Category Archives: Salad

Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad with Kale or Arugula –Perfect Autumn Salad

This salad always makes me think of the Fall, I suppose it’s due to the butternut squash . This salad would really be delicious anytime of the year and if you added a protein it would make a delicious dinner salad. I made this salad the other evening and it was just perfection on a plate. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Fairly Healthy and you can keep it vegan without any dairy or add cheese for a delicious vegetarian salad .  It takes a bit of prep work but you can prep a few hours ahead and be done with it prior to the meal which is always a good thing in my book.

I prepped butternut squash and couscous and used baby arugula this time. I dressed the salad and let it sit , Kale is better when it’s soft and broken down so if you’re using Kale I suggest chopping it.  I love Kale but don’t want to feel like I’m eating my front lawn. It is delicious with kale or arugula or really any greens you prefer.

If you like a heavier dressed salad I would definitely double up the salad dressing. Or just pour a little over it and leave extra for individual dressing.

This is what I did. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb . butternut squash – 1 package of pre-cut squash and then I cut into small 1/2 inch cubes

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

1 cup dry Pearl Couscous , cook in water according to package directions

app. 2 cups chopped Kale Leaves or Arugula is also a great choice if you’re not a kale fan or really 2 cups of any kind of greens you like.

1/3-1/2  cup dried cherries–you can use craisins, raisins, cranberries whatever dried fruit you like -if you like less use 1/3 cup I tend to use more

1/3-1/2  cup chopped walnuts–same as above and you can obviously omit if you don’t like or use chopped pecans or other nuts

*app. 2 oz. crumbled goat or feta cheese if you’d like– I like the creaminess that goat cheese delivers so I use it over feta in this but use whichever you prefer

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice –this is a must

pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the salad:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes.

Spread the butternut squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray add 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to squash to coat, sprinkle a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the squash .  Bake for 15 minutes then flip squash over (as best you can) Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer back to the large mixing bowl. Depending on your oven the squash could take a little longer to cook, you just want it soft enough that it’s cooked through and a little browned up

Couscous: buy pearled Israeli Couscous –available everywhere Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil add 1 cup Couscous a sprinkle of salt and return to a boil . Reduce heat and simmer covered till tender about 15 minutes.

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients, (orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I used all of the vinaigrette and it was very lightly dressed and rather tasty. If you prefer more dressing on the side , double the recipe.

Add cooked couscous, kale, cherries, walnuts, goat cheese* and vinaigrette,  toss to combine. Taste for Salt and Pepper after all combined.img_2936img_2933img_2929img_2928

Serve Warm, or refrigerate and this will keep for app. 3 days in fridge.

It’s a very light salad dressing so the kale absorbs it and it will keep nicely in fridge.

Summer Peach Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

It’s the end of the Summer and the Palisade Peaches are still here in Colorado along with the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes. It’s a no-brainer salad going on here made with the freshest of ingredients. Fresh Mozzarella is readily available almost everywhere now and grab some fresh basil while you’re at it. This salad worked out well with a few easy ingredients and it packed some super delicious flavor. Hurry to your farmers market or produce store to grab some of these beauties before they’re gone .

*this recipe should serve 2- 4 but can easily be doubled for more

Ingredients:

1 pint of cherry tomatoes ( I grabbed some heirloom cherry tomatoes)

1 large peach or 2 small (Palisade Peaches here in Colorado have been amazing)

4 ounces fresh mozzarella

1 shallot

some fresh basil–throw in about 8 pieces and add more or less depending on your own particular taste

1 1/2 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or any flaky salt you like –this is approximate and use as little or as much salt as you like, tomatoes can endure a lot of salt

app. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Rinse off tomatoes and cut in 1/2. Clean and cut the peach in half, remove the pit and cut into bite size pieces. Add tomatoes and peaches to a platter or a bowl. Cut up the mozzarella and add to bowl.

Peel and slice the shallots into thin slivers or rings whichever you prefer. Scatter over tomatoes, add the basil, drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper and stir gently.

Presentation isIMG_8679 IMG_0586 (2)IMG_8681 IMG_8685 beautiful on a platter as well. Whatever way you do it the taste is phenomenal.

Summer Salad–Farm Fresh Farro

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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.

 

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’re into these ingredients 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 –if you prefer you can cut tomatoes in 1/2. I sometimes do this if I am not using the small grape tomatoes.

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:

  • We 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. I cut shrimp up into bite size pieces but not too small.

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.

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.

Watermelom Cucumber Salad–Perfect Summer Salad

This is a most delicious salad and a departure from the usual fare of lettuces etc. Sweet and Savory and very refreshing . Simple to pull together and easy to make. Of course you can substitute or add other items if you’d like such as olives, arugula , basil etc. This is how I did it and we all totally enjoyed it!!! The salad is a rather loose recipe and can be adapted very easily to other ingredients and your own particular tastes.

It really is the perfect Summer Salad. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the watermelon make for a perfect summer salad.

Ingredients:

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1″cubes or melon balls.

1 shallot finely chopped

1 chunk of Feta Cheese– I like to cut my feta cubed but crumbled could work as well. Feta is usually a greek style cheese made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. I prefer a block even though I know crumbled is more convenient. The block is usually sold in a brine and that will keep the feta moist and crumbles tend to be dryer. They all taste good though so buy what you prefer. I often buy Bulgarian Feta which is rather firm and cuts and crumbles easily. Look for it. Also French Feta sometimes–check out the assortment in the cheese section of your market. And of course Greek Feta is probably the most preferred. Salty and tangy the way feta should be. Cut or Crumble your choice.

4 Tbsp. Torn Fresh Mint — more for garnish –I love Mint but some people really don’t you can substitute Basil or nothing if you’d lke

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 persian cucumbers — I buy the small ones and cut into small cubes

1/4 red onion sliced thinly

1/3 cup Pistachio Nuts — I chop them gently — obviously no shells –you can omit this all together if you don’t like them for a nut free salad

 

Vinaigrette:

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

3 small cloves Garlic–finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Directions:

Combine the watermelon,1 finely chopped shallot, and mint in a large bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil . Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and toss to combine. Transfer to fridge and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove from fridge and add the cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion slices and pistachios. Toss to combine. I transferred to a serving platter , drizzled with the vinaigrette and served with extra pistachios and extra mint. 

You’ll want to use a slotted spoon for serving.

 

 

 

Basic Corn Salad

It’s Summer and the living is easy –and the corn is delicious.  There are times I buy fresh corn but don’t feel like serving it on the cob even though it is perfectly delicious this way. This corn salad is a suggestion for you as a side dish with very little ingredients and pretty much all corn. I like to serve as a side dish in the summer because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature. It’s a most perfect side dish. It doesn’t get more basic or easier than this recipe.

Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and keep on Cooking with Candi.

Ingredients:

5-6 ears of corn , schucked

1/2 cup small diced red onion

3 Tablespoons cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons good olive oil

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt – you can always add more salt after you finish and taste for salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper the same applies for the pepper as for the salt

app. 1/2 cup cut up fresh basil leaves–use as much or as little as you like –it adds wonderful flavor

*add a few small cut up grape tomatoes for another variety on this

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for app. 3 minutes (just to let go of the starchiness) Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. When the corn cools down , cut the kernels off the cob , cutting close to the cob to get the whole kernel. I use a bundt pan to catch all the kernels.

Toss the corn kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

How simple and easy is this?IMG_5739

Crunchy Noodle Salad–with Ramen Noodles

This is an oldie but goodie and always welcome on the table. It is perfect with a bbq and always seems to be a hit.  It’s the time of year when cold salads are abundant but this beauty is really wonderful all year round.

Napa Noodle Salad

4 cups sliced Napa Cabbage ( I cheat and buy the cabbage in a bag. It’s not always Napa but sometimes I don’t feel like chopping.  if you buy the bag, it’s fine, just use 1 whole bag. It’s more than 4 cups but it’s fine, and if all you can find is the cole slaw kind it’s Ok too, it will just have some carrots and some purple cabbage.

5 green onions (scallions) sliced very thin (green parts only)

Mix cabbage and green onions and refrigerate for a few hours (at least 2). This gives it a chance to meld and wilt a bit.

2 packages of Ramen noodles (It doesn’t matter which flavor you buy b/c you will be throwing away those flavor packs  –you won’t be needing them for this salad–just the noodles

handful of sliced almonds

1/2 cup sesame seeds (available in the spice aisle)

1/4 cup butter

Take the noodles (hard crunchy ones) and put in a large plastic bag. Bang noodles with a mallet or your fist (fist is fine) and just crack them up. They’ll be easier to work with. Add the almonds and sesame seeds and brown all together in the butter.

Dressing

1/2 cup sugar ( I know, but I never said I cook DIET)

1/2 cup salad oil (plain old vegetable oil will do just fine)

1/4 cup vinegar (I use white rice vinegar, which is available in Asian section of supermarket or just wherever the vinegars are.)

1 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium always)

Toss all together and Serve

*cabbage and onions need to meld and wilt a bit, so make sure to give them at least 2 hours in the fridge. The hard noodles should stay a little crunchy. Don’t burn–just brown–the ingredients until the butter gets a bit bubbly; not burnt. Be careful. While you’re browning the noodles with the almonds and sesame seeds, move them around with a wooden spoon so it all gets buttery.

I know this is fattening, but isn’t everything fattening so yummy??? And you’re not eating the whole thing, so enjoy!!!

Of course you can double up this recipe, it’s just a whole lotta cabbage to toss! As a side dish, this is a nice amount as is.

Serves 4 – 6 as a side dish

Summer Corn Salad with Feta

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I am flat on my ass after having partial knee replacement surgery . I have plenty of free time to peruse through my own blog and re post some really wonderful summer time recipes. This is a delicious and easy one which sometimes gets overlooked because I always make my Fresh Corn Salad but this is a bit different because it has Feta Cheese and some thinly sliced radishes. I suggest you try both of these wonderful recipes — super easy and super delicious for summertime cooking at it’s finest.

. This is what I did. You might want to check out my other wonderful corn salad which is titled Fresh Corn Salad it’s a little different and might be more to your liking. I like both just fine and I think you will too! There are so very many variations of corn salad out there and especially in the summer when the corn is so fresh and delicious.

Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh corn ( it’s so amazing in the summer) I actually used 6 ears of corn –boiled it for 3 mins and plunged into an ice bath to stop cooking. I did it the night before because it’s just easier that way

1/3 cup of fresh cilantro chopped–if you don’t like cilantro you can omit it, but it packs a  lots of flavor–just saying…..

3 Tablespoons Lime Juice –I used my juicer because this is a lot of squeezing. Or buy the fresh lime juice in those little green bottles. (see photo) but nothing beats fresh in my book

1- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, I used 1 . Feta was plenty salty here. You might want to add more, you can taste as you go.

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil–Extra Virgin is the way to go

1 cup thinly sliced radishes — they are amazing this time of year but if you hate them you can substitute with a little red onion or scallion. I love radishes and I love the pop of color and crunch they provide

1 cup cherry tomatoes–sliced in 1/2 or into 1/4’s

1/2 cup crumbled Feta— I used a 6oz. container

Directions:

Cut corn off cobs–I know it’s work but it’s worth it and mix the corn with all ingredients adding cheese last. Yum!!! refrigerate and take out before you’re eating and let sit at room temperature.  I put salad together early in the morning and refrigerated all day. You can make it and serve it right away  but it will be better after flavors marinate a bit. I still cannot believe that I forgot to put this wonderful side dish out!!!!!!! It happens to the best of us.

Enjoy!

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes –Fresh and Delicious

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199It’ s June so let’s break out all the delicious summer food. This is a most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . 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.