Tag Archives: salad

Spicing Up That Salad

23 Mar

I like to poll my facebook friends for ideas, suggestion and advice. I usually get an assortment of types of answerers – close friends, acquaintances, former classmates, people I forgot were even on facebook…. but this post was one of my most popular posts in awhile (popularity, of course, being judged by the number of comments):

Facebook poll: what fruits, veggies, or seasoning would you add to a salad to give it some kick? I don’t care for salad dressing or nuts, and trying to avoid dairy and processed foods. Any ideas?

So you can see, I explicitly asked for suggestions that would take my daily lunch to a new level, but without adding the extra sugars, processed foods, or other junk that is honestly calories wasted on a salad and better saved for dessert (oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of the gloriousness that was the pineapple upside down cake that I made for a coworker’s birthday today!)

The ideas ranged the gamut, so I thought I’d share some tidbits with you guys:

macncheese

Thanks for the warning – I will not be trying Mac & Cheese.  However, I do love STRAWBERRIES!

I paired that with this tidbit of advice:

kale and mint

And the end result was this beauty:

IMG_2272

What I had for lunch all week after asking for advice — It’s a romaine/kale blend (the kale is on the bottom, I should have tossed that a bit better) with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with mint and sat over night.

Yum!

Here are some other responses to my poll — some of which I may need to be trying in the very near future!

saira salad

Great ideas!  I love jicama. I usually just eat it raw. I never thought about toasted oats or barley!

Some other popular ideas on my facebook were:

  • avocados
  • pico de gallo / salsa
  •  fruit such as mandarin oranges, pears, craisins, and apples
  • herbs such as mint, cilantro, and basil
  • alternate dressing ideas such as lemon juice, balsamic vinegars, and tomatoes cooked with a touch of honey

All in all, what I am getting at is that your salad does not have to be plain and boring to stay healthy! There are thousands of combinations. We also don’t need to hide our vegetables under layers and layers of ranch dressing… gross!

And I was glad to see so many ideas and suggestions– and to maybe even inspire some of my friends:

gwyn salad

Anyone else having a salad this week? 🙂

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Cilantro Lime Steak with Citrus Salad

3 Nov

I got the inspiration for this dish from here: http://www.fortheloveofcooking.net/2012/05/cilantro-lime-marinated-flank-steak.html

The steak is basically the same as in this recipe, but since my measurements were different I will still post my version below. 🙂 

and this is how it turned out: 

Image

 

Here’s how I did it: 

For the steak:

Ingredients:

2 beef chuck tender steaks (or flank steak or whatever cut of meat you prefer)

1 lime, juiced

1 serrano pepper, seeds in (you can take the seeds out to cut the heat)

1 cup fresh cilantro

2 tbspns olive oil 

salt to taste

California Seasoning (basically powdered onion and powdered garlic) to taste

1 tbspn chopped garlic 

 

Blend all of the ingredients (except for the steak). Put half of the sauce in a ziplock bag with the steak, making sure that all surfaces get coated. We let it marinade about 3 hours.  Stir in 1 tbspn of sour cream (optional) to the remaining sauce. This helps cut the heat and adds a nice tang to the sauce. 

We pan seared the steak to about a medium temperature (140 with meat thermometer) and then thin sliced. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the sliced steak. 

 

For the salad, it was just fresh baby spinach, fresh navel orange segments, and slivered almonds, tossed. I didn’t put any dressing on, but a nice oil/vinegar dressing would have gone nicely. I found that the meat had such an assertive flavor that I didn’t want to add anything to the salad, just let the citrus and spinach add bright notes to the dress. 

 

 

Kalbi, Warm Fennel Salad, and Rootbeer Risotto

31 Aug

For dinner tonight, I made kalbi, warm fennel salad and a root beer risotto.

For the kalbi, I used a recipe from Food Network which you can find here.

In case you aren’t familiar with kalbi (or galbi), it is a korean barbecued short rib. To really do this right, you would purchase korean cut short ribs. The cut is sometimes called “flanken.” It’s a smaller cut of meat that grills faster. However, I bought American style short ribs and sliced the meat off of the bone. I also bought a small sirloin steak and thin sliced that to see how the two different types of meat fared in this cooking style.

I pretty much followed the food network recipe to a T, except I could not find Mirin in our local grocery store and didn’t feel like hitting an Asian store in the rain today. So I used white cooking wine instead. Also, in hind sight, I would add three times as much green onion as it calls for, and 2/3 as much soy sauce, as I found the marinade to be a bit salty.

Other than that, I thought they turned out delicious!

Kalbi with warm fennel salad

For the side dish, I wanted to create something light, that would compliment the heavy flavors and feeling of the beef main dish. I decided to create a warm fennel salad. While I don’t think the salad is something I would make on its own just for fun, I thought it was an excellent side dish to the kalbi.

It’s also a Sasha-Original-Recipe! 🙂

Ingredients:
1 bunch fennel, sliced thin
1 stalk celery, sliced into thin half moons
6 baby carrots, sliced into small rounds
1/8 cup cooking wine
1/2 nectarine, diced
1/2 tbspn chili oil (optional, can use any oil)
1 tspn mango vinegar (optional)

Heat a pan with 1/2 tbspn oil. I used chili oil to add flavor, but you can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, or any other anti-stick. Add in fennel, and sautee in the oil for about 1 minute. Add the other vegetables and the cooking wine. Let cook for about 4 minutes. Add in cooking wine, vinegar, and nectarine. Cook until vegetables are slightly tender but still crisp. It’s a warm salad, not a stir fry!

Warm Fennel Salad shown with kalbi.

And finally, the dessert! I made a root beer float dessert risotto!

A recipe completely of my own making! Here it is:

    Ingredients

:
Rice:
1 cup arborio rice

Flavoring Liquid:
1.5 bottles of IBC rootbeer (2 cups)

Base for toasting risotto:
1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn brown sugar
1 tspn dark rum

Base Liquid:
3.5 cups 1% milk
5 green cardamom pods
1 stick cinnamon
1 tspn vanilla

Topping:
2 tbspn marscapone
1 tbspn rootbeer

Instructions:
In a pot, put all of the base liquid ingredients in a pot and heat until warm. Take care not to burn or boil the milk. Keep it handy and on a low boil.

In a skillet, heat the base for toasting risotto. Once the butter is melted and the sugar stirred in, then add the rice. Stir the rice until the grains are glassy. Add in 1 c of rootbeer and stir until it is absorbed. Add in .5 cups of root beer and stir until it is absorbed.

Start adding in the base liquid one ladle full at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. Do not feel like you have to stir in ALL of the milk, but keep adding it in until the risotto is cooked, tender, and creamy. At the end, add in 1/4 cup of root beer to create a delicious frothiness.

Serve warm. Use the remaining rootbeer to top off your risotto root beer float (the warm risotto absorbs it pretty fast). You can add a creamy marscapone topping if you’d like. I stirred the marscapone and rootbeer together and then put a dollop on top.

Ta da!