Posts tagged ‘salad’

Spinach, nectarine and Brie salad


I love fruit in salad. I’ve written before about blueberries and strawberries in salad, and now that nectarine season is here it’s time to share this recipe.

Nectarines are one of my very favourite fruits. As someone who loves pretty much everything in the fruit and vegetable department I think that is saying something. What is it about nectarines? They’re perfect. Sweet, summery, beautiful to smell and touch and see. No fuzzies. Not that I have anything against peaches, they are delicious, too (especially as jam), but I really prefer nectarines for eating as a snack or in a salad like this one.

I’ve been eating California nectarines for about a month now and it is so nice to see the BC fruit here. I also found this delicious, Canadian-grown and made Balsamic Fig and Date Mustard at the store a few weeks ago and I am in love with it for salad dressings.

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Spinach, nectarine and Brie salad

For the salad, pile greens, diced nectarines, slices of Brie and pumpkin seeds into a bowl. Spoon on dressing and enjoy!

For the dressing, combine 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons dijon mustard. Try Kozlik’s if you can find it – there is a wonderful sweetness with the dates and figs. If you can’t find it, use regular dijon and add a tablespoon of maple syrup. I use a mason jar for dressing. Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, give it a shake and spoon the dressing over your salad. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for another day – just take the dressing out of the fridge about an hour before you want to use it so the oil can warm up (it will go solid-ish in the fridge).

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July 23, 2015 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

Salmon soba salad

 I love how easy it is to eat salad this time of year. All the greens and veggies are so tasty, and so easy to grow in your own garden or to find at farmer’s markets. And patios and warm weather are made for healthy food like salads and fish…no need for warm soups or pastas baked with a blanket of cheese right now.

I made this salad with some leftover cedar plank salmon that we cooked on the BBQ. Cedar plank cooking was popular a few years ago and I feel like it dropped off the radar too quickly. It’s still trendy at our house…so delicious and so easy.

In baby-land, we have just started on solid foods. We are trying the baby-led weaning approach to food, which basically means that little ones get to eat what the grown-ups are having without too much interference (no pureeing, etc). It is still mostly mucking about instead of real eating, but it is a lot of fun watching him try different tastes and textures. It’s hard to believe that there are three of us at the dinner table now – babies grow up so fast. Avocado, salmon and cucumber have been a big hit so far, so this salad is perfect for sharing.

Salmon soba super salad

Serves 2

Salad:
2 salmon fillets, grilled or poached
6 cups spinach or mixed greens
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 large cucumber, diced or cut into long chunks for baby
1 carrot, grated
1 bundle of soba noodles
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablepoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

Assemble salmon, greens and veggies in individual bowls or plates. Cook soba noodles in a pot of boiling water – be careful not to over cook as they only take a few more minutes. Drain the noodles and add to the salad.

To make the dressing, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour warm dressing over salad and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Healthy yum! Any extra dressing can be saved in a jar for another salad.

June 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

January salad

squash and tofu saladColour is nature’s way of telling you that food is healthy. And don’t we all need a splash of colour (and health) in January? To make this winter salad, combine greens, roasted squash, pumpkin seeds, minced red onions and baked tofu. Drizzle on a citrus dressing (or any other light dressing).

For the tofu-phobic among you, baked tofu tastes very much like chicken breast. You should try it! Granted my memory of what chicken tastes like is rather dim, but I think the texture is very much the same.  Here are a few tips on how-to:

Buy a small block of extra-firm tofu. Cut it into small strips or blocks. Toss tofu strips with a few tablespoons of a marinade of your choice. I used a sweet/spicy ginger chili sauce for this salad. Bake in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.

January 6, 2014 at 9:52 am 2 comments

White bean, chard and beet salad (and what do you think about #vb6?)

white bean beet salad

Have you heard about VB6 yet? It’s new to me since reading an article in the Georgia Straight this week and I have to say that I think you’re all about to become vegans. Part-time vegans, anyways.

VB6 is short for “Vegan Before 6,” a diet / catchphrase coined by New York Times food writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman. The idea is to eat a plant-based diet during the day, and then after 6pm you’re free to eat what you like – meat, eggs, dairy, junk food, whatever you want. “All the benefits of a strict diet without the deprivation,” he says on his website.

I think it’s great. I’m much more a fan of moderate solutions like this, and like Meatless Monday, that promote modest, incremental shifts in our habits and mindsets that lead to actual change. So much better than the usual diet narrative of no this, no that. It’s yes to plants all day, and then yes to whatever you want at night. And if you cheat, that’s fine. Actually, that’s the point: you’re supposed to cheat.

I’m curious to see if the movement catches on. I think it will. I really agree with the woman in the Georgia Straight article who says this: “Something magical happens when people start down the path of a plant-based diet. They start asking what’s in their food. They begin being concerned with the ingredients, quality, the source, the cost to the environment, and the toll it takes on animals.”

I know, you’re thinking, no way, not me, never. Vegan food is gross – too much quinoa and kale and hippie-dippy nonsense. Meat4ever.

But watch, as soon as you start thinking about what you’re eating – whether it’s an animal or a plant – I bet you’ll notice yourself leaning a tiny bit toward the plants. That’s what happened to me, and now I eat things like white bean, chart and beet salads all the time. With edible flowers on top.

Those plants…they’re a slippery slope!

White bean, baby chard and beet salad
Makes 1 salad

This salad was inspired by the beautiful baby chard from Vancouver’s Local Garden. You could also substitute spinach or baby beet greens or any other type of lettuce from your fridge or garden.

Pile 1-2 cups of chard leaves on a plate. I also added a few pea shoots, arugula, mint and Asian greens from my garden. Drain and rinse a can of white beans and sprinkle 1/2 cup of them on top of the salad (reserve the rest for something else). Top with 1/2 cup diced roasted beets and 1 tablespoon of toasted nuts or seeds (I used pumpkin seeds). Drizzle with a balsamic or raspberry vinagrette, and don’t forget the flowers! If you’re eating vegan, you might as well go for it. Nasturtiums, violets, pansies, roses and all sorts of other flowers can all go on salads – mine has (had) arugula blooms on top.

arugula flower

June 14, 2013 at 7:09 am Leave a comment

First tomato


Finally! Months of coddling tomato plants grown from seed have produced an actual tomato. As you can see below, there are more on the way. I’m sure they will be wonderful, too, but the first tomato brings the clearest sense of victory. Our patio is shady, part-sun at best, and it takes a good stretch of warm weather to make veggies grow. Double victory!

I was paralyzed by it, of course. How does one consume such a precious treat? If I had some buffalo mozzarella handy, I’d have gone for a classic caprese salad without a second thought. But I don’t. So I decided on a home-grown theme. Arugula, basil, chives, and parsley from my garden, olive oil carted back from Spain and sea salt that was a gift from my husband. Such specialness, and oh-so-good.

August 19, 2011 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

Blueberry mango spinach salad

I love fruit in salads. The combination of blueberries and mangoes get a bit of a kick from hot pepper flakes and cilantro. This salad is fresh and summery and tastes great with grilled fish and boiled new potatoes.

Blueberry Mango Spinach Salad

1 ripe mango, cut into small chunks
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 red pepper, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Juice from 1/2 a lime
6-8 cups fresh spinach

Mix together mango, blueberries, red pepper, cilantro, shallots, hot pepper flakes and lime juice in a small bowl and let the mixture rest for at least a few minutes to allow the flavours to combine. Place spinach in a large salad bowl or on individual plates and sprinkle with the mango-blueberry mixture. Drizzle your favourite salad dressing on top and serve.

July 21, 2010 at 9:40 am Leave a comment

Strawberry salad!

A quick post to point you in the direction of my strawberry salad recipe. It’s strawberry season again and enjoying the ripe red fruit in a delicious salad is a rite of summer for me. I found beautiful BC-grown organic strawberries for sale at the corner store on our street this week and I’ve been blissfully eating my way through a big basket for the past two days.

I’ve updated the original recipe to include mint and chopped green onions along with the salad greens, strawberries and goat cheese. Those herbs combined with the creamy cheese and the juicy sweetness of the strawberries is a magical pairing.

Happy strawberry finding and salad eating!

June 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm 3 comments

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