Category: Salads

Green Bean Pasta Salad

Between the spring like weather and the time change, it seemed the right time to make some pasta salad.  I had seen this recipe in Real Simple, but it’s not quite green bean season yet and I didn’t have any fresh parsley either.  With frozen green beans and pantry spices, I forged ahead.  I am so glad I did; the pasta salad was a great change of pace, and quite colorful.

 

 

 

Green Bean Pasta Salad

2 c. whole wheat penne, cooked until al dente
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen green beans, steamed
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
Thyme, Salt, and Pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Season to taste and serve.

-Adapted from Real Simple

 

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Remember those colorful salads packed with local vegetables from the Farmer’s Market in August?  Those were great, I know.   But I saw this recipe for a Roasted Root Vegetable salad which is more realistic for this time of year.

You can use whatever vegetables happen to be available, but make sure to roast them until they are tender.  When they cool to room temperature, toss them with your favorite salad dressing for even more flavor.  I used the Easy Honey Mustard Dressing recipe, which is equal parts oil, lemon juice, honey, and mustard.  That’s it, nothing complicated, just another way to enjoy a bowl of vegetables.

 

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

4 shallots, peeled and halved
3 c. butternut squash cut into 1″ pieces
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
2 T canola oil
Salt and Pepper
Dressing of your choice, such as Honey Mustard

Mix vegetables with oil in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast at 400F for 45-50 minutes, or until tender.  Cool to room temperature, and toss with salad dressing.

Mexican Grilled Salad

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!  Did you try any of the recipes I suggested for an End of Summer BBQ?  My classes start today, and I am actually really excited about the new semester.  There’s a lot left to learn, and I want to keep moving towards the goal of being a Registered Dietitian.  But if you’re not ready for fall, don’t worry.  There’s at least a week of summer left on Recipes that Fit, and it will be full of tomatoes, eggplant, and corn.

This salad was at least partially made with ingredients from a Rhode Island farmer’s market, and  is a variation of the Mediterranean Chopped Salad from earlier this summer.  The corn, tomatoes, and onion can all be grilled in advance.

 

I got the idea for grilled croutons from Emeril, and added a Mexican flair by dipping the bread in a mixture of olive oil and chili powder.

 

Of course, any of the salad ingredients can be optional, and you could add sliced jalapenos if you’d like your salad to have more kick.  I used queso fresco, which is a soft and mild cheese, but shredded cheddar would also be good.  This might be the last time I eat fresh corn this season, and this salad was the perfect way to enjoy it!

 

Mexican Grilled Salad

Ears of Corn, husks removed
Onion, sliced thickly
Tomatoes, cut in half and seeds removed
Baguette slices
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Cumin
Romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn
Black Beans, rinsed and drained
Avocado, diced
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Olives sliced
Limes

1. Place corn and onion slices directly on a hot grill.  Cook until nicely browned.  Cool slightly, and remove corn niblets with a knife.  Chop grilled onion.
2. Drizzle tomato halves with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until browned and softened, using a grill basket if available.  Cool slightly, remove tomato skins, and chop.
3. Dip baguette slices in a mixture of olive oil and chili powder.  Place directly on a hot grill, and cook until browned.  Cool slightly, and chop into croutons.
4. Mix 3 T olive oil, 2-3 T lime juice, 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t chili powder, 1/8 t salt, and 1/8 t cayenne pepper in a small bowl. (Makes enough dressing for 3-4 salads.)
5. Assemble salads using all ingredients, drizzle with dressing, and serve.

 

Mediterranean Chopped Salad

One of my favorite meals this weekend was Mediterranean Chopped Salad, which I made by loosely following a recipe from Oprah. I love that we served it salad bar style, and everyone could pick and choose their own salad ingredients. The choices included chopped Romaine, grilled zucchini, eggplant, and red onion, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese. Everything looked so pretty on an antique tablecloth from my grandmother.

The salad bar was great, but the basil dressing stole the show. I used a smoothie maker to blend everything together, and the result was incredible. I was a bad blogger and didn’t document the exact measurements, but the dressing roughly contained:
    • 1 chopped shallot
  • 1 spoonful of minced garlic

 

  • 1 spoonful of mustard

 

  • 1 spoonful of sugar

 

  • 1 cup basil leaves

 

  • 1/2 c. red wine vinegar

 

  • 1 c. olive oil

 

  • 1/4 c. water

 

Here is a shot of my Dad’s (first) bowl, ready to be enjoyed with a glass of wine on the deck. We may have to make the Mediterranean salad bar a Fourth of July tradition!

Tofu Croutons

Tofu can be so….controversial. Some people love it, some hate it, and some don’t understand it. Some people just aren’t sure what to do with it, and those are the ones I am here to help today.

I tried this Perfect Baked Tofu recipe from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point. First, you make a marinade with oil, honey, and spices. Then you cube the tofu and toss the cubes in the marinade, and bake for 30 minutes. The recipe is so easy! But I over baked the tofu…..by a lot. I kind of liked these crispy spicy-sweet cubes so I used them as croutons in this salad of Romaine, cucumbers, and feta. The tofu is more of an accent here than the focus of the dish, and that’s often an easy way to introduce new foods into your diet. The croutons made this salad a lot more interesting, and they turned out to be a delicious mistake.

Kale Salad with Parmesan and Lemon

I came home from Allandale Farm with dinosaur kale, which is a bit different from the curly variety I usually buy. The leaves are darker and softer as well.

People rave about Kale Chips, but I prefer using kale for massaged salad. I found this recipe for Kale Salad with Pecorino and Lemon, and decided to use both the dino kale and the Swiss chard to create a larger salad. The first step is to cut the stems out of the leaves, and then cut the leaves in a chiffonade. You basically need to roll the leaves up and slice, and this video provides a good demonstration. Then you combine the cut greens with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and let it sit for at least an hour. You can garnish it with the sharp cheese of your choice, and serve.

After just an hour, the leaves were as tender as spinach, and full of flavor. I think the combination of kale and chard worked well to provide some variety. A bowl full of greens is the perfect base for any meal.

Spring Tabbouleh

With the sun brightly shining this week, I couldn’t resist trying this recipe for Spring Tabbouleh from 101 Cookbooks. Instead of traditional tabbouleh which relies heavily on parsley, this version uses fresh chives. I modified things further and used quinoa instead of bulgur. So you might argue that this isn’t tabbouleh at all, and you’re right, but I can’t think of a better name at the moment.

I even shelled my own peas for this recipe, which actually turned out to be kind of fun. The peas and asparagus are lightly steamed, and then added to the cooked grain along with chopped walnuts, chives, and a bright dressing of lemon juice and olive oil. I skipped the hard boiled eggs here, only because I had used all the eggs last week baked in sweet potatoes. The walnuts give the salad a nice crunch, and the dish is easily portable, which makes it a winner. Does this look just a little familiar? Yes, I thought so too while I was eating it, and dug through the blog archives. I found this Spring Green Quinoa recipe from two years ago, which is indeed similar. But they’re both good recipes which use quinoa, a very fun whole grain!