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Archive for the ‘dressing’ Category

Another fast and easy lunch or dinner, perfect for summer. Fire up the grill (or your frying pan). The red pepper spread is perfect with the chicken and mushrooms.

Chicken and portabello baguette (from Mayo Clinic)

1 large red bell pepper, roasted and seeded

1 shallot, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 large portabello mushrooms, stemmed, brushed clean, and halved

1 whole-grain baguette, cut crosswise into 4 sections, each about 6″ long

1 tomato, thinly sliced

lettuce leaves

Chop the roasted bell pepper coarsely. In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted pepper, shallot, walnuts, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Pulse a few times to puree and set aside.

In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides and no longer pink on the inside (170 F if using a food thermometer), 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Thinly slice the chicken lengthwise into strips. (You can also do this on the grill)

In the same frying pan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute, turning frequently, until well browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. (you can also grill these, too, instead of frying)

Using a serrated knife, split the baguette sections in half lengthwise. Spread about 1 tablespoon red pepper mixture on both halves of each baguette section. To assemble a sandwich, place 1 mushroom half on the bottom half of a baguette section. Top with 1/4 of the chicken, a lettuce leaf, and 1 or 2 tomato slices. Close the sandwich with the top half of the baguette section, and slice in half. Repeat to make 3 more sandwiches, and then serve. If making ahead, omit the red pepper mixture, wrap the sandwiches in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Spread the red pepper mixture on the baguettes just before serving. Makes 4 sandwiches.

 

 

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A quick and fabulous salad for summer days and after work specials. Comes together easily. All the flavors seemed to complement each other. Shout out to Chaos in the Kitchen.

Asian chicken salad with roasted peanuts and mango

approximately 1/2 cup Asian-style dressing, to taste (see below)

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or minced

10 ounces fresh baby spinach, arugula, or other salad greens mix

2 cups sliced bell peppers, red, yellow, or orange

3 green onions, thinly sliced

3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped; or the meat from a rotisserie chicken

1/2 – 1 cup honey roasted peanuts, crushed

1 mango, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Mix dressing, cilantro, and ginger in a small bowl. Let stand.

Toss salad greens with peppers, onions, chicken, and peanuts. Dress salad to taste and toss to combine. Add mango and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Asian salad dressing:

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/4 cup peanut oil or other mild salad oil

Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Shake to combine.

 

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Here’s a delicious pasta salad that was easy to adapt to nondairy. I went to my local health food store, where they sell frozen soy ravioli, but this would also taste good with gnocchi, which is usually made nondairy also. Instead of feta cheese, which was called for, I grated some soy mozzarella. The flavors blend nicely in this dish – it’s not over-powering zing; just nicely seasoned and spiced.

Spinach, artichoke, and soy ravioli pasta salad (inspired by this recipe)

20 ounces soy ravioli (I used frozen), or gnocchi

2 tablespoons oil

salt

8 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper, minced

1 14-ounce can baby artichoke hearts, quartered

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, julienned

1/4 cup soy mozzarella, grated

Boil a large pot of water. Add oil and salt to water. Add ravioli and boil 4 – 5 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain pasta and spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, add chopped spinach, red pepper, artichoke hearts, and olives. Toss.

On a cutting board, sprinkle minced garlic with coarse salt. Mash garlic with the flat of your knife, scraping back and forth until garlic becomes a paste. Scrape up the garlic paste with your knife and add it to a small jar. Add red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, and black pepper. Shake or whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over spinach. Toss well. Add cooled pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Toss again and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 cups.

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I have found more than a few really good and healthy recipes over at the Mayo Clinic site. I turned this one into a complete meal, adding some grilled tarragon chicken that I bought at Trader Joe’s. Perfect on a hot summer evening, even if it’s not summer yet.

Dilled pasta salad with spring vegetables

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dill weed

cracked black pepper, to taste

 

3 cups uncooked shell pasta, medium-sized

8 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup sliced green peppers

1/2 cup chopped green onions (I used 2 scallions)

2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (my addition)

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dill weed, and black pepper. Whisk to mix evenly. Set aside.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta thoroughly and rinse under cold water.

In a small saucepan, cover the asparagus with water. Bring to a boil and cook only until tender-crisp, about 3 – 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

In a large bowl, add the pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, green peppers, green onions, chicken, and dressing. Toss to mix evenly. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Makes 6 main course servings.

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A fabulous recipe! Really great photography, too. These were wonderful.

Raw veggie spring rolls

For the salad:

1 zucchini, shredded or julienned

1/2 cup mix vegetables, shredded or julienned (carrots, broccoli, green beans, cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, peapods, bell peppers, whatever you like)

For the dressing:

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon basil (fresh or dried)

1/2 teaspoon dill

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

pinch of salt, optional

handful of spinach

one package of rice spring rolls

Prepare the vegetables, then coat and toss with the dressing.

To prepare the spring rolls is quite easy. You’ll need a pie plate large enough to set the roll in, and fill it with hot water. The rolls are packaged as hard discs. As soon as they hit the hot water, they begin to soften. Within 5 – 10 seconds, the starch will give, and you can pull the disc out and place it on a flat surface, spreading out any wrinkles. Do one at a time.

Place several spinach leaves down as the base, then place a large fingerful amount of vegetable salad on top.

Fold the top and bottom edges over the salad, then pull one of the remaining sides over the filling, then roll into a cigar shaped log. Cut on the diagonal. This makes 7 – 8 spring rolls.

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A hearty and healthy sandwich. Roasting the veggies deepens the flavors, and the vinaigrette adds just the right zing.

Veggie sandwich with vinaigrette (modified slightly from Ezra Pound Cake blog)

Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, rosemary, or thyme

pinch of ground black pepper

Sandwich:

1 eggplant (1/2 pound), peeled and sliced

1 thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

20″ baguette

1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce (or your choice of greens)

4 slices soy mozzarella

2 thinly sliced tomatoes

8 fresh basil leaves, whole or chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, and set aside.

Spread the eggplant rounds on a 9×13 tray. Add the red pepper strips and onions, trying to keep the vegetables in a single layer. Reserving 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, pour the rest over the vegetables. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, until the eggplant is very tender.

When the veggies are done, split the baguette in half lengthwise. Brush the inside of each half with the reserved vinaigrette. Layer the bottom half of the baguette with the lettuce, place the eggplant rounds along the length of the loaf, and cover with the bell pepper strips and onions. Top with the cheese, tomato slices, and basil. Cover with the other baguette half, and slice to make sandwiches. Makes 4 man-sized sandwiches.

 

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I came home late from work the other day, and this recipe was so easy to put together, but it tasted much more sophisticated than its easy assembly. I would serve this to company – one bite invites another. The original recipe did not call for chicken, but I had some leftover, so I added it.

Sesame and cilantro vermicelli salad

honey soy dressing:

1/4 cup corn oil

3 tablespoons sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

salad:

8 ounces vermicelli or thin spaghetti

salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup sliced and chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

leftover chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, according to package directions. Drain but do not rinse.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes, in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the honey and soy sauce and mix well.

Combine the drained pasta with the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions, bell pepper (and chicken, if desired). Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Makes 4-8 servings.

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