Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Salads, We have SALADS!
Connie's lost 20 pounds. Me, not so much. About half of that. Everyone consoles me and tells me that women lose weight more slowly. In my case it's because I'm not exercising as much as he is and I've not cut back as much on the food. One big change we've made is to our intake of bread. I threw away half a loaf the other day. It was green. That's never happened around our house before. Needless to say, I've found creative ways to turn sandwiches into salads.
My favorite? Smoked salmon with cream cheese, shallots and capers. Lettuce instead of a bagel. And, radishes from our garden. Ok, I admit. I tinkered with the cream cheese. It went into the food processor with some lowfat sour cream and a bunch of chopped shallots and a lot of capers and a whisper of red wine vinegar. Then, it got used as the salad dressing. Major YUM! Connie walked by as I was typing this and he pointed at the photo and said, "That was GOOD!" As you can see, the lettuce (yes, from our garden) is topped with a generous serving of smoked salmon, dressing, capers and chives. Then, radishes are strewn around the edges.
There were leftovers. And, we did have some flour tortillas. And, we were meeting my friend Deb at the farmer's market so she could sign a form. The tortillas were schmeared with the dressing and stuffed with the rest of the salmon. Great breakfast!
Sunday was Mother's Day. Mom's in the midst of moving. That means my living room is stacked with boxes of dishes and other goodies from her house. They won't be unpacked until a china cabinet moves from Mom's condo to my house. Having the crew at my house - which is normally my turn - would be tough. John and Pam stepped up and volunteered. Now, you know my brother John is the BEST on the grill. Heck, I'd put him up against Bobby Flay any day. So, when he volunteered to do burgers and brats on the grill, I didn't hesitate to accept. And, to volunteer to bring a couple of salads.
I'd just scanned in an OLD Taste of Home and it had a recipe for apple and sweet potato salad that'd caught my eye. I adjusted it a bit to suit everyone else's taste. The original recipe called for six sweet potatoes to two tart apples. I did two potatoes to two Gala apples. And, I omitted the dijon mustard. Connie and I love mustard. But the rest of the crew is into sweeter rather than more savory. I still loved this. Next time I'll put a hint of mustard in but will leave the ratio at one to one on the potatoes to apples.
Sweet Potato and Apple Salad
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 medium Gala apples
1/4 c olive oil
2 T orange juice
1 1/2 t sugar
1 1/2 cider vinegar
1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
1 finely minced shallot
1/2 t poppy seeds
1/2 t grated orange peel
1/4 t grated lemon peel
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Cook, peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Or, peel, cook and cube. Or, peel, cube and cook. However you do it, cook the sweet potatoes until they're tender but not mushy. Cube the apples. Do not peel them. Mix the dressing. Toss the sweet potatoes and apples with the dressing. Sprinkle the salad with the green onions. Serve.
adapted from Taste of Home
The fam would've been very happy with Casa d'Angelo salad as the second choice. But, I had designs on getting them to try something new. Well, new to them. Old to me. Many, many years ago I had a dinner date with a fellow who shall remain nameless. He brought a killer salad. That salad was the best part of the date. And, now that I wanted to make the salad again, I couldn't find the recipe. So, I made it up. Shocking, I know. The almonds were toasted, the lettuce washed, the mandarin oranges strewn over the lettuce. Then, Connie says, "Let's freak out the fam and put some chive blossoms on this!" LOL. Well, it sounded more like a cackle. Ok, let's.
Did you see the photo up top? My family ate the chive blosssoms. There were a couple who said, "I can't believe I just ate a flower." But they actually liked them. Nobody was freaked out. Does this mean they're actually getting used to the way I cook?
The salad is pretty basic. You put down a bed of lettuce and open a large can of mandarin oranges. They get strewn over the lettuce. Then, you toast a handful of sliced almonds. Those go on top. Finally, you chop a few green onions and strew them over the salad. Well, that is unless you want to add a handful of chive blossoms :-) The dressing is your basic 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 red wine or champagne vinegar mixed with some tabasco and a bit of sugar. Toss and serve. Easy and oh, so good!