A Little bit of summer from the freezer

25 01 2012

Sometimes, in the cold of winter, you need a little pick me up. Something that, when you close your eyes reminds you of sitting in the backyard on a Sunday afternoon, lazing in the sun, and enjoying the best the season has to offer.

A berry vinaigrette served on baby spinach – it pairs well with pears, apples, and pecans or almonds.

Berry Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive and/or flaxseed oil (I used Vega Oil and olive oil)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (I used blueberries)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 or 2 Tbsp water, for desired consistency

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.





My new favorite dressing

3 01 2012

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I had a box of mixed greens that were gagging for his dressing.

Gagging.

But when I opened the box of mixed greens, they had gone off.  Why is it that my salad greens ALWAYS go bad before I can eat them all?

Fortunately this dressing goes with so many things.  It’s not too sweet, not too salty, not too tangy – it’s just the right mix of flavours.

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Salad Dressing

1 green apple; cored, peeled, and chopped

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/3 cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil)

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup tamari or Braggs

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

Blend apple, dijon mustard, oil, and water together until smooth.  In a separate container mix Braggs and vinegar together.

Once the apple, mustard, oil, and water have been blended until smooth, add to vinegar and Braggs mixture.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Separation will occur but the dressing will keep for 2-ish weeks.

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Borscht Salad

29 09 2011

Maybe this is stating the obvious but I’m not a traditionalist.  Don’t get me wrong, I love borscht – it’s a delicious kind of soup – but sometimes it’s not soup that you wanna have for dinner.

I wanted to enjoy the delicious flavours of borscht but I wanted to enjoy something crunchy, so I made this salad.

Borscht Salad

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water

1 cup diced beets, steamed

1/4 cup fresh dill

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed

2 Tbsp diced onion

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil to taste

Cook your quinoa: If you’ve never cooked quinoa here’s a quick how-to.  Rinse your quinoa.  Put quinoa in a pot with water and bring to a boil.  Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn the heat to low (very low heat) and place a lid on the pot.  Allow to cook for 10 – 15 minutes and then remove from heat.

Steam your diced beets: I recommend steaming the beets for 5 minutes.  This is enough time to heat the beets through and soften them but not make the beets squishy.

Mix everything but the oil into the salad, the oil gets added just before serving.

Ready to eat?  Plate your salad, add a splash of olive oil on top, and then sit down and enjoy.

Also, if you’re digging into falls bounty, you might also like these recipes:

Rustic Cabbage Soup
Roasted Beet Tofu Burgers

Beet Chips!





Spicy Cucumber Salad

9 09 2011

Maybe I’m just being lazy, but everything I’ve been making this week has been easy.  Perhaps too easy.

Anyway, this is another easy dish that was created with goods from the farm market.  (FIVE field cucumbers for $1!  I felt the people in the IKEA commercial where the woman gets in the car like she’s just stolen something they need to make a big get-away.)

Spicy Cucumber Salad

3 small cucumbers

1 lime

1/4 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp sesame oil

Peel and seed your cucumber if you’re using field cucumbers, just seed the cucumber if you’re using English cucumbers (with their soft skin).  Thinly slice the cucumbers and place into a mixing bowl.

Squeeze the juice of one lime over the cucumbers.

Stir in chili flakes and sesame oil.

It’s pretty good straight away, but it will get spicier if you allow it to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Done!

If you’d like to get fancy, you could serve this salad with some cashews or peanuts on top.





Backyard Picnic

13 07 2011

Another hot day, another back yard meal.

First, I always feel very privileged to be able to share food with friends. Second, this little backyard luncheon was preceded by a little visit to a little pond, which I should probably take a picture of because it’s a little oasis in the middle of suburbia.

We enjoyed a new fangled spinach dip with carrots and tomatoes, alongside a salad with a dressing I made up on the fly.

New Fangled Spinach Dip

2 1/2 cups packed spinach

1 1/2 cups cooked white kidney beans (or other white beans)

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 small clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste

water (to reach desired thickness)

Combine all the ingredients – except the water – in a food processor and blend. Add water as necessary to reach desired consistency. Be careful not to add too much water!

Chill for at least 30 minutes before enjoying to allow the flavours to come together.

*originally from Ripe from Around Here by jae steele

Smokey Maple Dressing

1 Tbsp Braggs or Tamari soy sauce

2 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp pepper

3 – 4 drops of liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients together in a jar and shake until combined.

Done!

The salad pictured is just spinach, strawberries, and avocado. The night before I enjoyed the dressing on spinach with blueberries and toasted pecans.





Miso Sesame Dressing

9 07 2011

Last week I decided I wanted to eat more salad.  Then I thought I could blog about salad dressing because I find it hard to come with new and tasty dressings for my salad.  Yes, hot sauce is a delicious dressing that I enjoy, but not everybody wants hot sauce on their spinach salad.

Anyway, I was devastated today when I finished my lunch (and the dressing) thinking I had forgotten to photograph it all.  Ha ha!  I may have forgotten today, but I didn’t forget yesterday.  I am so glad my camera has a memory that’s longer than mine.

The salad pictured has arugula, spinach, shredded cucumber and carrots, tomatoes, peanuts and chili flakes (I love the spicy!).  Today I enjoyed the same dressing on a salad of arugula, pear, avocado and walnuts; which was also tasty.

This isn’t quite the dressing that you get on your salad in Japanese restaurants, but it’s pretty darn close.

Miso Sesame Dressing

2 Tbsp miso paste

2 Tbsp sesame seed oil

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp agave nectar

Jam everything into a glass jar, seal with a lid, and shake-shake-shake!  Shake until everything is combined.

Although it will separate, it stores in the fridge for about a week.

*Original recipe from Get it Ripe by jae steele





Apple Dill Salad

28 06 2011

I planted herbs in planters this year.  It turns out my potting soil, mixed with compost, is the best place to grow herbs.  I have more dill than I know what to do with.  Honestly, what was I thinking – how much dill can one woman use?

I created this salad to make use of the dill in my garden and was pleasantly surprised that, not only was it good, it kept for 3 days in the fridge.

Apple Dill Salad

2 granny smith apples, diced

3/4 cups carrots, chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

2 Tbsp dijon mustard

2 Tbsp

Toss everything together and enjoy!

I placed the salad on a small bed of greens.  Seriously, it’s that easy.