Cannellini Bean Salad

 Continuing on my quest for great summer salads, this winner comes from the magazine, “Eating Well”.  I love all kinds of beans and always keep a good variety of canned ones in my pantry just for throwing together a last minute salad.  They’re good for you and make a great, quick “go-to” lunch.  Fresh herbs make all the difference in this light summery salad, and I love the crunch of the celery against the creamy beans. Everything about it screams healthy!  Eat it on it’s own as a salad or use as a base to top with fish, grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken!  Bon Appétit!
Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

Cannellini Bean Salad

adapted from “Eating Well” Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed well
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup finely diced celery

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, sage, chives, salt & pepper. Add rinsed beans, celery and tomatoes.  Toss well.  

 

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Great for picnics or outings! Can be made and stored in the refrigerator a day ahead.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Cucumber Melon Salad with Lime, Mint and Feta

It’s summertime, and that means salads!  All kinds of salads!  What I love about this particular salad is the sweet, tangy and salty combo. You can use one melon or mix several different melons together. Tonight, I happened to have a watermelon and honeydew that needed to be used, and since I have a huge pot of mint growing outside, I decided to make this cucumber melon salad I saw from the NY Times.  Lime and mint go together beautifully, and the saltiness of feta cheese made this salad a winner!  This is a great salad for those of you lucky enough to have a garden full of cucumbers!  You can also dice everything a bit smaller and serve as a salsa. 🙂

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Cucumber Melon Salad with Lime, Mint and Feta

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)
  • 2 cups diced cucumber, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, sliced thin
  • ½ to 1 serrano chile, minced (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • feta cheese (to taste)

Preparation:

Combine everything in a large bowl and toss before serving.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

 

Lately, I’ve been determined to make more room in my pantry, so I’m making a concerted effort to use ingredients I already have to plan my meals. It’s kind of like an overcrowded closet…until you start cleaning it out, you really don’t even know what all you’ve got!  Such is the case with my pantry, so when I ran across some organic red quinoa, I decided it was time to make a meal! Hubby had the Traeger Smoker fired up and ready to smoke some chicken breasts, so I thought a nice healthy quinoa salad topped with a bit of protein sounded like perfect way to top of a beautiful day of sunshine!

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Quinoa:

  • 1 Cup Organic Red Quinoa (or use any quinoa you like)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth or water)

Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking. Combine broth and quinoa and pinch of salt in medium saucepan.  Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

Salad:

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ – ½ serrano pepper, minced (can use jalepeno for milder spice or omit altogether)
  • 1 lime, zested then juiced
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Combine cucumber, tomatoes, mint, shallot, serrano, lime zest and lime juice.  Toss together, and drizzle with olive oil.  Add cooked quinoa, fold to combine and add salt & pepper to taste.  Add more lime juice if desired.

  • If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cherries & Pistachios

On a recent trip to Asheville, North Carolina, hubby and I visited a fun little store called Olive & Kickin’.  It’s a vinegar and olive oil tasting room, and we had such a good time tasting all the different flavors. By the time we finished tasting (and buying), we ended up shipping a full box back home! One of my favorite vinegars I purchased was the Cranberry Pear White Balsamic, and I couldn’t wait to get back home and figure out a way to use it!  I found a roasted squash salad by Giada De Laurentiis that happened to call for a white balsamic vinaigrette to be drizzled over hot roasted squash.  It sounded delicious, so I decided that would be my experimental dish for my new vinegar. I made several changes to the original recipe, but in the end, it was not only a beautiful salad, but delicious as well. There are so many varieties of white balsamic vinegars to choose from out there, and they would all be good on this salad.  I’ve used a peach flavored one that was excellent!  Experiment and see what you like best!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cherries and Pistachios

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cherries & Pistachios

 

Peeled and sliced butternut squash ready for the oven!

Peeled and sliced butternut squash ready for the oven!

 

YUM!

YUM!

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Cherries & Pistachios

Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

Vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Salad:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios
  • Crumbled gorgonzola cheese (to taste)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°.

For vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together in large bowl, and set aside.

Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up.  Place sliced squash on the pan and drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, tossing well. Arrange the squash in single layer, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, and immediately drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette allowing it to cool and absorb the flavors.

Combine the arugula, cherries and pistachios with the remaining vinaigrette tossing to coat.

To plate, put marinated squash slices on platter and top with dressed greens.  Sprinkle with additional cherries and pistachios if desired and top off with gorgonzola cheese.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils…Great for Lentil Salad!

I continue to be amazed and thrilled at the products carried by Trader Joe’s. Every time I visit, I make it a point to leave with several new things to try, and, soon I’ll post a complete list of my favorite items.  Today, however, it’s all about their “ready-to-eat” steamed lentils that are in their produce section.  I’m a huge fan of lentils, and while they’re not difficult to cook, its just so darn convenient to buy them ready to go! These lentils come vacuum-packed and ready to use! I love keeping protein packed salads in my fridge for a quick lunch, and this was an instant favorite the first time I made it. Quick & easy, full of flavor and healthy, too! It’s a win/win in my book!

Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

Trader Joe's Ready to Eat Lentils

Trader Joe’s Ready to Eat Lentils

Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ⅓ cup green onions, diced
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper and set aside. Put lentils, red bell pepper, celery, green onions and parsley into large bowl. Add dressing and combine well.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • I like using the rainbow colored carrots when I can find them at Trader Joe’s. They add such pretty color to the salad!
  • Feel free to add or delete veggies to your taste.  Sometimes I’ll add diced cucumber if I have it, or I’ll use red onion in place of green onion.   I’ve also thrown in some baby arugula which was delicious!  Use your imagination and make it your own!  🙂

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Broccoli-Apple Slaw

 

Every once in a while, I try a recipe that becomes a family favorite and joins the ranking of those that get made over and over again! I found the original recipe for this salad in the “Cooking Light” magazine and made some changes and additions that I thought would be good.  This dish has already graced my table several times in the last couple of weeks, and it will be added to my repertoire of quick and easy weeknight dishes. Except for the bagged broccoli slaw that is readily available in the grocery store, I’ve always got the rest of the ingredients on hand. The dressing is sweet and tangy at the same time, and I love all the crunchy texture.
The original recipe did not call for raisins or pecans, but I thought they’d be a good addition. It DID call for slivered red onion, but I chose not to use it. Make this recipe your own by using ingredients you like! Try dried cranberries or cherries in place of the raisins or use walnuts instead of pecans. Or just leave them out if you prefer! Hope you like this as much as we did!  🙂
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Broccoli-Apple Slaw

adapted from Cooking Light magazine

makes about 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t prepared horseradish
  • 1 ½ t sugar,
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, diced
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 (12 oz) pkg broccoli slaw

Preparation:

Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, horseradish, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add slaw, apple, raisins and pecans.  Toss to coat.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Steak and Tomato Salad

 

With temperatures soaring into 3 digits over much of the country, who wants to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven?  Not me, that’s for sure! It’s time to fire up the grill, and throw on a hunk of meat!  We have some wonderful grass-fed beef in our freezer (thank you, Becky!), and the other night, I was craving a good steak.  I had the pleasure of enjoying this salad years ago at Morton’s Steakhouse and thought the presentation was just beautiful.  Use the best tomatoes you can find for this showstopper “main meal” salad! It’s a great way to use leftover steak as well!  DELISH!

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Steak and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • steak, grilled to your liking
  • onion (I use red), thickly sliced and grilled alongside the steak
  • tomato, thickly sliced
  • lettuce leaves
  • blue cheese, crumbled
  • dressing, your choice

Preparation:

Place two large lettuce leaves on a plate, stack the sliced onion, steak and tomato. Sprinkle cheese around the plate and dress with your choice of dressing.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • I prefer a light red wine vinaigrette to dress this salad.  Whisk together ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt & pepper to taste.  Slowly whisk in the oil in a steady stream until thickened.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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