Category Archives: Salads

Broccoli Salad

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You know those recipes that just instantly remind you of your childhood, family gatherings and summer BBQ’s?  Well, this is one of those for me.  I hadn’t eaten this in years and actually had never made it in my own kitchen, until a while ago, one of my girlfriends hosted a summer BBQ and served this salad.  I went nuts for it and ate WAY more than my fair share.  Since then, I have been making batches of this salad to keep in the fridge for weekday lunches as it is so satisfying and nice to have on hand for a quick and easy lunch.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the caloric value in the recipe, because lets face it…mayo, bacon, cheese…three delicious items, but when put together, not exactly the healthiest when consumed together in a “salad”. So, I wanted to revamp it a little.  First things first, there was no way I was going to eliminate the bacon…well, because bacon is delicious.  BUT, I could attack the mayo and omit the cheese.  So, I tweaked the mayo by using 2/3 greek yogurt and keeping 1/3 the mayo.  This still gave us the mayo “taste”, but allowed me to add a good source of protein in the form of greek yogurt, not to mention reducing the calories and fat.  Omitting the cheese is a case-by-case decision – if you are serving this for company, I suggest including it, but if it is a weekday lunch salad, I don’t think the salad absolutely needs it to be delicious!

I can’t wait to whip-up another batch of this salad soon…and I know it won’t last long!

Enjoy.

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Broccoli Salad

Yield:  6 servings, 1 cup each
Prep Time:  15-20 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes for the bacon

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt (or fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup  mayo/Miracle Whip Spread
  • 2 TBSP sugar (you can also substitute Splenda for the sugar – just use a touch less)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • 6-8 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 6 slices bacon (whatever your family favourite is!)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups of raisins or craisins, whichever you prefer
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

Prepare bacon according to package directions or using your favourite method (I love baking my bacon in the oven, on a baking sheet.  So easy to do and clean-up is a breeze!)  Once bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces and set-aside.

In a bowl, mix together the greek yogurt, mayo, sugar and vinegar and stir well.

Wash and dry the broccoli florets.  Cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl/container (with a lid is a great option, to make storage/clean-up easier!) mix together the broccoli florets, the dressing, bacon, onion, raisins and cheddar cheese (if you are using it).  Mix well.

Place the salad in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour, or longer, to allow the flavours to develop.

Serve and keep cold.

Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Kraft Kitchen (and from my friend NP!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Side Dishes

SRC: Lemongrass Chicken

Another month, another SRC recipe.  I’ve missed SRC, it was on hiatus for the Christmas season and it is finally time to post our new recipe – yeay!

This month I received the fabulous blog, Shockingly Delicious, which can’t be describe with words – you just have to visit her site.  She has over 25 years of food writing and recipe developing under her belt, and it comes through glaringly on her site – she has won awards for her pies, been featured in numerous newspapers for her food writing and was even featured in Saveur magazine – ya, this lady is Talented – with a capital T.

As always with a new blog to explore, I dove right in, bookmarking and pining recipes immediately.  She has a young family, and so her blog features many kid friendly recipes – which adds a fun twist on a lot of the other blogs I read. I cannot wait to try a few of her pie recipes when most of the fruit comes into season (she only has 21 to choose from and you know, awards to boot).  Thank you Dorothy, for a great blog and much inspiration.

Now, to the recipe – umm, hello delicious.  CH chose this one (it is our new “thing” with SRC – I go through the site, shortlist to maybe 10 recipes, and CH then chooses what recipe I should make).  This one was a hands-down winner and one that I KNOW will be on our table again, and again.  We love flavour (uh, did you know that yet?) and definitely had that.  This Vietnamese-American dish was right up our alley as it featured lemongrass, ginger, fish sauce, garlic, etc., all of which blended to create an absolutely beautiful flavour profile, that left us wanting more.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was the cooking method and the length of marinading – living a) in Ontario, b) it being winter, and c) not having a patio/deck, grilling was not an option.  So, I decided to bake the chicken in the marinade, broil it for a few minutes at the end (to get a crispy outside) and then I reduced the marinade to a sauce. I also opted to only marinade the chicken for 2 hours before I cooked it, and use boneless skinless thighs, and even with these changes, it was PERFECT.  I am not sure if I will deviate from this method the next time I make it…we will see though.

In any event, give this recipe a try.  I served it over a bed of romaine lettuce, rice noodles, and julienned vegetables (red pepper, carrot, cucumber) and then sprinkled a few springs of basil on top – with the reduced sauce – it was a light, healthful dinner that was packed with flavour – just wish I had more leftovers.

Enjoy.

Lemongrass Ginger Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger (about 3 tablespoons finely minced)
  • 5 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoon palm sugar (or use brown sugar)
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • S&P, to taste
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Directions – Marinade:

If you haven’t used lemongrass before – to prepare it, simply peel the outer layer of lemongras, cut off top third of stalk, then cut off root end of stalk; discard. Thinly slice the remaining lemongrass and then finely mince it.

Peel and finely mince the ginger and garlic. Finely mince the jalapeno (if you like a milder flavor, begin by slicing pepper in half and removing seeds before mincing).

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together lemongrass, ginger, garlic, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil and rice vinegar.

Place the chicken thighs in large zipper-top plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage the chicken and the marinade together with your fingers. Zip the top, squeezing air out, and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours (original recipe says 1 hour is fine, Shockingly Delicious recommends 1-2 days).

Directions – Cooking:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the chicken and the marinade into a 9×12 baking dish.  Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and no-longer pink.

Turn-off the oven, and turn-on the broiler to HIGH.  Broil the chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly crisp and nicely brown.

Using tons or a fork, remove chicken and place on plate – set aside.

Place all of the leftover marinade into a small saucepan and heat over medium-high.  Allow mixture to come to a boil, cook for 2-3 minutes, and then remove from heat.  Strain sauce using a colander or sieve (you don’t want any random pieces of lemongrass or garlic in your dish!). Taste sauce and adjust S&P.

Serve chicken with the sauce, and whatever side dish you please.

Enjoy.

Source: Adapted from Shockingly Delicious, originally from RusticGardenBistro.com 

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Vietnamese

French Bistro Salad (aka Simple Green Salad)

This post looks like I am just giving you a recipe for lettuce, right?

Well, I am not.  I am giving you a recipe for the quintessential French bistro salad, and it is from none other than the famous (and simply incredible) Ms. Julia Child herself.

Since arriving in France, I can confirm that they don’t indulge in a lot of vegetables during their main meals, or at least this has been my experience at the restaurants I’ve visited. However, most main plates are accompanied by a small green salad. But this isn’t just any green salad, this is the FRENCH green salad.  It is dressed with the most perfect dressing, one that is light, yet flavourful and definitely not overpowering.  I always yearn for more (and end up stealing CH’s off his plate).

So, I have been on the hunt for a recipe for this dressing since I arrived in France and tasted my first bistro salad.  I’ve probably tried about 5 or 6 recipes, and bought 3 types of oil.  None of them have matched the bistro salads I’ve had. One afternoon, I was working away on some school stuff and I decided that I wanted to watch a food show, to get inspired (and to hear some English!).  I clicked onto Hulu and up came 6 Julia Child episodes.  I decided it was fate, given that these were French recipes, but in English.  So, away went the books and I spent the afternoon enthralled with Julia Child & Jacques Pepin and all of their antics and recipes.  The very last episode I watched was their “Salad” episode and what was their first recipe…yupp, none other than a simple French green salad.  Julia Child described it as “one of the best things” and I couldn’t agree more.  I watched the segment 3 times, just to make sure I got the ingredients correct and I tried to measure out by eye how much of each ingredient she was using, since she doesn’t state it explicitly.  I ran immediately to my kitchen and made this salad (having just picked up a head of green lettuce that morning).

I sat down and was immediately overjoyed.  This was it – this was the salad I had been yearning for.  So simple, so quick, but so special.  You may have to play with the quantities of the ingredients a bit, depending on your mustard, olive oil and the acidity of your lemon juice, but keep adjusting until it suits your taste buds.

So, if you are looking for a simple salad to accompany a flavourful main dish or just a taste of France – this salad is it.  Also, do yourself a favour and watch a few Julia Child episodes, she is truly amazing.  Her salad episode (on Hulu) can be found here.

Enjoy a taste of France!

(and yes, I brought my MAFC with me to France!)

Simple Green Salad

Yield: 4 side salads or 2 main course servings
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  n/a

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green lettuce (butter or green leaf)
  • 1 or 2 green onions (scallions), diced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • S&P (be generous with the pepper)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil

Directions:

Wash your lettuce and dry thoroughly (using a salad spinner).  Tip – Jacques Pepin explicitly states that a salad should be cold, but not too cold.  Therefore, wash your lettuce and dry it, and then prepare your dressing as your lettuce sits.

For the dressing.

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, lemon juice and S&P and whisk well to combine.  Slowly, add the olive oil and whisk until smooth and well incorporated.  That’s it.

Place the salad in a large bowl and top with dressing immediately before serving.

Enjoy.

Recipe From Julia Childs & Jacques Pepin

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Filed under French, Healthy, Mains, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan