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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

I made this recipe for the first time during a recent Mom’s/Ladies Wine Evening at my place.  Our wine theme for this event was California and so I went with a healthy, bite sized salad.  I’ve been to California many times and it is many things to me (special memories) so I also decided to make some Pico De Gallo & Guacamole to represent all the incredible Mexican food I’ve tasted in Southern California. 

The ladies loved this Lentil Salad and so I’m sharing the recipe.

Note I served this salad in shot glasses. Quite often I serve mini salad or pureed soups in shot glasses when having people over for dinner.  It’s simple and it’s Fun.

Adapted from Canadian Living

Feta & Lentil Salad

1/4 cup slivered, toasted almonds
1 cup dried green lentils
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp (or more) fresh oregano, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste (1/4 tsp each)
1 cup cucumber, diced
1/2 cup roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Toast your almonds in a pan over medium heat watching and stirring often until they start to brown. Set aside to cool.

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Add whole garlic cloves and lentils.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Remove garlic cloves and continue to allow lentils to drain in colander.

Whisk together oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.  Add lentils, feta, cucumber, onion, parsley and tomatoes stirring to combine.  When ready to serve sprinkle with toasted almonds.

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So impressed was I that hubby really enjoyed this salad. So much so he took it for lunch today.  Now if only I could get the kidlets to enjoy quinoa since it is a complete protein and good for you.   Here’s hoping one day!

This is a quick-lunch, side dish or even meal for one. Add some roasted/grilled chicken  if you wish or it as is. Yum.

Quinoa, Cucumber & Mint Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup cucumber, quartered and sliced
3-4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Add water, quinoa and salt to pot, bring to a boil. Reduce, cover and simmer until water has been absorbed and quinoa tender (about 12-15 minutes). Scoop into a bowl and set aside to cool.

In a cup, or small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour it on quinoa and add cucumber, green onions, parsley & mint.  Mix well.  Adjust seasonings as needed.  Pairs nicely with grilled meat.

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Chickpeas, also known as: ceci bean, garbanzo bean, chana, sanagalu Indian pea and Bengal gram are very good for you.  They contain Vitamins, Iron, Minerals, Fiber, Calcium and Protein to name a few. For a more detailed breakdown on the nutritional value of chickpeas go to the Nutrient Analysis

You can use them in stews, chili’s, roasted, toasted, pureed, dips, soups, salads…the possibilities are endless.

I recently made this recipe for a BBQ.  Simple and delicious made this salad a winner.

Chickpea & Artichoke Salad

1 can (19oz) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (or grape), halved
1/2 cup pepper (any colour), diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 jar marinated (in oil) artichoke hearts
salt & pepper to taste

Drain artichokes in a bowl, keeping liquid. Cut into quarters. Set aside.

Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add artichokes and reserved liquid to bowl. Add a good amount of pepper and sprinkle of salt, tossing to combine.

You can let salad sit in fridge and marinate or you can serve immediately.

Feta and kalamata olives would be a nice addition to this salad.

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Miles behind on my recipes, yikes. January was a blur as we were sick most of the month.  Bouncing back in February and trying to get caught up on EvErYtHiNg has made life challenging at best. Plus I am trying to make more time for myself (exercising) and not feel guilty about it.

And so I have yet another variation of couscous to share. Bound and determined to get the family eating more grains I keep trying different ways to eat it. I used to try and sell couscous, barley and bulgur wheat as little wee noodles to the kids…ya they caught on 😉

With couscous you can add or delete whatever you like (ie: flat leaf parsley for cilantro).

Couscous with Carrots, Cilantro & Green Onions

1 1/2 cup water (or stock)
1 cup couscous
1/2 carrot, grated
1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro (or flat leaf parsley)
2-3 green onions, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Stir in couscous, carrot, green onions, salt and pepper. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand approximately 5 minutes.

Fluff with a fork, pour into a bowl, mix in chopped cilantro and olive oil. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and more cilantro if you like it!

Here is a photo of the couscous with Carrot, Cilantro & Gr. Onion.  Also on the plate is Carrot & Mint Salad and Crispy Lime Ginger Chicken Thighs (with the skin removed).

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A new cooking show came on the scene last Fall (2011) called The Chew. It is a daytime talk show that focuses on food/cooking and general lifestyle topics. The hosts are Iron Chefs Mario Batali and Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz (Dr. Oz’s daughter). These 5 have a great onscreen connection.  And I love this show…it gets Tivo/PVR’d daily.  Even hubby enjoys sitting down and watching the show with me because of the personalities of the hosts and how dang funny Carla & Clinton are!

This carrot salad recipe has been adapted from a recipe Michael Symon shared on The Chew. Chef Symon adds peanuts in his salad. I didn’t the first time I made it and I enjoyed it muchly.  Although the next time I make it I will try sliced almonds (healthier) instead.

 

Carrot & Mint Salad

3 or 4 medium sized carrots
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves
5 green onions (scallions), sliced
1/2 cup olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
salt & pepper

You can either use a mandoline or food processor to slice your carrots as they should be uber thin.  Place sliced carrots in a bowl.

Pour your cumin seeds in a pan, place on stove and turn heat to medium high. Shake the pan a few times and watch closely as they will toast quickly. Once toasted take off heat and seat aside to cool slightly.

Tear your mint and toss it into the bowl with the carrots. Add the sliced green onions. And finally throw in your toasted cumin seeds. If you are adding nuts do it now.

Whisk together your olive oil and vinegar and add to vegetables in bowl. Season with salt & pepper and mix well to combine all flavours.

Serve with grilled meat or fish.

*My food photos aren’t the best at the moment – a work in progress!

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A perfect grilled meat accompaniment. This fares perfectly with Chicken Skewers and Peanut Satay Sauce.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes

Fiery Noodle Salad

8 ounces dried chow mein noodles
1/2 medium red onion, peeled & rough chopped
1 fresh red chile (seeds, ribs and stem removed)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fish sauce
olive oil
Food Processor

Put your noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and a plate. Let them soak for about 5-7 minutes.

Place the red onion in the processor. Add the red chile, and cilantro. Pulse until finely chopped.  Pour into a large bowl. Add your soy sauce, 1-2 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, sesame oil and fish sauce. Mix well.

Drain your noodles, give a quick rinse with water, drain again then add to bowl. Stir well to combine flavours of sauce with noodles. Serve with Chicken Satays in Lettuce Leaf Wraps.

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Lemony Coleslaw

After finding some of the produce in my fridge dying a slow death, I pulled out some recipe books looking for some inspiration.  A large head of Napa Cabbage was crying to be used as were some lemons so I decided to make Lemony Coleslaw…and Lemony it was.  I couldn’t figure out how this dressing was going to come together, taste good and fool my husband (who loathes sour cream).   But it did and he had seconds without knowing the star ingredient – mission accomplished!

Adapted from Atco Blue Flame Kitchen

Lemony Coleslaw 

3 tbsp water
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
1 pinch sugar
1/2 tsp lemon peel zest
Pinch salt & pepper
4 cups cabbage, shredded (we used Napa but regular will work)
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup green onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (shelled)

Make dressing – In a cup whisk together first 8 ingredients (water through salt & pepper) until well blended.

In a bowl mix together your cabbage, carrots, green onions, parsley and sunflower seeds. Add your dressing and toss until well combined.

At this point you can let your salad sit (in the fridge) until the rest of your meal is ready. Stir well before serving.

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