Category Archives: Salad

Lobster Cobb Salad and Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This is a delicious, tart salad dressing.  The flavors are perfect together and I will be making this delicious salad this Sunday for my Mother’s Day Brunch!  Just the perfect combination of tart and sweet. I served this lobster salad with baby greens, beets, lobster, corn, chopped eggs, tomatoes,  bacon (on the side) and, of course, avocado.  I bought the lobster (already cooked) You can purchase at your local fish store and specialty stores like Graces Marketplace. I cooked and  cut up beets, made some hard-boiled eggs and cut up tomatoes along with other ingredients. When I make it this Sunday I will put all the other ingredients in little bowls and let everyone choose what they like . I set up a make your own salad bar. So those who are vegetarian pick their ingredients and everyone is happy.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1 small lime)

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt (approx. 1/4 teaspoon, maybe a bit more)

freshly ground black pepper

*you may want to double .  This will make approx. 1/2 cup salad dressing

Directions:

Whisk the vinegar, honey and lime juice together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Salad:

You can feel free to add and subtract ingredients:

I use any type of greens –usually Romaine and a dark green mixture of greens

I used corn, beets, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocados, and bacon. Sometimes I use shredded cheese or blue cheese (even though I really don’t like blue cheese at all) and black or green olives cut up are delicious in here as well. And feel free to substitute chicken for the lobster and add and subtract whatever you’d like.

When I serve for brunch I put all the ingredients in separate little bowls and let everyone choose their favorite ingredients. Dressing on the side–of course.

Cinco de Mayo Salad and Green Goddess Dressing

photo (2)photo (5)photo (2) photo May is here and it brings warm weather and beautiful flowers and springtime has finally arrived. This is a perfect way to bring a little Cinco de Mayo into your home in a pretty healthy way.

Any excuse to celebrate a holiday with a new recipe! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone and here is a new salad and salad dressing to help celebrate with. While I am not a vegan and don’t always cook that way,  I tried this salad dressing which I found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s All Good”, and I have to say it is all good! All good ingredients. I am not talking diet food–just good, healthy food, that when eaten in moderation, yields very good results. I used * Vegenaise in making this and highly recommend it in the place of mayonnaise. You can also use yogurt in its place. This is low salt and low sugar. Delicious, fresh ingredients. I made it with the delicious salad listed below. I love love cilantro, and I have to say that if you don’t love cilantro, this one’s not for you. I used half of a jalapeno and it was not hot at all, next time I will use a little more.  I scraped the seeds out. Be very careful handling jalapenos and their seeds–make sure to wash your hands well afterwards and maybe wear gloves to prevent any problems.

This dressing will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

*a little story about Vegenaise, which is lighter than mayonnaise and contains no eggs, milk or animal products. No GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). Mix it with Dijon for great flavor in the place of real mayo. Extra added bonus is a great jar to store future salad dressings in.

Ingredients:

*this will be vegan if you use Vegenaise

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup of Vegenaise, yogurt, or mayonnaise

2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)

1/2 green jalapeno, roughly chopped (you can use more or less, whatever level of heat you like)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon honey

DRESSING DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients in a blender except for olive oil (I open the top and pour oil in after all other ingredients are combined.) It is a beautiful light green color with specks of dark green. Joel was definitely suspicious of the color but he really loved it! Gave it a big thumbs up!

This should serve 4 nicely as a salad but adjust quantities based on how many people you are feeding.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

About two hearts of romaine Lettuce, shredded

1/2 can of yellow corn (or 2 fresh ears of corn, shucked)

1/2 can black beans (I use organic canned beans and rinse and drain them)

4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks

approx. 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used delicious cherry tomatoes, halved)

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Green Goddess Dressing (see above)

If you’re using fresh corn, you’ll have to cook it first. I used the canned version this time. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and dress it with about 1/4 cup of the dressing, just so it’s nicely coated. I then added beans, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, cilantro and corn. Add a little more salad dressing, and serve immediately. Joel likes a lot more dressing on his salad so I served with dressing on the side. And no he didn’t eat all that stuff in the salad; he just ate lettuce and tomatoes…he really doesn’t know what he’s missing!

Ranch Dressing – BLT Salad

photo (2)DSCN0290photoDSCN0292One of the best things to come out of writing this blog is being in touch with so very many different people and getting inspired by their ideas as well as my own. Bree emailed me to tell me about this dressing that she made from Ina Garten. I was so happy for the email and a new dressing to make. I followed the salad dressing recipe decreasing the salt and changing the salad to a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato salad. So yum, and thanks again Bree for thinking of me and writing to me, I love that you thought of me and that you inspired me to make this new dressing.  This is one helluva great dressing and it would make one helluva great dip. Another perfect anytime salad. Thanks!

Ingredients:

3 scallions, white and green parts , chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup good mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat free please)

1/2 cup Greek style yogurt , I used 2%

1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken ( you can use lowfat)

Salad Greens:

for 6 people you will use 3 small Bibb Lettuces, or Boston Lettuce or Romaine. Whichever you prefer. I could only find Romaine so that’s what we had. We like our lettuce chopped so that’s what I did.

2 large ripe tomatoes or small grape ones, whichever you prefer.

6 slices of Bacon ( I used microwave Bacon) it’s awesome–no fuss no muss

*1 red onion thinly sliced ( optional)

*avocado cut into chunks ( also optional)

I made all the salad dressing because it will keep in fridge for a few days , I used less lettuce and less other ingredients just for the two of us. I used the red onion and avocado for my 1/2 of the salad.

Directions:

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic , salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for about 20 seconds till smooth. Add the mayo, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend till smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container and refrigerate for at least an hour till flavors blend together . Put together salad ingredients and pour dressing on it. So delish! Great with protein on it, and this salad dressing would make a great dip for raw veggies! I love this dressing, we ate it 3 nights in a row!

Chopped Vegetable Salad

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRenderI was having a dinner party and thought this would be a perfect addition to my menu. It contained fresh  vegetables and a salad all in one! Perfect side dish served right along with dinner. Of course you can add a protein and make this the meal which would be ever so perfect. Perfection in a bowl. This is what I did and what veggies I used, feel free to use the vegetables you would love. These were the quantities that worked perfectly though. I won’t lie it took some prep for this and a good idea would be to chop a lot of the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. Avocado and lettuce must be added right before serving though. Dressing and veggies can be made ahead of time .

*I served as a side dish and it was generous for about 6 -8 servings , if you’re using for a main probably 4-6.

*Original Recipe from O Magazine–I made a few changes

Ingredients:

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove–minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus a little more to taste at the end

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste at the end

1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces — about 1/2″

2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

3 ears of corn, cut kernels off cobs

1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 ribs celery, cut into small pieces , about 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small pieces , also about 1/2″ size

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 head romaine , chopped

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Lastly, whisk in the oil slowly. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add cut up green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn and cook a couple of minutes more. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, let veggies completely cool down. I let them sit till they were completely cool. Give vinaigrette a quick whisk, and add veggies to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes, celery , bell pepper and onion and toss well. Set aside and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. I probably let it sit in marinade for about an hour.

Right before serving, add chopped romaine, avocado and parmesan . Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Lime Shrimp with Corn and Avocado

IMG_8249 (2) IMG_8233 IMG_8228 (2)All I can say is Wow!!!!  I cooked about a lb.of beautiful shrimp and I wanted to use it in a delicious light salad incorporating some fresh corn and avocados. This salad has some of most favorite ingredients in it.  I used fresh corn, fresh tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, and shrimp! Limes are the secret ingredient here because they add all the flavor to this super light dressing.  This has got to be one of the healthiest most delicious salads.  Totally not fattening but filling because of the shrimp , corn and avocados. If you don’t like the ingredients you can Pasadena on this recipe because it’s definitely not for you. For those of you into it this is a must go to for summer entertaining. Light and Fresh , low in calories and so so easy to make.

If you like cilantro I would chop some up and add it, but a lot of people hate it so much I chose to not add. I removed all the seeds from the jalapeno and probably used 3/4 of a large one. One small seeded jalapeno is perfect and not hot at all. Be careful handling the peppers and the seeds,  I’ve taken to wearing surgical gloves to cut up the peppers.

This is a perfect summer salad, just don’t add avocados till you’re ready to serve,  everything else can be assembled ahead of time. I put together in the morning of the day I was serving and then added my avocados right before I served. This is what I did.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb. cooked shrimp (after cooking it should be 1 lb.) I then cut it up into smaller pieces. I probably cut each shrimp into 4 pieces. Remember I used under 10’s. So that’s 10 shrimp to a pound. You want the shrimp pieces to be bite size but not too small.

1/4 cup chopped red onion

3 cobs of fresh cooked corn ( just put cobs in boiling salted water, bring to a second boil and remove and plunge into an ice bath) let corn cool and remove kernels from cobs.

2 limes-juiced , I use my juicer to juice because it’s tough with limes and you need as much lime juice as possible from 2 limes. I squeezed a third lime over at the end, but it’s probably not necessary. The citrus helps keep avocado from turning brown as well.

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

a few grinds on the pepper mill–to taste

I put in about 1/2 pint of small grape tomatoes, but you can eyeball if using larger tomatoes, I didn’t want tomatoes to over power the other outstanding flavors

2 avocados–sliced and cut into cubes

1 small-medium jalapeno–seeded and minced

*a handful of chopped fresh cilantro if you love it

Directions:

Cook shrimp- peel and de-vein or buy it cleaned and de-veined whichever works best for you. I like cooking my own shrimp but you can certainly use a “cooked shrimp” readily available in most markets.

Cook corn and allow to cool down. When corn is cooled completely down I cut kernels off.

In a separate small bowl, place chopped red onion, lime juice, olive oil and salt and a little black pepper. Whisk together .

I placed Shrimp, Corn, Jalapeno and Tomatoes into a large bowl. About an hour prior to serving I poured the lime juice combination over the bowl of Shrimp.

Mix well and allow to sit and marinade. You’ll want to mix a few times before adding avocados to circulate the marinade.

Taste for Salt and Pepper but it should be good.

I added the 2 Avocados right before serving and squeezed a little more lime over it, probably not necessary but I did. If you’re adding the cilantro go ahead and add it now.

That’s it–perfect summer salad.

Summer Salad–Farm Fresh Farro

photo 5 (4)photo 4 (65)photo 2 (69)photo 3 (4)During the summer months in Colorado I am usually outdoors on a hike or my bike and while out there I can’t help but be inspired by all the beauty surrounding me here in the mountains. One of the things I often think about while out there is what I am going to make for dinner. I just posted another fresh farro salad and this was my original version. Both recipes are winners in my book.

Our daughter Kerri was out here visiting and while she is out here I am always on the search for some new vegetarian recipes to try out.  The inspiration for this salad came from some beautiful radishes from the farmers market and some fresh sugar snap peas. During the summer months with all the beautiful fresh vegetables available it’s super easy to throw together these salads. The fresh parmesan pieces give it the extra kick and salt it needs, use as much or as little as you like. I prefer pearled farro for this recipe.

*original recipe from Jessica Seinfeld website Do it Delicious

Ingredients:

1 cup pearled farro

1 cup sugar snap peas

4 large radishes

2 scallions

1/4 cup mint leaves loosely packed

1/4 cup parmesan pieces

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Follow directions on the box of farro or fill a saucepan to about an inch from the top. Bring to a boil, and add the farro and cook until tender but still chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a strainer and run under cold water to cool down. Drain out excess water and let sit while you prep the rest of the salad.

Wash the snap peas and radishes. Remove the stems from the snap peas, cut them crosswise into 1/2″ pieces and add to a medium bowl. Trim the stems off the radishes and remove the root ends. Slice the radishes in half , then slice crosswise into thin half moons. Add the radishes to the bowl. Trim the ends of the scallions, wash and then slice the white and light green parts of the scallions into small rounds. Add to the bowl. Tear the mint leaves and add to the bowl. Take the parmesan and crumble into the bowl, you can use your hands or a knife to crumble parmesan. Add the cooled farro to the bowl.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl. Taste for seasonings. Mix and allow to sit for a bit before serving. I made ahead and stored in fridge. I removed before serving for a while to bring to room temperature.

 

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette–Simple Staple

photo 2 (3)photo 5 photo 4 This is a quick go to salad dressing with no chopping, no dicing and no fussing. When I need a salad dressing quickly this is what I do. Recently I have been using Maille Mustards quite a lot , if you haven’t tried their products I would recommend checking them out.  Available in most supermarkets their products include a horseradish mustard and a particularly good honey mustard which I used on my Salmon this evening as well. Look for them or order on line at www.mybrands.com or for information go to www.maille.us . These ingredients should always be on hand in your pantry so you can whip up a delicious salad dressing at a moment’s notice without using bottled ones. Be in control of your own ingredients and the food you eat as much as possible. This will literally take you under 5 minutes to prepare and I can almost swear you’ll never use a bottled dressing again.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard–as stated I used Maille’s Dijon

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

a splash of lemon juice ( I just squeezed 1/2 lemon)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

I use a whisk, but a fork will do in a pinch. Mix Mustard, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice  Mix until well blended, then pour the olive oil in slowly until well blended. Add salt and pepper to your own taste. Perfect over any greens. Can be stored in a jar in fridge for at least 3 to 5 days.

Kale and Quinoa Salad – Summer Salad Perfection

I love Quinoa and I love Kale. I saw this recipe on Dana Slatkin’s Beverly Hills Farm Girl site,  it is a delicious healthy recipe which I highly recommend . I made a few changes in some of the ingredients I added. You can add or substitute to your heart’s content. I used her recipe for salad dressing, as I am always looking for new ways to re-invent the “wheel”. This dressing is very tasty and I highly recommend but any of the vinaigrettes that I have posted on here will do just fine. It is the summer , time to kick back and enjoy life. Part of enjoying life is eating, and eating well. I made this for dinner last night and even Joel took a taste, which is shocking. I don’t think it’s his favorite but it certainly is one of mine. It’s worth the effort and I plan on eating the leftovers today for lunch. So healthy! try it. Thanks Dana .

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, chopped in food processor ( see picture) remove stems and I remove the ribs and just use the leaves. I used 2 bunches because I had 2 in the house. It was a lot of kale and increased the size of the salad by a lot.

chopped kale for salad

1 cucumber , I scoop out the seeds and dice it. You can use Kirby cukes  or Persians which have very few seeds.

1/2 container of Grape Tomatoes , cut up

1/2 – 1 cup Shaved Parmesan, if you don’t have shaved , grated will do just fine

1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts , place in oven at 350 degrees for about 3 – 4 minutes.

1/2 – 1 cup dried cranberries, or dried cherries ( which I had and used) or just plain old raisins, I just like the color of the cranberries and cherries

2 cups Quinoa. While preparing Quinoa use equal amounts quinoa and water. I disregard box directions. I used 2 cups liquid ( water or broth) to 2 cups quinoa. It comes out dryer and not mushy at all.

Champgne Vinaigrette ( from the Beverly Hills Farmgirl)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1/3 cup Champagne Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon Honey

3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher Salt ( app. 1/4 teaspoon) taste for salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper, a few grinds to taste

I used a blender and threw all ingredients in and streamed the olive oil in until dressing was emulsified. Taste for Salt and Pepper.

In a large salad bowl toss the kale, quinoa, cheese, tomatoes , cukes, pine nuts and dried fruit of your choice. I made a few hours before serving, and used 1/2 of the vinaigrette and dressed at the table for those who preferred more or less dressing. Can definitley be made a few hours before serving, and I left it out at room temperature for about 2 hours.

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes and Lots of Good Stuff – Vegan

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199Most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight. totally vegan. I am not a vegan so I was grilling steaks for dinner and wanted to do a cold salad on the side. I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad.  I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.   Of course I love  jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them.  You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve.  You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast.  I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.

I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.

Ingredients:

2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.

1 pint grape tomatoes , halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Directions:

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Couscous Salad, Real Mediterranean Style

It’s springtime so I am thinking of lighter food, and of course salads come to my mind. I make this recipe with couscous or quinoa. I have another recipe for quinoa on my website so I figured that I would make one with couscous this time, but feel free to use either one. The dressing has a definite Greek flavor. This dish is perfectly tasty and served with grilled fish or chicken you have a perfect meal. As far as salads go, this one is perfection. This is not an exact science; if you like a lot of tomatoes, add more. If there is another item here that you don’t like, feel free to substitute, and I’d love to hear what you did. I love to hear variations on my recipes. This is so quick and easy to assemble. Can definitely be made ahead of time.

Ingredients: 

Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano (if you like to use fresh, use 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I started with a 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the peppermill.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good one)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk in the olive oil slowly. Adjust the salt and pepper and set aside.

Ingredients for Couscous:

Prepare 1  box (usually 10 – 12 ounces) couscous (or quinoa) according to the directions but use 1/4 less water than it calls for. For example, the Near East Couscous calls for 2 cups of water or broth so I would reduce by 1/2 cup. After cooking, allow to cool for a bit then stick in the fridge for about an hour. I usually cook my couscous in either chicken broth or vegetable broth for extra added flavor.

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I like a lot of tomatoes, so use more if you do too) I tend to like my tomatoes cut into smaller pieces but cut however you like just don’t leave whole

1 cup pitted black or Kalamata olives (I prefer Kalamata because they are saltier)

1 roasted red or orange pepper (you can use from jar) I just eyeballed from the jar, use as much as you’d like

1 cup garbanzo beans (drained from the can are fine)

6 ounces cubed feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions or chopped red onion would work quite well here as well

* chopped cucumbers would be a nice addition as well, I didn’t use this time

In a large bowl, gently toss the couscous, tomato, pepper, olives, beans and feta. Add the dressing, transfer to a lovely serving bowl and there you go. This is so delicious and light, it’s a perfect side dish and a beautiful salad .