It’s that time of year!: Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

I love fall and even though it’s not quite here yet I couldn’t resist making something with pumpkin. This is just the beginning, stay tuned for more pumpkin recipes or try these.

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

2T pumpkin puree

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

3 T olive oil

1 t honey

salt and pepper to taste

add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth ( you could also wisk by hand)

Pumpkin Vinaigrette

 

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Food Trend: Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Burrata cheese is popping up on menus all over town. What is it? Pure indulgence, it is fresh mozzarella cheese filled with shredded mozzarella cheese that has been soaked in cream. Here is my recipe for a delicious salad using the best that summer has to offer. Make sure you use good ripe tomatoes for this recipe.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

makes 1 dinner or 2 appetizer portions

For the vinaigrette

2 T fresh Basil leaves

1 T honey

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.

 

Salad

1 vine ripened tomato sliced

1 c spring mix greens

2 T thinly sliced radish

2 t sliced fresh basil

1 T pepitas ( roasted pumpkin seeds)

1 ball Burrata cheese

Layer greens, and tomatoes on a plate, sprinkle sliced radishes, pepitas and chopped basil on top. drizzle with Basil Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

Burrata Cheese Salad with Basil Honey Vinaigrette

 

Cobb Salad, Family Style

I love a good Cobb Salad, it is so easy and so versatile. I like to serve mine in a glass 9×12 pan and serve it family style so that everyone can pick and choose what toppings they like, it’s is kind of like a low carb taco night. Use the ingredients your family likes and serve with a vinaigrette or ranch dressing.

Family Style Cobb Salad

2 heads of romaine hearts chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tomatoes chopped

1 ripe avocado peeled and chopped ( sprinkle with lemon or lime juice to prevent discoloring)

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey chopped ( I used a rotisserie chicken from my stores deli)

6 slices of  cooked bacon chopped

1/2 c blue cheese crumbled ( Use feta or even cheddar if that is your family’s preference)

3 hard boiled eggs chopped

Add lettuce to the pan, top with remaining ingredients, in rows. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with dressing and tongs so that each person can get the ingredients they desire. This salad is also great for parties and pot lucks.

Easy Mustard Vinaigrette 

2 T olive oil

3 T red wine vinegar

1 t dijon mustard

salt and pepper

whisk together all ingredients, serve over salad.

Happy National Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day AKA National Zucchini Day

Well I love Zucchini but had no idea about this holiday. It was started by Tom Roy, a man from Pennsylvania, and this holiday encourages sharing of large zucchini crops. “Due to the overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors’ doorsteps.” and apparently creativity is encouraged in this endeavor. I don’t have any crops of zucchini but I will share some recipes and tips.

Zucchini can be used as pasta in any recipe, delicious, low carb and gluten-free.

To make ribbons like papperdelle, uses a regular vegetable peeler and make thin strips, yo can leave the skin on or off.

To make smaller “noodles” use a julienne peeler. Available at most home stores and cooking shops.

Now just add your favorite sauce, no cooking required. The heat of the sauce will warm the zucchini without making it too soft or watery.

Also try Zucchini Orange Salad

 

Greek Stuffed Zucchini

And my favorite, Calabacitas

What is your favorite way to eat zucchini, or sneak it on to someone’s porch?

Formula for a Perfect Salad: Grilled Salmon and Goat Cheese Salad

 

I am very particular about my salads. They need to contain what I like to call my perfect salad formula, which is something crunchy, something sweet, something sour or acidic and something unexpected. Balance is also key, sweet and savory, creamy and crunchy, warm and cold, everything has to have the right ratio. Oh and did I mention  it has to be visually appealing as well so make sure there are contrasting colors and textures. One of my favorite salads to eat out is Bonefish’s Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Salad. It meets all my criteria and it is delicious. I made my own little version of it at home minus the asparagus.

For 2

2 fillets wild sockeye salmon

2 T olive oil

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 t salt

1/4 t lemon pepper

1/4 t chili powder

4 c mixed field greens, washed and dried

1/2 c french green beans, steamed until crisp tender ( I used a microwave steamer bag)

1/3 c chopped fennel

4 T goat cheese

1/2 c cherry tomatoes

1/2 c citrus or mango vinaigrette (I used Bolthouse Farms Tropical Mango, I normally don’t buy bottled dressings, but this one is good and all natural)

Place fish in a shallow dish, top with orange juice and olive oil and put in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with salt pepper and chili powder. Grill until cooked to your liking, I did mine about 4 min per side. Assemble greens, fennel, goat cheese, green beans and tomatoes on each plate, top with grilled fish and dressing.

Red White and Blue Salad: A Fourth of July Favorite

Ok there is some green in there too, but otherwise this is a tasty and patriotic dish. This is one of my most requested recipes. Healthy, easy and refreshing it is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or summertime meals.

Red, White, and Blue Salad

2 c baby arugula

1/2 seedless watermelon cut into bite sized chunks

1 pint fresh blueberries

1 contained feta cheese crumbled

 

1/4 c olive oil

1 lime juiced

3T red wine vinegar

1 t minced ginger

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

In a large bowl, add watermelon, blueberries , arugula and feta, toss together until mixed. Then in a small bowl whisk together, oil, vinegar, ginger, lime juice and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss before serving.

*** If you want to make it even easier, use a good store bought red wine vinaigrette and squeeze a lime over the salad instead of making the dressing.

Blueberry and Cucumber Salad with Lime and Ginger Dressing

This healthy and  refreshing Summer salad is punched up with a zip of lime. Delicious as a side to any dinner or add grilled chicken to make this the entrée.

2 c fresh spinach washed and torn into bite sized pieces

2 c romaine washed and torn into bite sized pieces

1 c fresh blueberries

1 cucumber  peeled, halved and sliced

1/4 c sliced roasted almonds

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

Dressing:

Juice of 2 limes, or about 2 T

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 t sugar (or substitute)

1 t minced ginger

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over salad, toss together