Category Archives: Salad

Lemon Garlic Herb Vinaigrette

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This tangy dressing reminds me of Spring.  I know Spring is right around the corner, but all of this fog we’ve been having lately has been a little discouraging.  I can’t wait to see the daffodills begin to grow.  Heck, I’d settle for a full day of sunshine!

Until then, lets just make a little sunshine in a bottle.  Something tangy, lemony, and herby.  Or is that Herbie?  No, wait.  Herbie is a car…

This dressing will keep a couple of weeks in the fridge.  I like to bring it to room temp before tossing with greens to make sure the olive oil is no longer solid.  And this dressing with a bit of blue cheese is heavenly– almost like Buddy’s salad dressing.  Almost…

Here’s hoping Spring comes soon!  😀

Lemon Garlic Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Place olive oil and garlic in a microwave-safe container.  Microwave on high about 30 seconds.  This will help to mellow the garlic a bit so it’s not as harsh as raw garlic.  Let cool.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Drizzle in the olive oil/garlic mixture while whisking constantly.  Continue whisking until dressing thickens slightly and is well combined.
  3. Store leftover dressing in a jar with a tight lid in the fridge.

 

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Monkey Fruit Salad

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I have an obsession with monkeys.  We’re decorating the nursery in Monkeys for the twins!  We have monkey sheets, monkey outfits, monkey blankets, monkey quilts, a monkey diaper bag… yep.  Monkeys everywhere!

And what do monkeys eat?  Fruit.  And what has this preggo lady been craving?  FRUIT!  I love this salad.  It’s simple, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is super healthy for me and my babies.  Sometimes I even add a dollop of whipped cream to make it a bit more indulgent.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2014!

Monkey Fruit Salad

  • 1 (15 oz. can) pineapple chunks- drain and reserve 1/4 cup juice
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (I used Gala)
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
  1. Put all the fruit in a bowl.  Drizzle with reserved pineapple juice, and stir well to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. To serve, spoon fruit into a bowl and add a dollop of whipped cream!

This fruit also makes a great smoothie combo.  Just combine in a blender with some plain or vanilla yogurt and ice.  YUM!!

Crunchy Ramen Coleslaw

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This is one of those beat-the-heat recipes for summer.  No cooking involved!  This salad whips up in a flash and is PERFECT along the side of grilled meat.  You could even add diced cooked chicken to make it a main meal salad.

This recipe is based off of the Ramen Coleslaw on the Food On The Table website.  I had to make several substitutions because of what I had in the house.  Hope you like it!

Crunchy Ramen Coleslaw

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or splenda
  • 1 (3.0 oz.) package Oriental flavored ramen noodles, crushed, seasoning packet reserved
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag cole slaw mix
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar, contents of the ramen noodle seasoning packet, and pepper together.
  2. Place cabbage, green onions, and crushed noodles in the bowl.  Toss well to coat.  Top with toasted sesame seeds and peanuts.
  3. Serve immediately.

Greek Salad for One

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This weekend, I decided to shop at the local Fred Meyer.  Inspiration struck as I was passing the Olive Bar.  They had some chunked feta and Greek olives marinated in an herb-infused oil.  Who could pass that up?

As soon as I got home, I tossed those lovely cheese chunks and olives with fresh veggies and a bit of vinegar.  Let me tell ya- easiest Greek salad ever!  Not that Greek salad is that hard anyway, but the herbs in the cheese-olive oil were the perfect complement.

I hope you have an olive bar with the marinated feta cheese chunks somewhere in town.  And I hope you are eating lots of veggies and drinking lots of water.  I’m good on the veggies, but drinking water is hard for me.  Unless its in the form of sun tea.  😉

Here’s to easy summer salads!

Greek Salad for One

  • 2-3 Tbsp chunked feta and Greek olives marinated in olive oil and herbs (from the olive bar)
  • 1 cup torn lettuce
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 3″ section of an English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 3 or 4 marinated artichoke heart quarters
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pepperoncini for garnish
  1. Put everything in a bowl, except garnish.
  2. Toss to coat the veggies.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with pepperoncini.  Devour.
  4. Feel good about eating such a healthy meal when you were at home by yourself.  😀

Honey Sherry Vinaigrette

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Sometimes, eating healthy is a pleasure.  This was one of those times.  This salad dressing was FANTASTIC!  So good with greens, a chopped tomato, some hulled pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.  Not pictured was the grilled chicken.  HOLY YUM!

I think I’ve found my new go-to dressing for the summer.  And summer’s not even here yet.  Look at that!  I’m ahead of schedule.  Love it when that happens.

This vinaigrette also goes well on spinach with toasted pecans, cranberries, and crispy bacon bits.  I bet it even tastes good on fish. Or pork.  Might need to try that out…

Honey Sherry Vinaigrette

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Combine mustard, garlic, honey and vinegar.
  2. Slowly drip in the oil while whisking vigorously.
  3. If needed, store in the refrigerator.  Shake well before dressing the salad.

This makes enough to coat a 5 oz. bag of baby greens.  I think its best to dress it just before serving so the vinegar doesn’t break down the leaves too much.  I also think that the dressing tastes better at room temperature.

Poppy seed Chicken Salad

Have a pen or printer handy?  Are you ready?  You’re going to want to write this one down.  When it’s hot outside or you just feel like its time to eat some tasty vegetables, this is going to be one of the recipes you’ll want to have on hand.  The dressing for this salad is AH-MAZING!  I got the recipe from my Mom.  She likes to use this dressing to make poppy seed cole-slaw or to use with a mixture of spinach, romaine lettuce, red cabbage, cashews, and craisins.

The local veggie stand had beautiful heads of fresh cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers.  All veggies that go great with grilled chicken, right?  Right!

This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.  Just be sure to leave it at room temp for about 10 minutes and shake well before using.

If you are concerned about your sugar intake, just replace half the sugar with Splenda or another sugar substitute.  Don’t replace all the sugar– it won’t taste right.

Enjoy your veggies!!

Poppy seed Chicken Salad

Click Here for the printer friendly recipe

POPPY SEED DRESSING:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vinegar (I used half apple cider and half raspberry)
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup salad oil (I used half canola and half olive oil)
  1. Place sugar, salt, vinegar, poppy seeds, dried mustard, and chopped onion in a blender.  Process until smooth.
  2. With the blender running, slowly pour the oil through the hole in the top.  Blend until the oil is completely emulsified.
  3. Use immediately or pour into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature and shake well before pouring onto greens.

POPPY SEED CHICKEN SALAD:

  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 3 large carrots, sliced thin (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lb grilled chicken, chopped
  • 1 recipe Poppy Seed Dressing (above)

Toss the vegetables with the chicken (can be done a few hours ahead- just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready).  Just before serving, toss with the dressing.  Enjoy!

THANKS, MOM! 😀

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing

Holy bananas! It’s HOT outside.  When it’s this hot, I am all about assembling and less about cooking.  Sure, I’ll throw something on the grill once in a while, but there are those nights I just don’t want to deal with anything that has to do with heat.  The cooking kind, not the spicy kind. 😉

One thing that helps me through those nights is a good salad dressing.  The kind of dressing that can be used in wraps and sandwiches, too.  This is that kind of dressing.  Plus, there are about a zillion ways to customize it to make it your own!  My ideas are at the bottom of the basic recipe.  What do you like to cook have for dinner when its HOT outside?

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing

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Click Here to print the Recipe!

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 package (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch Dips seasoning
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk (optional)
  1. Place cottage cheese, sour cream, and ranch seasoning in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Add milk, if desired, to thin the dressing out a bit.
  3. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

Customization Ideas:

This recipe is easy to customize.  Just add a few things to the blender!

  • Southwest: add 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 4 oz. can green chilies (drained), and 2 tsp hot sauce.  Blend until smooth.
  • Chipotle: add 1 chopped canned chipotle pepper and 1 tsp adobo sauce.  Add more adobo to spice it up if you’d like.
  • Garden Herb: add 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil, 1 Tbsp fresh chopped chives, 1/2-1 fresh garlic clove, and 1 Tbsp fresh dill.
  • Bleu Cheese:  Add 2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese and blend.  After blending, add another 2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese.