Cool Contrasts Salad

January 29, 2015

Cool Contrasts Salad

It’s not a secret that I’m a big fan of salads that have a warm component to them. Whether it is a warm blackberry vinaigrette or adding freshly made buffalo strips, having something warm with my greens makes a salad feel substantial, like a real meal for me. So when I was raiding my refrigerator the other night for things to pair with my baby spinach, it’s no surprise that my first instinct was to sauté or roast the pears I found. But then, I noticed the cucumber sitting next to it, and I decided to go a different route.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cucumber is with a Japanese bent – soak the cucumber slices, strips, or cubes with onion in a dressing of rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. (more…)

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Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

April 2, 2014

Lamb Merguez & Strawberry Salad

Around the change of seasons, when the flowering trees start to shoot out their buds and bushes start show that bright green new growth, the farmer’s market becomes so overwhelmed with fresh strawberries that it becomes impossible for me to walk by stall after stall and not come home with a couple of quarts of them. And that’s how this recipe was born – a trip to my local farmer’s market, too many strawberries, and an adventurous “why not?” purchase of lamb merguez sausage.

Merguez sausage is usually made from lamb, spiced with the North African flavors of cumin and harissa. It has a very rich flavor and often a little kick from the harissa. While it is amazing wrapped in a pita, with my plethora of strawberries I decided to go a slightly different route. (more…)

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Spring forward! salad

March 7, 2014

Spring forward salad with blueberries, white peaches, and rabbit sausage

Cinnamon-dusted roasted blueberries. Slivers of ginger crisped by the oven. White peaches just slightly warmed. Sometimes the best recipes are born of the random ingredients one has in hand. My husband has a love of blueberries that always leads him to pick up a pint at the grocery store, but then they end up forgotten, stashed in the produce drawer. I’m not a fan of the remnant bud on them, so they’re the last thing I want to snack on, and thus, they stay in the drawer. Until this week, wanting something light, I decided to make a salad. I figured roasted grapes are good, so why not roasted blueberries? Where on earth I had the idea to dust them with cinnamon I’ll never know. But I’m happy it did. (more…)

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The poke bowl

September 6, 2013

Poke Bowl

I have to say this has been one of my favorite west coast food discoveries, so I’m not quite sure where to even begin when talking about the poke bowl. I guess the point of discovery – Pacific Catch. A few years back, while being touristy in San Francisco, I ducked into a Pacific Catch with my family, and decided on a rice bowl topped with this stuff called poke, among many other Japanese-ish ingredients. I was hooked. I had to learn more about the poke. Which is when I discovered it was a Hawaiian dish that could be made an infinite number of ways. The numerous recipes, as well as the fact I needed sushi grade ahi, kept me from exploring how to make this for a long time. Upon feasting on poke in Hawaii, however, I had a renewed interest in learning to make the most common sesame-oil laced version. So after sifting through lots of recipes, I came up with what I deemed to be the perfect poke. (more…)

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Buffalo Chicken Salad

August 30, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I’ve been on a bit of a hot wing kick lately. And while my favorite way to quelch that craving is grilled wings tossed in buffalo sauce, this is quickly becoming my second. A fat salad bowl full of romaine lettuce, buffalo chicken tenders, blue cheese dressing, and every veggie I think is wonderful dipped in blue cheese dressing. All in one bowl.

This mixture was born a few jobs back. Pretty much the only time I would frequent the salad bar at work was if there were buffalo chicken strips, then I would make my rounds and find a variety of vegetables that I liked, and top it all with blue cheese crumbles and ranch (since we rarely had blue cheese dressing on that bar, for some reason). However, I had never tried to make this at home until last week. I had picked up some Louisiana Hot Sauce wing sauce at the grocery store and did not use all of it on my grilled chicken wings. Lucky for me, I realized how easily this could all come together, especially when you already have broccoli chunked up for snacking on and the onion already peeled. I foresee many, many more of these salads happening during football season! (more…)

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