Posts Tagged ‘Salad’
I sold my home last fall, put most of my belongings into storage, and moved into a small cottage in a historic downtown area. I don’t miss the mortgage, the yard work or the cleaning, but I do miss my garage and my big kitchen! I went from a kitchen with all of the “conveniences” (e.g., garbage disposal and dishwasher) to a kitchen “wall”!
But, size is no excuse not to cook and eat well! I’ve got my box of recipes, a couple of favorite cookbooks, Kitchen Aid mixer and food processor, Rival Crockpot, and a bread maker. I’ve made big pots of soup, breakfast casseroles, and even made a small ham for Easter (actually cooked it on Saturday so I could get a head start on the sandwiches!) and stollen at Christmas. I try to spend a bit of time every weekend doing some cooking so that every dinner during the work week is NOT a bowl of cereal!
April is almost over! Here in NW Florida spring is in full swing (not so much for Jen who is expecting snow early next week). I made my first trip of the season to the Farmers’ Market downtown. It is still a bit early for most vegetables but there was asparagus, fresh herbs, honey, strawberries, fresh eggs, and many baked goods.
I adapted this salad recipe from something I cut out of a magazine several years ago. You can take advantage of the relatively lower price on asparagus this time of the year, and this salad is a nice meatless alternative with the pine nuts and beans contributing some protein. And, best of all – it tasted great!!
Two cups cooked white beans (I used two cans of Great Northern Beans)
2 cups orzo
½ cups cooked asparagus
½ cup pine nuts (raw or toasted)
¼ sweet onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ olive oil
Steam the asparagus for about six minutes (cooked but still bright green and crisp). Rinse in cold water to stop cooking process. Prepare the orzo per package directions (I used the water leftover from steaming the asparagus). Rinse and drain beans. Combine all in a large bowl with pine nuts, onion and basil.
Combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Add to salad and toss. Refrigerate.
Today was a rainy, nap-taking kind of day here in NW Florida … only I don’t take naps, so I got myself into the kitchen and made recipe #3 from Gooseberry Patch’s new Meals in Minutes – 10th Anniversary Edition.
If you follow all of us here at Threaded Together then you already know that we are all trying to eat healthier. Without knowing what I would do with it, I picked up some couscous a few weeks ago when I was on the shopping aisle looking for some alternatives to plain white rice (I LOVE plain white rice, but I’m trying to LOVE brown rice, too!). So, when I saw this recipe in the new cookbook, I knew I had to try it … I loved it! I think it is my new favorite salad recipe! Yum!!! The couscous was unbelievably easy to make (bring water to a boil, toss in the couscous, cover and remove from heat…wait 5 minutes and then fluff!). The dressing is an exotic blend of flavors … sweet, tart, spicy. This salad was so good that I called Jen and told her I was on my way down to her house to bring her lunch – a small container of this salad!
I did make a couple of minor ingredient substitutions … I did mention that it was rainy, right? Not only did I not want to spend the money, but I also didn’t want to get wet!
Colorful Couscous Salad
10-oz. box couscous
1 green pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
4 carrots, shredded
15 ¼ oz. can corn, drained
15 ½ oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 T. garlic, minced
3 drops hot pepper sauce
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. lemon pepper
½ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
Prepare couscous according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a large serving bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and seasonings; stir in vegetables and beans.
Add couscous, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Things I did a bit different:
*I didn’t have any white wine vinegar so I substituted red wine vinegar.
*I used 2 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
*I used Tabasco for the hot pepper sauce
*I didn’t have any turmeric. After doing a bit of online research (Google is my friend!), I decided since it seemed to be mainly for color, to just leave it out. No harm, no foul!
*Don’t look too hard in the pictures for the diced green pepper … I’m not a huge fan, so left it out. I increased the amount of carrots and green onions to make up for the “bulk”.
*I don’t have a 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon, but I have these to meaure a smidgen, a pinch, and a dash … aren’t they cute??
I think I used a smidgen each of cinnamon and ground ginger.
The four of us here at Thread Together LOVE Gooseberry Patch books. Debbie has even had a recipe featured in one of the books. We could barely contain our excitement when we were offered the chance to become an Early Bird Reviewer for their upcoming cookbooks. Over the next few months, we get a sneak peek at the books that will be hitting the bookstores soon and we will even have a copy to give away! It is a match made in heaven! Read through this post to find out how to enter to win a Gooseberry Patch cookbook before it hits the stores.
The first book that we reviewed is 101 Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches. I was excited when I pulled the first review because my favorite thing to eat is soup and salad. To me, it is comfort food. If I can’t think of anything to make for dinner, I throw a pot of soup on the stove and make some grilled cheese sandwiches. It always hits the spot.
This book, 101 Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches, is pages and pages of savory soups, tasty sandwiches, salads and toppings that compliment all of the above. When the book arrived, I immediately started going through it and marking recipes I wanted to try. The recipes are easy to prepare and each one that I tried turned out perfectly. I am watching what I eat right now, so I paid attention to the ingredients as I flipped through the book. I think that the recipes that call for not so healthy ingredients could easily be substituted.
The first recipe that I chose to try was Seafood Salad for a Crowd. We have this little local restaurant that serves the most delicious seafood salad. I have tried to duplicate it but haven’t had much luck. This recipe comes pretty close! The recipe is for a crowd and they aren’t kidding. This would be perfect to take to a potluck or a big family dinner. Since I was just making the salad for myself, I cut the recipe to almost one third of what each ingredient called for. I still have enough salad leftover for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. My changes to the recipe are italicized in the parenthesis.
Seafood Salad for a Crowd (Seafood Salad NOT for a Crowd!)
3 8oz pkgs cooked frozen shrimp, thawed (1/2 8oz pkgs of cooked frozen shrimp, thawed)
2 lbs imitation crabmeat, cut into bite-sized pieces (1/2 lb imitation crabmeat, cut into pieces)
4 cucumbers, peeled and diced (1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced)
6 tomatoes, diced (1 tomato, diced)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (2 green onion pieces, chopped)
1 head lettuce (one heart of romaine, chopped)
4 avocados, halved, pitted and diced (1/2 avocado, diced)
Seasoned salt with onion and garlic to taste (season salt to taste)
2 16oz pkgs shredded Colby Jack cheese (sprinkle of cheese on finished salad)
Toss together all chopped, diced and cut vegetables. Add shrimp and crabmeat. Divide salad into individual bowls. Top with Colby Jack cheese and dressing.
This salad was full of bright colors that put me in a much better mood than the cloudy gray skies outside. The seasoned salt (I used my Tastefully Simple seasoned salt) gave the salad a little kick.
Stay tuned this week for a few other recipe reviews from the book! Tonight we are having grilled chicken and zucchini wraps for dinner!
Do you want a copy of 101 Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches before it hits the bookstores?
How to Enter
We will be giving away ONE copy of the cookbook. If you would like a chance to win, leave us a comment in this post and tell us what your favorite soup, salad or sandwich is. Leave your comment before December 20 at 9:59 CST. Don’t worry about being creative in your comment, the winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Please make sure that you fill out the required fields by putting your first name in the name field and your email address in the email address field. We do not share email addresses and you will not receive emails from Threaded Together unless you win.
We will choose ONE winner randomly and announce the results here on Threaded Together on December 20, 2011.
One comment per person per giveaway post. Duplicate comments and anonymous comments will be discarded. Please make sure that the email address in your comment form is valid so that we can contact you (email addresses are never made public). Winners must claim their prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that Threaded Together reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state, and local taxes on the value of their prize. Relatives of Threaded Together are not eligible to win.
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Yes, it is a post! I think all of us here at Threaded Together must have been in summer “vacation” mode the last couple of months, at least when it came to writing, crafting, cooking, etc. The days may be “longer” but there is only so much time to squeeze in everything that needs to be done!
It is hard to believe that it is already half-way thru August! In this part of the country school starts early (August 22) – I prefer the model we had when the girls were in school in California … classes didn’t start until after Labor Day. I love the smell of new school supplies, but it is hard to get excited when the temperatures are hovering just this side of 100°
Depending on how you feel about peas, you will either LOVE or HATE this recipe which came from a co-worker after an office potluck decades ago! I fall into the category of LOVE it, but never make this dish unless I have somewhere to take it since I’m the only fan in the family! Yesterday it was part of the menu for the surprise party in celebration of my friend, Eileen S., turning the big 5-0 in a couple of weeks (sorry, E, but since you are pretty much the youngest of your “friends your own age” this secret is out!). If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, or access to a farmer’s market where they sell fresh peas, substitute fresh for the frozen.
20 oz. peas, frozen or fresh (I don’t really worry about exact amounts – I use two of the smaller bags)
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup green onions, chopped
½ cup salted cashew (pieces—not whole, not chopped)
½ cup bacon, cut into small pieces and cooked/drained — isn’t everything better with bacon?!
1 cup sour cream
1 Tblsp. Lemon juice
3 Tblsp. Mayonnaise
Salt & pepper
If using frozen, thaw the peas in a colander.
Mix peas with sour cream, mayo, and lemon juice. Add cashews, green onions, bacon, and celery. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
If you don’t think it will all be eaten right away, reserve cashews and sprinkle on top as served—they tend to soften in the salad, especially overnight – doesn’t seem to bother people around here, but then again, boiled peanuts are a regional delicacy … Yuck!
So, enjoy the “fruits” of your harvest or head to the freezer section of your favorite grocery store, and celebrate something with Party Pea Salad!
So this one I have stolen from my amazing, wonderful mother! No mom, I’m not trying to suck up to you! I made this salad for dinner tonight and was once again reminded that I DO NOT make it enough! So I felt it was absolutely necessary that I share it with you.
A little background – I was THAT kid. You know, the one who use to tell people that she was allergic to things like peas just so she didn’t have to eat them. I hated vegetables. All vegetables. Well, maybe not carrots, but they had to be covered in ranch dressing in order for me to eat them! As I have matured in age, hopefully in mind too, I have discovered how wonderful vegetables really are. This salad is a fantastic example of how great they can be. This is one of those dishes that is so incredibly addicting, I cannot stop once I have started. Of course, it’s a good thing since my kids won’t touch vegetables with a ten foot pole. Gee, I wonder where they get it from?!
Two Bean Salad
- Fresh cut green beans
- 1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Tablespoon sugar
Boil green beans until crisp and still bright green, about 3 – 5 minutes. Place green beans, kidney beans and onion in medium to large bowl. Combine vinegar, olive oil and sugar in medium bowl. Pour over ingredients and toss. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours before serving.