I hesitated sharing this recipe because the preparation is a bit fussy. Many prep and cooking techniques are utilized here: chopping, peeling, blanching, sautéing, marinating…you get the idea. Continue reading
Category Archives: salad
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know my disdain for brussel sprouts. Yeah…If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I pretty well hate them. There are many vegetables (and even some fruit varieties) I can say that I’m not fond of, but I tolerate for their nutritional value. Brussel sprouts don’t even fall into that category.
When the weekly CSA box contains brussel sprouts, I typically drizzle them in olive oil and roast them. My husband couldn’t be happier that he will likely consume the whole pound single-handedly, for I can’t bring myself to encourage the kids to eat what I cannot even force myself to eat. Continue reading
After years of lusting after the dressing served on the small salads at various Hibachi grills and sushi restaurants, I think I’ve finally got it! The combination of cucumber and radish in this salad is crunchy, ridiculously refreshing, and packs well in a picnic.
cucumber and radish salad with ginger miso dressing
for the dressing:
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp sweet white Miso paste
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp water
2-3 cucumbers, sliced thin (peeled or not according to preference)
4-5 radishes, sliced thin
chopped assorted fresh herbs (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Serve alongside salad. Refrigerate unused dressing.
Did I really leave this….
Sadly, I did (OK, there may have been force involved). There’s nothing like watching the temperature drop 10 degrees with each state you drive north through.
I’m back from vacation where my appetite and diet were pretty much held hostage by two teenagers and an animated mouse. When you’re starving and running to use your FastPass on the Aerosmith Rockin’ Rollercoaster, good choices don’t always prevail (or even exist). And when you’re drinking your way through the countries at Epcot…well, the fish and scotch eggs at the U.K.’s Rose and Crown can’t be passed up.
Back home means back to clean eating. That’s really how it should be, though. I’ve said it before-eating is not about deprivation. As cliché as it may sound, each day is a do-over. A chance to start again and do things right.
This salad uses the fabulous citrus that is available to us this time of year. I’ve been following the practice of several bloggers and making a big batch of quinoa to use throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Toasting cooked quinoa releases a wonderful nutty taste and aroma. It crunches up so wonderfully that, really, the pumpkin seeds are optional. The dressing is versatile. Use it on any vegetable, as well as chicken and fish.
superfood salad with creamy meyer lemon vinaigrette
approximately 6 cups of loose salad greens of your chosing (I used baby kale, baby romaine, and spinach)
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and chopped to approximately 1-inch pieces (save fronds)
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
*To cook the quinoa, I always use a 1:2 ratio of grain: water/broth. Bring the liquid to low simmer on the stovetop and stir in the quinoa. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
1/4 cup hulled unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
fresh, sliced citrus (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed meyer lemon juice
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
1/2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
3 Tbsp plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
Toast the quinoa: heat the coconut oil in a medium skillet over low to medium heat. Add the cooked quinoa and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to keep from burning. Toast until it turns a dark golden/light brown color. It may spit at you a bit while it cook. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl or on a platter, toss the greens and fennel with the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds to combine.
To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients through the olive oil in a small bowl until well combined. Whisk in the olive oil last.
Toss with salad and top with fennel fronds or dress salad servings individually.
Apparently, May is National Salad Month.
I mean, seriously…who makes these (fake-ish) holidays up?
If you ever needed an excuse to have a salad well, then, I guess this is it. I’ve decided to follow the example of some of my fellow bloggers and highlight some of my favorite past salad recipes.
I love bean salad during the summer months at a picnic. It’s a healthy, lighter alternative to the mayonnaise laden variety salads we’re all used to. Change up the ingredients depending on what you have on hand.
The point here isn’t that I felt the need to make salad because I had (cough, cough) eaten poorly. The point is that you should always make your own salad dressing. It’s so easy in a blender and, for crying out loud, you know what the ingredients are and you can control what goes in it, thereby eliminating the need to ask “what is xanthan gum and why is it in my salad dressing??”
Another bean salad…my husband says the vinaigrette absolutely makes this salad pop with flavor. With spinach, chickpeas, and hard cooked egg, it really is packed with protein. This salad tastes like summer to me!
Happy National Salad Month!
What is your favorite salad?
I missed you last week.
We took a spontaneous trip to the beach for spring break, departed mere hours before this occurred, and headed up the Chesapeake Bay to my husband’s parents house for Easter.
This was a departure from the norm for us…usually the day is an egg hunt at home (apparently you never grow too old for that), followed by church and dinner with traditional fare.
My daughter, who has guest blogged for me in the past, was also away. With no extra posts queued up for you, I decided to let the week pass in silence. I hope you all had a week blessed with family and good food.
This recipe makes a big enough batch of protein packed tuna salad for the week. I eat it on dark rye crisp bread (only 45 calories each!). You could mix it with a salad or have it on celery for extra crunch. Forget the mayo…this salad is so flavorful, you won’t miss it.
Mediterranean tuna salad
1 14.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans packed white tuna in water or olive oil (I prefer Trader Joe’s brand), drained
1 cup roasted red peppers (from jar), rinsed and chopped to make one cup
2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Refrigerate.
*other possible additions: feta cheese, pine nuts, chopped olives
I hadn’t exercised since I injured my shoulder around Thanksgiving. After months of alternating, then concurrent, rounds of anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy with limited improvement, a cortisone shot finally ended the pain once and for all.
A three month workout hiatus for someone my (ahem) age might as well be six months. It has been a difficult horse to get back on, and I was so sore after the first day that I thought I was actually ill!
All wussiness aside, I have found this salad to be a lifesaver-filling, low fat, and packed with flavor and protein. Initially inspired by the Canal House, it took off from there with several additions-a plentiful salad that provided lunch for four meals served with toasted naan.
Use the leftover vinaigrette for salads, fish, or vegetables.
super protein salad with lemon vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2 large lemons)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lightly packed parsley
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients into blender and mix until well blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate leftover dressing.
for the salad
2-15 ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/2 small container of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
4 hard cooked eggs, quartered
sweet pea shoots, if available
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, add vinaigrette to individual servings as desired.
No sooner did I snap that photo of that beautiful sugar maple this past weekend, then…BAM! We pull up to the local home improvement store to see a blow up monstrosity of a Santa in front. This wasn’t your normal, tacky, kitschy, nylon lawn Santa. No, this one very likely rose above the lowest roof line on my house. I like Christmas as much as the next person, but please let’s tidy up one holiday before moving on to the next, shall we? (Do you think I went a little too far when I posted a photo of it on Facebook with the caption “This is what’s wrong with our country”?)
I’m pretty sure that someone is going to plunk down $250 and that Santa will be making an appearance in some poor sod’s neighborhood. And before I get comments from all you lawn inflatable lovers out there, please know that I’m not dissing you-just your holiday decorating style.
While that front yard will definitely be too busy, a salad can never have too much going on in my book. When I saw a pear infused balsamic vinegar in the grocery store, I was both intrigued and excited to make a salad dressing with it. Wonderful substitutions are allowed in this salad and could include walnuts, goat cheese, roasted beets, or pumpkin seeds.
1 small red onion
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 ounces hazelnuts, halved and lightly toasted
5 1/2 ounces salad leaves (your personal favorite mixture). I used butter lettuce, spinach, and field greens
6 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
for the dressing:
2 1/2 tsp pear infused balsamic vinegar (may substitute with plain balsamic vinegar)
drop of dijon mustard
4 Tbsp safflower oil (hazelnut oil may be substituted)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp confectioner sugar (or to taste)
Whisk together ingredients for dressing and season to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the red onion and cut into crescent-shaped slices. Put the slices into a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast in the preheated oven until soft with slightly caramelized tips, approximately 20-30 minutes.
Halve and core the pears, then cut lengthways into slices approximately 1/4 inch thick. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sautee the pear slices on each side until just golden, being careful not to overcook them.
Toss the salad leaves with the hazelnuts, then divide among 6 plates. Add pear slices and warm onion to each plate and scatter cheese. Drizzle plates with dressing or serve on the side.
We’re back from our second (that’s right, I said second) vacation this summer.
The first, our trip to the Pacific northwest, was an adult-only trip.
The second, kids included, was a trip down south to the land of our honeymoon, Kiawah island, South Carolina. I admit that I was a little hesitant returning with kids in tow, but I guess the fact that I retained limited, specific memories of the first trip (thanks, old age!) probably worked in my favor. The beach was every bit as beautiful as I remembered…the city of Charleston just as charming. There was just a
lot little more whining this time than I remembered.
I’ve been toying with the idea of creating another section of the blog containing photos and description of our travels; however that is going to require prolonged, undivided attention/creativity that I simply won’t have until school starts the next week. Until I get that going, here is a little teaser…a photo of my husband in the Redwood National Forest.
Back to the recipe…
I apologize (sort of) for the crude post title. Can I blame it on prolonged face time with my 11-year-old son during the past week of vacation? Although he starts middle school next week, he still giggles at a flatulence reference in the way that boys do.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. I don’t know about you, but I often go to barbecues in the summer and am overwhelmed by the creamy, mayonnaise-laden side dishes. This is a filling, but light, alternative.
bean and romaine salad with honey balsamic dressing
8 ounces each: cooked chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans (fresh or canned, drained and rinsed)
1 small head of romaine lettuce, shredded
1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
garnish with 10 springs fresh thyme
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
Two days ago when I picked up the CSA box there was *sigh* more lettuce. In addition, there were many other lovely items which included green bell peppers, corn, peaches, summer squash, and cucumbers. My husband came home from a late day at the office and I hadn’t prepared dinner-often times he doesn’t know if he will have a business dinner following a meeting or if he will simply be home late. He fished out some of the veggies from the fridge and fixed himself a salad. ”It would be great, and so much easier, if you would make a big salad to keep in the fridge that we could just pull out and eat from for a few days.”
Agreed. It only requires the motivation on my part to do the washing, slicing, and chopping. The spinning dry of the lettuce leaves.
This morning I met a friend at the diner across the street from my kids’ summer camp. We met at 9 am for coffee and breakfast and stayed chatting until 11:30. The waitress was wondering, I’m sure, if we would be having lunch there as well. So while my friend was mindful in her choice of an egg beater omelette, I ordered what I always do at my 1-2 times yearly visit to any diner: creamed chip beef on biscuits-the deliciousness of which cannot be denied as a rare treat: the saltiness of the beef, the creaminess of the gravy, the flakiness of the biscuits.
That’s where the atonement comes in.
When I arrived home three hours later, I got down to work preparing the salad with whatever we had on hand and decided to make two very different homemade dressings. Each very unique and flavorful. They are equally wonderful on a salad or serving as a dip for your favorite crudite. I made them in a the blender, but they can be made in the food processor as well.
green goddess herb dressing
1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
3 canned anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 fresh chives
Place first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add parsley and remaining ingredients; process until herbs are minced.
1 cup sliced carrots (about 2 large)
1 shallot, sliced
1-2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup white miso paste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup canola oil
Place the carrots, shallot, ginger, miso, vinegar, and sesame oil in a blender. Blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until very finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add the canola oil and blend until nearly smooth, about 30 seconds. If necessary, thin the dressing with 2 tablespoons of water at a time until you reach a desired consistency.