Tag Archives: salad

Mango Summer Salad

13 May

summer salad

Ingredients: (salad) romaine lettuce, baby spinach, red onion, radish, champagne mango, avocado, cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, (dressing) olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cherry rhubarb jam, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil leaves.

It isn’t precisely summer, yet, but it’s close enough!

Combine 2 romaine hearts and a small bag of baby spinach in a large bowl. Chop 1 mango, 1 avocado and a few cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice 3 radishes and  a little red onion. Add to salad with 1/2 cup of gorgonzola and toss.

For dressing, blend 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, a spoonful of jam, 1 clove of garlic, 2 basil leaves, salt, and pepper in a blender till smooth. Pour over salad, toss, and serve.

Experiment: Try arugula instead of spinach. Try pear or grapes instead of mango. If you don’t have fresh fruit, try craisins, dried cherries, or dried apricots. Sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. For more salad dressings, see Ranch Dressing Et Al.

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Kale and Swiss Chard Salad

18 Feb

photo
Ingredients: Kale, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, agave nectar, garlic, sea salt, fresh ground pepper corn, and water.

Toss 3 cups kale and 3 cups Swiss chard, torn into bite size pieces, in a large bowl. In a high power blender (I used my Vitamix), blend 1 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 TBSP agave nectar, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 TSP sea salt, 3 turns fresh ground pepper corns, and 1 TBSP water for 30-60 seconds. Strain out the pulp from the seeds through a fine wire strainer.  Pour into a jar with 1/4 cup grape seed/olive oil and shake until combined. Pour as much dressing as desired over the kale and Swiss chard. Mix well and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Experiment: Use a different kind of vinegar. Add the garlic at the end for a more intense garlic taste. Use a different kind of oil, or use honey as an alternative sweetener. Add your favorite fresh herb before blending dressing for a twist. Top with your favorite cheese or sliced avocado before serving.

Ranch Dressing Et Al.

22 Nov


Ingredients: Mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, dill, white wine vinegar, lemon, garlic salt, granulated garlic, paprika, ground pepper, and honey.

I know this is really simple. That’s what I thought too! But a friend told me I should post it because lots of people use ranch and would love to make it at home. So here it is!

I have a household of dippers. So this dressing/dip is a staple in our refrigerator. It takes minutes to put together, tastes great, and is so much cheaper than buying ranch in the store. (I can’t stand buying salad dressing at the store!) Most dressing are easily duplicated at home, and even taste better! Following the ranch dressing recipe, I’ve also listed the basic ingredients for many other common salad dressings. All of which you can totally make yourself. Have fun!

In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. Thin it with buttermilk to the consistency you prefer. Then stir in lots of dill, either dried or fresh. More if you use dried, less if you use fresh. Next comes garlic salt, granulated garlic, and paprika. Start adding these in and taste as you stir until you have reached the ratio of salty and savory that you like. Then stir in white wine vinegar. Start with a touch, then taste. You can always add more if you like. Finally, add a little squeeze of lemon, a touch of honey, agave nectar or sugar, and fresh ground peppercorns. Don’t be afraid to go back and add a bit more of one or more ingredients until you reach the taste you like.

Experiment: Try basil instead of dill for a creamy pesto ranch. Try pickle juice instead of vinegar. Try smoky paprika, red pepper flakes, or some juice from pickled jalapenos to give it a spicy kick. If you like fresh garlic flavor, try using a couple cloves of fresh pressed garlic instead of granulated garlic. For a low-calorie/low-fat version, use light mayonnaise and fat-free sour cream. For a treat, stir in shredded Parmesan cheese for Parmesan ranch.

Here are the basic ingredients for other common salad dressings that I make…

Thousand Island

Ingredients: Mayonnaise, ketchup, buttermilk, chopped dill pickle, minced onion, white wine vinegar, and sea salt.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients: Two parts olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar, fresh pressed garlic, honey, salt (or anchovy paste if you have it), and fresh ground pepper.

Italian

Ingredients: Two parts olive oil to one part white or red wine vinegar, minced garlic, minced onion, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, sea salt, pepper, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

Asian Vinaigrette

Ingredients: Four parts seasoned rice vinegar to one part pure sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, minced green onion, cilantro, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

Honey Mustard

Ingredients: Three parts mayonnaise to one part Dijon mustard, touch of spicy brown mustard, honey, sea salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  (Sometimes I put dill in it too.)

Spicy Ranch

Ingredients: Two parts mayonnaise to one part Savory Cilantro Sauce, buttermilk, sea salt, a splash of white wine vinegar.  OR, for Chipotle Ranch: One part sour cream to one part mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, buttermilk, one chopped red chili in adobo sauce, minced garlic, sea salt, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

Curry Chicken Salad

25 Oct

Ingredients: Chicken thighs, shallots, garlic, brown rice, celery, apple, green onion, carrot, peanuts, butternut squash, shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, buttermilk, curry, cumin, ginger, garlic powder, honey, and salt.

Start by cooking four boneless skinless chicken thighs with two minced shallots and six minced cloves of garlic in a heavy bottom skillet. Chicken thighs take longer to cook than white meat, which is good because it gives the shallots and garlic time to caramelize into a savory paste. Remove the chicken and reserve the yummy shallots and garlic to use with the dressing later.

In a large bowl stir together half a cup of cooked brown rice (I like basmati because it is light and flaky), two chopped celery stalks, one chopped apple, three chopped green onions, one shredded carrot, one cup of cubed roasted butternut squash, one cup of shredded white or red cabbage, a quarter cup of unsalted roasted peanuts, and the cooled chicken thighs cut into small pieces.

For the sauce, combine half a cup of mayonnaise, one tablespoon of buttermilk, 2½ teaspoons of Indian curry powder, half a teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of ground cumin, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, one teaspoon of salt, fresh ground peppercorns, a quarter cup of honey, and the reserved caramelized shallots and garlic.

Pour the sauce over the salad and mix it in.

This flavorful salad is great served cold all by itself, over a bed of fresh greens, or warm with pita, tortillas or naan.

Experiment: Try adding golden raisins and walnuts. Make it vegan by stir frying firm tofu instead of chicken and using vegan mayonnaise and soy milk in the sauce. Spice up the salad with cayenne, red pepper flakes, chili sauce, or another favorite hot sauce.

Fresh Bruschetta

6 Sep

Ingredients: Tomatoes, sweet onion, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and honey.

You can adjust the amounts for each ingredient depending on how much you want to make. We usually make a BIG bowl of it and eat it over several days. It just gets better!

In a mixing bowl, chop four to six whole tomatoes into different size chunks. Then add about half a cup of chopped Walla Walla sweet onion, four cloves of chopped garlic, and a big handful of fresh chopped Italian basil. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil and about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar into the bowl. Sprinkle sea salt, fresh ground peppercorns, and a small amount of honey to taste.

This can be eaten with just about anything. On crackers, with a baguette, over meat, on top of pizza, or with grilled sandwiches.

Experiment: Try different varieties of colorful seasonal tomatoes—Cherry, pear, heirloom… The more the merrier! Add other Italian herbs for different flavors—Fresh oregano, thyme, Italian parsley… Stir in roasted red pepper, or maybe even add fresh mozzarella chunks.