April 21, 2010

28. Salads with Quinoa and Preserved Lemon

By in Grain, Lunch/Snack Salad, Uses Leftovers, Vegan, Vegetarian

28.quinoa in a salad

Wow.  My days of salad are starting to blend together.   My “100 Days” will be far more than 100 by the time I get to the number 100 in the blog entries.  This is mostly a function of salad redundance.   My goal is to inspire, not bore. 

So for this salad, the two exciting elements were the use of leftover quinoa– such a great source of protein and also texture–and preserved lemons, which I used to keep the quinoa from being too monotonous or bland–a common problem with grain and pasta salads, in my opinion.  In other words, I wanted to create a “warm salad bowl” experience but maintain vibrant flavor.  The dressing was a vinaigrette that also included some finely minced preserved lemons.  If you don’t have these in your fridge, I highly recommend making them and having them on hand.  They will light up your life and fill your nights with song.  The dressing and the quinoa transformed this potentially dull lunch salad into a hearty and zesty pleasure. 

There is no recipe, but take your basic salad, toss it with quinoa, and mix preserved lemon bits into a basic vinaigrette.  Make sure there’s a generous amount of salt in the dressing as well, to offset the grain.  Voila, you have added sass and gusto to your day.

April 4, 2010

27. Spinach Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs

By in Lunch/Snack Salad, Side Salad, Uses Leftovers

27.spinach salad with hard boiled eggs

If, by any chance, you find hard-boiled eggs lying around your kitchen today, you can use them to make a delicious spinach salad.  Coincidentally, this salad tastes amazing with leftover ham.

Spinach Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby spinach leaves
  • 2 or 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, grated
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 T dijon mustard
  • 3 T honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Clean the spinach leaves, pat them dry, then chill in the refrigerator.  Toss together the mushrooms, eggs, and onions in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Mince the garlic finely and soak it in the vinegar for five minutes.
  3. Add the honey, mustard, and seasonings to the vinegar, and whisk together.
  4. While whisking constantly, add the olive oil to the vinegar mix in a steady stream until you have a smooth emulsion.
  5. Gently toss a generous portion of the dressing with the egg, mushrooms, and onions.  Then gently toss in the spinach leaves until they are coated.  Taste to see if you like the amount of dressing, and adjust, if necessary.  If you accidentally added too much dressing for your taste, throw in some extra spinach and toss well.

Serves 8 – 10.

April 3, 2010

26. Nori with Salads

By in Asian-Inspired

26. nori with salad

I am such a huge proponent of seaweed in theory–it’s so amazingly good for you, and it tastes good, too–but it’s about time I get going with having it around for real, not just on my plate when I order sushi.  Nori, the seaweed used often in sushi rolls, tastes amazing on salads, and it’s fun to prepare.  Anytime I can get office supplies involved in the kitchen–in this case, scissors–I’m happy.   Nori is crisp enough to be broken into pieces, but I like using scissors to shred it into little pieces or cut it into squares or strips.  One note about nori–though it is crisp, it will not stay so on a super-wet salad.  Therefore, I recommend adding nori to the top at the very end or even serving it separately if you are hoping for some crispy action.

March 31, 2010

25. Egg Salad

By in Lunch/Snack Salad, Vegetarian

25.egg salad

Making a salad at your friend’s house is a great way out of a salad-making rut.  My friend asked if I wanted to have an egg salad, because she had boiled eggs on hand.  Oh, yeah! Egg salad! What a delicious reminder.

It was great fun having permission to  go through her fridge and pick out what would go into this spring egg salad.  She was watching our cranky daughters, while I was selecting a perfect radish and a savoy cabbage leaf from her produce drawer.  Listen, if you want me to come over to your house and make you a salad out of your own stuff, just invite me over.  Please watch my kid, though, okay?  Even Steven?

Spring Egg Salad

As shown, the salad is on a bed of purple cabbage back at my house.  This salad would have been delicious on a sandwich with cucumbers and avocado.  If we had been able to stay at my friend’s house, this is what I probably would have done, but naptime is naptime, man.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 stalks celery
  • Small handful of chives (or onions)
  • A few cornichons, with a bit of the juice from the jar
  • 1 or 2 radishes
  • 1 or 2 savoy cabbage leaves
  • A couple T of mayonnaise
  • Small spoonful of dijon mustard
  • Dill, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop the eggs into a small dice.  Mince all the other vegetables more finely than the eggs (including the cabbage). 
  2. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings to taste.
  3. Serve on sandwiches, crackers, or on a bed of shredded greens/cabbage.  Egg salad would also taste great with quinoa or some other grain, like farro.

Serves 2.

March 30, 2010

24. Mizuna Salad Bowl

By in Asian-Inspired, Main Course Salad

mizuna salad and soup bowl

This is a salad I made to “treat” the head cold I had.  Mizuna is a wonderful Japanese salad green that has a similar flavor to arugula–peppery, sharp, and sassy.  I think it tends to be slightly more delicate in structure, though– maybe it’s because I’ve only eaten young mizuna.  Anyway, it’s in the brassica family and is considered a mustard green.   Perfect green for a head cold! 

When you aren’t tossing your mizuna in a regular, refreshing salad during warm and healthy days, why not throw it into your Asian-inspired concoction that you made for dinner, and squirt a ton of hot pepper sauce over the top?  This will set you free.

The concoction above contains:

  • Mizuna
  • Egg drop soup (chicken broth, tamari sauce, with egg beaten into it)
  • Quinoa (I didn’t have time to make rice)
  • Chicken stir fry with peas & tons of garlic and onions
  • Hot pepper sauce

My family ate the stir fry as I had intended them to, over the quinoa, with the soup on the side.  I, on the other hand, opted to pour them all together, mix in mizuna, and inundate the whole thing with hot sauce. 

It seemed to help on all levels.

March 20, 2010

23. Enlighten Salad from Thrive

By in Lunch/Snack Salad, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian

IMG_6331

Ever walk into an unknown restaurant and immediately know you’ve entered one of your new favorite places?  This happened today to me at Thrive.  The minute I set foot in this place I felt both uplifted and relaxed.  The friendly staff was smiling while they worked.  Beyond the eating area was a store to buy healthy products and equipment such as bulk grains and juicers.   The owner of the restaurant, Monika Kinsman, was working the register, and my friend and I found her instantly easy to talk to. 

Did I mention that everything on the menu is raw, organic, and vegan?  Oh, yeah.  Thrive’s food is both delicious and specially desiged to fill your body with robust health. 

Everything I tasted was perfectly and speedily prepared, full of vibrant flavors and life.    In addition to enjoying a wonderful lunch (I ordered Oh My Samurai, a teriyaki noodle dish), I brought home a salad to go, the one pictured above. This salad, called Enlighten, brings walnuts, mushrooms, spinach, and spiralized zucchini “noodles” to delicious heights with a perfect, creamy Thai dressing.   I also had a taste of my friend’s lunch, Chili con Marvelous. Only good manners kept me from gobbling all of his chili right there in front of him.  As it was, I also bought an order of that to go “for my husband to try.”  He loved it, too. Yes, I did let my husband eat some when I brought it home for him.   Now that’s love.

And I love Thrive.  You think I’m kidding? I’m going back tomorrow. I’m going to take my little Rosalie there for lunch.  I feel virtuous already that my daughter will have such a healthy lunch tomorrow  (and I will generously finish it for her if she needs me to).

March 19, 2010

22. Emerald City Salad

By in Grain, Lunch/Snack Salad, Main Course Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian

22.emerald city salad

I usually think of chard and kale as veggies to eat cooked, but Emerald City Salad has a special something, and I think it’s the rugged texture that the uncooked veggies have.   Seattle’s largest coop, Puget Consumer Coop, has an awesome deli, and Emerald City Salad is a standard you can usually find at one of the PCC locations in the (Emerald!) city. 

The ingredients are simple, flavorful, and hearty.  This is a list of the ingredients as found on the label on a to-go package from PCC.  

Emerald City Salad

Ingredients:

  • Chard
  • Kale
  • (Cooked) wild rice
  • Fennel
  • Red peppers
  • Lemon juice
  • Canola oil
  • Green onion
  • Italian parsley
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
March 17, 2010

21. Fried Rice Salad

By in Asian-Inspired, Main Course Salad, Uses Leftovers

fried rice salad

Fried rice is magnificent in salad!  The fried egg, veggies, and rice add such a lovely savory depth and, you know, fried flavor.   Give it a try sometime!

March 16, 2010

20. Chili Salad

By in Main Course Salad, Mexican-Inspired, Uses Leftovers

chili salad

Tonight’s salad is all about my TexMex childhood, when everything was better with chili.  Speaking of which, have you ever had Frito Pie?  This is created by covering a plate with a layer of Fritos, pouring chili over them, then heaping on grated cheese and onions.  In other words, Frito Pie is a concentrated bomb of ridiculous TexMex SuperHeaven.  

This salad is Frito Pie without the Fritos (plus a whole bunch of veggies).    I can only imagine what this salad would have been like with that final Frito touch.  As it was, it was a bowl of healthy joy with 1970’s TexMex hiding underneath.

Chili Salad

Ingredients:

  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped avocado
  • Chopped onion
  • Leftover cilantro lime coleslaw from night before last
  • Grated cheese
  • Homemade chili

Arrange salad makings over a bowl of chili.  Serve with corn bread.

March 15, 2010

19. Breakfast Salad

By in Fruit, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian

19.breakfast salad

If salad is one of my favorite foods, then fruit salad is a favorite of the favorites.  Here’s my favorite way to make this favorite-favorite: 

In the cookbook Vegetarian Nights: Fresh from Hawaii, Bonnie Mandoe recommends making your fruit salad with very small cubes of fruit, so that each spoonful contains several different pops of juicy, bright flavor.  Ever since reading this over 10 years ago I have used this technique in my fruit salads so often, and I’m always glad I do.  It’s pure party joy in each bite. 

Tonight I whipped up some of this fruit salad for breakfast tomorrow. My plan is to pour it over my morning oatmeal–though it would be wonderful poured over a bowl of other cereals, a bowl of yogurt, even atop a piece of toast. 

Can I just tell you how happily I’m looking forward to the morning?