about March? It makes me a little crazy, toys with my emotions making me feel much like I’m on a seesaw. One one hand, there’s more light, signs of spring popping up everywhere but on the other, winter’s relentless cold and snow still linger on. But the citrus. The citrus is still bright, sweet and bursting with flavor.

Every year around this time, I suddenly remember how much I like citrus; feeling the need to gorge on Tangelos, Mandarins and Blood Oranges and the occasional succulent but very pricey Sumo Mandarin. Perhaps it has to do with citrus season being nearly over and the basic desire to hold on to it for just a little bit longer. Or maybe it simply has to do with the fruit being in its prime. Either way, I’m finding myself with an abundance of it.

Citrus hasn’t always been part of my life. Growing up, there were a handful of times I recall having it as it wasn’t widely available. And for those times, I’m certain my parents had to jump through hoops to get their hands on them. So despite the year long availability here, to this day I regard citrus as special. So a nice, juicy citrus salad is in order, to celebrate the season. I wanted brightness, salt and sweetness to come through in every bite.

While salty cheese may be an ideal candidate for this salad, cashew cheese is a suitable and quite delicious alternative for the food sensitive crowd or even as a vegan option. A handful of toasted pistachios and sweet and salty dressing bring out the best in the citrus. You can use whatever oranges you want but I opted for Navel, Tangelo and Mandarins. It’s a delicious way to elevate an average orange and bring out its aroma and zest.

And while this salad won’t change March’s unpredictable disposition, it may help to sweetened it up just a little.

citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios
citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios
citrus on tray

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citrus salad with cashew cheese and toasted pistachios

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • soaking time: 2 hours

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

For the citrus salad

  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 3 oranges of your choice (I used Navel, Tangelo and Mandarins)

  • 1 tbsp crushed toasted pistachios

For the cashew cheese

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 6 tsp nutritional yeast

  • 1 tsp lemon

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • small pinch garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 2 tbsp water

Equipment:

  • food processor

  • medium mixing bowl

  • 2 small mixing bowl

  • baking sheet

Directions:

Add cashews in small bowl and completely cover with water. Set aside and let soak for 2 hours.

Combine soaked cashews with the remaining ingredients under cashew cheese and add to food processors. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 and roast pistachios for 10 minutes until toasted.

Using a pairing knife, remove orange skin. Slice oranges and place them on plate.

Combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, honey and pepper and whisk well.

To plate, drizzle dressing over oranges, top with toasted pistachios and add as much cashew cheese as you’d like.

You can store the cashew cheese in an air tight container for one week.


A delicious citrus salad full of flavor. Orange slices are combined with a sweet and salty dressing, topped with cashew cheese, made with nutritional yeast and toasted pistachios. #vegan #citrus #citrussalad #vegansalad #paleosalad #paleofood #paleo #calmeats #orange #cashewcheese #nutritionalyeastrecipes



essential tuna salad

Essential tuna salad
St. Jude’s Tuna
Essential tuna salad

I found a large rock, which provided a fine seat and took a bite of my very late lunch. The sun beating on whatever part of me that wasn’t covered up, which wasn’t much. After all 43 is still cold but alfresco seemed like a good idea. I closed my eyes and soaked up the sun. My children’s gleeful voices cutting through jovial bird songs, as they made their way from mud to snow and back again, squealing with delight.

I looked up at the sky; a piercing shade of blue. Next to me a cluster of snow drops swaying in the breeze. I picked one, studying its detail. Every year, I feel a jolt of excitement the moment I spot them. An announcement of what’s to come; green, life, a new season. 

Seeing the familiar through fresh eyes occurs to me from time to time, particularly in the kitchen. Oddly enough this happened with nothing more than the very tuna I was eating. What? Tuna? Yes.

I’ve had years to figure out what I like and don’t like. I’m always open to exploring and learning but there’s something to be said about the tried and true. Flavors and combinations that work synergistically, that compliment each other the way an exposed collar bone and an off the shoulder sweater do. They’re sexy - they work. 

So how do you make tuna salad sexy? You add the things you’ve probably eaten your whole life but you tweak them a bit and use St. Jude’s tuna as the base. When it comes to making a delicious tuna salad, quality is key. And for me, it doesn’t get better than using a delicious tuna, that’s sustainably and wild caught. And don’t forget about the mayo and mustard - make sure they’re of good quality too as they can really make or break a salad.

St Judes tuna
Essential tuna salad
essential tuna salad

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essential tuna salad

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans St. Jude Tuna with juice

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup good mayo

  • 1 tsp good Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp chives, finely sliced

  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • optional: add salt to taste as the tuna already contains sea salt

Equipment:

  • medium bowl

Directions:

Add tuna to bowl and break up with fork. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.

Serve with greens and your favorite toppings.

Here’s a tasty take on the classic tuna salad made with the delicious @joemalley St. Jude Tuna. It makes for the perfect meal prep and takes just minutes to make. #tunasalad #tuna #ad #calmeats #whole30 #paleo #classictunasalad #seafood #cannedtuna #quickmeals #stjudetuna

fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
old forks
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

Confession. I didn't try shrimp until my early 20s - in fact, I didn't eat seafood at all until then. I know, I must have been out of my mind. The thing is, we didn't have much seafood growing up. I shouldn't even use the word much - we didn't have any

In order to purchase even meat, often times my parents and grandparents had to wait hours in line at some shoddy warehouse in order to get it. I recall losing my very first tooth while keeping my grandfather company trying to purchase chicken. A wobbly tooth, a bite of an apple, gone. But yes, that's how things were done if you wanted the luxury of eating meat. I don't often think about that part of my life when going to the supermarket and picking up chicken thighs. But I digress...

So seafood. It intimidated me and was unfamiliar so I kept my distance. My mother, who still to this day refuses to touch it, never cooked any. After all, we ate how we learned to in Romania and Germany. And the diet I adopted in my teens once we moved here included ample amount of pizza, cereal, whatever my mom cooked, more junk and then then I eventually turned to a quasi-vegan lifestyle. In a nutshell, a disaster but never included any seafood. 

But things changed drastically once I started college. In addition to my meeting new people I was also introduced to new food and started eating differently. No, wings from Domino's at 1am were not one of them, but there was shrimp. The first time I tried it was when friends put together a dinner. Out of respect, I decided to try one. Embarrassingly enough I had to ask for instructions. The rest is history. 

Today I eat seafood more than any other food. Shrimp, salmon, sardines, scallops, tuna - I love it all! And particularly like the versatility of shrimp as it takes minutes to cook and is fairly inexpensive. 

Probably one of my favorite ways of eating shrimp is with avocado and citrus. For this salad, I used orange, avocado and fennel. If you're not a big fan of licorice, roasting it for a few minutes will cut down on the sometimes overpowering taste. I happen to love fennel and like it raw or roasted. For this dish, roasting it for 10 minutes provides a nice balance to the other ingredients. It's quick to make and is the ideal lunch if you're looking for something refreshing and light. 

fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad
fennel, avocado, citrus and shrimp salad

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fennel avocado citrus and shrimp salad

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1 fennel bulb

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 2 oranges, segmented

  • 1 avocado, cut into slices

  • 8-10 jumbo shrimp

  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing: 

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Equipment

  • grill pan or frying pan

  • mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In small mixing bowl, combine shrimp, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.

Meanwhile, cut fennel in half and peel outside layer. Cut into thin slices and spread evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour over 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to combine. Roast for 10 minutes stirring once half way. 

Next, with a pairing knife, cut peel off the orange and segment all the orange slices. Reserve the remaining orange and squeeze 1 tbsp orange juice into large bowl. Add the rest of dressing ingredients and whisk well.

Add segmented orange, avocado and roasted fennel and combine with dressing. 

Next grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until fully cooked.

Add a good handful of salad to and top with shrimp. Enjoy! 


If you’re looking for a healthy and easy shrimp salad, try this fennel, avocado and citrus salad topped with grilled shrimp. It’s a burst of flavor in every single bite. This shrimp salad is also paleo and whole 30 approved. #shrimpsalad #shrimp #seafood #citrussalad #citrus #avocado #paleosalad #whole30sdalad #calmeats #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #seafoodrecipes #easyseafoodrecipes #simpleseafoodrecipes #quickrecipes

 

 

jalapeño tuna salad

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I think about simplicity often. It’s a sort of longing for something calm and slow, something I don’t always have access to but vehemently long for. Maybe this is why I enjoy making uncomplicated food but food that nonetheless tastes delicious, by taking one or two ingredients and letting them shine.

As I’ve grown older, especially in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the food before me. An unparalleled appreciation for a juicy, sweet tomato and the sheer excitement of cutting into a perfectly ripe, vibrantly green avocado is something that’s become essential to cooking. Not just cooking for the sake of it but cooking with love and honor for each ingredient.

When I heard again from Joyce, the owner of St. Jude Tuna in Washington, I was ecstatic. In the last year, I learned a bit about Joyce and her husband, Joe who run the company. I found out about the way they source their tuna, about the love and gratitude that goes into every single can and about the respect for the ocean and environment. That immediately drew me to them.

Their tuna is wild caught, organic and ethically sourced and their philosophy, appreciation and care for their product is palpable. There’s not a lot of fuss aside from exceptionally tasty tuna, Jalapeño and salt that goes into each can.

So when Joyce asked me to create a recipe with this exquisite tuna, I knew it had to be something that takes nothing away from the fish but highlights it all the more. I wanted to use every single bit of the can minus the actual can and so this recipe wastes nothing.

I kept this dish fresh and light by combining ripe baby tomatoes with corn, black beans, avocado, adding chunks of this beautiful Jalapeño tuna and using the liquid to create a simple refreshing dressing with olive oil, cumin, coriander, lemon and oregano. It’s a burst of flavor in every bite and the tuna truly adds an unmatched flavor to this salad.

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jalapeno tuna salad

  • prep time: 10 mintues

  • cook time: 0 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 can St. Jude Organic Jalapeño Tuna (reserve liquid)

  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 ripe avocado cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup organic canned corn, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 1/4 cup organic canned black beans, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 rounded tsp green onion

  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro plus extra

Equipment:

  • medium mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

In small bowl, drain Jalapeño Tuna liquid. Add olive oil, herbs, cumin, coriander, oregano salt, lemon and pepper. Whisk well and set aside.

In medium bowl combine, tomatoes, avocado, corn and beans and gently break up chunks of tuna on top.

Add dressing, cilantro and green onion and toss until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve right away.

When it comes to making salads, sourcing the best possible ingredients is key, this is why I chose this tasty organic Jalapeño Tuna from St. Jude Tuna for this refreshing, vibrant tuna salad. If you’re following a paleo or whole 30 lifestyle, feel free to skip the beans and corn and have this be just as tasty! It’s gluten and dairy free as well. #ad #glutenfree #stjudetuna @joemalley #cameats #jalapenotuna #tuna #glutenfree #dairyfree #salad #paleo #whole30 #seafood #cannedtuna





apple and beet salad with candied walnuts and cashew cheese

roasted beet salad with apple and candied walnuts
roasted beet salad with apple and candied walnuts

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Fall represents a lot of things for me, but among them what stands out in my mind most is our move to the United States. That may sound glorious and exciting to some but it wasn’t that for me. When torn from everything you know - family, friends, school, language, lifestyle and routine, suddenly your identity is compromised. Who are you? Who was I? Life was dismal for a long time. Living between two languages - one of security and family and one I desperately wanted to know, to understand to bury into. One of possibility.

But we humans are adaptable and though challenging and frightening for a long time, life slowly became tolerable again. In fact it became good. There were new friends, the language I was slowly learning day by day, there was Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and Bush that kept me company on many days. There was new and exciting food, but most of all there were people I felt I could trust who would be there when I needed them. Not something I took lightly. In a matter of a year my old life was a distant memory and though I missed it at times, I knew I could never go back to what was. There was only forward.

So fall has always been a time of change for me, a rebirth of sorts. With summer’s oppressive heat and humidity gone, I feel some renewed energy and enthusiasm for fall. I find myself making playlists that take me back to my younger days and just for a short time I can be teleported to those defining moments which forever changed who I would become.

With a new season comes seasonal food and though I’ve eaten apples my whole life, I found them to be particularly wonderful in the US. That first autumn, I ate a boatload of them. They tasted exceptional and quite different from what I was used to in Romania. There were so many varieties and flavors. There were tart ones, sweet, crispy and juicy ones and I couldn’t get enough of them.

With nostalgia spilling into everything including food, I thought I would make a recipe with this beloved fruit. I wanted to keep it light, simple and pull in autumn’s flavors into a simple yet complex salad with earthy flavors aplenty.

If you’re not up for making cashew cheese, feel free to skip it but I highly recommend it as it adds a layer of creaminess to the salad, plus you’ll have extra left over and can whip up this delicious recipe. So check out this combination of roasted beets, cashew cheese, candied walnuts, crispy apple slices and spinach, drizzled with a bright dressing. You won’t be dissapointed.


roasted beet salad with apple and candied walnuts
beet salad (19 of 24).jpg
roasted beet salad with apple and candied walnuts

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apple and beet salad with candied walnuts and cashew cheese

  • Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Serves 4

Ingredients:

For dressing: 

  • 2 tbsp orange juice

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • pinch of salt

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

For salad: 

  • 2 large or 4 small yellow and red beets

  • 1 apple, thinly sliced

  • candied walnuts (recipe below)

  • a few handfuls of spinach

  • optional: cashew cheese (recipe here)

For candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

Equipment:

  • aluminum foil

  • parchment paper

  • roasting sheet

  • medium mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour or until soft. Let cool slightly. Peel and slice beets and set aside. (Wear kitchen gloves if you don’t want stained hands)

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for candied walnuts, place on parchment paper lined sheet and roast for 15 minutes, tossing once half way. Remove and let cool. (Try not to eat them all)

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until incorporated.

To plate; add spinach, apple and beet slices, cashew cheese and candied walnuts and drizzle with dressing.


Make your tastebuds happy with this delicious and hearty roasted beet salad with apple, candied walnuts and cashew cheese. It's a fantastic combination that won't disappoint. If you're whole 30, you can still make this by simply using regular walnuts instead of candied. #salad, #fall, #beets, #apple, #calmeats, #vegan, #cashewcheese, #paleo, #whole30, #realfood, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #dairyfreecheese, #paleocheese