Category Archives: salads

Davis Island Picnic rainbow

Rainy Day Picnic

Hello!  I am so glad to be back; I have really missed being here, chatting with you.  Both of my surgeries went well and I’m about five or six weeks in to physical therapy.  The hip arthroscopy, which I expected to be shattering, was actually the easiest in terms of the surgery itself and the initial home recovery.  My biggest concern was getting home and up the stairs on crutches after being released (hip arthroscopy is a same day surgery around here).  That concern was seriously heightened by the trip home following the ovarian surgery.  I won’t be graphic but. . .so sick, so. many. stairs.  However, amazingly, for the first time ever, I wasn’t even the slightest bit nauseated following the hip surgery!!  That really does deserve gratuitous use of exclamation marks.   The long term lack of mobility and general inability to do for myself have gotten me down a bit at times, but overall it has been so much easier than anticipated.  The last three months have also allowed me to see, yet again, how amazing my family is.  I feel absolutely soaked in love and uncomplaining care.

To celebrate being back on my wobbly pins, and to kick off our twelfth wedding anniversary weekend, I thought I would throw together a Friday night picnic.  We were both going a bit stir crazy being trapped inside all day, so an evening in the out-o-doors sounded just right.  Things didn’t turn out exactly as planned, as you will see, but it was a pretty great night nonetheless.  Scroll down past the video to find links to the inspiration recipes, as well as to see the changes I made.  If you would like to see how the rest of the night went, click over to Jason’s video.

Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Changes I made: zest of 1 lemon added to dressing

Changes I would make next time: the only kale I could find at the shop this time was red kale.  Next time I would definitely hold out for lacinato kale, or switch to spinach or arugula.  I did not have three hours to massage the red kale into submission (the ten minutes I did put in just didn’t cut it)!

Farmer’s Market Cornbread

Sean Brock’s Cornbread Recipe

and, my version. . .

Cornbread before and after

Garden Cornbread

base-

5 Tbs melted, unsalted butter

2 cups of medium grind cornmeal (I used this)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 C goat’s milk yogurt

1 C almond milk

1 tsp vinegar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 C corn kernels

1/4-1/3 C grated cheese (I used a firm sheep’s milk cheese whose name I do not know, but you could use just about anything you find tasty)

toppings-

1 pint (more or less) cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 red onion, sliced

basil, chiffonade (fancy way of cutting up; do what you want)

crumbling cheese (I used some cojita that was hanging out in the fridge)

directions-

  • heat cast iron skillet in 450 degree oven while preparing ingredients
  • combine dry “base” ingredients in medium bowl
  • combine wet “base” ingredients, stir into dry mix
  • add shredded cheese and corn kernels, stir until evenly distributed
  • removed skillet from oven, place on burner over medium heat (you will definitely want to turn on your fan)
  • pour base batter into pan, sprinkle with toppings
  • turn off burner
  • return skillet to oven, cook for 20 minutes
  • check for color (you are looking for a golden brown; the edges of your cheese will be picking up some color as well.
  • eat lots!

Davis Island Picnic plate

 

 

Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad via One is Hungry

Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad

Hello all!  A very, very late happy New Year to you.  How are you; how is 2015 treating you so far?  We are doing A-okay.  Can we talk for just a moment about the revelation that is January in Tampa?  It is pretty magical.  For the most part it is blue skies, sunshine, and 70 degree days. Here, people take down their Christmas decorations to hang pirate flags and Gasparilla wreathes.  That’s right, this weekend we will experience part one of our first ever Gasparilla!

We’ve been spending our time getting better acquainted with the area, and getting to know some of our fellow. . .Tampons?  :)  What in the world do you call people from Tampa?  Tampites, Tampians, Bay Dwellers?  Anyway, we’ve been meeting people.  We recently had a potluck dinner with two of J.’s co workers and their families.  The food was fantastic and there were littles running amok to keep things lively. Our contribution was a gigantic Greek-ish quinoa salad (if a salad based on a seed that comes from the Andes mountains can be in any way Greek).  Recipe requests were made, so I thought I’d share with everyone at the same time.

Happy Herbaceous Grain Salad

As I said, for the dinner party I made this dish with quinoa as the base.  My intention was to do the same for this post however, my inattentiveness led to a happy accident.  I had grabbed, soaked, rinsed, and drained my quinoa before I realized it was not quinoa at all, but millet. Good news: equally delicious, so I continued on as planned. A quick note if you decide to do millet instead of quinoa, my inadvertent soak and rinse didn’t hurt anything, but usually when cooking millet, I would just toast the dry grain before adding liquid, as in the recipe from this post.

Doing the Allergy Elimination Diet?  By changing the feta into avocado, the pistachios to seeds, and the raisins into chopped grapes (or sulphite-free raisins), you can totally embrace this salad!

ingredientshhgs

millet milletbay mint mintleaves zest baydark hhgs1 hhgs4 hhgsdetail

serves 4-6

Ingredients

1  C quinoa or millet

2 bay leaves

kosher or sea salt

1/2 cucumber

1 large carrot

zest and juice of 1 to 1 1/2 lemons

1 1/2 C tightly packed herbs, chopped ( I used flat leaf parsley, cilantro, and mint.  Basil or oregano would be really nice too.)

3 TBS – 1/4 C golden raisins

1/2- 3/4 C crumbled feta

1/2 C kalamata olives

*banana peppers (I couldn’t find any at the store, but I think they would be fantastic)

Directions

Soak quinoa, rinse and drain.  Place in saucepan with 1 1/4 cups of water, two bay leaves, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low.  Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.  Check to see that all water is gone and quinoa fluffs dry with fork.  When cooked, spread in tray or platter to cool.

Quarter lengthwise, and slice carrot and cucumber.  Zest and juice lemon.  Roughly chop herbs.  Pit and chop olives.  Cube feta.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and fold to incorporate.  Taste for seasoning.  I know everyone hates to be told that, but I can’t possibly know how salty your olives or feta are, so you are just gonna have to taste as you go!  Top with chopped pistachios.

*If it will be some time before you serve, consider adding the herbs just before eating.  The acid of the lemon juice and the bruising of being chopped can cause the herbs to change color.

hhgs5

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad via www.oneishungry.com

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad

For a whole host of reasons, we are not having a Christmas tree in our condo this year.  First, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we only have half a floor.  Second, we are making a long visit home to the land of cotton blossoms for the holidays.  Third, there is a distinct possibility that I am allergic to them (usually that would not be a factor for consideration, but this year, as my doctor put it yesterday, I’m already behind the eight ball!).  Finally, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage, as we eagerly anticipated the possibility of having sold our condo by now.  By the way, yes, the whole losing our floor bit really put a damper on our plans to get this place on the market in a hurry.  On the plus side, we know we will be passing on a mold-free, beautifully re-floored and re-doored apartment to the eventual owners, and that is a nice, cozy feeling!

Because we don’t have any holiday decorations up, my soul has been longing for some traditional seasonal color and sparkle.  Say hello to Christmas on a plate!

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad via www.oneishungry.com

Aren’t the colors gorgeous?  We had a bit of black rice left over in the pantry from the last time we made Broiled Salmon with Spicy Greens and Black Rice, and green beans that didn’t all make it into this fabulous dish.  Tiny clementine segments and small diced red onion are fantastic, but the star on top is the pomegranate seeds.  Breaking into the luscious, glimmering interior of a pomegranate is an aesthetically satisfying experience for me.  You can see why some scholars believe the fruit in the  garden that tempted Adam and Eve was not an apple, but this glorious jewel box of an hundred rubies.

full

A light vinaigrette to pull all the flavors together, and your salad is complete.  We had ours with garlic crusted lamb chops; how would you serve it?  Do you have a food that sings “Happy Holidays” to your soul?  Leave a note in the comments below, and tell me all about it!

This recipe is great for those on the Allergy Elimination Diet. IF you are testing for citrus (i.e. have eliminated citrus from your diet) be sure to substitute another fruit or veg. for the clementine slices!  Fresh carrot slices would give the same beautiful color and a fantastic crunch to boot!  This salad opens itself to a world of easy substitution; play around and make it your own.

Black Rice Jewel Box Salad

serves 4-6 as a side

Salad

2 cups of cooked rice, cooled slightly

1/4 of a small red onion, small dice

2 clementines (or carrots), segmented (or slices)

handful of fresh green beans, sliced on the diagonal

pomegranate seeds

Vinaigrette

1 Tbs sherry or red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp maple syrup

2 1/2 Tbs olive oil

Assemble salad. Place vinegar and salt in mason jar or bowl, and agitate until salt has dissolved.  Add mustard and maple, and shake or whisk to combine.  Now add oil, and shake it like a piggy bank!

French potato salad from http://www.oneishungry.com

Salad days

Last Friday night we went to a friend’s house for a bbq with our small group from church and about eight Chinese students attending George Washington University.  It was great!  Despite the rain, despite the headache-cum-migraine I’ve been carrying around for weeks, despite everyone’s individual worries and concerns, those few hours were lovely.  I got to play with one of the cutest babies ever, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new people.  The students were divided up between accountants and hospitality services studies and the topics under discussion were diverse to say the least.  At one time I heard meningitis, George Washington, electric bikes, home-stay, and DSLR camera specs floating up from the different knots of people around the house.

Of course, being a bbq there was also food!  Our small group pitched in for pot luck; Jason and I took enormous bowls of potato salad, fragrant with herbs, and fruit salad with a twist.

 

French potato salad

French potato salad

(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

ingredients (serves 4-6). . .we tripled it!

2 pounds small red potatoes

4 Tbs. chicken stock

3 Tbs. champagne vinegar

3/4 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

8-10 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

2 Tbs. minced fresh dill

2 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbs. chiffonade of fresh basil leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until they are just cooked through.  Remove potatoes to bowl and cover with a towel to steam for 10 more minutes.  Halve or quarter potatoes and toss gently with chicken stock.  Allow liquid to be absorbed into potatoes before proceeding.

Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil in mason jar and shake it! (or slowly whisk oil into other ingredients to emulsify.)  Add vinaigrette to potatoes and gently toss with herbs and remaining salt and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

Fruit Salad a la Oyamel

ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 grapefruits

2 pink or green apples (or pears)

1 mango

1 banana

1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped

2 tsp cayenne powder

1-2 limes quartered

Segment grapefruit and break segments into medium chunks.  Cut apples (peel off or on) in large dice.  Peel mango and cut likewise.  Peel and cut banana in rounds.  Squeeze 1 lime quarter and gently toss together.

Decision time:  if everyone to whom you are feeding this salad likes a little spice, then toast your pecans in a dry pan over medium heat with the cayenne pepper.  If you are uncertain of you fellow diner’s pepper tolerance, just toast nuts plain, and provide limes dipped in cayenne for squeezing over individual portions.

 

 

Green salad with white beans, boiled eggs, veggies and a champagne vinaigrette from http://www.oneishungry.com

Simple Food: Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg and Champagne Vinaigrette

I can almost hear you thinking, “Simple!  What is simple about soaking and cooking beans, boiling eggs, and preparing a homemade dressing?”  but I promise it is true!  Let’s break it down.  The beans can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for several days, or they can be pre-cooked beans from a can (drained and rinsed, of course).  Boiled eggs take roughly 10 minutes from fridge, to pot, to ice bath, to peeled and quartered, ready to be eaten.  The Sauce, otherwise known as champagne vinaigrette, takes 2 minutes and a mason jar.  So toss up some leafy greens, throw in a generous handful of vegetables and you can have a gorgeous, healthy meal in well under 30 minutes.

green salad with white beans, boiled eggs and veggies

Green Salad with White Beans, Boiled Egg

Ingredients

salad greens (be adventurous and hop off the Iceberg; try green leaf, red leaf, romain, butterhead,arugula, or get really crazy with kale, chard, dandelion or escarole)

cooked white beans (aiming for toothsome, not mushy)

boiled eggs

suggested options:

zucchini

carrots

onion

tomatoes

red bell pepper

avacado

goat cheese

pecans

apple slices

loading up with goodies

The Sauce|Champagne Vinaigrette

adapted from  The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

2 Tbs. champagne vinegar

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil

(try this, and then play around with the ratios.  Jason and I love a vinaigrette with a bit of a bite and a lovely, well-emuslified consistency.  You may like something milder, or just different.)

Combine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason  or jelly jar.  Swirl, or shake, to combine, then add oil.  Now put the lid on, and shake what your momma gave you (and the jar, too).  Continue to shake until oil and vinegar have emulsified (combined in such a way that they are not separate from one another).