Mexican Cole Slaw with Avocado Verde Dressing

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I was walking through my local grocery store a couple days ago, when I came across a little corner of the produce aisle that I more-or-less can call the “Latin” section. It had yellow and green plantains, boniato (a.k.a. Cuban white sweet potato, one of my favorites for mashing) and–gasp!–jicama, something I’ve only seen in restaurants until now.

In case you didn’t know, jicama is an edible root vegetable similar to a turnip. It originates in Mexico, and is often known as a Mexican turnip or Mexican yam. And although it looks like a yam, its texture is crunchy and sweet–just like a turnip. Immediately, I had the idea to take this crunchy veggie and incorporate it into a Mexican-style cole slawContinue reading

Fresh Kale Salad with Queso Blanco

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I fell in love with kale a few years ago.

Soon after I started my studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I took a few healthy cooking classes and somewhere along the way was introduced to kale. I can’t remember exactly how it happened but, all of a sudden, I was one of those crazy kale-worshipping nuts. And I’ve never been happier.

After I discovered nutritional powerhouse that is kale, I discovered caldo verde, a Portuguese soup made with sausage, potatoes and, of course, kale. I also started making sautéed kale and constantly adding it in my quinoa salads and pasta dishes. It was glorious. But I didn’t truly appreciate the full versatility of kale until I discovered how to make a fresh kale salad. Continue reading

Spicy Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad

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When I was younger, you couldn’t pay me to eat a salad. I remember my mami begging me to try one: a Caesar, some spinach, anything! But I refused and stayed a stubborn, picky eater. Now, after having lost 100 pounds, I definitely know better.

I can almost surprise myself with how differently I eat these days. Instead of avoiding salads like the plague, I eat all kinds of greens. I also enjoy seasonal produce, clean eating (you know, as little processed stuff as possible) and making healthy choices as much as possible. That’s why a couple weeks ago, when I saw Fall produce begin to appear in farmer’s markets stalls across New York City, I had to buy a few sweet potatoes. Plus I just had to get some pomegranate seeds. And I admit: I was actually craving a salad.

After thinking about what I had in my cupboards (black beans) and what dressing I recently fell in love with (the avocado vinaigrette), I decided that what I really wanted was to make a spicy sweet potato and black bean saladContinue reading

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