Sweet N’ Sour Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad

This is not your traditional cucumber salad … it’s so much better.  It combines some of the Thai flavors I have come to love.  My garden had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year and even after canning Dill Pickles and Bread and Butter Pickles I still had an abundance.  I won’t be needing an excuse to make this salad again.  ENJOY!

Sweet N’ Sour Thai Cucumber Salad
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt [plus extra, to taste]
  • ⅛ tsp dill [fresh or dried]
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 cups chickpeas [canned or cooked from dry]
  • ¼-1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro, plus extra to garnish
  • 1.5 large english cucumbers (any kind of cucumber will work)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely minced onion
  • 2-3 extra large carrots
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • ½-1 TBSP sesame seeds
 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder, dill, salt, and minced garlic and whisk to emulsify.
  2. In a medium bowl add chickpeas, minced onion, chopped bell pepper, ½ an English cucumber [chopped] and cilantro.
  3. Pour in dressing and mix thoroughly. The longer you allow them to marinate the more intense the flavor will be!
  4. Next, using a spiralizer or tool of choice curl one english cucumber and 2-3 large carrots [the biggest, thickest carrots you can find] into raw spiral noodles.
  5. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and pour over salad.
  6. Top with extra chopped cilantro and a hearty sprinkle of sesame and chia seeds.

Source:  peasandcrayons.com

Thai Sweet N' Sour Cucumber Salad

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Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Salad with Grilled Chicken

 

I love love love this salad and it couldn’t come at a better time as my garden is starting to grow and flourish.  I’m keeping this recipe on the counter as I will be making it again soon!  My lettuce is almost ready to be picked and my snap and sugar peas are climbing to the sky!  If you are a fan of Thai cuisine I’m sure you’ll love this salad.  ENJOY!

Thai Chicken Salad

serves 8

Chicken marinade

1/2 C vegetable oil
2 Tb rice vinegar
1/4 C sugar or 2 Tb Truvia
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
dash of salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about 2 1/2 pounds total

Salad
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1/2 large head of napa cabbage, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 C salted peanuts

Dressing
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/4 C Thai sweet red chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar or Truvia
pinch of salt and pepper

Peanut Sauce
1/4 C natural peanut butter
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb rice vinegar
1 Tb Thai sweet red chili sauce
2 Tb water

Thai salad with grilled chicken1.  In a ziplock bag, combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade.  Mush it all around, then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours to marinade.  Cook the chicken either on a hot grill, 6-8 minutes a side or in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Allow it to cool a bit, then chop up all the chicken into bite sized pieces.
2.  Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, except for the peanuts, then add the chicken.  Combine all the dressing ingredients then pour over the salad.  Toss until the salad is evenly coated with the dressing.  Dish out the individual servings of the salad.
3.  Stir together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl.  If the sauce is too thick to drizzle, add a bit more water.  Generously drizzle the peanut sauce over each serving of salad then top with the peanuts.

 Source: mykitchenescapades.com

Thai salad with grilled chicken

2 Super Foods – Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad

Quinoa Pomegranate Salad

Healthy food makes me feel better!  I made this salad and took it for my lunches during the week.  One day I added some grilled chicken and another day I added grilled fish.

You can’t go wrong with this powerhouse of super food ingredients – Quinoa and Pomegranate.  And you know what … I really did like it.  I especially like the bursts of juice, sweetness tart that the pomegranate delivers.  Like an explosion in your mouth.  Get cooking and get healthy!  Enjoy!

Quinoa and Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring 4 cups salted water to a rolling boil. Add quinoa and cook for 14 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain quinoa and rinse under cold water. Drain again and set aside.
  3. Cut open your pomegranate and remove the seeds. Throw away the pomegranate peel.
  4. Wash and chop parsley and scallions.
  5. Wisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, pepper and salt.
  6. Toss cooled quinoa with dressing, cherry tomatoes, parsley, scallions and pomegranate seeds. Mix well and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Slightly Adapted From:  dailydelights.sheknows.com

Quinoa Pomegranate Salad

Mixed Greens Salad with Grilled Chicken, Snow Peas and Ginger Sesame Dressing

Oriental Salad with Grilled Chicken adn Ginger Soy Dressing-1

I did a second planting of lettuce in my garden this year and am enjoying fresh fresh fresh salads!  This is one of my favorite salad dressings … give it a try, it may become your favorite as well.  ENJOY!

Ginger-Sesame Dressing – Source:  Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Salad Ingredients

  • Mixed greens
  • grape tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Yellow Pepper
  • Snow Peas
  • Crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Oriental Salad with Grilled Chicken and Ginger Soy Dressing

Now Harvesting Dragon Tongue Beans and a Recipe for Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula

Dragon Tongue Beans

Dragon Tongue Beans … not only do they have a cool name, they are colored pretty green and purple beans.  Never one to settle for the ordinary I seek out new and unusual vegetables to grow in my garden.  Dragon Tongue Beans turned out to be a winner for me! I ordered these from rareseeds.com.  Their description of these beans:  “This famous Dutch heirloom bean has an incomparable flavor. The tender and superbly delicious 7-inch pods are yellow, with amazing purple streaks! Also makes a tasty shelled bean. Popular with chefs and gourmets. Compact plants set high yields.”  They have great flavor and are now my favorite bean next to Edamame.  Once cooked, sadly they loose their pretty purple color and turn lime green, but loose none of their delicious flavor.  In reading the reviews I saw many people enjoyed them raw.  I think I need to go to the garden and try them right off the plant!

Beans this good deserved an equally good recipe.  Green beans would work just as well if you are unable to find Dragon Tongue Beans.  I used a mix of green beans and dragon tongue beans.  I tried this salad warm and tried the leftovers cold.   Both ways were good but I actually enjoyed it more cold – it’s a matter of preference.  Try it yourself and see which you prefer.  ENJOY!

Dragon Bean, Arugula and Tomato and Roasted Fingerling Salad

Roasted Fingerling and Tomato Salad with Green Beans and Arugula (*Note:  I drastically reduced the amount of olive oil from the original recipe and I think next time I may reduce it even more.)

INGREDIENTS

5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 pounds Russian banana fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
4 stems fresh thyme
1/2 shallot, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces green beans
2 cups baby arugula

COOK’S NOTE

To ensure maximum flavor, toss potatoes with dressing while they’re still warm.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the salad: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Puree garlic and oil in a blender until smooth. Toss with potatoes, tomatoes, and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and just tender. Transfer to ice-water bath. When cool, drain beans in a colander
  3. Make the dressing: Combine vinegar, mustard, thyme, and shallot in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
  4. Toss potato mixture, beans, and arugula with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Source:  Slightly adapted from:   Marthastewart.com
Roasted Fingerling and Tomato, Dragon Tongue Beans and Arugula Salad

Mixed Greens Salad with Grilled Chicken, Nasturtium Flowers and Ginger Soy Dressing. Are You a Flower Eater?

Mixed Greens Salad with Nasturtium Flowers-3

Are you a flower eater?  A what???  Do you just look at the lovely flowers on your plate or do you eat them?

I grew Nasturtiums this year in the garden for the sole purpose of adding beauty to my food, and also because I do eat edible flowers.  I have read that the entire Nasturtium is edible right down to the leaves and can be mixed in with a salad.  I have an overabundance of lettuce this year and  despite eating salads for dinner 3-4 times a week I cannot keep up with my lettuce.  This is one of my favorite salads.  Not only is it pretty to look at, but it tastes great!  My favorite ginger soy dressing brings it all home.  ENJOY!

Ginger-Sesame Dressing – Source:  Epicurious.com (slightly adapted)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Mixed Green Salad with Nasturtium Flowers

Salad Ingredients:

  • Mixed greens
  • Arugula
  • Avocado
  • Red Pepper
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Nasturtium

Mixed Greens Salad with Nasturtiums Flowers-2

Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad with Chicken, Goat Cheese and Avocado

Mixed Greens and Strawberry Salad with Chicken, Goat Cheese and Avocado

I have so much lettuce and arugula growing right now I’m searching for new and delicious salad recipes.  I love this salad – it is light and perfect for a main meal!  The dressing takes it over the top.  Even if you don’t like goat cheese, another cheese would work just as well.  Enjoy!
Mixed Greens & Strawberry Salad with Chicken, Goat Cheese & Avocado Recipe
 Mixed greens tossed with sliced strawberries, chopped cooked chicken, avocado, crumbled goat cheese and sliced almonds in a simple honey citrus vinaigrette
 Ingredients
  • 8 cups mixed greens, well rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups grilled chopped chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • ¼ red onion, sliced very thinly
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  Instructions
  1. To prepare dressing, in a jar with a tight cover, combine the olive oil, honey, orange juice, rice wine vinegar and mustard. Cover the jar tightly and shake until well blended. (Or whisk everything together in a small bowl.)
  2. In a large bowl, place the mixed greens, sliced strawberries, avocado cubes, sliced onion, sliced almonds.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over and toss until everything is combined and coated with dressing.
  5. Add the goat cheese crumbles and toss again gently.
  6. Serve immediately.

Salad-Blog Trimmed

Source:  simple-nourished-living.com

Grilled Ahi and Arugula Salad with Ginger-Soy Dressing

Grilled Ahi Tuna 5-30-13

My garden is thriving this spring with a lot of Arugula, which became my favorite “green” last year.  I had no idea it was a powerhouse packed full of nutrition until I started reading about it.  Did you know?

“Arugula is a low calorie, nutrient rich vegetable from the Brassicaceae family that includes mustard greens, radishes, cauliflower and kale. Sometimes called “garden rocket,” a term derived from its scientific name Eruca sativa, arugula is a great alternative to iceberg lettuce because it offers a much greater density of nutrients with the same low calories.

Here are 10 health benefits of arugula:

Cancer Prevention
Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables are associated with reduced risk of cancer in many studies. Arugula is rich with valuable antioxidants, considered essential in preventing free radical activity in the body. Studies show that vitamin A and flavonoid compounds in arugula may help protect the body from skin cancer, lung cancer and oral cancer. Arugula is also a rich source of phytochemicals like sulforaphane, which has excellent chemoprotective effects and helps to fight carcinogens.

High In Antioxidants
Arugula is dense with the natural antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. In addition to fighting free radical activity, these vitamins offer great immune system support.

High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well known as a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cancer, boosts the immune system and fights the common cold.

High In Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, boosts immunity and is great for the eyes, skin, bones and teeth.

High In Vitamin K
Three cups of arugula provide over 100% of your daily vitamin K needs.Vitamin K is known to promote bone health and brain function while acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Eye Health
Arugula is a good source of carotenoids, fat-soluable pigments that are known to help prevent macular degeneration. The vitamin C in arugula may help in the prevention of cataracts.

Mineral Rich
Arugula is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and phosphorous, all essential minerals that offer their own unique health benefits.

Low in Oxalate
Oxalates inhibit mineral absorption in the body. Other healthy leafy greens, such as spinach, have high levels of oxalate. However, arugula appears to offer relatively low levels of oxalate, making it a healthier alternative for people seeking foods high in calcium and other essential minerals.

Bone Health
Low levels of oxalates combined with a great variety of vitamins and minerals found in arugula make it great for bone health. One study of Vitamin K found that daily consumption of the vitamin led to decreased risk of bone fractures. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and vitamin C are all considered good contributors to positive bone health.

Weight Loss
Though arugula has no proven ability to help aid in weight loss in and of itself, it remains a low calorie, nutrient rich food, and thus a great addition to any healthy diet.”
Source:  healthdiaries.com

To sum up this recipe in one word – Outstanding!  I liked this so much I made it the next night too!  It’s bursting with Asian flavors of soy and fresh ginger and a bite of mandarin oranges mixed in … simply spectacular! Enjoy!

 

Seared Ahi & Arugula Salad with Ginger-Soy Dressing

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds tuna steaks
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1-inch hunk of ginger
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon wasabi or 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup mayonnaise
4-5 cups baby arugula
1 cup edamame
3-4 clementines, peeled and sectioned or mandarin oranges

Directions:

Heat grill, Rub tuna steaks with sesame oil and grill 2-3 minutes per side (do not over-cook) . Remove the grill and allow it to sit for a few minutes before slicing with a very sharp knife.

In a blender or food processor, combine the ginger, garlic, wasabi or mustard, honey, soy sauce, and mayonnaise until very pureed. Drizzle over everything.

Toss together the arugula, edamame, and clementines. Serve with rice and sliced seared tuna.

Grilled Ahi Tuna 5-30-13 - Horizontal

Source:  cheekykitchen.com

Summer Corn Salad

My inspiration for this salad came from one of the blogs that I follow: basicswithatwist.com/2012/05/30/whats-the-buzz/.  Check it out – they have a great blog with a lot of information!

Summer Corn Salad

Salad

  • 5 Ears Corn, husk removed, brush with olive oil and grilled, remove corn with a sharp knife
  • 2 Avocado’s diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 small onion, finely diced

Combine the above ingredients.

 Dressing:

  • ½ Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10 grinds of fresh pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil

Wisk together the above ingredients and add to the corn mixture.

 Enjoy!

Avocado Shrimp Salad with Fresh Mint and Lime Vinaigrette

I loved, loved, loved this salad!  It’s perfect for a week night meal or any time for that matter!  I have an abundance of mint growing in the garden and I’m always on the lookout for great recipes incorporating mint … this one fits the bill!  It also includes the wonderful tastes of lime, avocado and shrimp … mmmmm have some tonight!

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocadoes – pitted, peeled, and sliced (not too small)
2 tablespoons, fresh lime juice (or substitute lemon juice)
1 pound, large shrimp – peeled, deveined and gently cooked
1 red bell pepper – stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
1-1/2 cups, ripe grape tomatoes*– cut in half (seeds discarded)
4 scallions (including 3 inches of the green part) – thinly sliced on diagonal
Lime vinaigrette

 
3 tablespoons, coarsely chopped (or torn) fresh mint leaves

Arugula

Preparation:

Place the avocadoes in a large bowl and toss them with the lime (or lemon) juice (do this immediately to prevent discoloration of the avocadoes).

Saute shrimp briefly in 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 clove sliced garlic until pink.

Add the shrimp, bell pepper, tomatoes and scallions; gently fold together with the Arugula. Toss gently with the vinaigrette, then, just before serving, toss with the fresh chopped mint leaves. Enjoy!

Lime Vinaigrette
Makes 1 1/3 cups

1/4 cup, fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon, Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon, minced shallots
finely grated zest (the green part of the peel) of 1 lime
3 tablespoons, snipped (chopped or cut with scissors) fresh chives

Zest the lime first and reserve the zest (it’s easier to do when the lime is whole and not yet squeezed.) In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in the shallots and lime zest. May be made up to this point and held for several hours; whisk again to blend before using. Add the chives 15 minutes before use.

Source:  Adapted from – Melindalee.com