Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad

Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad

I love this salad! It’s something I make quite a bit. It’s fresh, crunchy, colorful, virtually fat-free, nutritious, and very flavorful. This salad keeps fairly well in the fridge for up to two days.

Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad

1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 to 2 carrots, grated
1/2 to 1 cucumber, seeded, peeled, and chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 (or more) fresh chiles (I usually use jalapenos or serranos), seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
chopped roasted peanuts

Combine cabbage, carrot, cucumber, cilantro and chiles in a large bowl. Mix vinegar, sugar, garlic, and fish sauce together in a small bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture and toss well. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts right before serving.

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)

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.


Greek Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Breakfast Salad

Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Breakfast Salad

Cooking Light and Saveur are my two favorite cooking magazines. I love Saveur for the beautiful pictures and articles on global cuisine, as well as, the ethnic recipes. Their recipes tend to be a bit more time-consuming and better for special occasions. On the other hand, Cooking Light has easy, healthier, everyday recipes that tend to utilize lots of fruits and veggies. Their recipes are great for day-to-day cooking.

Recently, I found a recipe for Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Breakfast Salad in the June 2015 issue of Cooking Light. I prefer savory foods for breakfast, so this salad was right up my alley.  I adapted it a bit to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand, like fresh grape and yellow cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden and sweet onions and purple bell peppers from my CSA box. The result was delicious! I ate it with a small bowl of vegetable soup and was quite satisfied. You can find the original recipe in Cooking Light here.

Greek Cucumber and Chickpea Breakfast Salad 2

Greek Tomato, Cucumber, and Chickpea Breakfast Salad

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup drained canned chickpeas
6 – 8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 small bell pepper (your choice of color)
1/4 small sweet onion (or to taste)
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced (I used a pickling type cucumber)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a fork or whisk. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, olives, bell pepper, and sweet onion; toss to combine. Arrange cucumber slices on a plate or in a bowl and top with the tomato and chickpea mixture. Top with the feta cheese.

Red Cabbage Salad with Bleu Cheese and Candied Pecans

Red Cabbage Salad

This is my adaptation of a recipe I found in the March/April 2014 issue of Eating Well magazine. I love all the different textures and flavors of this salad. It’s delicious when first made, but even better the next day, when the flavors have had time to meld.

I’m not a huge fan of bleu cheese, but I picked up a particularly mild one at Aldi and have enjoyed it. Lately it seems as if I am going out of my way to include more cheese in my diet. I think I’m trying to make up for the time I lost during my 16 day low iodine diet (I couldn’t have dairy) to prepare for my nuclear whole body scan. By the way, my scan results came back with “no abnormal distribution” !! This is a really, really good thing. I’m meeting with my oncologist at the end of May and I’m hoping that she will finally consider me to be cancer free. Meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty good and am getting on with life.

Red Cabbage Salad with Bleu Cheese and Candied Pecans

1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
crumbled bleu cheese

For the candied pecans:
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar (you may use maple syrup or brown sugar instead)
pinch salt

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the candied pecans:
Add the pecans, butter, sugar, and pinch of salt to a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring to coat the pecans, until the sugar has caramelized (about 5 to 7 minutes). Pour out onto a piece of foil or wax paper and let cool. Break up the nuts.

For the dressing:
Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dino  mustard, and salt and black pepper in a Mason jar with a lid. Secure the lid on the jar and shake to combine ingredients.

For the salad:
Combine the red cabbage, green onions, and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Add enough dressing to coat the cabbage (you may not use all that you have prepared) and toss well. Serve topped with the bleu cheese and candied pecans.


Arugula and Tatsoi Salad with Grapefruit

Arugula and Tatsoi Salad with Grapefruit (640x490)

This simple salad was a nice accompaniment to teriyaki salmon and rice. I got the arugula and tatsoi in my CSA box this week. Tatsoi isn’t readily available in most grocery stores, but you could substitute spinach or just use an Asian greens mix.

This dressing is yummy. Segment the grapefruit over a bowl to catch the juices. Use the fresh grapefruit juice in the dressing. Read the rest of this entry »

Grilled Zucchini Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

This salad is summer in a bowl. It’s perfect for when you have way too much zucchini and tomatoes in the garden. This recipe serves about 4, but it can easily be doubled or tripled.

Grilled Zucchini Salad

2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
2 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, cut in half
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or chunks of fresh mozzarella)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of oregano
salt and pepper to taste

In a grill pan over high heat or on an outdoor grill, cook the zucchini quarters about 3 minutes on each side. You want them to be tender, but not mushy. Grill marks are nice. Let the zucchini cool until they are easily handled. Cut the zucchini into bite size pieces.

Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a Mason jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine.

Combine the grilled zucchini, tomatoes, olives, and feta in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and gently mix. You may not need all of the dressing, just enough to coat the veggies. Serve at room temperature.


Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad

Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad (640x439)

I made this salad last night using kohlrabi from my Pinckney’s Produce CSA box. I thought it was great. It’s my favorite way I have used kohlrabi so far. It’s hard to go wrong with potatoes and butter. I adapted the recipe from one I found in June/July 2014 issue of Saveur magazine.

Swedish Potato and Kohlrabi Salad

1 pound potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-sized chunks (or use baby potatoes – whole or cut in half – and leave the skin on)
4 – 6 tablespoons butter
1 kohlrabi with leaves, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into chunks, and leaves chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill (or about 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 10 minutes (check for doneness with a fork). Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the kohlrabi. Cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped kohlrabi leaves and continue to cook until they wilt. Add the potatoes, dill, and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Serve salad warm or at room temperature.

Fennel, Celery, and Apple Slaw

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This is a nice, refreshing slaw perfect for the late days of summer.

I had a bulb of fennel in the fridge that I needed to use. I had to buy fennel for the fronds to use in the Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli recipe I prepared for The Bitten Word’s Cover to Cover Challenge last week. I’m not a big fan of anise/licorice flavor so fennel is not a vegetable I buy often. When I do happen to buy fennel for a recipe that calls for it, I’m often surprised that it’s flavor is not as strong as I anticipated. I really did enjoy this slaw, so I must try to overcome my reluctance to buy fennel in the future.

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Fennel, Celery, and Apple Slaw

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 bulb fennel with fronds
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 firm apple (Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, etc…), cored and julienned
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar in a small Mason jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine. Alternatively, you can whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.

Cut the stems and root end off of the fennel bulb. Remove the fronds from the stems and roughly chop them, if needed. Add the fronds to a large bowl. Cut the fennel bulb in half and cut out the core. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and place in the bowl with the fronds.

Add the sliced celery and julienned apple to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Season the slaw with salt and pepper and toss again.


Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas and a Ginger Sesame Dressing

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Wild rice is not actually rice. Instead it is a wild grass seed/grain that is high in protein and fiber. Wild rice is native to North America and grows wild in parts of Canada and in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It was (and still is) an important element of some northern Native American tribes’ diet. Due to popular demand, wild rice is now cultivated in California and Minnesota. It still can be pricey and somewhat hard to find. I have found it in bulk bins in natural food stores going for up to $14.00 per pound.  A couple of months ago, I discovered 8-ounce pouches of cooked wild rice at Target selling for under $2.50 apiece. Jackpot! I was so happy. The next time I went to Target I noticed it was on clearance. Oh no! I bought what they had and was disappointed that the store would no longer being carrying that product. I’m happy to report that the pouches of cooked wild rice are back at Target, just in different packaging and sporting a new brand name, Simply Balanced.

Here’s a picture of the old packaging:
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This Asian-influenced wild rice salad is wonderful. Not only is it pretty and easy to make, it’s delicious too. The wild rice is a bit nutty and has a chewy texture. The colors of this salad are beautiful. The Ginger Sesame Dressing is addicting.  It doesn’t overwhelm the wild rice. It’s also great on a slaw made with green cabbage, shredded carrots, and cucumbers.

Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas and a Ginger Sesame Dressing

2 cups of cooked wild rice (1 pouch of Simply Balanced cooked wild rice – found at Target)
4 ounces fresh snow peas (about 2 big handfuls) washed, ends trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced small

1 clove garlic, smashed and finely minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup canola oil
1/8 cup sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey (you can use white sugar if you wish)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

In a bowl, combine the wild rice, snow peas, and red bell pepper. In a Mason jar, combine the garlic, ginger, canola oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and sesame seeds. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine. Pour 1/4 cup of the ginger sesame dressing over the wild rice salad and stir to combine. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so. This gives the wild rice time to absorb the dressing. Taste the salad and add more dressing and/or salt if necessary. Serve sprinkled with additional sesame seeds.

Caprese Salad with Yellow Pear Tomatoes and Bocconcini

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Despite the massive amount of rain we have gotten in the past few months, my yellow pear tomatoes are doing fairly well. Well enough that they are attracting dozens of leaf-footed bugs who are having their way with each other and my tomatoes.


I won’t even consider insecticides and have instead started an all-out assault on these relatives of the stink bug with gloved hands, squashing them to death between my thumb and forefinger. It’s brutal, but such is life.

So, back to the tomatoes. My yellow pear tomatoes are doing well and I’m getting a bunch off of the one plant I have. My basil is not doing so well, but I have enough to make one of my favorite summer dishes, caprese salad.

Caprese salads come in many forms, typically made with larger slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella with a leaf of basil sandwiched in between. The tiny balls of fresh mozzarella, also known as bocconcini, were on sale at my local Publix. You can usually find them in the deli area of the grocery store. They are so cute and perfect to pair with my sweet yellow pear tomatoes.

I’ve been on a balsamic reduction kick lately. OMG, it gets thick, syrupy, sweet, and the flavor is intensified. It’s amazing. I could drizzle it on everything. I especially like it on caprese salad (and it was pretty darn good on the zucchini caprese paninis I made last week. Sorry, no picture and no post). To make a balsamic reduction, I just pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reduces by at least half and coats the back of a spoon. When it cools down, it will thicken even more.

Caprese Salad with Yellow Pear Tomatoes and Bocconcini

This is not an exact recipe. Vary the amounts of ingredients according to need and preference.

yellow pear tomatoes (or other sweet cherry tomatoes), halved
bocconcini (or small balls of fresh mozzarella)
fresh basil leaves, torn into smaller pieces
olive oil
balsamic vinegar reduction (instructions above)
salt and pepper

Combine tomatoes, bocconcini, and fresh basil leaves in a serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction. Season to taste with salt (I use Kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper.