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Entries in Salad (42)

Saturday
Jul132013

BBQ Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

Bbq chicken salad

Since I made a heavy dish Thursday night, and we ate the leftovers for lunch yesterday, we needed something on the lighter side for dinner last night. This salad fit the bill. I had leftover chicken and blue cheese in the fridge, and pecans in the freezer, so it took very little planning to get this on the table. The tang from the BBQ sauce gave the chicken great flavor, and the sweetness from the candied pecans gave this salad a delicious crunch. This hearty salad was not only delicious, but filling, yet light at the same time. *See those super cute giraffe salad tongs? My cousin brought them back from her trip to Africa. They were hand made, purchased by trade. While I'm sure that they can be used, I think that they are too cool to possibly mess up, so they are just for show and I hung them on the wall in my kitchen.

For the Salad:
1 Chicken Breast
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce (we used Dinosaur BBQ)
1 head Butter Lettuce
1/3 cup Candied Pecans (recipe below)
1/3 cup Dried Cherries 
1/3 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled 
Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe below) 

Coat the chicken with the BBQ sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Cook the chicken over medium heat on the grill until cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool slightly, then slice. Gently rip the lettuce leaves and place into a large bowl. Place the sliced chicken over the top. Sprinkle on the nuts, cherries, and blue cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and enjoy!

For the Candied Pecans:
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 tablepoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Pecans

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine the syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt, stirring to blend well. Add the pecans and gently stir to coat. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring the mixture half way through baking. When the nuts are still hot, separate them with a fork. Allow to cool and store any leftover nuts in an airtight container.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Garlic Cloves, crushed or minced

In a bowl, whisk together the honey, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is fully emulsified. Store in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Makes about 13 ounces of dressing. 

SOURCE: salad from Bake at 350 Goes Savorycandied pecans and vinaigrette from Chinese Grandma

Wednesday
Jul032013

Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

Broccoli pasta salad

I love a good pasta salad. They are the perfect summer dish, great as a side to a grilled meal or eaten in a big bowl as a main course. They are so versatile too, made up of seemingly random ingredients, tossed with pasta and dressing, creating a perfectly easy dish. Aside from broccoli, I generally have all of the ingredients of this pasta salad in my fridge or pantry at all times. I picked up a head of broccoli at the store for about 75 cents and got to work throwing this salad together.  We had it along side of chipotle bacon burgers, which sadly I didn't get a picture of, but this salad made enough for us to eat for another 2 days.  Between the fact that it was so cheap to put together, so easy to make, and so delicious, I can see this pasta salad becoming a summertime staple in our house!

1 pound Tri-Color Pasta 
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 medium Broccoli Head, chopped into 1/2-inch florets
8 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to a pan or a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss until well coated; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broccoli, feta, and olives to the bowl with the pasta and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, then pour over the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

SOURCE: The Kitchn

Thursday
Jun062013

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Buttermilk ranch

When it comes to salad, I typically prefer vinaigrette dressings. However, if ever a way to eat raw vegetables, dipped in ranch dressing is the way to go. I happened to have an open carton of buttermilk in my fridge, which may have been my inspiration in the first place, and bottled dressing tastes too artificial to me, so I searched for a recipe and had a jar of homemade ranch within minutes. In the past week, I feel like I've eaten my weight in raw vegetables and a side of ranch!

1 cup Buttermilk, well shaken
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sour Cream
3 tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Chives, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the jar tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate for about 1 hour before using. This dressing will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.  

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Chow

Monday
Jun032013

Citrus Beet Salad

Citrus beet salad

An organization that my father-in-law belongs to hosted a chicken BBQ on Sunday in a nearby park. Joel and I decided to take advantage of the break from rain and went for lunch, which left us wanting a very small dinner. I've been in a rut lately and haven't really felt like doing any grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking, and that generally leads to us going out or eating junk. A quick browse through a few pages of Tastespotting changed all of that and left me craving this colorful salad. Aside from the time it took to roast the beets, the salad came together very quickly, with virtually no cooking involved. The colors in this salad were beautiful and flavors were amazing, too! I look forward to enjoying this again very soon!

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well combined. 

For the Salad:
2 Beets, scrubbed and peeled
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Salted Pistachios, shells removed
3 cups Baby Greens or Baby Spinach
Handful of Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 Orange, peeled and segmented

Scrub and peel the beets. Toss them with olive oil and wrap them in foil. Roast them at 450 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Place the greens in a bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing.
 

SOURCE: A Muse in My Kitchen

Tuesday
May282013

Dilly Potato Salad

Potato salad

Yesterday, we (unofficially) welcomed summer with a very productive day. After waking up early, making banana bread, and going for a run, we walked to the Memorial Day Parade that marched right past our street, which made for very easy viewing, and then we worked on our garden. Since we are getting a new fence installed, and since our backyard is mostly clay, which is not so conducive to gardening, we decided to plant our vegetables in large pots this year. We have 12 pots in all, containing several types of tomatoes, a few kinds of peppers, some zucchini, and some yellow squash. Hopefully they all do well, and maybe next year, we can build a more permanent garden along our new fence. After such a long day outside, the only thing that seemed fitting to have for dinner was all-American picnic fare. We grilled up some burgers and I tossed together this potato salad. It was incredibly easy to make, and it chilled while I finished cleaning up the yard. We have a few more things to do before we are done with gardening this year, but so far, we are pretty happy with our progress!

3 pounds Red Potatoes
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped 
1 Hardboiled Egg, chopped

Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, dill, and black pepper, then set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters and place them in a large bowl, along with the celery, onion, and egg. Pour the dressing over the top of the potato mixture and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

SOURCE: Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten