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Baby Spinach, Celery Root, and Fuji Apple Salad with Creamy Pistachio Dressing

This salad is another Aarti Sequeira masterpiece. She calls it The Ugly Duckling Salad because of the celery root component which is sort of the "ugly duckling" of the vegetable world. It's gnarly and unattractive on the outside, but inside lies a beautiful, creamy and healthy vegetable.

I've long been a fan of celery root, which is what first attracted me to this recipe. Celery root makes a great potato substitute because it has a much lower glycemic index, and it's much lower in carbs and calories - steam it and make mashed "potatoes", thinly slice it to make a "potato" gratin, and the list goes on. For some reason, I hadn't tried it raw, though. I discovered it's delicious raw - mild in flavor and it added an almost creamy texture to the salad.

Serves 4


1/2 cup shelled pistachios

2 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more if necessary

Kosher salt

freshly cracked black pepper

splash of extra-virgin olive oil

In skillet over medium heat, toast pistachios until lightly browned.

In blender or food processor, place toasted pistachios, garlic, lemon juice, Sriracha sauce, water, and oil, then blend till smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. If too watery, add more canola oil and blend to emulsify. Add drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and blend once more. Set aside.


1 bag baby spinach, pre-washed

1 Fuji apple, thinly sliced

1 celery root bulb (about the size of a softball or smaller), peeled and grated (see below)

In large bowl, place spinach and apple slices. To prepare celery root, wash thoroughly, then cut outer peel away from bulb revealing white inside.

Cut bottom of root to make flat, then rest on cutting board and starting at the top cut the peel down and away from the root ball.

Next grate celery root using a box grater. To prevent from turning brown you can squeeze a little lemon juice on the grated celery root.

Add celery root to bowl with the spinach and apple, then add enough dressing to coat. Toss to mix.

Note: I had quite a bit of extra dressing left over, but I refrigerated it and will use it on another salad in the next day or two.

Meal 1

Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Broccoli and Feta

prep 15 minstotal 15 mins

author jenn laughlin - peas and crayons

yield 2-4 servings

This colorful Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad with Broccoli and Feta is crisp, refreshing, and the perfect blend of savory sweet to enjoy all Fall and Winter long!


  • 4-5 oz fresh baby spinach

  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli

  • 1/2 cup chopped grapes, green or red

  • 1 apple, half or whole, chopped (I used honey crisp)

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 2-4 TBSP dried cranberries

  • 2-4 TBSP roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • black pepper, to taste (optional)


  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt or sour cream

  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk (extra if desired)

  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds

  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

  • 1/2 tsp dried dill

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • 1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder, to taste

  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  1. Start with the dressing (skip if using premade)

  2. Ranch dressing always tastes it’s absolute best made ahead of time. Whisk and chill for a few hours before serving or make things simple by tossing it together the night before.

  3. Peel 1 clove of garlic, then smash and mince it into a paste.

  4. Season with salt.

  5. Combine salted garlic paste with remaining dressing ingredients and whisk well.

  6. Pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours for flavors to set.

  7. Wash + dry spinach.

  8. Combine with broccoli, apples, grapes, dried cranberries, feta cheese, and pepitas.

  9. Toss with dressing and serve.

Season with black pepper, to taste. Feel free to sprinkle with extra poppy seeds to garnish. Enjoy!



3 mins


3 mins

Serves: 1


  • 1 apple (peeled and chopped)

  • 1 banana (peeled and chopped)

  • Handful of fresh spinach

  • 4 ice cubes

  • 25ml cold water


Add everything to a blender and blend until it turns to liquid.

Sweet Potato & Broccoli Salad with Chopped Apples


  • Preheat oven to 400°.

  • Place sweet potato cubes and broccoli florets on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil; toss gently to coat.

  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Turn and continue roasting for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

  • In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, orange juice, orange zest and crushed red pepper.

  • In a large bowl, combine potatoes and broccoli, with apples, almonds and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Gently toss with balsamic dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Banana Protein Brownies


9-12 Squares

start ingredients


  • 1 sweet potato - medium size, could use pumpkin instead too

  • 1/4 of a banana, ripe

  • 3 organic eggs at room temp, whisked

  • 3 tbs coconut oil, melted

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 3 tbs of coconut flour, could use other flours too

  • 3 tbs of coconut sugar, or Stevia or sweetener of choice

  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

  • 3 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • a pinch of Pumpkin Spice or Nutmeg if you want

  • 3 tbs of mini chocolate chips for the top

  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: whipped cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or walnuts or pecans

start directions


  • Preheat your oven to 400 F.

  • I like to cut the sweet potato in half and use a knife or a fork to puncture before baking it for 25-30 minutes.

  • Once your sweet potato is cooked all the way through, peel the skin and mash it up in a bowl. Now add the banana and mash again. Turn your oven down to 350 F.

  • In a med bowl - mix the wet; vanilla, eggs, and coconut oil. Mix together well with the sweet potato/ banana mixture. Next mix all the dry in a med bowl; coconut sugar (or Stevia), coconut flour, protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and if using - a dash of pumpkin spice and/or nutmeg. Add to the wet. Mix together very well. TIP: You can't really over mix these since they are gluten-free by using the coconut flour.

  • Grease an 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil (or spray) and pour in the mixture. Now sprinkle the mini chocolate chips (or other toppings) evenly on top.

  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the the middle.

  • Let it cool. If you want you can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Any toppings you want or plain is also just so good. Enjoy! Store in the fridge or freezer is best.

Great snack or healthier treat anytime of day. Perfect for the kids, an afternoon pick-me-up or an anytime treat!

Meal 2

Sweet Potato, Spinach and Tomato Toss

Yield: Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 45 min


3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into wedges

2 cloves garlic, unpeeled

3 Tbs olive oil, divided

pinch cayenne pepper

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 Tbs sugar

1 pint cherry tomatoes

salt and freshly ground pepper

5 oz / 140 g baby spinach

Preheat oven to 450F / 230C.

Toss sweet potatoes and garlic with 2 Tbs olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and season with salt and pepper. Spread out, skin sides down, on a large baking tray linked with parchment paper. Roast for about 25 minutes, til sweet potato skin is browned and garlic is soft.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook over medium heat til reduced by half. Pour off into a bowl and rinse saucepan.

Fill saucepan 2/3 with water and bring to a boil. Cut a small "x" in the skins of the cherry tomatoes. Boil for about a minute, then drain and let cool slightly. Peel off the skins and season with a touch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Once potatoes are out of the oven, remove garlic cloves. Put spinach leaves and roasted garlic cloves in a large bowl. Dress with 1 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss through, lightly crushing garlic cloves to flavor the dressing. Then gently add in sweet potatoes and toss, so spinach wilts slightly. Last, add cherry tomatoes and very carefully toss again.

Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle balsamic syrup over the salad, and serve slightly warm.

Recipe for Pureed Broccoli and Celeriac (aka Celery Root) Soup

Author: Jess Dang

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 1/2 a head of broccoli or just the stalks of a head of broccoli

  • 1 celeriac bulb

  • 1 onion

  • ~1 quart of water, chicken stock, or vegetable broth

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

  • Optional: 1/2 cup of cream



  • Broccoli: Rinse and chop into similar sized pieces

  • Celeriac: Peel the not-so-pretty outside off with a knife. To do this, microwave the celeriac bulb for about 5 minutes, which will soften the outside skin. Chop into large pieces

  • Onion: Rough chop

  • Store in separate airtight containers / bags if not making right away


  1. quart soup pot (a dutch oven would be perfect for this job)

  2. Immersion blender


  1. Let pot warm up over medium-high heat; and add about 1 to 2 tbs olive oil

  2. Give the oil some time to warm up and then add onions with a dash of salt

  3. Saute onions for about 3 minutes, until they start to soften. Then add the remaining ingredients

  4. Pour enough broth to cover all ingredients (parents, if you’re making baby food, add less broth to get a thicker puree)

  5. Cover and bring to a boil

  6. Lower heat, leave covered, and let the ingredients simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes

  7. Remove from heat and let cool before pureeing

  8. Puree soup with immersion blender and season to taste with salt and pepper

Stir in cream (optional

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Recipe by:Erin Druga

These savory burgers combine sweet potatoes and spinach for a delicious nutritional punch.


  • 2 sweet potatoes

  • 1 cup spinach

  • 1/4 large yellow onion

  • ¼ cup almond meal

  • 2 T flaxseeds +3 T water

  • ½ t coconut oil

  • 1 T lemon juice


  • Cut up sweet potatoes into bite size pieces; Cook in pot over stovetop until potatoes are soft.

  • While potatoes are cooking, peel onion and slice in fourths.

  • Once potatoes are soft, place into food processor or high-power blender. Add onion and spinach and pulse.

  • After 30 seconds or so, turn off and add almond meal, flaxseed, water, oil, and juice.

  • Pulse until everything is combined.

  • From there, form mixture into balls, a bit larger than golf balls, and set on a baking try.

  • Use your hand or a spatula to flatten burgers, and place entire baking sheet into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, allowing the burgers to hold form.

  • After 30 minutes, heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a skillet and place burgers one at a time in the skillet, flipping over once they are golden brown.

Repeat this until all of your burgers have been cooked. Enjoy!

Four-Fruit Compote

A beautiful side dish, this compote spotlights wonderful winter fruit like bananas, apples, oranges and pineapple. Of course, it can be made anytime of year. I'm sure you'll get as many smiles as I do when I bring out this refreshing salad at a potluck. —Donna Long, Searcy, Arkansas

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling

YIELD: 12-16 servings.


  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/3 cup orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained

  • 3 to 4 medium apples, chopped

  • 2 to 3 medium bananas, sliced


  • 1. Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the orange, lemon and pineapple juices until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the fruits. Pour warm sauce over the fruit; stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

Meal 3

Spinach Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

Fresh vegetables cut through the richness of an alfredo based pizza.


Alfredo Sauce

  • 4Tbsp butter(1/2 stick)

  • 1/2cup heavy cream

  • 1dash ground nutmeg

  • 1cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • salt

  • black pepper


  1. 112″ Parmesan Black Pepper Pizza Crust(or your favorite crust)

  2. 1cup shredded mozzarella

  3. 1cup broccoli chopped

  4. 1/2cup spinach leaves

  5. 1/2cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

  6. 1/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  7. 1/4cup fresh basil finely sliced or chopped, optional


Alfredo Sauce

  1. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Add the nutmeg and cream to the butter. Whisk to combine. Simmer until the cream is heated through.

  3. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the Parmesan cheese. Stir occasionally until the cheese is melted. You do not want the heat too hot as it will cause the cheese to break and get lumpy.

  4. When melted, add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be rather thick, much thicker than a normal pasta sauce. Set aside.

Pizza Assembly

  1. Prepare the pizza dough if not completed already. If following one of our recipes, follow instructions until the crust is par-baked (just barely cooked) and set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 450F. Place your pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to heat.

  3. Place your pizza crust on a peel or another surface that will allow you to easily transfer it to the oven. Something like a thin and flexible cutting board should work.

  4. Season the crust edge if desired by lightly brushing the crust with a little olive oil and sprinkling with some Parmesan, garlic salt, or black pepper.

  5. Spread out the alfredo sauce across the pizza to taste. The sauce should be pretty thick in texture.

  6. Spread the mozzarella out across the pizza, with more or less to taste.

  7. Spread your spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes (or vegetables of choice) over the pizza. Sprinkle with the fresh Parmesan.

  8. When the oven is finished preheating, transfer the pizza to your pizza stone or baking sheet.

  9. Cook until the cheese has started to turn brown, approximately 10-12 minutes (or to your desired doneness).

  10. Remove the pizza from the oven. Sprinkle the fresh basil on top and some red pepper flakes if desired for an extra kick. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

If you do not have a crust ready to go, this recipe will take longer than stated. Get the recipe for Parmesan Black Pepper Pizza Dough here.

Please note that the exact cook time will vary with your oven.

If you use a different pizza crust, the cook time will vary based on size and thickness.

Start GADSWPV-3.6 End GADSWPV-3.6

Make the sauce and crust in advance for a quick dinner! These pizza crusts freeze well.

The better quality ingredients you use, the better it will taste!

A par-baked pizza crust means that it is not raw. It is typically cooked just enough where the dough is no longer raw but it is not done (no golden brown edges). This ensures the crust cooks all the way through and that the addition of toppings does not leave a raw center.

We found that the tomatoes really provided a great acid to the pizza that cut the heaviness of the sauce. Any vegetables that you love would be perfect.

Candied Almond, Mandarin, and Apple Salad with an Orange Poppyseed Dressing

Prep Time

15 mins

Total Time

15 mins



  • 1 cup sliced almonds

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • 10 ounces mixed green lettuce or fresh spinach

  • 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges

  • 2 large apples thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

  • 1 large orange (2 teaspoons zest and 4 tablespoons juice)

  • 1 large lemon (1/2 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)

  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon Morton fine sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


  1. In a large skillet, add the sliced almonds and white sugar. Place the heat to medium-high and stir near constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and become a sticky liquid and then stick to the almonds. This takes about 3-4 minutes -- watch carefully and stir near constantly to avoid burning the nuts.

  2. Dump the candied almonds onto a sheet of parchment paper and let harden. Break apart.

  3. Thinly slice the apples and toss with lemon juice.

  4. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, well-drained mandarin oranges, sliced apples, dried cranberries, and feta cheese.

  5. For the dressing: combine all of the ingredients together except for the oil and poppyseed in a blender. Blend until all ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream and pulse until combined.

  6. Stir in the poppyseeds.

  7. Right before enjoying, add the dressing (add to taste -- you may not need it all) and candied almonds. Toss and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

*If you plan on having leftovers, only toss the dressing and almonds with what will get eaten to avoid a soggy salad. This dressing makes enough for 2 full salad recipes. If you want the halved version (I do this often so nothing goes bad) it is: 1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil, 1 large orange (1 teaspoons zest and 2 tablespoons juice), 1 large lemon (1/4 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoons juice), 1 and 1/4 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, heaping 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Celery Root Fries


1 celery root

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin, optional


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Peel the celery root and slice into long, thick strips. In a bowl, toss with olive oil, pepper and cumin.

Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 20 to 30 minutes, until fries are crispy and golden brown.

Let cool slightly, then stuff your face.

Roasted Tomato and Onion Dipping Sauce


2 medium sized tomatoes

1 medium sized onion

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Sprig of thyme

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Black pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Cut the tomatoes in half and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 to 30 minutes. They should be very soft.

While the tomatoes are baking, thinly slice the onion and sauté them in the olive oil with the sprig of thyme over low/medium heat. You want to cook them slowly, until they become translucent, about 20 minutes.

When the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and let cool for a few minutes before cubing and adding to the onions. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. The tomatoes at this point should have broken down and made more of a sauce consistency.

Remove from heat and let cool. Using a food processor or an immersion blender, mix together until you get the desired consistency.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Serves: 2

This thick and frosty smoothie has no added sugar, is low in fat and calories, naturally vegan and tastes like a dream.


  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled, segments separated and frozen

  • ½ banana, peeled and frozen

  • 4 to 6 ice cubes

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Combine all of the ingredients in the pitcher of your blender. Process on high speed until smooth.

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