It’s vegan kick-start Monday, and boy, oh boy, do I need it. I ate some heavy duty fried food this weekend. Starting off with some beautiful and time consuming fried potato nests on Friday to share with my BFFs at happy hour. They were filled with sautéed wild mushrooms and scallions, they were amazing, and they were not healthy. Saturday I ate a bit better, but yesterday I had sweet potato fries and onion rings for lunch. What got into me? I don’t know (my head is hung low and shaking side to side in disbelief). However, I can promise you that my digestive system didn’t let me off the hook for all of those culinary sins. Paybacks are a bitch.
However; today is a new day, and with every new beginning is a chance to start fresh. You probably want to kick-start the week as much as I do. Come on, admit it. Let’s do this together, and by the end of the week, we will feel like a trillion bucks. We all know that a million doesn’t go as far as it used to so I took the liberty of adding to that number.
As I write this I’m eating one of the most exciting salads I’ve ever had. No joke, this is goooood! Because this is supposed to be the main course of your kick-start meal I started with one of the healthiest grains I know of. Barley. This nutty, chewy grain is a staple in Tibetan food. Why? Probably because it’s high in protein, 23 grams in one cup. That’s a lot! And that’s just the start of this super grain, one cup has 23% of the daily allowance of potassium, 128% fiber, 36% iron, 30% vitamin B-6, and 61% of magnesium. And guess what? Barley has more protein, iron, fiber, B-6, and magnesium than beef. Go barley!!!
Save a cow, eat barley.
Moving on. This is where the salad takes a turn for the delicious. I just took a bite of a crispy, slightly sweet, roasted Brussels sprout, along with a juicy burst of orange. This was after the last bite of cool cucumber, fresh tomato, and a savory, buttery carrot. OMG, I can’t stop humming. That’s what I do when I’m alone and eating something divine. It’s like angels take over my voice box, I can’t help it.
There are also fresh leaves from the Brussels sprouts that fell off while I was prepping them for the roasting pan. They give a fresh crunch to the mix. And, I sprinkled some fresh tarragon leaves throughout to give the salad a peppery, anise flavor.
The salad dressing is a combination of white balsamic vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. A simple, fresh topping is so much better than something complex that will overtake all of the individual flavors of the veggies and fruit.
All in all, this is a meal that satisfies whatever you’re craving. Sweet, fresh, savory, earthy, you name it, it’s in there. And, it will give your body a jumpstart from all of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This my friends, is the total package.
The first thing you’ll need to do is roast the Brussels sprouts. While they’re roasting get the barley simmering and saute the carrots.
I sauteed the carrots in coconut oil with some fresh chopped tarragon. It smelled heavenly.