Category Archives: Salads

bloody salad!

Yeah so… salad.  New year, same resolution — eat healthier and work out more.  It’s been 17 days and I’m running at a 75% success rate.  I went to the doctor today, had my annual weigh in and I didn’t hate it.  Motivation, yes.  In fact, my fingers and typing at with astronomical dexterity and speed, as I still need to get my nightly workout in.

Tonight’s dinner featured blood oranges, which beckoned me while I was perusing the produce section of the supermarket.

What you’ll need –

  • Baby spinach
  • Blood orange
  • Red onion
  • Salted pistachios, shelled
  • Feta or goat cheese
  • S&P to taste
  • Dressing (minced garlic, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, S&P, and extra virgin olive oil)

Combine all ingredients and toss.  Eat, feel healthy, and go to the gym.

Goodnight and goodbye.

Say Cheese

I’m a bit of a mouse.  When I was a child, one of my favorite snacks was American cheese slices, which as a grew older matured to heavy hitters like gorgonzola, taleggio, and cashel.  There’s something magical about the taste and the way cheese can coat your mouth like velvet.  Now as an adult constantly trying to shed the extra five to ten pounds, I eat cheese in moderation, which makes cheese all the more appealing.

I considered myself fairly knowledgeable in the cheese department, so I was somewhat ashamed that it took me 25 years to place a creamy, dreamy piece of burrata (“buttered” in Italian) in my mouth.  Years ago, growing up on Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy I spied this little treat.  She was in the Puglia region of Italy, cutting into a piece of solid mozzarella with overflowing ribbons of fresh curd and cream.  Cue your salivary glands.

A few weeks ago, the boy (aka Mr. Mouse) made his version of the first burrata caprese salad I’d tried at Alma Nove.  Something about making this treat at home made it taste better than any fancy restaurant’s version.  His version also tasted way better than the version I made a few nights ago.  Then again, when doesn’t food taste better when someone else makes it for you?

Tomato, Burrata Cheese, and Pistachio Salad

2 large plum tomatoes
fleur de sel
freshly ground black pepper
handful of torn fresh basil leaves for garnish
unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped
2 Tbsp of balsamic glaze
1 large round of burrata cheese

Cut tomatoes into slices and place on a large platter. Add the torn basil leaves and pistachios. Take the large burrata cheese round and cut into quarters. Place cheese in the center of the plate. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve.

Stuff your face and savor each and every calorie.  And remember kids, you’re doing it in the name of calcium!

summer supper

A few number of things have been keeping me from blogging including work, yummy dinner dates, moving Ray Ray to his new nest, and almost drowning (no big deal).  You know, the usual.  To expound on the drowning bit, I went white water rafting up in Maine on the Penobscot River.  Some crazy girl used me as her life preserver — silly! I’ve concluded that you’re one of two people in a scary situation: 1) a chicken without a head or 2) someone that actually has half a brain and remembers what the instructor told you 5 seconds ago. Durrr. If anyone is around the New England area, give the guys up in Northern Outdoors a go.  Tour guides are friendly, fun, and will love you if you mention “surfing”.

In the meantime, I’m back on track for weeknight salad dinners with the twinnie.  I found myself wandering the aisles of Whole Foods after a rather long day at work.  Anything food related is a real stress reliever for me.  Without resorting to the chocolate bacon bars (which are SOOO good), I left with some good produce and other random treats.

Treats from Whole Foods! — Salmon Sashimi and Summer Rolls Tonight’s summer salad — baby heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, kalamata olives, baby arugula and feta with a lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, evoo, S&P)twinnie time – this only took a few tries with the timer and we finally gave up on actually centering the thingAll pau!

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It’s not even the official start of summer and already, I feel like my weekends are booking up!  They’re all fun things of course, but this happens every summer.  I’ll have things I intend to do, which somehow always get thrown on the back burner.  I’ve resorted to making a list to solidify some of those plans and actually hold myself accountable to achieve them.

1. Spend more time with food and drinks on my balcony.  Afterall, that’s what it’s there for!
2. Go bike riding around Martha’s Vineyard or the Cape.
3. Replace old pictures on my walls.
4. Learn to shuck oysters, preferably somewhere warm.
5. Get that bleeping tattoo you keep talking about!
6. Throw that guacamole party inspired by Rick Bayless.
7. Travel far and wide.*
8. Skydive in Newport, RI with girlfriends – adrenaline rush and a tan as an added perk.
9. Take a cooking class.
10. Dine at No. 9 Park again (that and/or Menton).**

* This one is kind of unfair since I know this is going to happen already.  I’m very excited to announce I will be staying in a France apartment for a week.  I plan to eat, cook, and be merry.  Nothing like some Paris air to breathe some summer life into this blog.

** Yes, I know I have a sick obsession with Barbara Lynch.

I hope you all stick to your summer lists this year!

cinco de mayo salad

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I almost broke my resolve to eat salad when I entertained the idea of making ooey gooey cheesy enchiladas.  MMMMMMM.  I dug deep and mustered the strength to stay true to my rabbit diet.  The result?  A pseudo-Mexican salad with a knock your socks off dressing from the always dependable allrecipes.com.

Cinco De Mayo Salad

  • 3 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Half a jicama, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 3/4 cup fresh or canned corn kernels, uncooked
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • Half an avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Half a roasted chicken, skin removed and shredded

Cilantro Lime Dressing from Lin

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, place the jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, and ginger into a food processor or blender.  Pulse until the jalapeno and garlic are finely chopped. Pour in the lime juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt, add the cilantro leaves; pulse a few times to blend. Turn the food processor or blender on, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt before serving.

Combine the salad ingredients and toss lightly with dressing.  You’ll definitely have enough left over to use for another salad or as a great marinade.  I think it would be pretty stellar on grilled shrimp.

This salad is the front runner in the salad challenge so far.  Who knew anything could be better than bacon salad in bacon fat salad dressing? I’m off to the gym now.  I hope you all enjoy your Cinco de Mayo with a cool refreshing margarita!

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

My twin sister Krissie and I have decided to turn a new leaf (pun intended) and go on a salad diet.  It sounds extreme, but it’s really not since we’re limiting it to weekday dinners.  It’s an initiative to incorporate more vegetables into our meals and eat less processed foods. Of course, we have to find some sort of loop hole… which is to find something ridiculously fatty to add to the salad to make it bearable. Last night’s lipid choice came in the form of bacon and lots of it.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Adapted from Alton Brown – we cut the bacon down a bit and decided to saute the mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Directions
Wash the spinach, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Hard or soft boil your eggs. I like to hard boil my eggs. I’ve found the best practice for hard boiled eggs is to add eggs to a pot of water, which should cover the eggs by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil and immediately turn off the heat. Leave the eggs in the water for 10-12 minutes. Remove and run under cold water. Peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 6 wedges and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat for the salad dressing and 2 tablespoons to saute your mushrooms . Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the 3 tablespoons of fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Remove the remaining fat from the frying pan until you have approximately 2 tablespoons of fat to saute your mushrooms.  Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

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If you’re a fan of bacon, you will obviously be a fan of this salad.  It’s crisp, tangy, salty, porky.  It may have just been the salad of my dreams.  This isn’t helping my overall lose weight diet, but I’m taking baby steps toward healthy eating.  I can’t just go cold turkey on all unhealthy fats.  Please.

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