Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 12 Salad 12 - Chard and Beets with Fresh Goat's Cheese

This is something I threw together.

10 leaves of baby red chard
10 or so pieces of sweet heat pickled beets
1 oz of fresh plain goat's cheese
10 pieces of pecan

I grabbed some red chard out of our garden, it's the only thing that's living our there. I blanched the chard and then placed the beets and cheese on top. Put the pecan pieces on top of the cheese. Drizzle with Dijon vinaigrette.

Hubby gave it a big "MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM" and came back for more. This was another case of not nearly enough salad.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 11 Salad 11 - Sweet, Sour, Bitter, and Blue Salad

This salad is a taste sensation! With baby bitter greens, sour apple, dried cranberry, pecans and blue cheese- you will not be bored eating this one.

3 c baby bitter greens
1 c baby spinach
1/4 peeled green apple chopped into 1/2" chunks
1/4 peeled cucumber chopped into 1/2" chunks
1/4 c dried cranberries
2 Tbs blue cheese crumbles
handful of pecan halves

fill the bowl with the greens
top with the rest of the ingredients

I feel that the cucumber was a mistake. It was soft compared to the green apple's crunch. It was yucky. The rest of the combination rocked. It was just what I was hankering for.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 10 Salad 10 - Watermelon and Jicama with Chili and Lime

Tonight's salad is another one that is super simple yet delish and satisfying. The chile and salt really get your attention and the melon cools your mouth back down. I dig the snappy crunch of the jicama. It's just a great combo. This recipe was told to me by a dear friend in Boulder, CO. I believe the origin was a Native American community in Michigan.

2 c jicama (1/2" x 2" strips)
2 c watermelon (1/2" x 2" strips)
juice of 1 lime
sprinkle with Tony Chachere brand Cajun seasoning or salt and chile powder

Toss to combine.

does it get easier folks? nope.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 9 Salad 9 - My Mimi's Tuna Salad on Toast

As promised: My Mimi's Tuna Salad on Toast

This is the tuna salad that my Mimi (maternal grandma) made for me as a little girl. It's still my favorite recipe.
1/2 c Tuna flaked
1 Tbs lemon juice (can substitute pickle juice)
1 Tbs mayo
1 Tbs sweet relish
1/4 c onion (fine dice)
1/4 c celery (fine dice)
1/4 c shredded carrot

Just mash it all together in a bowl. Then mound it up on toast. I used a slice of the gluten-free French bread I made yesterday. You could use a nice Keiser roll- that would be perfect. I would also add a thick slice of tomato if I had one and some light leaf lettuce.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 8 Salad 8 - Julia Child's Salade Nicoise

I am not going to lie. This salad is a major pain in the ass the make. Perhaps it is best ordered at a bistro.

Here is the recipe I used from Julia herself. I omitted and substituted a bit. That's just my small town kitchen ways. I used red leaf lettuce and Calamata olives. I omitted the anchovies. I seared up some yellow-fin tuna that my Dad pulled out of the Pacific off the coast of San Diego last summer . I know I was supposed to mound the items in piles but I always feel the need to make my salads in circles. I also added garlic to the dressing, I couldn't help myself.

This is Julia's recipe:

1 head Boston lettuce, large, washed and dried

2 to 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water, and dried

to 1 cup salad dressing, such as the Oil and Lemon Dressing (see accompanying recipe)

3 or 4 fine ripe red tomatoes, peeled, if you wish, and cored, quartered and seasoned before serving

8-10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked

1 quart French Potato Salad (see accompanying recipe)

8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise

1 can flat anchovy fillets packed in oil, opened and drained just before serving

½ cup black Nicoise-type olives

3 or 4 tablespoons capers

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Prepare the salad base: Shortly before serving, line a handsome, large and wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with a sprinkling of salt.

Dress beans, tomatoes, tuna: Toss the beans in a mixing bowl with a little of the dressing, and correct seasoning. Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes. Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of dressing.

Assemble the salad: Place the potato salad in the center of the bowl or platter; mound beans at strategic intervals, interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna.

Ring the salad with the eggs and curl an anchovy fillet on top of each.

Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers and parsley.

Presentation: Serve as soon as possible.

Source: Adapted recipe from "The Way We Cook" by Julia Child.

Julia Child's French Potato Salad Makes about 1 quart

1½ pounds "boiling" potatoes, all the same size and shape if possible

1-1½ teaspoons salt per quart of water

2 tablespoons shallots or scallions, finely minced

Salt, freshly ground white pepper

¼ cup chicken stock (or potato-cooking water)

1½ tablespoons wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2-3 tablespoons light olive oil, optional

Cook's notes: It is best to cook potatoes within ½ hour of using to prevent the possibility of their turning gray.

Peel, slice the potatoes: Fill a three-quart saucepan half-full with cold water. Wash the potatoes. One at a time, peel a potato, and if it's round and fat rather than long and thin, cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the potato into slices ¼-inch thick, and drop the slices into the pan of water, to prevent discoloration while you prepare the rest.

Cook the potatoes: Drain out the water, then add clean cold water to cover, and the salt. Bring to the simmer, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender -- keep testing by eating a slice to be sure. Crunchily undercooked potatoes are dreadful, and overcooked potato slices will disintegrate.

Drain, season the potatoes: Drain out the cooking water (you may wish to use it for soup).

At once cover the pan and set aside for 3 to 4 minutes (but no longer than 5), to allow the slices to firm up. Then uncover the potatoes and plan to season them while still warm.

Turn the warm potatoes into a roomy bowl and toss gently with the shallots or scallions, stock or cooking water, vinegar and parsley.

Let steep 10 minutes or so, tossing gently several times. Then correct seasoning, toss with the optional oil, and the potatoes are ready for serving.

Presentation: The potatoes will keep a day or two covered and under refrigeration. If they are made with oil, let sit for ½ hour at room temperature before serving.

Source: Adapted recipe from "The Way We Cook" by Julia Child.

Julia Child's Oil and Lemon Dressing Makes about ½ cup dressing

2 strips of fresh lemon peel, 1-by-2½ inches each

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more, if needed

½ tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard

1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ cup fine fresh oil

Freshly ground pepper

Prepare the lemon: Mince the lemon peel very finely with the salt, scrape it into the mortar or bowl, and mash into a fine paste with the pestle or spoon.

Make the dressing: Beat in the mustard and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; when thoroughly blended, start beating in the oil by droplets to make a homogeneous sauce -- easier when done with a small electric mixer.

Presentation: Beat in droplets of more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Use soon.

Source: Adapted recipe from "The Way We Cook" by Julia Child.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 7 Salad 7 - Berry-Melon Salad With Lemon-Thyme Syrup

That's right folks- it's a fruit salad tonight. The thyme syrup adds an interesting flavor with the fruit. Something to make you say "hmmmmm." I wasn't sure how I felt about the syrup on it's own, but it really went well with the fruit, especially the melon. The blue cheese crumbles were a last minute addition (which is why they are not pictured) that really put it over the top. But I am on a blue-cheese kick at the moment.


Thyme Syrup
1 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup water
Peel and juice from 1 lemon
4 large sprigs fresh thyme, preferably lemon thyme

3 cups each diced cantaloupe and honeydew melon
1 pint blueberries
1/2 pint strawberries quartered
mild blue cheese crumbles

1. Lemon-Thyme Syrup: Bring all ingredients to a gentle boil in a small saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and lemon peel. Cool syrup to room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

2. Salad: Just before serving, gently toss together fruit in a serving bowl; add 1⁄3 cup of the thyme syrup and toss. Spoon into dessert bowls or glasses and garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Serve with extra thyme syrup, if desired.

Then for fun, I made myself a cocktail with some of the leftover syrup.

Lemon-Thyme Rita on the rocks:

shot of tequila
1/4 c Lemon-Thyme Syrup
1/2 c lemonade

It was just lovely.

This salad recipe was adapted from

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 6 Salad 6 - Another Mixed Salad

This is just a simple salad. You can add whatever you have on hand. This is what I had tonight.

4 c spinach
1 c butter lettuce
1/2 peeled red apple cut into bite size chunks
6 grape tomatoes - halved
2 oz garlic herb goat cheese
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c shredded carrot
bacon bits

ok y'all. I made this yesterday. I just threw it together. You can too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 5 Salad 5 - Curry Carrot Apple Slaw

I was in the mood for a sweet and savory salad tonight.

4 c shredded carrots
2 c shredded peeled red apple
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c pecans
2 Tbs mayo
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp hot horseradish

This is very satisfying if you are Jonsing for curry. I dig the sweet and spicy thang too. I am a big fan of horseradish too. I love to add it to slaws. I could have eaten 2 bowls of this.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 4 Salad 4 - Mack Family Farm House Salad

This is the salad we make as dinner about every other week, sometimes more often in the summer.

Mack Family Farm House Salad

4 cup baby spinach
4 cup mixed spicy greens
1 inch chunks of peeled cucumber
1/2 c grape tomatoes
1/4 c garlic herb goat cheese
bacon pieces

House Dijon Vinaigrette:

good seasoning natural packet (please don't judge me)
1 big clove fresh garlic (grated on a micro-plane)
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 c veg oil
1 tsp Dijon
splash Braggs amino acids

OK- This is a classic tossed green salad. You don't really need me to tell you how to make it right? We all love this salad around here.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 3 Salad 3 - Raw Aparagus Salad

Tonight I wanted to make something super simple, so this seemed like a perfect fit.


julienned raw asparagus

Mack House Dijon Vinaigrette:

good seasoning natural packet (please don't judge me)
1 big clove fresh garlic (grated on a micro-plane)
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 c veg oil
1 tsp Dijon
splash Braggs amino acids

Simply julienne the spears (or slice them in ribbons with a vegetable peeler), toss them in a vinaigrette, and pile on a plate.

This could not be any simpler. I did not have much luck with my veggie peeler, so I just sliced the spears with a knife. It was tastier than I thought it would be. We all give this salad a big thumbs up. The baby LOVED it.

I found this recipe on the Foodista Blog. She made it for Super Bowl Sunday as a bit of green amongst the meat, cheese, and chips. The original recipe is here:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 2 Salad 2 - Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

It's day 2 and I made another great salad. I saw this recipe on Good Eats and thought "YUM!" so I took this opportunity to try it out. After a bit of research online, I saw that some recipes add shallots and honey mustard to the dressing and that sounded even better, so I went ahead and added them here.

OK- the one bummer in making this warm dressing is you have to have everyone ready to eat when you whip up the dressing- otherwise it separates. It really does need to be served immediately.

Another tip is to age your eggs if you are using farm fresh eggs. The fresher they are, the harder they are to peel. I keep my eggs for hard-boiling in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (This is my version of Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats on the Food Network)


8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1 shallot chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp Hot Honey mustard (I used Harry and David- that's just what I had in the door of my fridge- Thanks Mom)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 white mushrooms, halved and sliced
1/4 of a small red onion, very thinly sliced


Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the eggs into a pot and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Once the water comes to a boil, take the pot off the burner and set aside. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. take from hot water and put into an ice bath for 5 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces 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. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat add the chopped shallots and cook for 2 minutes and then whisk in the red wine vinegar and hot honey mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Add the egg. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

This salad was rich and decadent. I felt some pressure to eat it fast so that dressing was still warm, but other than that, it was a winner.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 1 Salad 1 - Red, White, and Blue Salad


I am making a commitment to eat at least one salad every day for the next year and blog about the process of making and eating it. I love salads, but I don't eat enough of them, so maybe this way I will be more motivated to eat them.

This is the first day and the first salad.

Red, White and Blue Salad:

1/4 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup baby bitter greens (I used baby chard and baby rocket)
1/4 Asian pear sliced
7 slices of sweet heat pickled beets
1/8 cup thinly sliced pickled red onion
a small chunk of Stilton blue cheese
12 candied pecans

Dijon Vinaigrette: This is my go-to dressing, the one I make most of the time

good seasoning natural packet (please don't judge me)
1 big clove fresh garlic (grated on a micro-plane)
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 c veg oil
1 tsp Dijon
splash Braggs amino acids

Place a bed of greens on the plate. Alternate pear slices and beets slices in a circle. Place blue cheese crumbles on the pear slices. Mound the red onion in the center. Sprinkle the pecans over any open spaces. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.

Making this salad is easy peasy. Just assemble the ingredients. I sort of took the long way to gathering the ingredients. I took a can of sliced beets and drained them and stuck them in some sweet heat pickle juice for a week. Then today, I took some of the juice and soaked the thinly sliced red onion in it for about an hour. I also candied the pecans myself. I used this recipe

This salad is AWESOME! The best part is you can make what I call "the perfect bite" if you stack each if the ingredients on top of each other to get a bit of each in every bite. DELISH!

Now, I made this myself, but you can purchase this salad at The Mural Cafe located at 104 N. 5th Street, Downtown Alpine, Texas 432.837.3400. They serve it with a lovely strawberry vinaigrette.