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    Fire Cider Blog — Salads

    Fire Cider in the kitchen - Warm kale and quinoa salad

    Recently Instagrammer Sarah, from @bunz_in_the_oven, posted her amazing post-workout lunch and we had to share it with you!
    Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad on the Fire Cider Blog

    Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 bag of organic kale, stems removed and chopped
    • 1tbs avocado oil
    • 1/2 small shallot finely chopped
    • 2tbs Original Fire Cider
    • 1/4c pomegranate arils
    • 1oz goat cheese
    • 1/2c cooked quinoa
    • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

    Method:

    - Sauté kale in avocado oil over med heat. Add shallots and cook until kale has turned bright green.

    - Remove from heat and place in a large serving bowl, add pomegranate, Fire Cider, and quinoa.

    - Season with salt and pepper, top with goat cheese crumbles, and enjoy!

    Kickin' Egg Salad

    August is National Sandwich Month

    It's hot. Sticky humid wilting weather. And we're definitely not even looking in the direction of our ovens, so we all can get behind a cool nourishing sandwich right about now, yes?

    Cue the Egg Salad! If that sounds a little blasé to you, perhaps you've never thought to add a splash of Fire Cider to the mix...instant flava!

    A perfect pair- creamy egg salad and Fire Cider.

    If you don't have a tried-and-true in your arsenal, we're fans of this Food Network standard. Or how about adding bacon and green olives, like in this Bon Appetit version?

     

    Whether it's your Nana's recipe you loved when you were 8, or something you created just to suit your tastes- seriously, add a splash of Fire Cider. 

    You could even plan ahead and pickle your eggs in Fire Cider; then use those spicy, golden pub-favorites in your salad. (Fire Cider staffer Heather has a great recipe that we'll be sharing soon, so stay tuned!) Guaranteed, you're not bored any more. And, you can wait to turn on the oven for another day. Win-win!

    Oh yes, add those sprouts, seasonal tomato slices, and leafy green lettuce. This one is served between two slices of rye.

    Cilantro Salad with Cumin Dressing

    Yes, the salad days are here, and this recipe was inspired by a salad I had at Dottie's Coffee Lounge on North Street a few weeks ago. Jess made a delicious cumin dressing and served it over watercress and bacon bits – it was savory, slightly warm, and I was inspired to try making my own cumin dressing. I used lardons – large chunks of bacon instead of slices for the 'croutons' and as a way to get the most flavor out of the dried whole cumin seeds. This recipe is as much about the ingredients as it is the way you combine them. Letting the raw onion slices mellow in the Fire Cider and lime juice takes some of the sting out of them as well as the lingering aftertaste. So add as many as you like!

     

    Ingredients:
    • juice of half a lime
    • 3 tablespoons of Unsweetened Fire Cider or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
    • about ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
    • Salad greens- I used a few big handfuls each of baby kale and spinach
    • ½ cup cilantro leaves or more, use them like you would any salad green, no need to chop!
    • 2-3 teaspoons whole cumin
    • 1/3 cup pork lardons aka chunks, rather than slices, of bacon cut into crouton-sized pieces
    Method:

    Slice the red onion as thinly as possible, add it to your salad bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add the Unsweetened Fire Cider and lime juice and mix well. Set aside.

    Add the sliced lardons and whole cumin to a skillet over medium heat and cook until the lardons are just a bit crispy and have rendered about 1/3-1/2 cup of fat. No need to measure, just make sure you've got about twice as much bacon fat as you do Fire Cider and lime juice. Set a side to cool for a few minutes.

    Add the baby kale, spinach and cilantro to your salad bowl and toss to coat with the onion/Fire Cider/lime mixture. Add some black pepper for a little kick!

    Now, here's the part where you may want an extra set of hands – You are going to toss the salad while adding all the cumin, rendered warm fat and lardons from your skillet. Toss well. Taste, and add salt and pepper to your liking.

    I topped my salad with some baby radish slices for extra crunch.

    Enjoy outside with friends for maximum awesome!

    Chickpeas with Fire Cider & Cilantro Dressing

    It's that time of year when fresh herbs are growing and everyone is coming out of hibernation. I love this combination of lime, cilantro and Fire Cider; it's tangy and bright and pairs really well with chickpeas. Grow your own cilantro or pick some up at your farmers market and then give this quick and easy recipe a try.

     

    Fire Cider Cilantro Dressing
    Ingredients:
    • 4 ounces cilantro (I didn't measure, I just used the whole big bunch, more is more!)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
    • 2 tablespoons Fire Cider, any variety- Unsweetened, African Bronze or Original are all delicious! 
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 teaspoons mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
    • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
    Method:

    Blend all the above ingredients in a food processor or using an immersion blender. Taste and adjust to your liking, add more of any of the above ingredients. The dressing is now done, use it on anything you like! But definitely try it on chickpeas:

     

    Chickpea Salad with Fire Cider Cilantro Dressing
    Ingredients:
    • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
    • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
    • Fire Cider Cilantro Dressing, to preference
    • greens
    • sprouts

    Mix the chickpeas with the diced red onion. Add in a healthy dose of dressing to cover everything really, extra well.

    Then toss with greens and sprouts.

    Save leftover dressing and chickpeas for the next day. They'll be even more flavorful!

    Recipe inspired by www.alexandracooks.com 'Chickpeas with Cilantro-Lime Dressing'

    It's Picnic Time: Broccoli Salad

    After so many months of being cooped up indoors, all I want to do is spend time outside, soaking up the sun. I'll be wearing 50 spf sunscreen and a hat, but you get the idea! I love to go to the beach with a picnic or spend the day in someone's back yard for a fire and a cookout. Somehow the everyday stuff of eating is just so much better outside. I was inspired by a recent article in the New York Times Magazine called "Into The Wild" to make the most out of our first picnic of the season: Summer Sound at Tanglewood. The article is a little over the top but this quote caught my attention:

    "Picnics might be the one activity that Victorian officiousness improved, because the only difference between “picnicking” and “eating outside” — which for most of history was just “eating” — is the pleasurable collision between human refinements and the places and energies in the natural world that have, so far, escaped them."

    And it's not just enjoyable to relax and eat outside surrounded by the energies of nature, it's also necessary for your health! There's that dose of Vitamin D you've been missing since last October and just being outside, even if it's not sunny, can give your brain a boost. Spending time in nature can help you clear your mind, so skip the afternoon coffee and take a walk outside to get energized by the life all around you. 

    According to this article by the Huffington Post, "Spending time in nature has been shown to lower stress levels," says Seattle-based environmental psychologist Judith Heerwagon. "Just looking at a garden or trees or going for a walk, even if it's in your own neighborhood, reduces stress," she says. "I don't think anyone understands why, but there's something about being in a natural setting that shows clear evidence of stress reduction, including physiological evidence -- like lower heart rate."

    The lawn at Tanglewood this past weekend was full of families and friends enjoying a cloudless sunny day full of music, dancing and of course, good food. I bet most of them were unaware that whiling the day away outside was doing good things for their overall health!

    Drinks: the one thing you really must keep cold for your picnic, so plan ahead to keep your drinks refreshing. We packed some beer Dana brewed in a stainless steel insulated growler, which works for any beverage, even carbonated ones!

    Eats: On a picnic, anything goes as long it can be served cold-ish. I decided to try to assemble an outdoor feast featuring some of the best foods made right here in Berkshire county. First stop, the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market. Fresh produce makes for colorful, healthy salads. Here's one of my favorites:

    Broccoli Salad
    Ingredients:
    • 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt or mayonnaise (or a mix of the two)
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider
    • salt, to taste
    • 5 cups raw broccoli (florets and stems), chopped
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
    Method:

    Mix the yogurt/mayonnaise in a small bowl with the vinegar or Fire Cider and salt.

    In a separate bowl, combine the broccoli and raisins.

    Add the dressing to the broccoli and raisins and toss well to combine. Top with the sunflower seeds. Best when made several hours ahead of serving!

    Whether you are going to a full day event or just taking a 20 minute lunch break, food is best served outdoors this time of year. Now that the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market is happening on the Common every Saturday, you can shop and picnic all in one place. See you out there!