Broccoli and Radicchio Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Over the past couple years, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is the importance of finding the right balance.

One of the reasons that JZ and I make such a good fit is that we are different in ways that allows us to balance each other out. I’m more scheduled, he’s more spontaneous. I like to relax in the evenings, he’s more likely to work until 10 pm. I like vegetables, he likes meat. And so on and so on. But over the past year and a bit, we’ve rubbed off on each other to make both of us more balanced.

Take last weekend for example. I’ve always been an uptight person who has trouble letting loose. So when it comes to going out to the bar, I worry about feeling okay and being productive the next day instead of just enjoying myself. But JZ has helped me to let go and be more care free. And you know what? Last weekend I actually had fun at a bar for the first time in a long time.

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

That same kind of balance is important in food. I bought radicchio the other week which, if you haven’t tried it, is a strong bitter leafy vegetable. And when I say bitter, I mean bitter. Kale and collard greens are mild compared to it! So to bring balance to it, I like to pair radicchio with sweet flavours.

This broccoli and radicchio salad is the perfect example of that. The honey apple cider vinaigrette coats the salad in a mild sweetness to mute the bitterness of the radicchio. The tangy feta cheese nutty sunflower seeds also bring more complexity to the salad to take the focus off of the radicchio. I add raisins (or dried cranberries would work too!) for a final punch of sweetness on the tongue. It’s the perfect balance!

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

Broccoli and Radicchio Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
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A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette. Vegetarian, gluten free, and nut free.
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 crowns of broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4-1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded radicchio
  • ¼ cup sultana raisins
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small dish, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the broccoli, radicchio, sunflower seeds, feta, and raisins. Toss in the dressing to coat everything, then serve. Salad keeps for 2-3 days in a container in the fridge.

A perfectly balanced broccoli and radicchio salad with tangy feta, sunflower seeds, raisins, and sweet vinaigrette | Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

How do you create balance in your life? In your food?

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Tips and recipes for packing a healthy lunch

It’s officially March: dietitians’ favourite month! That’s because March is Nutrition Month, a time when we get to bring nutrition into the spotlight and share all of our best tips in the media. Okay, we do that year round anyways. But still – it’s pretty cool to have a month devoted to our field.

This year’s theme is “Eating 9 to 5!”: in other words, eating healthily at work. This can be a challenge for a lot of us because it requires some planning. I mean, it’s so much easier to just buy lunch every day right? But often even the healthiest sounding meals from the food court or cafeteria aren’t as healthy as we might think they are. Not to mention, they can get pricey! I once paid $12 for the lamest, most unsatisfying salad of my life when I was in university – and after that I vowed to pack my lunch every day.

If you’ve been wanting to get into a routine of packing your own lunch, I’m here to help you. First, I want to reassure you that making lunches for the week doesn’t have to be time consuming. Just 30-45 minutes on a weekend can be enough time to prepare lunches for the whole week!

Tips and recipes for packing a healthy lunchPhoto credit: Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen, The Honour System, and The Healthy Maven

I’ve rounded up some ideas in this post for make ahead lunch foods, divided into different categories: salads, sandwiches, snacky lunches, bowl type meals, and healthy snacks to eat between meals. Some of these recipes fit into that 30-45 minute time frame, while others might take longer to make. But there should be something for all schedules, diets, and cooking levels in this post. I hope these ideas inspire and help you to eat better, save money, and stay energized at work by packing a healthy lunch!

spring chickpea quinoa salad

Salads

Salads are one of my favourite make ahead lunch foods because you can make a big batch that covers all five of your lunches for the week. I like to divide it up into containers right after making it so that all I have to do in the morning is grab a container and go! If the salad is made with leafy greens I’ll pack the dressing separately, but otherwise I’ll mix it right in.

To make your salad satisfying, make sure to include some protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. Two of my favourite foods to use in salads are grains and beans. Grains are full of fibre and B vitamins to keep you full and energized throughout the afternoon. And I love beans because when you buy them canned, they take no time to prep at all! Here are some good ideas for both:

Spring Chickpea Quinoa Salad via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad via The Healthy Maven
Asian Quinoa Salad via Two Peas and their Pod
Roasted Chickpea Salad with Grapes and Feta via Making Thyme for Health

Curried Egg Salad from The Honour SystemPhoto credit: The Honour System

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are an easy lunch that can be made the night before in just 5 minutes.  Or if you’re making a salad filling for your sandwiches, that can be made ahead of time and stored in a container (pack the filling in a small container in your lunch and add it to your sandwich right before eating to prevent the bread from getting soggy!).

Make sure to look for 100% whole grain on the label of your breads and pick a protein-rich filling like chicken, turkey, egg, fish, hummus, or nut butter. These are some great ideas for sandwiches if you need inspiration:

Curried Egg Salad via The Honour System
Avocado Tuna Salad via The Healthy Maven
Chickpea Salad Sandwich via The Simple Veganista
Red Pepper Hummus, Chickpea, and Feta Pita via Love & Lemons

Easy homemade hummus

Snacky Lunches

When you don’t have much time to prepare lunch, snacky lunches are a good quick option! Just combine 3-4 snack foods like hummus, crackers, chopped veggies, fruit, cheese, nuts, or yogurt to make a complete meal. Snacky lunches are also good if you have a busy, erratic schedule at work without time to sit down to a real lunch. Many of the snack foods I listed can be bought straight from the grocery store with little prep work required. Or, if you have some extra time to make your own, try these recipes:

Caramelized Onion Hummus via Hungry Healthy Girl
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus via Fit Foodie Finds
Classic Homemade Hummus via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
Chipotle Rosemary Spiced Nuts via The Lean Green Bean
Homemade Seedy Crackers via My New Roots

Winter Abundance Bowl from My New RootsPhoto credit: My New Roots

Bowl Type Meals

First let me explain what I mean by a “bowl type meal”. By this I mean a combination of a grain, a protein, some veggies, and a sauce/dressing that you eat all together. This type of meal is great for lunches because the components are easy to prepare and you can switch them up every week to add variety. All you have to do is choose one of each:

    • Grain: brown rice, quinoa, millet, farro, bulgur, buckwheat, freekeh, couscous, etc
    • Protein: chicken, beef, tofu, beans, eggs, etc
    • Veggies: any ones you like (raw, steamed, grilled or roasted)!
    • Sauce/dressing: Thai peanut sauce, tahini sauce, yogurt sauce, homemade vinaigrette, teriyaki sauce, etc.

Combine them to make your own creation, or try out one of these recipes:

The Big Vegan Bowl via Oh She Glows
Sunshine Bowl with Sunflower Seed Tahini Sauce via Feasting at Home
Winter Abundance Bowl via My New Roots
Protein Power Bowl via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
Quinoa Burrito Bowl via Kiwi and Bean

Blueberry vanilla energy balls

Healthy Snacks

To stay energized throughout the day, pack yourself one or two healthy snacks to have between meals. Aim for snacks with fibre and/or protein to keep you satisfied! Fruit and veggies make great snacks and help you reach your recommended daily servings. I also love trying out homemade snacks like these:

Blueberry Vanilla Energy Balls via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
Banana Bread Muffin Tops via Oh She Glows
Crunchy Honey Roasted Chickpeas via Diary of an Ex Sloth
Banana Bread Granola Bars via Running with Spoons
Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip via Prevention RD

Hopefully some of the tips and recipes in this post have given you some lunch inspiration. For more ideas for eating well at work, follow some of these great dietitian Twitter accounts: @DietitiansCAN@ShanCrockerRD, @GreatMealIdeas, @DAmbrosioRd, @upbeetRD, @langernutrition, @food4happiness, and me!

What are your tips for packing a healthy lunch? What are your favourite foods to pack for lunch?

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Month In Review: February 2015

Goodbye February – I’m not sorry to see you go! This was one of the coldest Februarys I’ve ever experienced, and for someone who hates the cold, it was pretty awful to get through. It did have some great moments and some awesome recipes coming out of my kitchen though. Check out anything you may have missed this month below:

Month In Review - February 2015

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recipes

These nut free banana chocolate chip date bars are my new favourite snack. I just adore date bars – and the banana chips add the best crunch!

Nut free banana chocolate chip date bars

For Valentine’s Day I made my guy his favourite ice cream in cookie form: jamoca almond fudge cookies. They’re vegan and made with whole wheat pastry flour, but you can’t even tell!

Jamoca almond fudge cookies

It was Mardi Gras this month as well, so I rephotographed and reposted this healthy shrimp and chicken sausage jambalaya recipe that I had previously blogged about a few years ago. Now that I have a better grasp on food photography, I think I might start doing this with more of my old recipes!

Healthy Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

Fried egg on toast with herb oil. Do it!

Fried egg on toast with herb oil

// Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen posts

I’ve seen a lot of talk about alkaline foods in the media lately, so I wrote this post about the truth about the alkaline diet to clear things up! Spoiler: foods won’t make your body more acidic or alkaline.

Looking to incorporate more whole grains into your diet? Check out this post for 25 healthy whole grain recipes from some of my favourite food bloggers!

25 healthy whole grain recipes

In honour of Heart Month and Valentine’s Day I wrote this post about 10 ways to be a healthy couple. It includes a giveaway for Canadians for a 3 month membership to GoodLife Fitness – be sure to enter if you haven’t already!

Have you ever wondered which tests are the best for diagnosing allergies? Read this post to find out: the problem with allergy testing.

// Blogging

For the first time ever, I started an editorial calendar for the blog. Well, kind of. It’s nothing fancy, but it keeps me organized and helps me plan ahead. Also, I’ve been using an Excel chart to keep track of my future post ideas which has been a much better tool than just writing them on a post it note on my desktop.

editorial calendar

I also got Lightroom to edit my photos. Before this I always used Windows Live Photo Gallery to edit my photos, which has always worked fine for me. But other bloggers I’ve talked to said that Lightroom is a must, so I decided to bite the bullet. I’m a bit overwhelmed though – any tips?!

// Off the blog

One of the most exciting happenings this month was getting hired as a dietitian for Canadian grocery chain Sobeys. I’m seriously so excited to work for them because they are very health focused and share my passion for bringing families back into the kitchen. Also, they team up with Jamie Oliver. Maybe I’ll get to meet him someday??

JZ and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by going to the Cambridge Mill (part of my favourite restaurant group that also owns Spencer’s on the Waterfront and Bread Bar) for dinner. I had the most fantastic roasted squash ravioli with beef cheek and Parmesan cream. And for dessert we split a rich chocolate tort with vanilla ice cream and caramel. It was the perfect meal!

// Favourite links

This blog. Oh and this one too.
If you ever watched Arthur as a kid, you need to see this.
I’m obsessed with this smoothie.
This salad.
This guide to pan frying perfect salmon.

What was one highlight of your February?

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