elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: tomatoes

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This post features a bunch of recipes. Not only is there the salad and dressing, but I also want to share  this simple way to make baked chips. I served it with leftover vegan cashew avocado “cream” from these incredible tofu tacos I discovered on Love and Lemons. 

To make the salad (I measured nothing):

Put some chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl.

Top with the following: I chose to do it cobb-salad style, but you can toss it all together, too. Go loco.

  • radishes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grilled corn (Soak it first for about a half an hour. Grill on medium-high for about 10 minutes, rotating a few times. Then, let it cool and cut it off the cob)
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped red bell peppers
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • drained black beans
  • optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • You can also do: avocado, jicama, etc.

Basic cilantro-lime dressing:

Blend the following until smooth:

  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • a little bit of honey (or agave or sweetener of your choice)
  • salt/pepper
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • water to thin out as needed

For the chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare oil: Mix together a few tablespoons of olive oil with spices of your choice. I did a few shakes of cumin and paprika, and then a few pinches of salt.
  3. Put a stack of corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut them into sixths (first cut in half and then cut each half into thirds)
  4. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on a cookie sheet (no overlapping) and brush both sides with the oil mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
  5. Serve with salad and dip of choice.

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My challenge this morning was to create “salads” that could be eaten on a boat, picnic style. Whether you’re heading to a barbeque, movie night in the park, or any other occasion where utensils are a hassle, here are a few easy ideas:

The first is  caprese salad…on a stick. You need:

  • small mozzarella balls, cut in half
  • a bunch of grape tomatoes
  • basil leaves
  • salt
  • your favorite balsamic vinegar dressing (you can make your own by whisking/shaking equal parts vinegar and olive oil)
  • toothpicks

Assemble toothpicks with the mozzarella on the bottom, flat side down so it can stand. Then, fold one basil leaf in half and put it on the toothpick. The grape tomato tops it off. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic dressing.

The other option is chopped up vegetables and some great dressing as dip. I went with Sang Lee’s sweet ginger dressing. The farmer’s market had quite a selection for dippable vegetables today. I went with: wax beans, red and green bell peppers, burpless cucumbers and carrots. I also used some home-grown roma beans.

OK, it may not be rocket science… but it’s August and sometimes we just want to cut vegetables and use them as a vehicle for good dip.

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This recipe comes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, the creative vegetarian cookbook by Kris Carr and Chad Sarno. Not only is this chili delicious and filled with vegetables, but it can be made in under 45 minutes from start to finish. Serve with your favorite chips. We tried Lundberg’s rice chips–Fiesta Lime flavor. We crushed them up and sprinkled them on top for added crunch and flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, finely diced (omit seeds or use less jalapeño for a milder chili)
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups ground seitan, crumbled tempeh, or finely diced mushrooms (I used frozen Quorn crumbles)
  • 1 zucchini, diced (I used 2 small zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup diced potato
  • 1 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed (The recipe called for 2 black bean and one kidney, but I reversed it because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 15-oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-oz. can of crushed tomatoes, such as San Marzano
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • Diced avocado, for garnish, optional

Directions:

1. Toast cumin seeds in dry soup pot over medium heat for 2 minutes or until aromatic.

2. Add oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Stir until onion is golden and translucent. Add chili powder, seitan, zucchini, and potato, and stir well. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, 2 cups water, maple syrup, sea salt, and cilantro. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

3. Remove from heat;  stir in kale. Garnish with diced avocado and sprigs of fresh cilantro, if using.


Guest blogger day! My mom sent me this beautiful and tasty-looking recipe. One thing that I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t include a ton dried spices, so you won’t find yourself running to 12 different stores trying to find 1 teaspoon of some random spice that you will never use agin.  She said that this recipe filled a quart sized mason jar perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1  3X1/2″ strip lemon peel (NO WHITE, just yellow)
  • 12 oz little tomatoes (any kind) (I mixed!)
  • 1/4 Cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I used 4)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Directions:

  1. Pour vinegar and water into saucepan. Add salt, sugar and lemon peel. bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat. Let cool 20 minutes.
  2. Pierce each tomato 2 times with slender wooden skewer or toothpick. (I did 2 pierces, making 4 holes, and I cut the bigger ones in half)
  3. Toss tomatoes with dill, garlic, and crushed red pepper in large bowl.
  4. Add cooled vineger mixture.
  5. Let stand at room temp at least 2 and up to 8 hours.

These can stay in fridge about 2 weeks.


My parents went out east to go for a bike ride. They came back with a bushel of corn. Apparently it was a bargain. As a result, I got a fridge full of corn! (Yes, you are supposed to refrigerate corn if you are not going to use it that day.) 

What to do with the surplus of corn? I wanted to make a corn chowder that didn’t require me to drink a cup of heavy cream. Enter coconut milk. This chowder would go really well with a side of basmati rice. This recipe comes from The Food Network’s site

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 cups diced red-skinned potatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into thirds (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced ( I used green jalapeño–keep the seeds in if you want some more heat)
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I used the light version)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced

Directions

  1. Cut off the corn kernels; set aside. Combine the cobs, 1 cup potatoes, 1/2 cup scallions, 1 tablespoon ginger, the garlic, peppercorns and 5 cups water in a pot. Smash the lemongrass, if using, and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. About 10 minutes before the broth is finished, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a separate pot. Add the remaining 1 cup potatoes, season with salt and cook until slightly soft, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and the jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Add the corn kernels; cook until the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Strain the broth, pressing out as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Add 2 cups of the strained broth to the potatoes and corn; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, basil and mint; season with salt. Stir until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the radishes, cilantro and lime juice. Top with diced tomato and the remaining 1/4 cup scallions and serve with lime wedges.

This salad was a huge hit last night. Perhaps it was the backdrop of a beautiful sunset that swayed people’s opinions, but I’m going to give all the credit to the dressing. I’m not typically a ranch dressing kind of gal, but this one was tangy (I was a bit liberal with the vinegar) and not too heavy. This recipe made a good amount of dressing for 4 cups of thinly sliced green cabbage, 2 chopped tomatoes, and 1 jicama peeled and cut into 1/ 2 inch cubes. However, it would be great over any vegetable with a good crunch factor that you have lying around…do I hear the kohlrabi from last week’s CSA calling to you? 

I found this gem of a recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and it originated from Gourmet magazine.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients through the sugar.

2. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the chives.

3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


This is a salad adapted from a delicious Mexican Pie Dip traditionally served at my family’s Thanksgiving and famous for spoiling my appetite for dinner several years in a row.

Individual servings of the salad can be made in one bowl (as shown in the picture), or you can make a giant salad in a large pie pan. 

NOTE: If you want to make the dip, it is is made without the lettuce. Instead of crumbling the chips on top, just serve chips alongside the dip.  It also is made with double the sour cream/mayo/taco seasoning mix and less tomatoes.  Really, you can adapt quantity of the different ingredients to your choosing. 

Ingredients:

  • one container of black bean dip of your choice
  • homemade gruacamole (3 avocados mashed up, 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, juice of half a lime, salt and pepper)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 3 cups bibb lettuce (or your favorite lettuce)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 small container sliced black olives
  • 10-15 tortilla chips, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Make guacamole by combining ingredients listed above (or buy store-bought guac)
  2. Mix taco seasoning mix with the sour cream and mayo.
  3. Layer ingredients in a large pan in the following order: bean dip, guacamole, cheddar cheese, taco seasoning mixture, lettuce, tomato, scallion, olives, chips.
  4. Dig in.