Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lori's Spinach Salad

We call this Lori's spinach salad because she is the one who introduced it to us at a family gathering years ago. It is great for a crowd and has become our salad of choice for birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, and many meals in between. Abby calls it "the special salad."

Spinach Salad

1 bunch fresh spinach, torn in bite-size pieces
1 small head lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
3/4 lb. grated Monterey jack cheese
3/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. rinsed cottage cheese

3/4 tsp. onion salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
3 T poppy seeds
3/4 c. canola oil
1/3 c. white vinegar

Dressing should be made several hours in advance. Just before serving, toss the salad and dressing.

Julie's notes: My dad always asked me to substitute feta cheese for the cottage cheese. It's great either way.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli is a vegetable staple in my home all year round. It keeps well in the fridge, it's packed with nutrients, and everyone likes it. Fresh trumps cooked most days.

Broccoli Salad

4 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 medium-sized purple onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
2 T capers, drained
1/4 cup pecans, toasted (optional)

TOSS together first 5 ingredients. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans before serving, if desired. Yield: about 5 cups

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 T sugar
1/2 T salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

WHISK together all ingredients. Yield: about 2/3 cup.

Julie's Notes: I wish I knew the source for this salad, but I don't. I've been making it for a few years and can't recall where I acquired it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Lime-Buttermilk Dressing

I'm a big fan of main dish salads. Serve this with a crusty bread, and it's my kind of dinner.

This recipe is from Everyday Food Magazine (November 2010). You can print it here.

Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Lime-Buttermilk Dressing

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1 teaspoon lime zest plus 1/4 cup lime juice (from 2 limes)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 hearts romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a blender, combine buttermilk, avocado, lime zest and juice, and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth, 20 seconds. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, about 3 minutes, flipping once. In a large bowl, toss together romaine, pepitas, cilantro, shrimp, and 1 cup dressing until combined and serve immediately.

Julie's notes:  I must confess that after all these years I have just recently started cooking shrimp at home. I purchased frozen, raw, tail-on shrimp at Costco and was very happy to find printed right on the package that 31-40 shrimp equal one pound.

In addition to seasoning the shrimp with salt and pepper I used Old Bay Seasoning.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Old-fashioned Cabbage Slaw

This is the coleslaw I grew up with. I love that it is vinegar based rather than mayonnaise based. Thanks Mom!

Old-fashioned Cabbage Slaw

1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 to 1 tsp. celery seeds
2 T sugar
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 T chopped red pepper or pimiento
1/2 tsp. grated onion
3 T. vegetable oil (I use canola oil.)
1/3 cup vinegar (I use white vinegar.)
3 cups finely chopped cabbage (I use half a large head of cabbage.)

Place ingredients in large bowl in order given. Mix well. Cover and chill thoroughly. Garnish with watercress and sliced stuffed olives just before serving if desired. (4 servings)

Julie's Notes:  I double the amount of green pepper and pimiento. I often use chopped green onion rather than grated onion, and I always use much more than 1/2 tsp. Modify however you like. Shredded carrots work well too.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

This recipe is attributed to my cousin, Rachelle, who blogs at Dishing It Gluten Free. The combination of flavors is fabulous. I wasn't sure how my kids would like the goat cheese, but they gobbled it up and wanted more. I loved it so much that I made it for my lunch three days in a row!

Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

Green leaf lettuce
Goat cheese
Pears, peeled and cubed
Dried blueberries
Pecans, chopped

Julie's notes: I dressed this with Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Delicious! Use any type of lettuce--even spinach. I found the goat cheese and dried blueberries at Costco. I don't mind the larger quantity. It just gives me an excuse to find more recipes that call for goat cheese.