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How to Get Unstuck in the Kitchen {Recipes}

by Elise Museles

We’ve all been there: Standing in the middle of the kitchen not knowing what to eat, let alone cook. The fridge is empty, or uninspiring, and you’re tired of looking at the same old boring food. Stuck in a kitchen rut? It happens to all of us at some point or another. But help is on the way!

Enter my talented and beautiful friend Pamela Salzman, one of the most sought-after cooking teachers out there. Her new book, Kitchen Matters, is a testament to the importance of eating well, living well – and being well, as a result. Pamela is a full-time working, busy mom of three who understands the demands of modern life and the desire to live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. In Kitchen Matters, she shares more than 100 customizable recipes for everyone – including vegetarian, vegan, and grain-free diets – focusing on accessible, veggie-forward dishes that are both anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense. In other words: Kitchen Matters offers a roadmap for new and busy home cooks to include more wholesome foods in their repertoire, every day.

While it’s always exciting to whip up a different dish for your family or yourself, this book is so much more than a collection of nourishing and flavorful recipes. Pamela walks you through a step-by-step approach to preparing your kitchen and pantry so that you can cook anything (and everything!) in the book. It’s my new kitchen Bible, and I think it will quickly become yours, too. There’s a comprehensive list of kitchen tools and equipment, specific suggestions for stocking the refrigerator and pantry, a section on what and how to buy organic, common substitutions, meal prep plus meal planning tips, and guidelines to balance the nutrients on your plate. No detail is left behind!

I think Pamela said it best: “If you want to be healthy, cooking as much nutrient-dense food as often as you can is a good place to start. Your health matters – and your kitchen matters. And that’s what this book is all about.”

I know you’ll want to snag a copy of Kitchen Matters ASAP, but just in case you can’t get to the bookstore or log onto Amazon rightthissecond, here’s some cooking inspiration to tide you over: Pamela’s Saturday Chopped Salad. This is just one of the tempting, delicious, inspiring recipes you’ll find, which range from Banana Walnut French Toast Casseroles to  Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Slaw to Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Saturday Chopped Salad


Pamela’s Saturday Chopped Salad has quickly become a family favorite any day of the week. Aside from all the beautiful colors, it is one of those dishes that can be adjusted to please everyone. I opted for a plant-based version with chickpeas added to the colorful mix while my guy’s tossed in some grilled chicken to theirs. And as Pamela suggests, use this recipe as a starting place and create it a little differently each time. Just make sure to cut all the vibrant veggies into cubes about the size of a pea and toss it in her amazing Everyday Salad Dressing.


1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped (about 6 cups)
3 cups diced red cabbage (or a mix of cabbage and chopped endive)
3 radishes, finely diced ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)
13 cup pickled shallots, diced (see below) or 5 pepperoncini, seeded and finely chopped
½ bunch chives, finely chopped
2 Persian cucumbers, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced or julienned and finely chopped
23 cup Everyday Salad Dressing (see below)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
3 ounces feta, preferably goat’s milk feta, crumbled (omit for vegan/DF)
Additional protein: quinoa, diced cooked chicken (not vegan), tuna in olive oil (not vegan), canned salmon (not vegan), chopped hard-boiled egg (not vegan), chickpeas


Combine the lettuce and cabbage in a large bowl. Add the radishes, cherry tomatoes, pickled shallots, chives, cucumbers, and carrots. Toss with enough dressing to coat lightly. Add the avocado and feta (if using) and drizzle with a small amount of dressing. Toss very gently with your hands to incorporate into the salad without smearing avocado and feta everywhere.

Other variations:

Chopped oranges instead of tomatoes and toasted sunflower seeds instead of cucumbers in the winter and spring;
Radicchio and endive in place of some of the romaine;
Fresh or grilled corn in place of the carrots.

Everyday Salad Dressing:

1 small shallot minced, about 2 teaspoons
¾ to 1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons raw honey or pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons raw cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
¾ cup unrefined olive oil or ½ cup olive oil + ¼ cup flax oil

Whisk together in a bowl or shake in a screw-top jar until emulsified.

Pickled Shallots:

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon cane sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 small shallots, thinly sliced

Combine 1 cup of water and the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Add the sliced onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the liquid and set aside to cool.

For more than 100 other gorgeous recipes, plus tips to transform the way you cook (and eat!), grab a copy of Kitchen Matters. You’ll never be stuck standing in the middle of your kitchen again!

Excerpted from Kitchen MattersMore than 100 Recipes and Tips to Transform the Way You Cook and Eat—Wholesome, Nourishing, Unforgettable by Pamela Salzman. Copyright © 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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