Archive for the 'salad' Category

11
Jan
11

The world needs another Kale Salad recipe

The top selling salad at work is the Kale Carrot.  I made a batch of it yesterday.  It will all be sold out by the end of today.  How much kale is in a batch at a busy deli?  20 large bunches.  8 cups of toasted sunflower seeds and about 25 carrots. 

A few posts back I gave you the recipe for the kale salad we sell at work.  Kale is our new green at home.  I used to make dinner salad with romaine, but it has been replaced with kale.  I love it!  Plus, it has to be better for us than romaine or leafy green lettuce, right?

Lots of good nutrition in that bowl

According to Food Lover’s Companion, kale is a member of the cabbage family.  It is a cruciferous plant (having four-petaled flowers, suggestive of a cross) that provides ample amounts of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium and iron.  I knew it was better for us than romaine!

So, last night our salad consisted of kale, shredded carrot, red onion, thinly sliced, a handful of chopped walnuts and satsuma wedges.  The satsumas are in season now and are oh, so sweet and juicy.  Be sure to remove the stems from the kale and wash the leaves.  Slice the leaves into thin strips.

Pretty little citrusy dressing

The dressing is what really made this salad outstanding.   Here goes:

1 large spoonful (2 tablespoons) of vegenaise

1 heaping tablespoon of frozen orange juice conentrate

1 tablespoon of orange muscat vinegar (Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

zest of one orange

Whisk it all together in a small bowl and dress salad.  Salad is best if the dressing has a chance to soak into the kale for about 30 minutes or more before serving.  I usually make the salad first and then prepare the rest of our meal.

A microplane is a great tool for zesting

If you don’t have a microplane, you can use a cheese grater.  A microplane is just so much easier to use and you get a finer zest.

A lovely salad for any time of the year

I hope you give this one a try.  We really liked it.  What did I serve this with?  Butternut Squash Ravioli in a garlic veloute sauce topped with Parmesan cheese and sweet and spicy roasted Brussel sprouts.  But it would be good just on it’s own with perhaps a hunk of garlic bread.

06
Jul
10

Boy, did we have fun!

I decided to try my hand at making a little movie presentation of our Fourth of July gathering.  We had some of our very special friends over to help celebrate the holiday with us.  As always, there was more than enough food.

We played darts, cowboy golf, badminton and of course, pool!  I spent a lot of time in what Katie calls my “natural habitat,” the kitchen, cranking out the goodies.  I even made a new barbeque sauce using rhubarb!  Thank goodness I had my grasshopper, Emily, there to help me.

We had hummus, pita bread, guacamole, bagel chips, grilled corn on the cob, grilled veggie skewers bathed with that rhubarb sauce,  kale and carrot salad, wheatberry salad and quinoa salad.  There were no lack of sweets.  I made peanut butter cookies, oatmeal triple chip cookies and lemon coconut pixies.  Emily baked a raspberry buttermilk cake which was the perfect foil for my homemade strawberry frozen yogurt.  Robert brought a perfect watermelon, beautiful fresh raspberries, red and gold, and blueberries.

I only wish I had taken more pictures.  Especially of us all shooting firecrackers and bottle rockets off!

Enjoy the film presentation.  (Ignore the date on the title page – this really was filmed on the 4th of July)

20
Jun
10

Deli? We don’t need no stinkin’ deli!

And neither do you.  Here is an easy, quick deli style salad that you can whip up in the privacy of your own kitchen.  It features quinoa, one of my personal favorite grains.  If you are not yet familiar with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) I strongly suggest that you two should get acquainted.  It cooks up like rice, is packed with protein and it looks pretty cute!

Colorful, tasty Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 bunch green onion, cleaned and thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 jalapeno, diced (I prefer to use the whole pepper including the membrane and seeds, but if you are a light weight, you can ditch them)

2 tablespoons rough chopped cilantro

Bring 1 1/2 cups salted water to a boil.  Add quinoa, stir and lower heat to simmer.  Place lid on pot and simmer for 19 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir to fluff.  Spread cooked quinoa on a baking sheet and allow to cool.

Once quinoa has cooled, place in a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.  Make dressing:

1/4 cup lime juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 – 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, if you want more kick to it

Whisk all together in a small bowl.  Pour over salad and toss to coat well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Ready for it's close up, just to make you hungry

I think this is best after the ingredients have had a chance to mingle and marry.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  This will last for about 3 days in the refrigerator, but it never lasts that long at our house!

31
Mar
10

Can I get that recipe?

Kale, Carrot & Walnut Salad ala Vampiregran

Those of you who know me personally know where I work.  You also know that the deli there is pretty popular.  We sell a lot of salads, especially when the weather warms up and everyone is dashing off to the nearby park for an impromptu picnic.  The kale salad is probably the most popular salad going these days or at least a close second.  The Mac n Cheese salad may have to step down as the favorite as the kale serges ahead.

My version of the kale salad is a bit more spicy than what we sell at work.  I always like to ramp up the spices, ya’ know, give it some kick and pizzazz!  So, without further ado, here is “that recipe”.

Kale, Carrot & Walnut Salad

 

1 large bunch dark green curly kale

4 large carrots, peeled and grated

½ cup chopped walnuts

 

¼ cup Veganaise*

1 tablespoon tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 medium clove garlic, minced

 

Remove stems from kale.  Slice kale into thin ribbons.  In a large bowl, combine kale, grated carrots, and walnuts.

In a smaller bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour over kale mixture and toss to coat.

This salad holds well for up to three days in the refrigerator.

* Veganaise is a vegan mayonnaise.  You could substitute regular mayonnaise, if you prefer.

17
Mar
10

Enchilada casserole tutorial

 A few weeks ago we had  a party at our place  and I made a vegetarian “chicken” enchilada casserole.  Everyone loved it!  Some people were very confused, saying “I thought you guys were vegetarian; there’s chicken in here!”  Well, yeah, but no.  There wasn’t any dead yard bird in there, just good ol’ Trader Joe’s Chickenless Strips.  I’ve posted a picture of the box a few posts back.  I like using those things.  They are so handy when it comes to doing recipe reduxes involving chicken.  Trying to make mostly vegetable heavy meals now days, I like to indulge in some processed stuff once in a while.  Moderation in everything, right?

The night before last I decided to make the casserole for dinner.  Since it was such a hit at the party, I thought I should share it with my blog audience this time.  So here goes:

The first layer

This is made like a lasagna, in layers.  The first layer I spooned in some green enchilada sauce (yes, from a can!), two corn tortillas (or what ever fits in your dish), sprinkle a little grated cheese (I used pepper jack and cheddar), chopped onion, sliced olives, chopped jalapeno, and chopped Trader Joe’s Chickenless Strips (I sauted these first in a little olive oil, added garlic powder, cumin, salt and chili powder to taste).

Layer two more corn tortillas

Ladle more green enchilada sauce on top

Add a little grated cheese

Add the chickenless strip chunks, sliced olives, chopped jalapeno, chopped onions

Load the top up with cheese

And bake it until it looks like this!  Preheat your oven while you are building your casserole to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until it is browned and bubbling.  The other night when this was baking I made Spicy Quinoa instead of rice and refried black beans.  I’ve shown you in past posts how I make refried beans so I’m not going to get into that this time.  I am, however, going to show you  a little step by step action with the quinoa.

Before you heat the pan, have a measuring cup with the liquid ready.  I have a 1 cup plastic measuring cup that has all of the cool markings on it.  I put 1 – 2 tablespoons of chili paste or salsa into the cup and add water or stock up to the 3/4 cup  marking.  Add a small amount of olive oil to a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium high heat, saute a couple tablespoons chopped onions, add some salt, cumin and chili powder to taste and 1/2 cup quinoa.  Stir often until quinoa starts to brown a little.

  Add your liquid and reduce heat to low and cover pan with lid.  Cook until all of the liquid has evaported, about 19 minutes.  Fluff with fork when done.

And this is what it looks like when it is done!  My lighting is a little strange here, so don’t freak if you make this and it isn’t this color, okay?

Add a  green salad and you’ve got yourself a nice balanced meal.  This is better than any Mexican restaurant and a lot lower in fat.  The whole thing takes less than an hour from start to finish.  And, yeah, we really eat meals like this almost every day.  Just ask Katie!

22
Oct
09

What’s for dinner?

“What’s for dinner?”  I hear this question from my spouse quite frequently.  I also hear it from my co-workers.  Not that the co-workers come to my house for dinner, but they are always interested in what goes on in my home kitchen.  I often bring leftovers for lunch, and someone always comments on how good something smells.

Last night I wanted to keep it light, as we have been eating some higher fat things lately and clothes are beginning to fit a bit snug.  I always enjoy at big salad meal and some warm bread.  I baked up a nice Brown Beer Bread and a made a hearty salad, filled with protein and veggies.  The salad dressing was super tasty and super easy.

Salad full o goodness, dressed with Fig Lavender Dressing and Brown Beer Bread
Salad full o’ goodness, dressed with Fig Lavender Dressing and Brown Beer Bread

 

FIG LAVENDER DRESSING

1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp fig glaze (see Chocolate Fig Custard Cake post for recipe)

1 tbsp lavender vinegar (purchased at a lavender farm, but you could make your own.  Steep dried lavender in white vinegar for a few weeks.)

Whisk together in small bowl and dress salad.  That’s it.

SALAD

1 package Trader Joe’s Vegetarian “Chicken”

1 head Romain heart, roughly chopped

1 large slice red onion, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper. cut in bit size pieces

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 small tomato, chopped and seeded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 small roasted beet, cut in small cubes

1/2 large avocado, cubed

Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat.  Spray pan with non stick canola or olive oil.  Toss in “chicken” strips.  Season to taste.  I used garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Cook until slightly browned, just a couple of minutes.  Set pan aside to cool while you put the salad together.

In a large bowl, mix Romain, red onion, red bell pepper, olives, carrot and tomato, Parmesan cheese, and cooled “chicken” pieces.  Drizzle on dressing and toss.  Divide among salad bowls and top with avocado and beet cubes.  This recipe served 2 adults as a main meal.  It can serve 4 – 6 as a side salad.

You can use whatever dressing you like on the salad; but if you made the recipe for the Chocolate Fig Custard cake and have leftover fig glaze, you should really try this.  So good!

BROWN BEER BREAD

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

12 ounces Black Butte Porter (or other dark beer, Not Guinness!**) Room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 9 x 5′ loaf pan with non stick spray.  Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add beer all at once, mixing as little as possible.  Batter will be lumpy.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Pour melted butter evenly over the top and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Turn out on rack to cool.

**  You can use Guinness in bottles but not the kind that comes in the can.  The canned variety gets it’s carbonation from nitro, which doesn’t work well with this bread recipe.

 

29
Aug
09

Come On-A My House

Yes, you either think of Rosemary Clooney or “The Girls Next Door” theme song when you hear that tune.  I will admit to being sucked into Hef’s reality show (?) a time or two.  But I was thinking more along the lines of having people over.  We had brand new guests over last evening.  I did my usual, “I’ll just put a few things out to nibble on” routine.  I love to cook and I love to feed people.  I don’t know what the girls expected last evening, but I’m pretty sure everyone had plenty to eat and a good time to boot.  Here is a shot of the little nosh spread.

A light repast ala Vampiregran

A light repast ala Vampiregran

Fruit and cheese board included grapes, blackberries and chocolate dipped strawberries paired with cheddar, spicy cheese curds, herbed goat Gouda and BellaVitano Raspberry cheese.  That last listed cheese was described by the following “A unique Parmesean taste with creamy cheddar texture soaked in New Glarus Raspberry Tart Ale.”  It is good!

Fruit and Cheese Board

Fruit and Cheese Board

I assembled a nice Caprese Salad with basil from our garden, organic tomatoes from work and fresh Mozzarella cheese.  Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, super tasty!

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Yes, that is Vampiregran’s Famous Hummus in the background.  A quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) salad and crimini mushroom caps stuffed with soyrizo and Parmesean cheese rounded out the little snack.
Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

I’ll post the recipe for this salad at another time.  It is a great summer treat, with raw fresh corn cut from the cob, crunchy celery and other goodies I’ll get into when I post the recipe.
So, next time you find yourself in Portland, don’t be shy.  Come on-a our house, especially if you are hungry.
23
Aug
09

Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

Beautiful colors from a summer garden, this salad is fast and simple to make

Beautiful colors from a summer garden, this salad is fast and simple to make

 

In 1970 I had the wonderful opportunity to live as an exchange student in Mexico.  Every Sunday, my host family and I would attend church services, which wasn’t much different from life in California with my folks.  The thing that set this Sunday morning ritual apart from my American life was the fruit vendor that waited outside the tiny church.  He was there, faithfully, every Sunday at 11:oo am.  We would line up to buy his sweet melons, pineapple and cactus fruit.  Paper cones were loaded with assorted fruit, lime juice was squeezed over the top and a dusting of chili powder finished it off.  The flavor was incredible!

I’ve been dealing with an abundance of cucumber from our garden this summer and wanted to make something other than the usual cucumber and red onion in sugar and vinegar.  This simple salad came together quickly and made me reminiscent of my 16th year and the simple life in Mexico.

Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

Seedless watermelon, removed from rind

Cucumber, peeled and seeded

Fresh lime

Salt

Chili powder

Cilantro

 

Cut watermelon and cucumber in bite size chunks and place in bowl.  Cut and squeeze lime juice over the fruit.  Season with salt and chili powder to taste.  Chop cilantro and add to salad.  Toss until the pieces are lightly coated.  Enjoy!

 




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