Book Club · Gluten Free · Health · New Favorite · Salads · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Watermelon Heirloom Salad

Book Club almost always inspires me to try making something new and the Watermelon Heirloom Salad has been on my list of ‘must try’ since my sister-in-law, Betty, told me about it.

I served this in July with tomatoes and watermelon in season. It is a refreshing salad especially during the hot days of summer. The salad was served with the feta on the side since some of our members are Vegan.  Easy peasy and satisfies all.  What a wonderful fusion of great flavors.  It’s now one of my favorite summer treats.

WATERMELON HEIRLOOM SALAD

3 large heirloom tomatoes (about 1.5 pounds), cored and cute into chunks or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (I used multi-color cherry tomatoes)
4 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (I used Champagne vinegar)
juice of 1 lime
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh feta (don’t skimp on the quality of the feta)
1 lime, cut into wedges

  • Combine the tomatoes, watermelon, mint and basil in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour olive oil mixture over the fruit and toss to mix.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle the feta over the salad (or on the side). Serve with lime wedges and sea salt.

Recipe from FreyFarms

Garden · Health · New Favorite · Salads · Vegan · Vegetarian

Arugula and Cinnamon Basil Salad

Cinnamon Basil…who knew there was such a thing.  I grew Cinnamon Basil in my garden, not really sure what I would do with it.  It truly has a cinnamon essence and is great in salads.  I adapted this recipe, adding chopped walnuts and Craisins to add a fruity, crunchy addition to the salad.  Next time, I may add a little crumbled goat cheese.  Mmmmm.

ARUGULA AND CINNAMON BASIL SALAD

6 cups rocket (arugula)
1 cup cinnamon basil, torn (I used a little less)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Craisins

DRESSING

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 dash salt

  • Put the dressing ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake well.
  • Put the rocket, onion, walnuts, Craisins, and basil in a salad bowl and toss, with a little dressing.

Recipe adapted from Food52.com

New Favorite · Salads · Vegetables

Spring Bliss Bowls

Spring Bliss Bowls are so yummy that I made it twice within two weeks. There were so many ‘wows’ in this recipe. Wow, I have NEVER used pesto on rice…it’s amazing! Wow, I’ve NEVER roasted radishes…they are delicious! I roasted all vegetables on the same cookie sheet and it worked fine. You can also add protein such as sliced chicken breast if you like. If you don’t like the vegetables in the recipe, change it up. Any combination of vegetables will be great. Go for it!

SPRING BLISS BOWLS

INGREDIENTS:

serves 4

1 cup short grain brown rice
extra virgin olive oil
seasoned salt and pepper
10oz. bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets
3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (recipe recommends Buitoni-I used my homemade pesto)
2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. (I used one cookie sheet vs. two).
  • Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (Refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste – if rice is still crunchy, add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit
    and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
  • Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
  • While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Breakdown of cooking times: Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes. Radishes: 20 minutes. Asparagus: 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup pesto to a small dish with chicken or vegetable broth then stir to combine.
  • Scoop pesto rice into four bowls then top each bowl with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto sauce then top with 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds, if using, and serve.
  • For Meal Prep: Let all components cool then portion into containers, cover, and refrigerate. Microwave for 1-1:30 minutes or until warm then eat.
  • Notes
    I like to keep each vegetable separated in case they cook quicker or slower than the other vegetables.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlsEats

Family · Family Favorites · New Favorite · Salads

Royal Riviera Pear Salad

Juicy, fresh pears are such a treat!  For the past few years, I’ve treated myself to Harry and David pears. The grandkids beg for sliced pears like it is candy.

In addition to enjoying the pears by themselves, this Pear Salad is to die for.  The combination of blue cheese and candied, or spiced, nuts it wonderful.  The dressing is light and a perfect compliment to the salad. My pears are almost gone but I’ll savor every remaining bite!

ROYAL RIVIERA PEAR SALAD

1 head Butter or other lettuce, washed and dried
2 Pears, peeled, cored and sliced (or diced)
2/3 cup blue cheese (if you despise blue cheese–replace with a cheese you like)
2/3 cup candied nuts (I use my homemade spiced pecans)

Dressing:

1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup walnut oil (or canola)

  • To create dressing, whisk together the first 5 ingredients.  Gradually whisk in the walnut oil.
  • Gently tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on four chilled plates.
  • Place fans of pear slices on lettuce.
  • Crumble blue cheese evenly on top.
  • Drizzle dressing generously over the salad.
  • Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

Recipe adapted from HarryandDavid

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Salads · Vegan · Vegetarian

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Fresh fruit salad in winter is a real treat. This recipe is delicious, combining several fruits including apples, kiwi, blackberries, pomegranate, bananas and Mandarin oranges. The dressing is fresh and tasty, delivering a nice side to compliment any meal.
IMG_7698

WINTER FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMON POPPY SEED DRESSING

Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds

  • Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Salad

8 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented (I used Cuties)
4 apples, diced
4 ripe kiwis peeled and diced
4 bananas, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (from about 1 large)
1-2 cups blackberries (I added to the recipe)

  • Combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from CookingClassy.com

New Favorite · Salads · Vegetarian

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Our CSA was loaded with beets this year and I’ve struggled with recipes to use one of my least favorite vegetables.  Memories of canned, chopped beets in the school lunch flood my memory when I think of beets, but thank goodness there are so many wonderful ways to eat fresh, colorful beets.

I do enjoy a beet goat cheese salad so I whipped one up starting with a wonderful recipe but adapting it to use mixed greens and vinaigrette I had on hand.  It was delicious and I was able to put the lunchroom flashback to rest.

BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD

2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette dressing of your choice (I used Brianna Champagne Vinaigrette)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 bunch of mixed greens
4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled

  • Put the beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them–the skins should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers. If they don’t, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick. Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges.
  • Whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing.
  • Toss the cut beets in the dressing; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool.
  • Toss the greens with the beets and divide among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top. Serve.

Adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beet-salad-with-walnuts-and-goat-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Salads · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cruciferous Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

Trader’s Joe’s finally came to Denver last year and what fun we’ve had exploring their many wonderful products.  During one of my trips, they were tasting their Cruciferous Crunch Salad with mixed nuts and Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette.  Yummy in the tummy!

trader-joes-cruciferous-crunch-collection

The recipe is so simple, it doesn’t need one.  Chop the contents of the salad mix. Chop about 1 cup of mixed nuts (or nuts of your choice), and top with Trader Joe’s Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette dressing. Toss and serve immediately.

It’s simple, delicious, and good for you.  What’s not to like?

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Salads · Vegan · Vegetarian

Strawberry, Blueberry and Spinach Salad

It’s salad time, again.  I love salad 365 days a year but with fresh produce and fruit in spring and summer, it’s the best! This salad is so simple and so delicious and you can have it anytime. Experiment with different greens, fruit and nuts and enjoy!

What a yummy patriotic salad to share this Memorial Day weekend.

STRAWBERRY AND SPINACH SALAD

Baby Spinach salad mix
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained and sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

 Sweet Balsamic Dressing

1.5 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper, to taste

  • Blend salad dressing ingredients together and chill.
  • When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing and serve immediately.

Recipe from Faithfulprovisions.com

Gluten Free · New Favorite · Salads · Vegan · Vegetarian

Mango and Avocado Black Rice Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to prepare meals primarily from my pantry and freezer until I had whittled down the food on hand. A large bag of black rice, from Costco, has been sitting there with no great recipes, until now.  I swear I hear Angels sing when I read this recipe.  It is a great salad, side dish and good enough for dessert, too. Black rice has a nutty flavor and texture which pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.  Also check out the history of black rice.

MANGO & BLACK RICE SALAD WITH CILANTRO LIME VINAIGRETTE

1 1/2 cups organic black rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large ripe mango, diced
1 small ripe avocado, diced or sliced
1/4 cup roasted almonds (I used chopped pecans)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup diced red onion
For the Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey (agave nectar if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges, to garnish
  • Rinse rice in mesh strainer. Add to medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a low simmer, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed about 30-40 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Cool for 10 minutes before adding dressing.
  • While rice is cooking prepare the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, honey (or agave), cilantro, and salt in a food processor. Process for 15-30 seconds or until dressing is combined. Once rice is done cooking and has cooled a bit, stir in dressing. Cover bowl and place in fridge for an hour or until cool and you are ready to add in the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • Before serving, toss salad again with dressing and fold in cilantro, mango, and red onion. Pour into cold salad bowls and top with roasted almonds and avocado. Garnish with a lime wedge or extra cilantro if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe by AmbitousKitchen.com

Gluten Free · Salads · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad

Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad is a favorite salad shared by friend, Chris, at many of our Book Club and pot luck dinners. Finally, I decided to prepare it and savored every serving.  I’ve also tried adding other ingredients to add variety, including bits of turkey or slices or fresh avocado.
This salad is great for summer meals and gatherings.

CRANBERRY AND MANGO QUINOA SALAD

2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup fresh kale or spinach in bite size pieces
1.5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks (one to two fresh mangos should yield just about 1.5 cups)
1.5 c cubed melon (I used Honeydew)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted/optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
pinch of salt

  • Bring water to boil and cook quinoa per the instructions.  Cool.
  • Add kale (or spinach), mango, melon, almonds, and cranberries to quinoa.
  • Mix together Lemon poppy seed ingredients and pour over quinoa salad.
  • Serving Option:  Slice fresh avocado slices over top of salad.

Recipe adapted from Skinny Minz and Healthy Pursuit