Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Have you ever had a  craving to devour a big plate of buffalo wings but bathing suit season is coming and you’re trying to be careful what you eat? Well, this may not be super low-cal, but it’s a lot less fat and calories than a pound of wings and is as delicious and more satisfying.  Make your favourite salad (dressing recipe link below) – adding in some carrot, celery and chunks of blue cheese (if you like that) and prepare a simple sauce and chicken breast chunks.  We love this as one of our ‘indulgent’ dinners – still keeping the carbs down but maximizing on flavour.  Once you make it, you’ll be making it again – guaranteed. Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day Beet Salad

Beet Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

That’s right. I said salad.  No truffles, cupcakes, chocolates, cookies, mousses or cakes.  Salad. It’s February and I know for me, it’s my natural instinct to commit “carbicide” — I want to make a cake and some peanut butter cups and cookies and stuff them into my face. But I’m going to be controlled and dedicated to eating healthily. Seriously, the party’s over. I’ve been on a binge ever since the beginning of December and now my pants are getting tight and my boobs are looking huge and I’ve got to take control. So. Here’s your Valentine Guilt-free Salad. It’s delicious anyway and it looks cute. Continue reading

New-fashioned Potato ‘Salad’

new potato salad

Everyone is probably getting tired of potato salad this late in the summer, but this isn’t really what I would consider traditional potato salad. Sure, it contains potatoes, and it’s served at room temperature, and it has a dressing on it, but that’s where the similarity ends. This recipe was inspired by my friend, Karin Reynolds, who knows how to make everything taste good.  I suspect this was an old family recipe, and I’ve modified it here and there to make it seem ‘new’.  Try it,  it really is very tasty and not boring at all, and it’s a delicious way to use those great new potatoes that the farmer’s markets are full of right now. Continue reading

Stacked Tomato Asiago Salad with Basil Pesto

stacked fresh tomatoes with asiago cheese and basil pesto

I bought a huge bunch of organic basil at the farmer’s market and decided to make it into pesto.  I can’t imagine what else you could do with it so I cleaned it up and made a classic pesto, except I used walnuts instead of pine nuts and I added some lemon rind in as well.  Plus, if you make it fresh, it’s so much better than anything you can buy at the store.  Pesto essentially mean ‘paste’, so bear in mind that a little goes a long way — it’s very concentrated flavour. I’ve demonstrated using it in a stacked tomato salad, but there are several uses for pesto. Continue reading

Summer Fresh Tomato Salad Dressing

summer fresh tomato salad dresssing

Summer’s bounty is coming in fast….I found this recipe and thought it might be a good way to use up those fresh tomatoes that were sitting on the windowsill, as well as a pleasant change from our usual vinaigrette dressing,  This dressing tastes similar to bruschetta, with it’s fresh tomato and garlicy flavour, and the wine vinegar balances it nicely.  Mixed with your salad greens and some cukes and cheese, it’s delightfully refreshing and different on your daily salad…if you eat as much salad as we do, it’s nice to change it up. Give it a try if you’re feeling bored with your usual salad or you want to make something unique for company. It takes a few minutes to prep the tomatoes, but aside from that, easy as can be. (blender required). Continue reading

Lemon Quinoa Salad with spinach, feta, caramelized onion

quinoa salad

I’ve been cooking quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) quite a lot lately and we really love it. It’s easy to prepare and similar to rice in it’s cooking method. I look at it as a high-protein carbohydrate that is ready to be flavoured however you like. This salad is a good example. It can be made ahead a day, is a great traveller for a picnic/bbq, and just tastes damn fine. So why not try it as a way to start using quinoa? Make sure you rinse the quinoa well before cooking and buy organic if you can.

Lemon Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Feta and Carmelized Onion

adapted from Dish Entertains

serves about 8

1 cup of quinoa (uncooked)

1/4 cup of butter or ghee

2 red onions (white onions are fine if you don’t have red, but red looks better in the salad), sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup diced feta cheese (1/2 inch (1 cm) cubes)

6 cups baby spinach, washed and chopped coarsely

salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions. When done, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and cool.

Heat a large pan over medium heat, and melt butter or ghee.  Add onions, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Put in more butter if it gets dry.  Add minced garlic and continue to cook until onions are golden brown – about 15 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, feta, lemon zest and spinach. Add 1/2 a cup of Simple Vinaigrette (recipe below) and  season with salt and pepper. Serve cool or at room temperature.

*I used preserved lemons in the recipe which work well also

Simple Vinaigrette

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup vinegar (your choice – I used balsamic)

juice of 2 lemons (that you already zested for salad)

2 tsp maple syrup or honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

2 tsp dijon mustard

Mix all ingredients.

carmelize the onions and garlic

assemble ingredients

carmelized onion, lemon, feta, spinach

Delish

Watermelon Salad with “Mojito” Dressing

This is a fun and delicious summer salad.  The presentation is great and the flavour even better. I made this to accompany our bbq tonight, and it was delicious. It would be perfect to bring to a summer bbq — your friends will think you are so creative, and one 6 or 7 pound watermelon makes enough for about 6 people. The ‘mojito’ dressing is reminiscent of your last Caribbean adventure and the watermelon reminds you of when you were a kid on a hot day and watermelon was the absolute best thing you could be offered.  The ingredients are simple and work together so well. Pick up your ingredients and make it on the weekend — I’ll bet this becomes a summer family favourite.

Watermelon  Salad

adapted from Pastry Queen Parties

1 seedless watermelon  (about 6-8 pounds)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2/3 cup diced feta cheese

Mojito Dressing

2 ounces fresh lime juice

2 tbsp rum (I used amber)

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 tbsp rice vinegar

Salad:

Set the watermelon on its side and slice off a piece, just cutting into the rind, to make a flat surface so the watermelon is flat and sits securely on that flat surface. So, flip it to sit on the cut side and with a sharp knife (I used serrated), cut off the top quarter of the melon. Using a large metal spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh in large chunks.  Cut all the flesh into 1 to 2 inch chunks. Place in a large bowl. Carve and scrape out your watermelon ‘bowl’ (eating or saving any watermelon that you scrape out). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Mix the watermelon chunks gently with the chopped mint and red onion slices. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dressing:

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve your salad, add the dressing and the feta to the watermelon mixture. Mix gently then spoon into watermelon ‘bowl’. Place on a platter and enjoy. So good!

slice piece off bottom of watermelon

slice off top and scoop out flesh

prep your ingredients, hello, could this be easier?

see how good you can look with this salad in hand? 😉

be careful when carrying it, it's so heavy!

Delicious!