I'm a bit late with the No Croutons Required roundup for May this month, but better late than never. NCR is a vegetarian soup and salad challenge, alternately hosted by myself and my dear friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Each month we ask fellow bloggers to submit a favorite soup or salad that has appeared on their table during the month of the challenge. Thanks as always to all who took the time to send in their mouthwatering dishes.
Now settle in and see what's on the menu this month.
Jewelled Winter Kale Salad
Blog: Healthy Life Lessons
Location: Ontario, Canada
Winter may finally be over, but that is no reason to ignore the goodness of kale. This gem of a salad featuring that treasured leafy green combines here with sweet potato, hemp and pomegranate seeds, and then is lovingly smothered with a warm blueberry balsamic dressing. I'd serve this any season of the year, no matter the temperature outside, for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Erica is right that cooking fresh doesn't have to be complicated, and it is indeed a creative outlet.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Blog: Food to Glow
Location: Scotland, UK
Sweet, savory and delicious and a feast for the eyes, this carrot salad is another one to grace dinner tables anytime of year. This orange powerhouse of a vegetable meets dates and toasted seeds and then is all dressed up with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate molasses and a bit of spice and herbs. The possibilities are endless as are the serving pairings. The idea of serving it with hummus-smeared flatbread sounds mighty fine to me as do Kellie's other suggestions.
Enoki Mushroom and Mache Salad
Blog: Mayuri's Jikoni
Mushrooms always get my attention so I was intrigued by this salad that includes not only enokis but mache, which I am unfamiliar with. Turns out Mayuri was too as she asked her husband to bring back greens and he brought back mache. It is a leafy green that looks like spinach with a nutty taste that is commonly used in French cuisine. Sounds like a fine pairing with the mushrooms, onions and grapes dressed with a yogurt and orange dressing. I'm intrigued by this creative salad with a medley of distinct flavors.
Macedonia with Apple Blossom and Mint
Blog: Chez Maximka
A summery fruit salad is a most refreshing way to finish off a satisfying meal. This gorgeous bowl combines mango, banana, apple, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes, apple blossoms, a bit of sugar and some fresh lemon juice. That is one fine way to load up on the goodness of fruit, and it is easy to prepare besides and a feast for the eyes and palate.
Year Old Celery and Oregano Soup
Blog: Belleau Kitchen
If the title of Dom's recipe isn't intriguing enough, the recipe is even more so. Celery planted a year ago and nearly faded away is remembered and transformed into this gorgeous bowl of bliss. The subtle flavor of celery gets a boost here with the addition of onions, carrots, garlic, peas and lots of fresh oregano that go into the soup along with plenty of butter and olive oil. This is a fine way to rescue any celery that might be languishing in the crisper and make it shine.
5 Minute Green Smoothie Soup
Blog: Tinned Tomatoes
Location: Scotland, UK
In an attempt to make room in her freezer, my co-host Jac decided some frozen broccoli and cauliflower should make their way into a deliciously green soup. Packed with nutrients and economical too, there is no chopping or prep required. The vegetables, including frozen peas and spinach, are whizzed together with hot stock and in hardly anytime at all, a delicious bowl of soup is born. This is one to be remembered when you don't have much time to fuss over dinner yet don't want to sacrifice flavor.
Blog: Lisa's Kitchen
Location: Ontario, Canada
My own contribution this month is a spiced up coleslaw. In an attempt to use up some leftover cabbage, I mixed it up with some carrot, red pepper, cucumber and green onions and then dressed it up with a spicy and tangy yogurt-based dressing. It proved to be a perfect accompaniment to an Indian-themed meal I had planned. Crisp and refreshing, this twist on traditional coleslaw is now a new favorite.
Thai Chickpea & Kale Salad Rolls with Peanut Dressing
Blog: The Taste Space
Janet never fails to impress me with her creative dishes, and here chickpeas and earthy kale are given the Thai treatment in this gorgeous salad. Red peppers and carrots add some contrast and everything is dressed with a peanut dressing. Best of all, the dish was transformed the next day and turned into rice paper wraps — leftovers never need be boring. Enjoyed either way, this salad is sure to please and satisfy.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Blog: Oh! You Cook!
A classic for sure, mushroom soup is something I never tire of. This earthy, lightly pureed soup with button mushrooms is seasoned with rosemary, thyme, chives, onion, garlic and filled out with some evaporated milk and some sherry. Dena is quite correct when she notes that once you enjoy homemade, you won't be wanting the condensed version again. Simply lovely and easy too.
Raw Vegan Taco Salad
Blog: Style Nectar
Bursting with flavor and nutrients, this salad is sure to impress. The taco "meat" is made up of nuts and spice, and is served over a salad base consisting of lettuce, red pepper, tomato, cucumber, red onion and avocado. All of this goodness is drizzled with a creamy hemp seed dressing. What a wonderful alternative to traditional tacos and one to be enjoyed anytime of year no doubt.
Blog: Tasty Curry Leaf
Surely a perfect summer snack, steamed corn features here with tomatoes, onion, mango, potatoes and sprouts. This refreshing combination of vegetables is spiced with chat masala, chili powder and cumin, and then tossed with fresh lemon juice. A very filling and nourishing salad that would work well as a side as well as a snack. The idea of serving it with various chutneys is a very appealing one as well.
And that concludes the May 2014 edition of No Croutons Required. Jacqueline will be hosting the June edition, so be sure to stop by her blog at the beginning of the month for the announcement.