This recipe was developed for one of my clients who adhere to a plant based diet. They prefer meals that are heavy on vegetables and leafy greens, and light on grains and legumes.
Balance is key when I prepare any meal for a plant-based diet. When a dish has a balance of flavors, vegetables, protein, fat and nutrients, we eat less and are satisfied longer.
TIPS FOR PREPARING PLANT BASED MEALS
For plant-based meals, I always let the vegetables be the star of the show. Whether a leafy green, cruciferous, squash, root, or tuber, I put the vegetable at the forefront. I will then compliment the vegetable with a vegetarian protein and/or starch source.
That may be a grain, legume, fermented soy product, hearty root or tuber. Nuts, seeds, fresh herbs and cheese satisfy the eyes when garnishing the plate and add depth to the flavors of the meal.
WHAT IS THE HERB TARRAGON
This recipe uses tarragon in the salad dressing to add depth in flavor. Tarragon is an under-used herb in American cuisine.
However, take a trip across the Atlantic and you’ll find it much favored by the French. It is the principle seasoning in tartar and béarnaise sauces.
It is a multibranch herb with long, narrow, twisted green leaves and a light but distinct licorice (anise) flavor.
It is a sensitive little herb, so use it quickly after purchasing. Tarragon originated in Russia and is a member of the daisy family.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TARRAGON
- Tarragon is a bitter & warming herb
- A natural diuretic, it supports the digestive system
- Helps reduce fever
- May be used to treat constipation or detox intestinal parasites (by adding to hot water and steeping as a tea)
- Contains emmenagogic properties, and can increase blood flow leading up to a menstrual cycle
- In Ayurveda principles, tarragon reduces vata and kapha
GRAIN BOWL INSPIRATION
My inspiration comes from my clients and their plant based diet. They prefer meals that are heavy on vegetables and leafy greens, and light on grains and legumes.
This salad combines elements from the dish Radicchio and Pickled Beet Salad with Pistachio, Hard-Cooked Egg, and Tarragon Yogurt on GOOP.
- If radicchio is too bitter for you, use half the amount. Substitute with little gem lettuce or butter lettuce / Boston lettuce / bibb lettuce.
- When making the salad dressing, you can alternatively prepare it with a hand immersion blender. Combine all the salad dressing ingredients to a small bowl and blend till emulsified using the immersion blender.
- For my vegan clients, I make the salad dressing using cashew, almond or coconut based yogurt.
- Don’t have time for picked red onions? Use thinly sliced red onion, shaved on the mandolin.
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE, TRY THE FOLLOWING
- Shredded Fennel Salad with Zesty Adobo Chicken
- Whipped Lemon Vinaigrette
- Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash
- Cilantro Avocado Dressing
- Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
Radicchio and salad greens tossed with shaved golden beets, pickled red onion and topped with warm barley and pistachios.
Enjoy this hearty and vibrant grain bowl meets salad with a creamy tarragon dressing.
FOR THE PICKLED RED ONION
- 1 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in half moons
FOR THE DRESSING
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
- 1 cup of whole, plain yogurt (or 1 single serving container)
- 1 clove garlic
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 small head of radicchio, leaves roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
- 4 cups of Organic Girl Super Greens (or 2 cups of spinach and 2 cups of arugula)
- 2 medium golden beets, shaved on mandolin on the thinnest setting
- ½ cup roughly chopped pistachios
- 4 hardboiled eggs, cut in half
- 1 cup of pearl barley, cooked according to package directions
- First make the pickled beets. Add the vinegar, water, mustard, salt and pepper to a large jar. Shake well till the mustard is emulsified with the liquid. Add the red onion. Shake well and let sit on the counter for 1 hour. Then store in the refrigerator up to one month.
- Prepare one cup of barley. Wash thoroughly and follow the directions on the supplier’s package. I prefer the quality, texture and flavor of Bob’s Red Mill pearl barley. Once the barley has finished cooking, leave covered, sitting on the stove so it remains warm.
- Hard-boil your eggs. Add 4 eggs to a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water and let cool before peeling. Once cool to the touch, remove shell and carefully slice in half.
- Make the dressing by combining the tarragon, yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a blender. Blend on low, slowly adding the olive oil till the tarragon is minced and the oil is emulsified.
- Lastly, prepare your vegetables and salad greens. Slice radicchio in quarters, remove the thick core and rough chop into medium bite sized pieces. Toss in a salad bowl with Super Greens. Using a mandolin, slice the golden beets on the thinnest setting possible. Separate beets and toss in the salad greens. Roughly chop pistachios and set aside.
- To serve, toss salad greens and beets well with the dressing. Divide among 4 to 6 bowls. Add ½ cup of warm barley onto each salad. Using a fork, remove some of the pickled red onions from the jar. Add approximately 1/8 of a cup of the pickled red onion to each plate. Top grains with chopped pistachios and two halves of a hard-boiled egg. Enjoy immediately.
For my vegan clients I make the salad dressing using cashew, almond or coconut based yogurt.
Don’t have time for pickled red onions? Used thinly sliced red onion, shaved on the mandolin like the beets, then sliced into half moons.
Keywords: plant based salad, healthy salad, warm grain bowl, plant based recipe, vegetarian recipe, spring salad, grain bowl, spring grain bowl, spring golden beet salad, spring grain bowl with barley, spring grain bowl with beets, spring grain bowl with pistachios
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, I’m Whitney Aronoff, a Holistic Chef based in Laguna Beach, California. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Communications, and went on to the health supportive culinary school, The Natural Gourmet Institute, in New York City. I work as a personal chef and teach cooking classes, with a focus on healthy, whole foods cooking.
My goal is to help people feel their best by sharing the delicious, healthy recipes I prepare weekly for my clients. I want you to have the energy to live your best life and fulfil your dreams.
As we become more conscious and make more quality food choices, our body, mind, soul and the planet benefits.