Salads

Asian Slaw with Grilled Chicken Sate

Ohhhhhhh man, you have NO idea how excited I am about summer!  I LOVE summer, like really love summer.  I love summer weather, summer hours (its light out until after 9 p.m. right now, people!!), and most of all, summer food.  Mmmmm, summer food!  There’s fresh veggies in the garden (we’ve got quite a few things going right now, I’ll have to post about that sometime to show you our funny garden), fresh fruit, lots of grilling, eating outside, and homemade ice cream is finally appropriate.  YUM!

At this rate, we are going to have to invest in a new case of propane tanks for our little Weber Q because we are grilling so much (and guess what, that actually makes me excited!).  We broke out the grill recently in an attempt to eat something healthy for dinner that was full of flavor and could come together quickly.  As far as the grilling went, honestly, I cubed chicken, threw it on skewers and rubbed it with this sate seasoning.  Easy enough, right?  Right.  Moving on…

Now for the real star of this show, the Asian Slaw.  Oh, boy.  This was one of the first things I pinned on Pinterest when I joined back in the fall and just now got around to making it.  Now I’m kind of sad that I waited for so long.  This is so delicious and so fresh tasting – I just kept picking at it because it was so good that I couldn’t get enough.  There’s complex flavors from the dressing  (that is like liquid gold, I could probably drink the stuff) and various textures from the veggies, beans, and peanuts.  I’m not kidding, this is like a confetti party for your plate!  Its makes a ton (which I was skeptical about and considered cutting the recipe in half), but Branden and I ate it all within a day or two.  I mean, at least its not horribly unhealthy – I guess there’s worse things that we could be gorging ourselves in, right?!?  Right.

This would make some seriously delicious cookout food for a crowd, too – different from your typical broccoli slaw (which don’t get me wrong, I kind of like that stuff – raw ramen noodles in all.  I really hope that other people know what this is other wise you’re going to think that I’m gross).

Okay, enough rambling…make some slaw!

P.S.  Here’s the link to the recipe from Once Upon a Chef – the picture is MUCH better than mine.  Clearly I got too excited to eat this and didn’t pay attention to the fact that the picture doesn’t do the salad justice.  Whoops!

Dressing

  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 TBS peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

For the Slaw

  • 4 c.prepared shredded coleslaw
  • 2 c. prepared shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. cooked and shelled edamame
  • 2 medium scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 c.chopped salted peanuts (or you can leave them whole)
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.  Stir until the peanut butter is dissolved. Set aside.
Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and toss well.  Let sit at least ten minutes so vegetables have a chance to soak up the dressing.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I added more Sriracha).  Serve cold.

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Categories: Asian, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mexican Fruit Salad

This is another one of those recipes learned from my Mexican uncle (two things should be clear at this point in the game: 1. He makes really yummy, authentic food that I very much and enjoy and 2. I can’t resist Mexican food.  Ever.).  This is a super easy fruit salad with sweet fruit and a spicy kick.  Perfect!

This frequents our table when making a Mexican feast, or when we can find jicama…a challenge in rural NE Ohio.

Enjoy!

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and julienned
  • 1 jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 2 large mangoes, peeled, cored, and julienned
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Chili Powder to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste

We’re about to get complicated here folks…toss everything in a bowl.  Garnish with a little lime zest if you’re feeling fancy.

Categories: Mexican, Recipes, Salads, Snacks | 2 Comments

Beef & Peach Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

After eating out waaaaaay too much on vacation (we ate ourselves silly since we were near fresh seafood!), I really just needed a salad for dinner.  I also was craving some beef seeing as I was practically a vegetarian the week before eating zucchini for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  So that led me to Cooking Light again and I used their recipe as a benchmark for this salad.  The peaches up here are awesome right now (I got some of Bauman’s Orchard’s peaches), so this was a winner. The vinaigrette was awesome and light as well.  So what are you waiting for…run out and get you some peaches while they’re ripe and make yourself a salad!

  • 2 bunches of watercress or 4 c. artisan lettuce
  • 1 English cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 5 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 c. red onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb roast beef, cubed
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, cucumbers, red onions, peaches, and beef*

Pour the lime juice into a smal bowl and whisk in the sugar and 1/2 tsp salt dissolved.  Add the garlic, ginger, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until emulisified.  Stir in the shallots.  Transfer the salad to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.

*I seared my tip roast in a cast iron skillet on both sides before placing the pan in the 325° oven until the internal temperature of the beef was 145° (for medium rare).  Let set for 10 minutes before cutting into cubes for the salad.

Categories: American, Entrees, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Shaved Asparagus with Lemon Miso Dressing

While I was in San Francisco in May, I had this delicious dish at Bocodillos, a tapas bar near the Financial District.  Unfortunately, I’ve been dreaming about it ever since, so I set out to begin trying to piece it together.  I think I finally found a close combination of ingredients, though I think my dressing needs a tad bit of tweaking (perhaps a bit more miso?), but other than that, this recipe is pretty close to the awesome dish I had in San Francisco.  This is a delicious, fresh. and light salad that works as an entree or a side dish.

The most challenging part of this salad is shaving the asparagus.  I used a veggie peeler because I was terrified I would slice my fingers on my mandolin.  It worked pretty well…basically I snapped the ends off the spears and laid the spear on a cutting board while running the veggie peeler down the length on it.  I found laying it down was easier than holding it in the air because I had way more control (but this is just me…let me know if you find a better method).

Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. large asparagus
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro
  • 1/4 c. minced shallot
  • 1/2 c. white miso paste
  • 6 lemons, 3 of them zested
  • 2 c. vegetable oil
  • 2/3 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c. sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 pkg of yellow fin tuna in olive oil (or 1/2 c. of tuna ventresca if you can actually find it – I decided against ordering it online)
  1. Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus lengthwise, adding it to the water as you go.  Let sit in water for 1 hour or until is becomes curly.
  2. Chop all the herbs and combine in bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Place the shallot, miso, and the lemon zest in a bowl.  Juice all the lemons and add to the bowl.  Slowly whisk into the miso, making sure to smooth out any lumps.  Whisk in the vinegar and slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking the entire time to make an emulsion.  Set aside.
  4. When ready to assemble the salad, drain the asparagus.  In a large bowl, combine the asparagus and herbs.  Add the dressing until the salad is lightly coated.  Top with almonds and tuna.
Categories: Entrees, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

The Basil is Ready! Prosciutto & Melon Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Fresh Basil

Our basil plant has finally grown large enough that I feel comfortable stealing several leaves off of it without killing it.  FINALLY!  We actually are growing two types this year: Sweet Basil (the most common variety) and Purple Thai Basil (because we love Thai food).  To celebrate our crop, Branden and I prepared this awesome afternoon snack a few hours before our grilled pizza party with our friends from Pittsburgh that were visiting.  (On a side note, I have some awesome grilled pizza recipes we’ve created, but unfortunately, I got caught up in the excitement of gooey cheese and forgot to photograph them!  Another time, I promise!)

Anyways, I had some leftover prosciutto from dinner earlier in the week and decided we needed a cantaloupe to pair it with.  This is an awesome “salad” or snack during the summer, especially if you can get you hands on a good melon and some quality balsamic.  If you can’t find (or don’t have) quality balsamic, try reducing it a bit in a sauce pan with a bit of sugar until it becomes more like a syrup.  Enjoy!

  • 1 small cantaloupe, seeds removed and cut into chunks
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, julienned
  • 1/4 cup fresh sweet basil, julienned
  • Balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction
  • Fresh salt and pepper to taste

Place melon on serving platter and top with prosciutto and basil.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle to salt and pepper.

Categories: Appetizers, Recipes, Salads, Snacks | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Weeknight Dinner: Edamame Salad with Crisp Steak Bits

This quick and easy recipe comes to us from Cooking Light, which I subscribe to.  I really appreciate their slimmed-down versions of traditionally unhealthy recipes in each issue and I really have never tried anything that wasn’t delicious.  While searching for high protein, high fiber meals that were quick and easy for a weeknight (without sacrificing flavor, of course!), I found this yummy recipe.  I followed the recipe completely and honestly wouldn’t change a thing.  There is tons of flavor and its super filling and generally healthy (as long as you don’t eat the whole recipe in one sitting).

Enjoy!

  • 3 c. frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBS minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 TBS mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped, seeded English cucumber (about 1)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 8 oz. flank steak, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook edamame according to package directions.  Drain.  Rinse with cold water; drain.
  2. Combine soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through sesame oil) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add edamame, tomatoes, cucumber, and onions; toss to coat.
  3. Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Combine with steak, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat steak.  Add steak mixture to pan; cook 5 minutes or until well browned and crisp, stirring frequently.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups edamame mixture onto each of 4 plates; top evenly with steak.

Yield: 4 servings

And for those of you who are interested in the nutrition facts: 277 cal., 14.8 fat, 23.1 prot., 14.6 carb., 6.1 fiber, 20 mg chol., 3.5 mg iron, 540 sodium, 97 mg calcium

Categories: Entrees, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Taste of the Med: Greek Lemon-Dill Grilled Chicken Salad

I found this recipe on Weight Watcher’s website while looking for something to do with the chicken breasts I had pulled out of the freezer.  I was looking for something fresh and light for a Thursday night and this seemed like the perfect recipe.

Ever since spending a month in Greece a few years ago, I have yearned to recreate some of the flavors I experienced.  This recipe got me a few steps closer with the lemon-dill grilled chicken that is reminiscent of chicken souvlaki.  Branden and I both really enjoyed this salad and it was suprisingly really filling.  The fresh flavors made this an instant summer time hit that would be beautiful served at a intimate dinner with friends in the back yard.  Execution was a cinch and I can’t say I’d change anything about this recipe (except maybe add some more cucumbers because we pretty much devoured them!).

Enjoy!

  • 6 TBS water
  • 1 1/2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast
  • 4 c. romaine lettuce, thickly shredded
  • 1 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c. roasted red peppers, packed in water, diced
  • 1 cup English cucumber, sliced
  • 10 medium Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 1/2 TBS fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 medium lemon, cut into wedges for garnish
  1. In small bowl, combine water, oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; remove 1/4 cup of dressing and place in a large glass bowl.
  2. Add chicken to bowl and turn to coat; cover bowl and refridgerate at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.  Cover and refridgerate remaining lemon mixture for dressing.
  3. Grill chicken, turning as needed, until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Place lettuce on a serving platter; arrange vegetables, chickpeas, chicken, olives, and cheese on top.  Stir dill into reserved dressing; drizzle over salad.
Categories: Entrees, Greek, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Listen up Carboholics: Homemade Croutons

I love bread.  I don’t just enjoy a fresh slice or two every now and again, I actually crave bread and have no self control when fresh bread is put in front of me (especially when its accompanied by dipping oil).  There’s definitely a reason why I don’t bake bread very often: I just plain can’t leave it alone.

Another thing I can’t leave alone?  These doggone homemade croutons I’ve been making to “put on my salad.”  If only they actually made to the salad…

It all started with an incredibly stale loaf of Italian bread Branden brought home that was leftover from making french toast.  I’m not kidding, this was the most stale loaf of bread I’ve ever seen; it was as hard as a rock.  Instead of throwing it away, I decided to make croutons.  I began sawing (and I’m not joking, it was actually kind of hard to cut because it was so stale) the bread into bite sized pieces and contemplating my next moves.  I heated the oven to 425° for starters and then created a garlic olive oil to drizzle over the bread by combining olive oil and fresh minced garlic that I let set for a few minutes.  On a large baking sheet, I combined the bread and oil and then sprinkled with some fancy Italian seasoning, coarse sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.  I then baked in the oven until the croutons were golden brown.

Magic.  Just make sure to let them cool completely before storing them in the plastic bag.  The challenge is not eating them all before they get into the bag.  You can store in the freezer or they will last for a couple weeks sealed in the pantry (again, if they actually last that long).  My favorite salad combo when they croutons make it to a bed of greens?  Salmon Caesar.  I pan fry with some salt and pepper a piece of salmon and throw it on a bed of lettuce with the croutons, fresh parmaesan, and Girard’s Light Caesar dressing.  YUM!!  (And not to mention, an incredibly fast week night meal.)

Categories: Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

So today marked day number one of our cafeteria at work being closed for renovations which means I really need to step up my weeknight cooking so that I have leftovers to take for lunch seeing as I’m not going to walk across the street to McDonald’s everyday.  As tempting as it sounds, I probably shouldn’t go to the local Mexican joint everyday either so leftovers are definitely the winner.  Oh well…

Tonight’s dinner was a fresh, fast, and easy Asian-inspired salad that actually happens to be a Weight Watchers recipe.  This salad is really filling and there’s no oil in the dressing, so I don’t feel guilty piling my plate pretty high with the greens.  One of my favorite things about this salad are the greens of choice: Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage.  Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage are both incredibly crunchy and sturdy greens that are different from typical salad greens most folks tend to lean towards.  Their strength is put to the test when you toss the hot steak with it– most traditional salad greens would wilt, but the bok choy and napa cabbage stand up to the task.

So if you’re looking for a new twist on salad, go ahead and give this dish a try.  The citrus, soy sauce, and fish sauce flavors are awesome together and the little bit of red pepper gives a tiny kick of heat.  The combination of tender steak and crunchy greens is delicious and satisfies my need for varying textures in a meal.

I’ve made this salad several times and really don’t stray from the recipe because its quite good as written.  Don’t be intimidated by fish sauce, it doesn’t make the salad taste like fish!  It is made from fish oils, but its more of a salty condiment used in Asian cooking.  I promise, its not as disgusting as it sounds but I wouldn’t go around taking swigs of it.  Enjoy!

Asian Beef and Bok Choy Salad

  • 1 lb. beef sirloin, trimmed
  • 2 TBS fish sauce
  • 1 TBS reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated lime zest
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 c. thinly sliced Bok Choy
  • 4 c. thinly slicked Napa Cabbage
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  1. Put beef on plate and place in freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.  Place 1 TBS fish sauce, soy sauce, lime zest, 1 tsp of sugar, and 1 clove garlic in large zip-close plastic bag.  Thinly slice beff and add to bag; turn to coat beef.  Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, 30 minutes.
  2. To make dressing, whisk together lime juice and remaining 1 TBS fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 garlic clove in small bowl; stir in pepper flakes.  Combine Bok Choy, cabbage, and shallots in large serving bowl.
  3. Spray large deep nonstick skillet or wok with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on it.  Add steak and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 1 minute.  Add steak and reserved dressing to bok choy mixture; toss to coat.

And for those of you who care, here’s the nutrition facts:

Per serving (2 cups): 208 cal, 4 g fat, 1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat, 73 mg Chol, 961 mg sod., 9 g carb., 2 g fiber, 33 g protien, 163 mg calc

Categories: Asian, Entrees, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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