winter red salad

Happy New Year!  It’s been a gorgeous and sunny day here in California + I’m full of optimism for a brand new year.  My goals for this year are to reduce my recycling load (mainly wine, beer bottles, sparkling water cans and paper from Carmela’s school), to read more, and to be more positive i.e. complain less.  There’s a great post Juli of Pure Kitchen did about this called Complaining Isn’t Gratitude.

I’m also focusing on saving more (we already save about 35% of our income but I’d like to save more and put it towards travel specifically).  I’m also trying not to buy anything new this month (besides necessities) in an effort to simplify our lives even further.  Also I CANNOT wait to cancel my Costco membership (I haven’t been in forever since everything is entombed in plastic packaging but I keep forgetting).  We used to go there once a week and do a HUGE trashy haul.

January 2018 goals sustainable

What are your goals?  A few of you reached out to me and told me you are striving for a more sustainable lifestyle this year through less waste and a more plant based diet.  So exciting!

shopping Package free zero waste

Over Christmas we made this delicious menu of roasted cabbage rolls and salad and it was so perfect.  I always love Amy Chaplin’s recipes.  It took about 5 minutes to throw together the salad, but it looked gorgeous and tasted even better.  We’ve been making it quite a bit since, so I thought I’d share the recipe here with you.  It’s full of bitter greens which are amazing for digestion and just happen to be in season right now.  Growing up Italian made me appreciate bitter flavors like broccoli rabe, radicchio, dandelion greens, endive, bitter almonds, very dark chocolate and more.  Bitter flavors stimulate digestion and increase the absorption of nutrients from your food.  They reduce cravings + are rich in prebiotics for gut health.

In this salad, there’s all kinds of textures, flavors, and shapes here which makes it visually appealing and fun to eat.  I’ve adapted it a bit from the original which you can find by clicking here  (scroll down past the cabbage rolls).

radicchio watermelon radish shallot radicchio vegan salad

bitter winter red salad

for the dressing:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey (you could omit but I found it helps balance the bitterness of the other ingredients.  Alternatively, you could omit and add in 1 thinly sliced sweet apple like Fuji or some dried sweet cranberries or cherries)

1 teaspoon dijon or whole grain mustard

1 small minced shallot

large pinch kosher sea salt

large pinch freshly ground pepper

for the salad:

1 head radicchio

1 belgian endive

1 small beet (chioggia-the pink and white kind-would be great, I could only find red and it was perfect- thinly shaved)

1 medium watermelon radish, thinly shaved

3 red radishes, thinly shaved

Seeds from 1 medium pomegranate

1 cup whole parsley leaves without stems (I save the stems for stock)


Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or shake them up in a jar with a lid.  Arrange the salad parts except for the pomegranate, parsley, hazelnuts.  Drizzle dressing over the salad and the scatter the remaining pomegranate seeds, parsley leaves, and crushed hazelnuts over the top.  Serve and enjoy!

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