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Entries in Salad (44)

Thursday
Aug012013

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables

I was very excited when I found out that the theme for this month's First on the FIrst was pickles! When it comes to those sweet, tangy, crunchy vegetables, you either belong to the "love 'em" or "hate 'em" camp. I belong in Camp Love 'Em! I'm the kind of girl who always asks for an extra pickle whenever I'm at a hot dog stand; my favorite part of eating at a deli is the pickle on the side of the sandwich; you get the picture. Generally, when you think of pickles, you think of cucumber slices soaked in a brine, but lately, I've been enjoying other vegetables as pickles too! We went to the farmers' market last week and I picked up a big bunch of beets and radishes. While I didn't have anything in mind for them at first, I quickly decided that they would be delicious pickled, so I gave it a try. There is something about a pickled beet that I can't quite describe, but it is absolutely delicious! Below, I have listed the vegetables that I chose to use, however the recipe can be easily adapted for whatever vegetables you like best. Give these pickled vegetables a try for your next backyard barbecue. I promise, you won't be disappointed, and they will disappear very quickly!

2 Kirby Cucumbers, sliced thin
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thin
2 Radishes, sliced thin
1 Beet, sliced thin
1 cup White Vinegar
4 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Salt
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard Seed
1 cup Cold Water

Using a mandolin or a knife, thinly slice the vegetables. Evenly split the vegetables between glass jars (I used 2 pint jars). In a saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat, stir in the cold water, and allow the brine to come to room temperature. Pour the brine over the sliced vegetables, evenly dividing it between the glass jars. Cover the jars and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve on sandwiches or as is. 

SOURCE: Smitten Kitchen

 

Thursday
Jul252013

BBQ Quinoa Salad

Bbq quinoa salad

Last week, Joel and I were on vacation in Newport, Rhode Island. Being on vacation was great, and I ate my weight in fresh seafood which was amazing, but eating out twice a day for a week did get a little old. Of course, as soon as we got home, we proceeded to eat out two more days rather than go grocery shopping…we are so lazy sometimes! Wanting to put an end to that, I reluctantly got myself out of vacation mode, threw together a somewhat healthy menu and went grocery shopping. This meal, being one of the first to go on the menu, was outstanding! It was a simple, one-dish kind of meal that was really quite easy to prepare, feeds a crowd (probably a good 6 people), and leaves you full. It was the perfect dish to transition into cooking at home again. 

2 cups Cooked Quinoa (1/2 cup dry quinoa + 1 cup water = 2 cups cooked)
4 slices Thick Cut Bacon, chopped
1 Red Onion, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/3 cup BBQ Sauce, plus more for drizzling
1 cup Cooked Chickpeas (I used canned)
1 cup Corn Kernels (I used 2 cobs)
1 jar (12 ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, torn
4 Scallions, sliced

In a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain. Add the onions to the skillet and coat in the rendered bacon grease. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook the onions until they begin to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then remove the onion and garlic to a bowl and set aside. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Add the chicken to the empty skillet over medium-high heat and cook until it is browned and golden on all sides, about 10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, stir in the BBQ sauce and reduce the heat to low. Add the cooked quinoa, onions with garlic, chickpeas, corn, red pepper, and half of the cilantro and scallions. Toss well to mix. Stir in the bacon, reserving a handful for topping. Serve and garnish with the remaining cilantro, scallions, and bacon.

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is

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