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Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

my-salad

The temps at our house this week have been over the 100 degree mark.

In light of that misery, nothing sounds good to eat except salads and ice cream. (Talk about  balanced diet!).

Here’s one of our favorite salad recipes. It just takes a few minutes to grill the meat so you aren’t left outside melting into a puddle for long.

Flank Steak – can get tough if you don’t cook it quickly.

Ingredients

Season the meat.

Grill over indirect heat.

It takes about two minutes for each side to be done.

Captain Cavedweller’s version of the salad removes any attempt at healthy eating. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

Flank Steak Salad

1-2 flank steaks per person

lettuce (whatever kind you like best is fine – yes I was lazy and used bagged lettuce)

tomatoes (sliced)

cucumber (sliced)

sliced black olives (again, lazy and used pre-sliced)

shredded colby-jack cheese (pre-shredded – lazy and yes, there is a trend developing here)

salt

pepper

Mrs. Dash (or whatever meat seasoning you like)

Flank steaks are thin cuts of meat that cook really fast. Season them with salt, pepper and whatever seasoning you like best. Get creative – CC usually does which is why I ask for half-seasoning on my meat!

Grill the flank steak for just a few minutes. CC put these on a hot grill with indirect heat. It took just shy of two minutes per side for them to be done to perfection.

Once the meat is done, let it rest a few minutes before slicing. I made long, thin strips of meat and CC whacked his into bite-sized submission.

Layer lettuce, tomato slices, olives and cucumbers in a dish or bowl. If you want the cucumbers to look fancy, peel and then run a fork’s tines down the outside of it all around. It creates a nice pattern when they are sliced.

Place the meat on top and then finish with a sprinkle of cheese. I added Feta cheese crumbles to my salad and it was tasty. CC added croutons, sunflower seeds and almost everything except the kitchen sink to his salad. My point would be, add whatever tastes good to you.

Stay Cool!

She Who Loves A Good Salad for Dinner

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Compressed salad plated

If you want to impress your guests with a fancy little salad, this is super easy to do and makes for a fun start to your meal.

Ingredients - you can use whatever combo you want of lettuce, veggies and dressing. I tried to choose things with varied color.

Ingredients – you can use whatever combo you want of lettuce, veggies and dressing. I tried to choose things with varied color.

 

You need a mold to put the salad in. You can use a small mold and make individual salads (which would probably be easier than the gigantic mold I made).

You need a mold to put the salad in. You can use a small mold and make individual salads (which would probably be easier than the gigantic mold I made).

After you toss the lettuce with dressing, start layering it with the veggies. I think my layers went something like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beets, olives, then repeat.

After you toss the lettuce with dressing, start layering it with the veggies. I think my layers went something like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, beets, olives, then repeat. Pack it tightly or it won’t hold the shape.

 

Let chill for about twenty minutes. This isn't something you'd want to let linger for a long time because the dressing makes the lettuce limp in a hurry.

Let chill for about twenty minutes. This isn’t something you’d want to let linger for a long time because the dressing makes the lettuce limp in a hurry. Remove from the mold and you have an amazing tower of salad!

 

Then serve!

Then serve! I garnished with some grated Parmesan and a tomato.

Compressed Salad

4 cups of lettuce (your choice)

1/2 cup sliced or diced tomatoes

1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumbers

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup sliced pickled beets

1/4 cup salad dressing (I used a Caesar Vinaigrette)

2 tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

Mix the lettuce with the dressing. Using a mold or form, start layer lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and beets, pressing down tightly until form is filled. Chill for fifteen to twenty minutes then remove from form. If you have an individual form you can use (like a silicone cupcake form) you can easily unmold on your individual serving plates. If you are making the salad in one big form, you may need an extra set of hands to get it out of the mold then divided into individual servings.

She Who Likes Things That Taste Like Spring

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potato salad finished

After  months of pumpkin, caramel and apple flavors followed by the traditional holiday fare, we were ready for a taste of summer the other day. So I whipped up some chunky potato salad.

It tasted divine – or as divine as potato salad can taste.

Ranch dressing and pickle juice give this chunky mixture it’s subtle flavoring. Whip up a batch and see if you don’t get rave reviews. When taken to a potluck gathering, the bowl usually comes back empty.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Boil the eggs

Boil the eggs

and the potatoes.

and the potatoes.

Once the eggs are cooked and cooled, remove yolks.

Once the eggs are cooked and cooled, remove yolks.

Then smash them into oblivion.

Then smash them into oblivion.

Chop the egg whites and pickles then add to cooked, drained and cooled potatoes.

Chop the egg whites and pickles then add to cooked, drained and cooled potatoes.

Spoon the dressing, made from the smashed yolks, over the top of the chunky mixture. Blend well.

Spoon the dressing, made from the smashed yolks, over the top of the chunky mixture. Blend well.

Top with paprika and parsley then dig in!

Top with paprika and parsley then dig in!

Chunky Potato Salad

6 medium to large red potatoes

6 eggs

1/2 cup chopped dill pickles

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup ranch dressing

2 tbsp. pickle juice

salt and pepper to taste

paprika

parsley flakes

Boil eggs until hard-boiled then cool.

Cut potatoes into bite-sized chunks, leaving on skin if possible. Boil until fork tender but still firm. Rinse, drain and cool.

Slice pickles into bite-sized chunks then add to potatoes.

When eggs are cool, remove yolks and set aside. Cut cooked egg whites into chunky pieces and add to potatoes. Smash egg yolks until no longer crumbly and add mayo, pickle juice and ranch dressing. Do not, under any circumstances, substitute salad dressing for mayonnaise. You will be taken out in the streets and flogged. When your egg yolk mix is nice and creamy, stir it into the chunky mixture, coating thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a sprinkling of paprika and parsley flakes. If I had fresh parsley, I would have used sprigs of it rather than dried.

She Who Likes the Taste of Summer

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When Captain Cavedweller and I were on vacation a few weeks ago, one of the places we ate had the best Tomato Caprese Salad. It was fresh and beautiful and so good.

The best part is, it is easy to recreate  at home with some fresh ingredients and a few minutes of time!

Enjoy!

Ingredients

 

Slice the cheese – the fresher, the better!

 

Slice tomatoes and give them just a dash of salt.

 

Line up on a plate or platter then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

 

Then savor the freshness and blending of flavors!

 

 

 

 

Tomato Caprese Salad

fresh mozzarella, sliced

tomatoes, sliced

spinach leaves

balsamic vinegar

salt, to taste

Layer cheese, spinach and tomato leaves on a plate or platter (I sprinkled the tomato slices with a little salt. At room temp, it just brings out the flavor). Drizzle with vinegar and enjoy!

She Who Loves This So, So Much

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This salad is easy to whip together and a perfect go-to for potlucks, picnics or anytime you really don’t want to cook. Add pieces of cooked chicken and you’ve got a meal ready to eat!

Ingredients

 

Microwave vinegar, oil and orange juice. Stir in seasoning packets. Set aside.

Mix oranges with coleslaw (or cabbage). Add in crushed noodles.

 

Pour dressing over salad, stirring well to coat. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Chinese Noodle Salad

1 bag of coleslaw mix or about six cups of shredded cabbage

2 packages of Ramen Noodles (chicken flavor)

1 large can Mandarin Oranges

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup vinegar

2/3 cup oil

Drain oranges, reserving juice in a micro-wave safe bowl. Add oil and vinegar to juice and microwave about a minute, stirring to mix well.  Stir in the seasoning packets from the noodles until well blended. Set aside.

Mix coleslaw with oranges. Crush noodles and add to bowl, uncooked. Pour dressing over the top, mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, give the salad a good mix then stir in almonds and serve!

She Who Likes Easy To Make Dishes

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When I was a young girl, my mom had a circa 1960-something Betty Crocker cook-book for kids that originally belonged to my sister. I glommed onto it once I decided I wanted to bake and create in the kitchen. This was one of the first things I made. Mom also made these pear bunnies for us sometimes and they never failed to make me smile.

Easy and simple, make pear bunnies for Easter and see if your kids aren’t begging for more.

Ingredients - leaf lettuce, a can of pear halves (or fresh pears, cut in half) cottage cheese, cranberries, sliced almonds and Red Hots. You are supposed to use raisins instead of cranberries, but since I hate raisins, my bunnies have bizarre red eyes.

 

Put leaf lettuce on a plate. You can use as many as you like.

 

Place pear half on lettuce, split side down.

 

Add a dollop of cottage cheese at the broad end of the pear for a tail.

 

Stick in sliced almonds for ears, cranberries for eyes and a Red Hot nose.

 

Enjoy!

 

She Who Wishes You all a Very Happy Easter!

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If you are looking for a colorful side dish to serve this holiday season, try this easy Pasta Ribbon Salad.

 

Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions.

 

Slice Olives

 

Toss everything together.

 

I finished the salad off with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan and a sprig of dill.

Pasta Ribbon Salad

1 package Ribbon Pasta

1 can sliced olives

1/4 cup sliced Mazanilla Olives

1/4 cup sliced Kalamata Olives

1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cool completly. Add in olives and cheese. Toss with dressing. Chill and serve!

She Who Loves Pasta Salad

 

 

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