Archive | September, 2012

7 Days of Salads: Day 7: Remix It

16 Sep

It’s called a budget, people. I’m sure you all know what I’m taking about. Wasting leftovers is not cool. Well, with the exception of a culinary fail so massive even the dog won’t touch it. It happens to the best of us. Eh.

Anyway, Tuesday is my grocery day and I can’t justify buying food on 1) not grocery day and 2) when there are little glass pyrex containers holding components of this “7 Days of Salads” thing. Also, I was out with the girls last night and I really need to cram as many veggies as possible down my gullet today. Thanks dinner of cocktails and truffles. You were awesome.

7 Days of Leftovers Remix Salad

  • roasted sweet potato
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • spicy pumpkin seed
  • sweet & spicy pecans
  • red onion
  • goat cheese
  • mixed greens
  • avocado
  • balsamic

In a Pyrex, eaten on the couch.

Hey, it’s Sunday and I’m home alone.

Ready for another week? I actually kind of am. Weird.

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7 Days of Salads: Day 6: Sweet & Spicy Potato Pecan Salad

15 Sep

So, I “cleaned” my oven today. Or rather, I pushed the “self-clean” button, watched the thing fill up with smoke (because for some reason I wait until the oven is bordering on unsafe to use before I decide to take action), and set off the smoke detector, all while talking on the phone to my darling friend – thus piercing his ears, as well. I thought I disabled it. I clearly did not. Anyway, all that aside, I decided to celebrate my now-clean oven and the chill in the fall-like air with roasted sweet potatoes. In a salad. ‘Cause I promised 7 days of salads and I am going to deliver, darn it.

No meat today. Only pecans. And goat cheese. And mmmmmm.

Sweet & Spicy Potato Pecan Salad

serves 2

  • 6 cups mixed field greens
  • 1/4 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz Trader Joe’s Sweet & Spicy Pecans
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 small apple, sliced or diced
  • 1 roasted sweet potato, cubed
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar

For the sweet potato:
Wash, dry, then cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with about 1 Tbs olive oil, place on parchment-lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika (best. seasoning. ever.), to taste. Bake at 450 for 25-35 minutes.

For the salad:
Toss it all together. Drizzle with balsamic. Eat.

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Hope you all are having a great weekend!

7 Days of Salads: Day 5: Quick Italian Chop Salad

15 Sep

Today has been crazy. I’m not going to get into it, but suffice it to say: holy crap, I’m never going to catch up. Ever.

Threw a quick salad together at lunch, while attempting to simultaneously calm down and reevaluate my ever-growing list of life chores. Ugh.

This salad turned out great and made everything seem better for awhile.

Quick Italian Chop Salad

serves 1

  • 1/3 cup garbanzo beans1 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • .5 oz salami, diced (so it seems like more! Moderation! Healthy!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups romaine
  • 1 Tbs Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian

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Toss it. Eat it while running out the door in a blind overwhelmed panic. Or calmly over candlelight with your true love (ha!). Or whatever. It pretty much works in all situations. Except maybe a vegan meditation seminar.

Happy Friday!

7 Days of Salads: Day 4: Goodbye Summer BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Salad

13 Sep

I have a confession: I love pizza. Love it. Especially brick oven style and especially smothered in bbq sauce, chicken, caramelized onions, provolone and jack cheeses . . . drool.  Or homemade. I should do 7 Days of Pizza next. And change my blog name. Totally.

Focus, Jess.

This salad comes close to satisfying those cravings. Well, as close as a salad can, I suppose.

Remember those BBQ boneless, skinless chicken breasts I told you to make Monday? Don’t tell me you don’t always have/don’t like bbq’d chicken because I do not even understand those words. Anyway, you’re going to use it again here. We did the vegan thing yesterday. We did the seafood thing Tuesday. Now we’re back to chicken – ’cause there’s leftovers and I hate being wasteful. Especially when it comes to one of my favorite foods.

Goodbye Summer BBQ Chicken and Sweet Corn Salad

serves 1 (because I am so sick of eating leftover salads for dinner all by my sorry self)

  • 3 cup shredded romaine
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • handful sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sweet white corn
  • 3 oz boneless, skinless BBQ chicken breast
  • 1 oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese (Provolone more than works, too. Or both, if you have ’em!)
  • 1/4 medium-sized Hass avocado (I really, really love avocados – have you noticed yet?)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place corn, red onions, garlic, tomatoes, and shredded chicken in small skillet, season with salt and pepper, and saute over medium heat until onions are caramelized, tomatoes are just starting to split, and corn is tender – this only takes a few minutes. Watch the pan and adjust accordingly.

Shred the cheese, dice the avocado, plate the romaine, and heap the hot stuff on top. You don’t even need dressing – truly a miracle in the world of salads.

Add a touch more BBQ sauce, if you need it. I did.

**No more chicken this week – I swear!

7 Days of Salads: Day 3: Creamy & Crunchy Kale, Avocado, Walnut Salad

12 Sep

Today’s salad is totally vegan-friendly. Purely by accident. I didn’t even realize it until I wrote up the recipe. Oops. If I don’t miss the animal products, you won’t. That’s pretty much a guarantee. And I’m a girl who likes loves meat and cheese with (nearly) every meal.

Filling. Green. So amazingly healthy I feel like it finally kicked the last of this flu out of my body and into the gutter where it belongs. Yeah, it’s that kind of  healthy.

Creamy & Crunchy Kale, Avocado, Walnut Salad

Serves 4

  • 1-2 bunches kale (About 8-10 cups?), torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 large, ripe, Haas avocado
  • 1-2 Tbs Dijon
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive (or walnut) oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 sweet apple, chopped (optional, but amazing)

In a food processor or blender, combine avocado, oil, vinegar, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine kale, cabbage, carrots, apple and walnuts.

Pour dressing mixture (it will be thick) over salad. Massage (with clean hands!!!!) until evenly coated.

Serve with Olive Loaf. Just because. Unbuttered. Hey, now it’s vegan too. So pious, today. My goodness.

7 Days Of Salads: Day 2: Spicy Shrimp and Pumpkin Caesar Salad

11 Sep

Today’s salad was born out of a craving that I cannot explain. I was at Trader Joe’s (weird, I know) and thought “Omg, I cannot eat any more chicken. Ooh! Shrimp!” Followed by, “God, I love pumpkin seeds,” and “I really liked that spicy Caesar salad I had at Casa Mia that one time.” I shouldn’t be letting you in on my thoughts. Eh, hindsight is always 20/20. Anyway, you’re going to make this (or stop by and share mine because Wes took one look at the kitchen, gagged, “That’s not dinner, right?” mumbled something about never getting Hamburger Helper, and promptly left), eat this, and realize everything you know about Caesar-salad is wrong. Or not. Whatever. I wolfed it down.

Before I get to the salad, can we just take a minute to talk about Trader Joe’s Olive Loaf. Seriously. Seriously. A little olive oil and balsamic. Insane.

Okay. Salad time.

Spicy Shrimp and Pumpkin Caesar Salad

Serves 3-4

  • 2 heads romaine, washed and ribbon-ed. Or ripped into bit-size pieces. I like to be fancy.
  • 8-12 large, raw, wild shrimp , peeled and de-veined
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 (or more) tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • spicy pumpkin seeds
  • bottled Caesar (I love Ken’s)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Put garlic, oil, shrimp, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper into large skillet and cook over medium-high heat until shrimp is pink.

  • Put romaine, dressing, and tomatoes in gallon-sized ziplock and shake for even coating.
  • Plate, top with shrimp, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds.

Now, to stay out of that olive loaf . . . It just pairs so perfectly. Ugh. Hard.

Tomorrow: Creamy, Crunchy Kale Salad.

Have a goodnight!

7 Days Of Salads: Day 1: Bone-Suckin’ Chicken Salad. What?

10 Sep

Leftover barbequed boneless, skinless chicken breast. I always seem to have this in my fridge at the end of patio-party season (yes, I have patio parties all by myself), and I’m just assuming you’re the same. If you’re not, go grill up a breast with the most amazing BBQ sauce ever. The name (and taste, duh) sold me on it. Ha! Seriously, I don’t have time for your questions. Go order it now.

Bone-Suckin’ Chicken Salad

  • Couple handfuls mixed greens (I used the baby spinach, spring, and arugula mix from Joe’s)
  • 1 oz crumbled goat cheese (or feta if you’re gonna cry about it)
  • 1-2 Tbs walnut pieces
  • 1/2 nectarine
  • 1/4 very small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tiniest drizzle of sweet balsamic
  • 3-4 oz bbq’d chicken breast

Protein! Fruit! Veggies! Good fat! Calcium!

Did I make you swoon a bit? I like to think I did.