Tag Archives: salad

Fall Cleansing Salad

18 Sep

This past weekend, the weather was in the 90s! It may be mid-September, but apparently Southern California hasn’t quite gotten the memo. Well that’s just too bad because I’m ready for cozy sweaters, cuddling up to loved ones to stay warm on long walks, and savoring my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.

While changing the weather is beyond my control, I still managed to evoke some feelings of fall with this delicious salad. It’s the perfect transition food because it has both the lightness of summer salads and the comfort of winter squash.

The colors of this salad really make it a party in your mouth with hot pink pomegranate arils, orange cubes of butternut squash, bright green kale, and taupe colored pumpkin seeds.

This salad was so good that I ate the leftovers for lunch and then again for dinner the very next day!

Fall Cleansing Salad

Adapted From Free People BLDG Blog

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeded
  • ½ Cup of sunflower seeds
  • 2 Bunches of dinosaur kale
  • ½ Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil (1 tablespoon for squash and 2 tablespoons for dressing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Peel and cube the butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with oil, and spread it out on the baking sheet. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
  2. While the squash is cooking, seed the pomegranate, and chop the kale. Place the kale into a large bowl, squeeze the lemon over it, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, then mix it all up. This helps the kale to start softening a bit.
  3. Allow the squash to cool for about ten minutes after it comes out of the oven, and then mix it with the pumpkin seeds, pomegranate arils, and kale.
  4. In a small bowl beat together the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and remaining oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve! 
Advertisements

Fresh Corn Grilled Salad

19 Jun

This recipe is for…wait for it…a salad! I’ve never posted a salad recipe on my blog before because I feel like it’s cheating. When I make a salad, normally I just chop up whatever vegetables we have lying around and top it with some salsa or lemon juice with salt and pepper, but this salad is different. This salad is special. This salad is an adaptation of my very favorite salad, the Fresh Corn Grilled Salad.

Whenever I go to Fresh Corn Grill in Westwood I get this salad because even though there are half a dozen other things on the menu that sound good, nothing can be as delicious as this salad. I get this salad whenever I meet friends for lunch or whenever I’m in the neighborhood and feel like treating myself to a takeout dinner. It’s that good. Unlike most salads, it feels like a complete, filling meal purely from vegetables. The warmth of the freshly grilled veggies in the salad make it feel comforting ad satisfying without the addition of unnecessary cheese, nuts or other add ons.

For a get together with friends the other night, I decided to try to recreate the salad on my own simply by going off the ingredients for the salad that are listed on the menu: corn, zucchini, asparagus, tomato, avocado, mixed greens, and vinaigrette. Easy right? Well the real problem lied in the name of the salad itself, grilled.

I don’t know how to grill and I wasn’t about to make the night that I’m having friend over the night that I decided to experiment, so I decided to use our Cuisinart Calphalon Double Grill Pan to grill the vegetables over the comfort of the stove.  I simply oiled the pan and put it over two burners and I was able to get the beautiful grill marks and texture without the hassle of setting up the big, intimidating grill.

Once the grilling was over, the rest was easy. I just chopped the grilled veggies, added avocado, mixed them with greens and whipped together a simple vinaigrette to go with it. Easy!

The salad lived up to my delicious expectations, but the rave reviews that I got from my friends were a total surprise. Never had I seen teenagers fighting over salad so much in my life! My friends were actually going for seconds, thirds, and maybe even fourths of this salad. So Anita, Liz, and Ginelle, here’s the salad recipe especially for you.

Fresh Corn Grilled Salad

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 3 zucchini, cut lengthwise into long slices
  • 3 tomatoes, cut widthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 bundle of asparagus (about 15), bottoms removed
  • 1 bundle of scallions (about 8), bottoms and tops removed
  • 1 avocado, peeled with pit removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound of mixed greens
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons honey (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions: 

  1. Drizzle the grill pan (or grill) with 1-2 tablespoons oil and allow it to heat up. Grill the scallions and tomatoes for 5 minutes. Grill the asparagus and zucchini for 10 minutes, turning often. Grill the corn for 10-20 minutes, turning a few times. Each time that you load a new layer of veggies onto the grill, add another tablespoon or two of new oil.
  2. Allow the veggies to cool for 5 minutes then cut the corn off the cob and cut the rest of the vegetables  into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. In a salad bowl, gently toss to combine the veggies, avocado, and mixed greens.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, garlic, honey (if desired) salt, pepper, and vinegar. Start to drizzle in the oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking rapidly.
  5. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and serve!

Cheater’s Tomato, Corn, and Avocado Salad

27 May

Sometimes you need to take the easy way out. It can be hard to juggle friends, family, and work while still setting a little time aside for yourself as well. That’s why sometimes it’s okay to skip corners a bit and fall back on tricks that help you save time without anyone else noticing.

From time to time you can rely on packaged brownies for a bake sale as long as you sprinkle some marshmallows and nuts on top so they come off as looking like gourmet rocky road brownies. Or you can count a nice walk as your workout for the day. You can even tweak one of your old ideas slightly to make a new proposal for work.

While you know that you’re taking the easy way out, often times no one else will have a clue! This salad is one of those recipes that tastes delicious, yet it requires just 1o minutes of your time. Impress your family or your guests with this simple salad that relies on the delicious taste of seasonal produce and a combination of textures, not hours of slaving away in the kitchen. Because the taste of the produce matters so much in this recipe, I would not recommend making any time of year except for summer. Nothing can compare to vine-ripened cherry tomatoes and fresh corn at the peak of the season.

This salad is such an easy no-cook recipe, yet it’s such a tremendous hit at summer parties and backyard barbecues that my mom always requests it! Unlike most corn recipes, you don’t have to boil or grill it, simply marinate it (or not). Allowing the tomatoes, corn, and scallions to marinate overnight is purely optional, but it helps soften the raw corn, similar to the process that seafood undergoes in the ceviche-making process.

Tomato, Corn, and Avocado Salad

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 ear corn, husked with skins removed
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Directions:
  1. For each ear of corn, stand it in a bowl and slice downward to release the kernels. Add the tomato, scallion, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Gently toss the salad, then cover it with plastic wrap and allow the salad to marinate in the refrigerator over night. You can skip this, and allow it to marinate for just three hours, or if you’re in a rush, you can skip the marinating altogether.
  3. Up to three hours before serving, add the avocado and more salt, pepper, or lime as desired.
  4. Toss the salad once more, then serve and enjoy!

Best Picture-inspired Oscar Menu

22 Feb

While I chose not to watch the Super Bowl this year, I am excited, as always to watch Hollywood’s glamorous stars grace the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Beautiful dresses, touching acceptance speeches, and getting to cheer for my favorite films all make the Oscars a night of excitement that I look forward to every year. It is a wonderful time to scout for prom dress inspiration, have a festive night in with the people you love, and to remember that even celebrities depend on their friends and families to achieve their success.

This year, along with standbys like popcorn and pizza, my family and I are cooking up an array of appetizers and desserts inspired by this year’s best picture nominees. I’ve been having tons of fun getting started in the kitchen with my amazing mom and little sisters, because although I stuck with mostly simple recipes, making nine dishes of any sort is always a challenge. The crab cakes, lollipops, and keys for the cupcakes can all be made in advance to lessen your kitchen time on Oscar weekend.

Here are my Best-Picture inspired recipes to jazz up any Oscar party!

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats from Cookies and Cups

  • Midnight in Paris: Chocolate Eiffel Tower Lollipops

    Follow these instructions to make chocolate lollipops using an Eiffel Tower mold, or any other oscar-related shape you choose. These make an adorable and affordable party favor too!