Category Archives: salads

Banh Mi Salad

I think I can officially declare the Banh Mi as my favorite sandwich… at least in 2013.  I have seen several recipes for bahn mi style salads, but this one from the blog Snap Food really caught my attention.  It was so simple and perfect for the weeknights when you are short on time.

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Banh Mi Salad

adapted from Snap Food

1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned & chopped into small pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 large carrot, julienned
1 seedless cucumber, juliened
1 bunch green onion, roughly chopped
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 head romaine, finely sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
chopped unsalted peanuts for topping
sesame oil
Sriracha
soy sauce

Prepare the brine: mix vinegar, water, salt, and sugar together. Add the cucumber, 1/2 of the green onion, and carrot. Be sure they are all mixed and coated. Cover with a paper towel and set aside while cooking.

Heat a saute pan on medium high heat, add the ground pork and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to break it up. Add the shrimp and stir for 4-5 more minutes. Add the soy sauce and mix until well incorporated. Remove from heat.

To plate the salad, assemble a layer of lettuce, top with some of the meat, then a some of the pickled vegetables. I drizzled a little of the vinegar mixture over the top, but not too much. I mixed a little sesame oil with a little bit of soy sauce, then drizzled that over the salad as well. A swipe of Sriracha and a sprinkle of peanuts, along with the remaining green onions made my salad complete! Enjoy!

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Filed under Pork, salads

Kale Caesar

I have several food obsessions and kale is definitely one of them.  I don’t know if you are in on the massaged kale salad fad, but I am and for me it is not going away anytime soon.

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Now the trick to taking this 10 minute salad over the top is really the massaging.  It sounds odd but it really does help the kale absorb the dressing and helps the tough greens soften as well as lose some of their bitterness.  Basically, it is totally worth the five minutes!

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Kale Caesar

serves 4

1 large bunch of Lacinato Kale stemmed and cut into bite size pieces**
1-2 large cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup organic lemon juice (from approximately 2 medium lemons)
A dash of kosher salt, to taste
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup croutons, crushed

**I have made this with both green and Lacinato kale

Clean and dry kale.  Cut into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl.

Combine garlic, lemon, salt and both peppers in a small bowl.  Add olive oil in a steady stream while whisking to emulsify. Taste for seasoning here.  Add dressing to the kale and massage with your hands for 5 minutes.  Add Romano and toss.

At this point I put the salad back in the fridge to sit while I finish the rest of the meal.  Letting it sit really helps intensify the flavor of the salad.  Sprinkle on crushed breadcrumbs right before serving. Enjoy!

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Kale Salad

Welcome 2013! January is always the month that I eat the best.  I think it has more to do with the fact that I overdosed on chocolate and cheese, but soups and salads here I come!

I used the popular kale salad from Whole Foods as an inspiration for this and while not exact I think it is just as good.

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Kale Salad

serves 4-5 as a side

1 large bunch kale
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds and almonds toasted
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

Toss all of these ingredients together into a bowl.

Dressing:
Juice from 1 orange
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp. chipotle powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

whisk all ingredients together. Toss with kale.

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Eggplant and White Balsamic Salad

It seems like people I talk to either love eggplant or hate it.  I think people’s distaste of eggplant comes from its bitter flavor.  I find the Japanese and Chinese variety tend to be less bitter than purple eggplant. I also love the graffiti eggplant because they are so pretty and it makes me feel like a rebel when graffiti shows up on my grocery receipt.  To avoid bitter traditional purple eggplant I always try to buy the smaller ones, not a guarantee, but it seems to work for me.  Also I slice them, salt them, and drain them on paper towels.

I definitely fall into the love category so I cannot say my opinion of this salad is unbiased, but I think it is delicious and very easy to make.  If your nervous this is good recipe to try.  At least if you are still not fond of it, you didn’t slave away for hours in your kitchen.

Eggplant and White Balsamic Salad
serves 4 as a side

2 Japanese eggplants, sliced 1/4″ thick
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
pepper
1 Tbsp. white Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
salad greens
Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Slice your eggplant crosswise.  You want it fairly thin, but not so thin it falls apart. Maybe 1/4″ thick slices.

Drizzle both sides of your eggplant with olive oil. You want to make sure the eggplant does not stick to the pan (I brushed some olive oil on the baking sheet as well, just to be on the safe side). Also give the eggplant and little sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.

Once the oven is hot bake the eggplant for 10-12 minutes. I rotated the pan and flipped the eggplant half way through so it would cook and brown more evenly. Once it is brown remove from the oven and transfer to plate or cutting board to cool.

Once cool toss with the white balsamic and mint. I let the eggplant sit like this for about 10 minutes before I toss it with the greens. I didn’t specify how many greens you should add because it kinda depends on what you are trying to achieve. I add less greens if I want it as a side and more greens, maybe even some tomatoes, if I want it as a salad. Toss and Enjoy!

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad

I saw a few of these salads floating around the blog world and from the minute I saw the first one I knew I had to try it.

I love a good hearty salad.  They are the perfect dinner accompaniment to leave you happy and satisfied.  The ribboned zucchini along with the crunch of the nuts gives you an amazing texture and the lemony vinaigrette gives it a little bite.  So get out your vegetable peeler and make this happen!!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
adapted from the Proud Italian

1 Zucchini
1/2 cup nuts (sliced almonds, pine nuts, pecans)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Salad Greens
Any lemony Vinegarette

Ribbon the zucchini. To grill, brush or mist zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle ribbons with salt and pepper. If you are cooking it over the stove, you could add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large nonstick skillet or grill pan but make sure it is evenly distributed so your zucchini doesn’t get too oily. Either grill or sauté ribbons for just a few minutes, the ribbons do not take long to cook. set aside and allow to come to room temperature while preparing your salad. I like to put mine in the refrigerator so they chill slightly.
In a dry pan over medium heat, toast your nuts.
For the vinaigrette I just mixed a little olive oil, Dijon, garlic and lemon together.
Fill your salad bowl with your greens. Toss with some of the Vinaigrette reserving some to drizzle over the top. Add the zucchini ribbons to the top of the salad tossing if needed, then sprinkle on the nuts and cheese. Drizzle remaining dressing over and enjoy!

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Watermelon Salad

adapted from how sweet it is

I love watermelon, I mean LOVE IT!  I could probably eat a whole one daily if no one was looking.  It is one of those good for you things that taste like candy to me and is so refreshing at the same time.  One of my go to snacks during the summer is watermelon salad, and now that the summer is coming to an end I wanted to get this last minute post in so you could all try it!

Usually I will just take some chopped watermelon, mix it with some crumbled feta, basil, a sprinkle of salt, then top it with a squeeze of lime.  If I don’t have basil, mint is an equally delicious substitute.  Give this a this a try you will not be disappointed.

In fact I never even dreamed this salad could possibly be any better until I saw Jessica’s post on How Sweet it Is.  Quinoa.  I should of thought of this sooner.  This salad just became out of this world!  Mix your watermelon with 1 cup of Quinoa and and a tablespoon of honey. Enjoy!

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