Spring Salads and Road Trip Snacks – Whole Foods Cooking Demo

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Today I’m back at the Quarry Market in the Whole Foods Café. I’m there the 2nd Thursday of each month from 1 p.m. to about 1:40 p.m. Immediately after the demonstration, I’m headed East to Waelder, Texas to prepare a tasting menu for J Bar B Foods’ Executives. I figure I’d better get the recipes for today posted bright and early this morning over coffee. It’ll be a whirlwind in the kitchen until tomorrow late afternoon.

Spring Break is next week in San Antonio. We’ve been having overcast, rainy, cool days this past week, but I know the bright, blue, sunny San Antonio skies will be reappearing and folks will be looking for lighter fare. My theme for today’s demonstration is Spring Salads and Spring Break Road Trip Snacks.

I’m teaching a simple formula to help you switch up your salad dressing routine. We are also going to roll up a quick, no-bake energy bite recipe, and I’m going to share the life-changing idea of using the crockpot to add flavor to mixed nuts. Okay, YOU might not think it is life-changing, but I’ve had to toss more burnt nuts into the garbage can than I care to admit. I get so busy multi-tasking in the kitchen and often something like a nut garnish gets forgotten on a back burner. No more burning nuts with this technique.

I’m adapting this energy ball recipe from one of my favorite sources, Cooking Light.  Apple Pie Energy Bites 

When I’m on the road, sitting at my desk trying to get caught up on my administrative duties, and watching television, I love to snack on nuts and trail mixes. It’s fun, and EASY, to mix up your own flavors to season nuts for snacking, or to use as garnishes on salads and soups. Here are two of my current favorite seasoning mixtures and techniques:

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Crockpot Herbed Almonds

We’ll also be tasting a bright Strawberry and Fresh Herb Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon Vinaigrette. Our second salad is a heartier Red Quinoa, Cucumber and Radish Salad with a White Miso Vinaigrette. I love Asian flavors.

White Miso Vinaigrette Recipe:

Place 1/3 cup vegetable broth, 6 T of white miso, 6 T of seasoned rice vinegar, 4 T of reduced-sodium soy sauce and 2 T of sesame oil in blender; blend to combine. With the motor running, slowly add 1 cup of canola oil to make a creamy dressing. Add 4 T of chopped, pickled, sushi ginger and pulse a couple times to combine. This vinaigrette will last about 4 days in your refrigerator.

There’s still time to join me today at the Quarry Whole Foods Market at 1 p.m. You’ll get to watch me prepare the recipes, ask questions, and EAT what I’ve prepared. There is no cost to attend these demonstrations at Whole Foods. Stop by!