SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE serves 6-8 adapted from Alli Kelley from Longourn Farms

SALAD
4 cups baby spinach or favorite lettuce mix
4 cups coleslaw mix
+/- 1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 large peach, peeled and sliced
Peach vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)

  • Toss together the spinach and coleslaw in a large salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle in the raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss together.
  • Drizzle dressing over, tossing periodically until desired amount is reached.

PEACH VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup diced peaches (with skin removed)
2 tablespoons celery seeds

  • Blend all the ingredients except the celery seeds in a food processor until smooth.
  • Stir in celery seeds.

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SALAD
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and spun
2 cups torn romaine hearts, washed and spun
1 quart strawberries, hulled and large chopped
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts

DRESSING
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk together the vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour half of the vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute.
  • Add onion, toss to combine and let sit 30 minutes.

 

  • While onions marinade, toast the poppy seeds in a non-stick skillet until fragrant and darkened.

 

  • Whisk oil into remaining vinegar mixture.
  • Add FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste.

 

  • In a large salad bowl combine spinach leaves, romaine pieces, strawberry pieces and candied walnuts.
  • Remove onion from vinegar mixture and add to salad bowl, gently tossing to disperse.
  • Whisk onion marinade back into the vinegar mixture.
  • Drizzle over salad,
  • Plate salad and top with more walnuts if desired.
  • Enjoy!

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD

Gazpacho is Spanish in tradition, but with the addition of the Feta cheese I feel like it is more of a Greek and Spanish fusion. Hubby loves the Mediterranean flavors while I pass on it every time, but it’s a GREAT recipe for a BBQ or picnic.

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD
1 pound rotini, prepared al dente and rinsed in cold water and drained

SAUCE
14 1/2 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive if you prefer)

  • Process tomatoes, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar with a pinch of salt until smooth.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and gently fold in.

VEGGIES
1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 red pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 yellow pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, small diced
3/4 pound grape tomatoes, halved

ASSEMBLY

  • In a large mixing bowl gently toss veggies together.
  • Drizzle with sauce mixture and fold again.
  • Cover and let marinade for 15-30 minutes.

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup (or more) pitted black olives, sliced
3 green onions sliced thin
FRESH minced parsley for garnish

  • JUST before serving fold in olives, cheese and green onions.
  • Season to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley.

BRUSCHETTA AVOCADOS

BRUSCHETTA AVOCADOS – Luscious tomatoes, FRESH basil and red onion are tossed in a balsamic vinegar with a touch of garlic and avocado oil and then gently stuffed into avocado halves for a incredible summer dinner with no oven or stove to heat up the house. Adapted from Cafe Delites

2 ripe Roma tomatoes,finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
scant tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 ripe avocados – peeled, seeded and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic REDUCTION – store bought or see recipe below
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Toss well to evenly meld all of the flavors.
  • Arrange prepared avocado halves onto a plate.
  • Spoon the  filling into each avocado halve and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  • Top with chopped FRESH basil and Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

BALSAMIC REDUCTION (homemade)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon PACKED light brown sugar (OPTIONAL)

  • Combine brown sugar sugar with vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze.

NOTE: If not using sugar, allow plain balsamic vinegar to reduce for 12-15 minutes on low heat.

 

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled to perfection and sliced 😀
1 large peach, washed and sliced
1 large RIPE avocado, sliced
1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, sliced thin
4 strips bacon, diced, browned andcrisp
3 cups torn romaine or watercress lettuce

  • Arrange ingredients on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.

HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
Pinch FRESH ground sea salt

  • Add ingredients into a glass container or jar with a lid.
  • Shake jar vigorously until completely combined.
  • Serve on your favorite salad.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

NOTES: When using cold from the refrigerator make sure you shake it up REALLY well to re-blend the ingredients. I usually run my jar under warm water before giving it a good shake and if that doesn’t mix it enough a few seconds in the microwave should thin it enough to make mixable!

THE SUMMER OF SALADS – WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with PEAR LEMON VINAIGRETTE

I’m officially declaring this the summer of Salads.  This extreme heat has left me wanting more, MORE salads that is! 😀

WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 cups torn lettuce pieces
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup candied walnut pieces
1/3 cup craisins

  • Toss together.
  • Plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • ENJOY!

LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE
1 RIPE pear, pureed
Juice of 1 large lemon
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together.
  • Chill.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE

We’re still under a serious EXTREME heat warning so I am NOT cooking, but focusing on salads this week.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 cups torn lettuce

  • Whisk together the lemon juices, avocado oil, vinegar and honey.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss lettuce, onions and apple together.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss again.
  • ENJOY!

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

Another PERFECT salad for a warm summer’s eve. The assortment of the chilled cheeses, meats and quick pickled veggies is quite satisfying especially after you add the vinaigrette for a tangy bite.

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH oregano
1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 ounces marinated artichokes, WELL drained and chopped
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 romaine hearts, chopped or shredded
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 thick slices provolone cheese, cut into matchsticks
3 thick slices hard salami, cut into matchsticks
FRESH basil, cut into chiffonades
olives, optional

  • Bring artichokes with their juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and oregano to a SLOW boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add onions, reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pepperoni slices.
  • Transfer to a bowl and chill until cool.
  • Drain marinated veggies in a mesh strainer, but save to store any extra veggies in.
  • Toss drained veggies with torn lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoni, cheese and salami pieces.
  • Add olives if using.
  • Drizzle with dressing
  • Enjoy.

VINAIGRETTE
12 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped oregano
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped Italian parsley
PINCH sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese

  • Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, oil, garlic and sugar.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Fold in parsley, oregano and cheese.
  • Chill.

TACO SALAD

One of the things we love in the summer is salads. I’m always looking for new recipes, but often I end up with 3 or 4 similar recipes. I always seem to combine the best parts of each recipe together to make a new and improved recipe. 😀

TACO SALAD serves 4
MEAT
1 pound ground chuck
1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon PACKED brown sugar

  • Heat oil in a large skillet until shimmering.
  • Add onion and cook until softened.
  • Stir in chili powder and garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add beef, cooking and breaking it apart until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar and brown sugar, simmering until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste.

TACO SHELL BOWLS
4 – 10 inch flour tortillas
Non stick cooking spray

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Adjust oven racks to middle.
  • Place 4 oven safe soup bowls or balls of aluminum foil on a baking sheet.
  • Heat tortillas in microwave a few seconds to make them warm and pliable.
  • Generously spray both sides of tortillas with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Drape tortillas over bowls or balls of foil.
  • Press bottoms flat and loosely pinch sides into pleats to form bowls.
  • Bake until tortillas are crispy and golden, about 10-15 minutes.
  • COOL COMPLETELY before turning over or filling.

SALAD
2 romaine hearts, shredded
1/3 cup bean dip
1/2 cup black beans
1 can white shoe peg corn, drained well
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
3/4 cup shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses
1/4 cup chopped cilantro + a bit more for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges.

  • Toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, corn, green onions and cilantro.
  • Generously season salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with lime juice and toss again.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place tortilla bowls on plates.
  • Divide salad amongst tortilla bowls.
  • Top with a spoonful of bean dip.
  • Top with a spoonful of meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and remaining cilantro.

BLT SALAD with CREAMY CHIVE DRESSING

Looking for the perfect summer meal without turning on the oven or grill? Well, here it is, the PERFECT summer salad full of flavor and satisfying to everyone. I make the dressing in a double batch so there is always extra and preparing the bacon the night before after the sun sets keeps you cool too.

BLT SALAD with CREAMY CHIVE DRESSING
12 ounce package center cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely minced FRESH chives
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1-2 tablespoons buttermilk (yep, that reads milk :D)
1 head green leaf or Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced OR 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
8 ounces of sourdough bread, WELL toasted, lightly buttered and cut into cubes

  • Whisk together the vinegar, garlic and salt. Let stand 10 minutes. This will help mellow the flavor a bit.
  • Whisk in sour cream and avocado oil until well blended.
  • Fold in chives.
  • Thin with milk to desired consistency.

 

  • In a large salad bowl toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and bacon pieces.
  • Fold in toasted bread pieces.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with dressing.
  • Garnish with additional chives and ENJOY!

BEAN SALAD ala 21ST CENTURY

I love 3 bean salad, but I hate kidney beans. So, I developed this recipe to cater to my own likes. If you like kidney beans, just add them back in. I’ve been making this salad for years, BUT, all of a sudden I CANNOT find wax beans ANYWHERE. So, after 3 stores I decided to substitute sliced carrots and you know what? this recipe just got better! The beauty of this recipe is that it just gets more and more flavorful as time goes on.
BEAN SALAD ala 21ST CENTURY
2 – 15 ounce cans green beans
15 ounce can sliced carrots
4 ounce jar pimientos
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Drain beans, carrots and pimentos REALLY WELL and place into a jar with enough room for the liquid.
  • In a sauce pan dissolve the sugar and salt into the vinegar and bring it to a boil.
  • Let it cool.
  • Pour it over the beans.
  • Marinate at least 24-48 hours for the best flavor.

Simple Summer Suppers ~ SEAFOOD SALAD & PARMESAN CHEESE ROLLS

This recipe is from my mother-in-law. She told the story that it was something she would make at the end of the month when funds were short because it was cheap.  Cheap works though!  This is one of the most flavorful salads and always a family favorite.  The rolls date back to hubby’s grandfather’s Beverly Hills restaurant, The Castle from MANY years ago.

SEAFOOD SALAD
Green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 bunches green onions, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can albacore tuna IN OIL, drained VERY WELL
1 can bay shrimp drained, or 1 cup fresh
1 large lemon, juiced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
FRESH ground salt & pepper, to taste

  • In a large bowl mix together the lettuce, green onions and tomatoes.
  • Add the tuna and shrimp. Toss well.
  • Squeeze with lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.
  • Add mayonnaise and toss until well coated.

PARMESAN ROLLS
4 French Sandwich rolls, cut into halves
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup grated or sliced Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Mix together the melted butter and olive oil.
  • Dip tops of rolls into butter mixture.
  • Dip into the Fontina cheese pressing slightly so the cheese adheres.
  • Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Broil until golden and crusty.

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