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Category Archives: Salads

A Summer of Salads

A summer's worth of salads

An endless variety of ingredients to keep you satisfied all summer long

There’s something about 100+ degrees that makes me want to avoid the kitchen altogether. Alas, a gal has to eat. So, when summer hits I start getting creative with salads. Salads are healthy, cheap to make and can be quite filling.

Variety is the spice of life. You’ll often find me in the kitchen re-creating flavors and food combinations from cold-weather dishes into cool combos for summer salads. If it works in a soup or stew, it’ll work in a salad. Adding protein in the form of eggs, meat, poultry, fish or beans to your salad can change it from a side dish to main dish in a flash. Adding grains like wheatberries, barley or rice means you have a complete meal in a bowl that will sustain you for hours. Bon Appétit!

Here are some salads that are easy to pull together to help you get started:

Black & bleu salad
Steak strips
Bleu cheese crumbles
Red onion
Vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
Blue cheese dressing
Greek salad
Canned tuna – white beans
Feta cheese
Artichoke hearts
Sundried tomatoes
Caesar dressing
Honey mustard chicken salad
Chicken breast strips
Cheddar cheese
Crispy bacon
Vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
Almonds
Honey mustard dressing
Mexican salad
Taco chicken
Cheddar
Salsa
Tortilla chips
Beans – red or black
Ranch dressing
Grilled Shrimp and Spinach
Grilled shrimp
Hard boiled egg
Red onion
Mushrooms
Warm bacon dressing
Mediterranean Salmon
Salmon
Wheat berries
Artichoke hearts / red peppers / grape tomatoes
Feta cheese
Italian Dressing

Photo credit: Fotoosvanrobin on Flickr. CC Licensed. A much better picture than I could ever take!

 

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Greek Chicken and Barley Salad

I love the medley of bright color and flavors in this salad

I’m constantly trolling the internet trying to find recipes to incorporate different grains into my diet. I could very well be addicted to this salad. It’s so healthy and chock full of so many subtle flavors. It makes a great and filling lunch. Since I first found the recipe on cookinglight.com, its been a go-to recipe of mine.

I love the addition of fresh herbs to this salad but I wasn’t wild about the dressing called for in the original recipe. Be warned that barley will soak the dressing up. So, if you’re not eating this in one sitting (um, this single girl certainly isn’t) you’ll want to add the dressing just prior to serving. I’ve had this with a Caesar type dressing and an Asian-style dressing and both were yummy.

Kat’s version:

  • 3 cups water or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 12 oz pre-cooked and diced chicken
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced and seeded
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tsp fresh
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh (lemon thyme rocks in this salad)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • Fresh mint for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green onion, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced olives

Cook barley and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients. Add dressing of choice; I typically use store bought Lite Caesar or this Asian-style dressing when I want a change of pace.

Serves four

Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate (does not include dressing):

Calories 321.5 Total Fat 6.5 g Cholesterol 66.0 mg Sodium 367.9 mg Potassium 557.3 mg Total Carbohydrate 40.2 g Protein 26.1 g

Inspiration:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/greek-chicken-barley-salad-10000001949707/

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2011 in Barley, Chicken, Feta cheese, Grains, Salads

 

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Wheatberry, Edamame and Black Bean Salad

Edamame and wheatberries pair up in this awesome salad

Wheatberry, black bean and edamame salad

Warm weather makes me crave cold salads. I ♥ wheat berries and all the other ingredients in this salad. I can’t recall where I found the original recipe but I tweaked it to suit my Southwestern via the South culinary roots.

I’m fairly certain this was designed to be a vegetarian dish. If you’re like me and you need a little extra protein in your meals, boiled shrimp makes an awesome addition to this dish. The flavors remind me of a shrimp stuffed avocado dish I had once at a restaurant on top of the point in Puerto Penasco. The Asian dressing gives this dish a surprising twist.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked wheat berries*
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed †
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Boiled shrimp – optional

Dressing:

  • 1 cup olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, mince

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl. Mix dressing in separate container. Add enough dressing to cover salad to your preference. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours until flavors have a chance to meld. Save extra dressing for use in other salads.

Kat’s tips:

* Wheat berries are easy to cook; no pre-soaking is required. Boil 3 cups of water. Add 1 cup of dried wheat berries, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with water. I usually cook a few cups at a time in a large Dutch oven and freeze them in one cup servings. Dried wheat berries can be found in the bulk sections of Frys and Sprouts.

† Frozen, shelled edamame can be found at Sprouts all the time. Frys carries this but not consistently. One bag will be sufficient to make 3 batches of various salads.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Bean Mausoleum, Grains, Quick dinner, Salads

 

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Asian-style dressing

I made this dressing as part of the Pampered Chef Potato Bar cooking show and it was delightful. It actually lasted quite a while in my fridge and its really easy to prepare:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1″ fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Mince the garlic and mince or grate the ginger. Pampered Chef has a Garlic Press and/or Microplane Zester that would be perfect for this job.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a measuring cup
  3. Stir and serve
  4. Store the remainder in a covered container in your refrigerator. Keeps indefinitely but should be gone before then.
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Salads, Uncategorized

 

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