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Salads

Salads

Massaged Kale Salad

Simple salad and so good for you.

The first time I ever heard of a “massage” salad was when Aarti Sequeira won The Next Food Network Star back in 2010 and I remember her massaging away at a bowl of kale to make it tender. My first thought was “who gives their salad that much attention”. Up until seeing this “spa treatment” for a salad I wasn’t really fond of the green; kind of tough and scratchy to the throat I though.

I took Aati’s recipe and instead of the mangos she used I substituted golden raisins and I added some shallots and macadamia nuts. This little, simple salad was delicious and I think the more you “massage” it the better it gets. The sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of the macadamia nuts are a perfect combo. This salad can actually make it a couple of days in the refrigerator since the greens do not get soggy. Next time I may add some crispy prosciutto.

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Salads

Seaside Slaw

From the sea to your mouth, yum.

Cafeterias? Buffets? I guess the difference is a buffet you can eat as much as you want and a cafeteria you pay for each little morsel of food you put on your tray. As a kid I remember my grandparents taking us to Piccadilly Cafeteria in Memphis. They always use to say “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” because my sister and I tended to put so much on our trays we couldn’t possibly eat everything. And then along came the buffets.

Normally I don’t like buffets for several reasons. First of all I tend to eat too much; my “eyes are always bigger than my stomach” and I really do hate wasting food. Secondly, I feel like the food is sitting around a little too long and then I’m always thinking that it isn’t quite as good as something ordered off a menu.

On our trip to Beaches at Turks and Caicos this summer I did manage to eat at 20 out of the 21 restaurants on the property. Marios restaurant is probably one of the biggest there but I wasn’t really feeling “Italian” on a hot summer day or night. But, one day we were at the Italian pool on our way to the French pool (8 pools on the property so we had to hustle  to get to them all) and decided to stop in Mario’s and see what they had for their lunch buffet; the biggest antipasto bar I’ve ever seen and tiny little desserts awaited us and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I saw this slaw (and I do love all kinds of slaw/coleslaws) and couldn’t actual tell what was in it until I started picking it apart. Ok, so I’m one of those people that is going to sit and dissect a dish so I can make it once I get home.

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Salads

Asian Salad with Chicken

Thanks to BJ Brewhouse for this recipe.

I don’t know about you but I expect certain things in an Asian Salad; cabbage (red and savoy or Napa), Mandarin oranges, almonds, green onions just to name a few.

BJ Brewhouse use to have to best Asian salad but for some reason they changed their cabbages to lettuce and that does not work in an Asian salad for me so I no longer order it. Recently I ordered an Asian salad from Pei Wei (owned by Pf Changs). Not good and I told them about it (not in person of course; I do not have that much nerve). Their salad was made of lettuce, and tomatoes. I’ve never had an Asian salad with tomatoes and it didn’t even have an Asian salad tase. It was more like a “house” salad that they threw in some fried wonton strips and called it a day. No longer will we be going to that restaurant either. I’m really not that picky I don’t think.

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Salads

Avocado Bacon and Egg Pasta Salad

What’s not to like about ABE in anything?

Anything that has avocado, bacon and egg together has to be good. Can’t say why this recipe jumped off the page at me but my first thought was boy does that look like a good “potato” salad. And then after another look I thought it was tortellini pasta and then finally after looking at the recipe I realized it was a trottole (spinning top shape) pasta.

I love potato salad and I can’t tell you the last time I’ve made it. My Cauliflower Potato Salad kind of took the place of my traditional version. When I make the cauliflower version now I like to add just one potato to the recipe to give it a little more dimension in flavors. This recipe I think will be the best of both versions; potato and pasta but with more of a potato salad taste.

So, if you can’t find the trottole (Kroger sells it) I would probably use orecchiette (little ears), giggle (little flowers is beautiful), or even a rotelle (wagon wheels) to add some visual interest to the dish.

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Fruit Dishes/ Morning Foods/ Salads

Winter Fruit Salad & Spiced Yogurt Dressing

Just in time for a holiday meal.

We had some old friends (Jackie & Ron) visit from Colorado recently and it was so much fun catching up with each other lives. Ron said he still remembers hushpuppies I made them years ago and I told him my hushpuppies were much better these days.

For dinner one night I made some stuffed dates (dates I brought back from Israel) and my Prosciutto and Gruyere PalmiersRedfish Imperial, Fiery Angel Hair Pasta, Grilled Asparagus and for dessert was Julia’s Mixed Berry Clafoutis. 

So, how did it turn out? Well my stuffed dates were probably cooked a little too long, I put too much of the crab topping on the redfish and forgot to give it extra time under the broiler and my clafoutis which was suppose to be part custard/cake really turned out a little more solid than I wanted because I left it to warm in the oven too long. But, good friends are forgiving and they enjoyed the dinner and I kicked myself all night because my dessert wasn’t just right.

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Salads/ Side dish

Brussel Sprout and Date Salad

My Israeli dates made a wonderful salad.

I didn’t expect to see so much agriculture in Israel but we saw field after field of dates, olives, pomergrantes, and limes. All of their fields have drip irrigation; I guess that explains growing in the dessert.

Our first day of our tour (or I guess third if you count the two days getting there), we had rain the night before. It was their first rain in seven months and the morning ride on the bus still had us being sprinkled on — what did we see? The most beautiful, vivid rainbow I have ever seen. It was from end to end and you could see the lines of color so clearly and what happened next took us all by surprise — another rainbow appear on top of the first rainbow. What a way to start our trip.

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Salads

Pasta Spinach Salad with Mandarins and Cherries

Michigan cherries, yum!

Longest road trip ever back in August; Texas to Missouri, to Chicago, then Mackinac Island, Traverse City, then reverse that order and back to Chicago (it’s 1100 miles around Lake Michigan) to see son and family few more days then back to my sister’s in Missouri then after a few more days back to Texas.

I don’t do well in a car for more than three hours but give me my iPad with internet access and I can survive any road trip. Do I sound like someone’s kid or what? So I have plenty of time to research recipes.

I found this salad recipe while looking for something different to make over the summer and I ended up saving the recipe because I wanted to use some Michigan dried cherries I would be buying on our trip. Sure I could buy died cherries here, but what fun would that be I wanted to drive 1,600 miles to get mine from the source. And, since Fall is fast approaching I opted for roasted pepitas (pumpkin) seeds in place of the pine nuts that are so often used in salad recipes.

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Salads

Trofie Pasta Salad with Bacon and Avocado

Is macaroni pasta or not?

Who doesn’t love a good pasta/macaroni salad and this one made an appearance at our annual fall craft circle potluck.

I love potlucks because it gives me a chance to try out some different recipes knowing that there will be a lot of ladies there and I won’t be bringing much home, if anything?

This recipe I saw over at Damn Delicious website. I love her recipes and they are always so beautiful. I’ve tried quite a few of them and posted some on this site. Sometimes I will mess with a recipe and sometimes I just leave it alone and maybe tweak it a little next time I make it.

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Salads

Basil Pistachio Salad Dressing

Looking for a new salad dressing?

How is your summer going? Ours is going by pretty fast. Daughter/family home for visit for Memorial day weekend, then the next weekend son from Austin came with family/friends, then next weekend daughter back for class reunion, then next weekend picked up two of the grandsons from Austin and this weekend they will swing back through The Woodlands on their way back from beach trip. They have been my guinea pigs for the past few weeks with a few new recipes I’ve been wanting to try out on someone.

Summer is the perfect season for any kind of fresh, crisp, green or pasta salad and who isn’t looking for something healthy and light for lunch/dinner. Add some roasted or grilled chicken or seafood to this salad and you have a very light, not filling dinner.

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Salads

Couscous Salad with Strawberry, Avocado and Lime Vinaigrette

Israeli couscous!

So, we’re going to Israel in October and I’m wondering how much couscous I will be eating; I’m sure it will be the Israeli variety, or I hope so anyway. I know I will be eating a lot of hummus; good thing I love the stuff. Especially love my version with white beans. Never had falafel and I guess that will be on the menu too. The only thing I have been warned not to try is “Jesus fish” and I’m kind of picky about the kinds of fish I like so I will NOT try that; I’ll let HUB try it and he can tell me how bad it is.

Back to the subject of this post — couscous. I’m not sure when couscous came on my food radar but maybe somewhere in the last 8 years or so.  I always thought it was a grain I guess because the small variety looks like it could be a grain. But couscous isn’t a grain at all it is a pasta. I’m not fond of the small variety of couscous; too many little pieces and it just doesn’t show up that well in a salad and mine tends to mush together. 

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Salads

Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Shrimp

Who says a pasta salad can’t be fun.

I picked up this interesting package of pasta on my Sante Fe trip last September and I’m just now getting around to doing something with it. The pasta is called Organic Leftovers Colored. All kinds of interesting shapes from Castles to bow ties, tubes, wheels, Viking helmets and shields. I knew this was going to be a fun pasta to eat. Here is one from Amazon that even looks prettier than the one I bought.

I really like all the different shapes in one package. When my sister and I were kids we use to eat Campbels Alphabet Soup. We would pick though it and try to spell out things with the pasta letters. Maybe I’ll pick through this pasta and pull out all the castles, horses and wine glasses and set up a little Games of Thrones Salad.

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Salads

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Why have I never posted this recipe?

I don’t know why I’ve never posted this recipe. I guess I thought that maybe everyone has already tried it. I’ve been making this salad for over 20 years and the recipe came from Stop and Smell the Rosemary cookbook which came out in 1996.

This is the perfect summer salad made with fresh baby spinach, some fresh out of the patch sweet strawberries, fresh dill and toasted almonds or pistachios. The dressing has a bit of sugar in it for just the right amount of sweetness to go with the other ingredients. A little crispy bacon bits on top would be a great addition but not part of the original recipe.

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