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Category Archives: Salads

Salad Week: Day 3: Carrot Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients:

Julienne the following:

1 English cucumber

2 carrots

1 medium shallot

Combine the following until sugar is dissolved:

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 T. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. chili sauce

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Instructions:  Simply toss the veggies with the dressing.  You can serve right away or make this up to a day ahead of time.

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Tasty Tuesday: Watermelon Raspberry Salad

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Combine together:  a 4 lb. watermelon that has been peeled, seeded, and cut into bite size chunks, a pint of fresh raspberries, (you can add or substitute blueberries here as well), the juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup sugar.  Fresh mint is a lovely addition to this as is either goat or feta cheese.  I even like it with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar over it to punch up the flavour! You can also turn this into more of a dessert by serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

It’s Salad Week!

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Mango Barley Salad

Mix together 3 cups cooked barley (cooled down first) with a sliced mango, a couple of radishes, sliced really thinly, 1/4 medium red onion and 1/4 medium Vidalia onion also sliced really thinly, 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, 1 T. fresh chopped chives, (fresh parsley is another good addition…if you have any cucumbers you might want to thinly slice or chop some of those into this salad as well….some crumbled feta cheese is good here too), 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 3 T. olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve as is or on a bed of leafy lettuce.

Meatless Meal: Waldorf Salad Re-Do

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This is based on a typical Waldorf salad but with some added ingredients to add more nutrients to it.  The Waldorf salad was created in the late 19th century at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.  Originally it was made only of apples, celery, and mayonnaise.  It has evolved into recipes with additional ingredients in it – often adding lettuce or spinach and some adding a protein like chicken.  I have added some additional fruit, the nuts and seeds, and have changed from using mayonnaise to yogurt in order to boost the nutritional content.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups fat free Greek style yogurt

1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted lightly) – a good substitute is walnuts

1 apple cut in 8ths and thinly sliced or diced – some fresh pear as a substitute or added to the salad is lovely as well

1 cup grapes, cut in half

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

2 T. lemon juice

1 T. honey

salt and pepper to taste

Simply mix all of the ingredients together.  You can add chicken meat to this or some hard boiled egg to add some additional protein to it.  This is great eaten as is, served over some salad greens, wrapped up in a flour tortilla, or stuffed into a pita.

Great Recipes for a Picnic…or Anytime!

Muffuletta – A Yummy Sandwich

You need a large round loaf for this.  Cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the bread from both the top and bottom pieces, leaving about 1/2” of crust.  Lay lettuce leaves down in the bottom.  Top with about 2 T. Ranch dressing (I think Italian dressing or “sub sauce” is really good in place of the Ranch too).  Then layer on thin slices of cucumber, slices of cheese, sliced lunchmeat, thin slices of tomato, red onion slices, more meat, and more cheese.  Top it off with another layer of lettuce leaves, more dressing, and the top crust.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Allow this to sit in your refrigerator for 2-24 hours to allow the flavours to meld together.  Obviously, you could vary the contents of this in many many ways.  I’ve heard of some people weighing these down with bricks on top to flatten them somewhat and I’ve heard of making smaller versions that will fit into a panini press and heat/pressing them. 

Some of my Favourite (Easy) Salad Recipes

Tortellini Salad:  Combine 1 lg. bag of cheese tortellini, 1 can of green beans, and 1 basket grape or cherry tomatoes.  Toss with balsamic dressing.

Watermelon Salad:  Combine chunks of watermelon, peaches, chopped red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and bacon bits.  Season with basil and toss with a vinaigrette.

Fig Salad:  Soak sliced figs in balsamic vinegar.  Add to this, olive oil, chopped red onion, shredded cooked chicken, almonds, and herbs of your choice (I like basil, tarragon, thyme, and/or rosemary).  You can eat as is or serve over a bed a greens. 

Carrot Salad:  Mix together shredded carrots, toasted sunflower seeds, raisins, and if you like a little kick, some toasted cumin seeds.  Toss with berries of your choice (raspberries or blueberries are really good here), a lemon vinaigrette, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. 

A Different Spinach Salad:  Combine baby spinach leaves with toasted slivered almonds, chopped figs, and goat cheese or bocconcinni.  Toss with a dressing made of:  almond butter thinned down with a bit of water and sherry, red wine, or balsamic vinegar.  For croutons, make a grilled cheese sandwich and cut into little cubes.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

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1 lb. potatoes – baked, boiled, or roasted – you can peel them too but I didn’t – I simply washed them, cut them in cubes, tossed with a bit of olive oil, and roasted them in a 400 degree F oven for about half and hour.

Once the potatoes have cooled, mix them with:

½ cup sour cream (The original recipe called for ¾ cup but I could see that this was going to be too much – even the ½ cup was too much for my preference)

½ cup mayonnaise

(Note: I still found this to be way more “dressing” than was needed for this many potatoes but I tend to like my potato salad less “dressed” than some do. You might want to start with ¼ – 1/3 cup of each to begin with and increase from there as needed to your taste. The potato salad was still incredibly tasty even with this much dressing on it though – I would just prefer less and hey it would reduce some of the massive amounts of fat in this recipe too right? I know, I know, I could use fat-free mayo and sour cream but ummm, yuck!)

One recipe I saw also called for ¼ cup of Ranch dressing to be added to this but I am not a huge fan of Ranch so I don’t keep it in the house and I didn’t want to buy it just to use ¼ cup of it in this. Also, again it would have added way too much dressing to this salad. It was one of the best potato salads I’ve ever had even without the Ranch dressing but if you like Ranch you might prefer to add some.

6-8 slices bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces (I like the precooked bacon in this but I have seen some recipes for this dish where they actually added a bit of the bacon grease to the dressing so if you are going to do that, you will want to make freshly cooked bacon.)

½ – 1 cup shredded cheese (I like the higher amount)

¼ – 1/3 cup minced onion (amount as per your taste) – I used Vidalia onions because I love the taste so much but green onions as called for in several of the recipes I saw would be good here too.

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, celery salt or seasoned salt in place of the regular salt, bourbon pepper blend in place of the black pepper (note: I didn’t include any of these)

Another optional ingredient which I didn’t use and doesn’t exactly fit with the whole “loaded baked potato” theme would be some minced celery. I am not even a huge fan of celery but I do like the taste of it in potato salad and I think it could add a nice dash of flavour to this dish.

Also, several of the recipes I based this on, either didn’t add the bacon and cheese until just prior to serving or they reserved part of it to garnish the top of the salad with. I just threw it all in at once and it was great the way it was but if I were serving this to guests, I probably would reserve some for topping to make a prettier presentation.

Apple Spinach Salad

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Toss one bag of baby spinach with 1 cup shredded carrot, 1 apple cored and sliced, and some Asian dressing.  Top with slivered almonds.  A nice addition to this is some raisins and/or some dried cranberries. (Hmmm maybe this would be good with the apple vinaigrette recipe below instead of the Asian dressing.)