Posts Tagged ‘Greek yogurt’

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Pinto and Pepper Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

With the  Produce Geek recommending sweet red peppers and Hass Avocados among his  picks this week, I was inspired to create a south-of-the-border-style salad.

This meal has some “meat” with protein-rich pinto beans – and it has just a hint of “heat” with poblano peppers. Topping it off is a creamy avocado dressing that is worthy of a fiesta. 

Vegetarians/Vegans: No meat here…but there is dairy in the dressing. Vegans can omit the yogurt and replace it with a little extra tomato and avocado.

Gluten-conscious? You’re good to go provided your choice of yogurt is in the clear – read the label to make sure it doesn’t contain gluten.

What You’ll Need for the Salad:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Sweet red peppers – 1/2 pepper, sliced
  • Hass Avocados – 1 cup, chopped (for the dressing)

    Raw materials for this week's recipe

    Raw materials for this week's recipe

Other ingredients…

Amounts are PER SERVING

  • Green leaf lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Romaine lettuce – 3/4 cup, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Poblano peppers – 1/2 pepper, sliced very thin
  • Pinto beans – 1/2 cup

What You’ll Need for the Dressing:

Enough for about 4 servings

  • Hass Avocado – As noted under The Produce Geek’s Picks above
  • Tomatoes – 1 cup, chopped
  • Plain Greek yogurt (or Sour cream) – 3/4 cup
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Sea Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Course ground black pepper – grind according to taste
  • Cilantro – 1/2 teaspoon

Get cooking…

  1. Toss the following ingredients together and place on plate.
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Green leaf lettuce
    • Red sweet pepper slices
    • Poblano pepper slices
  2. Center Pinto beans on top of the veggies.
  3. Create the dressing:
    1. Put all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor.
    2. Blend until smooth.
    3. Pour dressing into individual sauce cups or ramekins.
  4. Place salad dressing cup on plate and grab your fork!
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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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.

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.

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-fry

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Nearly Naked Southwestern Vegetarian Stir-Fry

Yes, I completely intend to grab attention with the name of this stir-fry! And it really does capture what the dish is all about – the core ingredients are SO full of taste, you really don’t need anything more than a little sea salt and cilantro to top it off.

The Produce Geek’s buying advice this week inspired me to combine jalapeno peppers (use poblanos instead if you’re the heat-sensitive type), tomatoes, and mangos with some other southwestern staples into a stir-fry that is a fiesta of flavor. Made with black and pinto beans, this vegetarian meal has volumes of taste and texture.  

Carnivores: Feel free to substitute lean ground beef for the beans.

Vegans: Simply omit the spoonful of sour cream /yogurt.

Gluten Conscious: You’re already there, just be sure to read the label on your sour cream and yogurt.

Everyone: Enjoy! And subscribe to Eat This Now directly to get the Produce Geek’s expert insight every week.


What You’ll Need For the Stir-fry:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Jalapeno peppers – 2 medium, chopped finely w/seeds removed

    Raw materials for Nearly Naked Stir-fry

    Raw materials featuring Produce Geek's picks

  • Mangos – 2 cups chopped, preferably organic
  • Tomatoes – 3 cups chopped (mix orange and red for a splash of color), heirloom varieties if possible, but regular vine-ripened will do nicely

Other ingredients…

  • White mushrooms –  4 cups, sliced
  • Shredded cabbage and carrots (aka slaw mix) – 6 cups (you can shred your own or buy a ready-to-go bag for convenience)
  • Black beans – 1 cup, cooked
  • Pinto beans – 1 cup, cooked
  • Brown rice – 2 cups, cooked
  • Onion – 3/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
  • Avocado – 2 small – medium sized, sliced
  • Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream – about 1 cup
  • Canola oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cilantro – flakes or fresh

Get cooking…

  1. Warm approx. 1 Tbsp of canola oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on med-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeno peppers and fry for approximately 3 minutes until they start to brown.
  3. Lower heat to slightly lower than medium and add slaw mix and mushrooms.
  4. Stir until they start to turn tender – approximately 4 minutes.
  5. Add beans, rice, tomatoes & mango, and stir until all ingredients are warmed and distributed evenly throughout the dish.
  6. Add sea salt and a few pinches of cilantro to taste – and serve it up!
  7. Top each serving with avocado slices and doll0p of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Makes 4 spicy servings!

Salsa-fied Green Squash and Garbanzo Stir-fry

Stir-fry made with Produce Geek's picks for Week of July 11, 2011

Salsa-fied Organic Green Squash Stir-fry

Green squash (aka Zucchini) is not my favorite vegetable as a side in itself, HOWEVER, it makes an exceptional lead character in stir-fry dishes. On his pick list this week, the Produce Geek recommended organic green squash. Who am I to argue? So I took his lead and crafted what developed into a satisfyingly hearty vegetarian & gluten-free stir-fry that combines green squash with cabbage, yellow pepper, mushrooms and garbanzos – zipped up with salsa and topped with a dollop of sour cream. Ole’! Want to go from vegetarian to vegan? Simply abstain from the sour cream.

Also featured this week on Produce Geek’s Eat This Now blog – Dark sweet cherries. Although I couldn’t find a home for them in my stir-fry, I do have a simple dessert suggestion that preserves the integrity of the fruit. So read on!

What You’ll Need For the Stir-fry:

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Organic green squash – 3 cups (cut squash in half lengthwise, then cut those pieces into half lengthwise again..and
    Organic green squash and other stir-fry raw materials

    Organic green squash & the other stir-fry "raw" materials

    so on until the thickness is 3/4 inch or less. Then cut those pieces crosswise into 2 inch long pieces.

Other ingredients…

  • Green cabbage –  3 cups, chopped
  • Yellow sweet peppers – 2 cups, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • White mushrooms – 2 cups, sliced
  • Garbanzo beans – 2 cups, cooked
  • Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
  • Quinoa (Never heard of it?) – 2-3 cups cooked (or substitute brown rice instead)
  • Salsa – 2 cups (Mild, medium or hot – it’s up to you!)
  • Sour cream

Get cooking…

  1. Warm 1 Tbsp of peanut oil in an extra large deep frying pan or wok on med-high heat.
  2. Add garlic cloves, green squash, cabbage and peppers – stir often and cook for approximately 12 – 15 minutes until tender, but not soggy.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook for approximately 5 minutes until no longer raw.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low, then stir in salsa and garbanzos and cook until thoroughly warm.
  5. Serve over quinoa and top with a dollop of sour cream.
Makes 4 servings

What You’ll Need For Dessert – Dark Sweet Cherries in Vanilla Greek Yogurt:

Dark Sweet Cherries with Vanilla Greek Yogurt

Creamy and sweet - Dark sweet cherries and vanilla Greek yogurt make the perfect summer dessert

 

First the Produce Geek’s picks…

  • Dark sweet cherries – 9 cherries per serving  (6 cut in half and pitted, 3 whole)

Other ingredients…

  • Vanilla Greek yogurt – 1/2 cup per serving

Get cooking…

  1. Stir cherry halves into yogurt.
  2. Spoon into individual serving glasses or dessert cups and top with whole cherries as an edible garnish.
It doesn’t get anymore “yum” than that!  Of course, the cherries are perfection on their own as well. Thanks for the tip Produce Geek!

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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