Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Earth Fare has organic broccoli on sale for 99¢ per pound right now. I won’t lie, I’m a little more excited about it than I should be. Broccoli wasn’t a favorite as a kid, but I just love it now. So far, I have made a couple of different soups and a stir-fry featuring broccoli. I also made this salad.

Recipes for Broccoli Salad often feature lots of mayonnaise. It’s no secret that I am not a mayo fan. The slightly sweet vegan dressing in this recipe is a perfect replacement for a mayonnaise-based dressing. Not only is it lower in calories, it also doesn’t mask the flavors of the fresh ingredients. This salad is not drowning in dressing. You could double the dressing recipe if you would like a bigger dressing to salad ratio.

Broccoli Salad

1 large bunch of broccoli (about 2 big stalks), washed, and cut into bite-size florets (save the stalk for something else)
1 large apple (I prefer Fuji or Honeycrisp), cored and chopped
1/4 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (or pecans, walnuts, or sunflower seeds)

Dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil

Combine the broccoli florets, chopped apples, Craisins, and sliced almonds in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Alternatively, shake the dressing ingredients together in a sealed Mason jar.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli salad and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad keeps up to 3 days in the fridge.

 

Advertisements

Salmon Cakes

Salmon Cakes

My 6 year old was home today with a nasty stomach bug and fever. I spent the day taking care of him. He needed lots of snuggling. Poor baby. For dinner, I was able to whip up something quick (and comforting) for the rest of us. These Salmon Cakes didn’t take too much time to throw together and they were really delicious. The capers and Dijon mustard added so much flavor.

I served the Salmon Cakes with arugula dressed with a homemade grapefruit vinaigrette (shallots, fresh grapefruit juice, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and olive oil) and Bird’s Eye Steamfresh Italian Style Protein Blend that I zapped in the microwave. The blend of whole grains, lentils, broccoli, white beans, and spinach (and some kind of sauce) was kind of bland, but wasn’t terrible (it tasted better mixed with the dressed arugula). Generally, I’m not a big fan of Bird’s Eye’s seasoned or sauced products. Their Voila! Skillet Meals are downright disgusting! I don’t know whose taste palette they are targeting, but it isn’t mine. Anywho, I was able to bundle a coupon and Ibotta rebate with a sale and got a package of the Protein Blend for free. I like free.

I had the afterthought of adding some dill to the salmon mixture. I love the flavors of salmon and dill together. I will definitely try it next time I make these Salmon Cakes.

Salmon Cakes

1 15 – 16 ounce can salmon, drained
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Break up the salmon in a mixing bowl. You can remove the skin and the bigger bones if you want to. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery until tender. Add the veggies to the salmon.

Add the capers, Dijon mustard, lightly beaten egg, salt, and pepper to the salmon and veggie mixture and combine well. Mix in the breadcrumbs, a little at a time, until the mixture is at a consistency where it is not too wet and it can be shaped into cakes easily. You may not use the full cup of breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts and shape each part into a cake with you hands.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet (you can use the same one you sautéed the onions and celery in) over medium heat. Add six of the salmon cakes and cook until browned on one side. Carefully flip the salmon cakes over and brown on the other side. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in a 250° oven (or toaster oven) while you cook the next batch. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and cook the remaining salmon cakes (as you did before). Serve warm.


Creamy Chile con Queso

Creamy Chile con Queso

A processed cheese product (like Velveta) is often used in making Queso because it melts more smoothly. Using evaporated milk in this recipe helps the “real” cheese melt smoother and makes for a creamier consistency. The results are pretty fantastic. You can use your favorite milder, harder cheese (like Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, or a Mexican cheese blend) in this recipe, but don’t use cheeses like Mozzarella, Brie, Swiss, or Goat Cheese (or obviously, Bleu Cheese).

This Queso keeps well for several days in the fridge. It reheats very well too. You can just zap it in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until warmed through.

A simple dish of Chile con Queso with tortilla chips is wonderful, but you can take it to greater heights with the addition of toppings. Queso can be serious business. One of my favorite restaurants in Austin, Texas is Magnolia Café. They have the best Queso ever. Their Mag Queso is topped with avocado and Pico de Gallo. It’s amazing! The Kerbey Queso at Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin is great too. I have also had Queso with shredded BBQ brisket, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, and Pico that was delicious. There are no limits.

Chile con Queso

Creamy Chile con Queso

2 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 -2 jalapenos, to taste, seeds removed, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (mild Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mexican cheese blend, etc…)
1/2 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
salt, to taste
dash garlic powder
1 – 4 tablespoons milk, if necessary

tortilla chips

Possible Toppings:
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh onion, chopped
fresh avocado, diced (or guacamole)
fresh tomatoes, diced
pickled jalapeno slices
Pico de Gallo
sour cream
black beans, warmed
refried beans
shredded brisket, chicken, pork
cooked ground beef or sausage

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the evaporated milk a little at a time, whisking well to dissolve flour lumps. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the shredded cheese, a little at a time. Continue to whisk until all of the cheese is added and the Queso is smooth. Add the drained diced tomatoes, salt, and garlic powder. If the Queso is too thick, you can add a little milk, about a tablespoon at a time, to thin to desired consistency. Serve the Queso warm, topped with desired toppings (I like fresh avocado, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and chopped tomatoes) alongside tortilla chips.