Category Archives: salad

4th of July Menu

Still need some menu ideas for 4th of July celebrations? Look no further! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes along with others from the blog world!

Appetizers:

Guacamole with Basil & Shallots

Roasted Vegetable Cheese Spread

Cheese Filled Endeive Leaves from MommyRD

Main:

Chicken Satay with Coconut Peanut Sauce

Grilled Pizzas from Fake Food Free

Prosciutto Chihuahua Panini from Eating for England

Sides:

Artichoke Ravioli Pasta Salad

Greek Potato Salad

Arugula & Apple Salad

Lynn’s Cabbage Slaw with Mango from The Actors Diet

Drinks:

White Wine Mojito

Pomegranate Champagne – add some blueberries for the 4th!

Desserts:

Strawberry & Mascarpone-filled Cupcakes

Banana & Blueberry Popsicles – perfect for little ones – from Weekly Bite

What’s on your weekend menu? If you have some good recipes,  please share below with a link!  Have a safe & happy 4th!

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Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine

salmon burgers with greek salsa

I’ve decided that salmon burgers are my new freezer staple. I love the idea of having salmon once a week and having burgers in the freezer makes this so attainable. I can take them out as needed, they are ready in minutes and obviously very tasty.

They can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the occasion. Greek salsa is on my “dressed up” side and is the perfect topping for the perfect burger. Try my orzo salad to round out the meal!

Greek Salsa – for 2 salmon burgers

  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbles
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and toss together. Set aside and split mixture between burgers.



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Filed under cheese, pasta, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods

Foodbuzz 24×24: Kids Cooking Club

Last week, I told you that there was something exciting happening soon at Camp Endeavor. My Kids Cooking Club proposal  was chosen to be a part of this months 24×24, sponsored by Foodbuzz, and our meal was Saturday night! The concept was to have a group of kids at camp come up with a menu for our Saturday night cookout. Once the meal was decided on, they would help prepare the meal for their fellow campers. Reminded me a bit of Dinner Impossible, but I was hoping for a little less stress.

Planning:

There was no problem in finding enough campers to help, in fact so many of them wanted to be involved that we decided to hold another Kids Cooking Club in a few weeks. I just can’t turn down kids who want to cook! After the group was decided on, it was time to get to work.

Armed with some cookbooks and a handout on planning a menu with a few ideas, we discussed how to build a menu, pick a theme and prepare food that everyone will like. They decided to go with an Italian theme and I couldn’t have been more impressed with the menu they decided on. Whoever says that kids will only eat mac & cheese hasn’t met these kids. The only steering I had to do was suggest a vegetable side instead of a starch – the spinach in the salad? Entirely their idea.

Menu:

  • Grilled Pizzas with Fresh Herbs and Veggie Toppings Bar
  • Romaine & Spinach Salad with Home-made Croutons & Dressing
  • Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Berries or Grilled Fruit

Shopping:

Most of the campers opted to go to the pool instead of to the store – a choice I would have made myself if given the choice – it was a hot day! Fewer people allowed for a quick and easy trip, just what we wanted considering what was ahead of us.

I even learned something new at the store from Emily! She taught me a way to tell if pineapple is ripe –  if the leaves pull out easily, the pineapple is ready to eat!

We also had an interesting dilemma in the pizza aisle. When comparing the whole wheat pizza crust vs the white pizza crust, I expected to show Emily the reasons why whole wheat is a better choice – more fiber, protein, vitamins, etc. Oddly enough, the nutrition stats were exactly the same and the ingredients? Essentially the same as well. I’m not sure if there was a mistake in the ingredient list, but the only difference in the crusts seemed to be the color. I let Emily decide which crust to go with and she decided on the Thin & Crispy because, “we’ve had enough whole-wheat.” Ahh, you can’t win them all 🙂

Preparing:

The plan of attack – with about 3 hours before dinner- was to make the ranch dressing first, in order to let the flavors meld together. We would then make the croutons, move on to the pizza toppings, which were all going to be sautéed, and finish up with the salad and dessert preparation. The actual pizzas would be prepared and cooked once we got up to the grill and right before dinner.

We chopped more fruits and veggies then I’ve ever done in an afternoon and also sampled a lot of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits along the way. A few of the kids had never had fresh pineapple before and they were shocked at how delicious it is!

We sometimes overhear campers longing for certain foods – typically fast food and pop, but on our walk over to the grilling/lake area, I overheard them saying, “when I get home I’m going to have my Mom buy me 7 pineapples!” I can’t be certain, but I think I had a huge grin on my face at that moment. This is what I’m here for, to introduce kids to fresh foods and have them longing for pineapple, not pop.

The Meal:

When someone asks for the recipe to a salad, you know you’ve done something right. But I can’t take the credit for this one – the campers came up with this salad idea. The fresh herbs added some flavor they weren’t used to and the home-made croutons and ranch dressing made the salad a definite crowd-pleaser.

Our grilled pizzas were served along with a “toppings bar” where everyone could choose what toppings they wanted to add to their pizza slice – sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms and olives were the choices and it was up to the campers if they wanted all or nothing, and everything in between. The pizzas turned out fabulous, the crispy crust was a perfect base for a mound of toppings.

The boys were still talking about the salad the next day and while not all of them were fans of the feta or fans of the dressing, they all tried it, and most loved it.

Dessert was a hit too, I often forget how good ice cream is with some fresh berries and I was introduced to how good it is with grilled fruits as well. Grilling the pineapple and nectarines caramelizes the sugars and turns it into an amazing treat!  It truly was the perfect ending to the perfect cookout.

Will we do it again? We just might have to. I don’t want to stop introducing cooking, fresh & wholesome foods to kids, one delicious meal at a time. Thanks to Foodbuzz for a wonderful evening!

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Filed under article, eating local, fruit, great meals, grocery shopping, ice cream, lose weight, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

classic chicken salad

For some reason I’ve had a hankering for chicken salad lately – I’m not sure if it was inspired by the cherry chicken pasta salad that I recently made or the desire to find something new and exciting for lunch, but this is the perfect light lunch for a sunny, summer day. This lunch proved to be quite filling over a bed of arugula and I love the juicy sweetness that the grapes added. An added bonus? Two lunches completed on Sunday, which significantly cuts down on my normally ridiculous lunch prep. 🙂

Chicken Salad – 2 servings

  • 1 organic chicken breast
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups red grapes, sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise (I used a vegan canola oil mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp Simply Boulder Culinary Honey Dijon Sauce
  • salt & pepper

Poach or cook chicken breast. Let cool and cut into pieces. Combine all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour. Serve over greens or on bread.


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Filed under fruit, gluten-free, great meals, protein, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods

orzo salad with zucchini & feta

Orzo is not as easy to find as one might expect. Maybe Minnesota has too much Norweigen influence and prefers lefse over orzo but once I finally tracked some down, the hope of finding a whole-grain version was long gone. As long as I left the store with orzo, I would worry about fitting in whole-grains later.

I wanted to come up with a salad that was light, but flavorful and this turned out just as I had hoped. Bright and citrusy flavor, full of good-for-you zucchini, and a touch of pasta for good measure. Because you can never have too much pasta. And I’m not even Italian!

Orzo Salad with Zucchini & Feta – about 2 servings

  • 1/4 cup orzo
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into half length-wise and then into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Greek Seasoning
  • salt & pepper

Prepare orzo as directed. Set aside in medium sized bowl.

Heat large pan and spray with cooking spray. Add zucchini and garlic to pan, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Add to bowl with orzo and let cool.

Prepare dressing: mix olive oil, lemon juice and greek seasoning. Whisk until combined and pour over orzo and zucchini mixture. Add feta crumbles and toss until combined. Let cool and serve cool or at room temperature.



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Filed under cheese, great meals, in season, pasta, Recipes, salad, vegetables

greek potato salad

I’m generally not a huge fan of potato salads, or potatoes – with the exception of sweet potatoes – for that matter, but this is definitely an exception. Perhaps if you throw in green beans, feta, and kalamata olives I can be convinced to eat anything, but this? I’m still longing for the leftovers. And that never happens in my world.

Maybe I like it so much because it is essentially the opposite of your typical potato salad, found in every deli counter, but I’d rather think it’s because it doesn’t contain a week’s worth of mayo per serving. Not to mention that it just tastes perfect.

Go ahead, make this for your next picnic or summer BBQ – I can assure you that it will go over well with any crowd. And if you have any leftovers? I’ll happily accept them. 🙂

Thanks to Georgene for sharing this delicious recipe!

Greek Potato Salad – 6-8 servings

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain water from pan. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over hot potatoes and mix so all potatoes are coated with dressing. Set aside and let cool.

Steam green beans until tender-crisp. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Let cool.

Pour remaining dressing (1/4 cup) over remaining ingredients and toss together.

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Filed under cheese, gluten-free, olives, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods

ask the nutritionist: eating for bone health

One of the things I love about “nutrition” is that you can change and improve your diet to protect your health and actually see the benefits making a difference.

One of the many health topics women need to be aware of is bone health. I will admit, it is a topic that I’ve kind of ignored in the past, but because osteoporosis runs in my family, it is a topic that I can no longer be ignorant of. We often think of just getting enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and while that is certainly part of the prevention plan, having a glass of milk won’t cut it on its own.

Osteoporosis literally means “porus bones” and it causes bones to become very fragile and brittle.  Low bone density is also problematic and can lead to osteoporosis.

What can we do to protect ourselves against it?

“How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends on how much bone mass you attained in your 20s and early 30s (peak bone mass) and how rapidly you lose it later. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.” source

I have a few years left to build up my bone mass and then its all about the maintenance. This is one of the reasons it is so important to be aware of bone health now – later in life, you can only maintain it, not build it!

The three main ways to build up and maintain bone mass are:

  • calcium: the recommendations change throughout a lifetime, if unable to reach these levels through food – a calcium supplement is recommended

Up to 1 year old — 210 to 270 milligrams (mg)

Age 1 to 3 years — 500 mg

Age 4 to 8 years — 800 mg

Age 9 to 18 years — 1,300 mg

Age 19 to 50 years — 1,000 mg

Age 51 and older — 1,200 mg

source

  • vitamin D: helps your body absorb calcium – your body can make on its own with sunlight, and it is also present in some foods but I also take a supplement because I don’t spend that much time in the sun. Optimal amounts are not yet known, aim for about 1,000 IU’s/day

  • exercise: helps build strong bones as well as slow bone loss – aim for weight bearing exercise and strength-training in addition to regular cardiovascular exercise

So what do we eat?

We all know that most dairy products are a good source of calcium, but many of us can not tolerate dairy or avoid it entirely.

  • Good sources of Calcium: dairy products, fish, tofu and tempeh processed with calcium, calcium-fortified foods, greens like kale, collards, mustard greens

Vitamin D as we know can be produced in our bodies with natural sunlight but there are also a few food sources that contain Vitamin D:

  • Good sources of Vitamin D: milk (most milk in the US is fortified with Vitamin D), eggs, fortified foods

Do you take precautions to ensure your bones are healthy?

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Filed under ask the nutritionist, cheese, eggs, salad, vegan, vegetables, whole foods