cooking class: wholesome and hearty salads

Just yesterday I taught my first cooking class at our new Kapolei location to a packed room- it was standing room only! This was the first of weekly classes on Wednesday evenings, and I started with some simple, interchangeable recipes that (hopefully) have broad appeal: fresh green ingredients mixed into delicious flavor combinations tossed with the same simple olive oil, cider vinegar, and lemon vinaigrette.  We made Wheat Berry and Carrot Salad, Simple Kale Salad, and an Orzo and Chickpea Salad with Feta.  

Wheat Berry and Carrot Salad

this salad is stunning and wholesome!

1 cup soft wheat berries, soaked
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
black pepper & sea salt to taste
2 cups shredded or chopped carrots
½ cup zante currants (or raisins)
1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

  1. Soak the wheat berries for at least two hours, up to overnight. Drain and rinse the grains before use.
  2. Bring 6 cups of water to boil, and add soaked wheat berries. Cook until soft, about 30-45 minutes.  When finished cooking they will be soft and chewy; drain in a colander and set aside. You can prepare these in advance, if you like.
  3. Prepare the dressing: in a large bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and the salt and pepper. Let sit for a few minutes for flavors to meld.
  4. Add the carrots to the dressing and toss to coat. Then add the raisins, fresh herbs and cooked wheat berries to the bowl. Stir to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to three days.

Simple Kale Salad

i love me some kale salad!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
black pepper & sea salt to taste
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup fresh herbs, chopped
4 cups kale, chopped

  1. Prepare the dressing: mix the olive oil, lemon juice, and the salt and pepper. Toss in the sundried tomatoes, carrots, and herbs. Let sit for a few minutes for flavors to meld.
  2. Put the chopped kale in another large bowl.  ‘Massage’ the kale by squeezing in your hands until it begins to wilt. Drain off any excess juice.  Pour dressing onto the kale and toss to combine.  Serve cold or warm.

Orzo and Chickpea Salad with Feta

the grilled onions and the fresh dill really makes this dish *amazing*

1½ cups uncooked orzo pasta
4 cups curly kale, chopped finely
1 cup onions, sliced thinly
¼ cup olive oil (reserve 2 tbsp for the dressing)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
black pepper & sea salt to taste
1 cup cooked chickpeas
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

  1. Cook up your orzo according to the directions. When the orzo is finished cooking, add the kale to the pot and stir to quickly blanch the kale. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water, stirring gently to remove all the heat. Leave in colander to drain.
  2. In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook the onions over medium low heat until caramelized (well-browned).  Turn off heat, and let onions cool in pan.
  3. While the onions are cooking, mix together the dressing ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and pepper and salt to taste. Whisk the dressing to combine, and add in the chickpeas, onions, sundried tomatoes and chopped dill. Stir in the orzo and kale, stir once more and top with the feta cheese and more black pepper to taste.

This photo is just too funny not to share: I was explaining the different types of greens (lacinato & curly kale) and how much I love them, but I cannot explain the goofy look on my face! (sorry the photos are all a little fuzzy; they were taken on a camera phone and stolen from our facebook page!)

"um, and so kale is, like, totally healthy..."

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