Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa

greek salad with falafel and quinoa

This weather has me craving fresh, vibrant salads that are full of life! Does anyone else FEEL the energy they get from eating leafy greens and ripe, juicy tomatoes?

Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and iron. They help to detoxify and hydrate the body. And right now at the farmer’s market, there are tons of greens to choose from: mizuna, arugula, spinach, lettuce, baby kale, sorrel and more. If you’re not familiar, they each really do have their own personality. You should be able to ask for a sample of each kind before you buy at your local market.

And if you think salads are what your food eats, don’t worry, you won’t be hungry an hour later. Both the quinoa and chickpeas in the falafel add a healthy dose of plant protein that even my meat-eating man loved.

Falafel are a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean chickpea patty mixed with herbs and spices. Typically, they’re rolled into balls and fried like hushpuppies, but I like mine more like a slider. Our version is made with tons of garlic and enough fresh parsley and cilantro to turn them bright green. They are so fresh and full of flavor. You can dip them in a tzatiki sauce for a snack, wrap in a pita sandwich, or try this amazing-albeit, unexpected – salad.

This Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa is great with either green or black olives. It’s light, yet filling – and like most simple meals, since there are only a few ingredients, it’s best to use the highest quality you can. If you had feta on hand, you could add that for another special touch.And our Healthy Harvest Lemon Garlic dressing adds a boost of live active cultures to support digestion.

 

Greek Salad with Falafel and Quinoa
 
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A light, bright vegetarian entree salad for spring and summer.
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Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1½ cups fresh parsley leaves, tightly-packed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, tightly-packed
  • ½ cup diced white or red onion
  • ⅓ cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 tablespoons HH Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups greens, washed and chopped
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked as directed
  • handful HH olives
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • ½ cup red onlon, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Add garlic, chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, onion, flour, lemon juice, baking powder, salt, cumin and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until smooth and evenly mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. If the mixture is too goeey, add a little more flour. They turn out best if the batter has been chilled, but you fry them right away as well.
  2. Take a spoonful of mixture and form into a small disk with your hands. You could make all your disks on parchment paper first, but I just form them as I drop them into the oil.
  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. (If you add a drop of water to the oil, it should sizzle.) The key to perfect crispiness is a hot pan and not too much oil. Carefully transfer 4 or 5 falafel disks to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides of the disk are browned. Transfer to a plate. Then repeat with the remaining falafel disks, adding extra oil to the pan if need be.
  4. To prepare, assemble a bed of greens. Top with heaping serving of quinoa. Place tomato wedges and olives evenly around plate. Add falafel. Dress with lemon juice and a liberal drizzle HH Greek or use True Tuscan for an extra special treat. Or try our Lemon Greek dressing. Additionally, you could add crumbled feta.

 

 

Spring Farm-To-Table Frittata

The farmer’s markets have finally started and we couldn’t be more thrilled. I am SO ready for fresh, local produce full of aliveness and vitality. When I eat veggies grown by my community, I can FEEL the energy as I eat it.

And if you think there’s not much in season yet, think again! I made this Spring Farm To Table Fritatta mostly with ingredients from yesterday’s Boulder County Farmer’s Market 

We got spinach from Toohey & Sons Organic, shallots, mushrooms from Hazel Dell Mushrooms, goat cheese from Haystack Mountain Cheese, and of course our Healthy Harvest Oregano Green Olives.

But no matter what you picked up at the market or have in the fridge, you can use whatever you have on hand to make this frittata. Frittatas are basically an Italian crustless quiche. It’s a one-pan meal that is so quick and easy to make on a Sunday and eat for breakfast or lunch throughout the week. Simply sautee whatever veggies or mix-ins you want, wisk together eggs and cream with a little S&P, then add the eggs to the veggies, pop it in the oven, and voila!

Share your farm to table meals and and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @healthyharvests or by using the hashtag #eatrealfood.

Happy Market Season Everyone!

Spring Farm-To-Table Frittata
 
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A versatile dish that goes from breakfast to dinner and easily works with whatever mix-ins you choose.
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Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup thinly slice shallots or onions
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ cups spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1-2 oz goat cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add spinach and mushrooms, cook until spinach is wilted. Add olives.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Add to skillet and stir to combine. Place small dollops of goat cheese evenly around mixture and bake until center of quiche is just set, 30-40 minutes.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart

When I found this Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart by Green Evi, I knew it would be the perfect special occasion spring dish for Easter. It looks elegant, is simple to throw together, and has easy to find ingredients.

The Mediterranean flavors of artichokes and olives combined with the nutty hummus-like vegan filling pair perfectly with the warm, flaky crust. You could make any type of tart or quiche crust you prefer, but I was lazy, so I used store bought puff pastry. 

You start off by thawing the puff pastry and preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then, mix together creamy cannelini beans, cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper in a blender for the filling. Press your puff pastry into a pan of your choice and trim the excess. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the crust. Pour in half of the filling mixture. Next, layer the artichokes and olives. Top with the remaining filling and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.

This recipe would make a great brunch for Easter celebrations or served for lunch alongside a salad of fresh greens. Post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram and tag @healthyharvests.

Vegan Olive and Artichoke Tart
 
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Vegan olive and artichoke tart with cannelini beans, cashews, and Italian herbs.
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Recipe type: brunch, main dish
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup of cashews, preferably soaked
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tsp basil
  • 1 tbsp savory (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 15 pitted Healthy Harvest black olives
  • 1 pack of puff pastry, make sure it's vegan
  • Healthy Harvest olive oil
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Add cashews, beans, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, herbs, starch, salt, pepper and about ⅔ cup of water*** to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Press puff pastry into your baking forms. I used a large 9-inch dish, but you can use 2-4 smaller dishes instead. Prick pastry with a fork a few times.
  3. Spread half of the cashew-bean mixture over the bottom of the tart, then layer artichoke hearts and olives. Pour the rest of the mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400°F. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and drizzle with olive oil just before serving. Enjoy!

 

Why I Created Healthy Harvest Facial Oils

Please enjoy this guest post by our dear friend Stephanie Tourles, creator of our silky soft nourishing Olive Essentials Facial Oils.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Tourles, and I’m a licensed holistic esthetician, herbalist, certified aromatherapist, and author of 12 books on the subjects of natural skin and body care, raw food nutrition, and topically-applied herbal remedies.  I’ve written and taught about the benefits of pure, natural skin and body care for nearly 30 years, as well as created recipes and products.  I care about the purity of what goes onto my own skin and I care about what goes onto yours. I’m absolutely passionate about high quality, plant-derived, totally chemical-free skin care!

I discovered that they consisted primarily of water, synthetic skin softeners such as diethanolamine (a skin irritant and hormone disruptor), chemical exfoliating acids, a synthetic vitamin or two, propylene glycol (a cheap petroleum byproduct) artificial fragrance, and preservatives

Let me share a bit of back story with you as to why I began to develop facial oil blends in the first place.  

In the mid-1990s, I decided to see what all the hoopla was about concerning the highly touted “youthifying” commercial facial serums that many cosmetic companies were launching.  These ½-ounce to 1-ounce bottles of promise came at a hefty price – starting at around $50.00 per bottle, which was quite a sum back then.  After a bit of ingredient sleuthing, I discovered that they consisted primarily of water, synthetic skin softeners such as diethanolamine (a skin irritant and hormone disruptor), chemical exfoliating acids, a synthetic vitamin or two, propylene glycol (a cheap petroleum byproduct) artificial fragrance, and preservatives. To say the least, they were an undesirable “cocktail for the face.”   

So I decided to experiment and create my own natural, highly beneficial versions of these commercial serums using all manner of nourishing ingredients. The result:  herbal-infused and/or essential oil-based facial oil blends that your skin will literally drink!  For years, I wrote about my discoveries and taught women – and a few men – how to make their own. People were beginning to desire “clean skin care” . . . and they still are!

So why did I decide to formulate facial oils using Healthy Harvest’s Tuscan olive oil?  

In December of 2015, Karl Burgart, owner of Healthy Harvest, sent me a sample of his new unrefined, unfiltered, raw, low-acid, enzyme-rich, organic, high polyphenol count (read: high in antioxidants), Tuscan olive oil, intending me to consume it, which I did…but I also applied it to my skin one evening after my routine cleansing as a substitute for my regular moisturizer.  Well, let me tell you, that’s all it took . . . I awoke the next morning with dewy soft, smooth, unusually velvety skin. My 53-year-old skin glowed and felt comfortable! I just knew that I had to formulate a couple of exquisite facial oils for Healthy Harvest. 

“Think of these facial oils as skin food.”

Tuscan olive oil is different . . . it’s light and silky upon the skin – unlike many olive oils – which tend to be moderately heavy. Think of these facial oils as skin food – essential nourishment for the health of your face, neck, chest, and hands (the texture of your hands will greatly benefit each time you apply these – so be sure to massage it in well).

Additionally, I included organic and wildcrafted essential oils into these formulations with properties known to tone & tighten the skin, aid in healing, reduce inflammation, rejuvenate aging skin, improve conditions of psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea, and help prevent scar formation immediately post injury, plus they soothe and calm the psyche.

In every skin care book I write or class I teach, I always stress the importance of understanding the following:   Your skin EATS or absorbs up to 60% of what is applied to it. So, if good-for-you ingredients can affect your skin (and even muscle tissue or bloodstream), so can the potentially irritating synthetic colors, fragrances, and artificial ingredients – which I suggest that you avoid. Your skin is your largest organ, your “living hide,” so to speak – a living, breathing, and excreting organism – not just an inert covering.  The ingredients in Healthy Harvest’s Olive Essentials Facial Oils No. 1 and No. 2 are totally biocompatible with your body – your body will recognize the natural nutrients in the olive oil and beneficial properties of the essential oils.  Your cells will literally drink them up . . . thus aiding in healing, nourishing, rejuvenating, comforting, restoring, and “youthifying” your skin.  

How To Use Healthy Harvest Olive Essentials Facial Oils

Both facial oils are designed to be used INSTEAD of your regular moisturizer, twice daily.  The facial oils actually seal in the important moisture remaining on your skin from your toner/astringent/hydrosol – after you’ve cleansed – and truly nourish your skin, leaving it feeling fabulous, toned, tightened, plump, and lifted, with diminished wrinkle visibility – prolonging the youthful qualities and functions of your skin. Please don’t be afraid of using an oil on your face.  It only takes 4-8 drops with each application and rapidly penetrates.  The beautiful Italian and Greek peoples have used pure olive oil on their skin and hair for thousands of years – much to their benefit.  Many often appear younger than their years well up into their 80s and beyond.

Olive Essentials Facial Oils are guaranteed to contain no synthetic fragrances, silicones, mineral oils, parabens, GMO ingredients, phthalates, propylene glycol, DEA, EDTA, acrylates, nano technology, BHT, or any other questionable ingredients. No animal testing.

Olive Essentials Facial Oils No. 1 and No. 2 contain minimal ingredients that are exquisitely effective . . . Organic Tuscan olive oil plus absolutely pure organic or ethically wild-harvested essential oils. That’s it . . . and that’s all you need for glorious, healthy skin – in addition to good food and lifestyle habits (but you already know that).

This is what small-batch, artisinal skin care is all about – made by hand using superior quality ingredients offered by Mother Nature – not merely concocted in a chemist’s lab with the main focus being profit.  Karl and I want you to have the VERY BEST for your skin . . . and want to be transparent about our product’s ingredients!  Guaranteed purity, incredible effectiveness, with no useless filler. With consistent use, your skin will thank you with healthy radiance!

For more information about Stephanie Tourles, her books, events, podcasts, videos, and to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and sign up for her monthly blog, visit her website www.stephanietourles.com