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Salad Frenzy: 29 Recipes!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I don't know about anyone else, but I CANNOT eat enough green stuff right now (studded with the brightest colours), and I LOVE making salads... but we get in a rut. I'll stumble upon an especially pleasing to us combination of flavours and we then eat it every day until we are a little sick of it, LOL... and we eat a LARGE salad every day with our evening meal (an eight-cup bowl, shaped like a nappa cabbage leaf, FULL between three of us). I make all of my salad dressings from scratch on the spot.

I had the BEST salad this weekend... a Kale Caesar salad with nuts instead of croutons (and candy cane beets to garnish... SO pretty!)... and I learned the trick to making kale tender without cooking it (it's in the following recipes), and got lots of ideas for cutting up vegetables in a more interesting way for a variety of textures and presentations... my family LOVES food art!!! SCORE!

New things I can't wait to try:
■ using a peeler to cut up parboiled carrots
■ using a peeler to prepare asparagus for salad
■ Halloumi
■ ricotta salata
■ wilted spinach in a salad
■ new vinaigrettes
■ hunting down dandelion leaves (even if I have to pick them out of the lawn... we don't use herbicide, so it's all good)
■ authentic regional/ethnic flavours (I have not yet acuired the culinary wisdom to use fish sauce effectively, LOL)
■ flaked cooked COD in salad (don't know why I didn't think of this myself!)
■ finally buying a spiralizer!!!
■ simply roasting/grilling a variety of our favourite vegetables and tossing them with a new and unusual vinaigrette

This morning I found the following treasure, and have decided to share... though there are some... like the low-fat potatoe salad... that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole!!!

My favourite 'must try' finds (with some adjustment to accomodate our nutritional considerations) are incuded here. Bon Appetite!


Nutty Caesar Salad

Since its invention in 1924, the caesar salad has known many variations. We've thrown our hat into the ring with this delicious version, with nuts taking the place of some of the croutons.

■ 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cubed egg bread or Italian bread (omitted for us)
■ 1 cup (250 mL) sliced almonds
■ 1 cup (250 mL) pecan halves
■ 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut halves
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
■ 10 cups (2.5 L) torn romaine lettuce
■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
■ 4 tsp (20 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
■ 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard
■ 1 small clove garlic, minced
■ 3/4 tsp (4 mL) Worcestershire sauce
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy fillet, mashed) (optional)
■ 1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil


1. For Vinaigrette, mix together lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, anchovy paste (if using) and oil. Store in jar in the refrigerator.

2. Toss together bread, almonds, pecans, walnuts, oil and Parmesan cheese. Arrange in single layer on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in centre of 350‹F/180‹C oven for about 12 minutes or until toasted and golden. Let cool.

3. Gently toss bread-and-nut mixture with lettuce, then gently toss in Vinaigrette until coated.

TIP: Try substituting a small bunch of super-healthy kale for the romaine.

Warm Halloumi Quinoa Salad

Halloumi is a traditional fresh cheese from Cyprus that has a higher melting point than most other cheeses, so slices keep their shape even when grilled.

■ 2 small red beets
■ 2 small yellow beets
■ 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
■ 8 oz (225 g) halloumi cheese, cut in 8 slices
■ 2 cups (500 mL) quinoa (prepared from 3/4 cup / 132 g dry)
■ 4 cups (1 L) packed baby arugula (4 oz / 115 g)
■ 2 naval oranges, peeled and cut in slices
■ Spiced Almonds (see recipe below)
Orange Vinaigrette:
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
■ Zest of 1 orange (1 tbsp / 15 mL)
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh orange juice
■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
■ 2 cloves garlic, minced
■ 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
■ Pinch salt
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425‹F/220‹C. Wrap beets separately in aluminum-foil pouch. Cut fennel in half through core end and slice into 1/4-inch/5 mm wedges. In bowl, toss fennel with 1 tbsp/15 mL of the oil and salt; bake with beet pouch on foil-lined baking sheet for 30 to 45 minutes, turning fennel at halfway point, until fennel is caramelized and beets are tender. Let beets sit for 15 minutes; peel and slice into wedges.

2. Meanwhile, to make vinaigrette, in bowl, whisk together mustard, zest, juice, vinegar, garlic, honey, pepper and salt. Whisk in oil; set aside.

3. Preheat grill pan or skillet to high. Brush halloumi slices with remaining oil. Cook for about 1 minute per side, until golden brown.

4. In large bowl, toss cooked quinoa with fennel, arugula and vinaigrette. Divide salad among 4 plates; top with warm cheese and orange slices and scatter with roasted beets. Garnish with Spiced Almonds.

Spiced Almonds Recipe:
■ 1/3 cup / 75 mL whole almonds
■ 1 tbsp / 15 mL maple syrup
■ 1/2 tsp / 2 mL chili powder
■ 1/4 tsp / 1 mL salt
■ Pinch cayenne pepper

1. In small bowl, combine almonds, syrup, chili powder, salt and cayenne. Bake nuts in 350‹F/180‹C oven on a nonstick baking liner or a foil-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, until glazed. Let cool; break into pieces.

Vibrant Dandelion Shrimp Salad

Satisfy hearty appetites with this colourful zesty salad featuring fresh dandelion leaves.

■ 1 small red pepper
■ 1 orange
■ 3 radishes
■ Half small fennel bulb
■ 5 cups (1.25 L) torn dandelion greens (1 large bunch)
■ 3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar snap peas, sliced
■ 16 cooked large shrimp
Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette:
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
■ Juice of 1 lime
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced shallot
■ 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
■ 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cracked pepper


1. Using mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice red pepper, orange and radishes crosswise. Slice fennel lengthwise. Soak red pepper, radishes and fennel in cold water until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain.

2. For vinaigrette, in large bowl, whisk together oil, lime juice, shallot, honey, mustard, hot sauce and cracked pepper until blended.

3. Add dandelion leaves, peas, shrimp, red pepper, orange, radishes and fennel to bowl. Toss until coated.

Indian-Spiced Vinaigrette:

■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) cider vinegar
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
■ 1 small clove garlic, minced
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced fresh ginger
■ 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground coriander
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) curry powder
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
■ 1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil

While I have a very low tolerance for potatoes, my Mr. tolerates them just fine, and The Divine Miss O needs the carb load.

A favourite salad right now is a twist on warm German Potatoe Salad. I cook potatoes, and while they are still hot, I toss them in vinaigrette, stir in generous amounts of chopped parsley, celery, red/green pepper and it disappears before my very eyes, lol.

I want to try this vinaigrette, and instead of parsely I'll use cilantro, celery, and very thinly sliced carrots.

I also want to try this with cauliflower, yellow beets and Kale... and perhaps another version using sweet potatoe (NOT yams), chopped fennel and leeks... or drizzled over pan wilted baby bok choy (The Divine Miss O will think she's died and gone to heaven)!

New Potato Salad with Tuna

*For a wonderful treat, replace the tuna with flaked Poached Salt Cod.* Or, if you want the potato salad to accompany the steak rather than a separate course salad, you could leave out the tuna altogether and halve the vinaigrette.


■ 2 leeks (white and light green parts only)
■ 2 lbs (1 kg) small new potato
■ 2 cans (each 198 g) oil-packed tuna (or 2 cups/500 mL flaked poach salt cod)
■ 1/2 cup (125 mL) Nicoise or small black olives
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
■ 1/2 cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar
■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) dry white wine
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped chives
■ 1 tsp (5 mL) anchovy paste
■ 1 clove garlic, minced
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper


1. Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, wine, chives, anchovy paste, garlic, salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate.

2. Halve leeks lengthwise, keeping root end intact. In large pot of boiling salted water, boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to colander; chill under cold water and drain. Arrange on serving platter.

3. Add potatoes to pot; reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in colander. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes; halve and place in bowl.

4. Pour half of the vinaigrette over warm potatoes; toss and arrange on platter, drizzling any leftover vinaigrette in bowl over leeks. Top potatoes with tuna; scatter olives over salad. Whisk lemon juice into remaining vinaigrette; pour over tuna.

Shrimp and Grapefruit Salad

This salad, featuring grapefruit, is loosely based on a number of similarly flavoured Southeast Asian salads.

■ 3 grapefruits
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) peanut or vegetable oil
■ 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) rice or cider vinegar
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
■ 1 to 3 tsp (5 to 15 mL) minced hot peppers
■ 3/4 tsp (4 mL) granulated sugar
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper
■ 1 lb (500 g) cooked peeled deveined shrimp
■ 1 head Boston lettuce
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
■ 2 green onions, finely sliced
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) loosely packed fresh mint (or 2 tsp/10 mL dried)
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh coriander (optional)


1. Cut off peel and remove pith from grapefruits. Over bowl, cut out sections from between membranes. Drain, reserving sections and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the juice.

2. In small skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic until golden, 1 to 3 minutes. Strain through fine sieve over heatproof bowl. Let cool, reserving oil and garlic separately.

3. Whisk together reserved grapefruit juice, vinegar, fish sauce, hot peppers, sugar and pepper; gradually whisk in reserved oil. (If using dried mint, add to dressing.) Chill in freezer for 5 minutes.

4. On serving plate, arrange grapefruit sections and shrimp over lettuce leaves; spoon dressing over top. Scatter peanuts, reserved garlic and green onions over salad. Cut mint leaves into fine strips; sprinkle over salad along with coriander (if using).

Lima Bean and Ham Salad
(This one I'd have to tweak a bit... young fresh lima beans, or green beans, or fava beans and, as in the picture above, I'd use chopped greens rather than cucumber... and honestly we'd all probably prefer a thick grilled pork chop to the ham, LOL!)

You can add a little heat to this attractive salad by replacing half of the sweet pepper with a hot banana pepper, if you like.

■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
■ 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano, crumbled
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
■ Pinch black pepper
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
■ 4 cups (1 L) cooked lima beans
■ 1 small English cucumber, diced
■ 1 sweet pepper, diced
■ 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) diced cooked ham (8 oz/250 g)
■ 1 cup (250 mL) cubed Feta cheese (5 oz/150 g)
■ 1 cup (250 mL) chopped sweet onion


In large bowl, mix together lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper; whisk in oil. Mix in lima beans, cucumber, sweet pepper, ham, cheese and onion.

Thai Tuna Salad

Wake up your taste buds with this vibrant take on tuna salad.

■ 1/4 cup (50 mL) mayonnaise
■ 1/4 cup (50 mL) sour cream, yogurt or mayonnaise
■ 2 tsp (10 mL) Thai green curry paste
■ 1 celery stalk, chopped
■ 1 green apple, cored and chopped
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped parsley (optional)
■ 1 can (6.5 oz/170 g) water-packed tuna
■ salt


1. Stir mayonnaise with sour cream, curry paste, celery, apple and parsley (if using) until evenly combined. Drain tuna and break apart using a fork. Add to mayonnaise mixture and stir until evenly combined.

2. Season with salt to taste. Serve as a sandwich filling or as part of a salad plate. Can be made up to 24 hours ahead.

Make-Ahead: Can be made at least 8 hrs ahead.

OOOOO! I CANNOT wait to try this one!!!

Italian Sausage, Caulifower 'Couscous' and Wilted Kale Salad

(Notice that slight of hand with the couscous?)

Israeli, or pearl, couscous is a larger couscous that cooks just like pasta, absorbs the salad dressing nicely and adds a pleasant chew. You can substitute seared pork chops for the sausage, if you like.

■ 8 oz (225 g) brussels sprouts (about 9), halved
■ 1 large Fuji apple, cored and sliced in 1/4-inch (5 mm) wedges
■ 4 shallots, peeled and halved
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
■ 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
■ 1 lb (450 g) Italian Pork Sausages
■ 1 bunch curly or red kale, de-stemmed and chopped in large pieces
■ 1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes
■ 1-3/4 cups (425 mL)
■ CAULIFLOWER, or cooked Israeli couscous (prepared from 1 cup / 250 mL dry)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
■ 3 tbsp (45 mL) apple cider vinegar
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy mustard
■ 3 cloves garlic, minced
■ 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
■ Pinch each salt and freshly ground pepper
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 425‹F/220‹C. In bowl, toss brussels sprouts, apple and shallots with 1 tbsp/15 mL of the oil, salt and pepper. Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet for 25 minutes, until softened and browned.

2. Meanwhile, to make vinaigrette, in bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil; set aside.

3. Prick sausages with fork; cook with 2 tsp/10 mL of the oil in large heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Cut into long diagonal pieces.

4. In same pan, cook kale with remaining oil and chili flakes over high heat until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in couscous and vinaigrette. Immediately divide salad evenly among 4 plates; top with sausage and scatter with brussels sprouts, apples and shallots.

Here is a recipe that isn't included in the article that I'm quite curious about... I doubt my family will be as excited as I am to try it, but sometimes I do cook just for ME, LOL (and very often they like the result, and their palates GROW)!

Susur Lee's Rhubarb and Artichoke Salad with English Peas and Orange Vinaigrette

■ 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh rhubarb
■ 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
■ 2 small heirloom carrots
■ 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh English peas
■ 1 cup (250 mL) chrysanthemum leaves or arugula
■ 1 jar artichoke hearts
■ 6 sprigs fresh mint
■ Zest and juice of half orange
■ 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped shallots
■ 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
■ Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bake rhubarb in 275‹F/140‹C oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool; puree in blender with honey. Peel and boil carrots until just soft; slice into ribbons with vegetable peeler. Blanch peas for 1 minute, until vibrant in colour. Spread layer of rhubarb puree on a dish; top with chrysanthemum leaves or arugula. Arrange artichoke hearts, peas and carrots on top; set aside.

2. For the dressing, combine orange zest, orange juice and shallots with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing on salad; garnish with mint to finish.

...just one more, LOL!

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Pickled Shallots:
■ 1 large shallot, sliced
■ 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
■ teaspoon sugar
■ teaspoon salt
■ 1 ripe heirloom tomato, sliced into wedges
■ 1 handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
■ 1 handful of ripe grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
■ 1 scallion (just the white part), chopped
■ 1 teaspoon of chopped chives
■ palmful of crumbled Roquefort (or any cheese of your choice)
■ pickled shallots
■ 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
■ 1/4 tablespoon of raw local honey
■ 2 tablespoons of olive oil
■ pinch of maldon sea salt
■ a few grinds of fresh pepper


1. Stir sugar and salt into the apple cider vinegar until dissolved.

2. Add shallots to the vinegar mixture and let sit overnight.

3. To make the dressing: Add the honey to the white wine vinegar and stir to dissolve. (If itfs not dissolving, you can put the mixture in a glass bowl over low heat to warm it up.) Add a few healthy grinds of fresh pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil, add another few grinds of fresh pepper and a pinch of sea salt to taste.

4. Arrange the tomatoes on a serving plate. Sprinkle the cheese, shallots, scallions, chives and dressing over top.

The chopped salad trend is out of hand, and it needs to stop. www.slate.com/articles/l


Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?

"[Labs] try to use only ghealthy peopleh to determine the reference ranges, but each lab has a different range and uses a different sample population, and you canft really be certain that the healthy people are actually healthy and thus have numbers worth pursuing. What is ghealthy,h anyway, since we just established that a perception of health is subjective and susceptible to influence? ...With all that in mind, are you normal or are you just common?"

Dear SPARKlings, may today and every day bring to you a ridiculous abundance of whatever you need. May you find peace within and all around you. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith and desire... a desire which even itself issues from God. May all your concerns, struggles, anxieties and fears fall like ashes as you rise on eagle's wings, SOARING above all that would hinder you along this tremendous adventure of being and becoming all you are created to be. May you answer your call and use those gifts that you have received to pass on the love that has been given to you. May the presence of God settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love beyond your wildest imagination. May you be overwhelmed by the grace of God as it simply "overtakes" you moment by moment... rather than being overwhelmed by the cares of life!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

"There was an Old Person of Fife,
Who was greatly disgusted with life;
They sang him a ballad,
and fed him on salad,
Which cured that Old Person of Fife."
EDWARD LEAR, (1812-1888)

(I LOVE veggie pictures!)

What's your favourite salad? Please, share!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yummy, can't wait to try these. I especially love your inclusion of healthy, easy to make salad dressings. Sometimes it's good to switch it up from the basic balsamic that I'm used to. Time to go to the farmer's market.
    1632 days ago
  • JOE14250
    yesterday I jumbled
    red lettuce
    iceberg lettuce
    peppers (green bell) and hot ones
    squash yellow and green
    tomatoes, 3 kinds reg cherry and plum
    onion, white and green
    and pesto sauce

    I invited two friends over and I cooked steaks and fresh corn on cob.

    today I just got some purple and white bell peppers.
    and some pink oyster mushrooms and some other yellow ones too.

    Loved your photos!

    1636 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.
    1639 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I LOVE kale! I like kitchen sink salads - everything in them. Color, texture, flavor. Of course, now that I am more Paleo than not, I enjoy salads EVEN MORE than I used to (and I have always loved salads!).

    I use spinach instead of lettuce and, with Paleo, I am enjoying the experiments with new veggies, fruits, nuts etc.
    1640 days ago
    Ooooh Haloumi salad looks DIVINE!! Can't wait to try dairy again so I can dive into that one.
    thanks for the BEAUTIFUL pics and recipes. You spoil us!
    1640 days ago
    emoticon These ALL Look Delicious!! And the Veggie Pictures are Too Cute!! The Poem really Fits Right In!!

    emoticon I have not found a Strawberry Spinach Salad that I don't like!!
    1640 days ago
    Very interesting-lovely pictures----Lynda
    1640 days ago
  • MAGGIE101857
    Wow! If you were making my salads, I would eat them for every meal! These look amazing! I love salads, but also hate making them, but I may have to try a few of these! Thanks for sharing - beautiful pics and I love your closing prayer!

    1640 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try the rhubarb salad, sans peas. And all of the dressings. I confess to being salad illiterate, having just thrown together whatever "salad" veggies I had. And until just recently NEVER with any kind of dressing. But here in France all salads come "pre-dressed" in the restaurants, and at someone's home, and asking for no dressing gets you a look...and dressing on your salad.

    So my tastes have expanded and I now make up a simple basalmic vinaigrette (just enough to half fill a small spice jar to last for a few days) but have been thinking about looking for some more recipes.

    So thanks again!

    Oh, and I love to put melon and berries in my salads with some sort of poultry.
    1641 days ago
    Thanks for sharing all those yummy recipes
    1641 days ago
    What an awesome variety of salads that you have given to me and I am anxious to try the one with Italian sausage and thanks so much for sharing.
    1641 days ago
    WOW you are addventurous , most of that I wouldn't even try. No shellfish, and don't like lentils. Also I don't mind eating a salad, but so don't lik emaking it so often wont eat it cos just don't want to make it. To me it is a huge production which I find often tires me before I even eat it. Typing this as I just thought should make a salad as don't want supper, we ate lunch late and both aren't hungry. lol
    1641 days ago

    Yummy, thanks so much for sharing! emoticon
    1641 days ago
    YUM! says it all! emoticon
    1641 days ago
    Great post....am going to try one of these for supper. : )
    1641 days ago
    Nice blog post
    1641 days ago
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