Tag Archives: salad

Exotic summer salad

3 Jul

Summer is on and we are enjoying it at full throttle. Sitting on the terrace for a late dinner while there is still light out there feels so good. Because I want to enjoy the long days as much as I can, I tend to make quick meals in the summer.

Last week, I ended up in the kitchen baking birthday muffins and I can tell you that it felt like a visit to the sauna with the hot oven around me. That adds to my point about quick meals without long cooking.

Today, I decided to go for a salad in which I bring together a rainbow of tastes. Let surprise yourself with this summer salad recipe!

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Ingredients (serves 2 people):

1/s lettuce

2-3 carrots

1 shallot

1 fennel head

1/2 cup barley or bulgur

Roast pork

Cantaloupe melon

For the dressing:

Orange

Soy sauce

Basil infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the dressing by squeezing one orange and adding 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce and oil. Basil infused olive oil will give your dressing an exceptional and fresh note. In case you do not have basil infused olive oil at home, you can as well chop up a few fresh basil leaves and add them together with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Cut your veggies and arrange them layer by layer on a plate: First comes shredding your lettuce, then peeling and thinly slicing 2-3 carrots. After that, slice the fennel and shallot.
  3. At high heat, sear the shallot and fennel in a pan with a teaspoon of butter. When your done, place it as the next layer on your salad.
  4. Cut the cantaloupe in small dices.
  5. In a small pan, cook your barley or bulgur as instructed. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  6. Now for the roast pork, you have two options: Buy it cooked and ready for use or make a roast yourself (very time consuming). I used left-overs that I had in the freezer and cut them in dices.
  7. Before you put the last layer on your salad, combine the cantaloupe, barley or bulgur and the diced roast pork in a bowl and add some olive oil and a spoon of the dressing that you have prepared in the beginning.
  8. Pour the dressing over the first two layers, add the last layer (melon-meat-barley/bulgur mix) and enjoy.

 

Lazy Sunday night dinner

13 Oct

It’s dinner time! Today I had a lazy but beautiful Sunday with great weather outside. After a nice brunch we went outside for a long walk and for dinner I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, so I came up with this little creation: Sauted carrots and aragula salad with soy dressing & ginger.Count 10 min and your done :) Sayonara!

Sauted carrots and aragula with soy dressing & ginger

Ingredients:

1 pack carrot sticks

1 garlic clove

2 hands arugula salad

tofu (optional)

pickled ginger slices (the ones you used for sushi)

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar or dark Chinese vinegar

fresh chili or chili flakes

salt

curry powder

ground cinnamon  (optional)

1 tablespoon canola oil or peanut oil

Preparation:

1) Begin with washing the arugula salad and chopping the garlic clove

2) In a small bowl combine the soy sauce with the vinegar and a few bits of chili and garlic

3) In a pan or wok, heat the oil and saute the garlic. Then add the carrot sticks, the raisins, a spoon of the soy-vinegar dressing, and a drizzle of curry powder (about 1/2-1 teaspoon). Stir until the carrots get soft. Slightly season with cinnamon for a more exotic taste (optional)

4) On a plate, arrange the arugula salad on one half and cover with the remainder of the dressing. Decorate with pickled ginger slices. On the other half, put the sauted carrots.

5) If you have tofu at hand, add a few slices of tofu on the side or simple enjoy your dinner with plain rice or a slice of bread.

Vegan style egg salad

17 Sep

This recipe is quite special as you will see: It’s an ‘egg’ style Vegan salad, in other words a salad that tastes like egg salad but is made without eggs :) I have not turned into a vegan but I went to an eco fair this weekend, where I saw Björn Moschinski, the owner and cook of Kopps in Berlin (www.kopps-berlin.de) make this recipe. I was surprised how close it comes to real egg salad, plus it only takes 10 min to prepare it. I say top!

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta

1 onion, diced

1 can chickpeas

soy milk (about 1/2 cup to cover the chick peas)

colza oil (up to 1/2 cup)

1 table spoon vinegar

kala namak (black salt), salt, pepper

Preparation:

1) Boil the pasta; for this recipe you should over boil it, meaning that you cook it for up to 20 min until the pasta is very sticky.

2) Dice the onion and mix it with the cold pasta.

3) In a blender, mix the chickpeas with soy milk.

4) Now add the vinegar and oil and mix well until you get a mayonnaise like cream.

5) Pour over the pasta, mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

A propos: Eating-salad-with-fat-free-dressing-is-not-good-for-you, says science

10 Sep

Well, I found this line on gizmodo and I have read about it before, interesting!

http://gizmodo.com/5923627/eating-salad-with-fat-free-dressing-is-not-good-for-you-says-science

Mario Ferruzzi, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of food science at Purdue, said that in order to get more from eating fruits and vegetables, they need to be paired correctly with fat-based dressings.

My message to you:

Please don’t use those ready salad dressings that you get in the supermarkets and rather make your own dressing every time you make a salad. All you need is olive oil, vinegar, a pinch of salt and a spoon of mustard if preferred! It’s that easy and healthier as we have learnt today!

If you check the labels on the back of the product, many times you will see that the fat free or fat reduced products substitute fat with corn starch. I doubt that is better for you than 1% more fat!

Kraut salad with red beet

31 May

The BBQ season is on and a salad always makes a good side dish. I tried to find a substitute for green leaves as most salads will be green in a way and made this red creation for you:

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

1/2 cabbage head (white cabbage)

1/2 onion

1 apple (peeled)

2 red beets (cooked)

salt, pepper, red wine or cider vinegar, olive oil

Preparation:

1) Cut the cabbage, the onion, the apple and the red beets into thin slices respectively thin sticks.

2) In a cup prepare the vinaigrette: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, a pinch of salt and pepper.

3) Mix the veggies and the vinaigrette in a salad bowl.

Tip: Tastes better when prepared a day in advance. Also, the salad can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.

Salmon with blinis pancakes

18 May

Blinis are small pancakes and I find them very delicious with salmon. Especially in hot summer weather blinis make a very good meal. In France, you can buy them in the supermarket but home-made tastes always better, of course. You can also make a sweet variation with cinnamon, apples and sirup.

Ingredients:

1 pack smoked salmon (ca. 1oog or 4 slices)

1 pack mache salad

1 small onion

1 lemon

A handful of cocktail tomatoes

Creme fraiche

For the pancakes:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 pack or 1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

A pinch of salt

For the vinaigrette:

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt, pepper, garlic

Cream

Preparation:

1) Wash the salad and the tomatoes and dice the onion.

2) For the pancake dough, put the flour, the bread crumbs and the baking soda in a bowl, then mix with the eggs, the milk, the oil and a pinch of salt.

3) Put aside. Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette: Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of dark balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic, add a sip of cream.

4) In a hot pan, pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the blinis.

5) On a plate, garnish the blinis with creme fraiche, a slice of salmon, the onion dices, a slice of lemon and arrange your salad on the side.

Tabouleh

16 Jan

Tabouleh is a kind of salad made from Couscous. Couscous is made from wheat. Its structure is a little bit like that of grits. Tabouleh is a typical North African/Arabic dish. What I particularly like about it is that it’s a light and tasty dish. Give it a try! Oh, and if you are wondering about where to buy the couscous: You’ll find it in most supermarkets nowadays, if not try an Arabic specialty store or a bio supermarket like WholeFoods.

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous (there are different styles: plain, whole wheat, seasoned, you can use any of them)

250 ml veggie or chicken stock (the easiest is to dissolve a cube or stock powder in boiling water)

1 cucumber

1 yellow bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1-2 tomatoes

1 spring onion or small red onion

juice of 1 lemon

a few table spoons of olive oil

30g raisins (optional)

Seasoning: fresh parsley, fresh mint (optional), salt, pepper, cumin (optional), ground turmeric

Preparation:

1) Clean, peel and chop up the veggies in little dice. Season with salt & pepper. Mix with a few spoons of olive oil and the lemon juice.

2) Boil the water and dissolve the veggie or chicken stock in it. As soon as it is boiling, place it off the stove and pour over the couscous (pour in just a little more water than couscous). I usually have the couscous ready in a small bowl as the cup would not be big enough. Let it soak up for about 5 min.

3) Now mix the couscous with the veggies and raisins (optional) in a bowl. Add the fresh parsley. If you prefer a stronger taste, replace the parsley with mint and season with cumin. I sometimes also add turmeric to give the couscous some color (only if you use plain or whole grain couscous).

4) Serve immediately with chicken kebabs or other meat.  Can also be eaten cold as a salad and stored in the fridge for a few days.

A propos: Salad dressing and croutons

20 Sep

A plain green salad can be a little boring. To make it a more tasty affair, a nice dressing and croutons are your essentials (home-made, of course!).

Basic salad dressing

Ingredients

5 table spoons of olive oil (the better the oil quality, the tastier your dressing, brand example: Bertolli)

3 table spoons of vinegar (my preferred ones: balsamic, white wine or apple cider vinegar)

A pinch of salt and pepper

1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1-2 tea spoons of herbs (Herbes de Provence like rosemary or oregano, also dried scallions, spring onions or parsley), or even better

1-2 table spoons of fresh garden herbs (basil, chives, parsley)

Preparation

Put all ingredients in a dressing mixer and shake well, can be stored in the fridge.

Normally what I read in recipes is that olive oil and vinegar should have a 2:1 proportion, I tend to even mix them 50:50. Even you need more dressing simply 2x, 3x, etc. the amount of ingredients you use.

Variations

For different flavors I like to add a spoon of mustard (moutard de Dijon) and mini chunks of dried tomatoes, capres or olives, feta cheese can also be an option.

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Croutons

Ingredients

Bread (any kind: bread, toast, baguette, rolls), perfect use for old bread!

A few table spoons of olive oil

Herbs

1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Preparation

1) Cut your bread leftovers in small cubes (for semi-hard bread use a sharp knife)

2) Poor the olive oil into a bowl and add the seasoning and garlic, then mix.

3) Now add your bread cubes and mix again.

3) Put everything on a baking tray (use alu foil or baking paper) and bake for about 10 min at 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit) until your croutons are golden.

Be careful with fresh bread as it will soak up all the olive oil! Use a little less oil in that case.

If you happen to have leftovers, you can store them in an air dry box.

When do I add the dressing to the salad?

The last minute before food is served! If you mix salad and dressing in advance the salad will get wet and slushy.

Tex Mex Salad

29 Jul

Ingredients:

1-2 cans Kidney beans

1 can corn

2-3 tomatoes, diced

1 bell pepper (green or red), diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 table spoon piri piri or tabasco

chili powder

vinegar (red wine vinegar, cider or white vinegar), olive oil

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients in a large salad bowl and season to taste

Recommendation:

Tastes great with fresh baguette, garlic bread or even tortillas (add some sour cream, cheese or guacamole if you like). Also great with a steak.

Hawaiin Salad (Pineapple Chicken)

13 Jun

Ingredients (for 2 people):

2 chicken breasts, cut into mouth big pieces

1/2 onion

1 lettuce head

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 slices fresh pineapple, chopped in very thin slices

1 tomato

1/2 zucchini

1 green onion

Seasoning: yellow curry powder, green curry paste, caribbean citrus seasoning blend, chili, salt, pepper

Dressing: ginger balsamic with olive oil

Preparation: 

1) Wash the chicken breasts, cut the meat and marinate it with the onion, the seasoning and some olive oil (if you have time marinate it a few hours in advance)

2) Clean and cut the vegetables

3) Prepare the dressing (cut the ginger in mini cubes, boil it – if fresh ginger and not pickled ginger- and mix it with vinegar/oil and salt)

4) Prepare the chicken meat in a pan, after you’re done, remove it and then cook the pineapple for a minute

5) Arrange everything on plates, lettuce first, followed by 1 layer of dressing, add the greens, some more dressing and finally decorate with the chicken breast and the pineapple

Tip: Substitute the chicken with grilled shrimps if you like

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