Tag Archives: arugula

Mixed Green Salad… great way to return to the land of the eaters

11 Mar

After a week without eating solid foods, you certainly want to maintain your system as clean as possible. We are encouraged to eat only fruits and salads after we finish our spiritual retreats.

This was the salad I made right after we came back to the “land of the eaters”… it was improvised by what was freshest at the market on New Year’s Day, but it turned out to be so delicious, that we prepared it exactly the same for a few days after because I got so enamored of the flavors.

This is my way to get you enamored with salads too… hope it works!!!!

Salad - After Retiro


2 large handfuls of Baby Arugula
1 large handful of Baby Spinach
1 handful of Alfalfa sprouts
1 Tomato, sliced
¼ cup sliced Almonds
¼ cup dried Cranberries
Lemon Vinaigrette – Lime juice, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Salt and Pepper
  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Squirt the juice of ½ a lemon, drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients with your hands to combine well.
  2. Eat immediately… as the lettuces will wilt if you let this salad sit for too long.

Annie Mariel’s Composed Salad

18 Jan

I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.

We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)

Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.

cooking 4 - salad


This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…

annie Mariels Salad 2 finished


Baby Spinach
Grape Tomatoes
Sliced Red Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Dried Cranberries
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


  1. In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
  2. Dress the salad with vinaigrette.



Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
  2. Serve on top of your favorite salad.


Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Sandwich

12 Sep

In my CSA box we’ve been receiving many eggplants and zucchini… why not combine them both in one of my favorite applications? A SANDWICH!!!

Super simple, super tasty and travels really well…

  Grilled Eggplant Zuch Sandwich - KFC


1 small Japanese or Italian eggplant
1 small zucchini or summer squash
2 oz of goat cheese, at room temperature works best
A handful of arugula lettuce – washed well and pat dry
Extra virgin Olive oil
Sea salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 whole-wheat whole grain demi baguette


  1. Preheat your grill – I use my George Foreman grill for this…
  2. Slice the eggplant and the zucchini in ¼ inch slices.  Brush with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill for about 4-5 minutes to cook and get pretty grill marks.
  3. In the meantime, slice the baguette in top and bottom halves and toast in a toaster oven.  Slather both sides of bread with goat cheese.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper to season cheese.
  4. Remove the eggplant and zucchini slices from grill and let cool down a bit.  Place on bottom half of bread.  Add lettuce on top of grilled veggies.  Season lettuce with a bit of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Top with top half of bread.


Simple, yet very tasty and nutritious.   You could add some tomatoes or even some roasted red peppers or roasted piquillo peppers too.

Arugula Pesto

6 Jun

My mom is a pesto lover… she sees pesto on a menu and she zones out anything else.

When we started getting bagfuls and bagfuls of fresh organic arugula in our CSA box, I decided to use some in a pesto for her.  There’s so much arugula salad one person can take in a given week. 

I loved the taste of this pesto because it’s much milder and fresher tasting than if you use only basil leaves


 Arugula Pesto 2


About 4 cups of arugula leaves, well washed and dried
1 handful of basil leaves
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, chopped a bit
2 handfuls of walnuts
Sea salt and freshly cracked Pepper
About ½ cup of olive oil


  1. Fill the bowl of a food processor with all the ingredients except the olive oil.  Turn on the food processor and drizzle the olive oil thru the cover chute.
  2. Process until a chunky paste forms.

Arugula Pesto 1

Pita Pizzas with Arugula Salad

3 Mar

I just came back from a skiing holiday in Vermont with my little “nieces” Mariana and Natalia – they’re the daughters of my 2 best friends.

We stay at a slope-side apartment with a fully equipment kitchen.  We love to buy stuff for breakfasts, dinners, and the much needed après ski break.  Mariana and Natalia specially requested this time around for me to make them pizzas.  And my kind of pizzas is Pita Pizzas – especially because I was not going to “bake” any crust in an unknown kitchen.

This is what we came up with to satisfy the kids and adult tastes alike…



Serves 4


4 whole-grain pita breads – about 6″ in diameter
1 cup of your favorite jarred tomato sauce – you may not need as much but I did not measure the sauce after I already placed it on the pizzas.  You can also make your own… mixing crushed tomatoes and seasoning them with some garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
Shredded cheese – I like the Italian Blend type, but you can certainly go as fancy as you want … using fresh mozzarella, Fontina, gruyere, etc.
1 tomato, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
About 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
Arugula Salad – click for recipe here



  1. Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 400 F
  2. Take the pita bread and smear some tomato sauce leaving a ¼” border.  Not too much so they do not turn soggy.  
  3. Top each with pita a few slices of fresh tomatoes and onions.  Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and top with the Italian-blend shredded cheese mix.
  4. Place in oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts and turns a nice bubbly golden brown in sections.
  5. Top each pizza with a handful of arugula salad for a nice contrast of freshness and tang.
  6. Sprinkle with additional shaved parmesan cheese on top of salad.


Have to admit, the girls ate the pizzas on their own and left the salad to the side, but the adults loved it.


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