Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
12 April 2014

Chop-All-The-Things Salad

Get to the end of the week and the fridge is just chock-a-block with foodstuffs that won't keep much longer, but aren't each anywhere enough to be a meal. What to do? Chop everything up and call it a salad.

What's in it? Chopped buffalo chicken strips, corn salsa, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and romaine.

I tossed this salad with a little salsa and guacamole just before eating and it was delicious. So delicious that I was both surprised and saddened by how quickly I arrived at the bottom of the bowl!
11 March 2014

Southwestern(ish) Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad

I made this Southwestern(ish) shrimp salad last week when, in fit of madness, I decided to ignore how cold I always am at work and decided not to pack a hot lunch. It was a delicious salad, but even though I immediately followed it with two cups of scaldingly hot tea, I spent the rest of the night shivering away at my desk.

Ingredients: romaine, cucumber, red onion, grape tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, shrimp tossed with Penzeys Arizona Dreaming seasoning blend, and guacamole.

When I make this salad again (in, say, May), I'll add some cilantro and Trader Joe's Corn & Chile Salsa.
08 March 2014

Hello, Leftovers: Shredded Beef Taco Salad

I'd intended to make quesadillas with the leftover slow cooker shredded beef, but then realized taco salad was an even better idea. I do love me some taco salad, after all, and the temperature was supposed to rise up to 49°F today suggesting Salad Season was on its way, so ...

Taco Salad

Shredded Beef Taco Salad

2 small flour tortillas
Olive oil, as needed
1 cup leftover shredded beef
red onion, chopped
cilantro, chopped
romaine, chopped
cheddar, shredded
[Cabot Seriously Sharp, of course]

Preheat oven to 425°F. (If you have a pizza stone, preheat it with the oven. Otherwise, get out a sheet pan).

Lightly brush tortillas with a little olive oil and place on preheated pizza stone (or place on sheet pan and put in oven). Bake for 4-5 minutes, depending on desired brownness.

Baked Tortillas

Remove tortillas from oven and plate. Microwave beef until heated through. Divide meat between tortillas. Garnish with cheddar, romaine, red onion, salsa, guacamole, and cilantro. Eat.


(My shredded beef already had corn and black beans mixed in so I didn't add any to my salad, but would certainly recommend it if yours doesn't).
26 January 2014

Beet Salad, You Disappoint Me

I love beets and I'm always excited to find new ways to prepare them so, when I came across a recipe for "Kraut and Beet Slaw" in my Grandma G's 1956 edition of Cooking with Sour Cream and Buttermilk, I knew I had to give it a whirl.

I skewed the recipe toward beets rather than sauerkraut, making it much more a "chunky salad" than a "slaw." Because I am just too lazy to roast and peel beets, I used a mixture of 8 oz packages of Melissa's and Love Beets' vacuum-packed cooked beets. I wouldn't say there's a lot of difference between the two brands.

Prepared Packaged Beets

I also adjusted the seasonings, because more flavor is better.
Creamy Beets & Sauerkraut
Serves 4 generously as a side

2 8-oz packages vacuum-packed cooked beets
1 8-oz can sauerkraut
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt
1-2 Tbsp prepared horseradish, depending on zippiness of brand [Gold's]
½-1 tsp sugar, depending on taste
1 tsp ground caraway
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped

Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. Wrap in a tea towel and squeeze until no more liquid comes out. Dump it in a mixing bowl.

Dice beets and add to sauerkraut with the red onion. Set aside.

Making Creamy Beets & Sauerkraut Salad

In a large mixing bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, sugar, caraway, salt, and pepper. And beet mixture and stir until well combined.

Chill overnight to allow flavors to marry. Mix well and allow to come to room temp before bringing to table. If desired, garnish with chopped egg.

Creamy Beet & Sauerkraut Salad

I have found this dish is best if allowed to come to room temperature before serving as, when it's fresh from the fridge, the flavors are muted and it just tastes ... cold. But, on the other hand, you don't want to serve it immediately after making it, because it tastes like ... nothing much ... when it's new. Let it sit in the fridge for a day and it's markedly better -- slightly sour yet also sweet and earthy and deliciously creamy.

Indeed, this is not a bad retro recipe. But it's also not very good. Certainly, not as good as something made with two of my favorite ingredients should be. There's a lack of depth in flavor, which may have to do with using canned sauerkraut rather than fresh and so little caraway. If I were to make this again, I'd use fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained far less zealously, and more caraway. And more pepper. And salt. And celery seed, maybe?
23 January 2014

Italian Pasta Salad

I'm not really sure that mozzarella and salami necessarily an Italian salad make, but I didn't know what else to call this dish. Everything-That-Needed-Eating-Up Salad? That would certainly be true, but also very prosaic.

"Antipasto" salad

Italian Pasta Salad
Serves 3 as lunch with fruit

5 oz mini farfalle pasta
4 oz baby spinach
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 small red onion, chopped small
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small
6 Tbsp sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
3 oz thin-sliced uncured salami, sliced into strips
5 leaves fresh basil, rolled and sliced thin
Fresh ground black pepper, as desired

Cook pasta as directed by package. Drain. Toss warm pasta with spinach so the leaves wilt a bit. Add in remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve while still warm.
Ingredients like chopped canned artichokes, chickpeas, and olives would make tasty additions to this salad.

"Antipasto" salad
15 November 2013

Eating the Alphabet: V is for Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans. November's Eating the Alphabet Challenge letters are U, V, and/or W, and I knew I just had to use vanilla beans. I'd bought a tube of them at Penzeys last Christmas (eek) with the intent of making some kind of bourbon-soaked vanilla bean-enriched cake for my dad, but that never happened and I've been "stuck" with them ever since.

I really wanted to do something simple but savory with the vanilla beans. I found a recipe for "Slow-Cooked Chicken with Sauteed Mushrooms and Vanilla" in an old Country Living and a recipe for vanilla-infused "Savory Pork Tenderloin" on the Nielsen-Massey site so I knew meat and vanilla could go together. I didn't want to make those particular recipes, however, because they served too many. I knew The Husband would turn his nose up at savory vanilla anything and I didn't want to eat pork tenderloin all week for lunch ... especially if it didn't turn out very well!

So I decided to "cheat" and go the easy way. I'd poach two boneless skinless chicken breasts in a vanilla-infused bath and see what that did. If it was good, yay. If not very good, then it could be drowned in curry sauce. And, if it was very bad, the cats would still like it!

Poaching w/ Coconut Milk & Vanilla
Coconut milk, vanilla bean, sea salt, white pepper
As the chicken poached, the vanilla-milk-broth bath became more and more aromatic -- so much so that I began to worry the chicken would come out tasting like a vanilla-scented candle. Well, I needn't have worried as the poached chicken smelled and tasted only vaguely of vanilla. Decidedly chicken, with a faint, sweet note of vanilla. Actually, kind of disappointing. Perhaps I should have used two beans? Or omitted the chicken broth? Or just be thankful it wasn't more strongly vanilla?

The dressing, while definitely stronger tasting than the chicken, was still only mildly vanilla. Very aromatic, mind you, as the whole dining room seemed to smell of it after I dressed the salad. Very tasty, too. Interestingly, the flavor of the dressing was much more pronounced on the greens than on the chicken. I think it might be nice tossed with cantaloupe and blueberries.

Vanilla-Scented Poached Chicken Salad
Needs. Moar. Flavor.
Honestly, this salad is the most disappointing dish I've made for the Eating the Alphabet Challenge. It was certainly edible and the cats did not get any, but as I ate it I kept wishing I knew how to make it better.
Vanilla-Scented Chicken Over Greens

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, well trimmed
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped [Penzeys Madagascar]
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp white pepper
8 oz fat-free low-sodium chicken broth [Pacific Organic]
13.5 oz can coconut milk [Goya -- not recommended]

To a medium-sized pot add chicken broth, coconut milk, vanilla seeds and pod, white pepper, and salt. Give it a stir. Add chicken.

Bring pot, uncovered, to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Drain chicken. Thinly slice. Serve atop salad greens with a drizzle of vanilla balsamic and grind of fresh black pepper.
Vanilla Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp flax seed oil
1 Tbsp white balsamic
1 tsp vanilla [Penzeys Mexican Vanilla]
pinch each white pepper and sea salt

In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, vanilla, salt and pepper. While still whisking, slowly drizzle in oil until oil and vinegar are well combined.
I used whole fat coconut milk in the poaching liquid, because I prefer the flavor and the chicken wasn't going to absorb much, if any, of the milk, but feel free to use light coconut milk or cow's milk. I do not recommend the Goya coconut milk, however, as it seemed excessively watery. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods' house brands are much better.

Also, olive oil would be fine in the vinaigrette -- I just prefer the lightness and nuttiness of flax seed oil.

29 August 2013

Pesto Rotisserie Chicken Salad

I picked up a $5 rotisserie chicken at Price Chopper last weekend to go on my workday tossed salads, but there was still plenty of chicken left after assembling those and I was feeling a wee bit sammich-y ... so I made chicken salad with leftover pesto and plain Greek yoghurt.

Pesto Chicken Salad

Ordinarily, I'd use light mayonnaise in chicken salad but I wanted something really savory this time. I thought the pesto would dominate the Greek yoghurt, creating something creamy, but undeniably pesto-y. It mostly worked, but the addition of lemon zest might have given it a little more depth.
Pesto Rotisserie Chicken Salad
Makes enough filling for 4 sandwiches

4 Tbsp fat free Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups diced rotisserie chicken
3 inches cucumber, seeded and diced fine
½ shallot, diced fine
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the pesto, yoghurt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add chicken, cucumber, and shallot and stir until combined. Allow to sit for an hour or so in the fridge (overnight is fine).

Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve on toasted sandwich thins with lettuce and tomato.
I'm really quite pleased with the Price Chopper rotisserie chicken. It was a succulent little thing and, for $5, provided the principle ingredient for eight meals. I froze the picked-over carcass and it, combined with others, will make a fine broth this fall. Thrifty and delicious, no?
27 August 2013

Eating the Alphabet: M is for Mango (& Mint!)

For this August's Eating the Alphabet Challenge we're selecting M, N, and/or O ingredients. I chose mango and mint (with a little bit of spring onion) and made a yummy quinoa salad appropriate for breakfast or a light lunch. It was only after I'd made and eaten the salad that I realized it might be better to save it for September's tricky "Q" and make a different mango and mint dish for August. Trouble is, it's nearly the end of the month and I haven't come up with anything I liked better!

Mango & Mint

Mango is one of my favorite flavors, but it's not a fruit I cook with much. For the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, I wanted to push the envelope a little by trying something more savory, rather than going for a sweet like mango lassi or pudding. I paired the mango with mint simply because I thought it sounded like a great idea and not because I actually knew how the two would work together. I also decided to add spring onions (scallions) to my ingredients list as I reckoned the inclusion of onion would land whatever I made squarely in the land of savory. Also, it's an "O" ingredient and I am nothing if not an overachiever.

Mango, Mint, and Quinoa Salad

I based my salad on BBC Foods' Quinoa Salad With Mint and Mango" recipe, but I changed it up a bit -- adding crushed almonds, increasing the mint, decreasing the spring onions, and cooking the quinoa in orange juice.
Mango and Mint Quinoa Salad

4 oz quinoa, well rinsed
8 oz fresh orange juice
1 mango, peeled, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves (omit stems to avoid soapy flavor)
2 spring onions, including the green parts, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of ½ a lime
4 Tbsp crushed unsalted roasted almonds

Toss mango with mint, cilantro, onions, lime juice and zest, and olive oil. Set aside and allow the flavors to marry.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa in orange juice using your favorite method. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Toss quinoa with mango mixture. Divide between two plates. Garnish with extra mango and mint and crushed almonds.
This is a fabulously refreshing summery salad well-suited to a humid August morning. The flavors are really clean and bright and the whole thing positively shouts "good health!"

That said, this salad is best eaten within a few hours of making it. You don't want to refrigerate it unless you're going to let it come back up to room temperature before consuming. Trust me, it just doesn't taste very good chilled.

If you want to add meat to this dish and serve it for lunch or supper, I would serve it over a bed of baby greens with a skewer of citrus-grilled shrimp.

25 August 2013

Egg Salad With Your Pastry Blender

After many years of use, my egg slicer gizmo broke a few months ago and I was reticent to replace it, because it's one of those kitchen devices that spend more time cluttering up my kitchen drawers than it sees use. Without the gizmo, I slice and dice eggs with a knife when I need them for potato salad and I had taken to mashing them with a fork for egg salad. I found I actually preferred the textured of fork-mashed egg to gizmo-chopped egg in egg salad and decided to never replace the egg slicer.

But then, after too many episodes of The Great British Bake-Off, I bought a pastry blender. And, while I have yet to use it to make lovely cream scones, I have found the pastry blender does a really nice job chopping eggs for egg salad.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Easy Egg Salad
Makes filling for 4 sandwiches

8 peeled, hard-cooked eggs
¼ scant cup 0% Greek yoghurt
1 heaping Tbsp Dijonnaise
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Crush the herbs between your fingers to release their oils. Add to a large mixing bowl. Whisk in yogurt and Dijonnaise. Add eggs to bowl.

Making Egg Salad

Using your pastry blender (or a fork or whathaveyou), mash eggs until desired consistency is reached.

Making Egg Salad

Making Egg Salad

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate one hour or until ready to sandwichize.
(You'll note only seven eggs were pictured. One had a terrible accident with the salt and pepper mills and, somehow, ended up in my tummy).
23 August 2013

Eat More Fruits & Vegetables, They Say

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, they say, and I'm trying!

Tuna Steak w/ White Beans & Salad

I rubbed tuna steaks with a little olive oil and broiled them for four minutes per side -- leaving a bright pink center, so broil less if you want red -- and served them with white bean and tossed salads. That's vegetables on half the plate, protein on a quarter (beans are a vegetable, because I am a meat eater), and a whopping big hole where grains and dairy should be. Oh, well. Learning!

To make the bean salad, I combined one can of white beans with chopped cherry tomatoes and red onion, parsley, salt-free Italian seasoning blend, pepper, white wine vinegar, and a splodge of pesto. I let it sit on the counter for about an hour while I faffed about on the Internet and, while the flavors were good, I'm guessing they'd will be even better after a night in the fridge.
16 August 2013

Chard Slaw, Because I Can

We had my parents up for a picnic and I wanted to serve a slaw with the turkey burgers and pasta salad, but I had far more chard on hand than cabbage and it seemed a good idea to use the chard I grew rather than go buy someone else's cabbage, but I didn't want to do a hot dish ... so I made a chard slaw.

Chard Slaw

I used Better Homes and Gardens' "Vinaigrette Coleslaw" recipe as my base (what would I do without my red-and-white gingham standby?) but tarted it up a bit with sriracha and whatnot.
Chard Slaw
Makes at least six side dish servings

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
[Katz Sauvignon Blanc Agrodolce Vinegar]
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp sriracha
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground caraway
½ tsp mustard powder
4 cups chard sliced into thin ribbons (save stems for a later use ... like pickles)
1 cup coarsely shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
½ shallot, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together vinegar, honey, oil, sriracha, ground caraway, mustard, salt, and pepper.

In a large bowl combine chard, cabbage, carrots, and red onion. Pour vinaigrette over cabbage mixture. Toss lightly to coat. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Chard Slaw

I'd recommend eating this within a day of making it, because the chard started to get a bit soggy by the second day.

I think the slaw came out pretty well for a first try -- my mother certainly liked it -- and I will make it again but I might add chopped toasted almonds (or hazelnuts) and dried cranberries (or cherries). Also, maybe a little crumbled blue cheese? But would it even be a slaw then?
15 July 2013

Eating the Alphabet: K is for Kale

July's Eating the Alphabet letters are K and/or L. I was leaning toward "L is for lemongrass" when I saw a recipe for kale salad on Whole Foods' website where an avocado was mashed into kale to form a dressing!

It sounded interesting, but I never have avocados on hand. I do, however, quite often have Whole Foods or Wholly guacamole on hand. I wondered why couldn't I mash my kale with guacamole? And then I thought, since I was using guacamole, maybe I'd like to toss in some black beans? Roasted corn? Chopped tomato? A little lime juice? Blackened chicken strips? And, lo, "Southwestern-Style Kale Salad" was born.

Making Kale Salad

Southwestern-Style Kale Salad
Serves 2

Double handful of chopped kale
½ cup drained and rinsed black beans
½ cup thawed frozen roasted corn
6 chopped grape tomatoes
Guacamole, as desired
Lime juice, as desired
1 cup diced cooked chicken

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl and toss until the kale is evenly coated with the guacamole.

Making Kale Salad

Squeeze a bit of lime juice over it, if desired, and toss again (lime juice is a great "brightener" and, if you are not serving the salad right away, will also help keep the guacamole from discoloring). Portion out into two bowls. Top with chicken. Eat!

Making Kale Salad
How did it taste? Quite fabulous, really, and I felt totes smug eating it since it was packed full of good-for-me ingredients.

07 July 2013

Cold, Convenient Supper

It's too hot for cooking. Too hot for thinking. But not too hot, apparently, to wander around the farmers' market and buy all the berries a market tote can hold. Nor is it too hot to visit the bakery!

Cold Supper

(But if we didn't go to the farmers' market, then we wouldn't have lettuce to go under pasta salad. And if we didn't go to the bakery, we wouldn't have pasta salad to go on top of lettuce. And the same is true for raspberries and cupcakes).

Cupcake & Rasbperries

28 June 2013

Kale Knows No End

The giant bag of kale knows no end! I've eaten kale twice a day all week and there's still so much left. I think I'll have to break down and make soup. Or kale chips? Mmm, kale chips.

I did make a snazzy kale scramble twice this week, it was that good. Sautéed chopped kale in coconut oil with red onion and garlic until it was wilted and tender (about ten minutes) and then I added two eggs (beaten with a splash of milk) and gently stirred everything 'round until the eggs had formed lovely big curds. A little salt, pepper, and sriracha and it was good to go.
Kale Scramble

I also made a Waldorf-style kale salad. Twice. I'd forgotten how much I love Waldorf salad and, while mine pales before my uncle's traditional version, I liked mine enough to eat it for lunch and supper two days running.

Kale Waldorf(ish) Salad

Kale Waldorf(ish) Salad
Serves: 2

2 packed cups chopped kale
1 apple, diced and tossed w/ lime juice to prevent discoloration
½ cup halved seedless grapes
½ cup roughly chopped dried cherries
¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp slivered almonds

Toss dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Add to salad and toss well. Let sit until ready to serve. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with slivered almonds, if desired, just before serving.
24 June 2013

My First Kale Salad

I know kale's been the hot green for ages now, but (slow boat that I am) I only just discovered the deliciousness that is raw kale. I like kale in soups, stews, and casseroles, but raw kale? In a salad? I don't know. Might be a bit ... chewy? Bitter? Weird? Didn't help that many of the recipes I saw instructed me to blanch the kale leaves or, godloveaduck, massage them. When it comes to salads, all I want to do is throw ingredients in a bowl and go "yum!" So I've been making kale salads sans blanching and massaging ... and they're fine. Maybe even a little bit fabulous.

My first kale salad

The above is my first salad and, while it's pretty simple, it's also ridiculously delicious and I strongly recommended this combination of ingredients. I didn't measure anything, mind you, but just went by "feel" so it's very possible the next time I make this salad, it may taste very different.
grated carrots
apple, diced fine & tossed w/ lemon juice to prevent discoloration
slivered almonds
red onion
dried cherries
ginger-sesame dressing

Combine all (including dressing) and let sit until ready to eat.
15 June 2013

Eating the Alphabet: J is for Jicama

I've known for months now that I wanted to use jicama in June's Eating the Alphabet Challenge. My local Price Chopper carries containers of jicama sticks in its prepared produce section and, every time I reach for the snap peas, I'd see them and think "Gonna make something fabulous with you soon!" But when I finally bought them (and a whole unprocessed jicama for kicks) I wondered what I would do with it. Yes, months of looking forward to eating jicama ... zero planning for actually cooking with it.

Jicama 2 Ways
Jicama two ways

So I made a fruit salad. (It's Father's Day Weekend. We're having a picnic. I planned on serving banana cream pie for dessert, but my mother is allergic to bananas. What to serve as secondary dessert? Well, I had lots of berries. And jicama. And mint. And limes ...)

Jicama-Berry Salad

Jicama Fruit Salad
Serves 6

6 oz jicama cubes (thumbnail-sized)
6 oz blackberries
6 oz raspberries
9 oz chopped strawberries
¼ oz fresh mint, sliced into thin ribbons
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
Ground cinnamon, if desired
Honey or sugar, if desired.

Add all ingredients to a medium serving bowl. Stir gently to combine. (If your berries aren't very sweet, you might want to add a little honey or sugar at this point).

Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend or refrigerate for a few hours.

Serve dusted with cinnamon, if desired.
What does jicama taste like? A lot like nothing. It's crunchy like an under-ripe pear or water chestnut, but it really doesn't taste like anything. Works brilliantly at picking up surrounding flavors, though -- The Husband picked most of the jicama out of his serving of fruit salad as he said it had "gone all minty!"

04 June 2013

Lazilicious Lunch Salads

I've been taking enormous bowls of salad to work, because salads are easy and my brain is too fraught with random anxieties to deal with lunches more complicated than "chop stuff and chuck it all in bowls." I only make two or three days worth of salad at a time, because I worry the salad won't keep. I don't like rusty lettuce or slimy bits in my salads, you know.

Italian-esque Salad

Last week, I made a phenomenal Italian-esque salad of artichokes hearts, black olives, roasted red peppers, garbanzo beans, red onion, and diced cooked chicken over romaine with light Italian vinaigrette. I love artichoke hearts, red peppers, and olives, but never think to put them in salads at home. The combination made the salad seem almost decadent (although it was really quite healthful) and, every day, I found myself looking forward to eating it.

This week, I have some cold roasted salmon fillet I'll flake and toss with butter lettuce, cucumber, red onion, garbanzos, capers, dill, white balsamic vinegar, flaxseed oil, and fresh ground pepper. There's also leftover grilled chicken I'll toss with romaine, roasted peppers, red onion, cucumber, garbanzos, and fat-free feta.

Yeah, I know, that's garbanzos in everything! What can I say? I love me some legumes and, lately, garbanzos are my legume of choice.
04 May 2013

Healthier Taco Salad

I made this salad last week when I was craving taco salad in a crispy fried tortilla shell with grilled chicken, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and full-fat sour cream. While I didn't have quite the right ingredients (and am not about to attempt frying tortilla shells at home), my turkey taco salad still came out pretty well and I'd gladly eat it again.

Turkey Taco Salad

Ingredients: Ground turkey cooked with salt-free taco seasoning over romaine, tomatoes, red cabbage, scallions, black beans, black olives, crushed tortilla chips, lime juice, guacamole, and garlicky salsa.

Tostitos Taco Cups

I had leftover ingredients, so I filled Tostitos Scoops with cooked seasoned ground turkey, black beans, sliced olives, salsa, and havarti cheese then broiled them until melty and delicious.
24 March 2013

Celebrating Spring with Strawberries & Blue Cheese

It really is spring! The calendar says so and nature agrees!

First Spring Blooms 2013

First Spring Blooms 2013

Wanting to celebrate, I made a beautiful “spring” salad of baby arugula, strawberries, crumbled blue cheese, and sliced almonds dressed with white balsamic vinegar and flax seed oil. I used a lovely bit of Boucher Family Farm's Madison Blue in the salad -- it's very creamy with great tang. At the moment, one of my favorite blues.

Spring Salad

While I made this salad, I founding myself singing Miriam Makeba's "Love Tastes Like Strawberries." I'd never heard of Makeba until I saw her commemorative Google doodle and now I can't get enough. Good thing my library system has a vast and varied music collection!

21 March 2013

Improv Challenge: Peas and Carrots

For March's Improv Challenge, I was all set to tackle my Mom's split-pea soup recipe. I even bought a ham! But then the weather warmed up just enough to suggest that spring was around the corner ... and I didn't want soup, anymore. Fickle tummy! So I made a delicious salad of many shredded crunchy things ...

Crunchy Salad of Crunchiness

Crunchy Chicken Salad
Makes 4 large servings

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 oz Napa cabbage, shredded
4 oz red cabbage, shredded
4 oz sugar snap peas, strings removed, chopped on the diagonal
2 oz bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 large carrot, coarsely shredded
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup sliced almonds
1 recipe "Ginger-Sesame Dressing", as needed [or Newman's Own, Maple Grove Farms, Annie's Homegrown Organics, etc]

Pound the breasts until they are flattish and then marinate in some dressing overnight or until needed.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil, add marinated breasts, and bake at 350F° for 20 minutes or until breasts are cooked through. Set aside, let cool, then shred into small pieces with two forks. (Chicken can be prepared a day or so in advance, if desired).

Toss everything together. Add dressing, as desired, and toss until salad is evenly coated in dressing. Divide between four plates. Garnish with more sliced scallions and almonds, if desired. Eat

To make assembling this salad easier (and faster), I shredded/chopped all of the vegetables in my food processor using the "slicing" plate (my "shredding" plate shreds too fine for salad, imho).

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