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Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Meatless Monday: Pea, Feta and Mint Salad

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

With St. Patrick’s Day in full swing and the first day of spring finally in sight, there are plenty of reasons to go green this week. But if you’re tired of celebrating with the same old emerald-tinted beer and bagels, consider a dish that skips the food coloring entirely. An array of verdant veggies and herbs, including freshly shelled peas and snips of mint, gives this salad its festive hue, while another lime-colored ingredient — chopped pistachios — adds texture and crunch. Drizzle on the sweet-zesty dressing made from Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and honey and you’ll have a fresh, all-natural nod to the Emerald Isles.

Pea, Feta and Mint Salad

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Dinner Rush! Roasted Fall Salad with Warm Bacon-Pumpkin Vinaigrette

If the idea of a warm vinaigrette blows your mind a little bit, welcome to my life about five years ago. While I was working at The Rachael Ray Show, my producer, Emily — as she would often do — took advantage of some downtime between segments to make lunch from whatever odds and ends were in our walk-in refrigerator. Business as usual.

With a head of escarole, pound of bacon, jar of mustard and shallot in hand, she turned an otherwise standard-issue lunch salad on its head right before my very eyes.

Call me sheltered, but I had honestly never had a warm vinaigrette before! While the principle of a vinaigrette is the same warm or cold — whisk together an acid and an emulsifier and get to tossing — doing the whole thing warm (with the added help of a pound of bacon) was transformative. Not only did it show that hearty escarole who was boss, but it was an easy and impressive lesson — one of many, I might add, that came out of working in the prep kitchen of that show — that sticks with me to this very day.

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Meatless Monday: Wheat Berry Salad

Have you tried wheat berries? Go ahead, don't be scared.

What’s a wheat berry, exactly? Before turning them into a salad, you should know what they are…

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels — a true whole grain. They can be used to make wheat sprouts, can be ground into a flour for baking, and used to grow wheatgrass. Wheat berries can also be cooked like rice or quinoa as a side dish, made into a breakfast porridge or tossed into a salad — either mixed into a green salad or used on their own as a pasta-alternative. You can find them in health food stores and in the grain or healthy section of most grocery stores. Purchase them in packages, like these from Bob’s Red Mill, or from the bulk bins. 

Since they’re not processed at all, none of the grain’s nutrients get stripped away. Wheat berries are high in fiber, protein and iron. When cooked, the kernels have a firm, chewy texture and they taste slightly nutty. Since they are in their natural form, plan for about an hour of cook time. To reduce that by half, you can soak the kernels overnight. There’s no special method to cooking them — just boil in salted water, covering the grains by at least two inches. Add more water if it gets low. 

Ellie Krieger’s Wheat Berry Salad is a great introduction to this healthful whole grain; the simple ingredients (dried fruit, nuts and a lemony dressing) allow the nutty flavor of the grains to shine, plus it’s really easy to make. When I make this salad, I make a big batch and portion it out in containers to take to lunch during the week. I add the nuts on top before I eat it so they stay crunchy, but you can add the nuts at the same time as the other ingredients if you like.

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By the Book: Vegetarian Cooking With Super Natural Every Day

Heidi Swanson's Mostly Not Potato Salad is a delightful mix of barely cooked and raw veggies tossed with a vinaigrette.

Heidi Swanson's Mostly Not Potato Salad is a delightful mix of barely cooked and raw veggies tossed with a vinaigrette.

Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day I like blogger cookbooks, since it seems like the authors have reached success in the most democratic way possible – with the public voting through clicks and comments. Readers are drawn to their personalities and connect with their food sense, so it’s only natural that the best bloggers should create more organized, sticky-note friendly versions of their favorite recipes. Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame published the James Beard-nominated cookbook Super Natural Cooking in 2007, an introduction to her Northern Californian vegetarian and whole foods cooking style. With Super Natural Every Day, her just-released, follow-up cookbook, she simmers down the same concepts into an approachable day-to-day, meal-by-meal collection.

I had fun reading Heidi’s blog posts about putting together her second cookbook, from manuscript to cover selection and her eventual preview post with sample recipes. Heidi actually cooked and photographed the recipes in real time, as she was living her life and eating her meals, and the book came together nicely as a guide to every day cooking and eating.

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Fall Fest: 5 Fabulous Fall Salads

Feast on fall freshness: Emeril's shaved fennel salad

Fall Fest 2010We’re teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Summer Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

In this edition of Fall Fest 2010, we’re talking about the salads of fall. It’s true that the warmer months are better-known for garden-and-farm fresh salads, but just because there’s a bit of a chill in the air, doesn’t mean you have to go eating all heavy. Fall’s bounty — squash, spinach, beans, beets, figs, grapes, apples — this is all great salad stuff. In fact, I’d argue that it’s even better than the zucchini, peppers, corn and peaches we started the season with. So without further ado, here are 5 fantastic salads you must try (before comfort season really takes over).

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Brown Bagging: What’s in Your Lunchbox?

Bal's Spiced Okra will brighten things up.

Bal's Spiced Okra will brighten things up at lunch time.

The kids are back in school, but why should they be the only ones to enjoy a homemade packed lunch?

Spice Goddess Bal Arneson to the rescue with a colorful Spiced Okra that’s perfect for packing. Watch her make it this morning at 11:00am ET, along with savory Paneer Fish Cakes with Apple and Fig Chutney and a fresh Coconut Bean Salad. Don’t leave out the sweet Lentil (!) Cookies.

If sandwiches are what you crave for lunch, Emeril covers breads and spreads this afternoon at 4:30pm ET. Watch him make a Tuna Melt; a Pressed Roast Turkey, Pesto, and Provolone Sandwich; and a Prosciutto and Mozzarella Panini. Sandwiches like these will surely make you the envy of all your coworkers.

Pack Emeril up in your lunch bag.

Pack Emeril up in your lunch bag.

Flip through all our favorite lunchbox recipes right here.

Unique Eats: Upping The Adventure

Duck Tongue Tacos - X-marx Chicago - Unique Eats

Duck Tongue Tacos - X-marx Chicago - Unique Eats

The latest installation of Unique Eats tackles a category that will sift out the hardcore food people from fair weather diners — extreme culinary adventure…

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Matt’s Ultimate Summer Salad

Matt Armendariz's heirloom salad

Matt Armendariz's heirloom salad

I try to treat all my seasons equally. I love tender young vegetables in spring long and rich braised meat and stews in autumn. But if you really want to know what gets me going then we only need to chat about summer. It’s where my favorite flavors come together: cool and hot, sweet and smoky, bold and beautiful. It’s a time of year when intense flavors play well with just about everything and everyone gets along peacefully.

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Bastille Day: Cool Off with French Food at Home

Summer Tomato Soup

Laura Calder's gazpacho, French-style

Just back from a wonderful summer vacation in France, I’m ready to ring in Bastille Day stateside with some recipes from French Food at Home.

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Picking: Blueberries and Raspberries

blueberries and raspberries basket_picnik

You can pick your friends. You can pick your berries. But you can’t pick your friends’ berries.

Unless you have a friend named Patty who owns a huge u-pick berry farm on the North Fork of Long Island. Or a friend like her.

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