Archive for ‘Salads’

October 11, 2011

Cucumber Salad


Cucumber salad is a very light, refreshing side.  It is simple to make and easy to prepare.  It is a great side when preparing any type of Asian dish such as stir-fry, lettuce wraps, etc.  This recipe serves 4. 


Cucumber Salad

2 cucumbers

2 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp. sugar

1/4 c. white wine

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. sesame seeds


Peel the skin from the cucumbers.  Slice the cucumbers in half, lengthwise.  Remove the seeds then slice each cucumber half into bite size, half moon shaped pieces.  In a bowl, mix together the sesame oil, sugar, white wine, and soy sauce.  Toss the cucumbers with the dressing mixture.  Place into serving bowl then top with toasted sesame seeds. 


August 2, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Try these Sweet and Spicy Pecans to add a little extra flavor to a salad or serve them with some cheese as an appetizer.  They have just enough sweetness and spice.  They are very simple to make and can be made ahead of time.  I love the combination of these pecans and blue cheese crumbles on a spring mix salad with balsamic vinegarette!


Sweet and Spicy Pecans

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 T. sugar

1 cup pecan halves

1 T. chili powder


Dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar in 1 cup of warm water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain pecans and discard liquid.  Mix pecans with 2 T. sugar and 1 T. chili powder.  Toss to coat.  Lay pecans in a single layer on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flipping after 5 minutes. 

Try them in a salad with spring mix, blue chesse crumbles, red onion, and balsamic vinegarette.  So easy and so good!!


June 21, 2011

Tomato Stack


Many restraunts serve a version of a tomato stack salad.  If you ever see it on the menu, you should order it!  Brad and I have loved every one we can remember.  I decided to create my own version of a tomato stack.  I used fresh tomato, avacado and corn vinegarette, topped with a lemon garlic sauce.  It was wonderful! 


Tomato Stack (serves 4)

2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 avacado, sliced

corn vinegarette (recipe below)

lemon garlic sauce (recipe below) 

Arrange one tomato slice on each plate.  Top the tomato with a spoonful of corn vinegarette then 2 slices of avacado.  Repeat tomato, corn, avacado two more times then top the tomato stack with a teaspoon of the lemon garlic sauce.

It’s beautiful and delicious! 


Corn Vinegarette

1 (9 oz.) can low-sodium corn, drained

1/4 c. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. garlic

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. creole mustard

1 tsp. thyme

Drain corn well and combine with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sugar, creole mustard and thyme.  Toss.


Lemon Garlic Sauce

3 T. light mayo

2 green onions, chopped

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic 

Mix all ingredients.

June 14, 2011

Homemade Croutons

This is a quick, easy idea to add a little something extra to your salad.  You can make these croutons with all types of bread.  I usually use a couple slices of regular 100% whole wheat sandwich bread since that seems to be what we always have on hand.  They really give a fresh kick to the regular, traditional salad.  Make a batch and store what is left in a zip lock for another nights dinner.  They stay tasting fresh for about 5 days. 


Homemade Croutons

4 slices bread, torn into bite size pieces


garlic powder


olive oil

Spread torn bread in single layer on jelly roll pan.  Sprinkle bread evenly with parsley, garlic powder and basil.  (Add any other of your favorite seasonings!)  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  Toss and continue baking until crispy. 


**Try these croutons on a caesar salad using romaine lettuce, your favorite kind of caesar dressing, black pepper, parmesan cheese and homemande croutons!!!

May 19, 2011

Asian Slaw

Asian Slaw


Asian Slaw is a recipe that my family and neighbors have used for years.  This recipe makes plenty but it stays good for a few days.  I use it as a side to lots of dishes.  It is a great compliment to steak, pork, chicken and tuna.   This can be made very quickly and simply by using a bag of cabbage slaw.  I sometimes like to use a fresh head of green cabbage,  and some purple if you like, when I have time to chop it up.  After you put the salad together, let it sit for at least 8 hours. (longer only makes it better)  


Asian Slaw

2 pkg. beef flavored ramen noodles

1 head of cabbage OR 1 large bag of coleslaw

5-6 green onions, chopped

1/4 c. sunflower seeds

3/4 c. olive oil or vegetable oil

1/4 c. vinegar

1/3 c. sugar


Crush the ramen noodles in the package.  Open the ramen noodle packages and pour into a large bowl.  Keep the beef flavored seasoning packet to the side.  Layer the chopped cabbage or the bag of coloeslaw (dry) over the noodles.  Top with the green onions and sunflower seeds.  In a separate bowl, mix the two beef seasoning packets with the oil, vinegar and sugar.  After mixing well, pour mixture over salad.  Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours.  Mix salad before serving. 

May 2, 2011

Arugula with Goat Cheese Balls

Arugula with Goat Cheese Balls

Arugula is a gourmet lettuce with a very peppery, bold taste.  It is similar in strength and taste to an onion but with no aftertaste.  It is a delicious and nutritious alternative to the usual salad.  With its bright green color, it has a high nutritional value.  The arugula pairs well with a very light vinegarette dressing.  In this recipe, I used a champagne vinegarette.  It worked perfectly because it allowed the flavor of the arugula to really stand out.  This salad is such a light, refreshing and unique blend of flavors using only a few ingredients.  The goat cheese balls are effortless but add such pretty detail.  You can serve this salad to any crowd and I am sure they will be impressed! 



Arugula with Goat Cheese Balls

1 package of arugula (usually comes in a small bag or box but makes 2-4 servings, depending on size of salad)

1/3 cup grapes, but in half

3 T. cashews, chopped

5 tsp. goat cheese

2 T. champagne vinegarette (I buy it in the bottle.  This keeps the recipe simple and do-able on any night)


Chop cashews and lay in open bowl.  Take 1 rounded teaspoon goat cheese and form into a bowl.  Roll the ball in the cashews to coat it.  Set the ball on separate plate.  Repeat this process to make about 4 balls.  (of course you can add more cashews and goat cheese to make as many balls as needed, about 2 per salad)

Toss together the arugula and the champagne vinegarette dressing.  Add the grapes, remaining chopped cashews, and remaining crumbles of goat cheese.  Toss gently to combine.

Divide salad evenly among plates.  Place 2 goat cheese balls along side of each salad on plate. 

It’s ready to serve!  I hope you enjoy it!

April 9, 2011

Sesame Spinach Salad

Sesame Spinach Salad
Sesame Spinach Salad
1 1/2 lbs. spinach, stemmed and rinsed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
In large pan, bring about 3 cups water to boil.  Add half the spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Spoon out spinach into strainer then transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Repeat with remaining spinach.  Strain spinach from ice water and remove as much water as possible.  You can use paper towers to ring the water out of the spinach.
Combine the wine, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.  Mix dried out spinach with the dressing and chill up to 4 hours.  
When ready to serve, divide spinach into 4 or 6 cylindrical bundles.  Squeeze bundles to compact the leaves.  Place bundle on plate then drizzle with some of remaining dressing and top with toasted sesame seeds.  
This dish is colorful, healthy and fairly simple to prepare.  It is a perfect side to tuna, salmon or any other light fish.  The ingredients in the spinach salad are worth buying.  They last and we will be sure to use them again in recipes to come!!  It will help make things even more simple later!! 
April 9, 2011

Poppyseed Spinach Salad

This is a simple salad that can be thrown together anytime.  We love a good, healthy salad with almost any meal.  Spinach is so full of antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial to our health.  Choosing raw spinach in a salad, rather then iceberg, romaine, etc., automatically gives you more vitamins and minerals.  I like to keep these ingredients, as well as others to change it up a bit, on hand.  This salad is perfect alone, topped with some protein, or to start any meal.  It’s so easy to make and I promise you will love it!
Poppyseed Spinach Salad
Fresh spinach leaves, washed
Poppyseed dressing, Brianna’s is my favorite
golden raisins
sunflower seeds
feta cheese
Mix all ingredients and enjoy!!!