Archive for the ‘Summer salads’ Category

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad

Grilled Steak & Spinach Salad with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing

Although my personal preferences often lead me to create poultry and vegetarian meals, I firmly believe that a little bit of red meat is good for the body, soul – and sanity! This week, I took the always on-target buying advice from the  Produce Geek and crafted a steak salad using his picks this week!

The white mushrooms and broccoli that he recommended perfectly complemented the spinach and lean grilled sirloin steak that came from the grass-fed steer we bought a share of earlier in the year. Topped with Creamy Garlic Chive Dressing (my own-made!), this salad made a satiating meal fit for the most ravenous of meat-lovers.

Vegetarians/Vegans: Although this salad is carnivore-oriented, you could substitute a hearty bean (kidneys or pintos perhaps) for the steak and swap the yogurt-based dressing with a nice balsamic vinaigrette.  

Gluten-conscious? You’re good to go provided your choice of mayo & yogurt are in the clear – read the labels to make sure neither contain gluten.

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Broccoli florets – 3/4 cup, cut into bite-sized pieces

    Raw materials for the Steak and Spinach Salad

    Raw materials for the salad

  • White mushrooms – 3/4 cup sliced

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Fresh spinach – 1 cup
  • Grilled sirloin steak strips  –  3 -4 oz w/fat trimmed

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Greek yogurt – plain, 1/2 cup
  • Mayo  – 1/4 cup (preferably Safflower or Olive oil variety)
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Chives – 1 tsp
  • Dill Weed – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Sea Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Course ground black pepper – grind according to taste
Get cooking…
  1. Place spinach on plate.
  2. Space broccoli florets around the perimeter.
  3. Top interior spinach bed with white mushrooms.
  4. Lay grilled steak on top of mushrooms.
  5. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Whisk until blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  6. Place salad dressing cup on plate and shout “Steak is served!”
Make as many servings as you need to feed your family and friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog to stay in-the-know about what to buy each week.
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Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette-8.31.2011

Nuts & Berries Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing

“Hmmmm…” is what I initially said to myself as I reviewed the Produce Geek‘s buying advice this week. Some delicious produce, but not too much that I immediately recognized as ideal stir-fry or salad ingredients. BUT then the bolt of lightning hit!

With red raspberries on the Produce Geek’s pick list this week, what could be better than a salad that features their summer flavor with hearty walnuts? “Nuts & Berries” – a perfect combination. Placed on a bed of hearty lettuce with baby portabella mushrooms and surrounded by baby carrots (also among the Produce Geek’s recommendations), this salad is simple & simply divine with my Sweet Basil Vinaigrette Dressing.

This salad is vegan, vegetarian & gluten-free. But that doesn’t mean that meat-eaters won’t love it, too!

 

 

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red raspberries – 1/2 cup

    Raw materials for the salad

    Raw materials for the salad

  • Baby carrots – 6 cut into half lengthwise

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red leaf lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Romaine lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Baby portabella mushrooms –  3/4 cup, sliced
  • Walnuts pieces – 1/4 cup, shelled (obviously!)

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Olive oil – 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp (high quality for the best taste)
  • Balsamic vinegar – 3 Tbsp
  • Orange juice – 1/8 cup
  • Honey (I prefer raw, but regular will do) – 1 Tbsp
  • Basil – 1 tsp
  • Sea salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh ground pepper – 3-4 cranks of the grinder or to taste
Get cooking…
  1. Place lettuce on plate.
  2. Top with baby portabella mushrooms in center.
  3. Add raspberries and walnuts on top of the mushrooms.
  4. Arrange baby carrots around the perimeter of the plate.
  5. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Whisk until completely blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  6. Serve up the salad & dressing and enjoy!
Make as many servings as you need to feed your family and friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog to stay in-the-know about what to buy each week.

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

Edamame Salad with Bold Honey Mustard Dressing

After a week of vacation food, I was craving a pure and simple vegetarian salad. So the Produce Geek had perfect timing when he placed Romaine lettuce on his pick list this week! I paired it with some red leaf lettuce as the base, topped it with some other crispy veggies, added edamame for a protein boost and garnished with seedless green grapes (also featured on the Produce Geek’s blog this week). Served with my bold honey mustard dressing on the side, this salad will satisfy your voracious appetite and your taste buds.

To make this salad vegan-compatible, simply substitute a vegan alternative for my yogurt-based honey mustard dressing.  

Gluten-conscious? This salad is gluten-free! Just watch your choice of mustard & yogurt when making your dressing – read the labels to make sure neither contain gluten.

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Romaine lettuce – 1 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces

    Raw materials for Edamame Salad

    Salad "Raw materials"

  • Seedless green grapes – 6 grapes

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Red leaf lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite sized pieces
  • Sweet red pepper –  4 slices, cut in half crosswise
  • Plum tomatoes – 6 slices
  • Cucumber – 6 slices
  • Carrot – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Edamame – 1/2 cup, ready to eat

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Bold & spicy brown mustard – 1/3 cup
  • Plain Greek yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Honey (I prefer raw, but regular will do) – 2 Tbsp
  • Dill Weed – 1 tsp
Get cooking…
  1. Place lettuce on plate.
  2. Space cucumber slices around the perimeter.
  3. Top each cucumber slice with a slice of plum tomato.
  4. Alternate sweet red pepper slices in the spaces in between the cucumber/tomato slices.
  5. In center of the plate, place shredded carrots on top of the lettuce.
  6. Place the edamame on top of the carrots.
  7. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a medium bowl.
    2. Stir until completely blended.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  8. Place salad dressing on plate and arrange green grapes evenly around salad plate – Dig in!
Make as many servings as you need to feed your family and friends! And don’t forget to subscribe to the Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog to stay in-the-know about what to buy each week.

Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spunky Peanut Dressing

Salad made with the Produce Geek's picks of the week

Simple, yet full of flavor: Grilled Chicken & Spinach Salad with Spunky Peanut Dressing

Who isn’t looking for ways to keep summer meals simple? This gluten-free salad proves that you don’t have to give up taste – even when you don’t have a lot of time to spend on a dish.

The Produce Geek recommended organic spinach on his pick list this week, so I used that as the building block of a grilled chicken salad that really hits the spot. Topped with my own-made peanut dressing (one you can easily recreate at your home), this dish is full of flavor even though it demands very little effort. Garnish with a wedge of Athena cantaloupe for visual appeal –  which doubles as a built-in appetizer or sweet treat for dessert.

Vegetarian or Vegan? Grilled tofu substituted for the chicken makes an equally excellent salad!

 

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Organic spinach – 4 cups

    Produce Geek's Picks for week of July 25, 2011

    "Raw materials" for our salad

  • Athena cantaloupe – 4 wedges

Other ingredients…

  • Green pepper –  2 cups, sliced and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Sweet red pepper – 2 cups, sliced and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Spring onions – 1/2 cup, chopped into small pieces
  • Grilled chicken tenderloins – 1 lb

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

  • Peanut oil – 1/3 cup
  • Raw apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar) – 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) – 2 1/2 tsps
  • Honey (I prefer raw, but regular will do) – 1 Tbsp
  • Natural peanut butter – 1/3 cup
  • Fresh ginger – 1 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper – 1/4 tsp (or more or less to taste)

Get cooking…

  1. Assemble foundation of the salad by placing a bed of spinach on your plates.
  2. Place green and red pepper pieces around the perimeter of each serving.
  3. Top with grilled chicken tenderloins and spring onions.
  4. Create your peanut dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a blender.
    2. “Blend” until smooth.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  5. Place salad dressing and wedge of cantaloupe on each plate and serve.
Makes 4 servings

Black Bean and Grilled Pineapple Salad with Creamy Chive Dressing

Salad made with Produce Geek's 6.27.2011 postAs usual, the Produce Geek  was spot on with his picks this week. And everything he recommended screamed “summer salad” to me.  This week, I combined black beans and carrot chips with his suggestions of organic romaine hearts, Vidalia onions, grape tomatoes and gold pineapple slices (which my husband grilled to perfection). To top it off – my own-made creamy chive dressing. As you’ll find with nearly all of my salads, they’re meant to be meals in themselves.


 

 

What You’ll Need:


First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Fresh gold pineapple slices – 4 one-half inch slices, grilled approximately 3 minutes on each side
  • Grape tomatoes – 2 cups
  • Organic romaine lettuce hearts – 4 cups torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Vidalia onion – 4 slices

Other salad ingredients…

  • Sliced carrots – 2 cups
  • Black beans – 2 cups cooked (I prefer making mine from the dried beans, but canned & drained will do for the sake of time)

Get cooking…

  1. Divide romaine lettuce evenly into 4 servings and place on 4 plates.
  2. Top with grape tomatoes, carrots, and sliced onion.
  3. Add 1/2 cup cooked black beans on top of the veggies in the center of each plate
  4. Cut pineapple slices into bite-sized pieces and  arrange around the black beans
  5. Spoon on Creamy Chive dressing (below)

Creamy Chive Dressing…

Combine the following,  then stir thoroughly and spoon onto your salad plate:

  • Plain Greek yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Mayonnaise – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup (possibly less depending on the consistency of the yogurt/mayonnaise, so add a just a  little at a time)
  • Chives – 1 Tbsp
  • Sea Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Course ground black pepper (or Cayenne if you want to turn up the heat!) – to taste
Makes approximately 4 servings. If prepared according to plan, this one is vegetarian and gluten-free.
A Note from the Author: One of the best things about salads is their versatility…I take no offense if you choose to use an alternate dressing or make other substitutions to make this one your own. In fact, I’d love to hear from you about your variations on this creation – or any other that I post – so please leave a comment!

Squash Stir-fry Salad with Banana Dressing

Squash Stir-fry made with Produce Geek's weekly picksSometimes – especially when summer rolls around – I like to put a little twist on a stir-fry by serving it over greens rather than rice. With the picks the Produce Geek recommended this past week, it was the perfect time to do just that. And that’s exactly what I did.  Although completely vegetarian, this dish has staying power. It’s no “sissy salad”! A unique characteristic of this one is how the apple cider vinegar and lime juice are subtle, yet prominent enough to rein in the sweetness of the banana dressing.

What You’ll Need:



First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Green squash – 2 cups, chopped
  • Sweet red pepper – 2 cups, chopped
  • Organic green leaf lettuce – 2 cups, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Organic red leaf lettuce – 2 cups, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Banana – 1 small

Produce Geek's picks of the week - Green squash, sweet red peppers, bananas, and organic green and red leaf lettuce

Other ingredients…

  • Sweet onion –  1 cup, chopped
  • Jalapeno pepper – 1 medium (optional)
  • Pinto beans – 2 cups (dried and cooked, or from a can and drained)
  • Fresh lime
  • Raw apple cider vinegar – 2 Tbsp.
  • Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Plain Greek yogurt – 1 cup
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt
  • Course ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro (optional)

Get cooking…

  1. Warm approximately 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat  in a large, deep frying pan or wok.
  2. Add onions, sweet red pepper, green squash, jalapeno pepper and about 1/2 tsp sea salt to the pan.
  3. Stir often and cook until tender, but not soggy.
  4. Add pinto beans and apple cider vinegar and stir until thoroughly heated.
  5. Let cool for approximately 10 – 15 minutes and serve over bed of organic green leaf and organic red leaf lettuce.
  6. Top with banana dressing (below) – Or if  you’re not a fruity dressing kinda person, use what you like best.

Banana Dressing…

  1. In blender or food processor, place milk, Greek yogurt and banana and blend until smooth.
  2. Add dash of cinnamon, pinch of black pepper, and about 1/4 tsp. sea salt and stir until mixed throughout.
  3. Pour over stir-fry salad per individual taste.
  4. Squeeze fresh lime over dressing on each plate and garnish with cilantro
Makes approximately 4 servings
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