Friday, July 24, 2009

Peachy Keen Salad!

And still more salad! Woohoo! Ha!

A word about lettuce--well, several, really! Ha!--I always buy the 1-lb. size box (or bag) of mixed greens. This gives me enough to eat salads for lunch and to feed extra people, if they drop in. A 5-oz. bag gives me 4 skimpy servings, but I also know that not everyone eats salad like I do! I love to pile lettuce on the plates; it gives a salad a luxurious feeling. It's not a "diet food," if it seems luxurious! And it's okay to eat a lot of it, because it's not only nutritious, it also doesn't add a lot of calories--or fat, if you're just drizzling the dressing, instead of pouring it on! Ha! But I actually do like--yes, LIKE--the taste of greens!

4 servings

5 oz. bag mixed greens
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
2 peaches, halved and diced
1 c. pine nuts

1/3 cup great quality balsamic vinegar (try Costco's Kirkland brand Balsamic Vinegar of Modena--yes, it's really imported! I have to thank Jill Erickson for introducing me to this!)
2/3 cup canola oil (or 1/3 c. olive oil and 1/3 c. canola oil)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
OPT: sweetener or sugar, if balsamic isn't a great quality one! Dressing should be without a lot of tartness!

Combine the dressing ingredients and buzz, shake, or stir!

To serve: layer lettuce, cilantro, green onions, peaches, and 1/4 c. (each salad) of pine nuts. Drizzle dressing over it, add a fork, and enjoy! (Chelsea just said, "It's good." Complete with a roll of her eyes--this is ecstasy, for her! LOL!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Watermelon Salad

I love salad, and I'm grateful to warm--or hot!--summer weather, so no one here expects me to turn on any heat whatsoever! Ha! I'm also grateful to Mother Nature for giving us lots of fun fruits to mix with various vegetables! I try to do seasonal fruits, even though I know they're available year-round; it seems like someone somewhere is in the middle of summer at all times! Ha!

This is quick, if you use seedless watermelon. I sometimes choose to pick out seeds, because I think the seeded watermelons are better than the seedless! They're more flavorful and sweeter. BUT seedless ones work, too.

The chili powder adds extra flavor, which I also prefer. Chelsea likes less chili powder and a bit more salt. So, maybe I need to add salt, pepper, and chili powder shakers to my table next time!

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces, or melon "balled."
1 small jicama, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
5 oz bag of mixed field greens
Opt.: 1 small avocado, diced

1/3 c. lime juice
1/2 c. canola oil (or some other mild oil--safflower, for instance!)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp agave nectar, or to taste (this depends on how tart your limes are!)

Mix watermelon, jicama, cilantro and green onions. Add dressing, and toss to coat.

To serve:
Place a bed of mixed greens onto four plates, and spoon the salad mixture over. Spoon the rest of the dressing over the watermelon salad, so the lettuce below will have some, too! Top with avocado pieces, if you're using them. Sprinkle a little chili powder over the top, if you want some extra zip!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet Summer Salad

I still love salad!

Serves 4.

For the salad:
5 oz. bag mixed greens
1 pint grape tomatoes (small plastic box!)
2 ears white corn, niblets shaved off and ears reserved
1/4 medium red, brown, or white onion, diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium ancho (aka "pasilla") chile, diced This should not be a hot chile! Instead, it's a sweet tasting chile! Be sure to remove ALL the seeds!
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/4 medium jicama, peeled and shredded
1 bunch radishes, cleaned and shredded
2 ripe avocados, cut in large dice (4 cuts lengthwise and 4 cuts crosswise)

For the dressing:
2 large, or 4 small limes, juiced--should be about 1/4 cup juice
1/3-1/2 cup canola oil (Olive oil is too heavy for this!)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves, finely crushed as adding
Corn "milk"--stand the shaved ear on a plate, and run a knife down it to force the rest of the kernels and the juice out. Add this to the dressing to add texture and sweetness.
Agave nectar to taste; this dressing needs to have a sweet taste to it! (Some limes are sweeter than others!)

Mix the salad ingredients except the avocado, and chill. Make the dressing, and chill to allow the flavors to meld.

To serve: mix the salad, still omitting the avocado, and the dressing together and dish it onto 4 serving plates. Top with avocado "cubes." Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Broccoli, Onion, Tomato, Carrot, and Jicama Salad with Creamy Dressing

I just realized that I didn't post this yesterday! SORRY!

Have I mentioned in the last 5 minutes that I love my food processor? Or how MUCH I love my food processor?!! And this salad is a perfect food processor meal! Woohoo! Of course, if you like chopping, you can do that, too. In fact, Marste just might be in 7th heaven, if she chops this. I think her body releases endorphins, or something, when she chops, because she says it relaxes her. Me, though. For me, the endorphins are hiding; chopping makes me crazy! I LOVE my food processor! Ha!

So, that said ad infinitum, use the pulse button for this. You don't want microscopic pieces, nor do you want a large piece of broccoli! Something in the middle would be good! Ha!

I fed this to 5 of us on Tuesday night, 2 growing teens, 3 adults, and occasional cubes of jicama to my dogs (who love it), and we ate it all.

6 cups small broccoli florets, chopped
4-5 slices medium brown onion, finely chopped
3-4 medium tomatoes (I like Romas, because they don't have as much juice), or 10-12 cherry tomatoes, chopped and drained (Food processors: use the pulse button 4-6 times on the cherry tomatoes, or on the regular tomatoes: cut them into quarters lengthwise and halve each piece crosswise. Pulse them 4-6 times, also! If you get foam, pour them into a collander and rinse briefly. Drain and toss them into the salad.)
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 medium jicama, 1/2" dice--okay, I didn't use the f. p. for this!

1 c. mayonnaise
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. agave nectar or sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

NOTE: I like tangier salads. This salad, as written above, appeals to everyone else I know! So, if I'm making this just for me, I cut down the quantities--obviously!! Ha!--and leave out the carrots and jicama. I also leave out any sweetener in the dressing, and I add 1/4 tsp. oregano leaves. I LOVE this version!

To assemble: chop, shred, dice, etc. the ingredients and toss together. Mix the dressing and add it, a little at a time, until the salad is a consistency you like. (I like a lot of dressing, but Chelsea likes the vegetables! Ha!) Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My mom fixed us a version of this when I was a kid! I loved it when she did! Typically, she fixed it in the summer--my family ate hot food exclusively in the fall and winter--but I fixed it all year round. Everybody liked it, including whatever drop-in guests that we had! And I usually had all the "fixings" hanging around, so it was no big deal! And what an impact!

And even I know that this bears absolutely NO resemblance to the current taco salads--or any Mexican food, period! It's great-tasting, though, if you're in the mood for a fun-food lunch or dinner! I usually made it without the meat, although my mom's version had 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, fried until it was done. She didn't add any seasonings to it, other than salt and pepper, and it made this salad very filling!

If you're in the mood for spicy, you can add Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper to the dressing or to the soy meat. The addition of spices to the soy meat, or meat, is more contained than the dressing addition. Also, I've tossed in stray bits of jicama and/or corn I have sitting around, which adds sweetness and crunch. This is good, but the original version, left alone, is better! Ha!

For the salad:
Optional: 12 oz. package soy meat, plain
Optional: 1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2"-3/4" dice
1 medium brown, white, or red onion--it depends on what I have!--chopped or diced
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more, if you like)
1 small can chopped ripe olives (Jenna won't remember this; I hate olives, so I never added them!)
1 6-8 oz. package good quality yellow corn chips, crushed, but not pulverized!

If you're using it, brown the meat with the salt and pepper, or the soy meat with the pepper.

You can cut stuff up during this time, or you can do it later, while the meat is chilling. To chill the meat quicker, put it on a paper towel on a plate in the freezer. Check it every 20 minutes, or so, because it actually will start to freeze fairly quickly! I learned this the hard way! Ha!

For the dressing:
You can make your own, or you can just buy 8 oz. (we like more) of thousand island dressing.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup catsup
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
Optional: few drops of Tabasco sauce
Optional: 1/8 tsp. or more cayenne pepper

Mix everything together in a container. For best results, refrigerate it for a couple of hours. On the other hand, I never plan that far ahead, and I generally use it immediately. Nobody's ever complained! Ha!

To assemble:
Put the lettuce in a large bowl--large enough to toss everything without spilling! Put the meat, or soy meat--if you're using it, obviously!, tomatoes, onions, kidney beans, cheddar cheese, and olives in pie-slice-shaped wedges around the salad. Put it on the table, so everyone can see your artistry! Now, pour the crushed chips over the top. Add the dressing, starting with about half the above recipe, and toss it to coat everything. I think this is a bit dry, so I add more dressing--like, the rest of it! I'm the type who likes a little salad with her dressing! Ha! Serve IMMEDIATELY, since the chips will absorb the dressing and get soggy pretty quickly!

To serve later: do the lettuce and the "pie wedges," cover, and refrigerate until you're ready to eat. Add the chips and dressing, and toss!

This is so good; I'm really looking forward to dinner! Ha! MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!