Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

A couple weeks ago we ventured to the international market to get just a couple things. Uh-huh. As always we bought more than we went in for, but it was worth it! One of the items we bought was frozen lotus root. Whenever we see lotus root, my husband asks me to make him some just like ate in China. Since I haven’t tasted what he ate in China, I had to go looking for some ideas on what to do with it.

My first stop was Book of Yum. Sea always has great ethnic and vegetarian recipes on her blog. I found her recipe for Lotus Root Sesame Stir-Fry and decided it was the one to try.

We had the lotus root with some brown rice, fried tofu and a small salad with a sesame-soy dressing. The whole meal got full approval from the hubby. Although he did say that he would like the lotus root to have more of a vinegar flavor. But he really likes vinegar. And all of his food memories of China involve vinegar. So next time we will have to try our own recipe – with vinegar!

The lotus root that we bought was frozen. I thawed it slightly under cold water and then left it to drain and thaw in the colander for a bit. It was also pre-sliced and the slices seemed thick, about 3/8″, so I sliced each of them in half so that they would crisp up better. This seemed to work out well.

We only used half of the bag of lotus root for this meal so I have been finding other ways to use it. I did make Sea’s Lotus Root Chips and they weren’t bad but I think I may not have baked them long enough or the slices were too thick; they didn’t crisp up as well as I thought they should. We may try again in the future. I did add them to a recent stir-fry and they were tasty in there.

Our garden has been producing a lot of lettuce and we are trying to keep up with it, so I added a salad to this meal. Also to have a bit of green vegetables with our meal. I have been trying to make more of our own salad dressings lately so that we can better control the ingredients and the fat and sugar content. But most traditional vinaigrette recipes I find are the standard 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar and this feels too heavy on the oil for me. So I have been playing around with less oil.

I have found that I like to use a small (pint or less) glass Mason jar with a lid to make and store the dressing in, that way you can shake it up well when you are ready to use. But this time I only wanted to make a little bit of dressing, specific to this meal and didn’t want a lot of leftovers. Below is what I came up with. It swings wide from the traditional ratio but it was tasty and complemented the meal well.

Sesame – Soy Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce, gluten free

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp sugar

ground ginger

garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar or whisk in a small bowl.

Read Full Post »

Another great, light summer salad. When I made this recently I asked my husband if this pasta salad reminded him of anything. Nope. For me it has memories of an old apartment back in Chicago where we would sit on our back deck in the summer evenings to eat dinner and to try to catch a breeze as the apartment did not have air conditioning. We had a couple of window air conditioning units but we preferred to be outside. The deck faced north and stayed pretty cool, plus there was a nice little garden below us and squirrels across the way to entertain us. We spent many evenings on this deck. And for some reason I have vivid memories of eating this salad on that deck. Perhaps we ate it a lot in those two years that we lived there? I don’t know, but it’s a great dish to add to your repertoire.

Spicy Ginger Noodles

Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine

1 pound of pasta *

1 large cucumber, partially peeled, seeded and sliced

carrots, sliced, in an equal amount as cucumber

2-4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro

Dressing:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce *

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp chili oil*

2 cloves garlic

1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and cool. Chop vegetables and place in bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together and stir into cooled pasta and vegetables.

Notes:

* We prefer Tinkyada brown rice pasta or Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta (I think they are the same product actually, just repackaged for TJ’s). I use either the spirals or penne and, in a pinch, the spaghetti. Just be sure to use lots of water to cook the gluten free pasta and don’t overcook or it will turn to mush!

* Be sure the soy sauce is gluten free if you are cooking gluten free.

* You can probably omit the chili oil if you can’t find it. I can usually find it in the Asian food section of the large grocery stores. One bottle lasts a long time as you only need a little bit each time.

Read Full Post »

Another favorite, especially in the summer. It is a great side dish to take to a barbecue, picnic or potluck as there are no dairy ingredients in it to go bad!

I am not sure where I originally found this recipe. It is one of those I wrote down years ago and didn’t note it. I am also not sure why it is called tabouli…I guess anything that has parsley, lemon juice and mint in it can be considered tabouli (or tabbouleh), right? Regardless, I love these flavors together.

Wild Rice Tabouli

1 cup wild rice, dry, cook per package directions *

1/2 – 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin *

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup green onions

1 package mint leaves, torn *

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Dressing:

2 Tbsp soy sauce *

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Drain and cool. Combine rice, tomatoes, parsley, onions and mint in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together. Toss to coat rice. Stir in pine nuts.

Notes:

* I buy my wild rice at Trader Joe’s.

* Try to find sun-dried tomatoes that are dry, not packed in oil. If they are really dry, hydrate them in some hot water for about 20 minutes and then slice thin.

* One of those plastic packages of mint at the grocery store is the equivalent of about 2/3 cup of mint from your garden. Mint is super easy to grow. In fact some consider it a weed. If you do want to grow it, contain it in a pot as it will travel all over your yard and garden where you don’t want it.

* If you are cooking gluten free, be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari. LaChoy and San-J Wheat Free Tamari are both safe.

This post is linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays over at The Gluten Free Homemaker, Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Go check them out for some other ideas.

Read Full Post »

Now there are lots of ways to make a taco salad. But it is fun to switch it up a bit based upon what you have on hand. This time we had almost everything to make a perfect taco salad; beans, peppers, roasted corn, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes.

The taco salad I grew up eating had a dressing that went with it, instead of just having salsa and sour cream on top. It was made from Thousand Island salad dressing, salsa and sugar. My mom used ground beef and crumbled up Fritos on top of the salad. You could use 1/2 pound of ground beef and one can of beans if you wanted. We use all beans. This is our version of taco salad.

Taco Salad

1 Tbsp oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 pkg taco seasoning *

2/3 cup water

2 – 15 oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed *

1/2 cup Thousand Island salad dressing

2 Tbsp salsa

2 Tbsp sugar

Lettuce

Cheese, shredded

Tomatoes, chopped

Roasted corn *

Cilantro

Avocado, diced

Salsa *

Sour cream

Corn chips, crumbled

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add onions and peppers. Saute until they are beginning to get soft. Stir in the seasoning packet and cook for 1 minute. Add in beans and water. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.

Mix together the salad dressing, salsa and sugar.

Top lettuce with warm bean mixture and shredded cheese. Add some dressing and whatever else you desire.

Notes:

* Be sure the ingredients are gluten free. I like to use a low-sodium version.

* Use any type of beans; kidney, black, pinto, etc. This time I used one can of pinto and one can of white kidney beans.

* Trader Joe’s has frozen roasted corn. I cooked up a small portion in the microwave.

* Salsa – I made Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa today and loved it. So easy. But I made it with what I had on hand. I used one 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, one 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes with Green Chiles, a very small onion, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 tsp cumin and a couple handfuls of cilantro. No jalapenos on hand so I didn’t add them. The green chiles in the Rotel tomatoes give it a little bit of a spicy kick.

Read Full Post »

This recipe is one that we have made many times. It is a light and refreshing dinner. Be sure to check out the original recipe, as I make this one as written.

Lentils are a powerful protein source. One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein. Wow! They are also high in fiber and thus fill you up for fewer calories. Only 230 calories per cup of cooked lentils. Not to mention, they make a great inexpensive meal!

Whenever I have lentils cooking on the stove, my husband comments on how good dinner smells. There is something almost meaty smelling about them. For a while I thought it was the smell of the bay leaves but even when I cook them without bay leaves, he still comments when passing through the kitchen. I think we just both like the smell of lentils!

The herbes de Provence pairs well with the lentils and the cayenne pepper gives it a slight kick. We serve it over chopped romaine. And sometimes if we can’t wait, we will eat it slightly warm too. It tastes great both ways.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts