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Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

This week’s theme is SALAD over at The Gluten Free Menu Swap. And our lovely host is Heather at Celiac Family. Thanks for hosting, Heather! Salads are great this time of year because you don’t have to heat much of anything up and you and your kitchen can stay cool! And it is going to be red-hot here in the Albuquerque area again this week, so salad is a great idea.

I had already been thinking about making a cold rice salad after seeing this one over at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice last week. And this past weekend we had Moroccan Chickpea Salad, which I love! It makes a lot and is great leftover too, in fact we had some tonight. Some other salad ideas for you: Quinoa and Black Bean Salad, Wild Rice Tabouli, Taco Salad, Lentil Salad Provencal.

In other meal planning thoughts, I know we still have Swiss chard growing strong and I need to use some more up. We are also headed out to dinner with some friends at a gluten-free friendly restaurant this weekend. It is one I have never been to before, Casa Vieja, but they list gluten free options on their menu so hopefully it goes well! I am sure it will, other celiacs I know have been there and they say it is very gluten-free friendly. Perhaps another Restaurant Review is in order?

So with that in mind, this is the plan for the week:

Italian Rice Salad with some added white beans

Black Eyed Peas with Swiss Chard perhaps with a side of rice or polenta

Mediterranean Salad with added salad greens

So, yes, only three meals planned for this week since we will be eating out one evening and the other three evenings are saved for leftovers. With only two people in the house, we have plenty of leftovers usually, and I enjoy not having to cook every night. If we need to we always have our emergency go-to foods, like plain-old spaghetti or a chickpea curry, or a Trader Joe’s something-or-other in the freezer, just in case.

In other exciting news, I bought myself an ice cream maker this weekend! I have been coveting them for a couple of months now, especially the recipes over at The Whole Kitchen and Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. And we just happened to stop in Bed Bath and Beyond, and oh, surprise, they had just the one I wanted! (They had previously been sold out.) And I had a 20% off coupon. Yeah! So, this week, ice cream is on the list too! And since it is my husband’s birthday week, he gets to choose the first batch. And he chose Peanut Butter Cup. I will be sure to let you know how it turns out!

Also, next week, I am hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap and the theme is cucumbers! I have about five cucumbers ready to be picked and they are just going to keep on coming, so please, post (or send) cucumber recipes! Even if you don’t have a cucumber recipe, please join us, we’d love to have you! The ‘rules’ and all the info is over here at Gluten Free Goodness.

This post is also cross-posted over at Org Junkie where you will find hundreds, literally, hundreds of other meal plans for inspiration.

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This past month I haven’t been blogging so much about each of the individual meals I have been making, although most meals have been photographed. So I thought I would do a little round-up of photos of the meals and a brief yea or nay vote on some of them.

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad from In My Box

I enjoyed this salad, although my husband, who is not a big fan of spinach, did not. The oil in the avocado and then the tang of the grapefruit is all the dressing this needs. The leftovers even held up and made it into my lunch the next day. Yea for me.

Gingered Skirt Steak with Snow Peas from goodLife{eats}

Instead of steak, we used tofu ‘steaks’. We also omitted the oyster sauce and added 1/2 Tbsp more of both the hoisin and soy sauces. We served this over rice vermicelli noodles which I had attempted to pan-fry. (They didn’t turn out so great.) The stir fry was delicious and next time I will serve it over rice instead of the noodles. The noodles didn’t have much flavor and actually detracted from the rest of the dish. Snow peas were fresh from our garden. Yea for us both.

Baked Salmon (me) and Baked Tofu (husband), Stir-Fried Snow Peas with Scallions and brown rice

I baked the tofu in Book of Yum’s Yummy Grilled Tofu marinade. And the snow peas and carrots were sautéed in sesame oil with green onions. I baked my salmon with a red pepper/five spice powder rub and a rice vinegar/honey marinade. It was very tasty. Yea for us both. And yea for using up the rest of the snow peas we had from our garden this year.

Sichuan Tofu with Garlic Sauce from Fat Free Vegan

We’ve made this dish before and really enjoy it. We used canned, sliced water chestnuts instead of fresh ones. On the side we had some brown rice and steamed broccoli. I follow Susan’s recipe for the most part except I have found that we like a little more sauce in the final dish and so I double the marinade. Yea for us both.

That’s it for now. More to come this week…

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Over the years, I have made quinoa salad quite often, usually with the same standard ingredients of black beans, cilantro and tomatoes. Quinoa pairs well with these flavors but this time I wanted to change things up for a slightly different flavor. I liked the slight sweetness in this dressing from the agave nectar. So, try it, and let me know what you think.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

1-1/2 cup quinoa

3 cups water

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, diced

Dressing

2 tsp olive oil

1-1/2 Tbsp lime juice

2 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp agave nectar *

1/8 tsp chipotle chile powder

1/4 tsp salt

garlic powder

Cook quinoa in water according to directions. Let it cool.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl.

Combine all other ingredients except the avocado in a large bowl. Add cooled quinoa and pour dressing over the top. Mix well.  Gently fold in avocado and serve.

Notes:

* You can substitute the agave nectar with honey if you’d like.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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