This blog began in 2010 as part of the publisher’s promotional materials for my travel book, The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men. The book rose to #1 on Amazon’s Best-Sellers List within two weeks of publication, and is still selling. The blog has been expanded to cover my other pursuits.

Healthy Salad That Tastes Like Dessert

October, 5, 2015

Today, I’m sharing that recipe with you, as unbelievable as the title may sound. It is the creation of culinary genius, Danielle Premo, of Mirinette. She has a specialized business as a personal chef for people with health issues who want someone to craft dishes for them that are both healthy and delicious. My boyfriend, Tom, arranged for us to take a soups-and-salads cooking class from her.

Cooking Class A

As you can see, it was great fun! And I’ll let you in on a little secret…this was the first time I learned how to properly use a knife. I know; most of us pick up the skill as kids at camp. Somehow, I bypassed that part of the experience, but thanks to Tom and Danielle, I’m no longer cutlery-challenged.

Cooking Class B

Danielle held the class at PCC Natural Markets, which is dedicated to organic and natural foods, with much of it coming from local farmers. Here is the recipe for that fabulous salad she concocted:

Cooking Class C

Shopping List for 4 to 6: 1) 1 pound seedless red grapes, halved, 2) two tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided, 3) 1½ teaspoons salt, divided, 4) one shallot, minced, 4) 2 leeks, cut in ¼-inch rounds, 5) 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, 6) 2 tablespoons soy-free vegenaise, 7) juice of 1 lemon, 8) ¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed, 9) 2 teaspoons honey, 10) ½ cup basil leaves, 11) 1-inch ginger, grated, 12) ½ teaspoon pepper, 13) 4 cups arugula, 14) 1 cup cooked gray green lentils, and, 15) ¼ cup hazelnuts, finely chopped.

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

In a mixing bowl, toss the grapes with 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the skins have wrinkled. Let cool for 5 minutes.

While the grapes roast, place a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining oil, shallots, leeks, and ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the shallots and leeks are tender; add the coconut aminos. Sauté an additional 3 minutes or until any liquid in the pan has evaporated. Remove for the heat and set aside.

Combine the vegenaise, lemon and orange juices, honey, basil, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until creamy.

In a salad bowl, toss the grapes, arugula, lentils and caramelized leeks and shallots. Use tongs to plate the salad. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the chopped hazelnuts.


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