Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

Southwest Avocado Ranch Salad

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Not until we are lost do we begin
to understand ourselves -Thoreau


I didn’t realize how much I needed a creative outlet until I started writing this blog. I had a personal blog that I used post to on a very regular basis, but for a time I lost my voice. I am happy that I have found it again and am even happier to share tonight’s dinner. This morning I picked up my Bountiful Basket and immediately began dreaming up different ways that I could use it’s contents this week.
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Using The Entire Juice Pack

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

The Juice pack was introduced in January to  provide those participants that wanted to do a juice fast an easy and affordable option; for many it was a chance to add some extra fruits and veggies to their dinner table.  I tried juicing and actually liked some of the concoctions that I came up with, but I tend to use it to add some extra produce to the table.  I decided to try some “Retro” dishes and a couple you might not have thought of…ready?  Here we go!

Juice pack: celery, kale, pineapple, parsley, apples, carrots, ginger, beet with greens, lemons and limes

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Grilled Bok Choy Glass Noodle Salad

Friday, July 5th, 2013
Grilled Bok Choy Glass Noodle Salad

Grilled Bok Choy Glass Noodle Salad

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Recipe Round-Up for March 2, 2012

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Blood Orange Cheesecake from Martha Stewart

Blood Orange, Beet, and Fennel Salad from Epicurious

Roasted Carrot Soup from Food52

Simple Grilled Asparagus from Serious Eats

Asian Lettuce Wraps from All Recipes

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes from All Recipes

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes from All Recipes

Chayote with Tomato and Green Chiles from Simple Recipes

Maple Creme Brulee with Poached Forelle Pears

Roasted Beet and Winter Squash Salad with Walnuts from NY Times

Apple and Beet Salad from The Bitten Word

Apple and Beet Salad from The Bitten Word

Unstuffed Green Pepper Soup from Food.com

Unstuffed Green Pepper Soup from Food.com

Canary Island Cilantro Soup from Food.com

Eat Your Greens!

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Though it’s no new discovery that vegetables are beneficial to ones health, did you know that greens, when eaten regulartly will improve your health.   Greens are filled with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances all of which play an important role in the maintenance and well being of your body.   Without a doubt the fastest and easiest way to incorporate greens into our diets is by way of the salad.  Now most people when they think of salad they think of the basics:  ice berg lettuce, tomatoes, maybe a few slices of purple onion and a crouton or two.  What they don’t realize is that there not only are some greens not actually green but there are dozens of varieties to choose from.  Here we’ll go over some of the most commonly used and their care.

Lettuces are one of the oldest vegetables known to man.  They are grown and sold worldwide and are members of the genus Lactuca.  The most common of the lettuce families are butterhead, crisp head, leafy, and romaine.

Types of Lettuce

Butterhead

Boston and Bibb

  

 

 

 

 

The most common of the butterhead variety, Boston and Bibb posses soft leaves and feature a buttery texture and flavor.  Boston is larger than bibb but both for cuts and are excellent choices to be used in making lettuce wraps.

 

Crisp Head 

Iceberg

 

 

The most common of all lettuces, iceberg falls under the crisp head category.   It possess a mild flavor, remains crisp for long periods of time and lends itself well to hearty dressings.

 

Leaf

Red and Green

   

 

 

Distinguishable by it’s separate ruffle edge leaves, leaf lettuce is not a firm head.  It’s rather delicate, therefore, can be easily damaged.  Leaf lettuce can be found in both red and green varieties and are known for their mild flavor and tender leaves.

Romaine

 

 

 

 

 

I like to call Romaine the backbone of all the lettuce family.  It’s hearty, flavorful, and versatile.  Romaine is a loosely packed head with long leaves and thick ribs.  The outside leaves are dark and you will see a noticeable fading as you get into the center of the head, or the “heart” of the romaine.

Living Lettuce

 

 

 

Though not new in the culinary world, living lettuce is finally making it’s way to dinner tables across the United States.  Living lettuce is grown hydroponic and sold with the root system in tact.  if you happen to have a green thumb you can maintain the lettuce for quite awhile if you just pull off leaves as needed.  The most commonly used living lettuce varieties are butter and bibb but if you look around you can also find  arugula, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce and watercress.

                                                                                        

Other Greens

Edible Flowers

 

 

 

 

The most common and easiest to find are nasturtiums, calendulas, and pansies.  They are often used in salads or as garnish.

****Be mindful to ONLY use edible, pesticide free blossoms.***

Spinach

 

 

 

 

When most people think of spinach they see visions of Popeye and the overcooked spinach that he always ate.  Truth be told, spinach is terribly under appreciated but incredibly versatile.  Whether tossed in a salad, sauteed with bacon or added to stuffing, spinach possesses a rich flavor and tender bite.

Spring Mix(aka Mesclun)

 

 

 

 

A mixture of a variety of baby greens that posse very subtle flavors much less bitter than their more mature counterparts.

Arugula

 

 

 

Sometimes known as rocket arugula is actually a member of the cabbage family.  It’s strong spicy flavor lends itself best to salad mixes when eaten raw but can be quite delightful when sauted.

Endive

 

 

 

 

A member of the chicory family, endive can be found in a a couple of varieties, Belgian and curly.  Belgian is the shoot of the chicory root.  The leaves are normally seperated and filled though whole heads can also be grilled or braised.

 Watercress

 

 

 

 

Delicate leaves on hearty stems, watercress has a very peppery flavor and can be tossed into salads, added to cream cheese, soups and most savory dishes what do not require extended cooking times.

 

Kale

 

 

 

 

Most commonly identified by it’s large ruffled/curly leaves kale possess a bitter flavor that goes well with rich foods but is a nice accent to salads and soups and can sometimes be found in it’s ornamental variety (also known as Savoy).

 

Chard

 

 

 

 

Somewhat tart and almost spinach like, chard is essentially a type of beet that does not produce a root.  It can be steamed, sauteed or used in soups and salads.

Care and Storage

Please keep in mind that all salad greens are highly perishable and need to be handled properly in order to maintain a reasonable shelf life.  Soft leaved varieties tend to perish more quickly than their heartier leaved counterparts.  Do not store greens with tomatoes, apples or other fruits that emit ethylene gas as it will accelerate spoilage.  All greens should be vinegar washed after they are torn and  prior to using.  Drain thouroughly either in a colander or a salad spinner as wet greens do not stay crisp, they do not hold dressing, and they will go bad much more quickly than dried leaves.  Once dried store in an airtight container.

 

Don’t forget to eat your greens!

 

 

 

 

 

Juice-Free Juicing!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Don’t pass the word along to Sally and Tanya but I am not a big fan of juicing. I feel a bit of a sugar spike if I drink too much fruit juice, and green juices generally just taste like grass to me (and as I am not of the bovine persuasion I generally avoid grass). I never really feel full after drinking juice- I think my mind just needs to be tricked by chewing because I can eat all the ingredients of a blended juice and feel satisfied. So when I saw the offer for an add-on juice pack there was no doubt in my mind…I was snagging that sucker. Yes, you did read that right. While I am not a fan of juicing I AM a fan of healthful eating and I saw that pack as a great opportunity to get some variety into my family’s diet- even beyond the regular basket. So started my quest for recipes using my Juice-Free Juice Pack. I tried to find recipes that used the ingredients in healthy combinations similar to what I would do if I were juicing. I wanted to focus on raw meals to get the whole nutritional benefit of each ingredient but with the incredibly cold weather this week I did end up turning to soup and cooked meals more than I originally planned. Here are some of the great recipes I found that helped me use up my pack. I have not tried all of these but of those I tried, my family particularly enjoyed the beet chips; the lentils with spinach and ginger (I used brown lentils from BB and it turned out great); and the cucumber -lime salad (I did that one with grilled chicken). Try out some of these fun recipes and join me in the ranks of juice-free juicing. Happy Cooking!

Seared Salmon with Parsley Ginger Marinade from Gastronoms

Beet Chips

Blue Cheese Bread Pudding with Apples, Kale, and Leeks from Boston.com

Summer Steak Salad With Ginger-Lime Dressing by Epicurious

Ginger Lime Carrot Soup from Radiant Health Inner Wealth

Kale Apple Coleslaw with Poppyseed Dressing from Chow.com

Beet, Cheddar, and Apple Tarts from Martha Stewart

Roasted Beet, Apple, and Celery Salad from Redbook

Beet-Cucumber Salad from Paleo Spirit


Recipe Round-Up for 2/23/13

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Chinese Di San Xian (Three Fresh Vegetables) from Bake Space (v)

Aubergine and Mint Bruschetta from Jamie Oliver (v)

Eggplant Parmesan from Shape (v)

Fresh Pineapple Pie from CD Kitchen

Pineapple Pops from Martha Stewart (v)

Broccoli, Leek, and Black Bean Rissoto from A Good Appetite (v)

Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style, from Rachel Ray (v)

Pineapple and Pink Grapefruit with Mint Sugar from BBC Good Food (v)

Black Bean, Egg Plant, and Leek Chili with Lime Sour Cream from Dinner Du Jour (v)

Carrot Ribbon Salad from Better Home and Gardens (v)

Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside-down Cake from the Food Librarian (v)

Apple, Orange, and Banana Smoothie by Morrisons (v)

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

One of the (many) drawbacks of being a gluten-free and nut-free household is that PB&J sandwiches are few and far between.  This is hard for me because not only do I love that lunchbox staple, particularly when accompanied by a tall glass of milk (another no-no in our house), but  I also really love making jams and jellies.  Unfortunately these goodies just don’t get used up as quickly in our home as they used to so I have had to make a decision- stop making them OR get creative with them.  I have learned that one of the (many) advantages to being a gluten-free, nut-free household is that I have the opportunity to get creative with the products I have on hand so that is the choice I have made.  Recently, I have taken my love of jam making to new levels.  I have been trying to find unusual ingredients and flavor combinations and then use them in ways that I have not tried before.  Pineapple-Lime Jam is now one of my favorite cake filling flavors.  (and thanks to BB I have a frequent supply of pineapple).  Apricot-Rosemary Jam has become a go-to for an elegant Sunday meal of glazed Roast Chicken.   One of my most requested flavors is Strawberry-Chipotle.  As strawberries pop up in the basket and the offerings page I try to keep some out of the view of the kiddos in order to make a batch of this delectable delicacy.

The fresh, sweet strawberries pair beautifully with the spicy smokiness of chipotle peppers.  The result of this pairing is a rich, red-hued jam that is versatile and delicious.  The deep red of this jam and the resulting sexiness (yes, I’m weird and totally think food can be sexy) of the dishes it creates make this a perfect part of a Romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.  I’m giving you here the basic jam recipe and three of my favorite ways to use it up.  I will warn you that these are not all the healthiest of recipes.  (I’m a sucker for cream cheese)  But for a special occasion they are fabulous!

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Strawberry Chipotle Jam

Ingredients

  • About 3 lbs of strawberries
  • 2 large lemons- zest and juice
  • 6 cups of sugar (told you it wasn't the healthiest)
  • 4-6 chipotle peppers minced plus a few drops of the adobo sauce to taste (watch out if you are Gluten-Free many brands have gluten. The one GF brand I have found is La Costena)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Chop half of the berries into small pieces, smash the rest, and mix together. You should end up with a total of 6 cups- a little extra is OK.
  2. In a saucepan combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. This is a thick, heavy mixture- be sure that you stir everything up from the bottom so you do not burn your sugar (This is the voice of experience speaking)
  3. Add all the berries, peppers, and adobo sauce to the pan (be careful as you add sauce- the flavor will intensify as it cooks.)
  4. Bring to a good boil and simmer. And simmer. And simmer. Seriously it could take up to 40 mins so just keep stirring and be patient.
  5. Check the gel consistency by placing a small amount on a very cold spoon, If it is the desired consistency take it off the heat. If it is still too runny…keep simmering!
  6. Place the hot jam in prepared jars. You can seal in a hot water bath according to the guidelines for your area (Vegas is 15 mins). Or you can refrigerate immediately and use up within a week or two. This recipe usually gets me 5-6 jars.

Strawberry Chipotle Cream Cheese Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 Jar Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • 1 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • Assorted Crackers, pita, bread, veggies, etc. for dipping

Instructions

  1. Put the block of cream cheese into an oven-proof dish.
  2. Spoon the jam over the cream cheese.
  3. Bake in a 350 oven for 7-10 mins. until the cream cheese is soft.
  4. Serve up and enjoy!

Strawberry Chipotle Grilled Steak Salad

Ingredients

  • Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • Oil of your choice (I like olive for this)
  • Spinach
  • Sliced or chopped Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese
  • Grilled Steak- Thinly sliced (this is even better if you have used some of the jam to glaze the steak as it grills)

Instructions

  1. Make a quick vinaigrette by whisking some of the jam into the oil (about two parts oil to one part jam) I like giving this a couple of zaps through the blender so that it is less likely to separate and has a creamier texture.
  2. Arrange the spinach and strawberries on the salad plate.
  3. Top with the sliced steak, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with feta cheese

Strawberry Chipotle Chicken

Ingredients

  • Strawberry Chipotle Jam
  • Water
  • Chicken- whole, legs, breast- whatever you like

Instructions

  1. Thin some of the jam with a little water (or if your jam turns out a little runny just go with that)
  2. Dry the chicken well. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin.
  3. Bake or grill as desired using the thin jam as a glaze. If you are roasting a whole chicken don't start the glaze right away as it will over cook- start glazing about half way through your cooking time.
  4. The jam gives the chicken a beautiful color and flavor. This dish is delicious paired with potatoes or rice, a nice salad, and hot green beans.

Cucumber Radish Salad

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

The radishes are staring at you, and you are staring at them. What in the world will you do with 6. You can slice one or two up in a regular green salad with dinner, or perhaps use them in some coleslaw with the cabbage you received this week, but better than that you can get rid of the whole bunch plus your cucumber and any stray carrots left in the ‘fridge with this zesty sweet salad! (You can really tell we focus on 100% basket consumption around here!)

Cucumber Radish Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 english cucumber, seeded and sliced length wise and then into cubes
  • 1/2 bell pepper cubed
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • 6 medium radishes shredded
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  1. Chop/shred the cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and radishes to a medium bowl. Mix with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and parsley. Top with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe Round-Up for 1/19/13

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Recipes with (v) are vegetarian.

Amy's Freaky Good Apple Tart from Food Network (v)

Lemon Pavlova from Eating Well (v)

Lemon-Herb Roasted Beets from Eating Well (v)

Strawberry Chicken Salad from My Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Egg Pie from Rachel Ray (v)

Braised Salad-Savoy Cabbage from Melissa's Produce (v)

Salad Savoy Chips from Tasty Kitchen (v)

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans, and Rice from Ingrid Hoffman

Orange and Balsamic Chicken

Orange Chicken from Blog Chef.net

Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing from Whole Foods Market (v)

Onion Potato Pancakes from Taste of Home (v)