Harvest Salad

This is such a delicious salad! Tart granny smith apple, crunchy toasted pecans, tangy dried cranberries, sweet pear and a zingy dressing make this one of my new favorites.  It came together very quickly.

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Harvest Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 Bosc pear, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • freshly grated cheddar cheese or crumbled goat cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a small non-stick skillet over medium heat toast the pecans, occasionally shaking the pan, until golden and fragrant. About 5 minutes.
  2. While the pecans are toasting put the shallot and next 6 ingredients  including the vinegar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Continue whisking and stream in olive oil until emulsified.
  3. In a large salad bowl place the lettuce, follow with pecans, fruit and cranberries. Drizzle with the dressing and toss.  Place half of the salad on each of 2 plates, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

I ate only half of this salad for dinner one night.  I did not dress the salad all together. I placed each different component in separate ziplock bags and brought them to work the next day.  I wrapped the halves of the pear and apple and brought those separately and chopped them up when I was ready for lunch. It came out perfectly.

 Makes 2 servings.  Adapted from All You, November 2013.

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Red Dragon Chicken Salad

This is one gigantic delicious salad filled with great flavors and textures. The zingy chili sauce, the slightly sweet dressing, the crunchy noodles, the bright mandarins and the crispy veggies-everything just comes together.

I named it ‘Red Dragon’ chicken salad because of the zing, heat and red sauce on the chicken. Besides it sounds much better than plain old ‘chicken salad’,  no? Yes.

Unfortunately I can’t take full credit for this salad. I based in on a salad that I enjoyed a few weeks ago at Buffalo Wild Wings with Husband.  It was our first visit.  I’m not a fan of  chain restaurants but I liked it there more than I thought I would. The wings were delicious and they have a great variety of foods.

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Red Dragon Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups salad (combination of shredded carrots, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli)
  • 1/3 cup crispy chow mein noodles (I used La Choy)
  • 3 tbsp Newmans Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger salad dressing
  • 1-2 tbsp Asian Zing sauce (from Buffalo Wild Wings)* 
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled and sliced
  • 6 mandarin orange segments

Instructions:

  1. Put salad and dressing together, toss to combine. Sprinkle noodles over the salad. Set aside.
  2. Mix the Asian Zing sauce with the chicken and spread over salad.
  3. Arrange mandarin slices around the outside.

This makes one large salad or 2 smaller salads.

*their Asian Zing sauce tastes to me like Sweet Thai Chili sauce and sriracha so if you don’t have the sauce or want to buy it you can mix those 2 ingredients together to the desired heat level and use that on the chicken instead.

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Winner Winner Chicken Salad

Every once in a while I get the urge to have a chicken salad sandwich. I’ve tried a few recipes over the years and wasn’t ever happy with any of them for one reason or another-too much mayo, didn’t like the curry etc… and I didn’t ever take the time to mess around with the recipes to get it just right. So I’d go to my local deli and get a chicken salad sandwich which is neither waist-line or budget friendly.

Well my friends-my search is over. Last night I made (in my opinion anyway) the perfect chicken salad. Not too much sauce, tang from the gherkins (or cornishons if you’re feeling saucy), crunch from the celery, onion and gherkins, and a ton of flavors from the Dijon, lemon juice and parsley.  The best part is I don’t feel like I’m the size of a hippo after I’ve eaten it-and it’s just darn tasty to boot. 

I ate my chicken salad sandwich on one of the Pepperidge Farm sandwich flats with sliced tomato, a few wedges of avocado and some romaine lettuce and it made a pretty tall sandwich. 

I think this would also be great served on pieces of cucumber, rolled up in lettuce leaves or even crackers for an appetizer.  This would also be amazing eaten from an avocado cup.  I think I’ll try that next time.

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Winner Winner Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about .75lb) cooked and cut into small pieces (mine were about the size of my pinky nail)
  • 1.tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice-freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/3 cup light Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 2.5 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced small
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced small
  • 1/3 cup gherkins, diced small
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add everything into a bowl and stir to combine.

Notes:

  • For the celery, onion and gherkins I used my little Kitchen Aid chopper to have all uniform sized pieces.
  • I cut the chicken breast into about 7 equally sized strips and then cooked them on my panini press. I then cut them up into small nugget sized pieces and put them on a plate in the fridge to cool down so that I could make the salad.  They only took only about 25 minutes to cool.

Veggie & Feta Pasta Salad

I cannot believe Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone. It’s almost time for summer fruits and veggies again.

That being said this pasta salad is perfect for the warm weather.  There’s a ton of veggies, a bit of cheese and a great light vinaigrette. It can be made in advance and kept in the fridge too.  You can feel free to add other veggies too-maybe some red or yellow peppers, onions etc….

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Veggie & Feta Pasta Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb gemelli pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped kalamata olives (pitted obviously)
  • 1 cucumber cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 large clove of garlic, put through press or mashed to a paste
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.  Shake out as much of the water as possible.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the salad ingredients above and mix well to combine.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil until evenly combined. Then, while whisking, add the olive oil and continue to whisk until emulsified.
  4. Pour dressing over salad, mix to evenly distribute the dressing, and serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

I know, I know.  You’re thinking “Ah the ubiquitous strawberry salad”. You’re thinking of those sad restaurant ones that every chain place has that are so sad-a few strawberries, a bit of spinach, sweetened up nuts, maybe a little cheese and a vinaigrette.  It’s insulting to the strawberries if you ask me.  Those are NOT this salad. I wanted better.  I wanted it to be more my way.  After roasting rhubarb for (this recipe) dessert a while ago I got to thinking-why not roast strawberries for the salad? Why not have both roasted and fresh strawberries in the salad? 2 different versions. Yum!  Feel free to up or less as you please-the amounts below are just how much I used. You like more cheese? Be my guest! I’ll never think badly of  anyone who wants to add more cheese. Dont’ like nuts? Perhaps some carrot or celery or crisp apple to replace the crunch. So I hope you love it. It certainly put a new spin on this for me.

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Roasted Strawberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, patted dry, tops removed, cut in halves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • sprinkle freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 1 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed and patted dry

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup whole fresh raspberries, washed and gently patted dry
  • 4 strawberry halves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (to taste)
  • a pinch or 2 of sugar if needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Take half of the strawberries and lay them on half of the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.  With your hands move them around a bit to make sure they’re all olive oiled.
  3. On the other half of the baking sheet place the walnuts.
  4. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Let them cool.
  5. While they are cooling make the dressing. Add all ingredients above to a bowl and use a stick blender to combine. Add more or less honey depending on the tartness of the raspberries and strawberries. If it’s still too tart a sprinkle of sugar should be added.
  6. Assemble the salad starting with the spinach then half of the roasted and fresh strawberries, half of the walnuts, half of the cheese and dressing as desired.

Makes 2 servings.

See? The walnuts and strawberries are happy to roast together.

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Green Bean Salad

I seriously love this salad. Crispy veggies and a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It’s super easy to make and it’s delicious!! The original recipe only calls for 1/4 cucumber but since I love them I changed it to include the entire cucumber. The original recipe also only called for 1/2 pint of tomatoes but I throw in the whole pint. Why not?

Green Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 European cucumber, cut into small cubes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Steam green beans in 1/2 inch boiling water covered for 3 or 4 minutes. Cold shock beans by running under cold water and drain well. Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber and tomato. Dress salad with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper, to taste.

Adapted from Rachael Ray.