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Posts tagged “Blue cheese

Black Grape, Walnut, & Blue Cheese Salad

with Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Black Grape, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad with Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

I found some gorgeous big, juicy, crunchy black grapes at the grocery store the other day. I am not really much of a grape lover (unless it’s WINE!), but my kids like them, so I decided to bring some black grapes home for the teenagers. But my kids didn’t eat them. I even put some in a little container for my daughter for a before-dance snack, but she didn’t touch them. I kept reminding my son that they were there … no luck.

So it seems like I’m stuck eating the grapes. I tried to think of a way to eat them that I would actually enjoy and the first thing that came to mind is a salad. I thought if I added some crunchy walnuts and blue cheese, that would probably make them palateable. And you know what? It worked! I think I may actually start LIKING grapes …

Black Grape, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad with Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Black Grape, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad with Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Red or green grapes would work nicely in this salad too. Red ones would add more color, too!

  • Mixed greens
  • Black grapes, sliced or halved
  • Walnuts, toasted
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Vanilla Ginger Yogurt dressing (recipe below)

Prepare the dressing and set aside. Fill your salad bowl most of the way with mixed greens. Add a generous amount of grapes and toss to mix. Top with some toasted walnuts and blue cheese crumbles and drizzle with the Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing.

Black Grape, Walnut & Blue Cheese Salad with Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Vanilla Ginger Yogurt Dressing

  • 1/3 cup vanilla lowfat yogurt
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • milk or rosewater, to thin

In a small bowl, mix the vanilla yogurt with the grated ginger root. Add milk or rosewater as needed (I used a little of each) to thin out the yogurt to the right consistency to drizzle properly.

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysScrumptious SundayAll my Bloggy FriendsTuesday Talent Show, Tasty Tuesday, Newlyweds Recipe Linky, Show & Share Wednesday and Lifeologia’s Birthday Party Potluck.


Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans, and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

It was a “make do with what you’ve got” kinda lunch day. I thought I would have a salad, but I didn’t have enough greens left to fill my bowl.

So I went scrounging in my yard for greens. My spinach is still too tiny to pick, so I came in with a bunch of dandelion greens and a couple flowers as well. I know, these common yellow flowers are not generally well loved. Most people don’t want them in their yard. But they do have a lot of health benefits, they cost nothing and they’re really quite tasty and beautiful. The only problem is the greens do tend to get bitter.

However, bitter greens in a salad are really lovely if you pair them with something sweet. So I went looking for something sweet. No berries left, but I did have some dried apricots and cinnamon pecans. I threw in some chopped chicken and tangy blue cheese and I had quite a nice, well rounded, tasty salad.

If you are averse to using dandelions in your salad, skip the dandelions and use different greens. Arugula mixed with some fresh spinach would be nice.

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

  • Mixed greens (I used spinach and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken (leftover chicken or natural chicken nuggets), chopped … I think this salad would be incredible with some apricot-glazed chicken … as you can see, I used the chicken nuggets.
  • Blue cheese crumbles (just a few)
  • Fresh or Dried apricots, chopped
  • Cinnamon pecans (recipe here)
  • Snipped green onion
  • Dandelion flower petals (optional … only use these if you have a safe, chemical-free source of dandelions)

Fill your salad bowl most of the way with greens. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chicken, blue cheese crumbles, apricots, pecans, green onion and flower petals. Drizzle with Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.

Wild Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans and Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

I’m fascinated with edible flowers right now …  last week I found a list of 42 edible flowers … and realized I had another edible flower literally on my front doorstep.

My mom brought me a mum from her garden. A confused mum. Chrysanthemums are supposed to flower in the fall, but this one was in full bloom already. Mom said just plant it and pull off the blossoms and it should bloom again in the fall. I didn’t have the heart to pull the blossoms off … it looked so pretty. So I left it in the crumpled metal bucket mom brought it in and set it on my doorstep.

And now I’m so glad I did. Because I LOVE the taste of these flowers! My daughter tasted them too and she loved the taste as well. Said they would be great in a salad. Which made me laugh because that is EXACTLY what I thought.

My white mum flower petals have a floral herb-y taste to them, with a hint of bitterness and slight peppery bite. (Mums come in a wide variety of colors and according to treehugger the flavors vary from peppery to pungent.) Which makes a perfect pairing for a berry salad.

Warnings: You should eat only the petals of chrysanthemum flowers.  Also, be careful to choose a flower plant that hasn’t been sprayed or treated with any strange chemicals (or better yet, grow your own!)

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans & Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

  • Pecan pieces
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed greens and/or fresh spinach leaves
  • Strawberries
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Chrysanthemum flowers that are free of pesticides and herbicides
  • Berry Vinaigrette (recipe here)

Mix some powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl till you have a good-tasting mix. Put the nuts in the powdered sugar and toss to coat them. Pour through a colander or sifter to separate the nuts from the powdered sugar mixture. Put the sugared nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes. The sugar sorts of melts onto the toasted nuts.

Now it’s time to make the salad! Fill your plate or salad bowl mostly with greens, top with sliced strawberries, then a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles, then take your Chrysanthemum flowers and pull off the petals and sprinkle them all over the salad.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon pecans and drizzle with berry vinaigrette.

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

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This recipe was also shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Ham, Avocado, & Blue Cheese Salad

with Toasted Pinons and Avocado Ranch Dressing

Ham, Avocado & Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pinons

Do you still have ham left over from Easter dinner? I do … a LOT of it. Dad gave me more than I really thought I could handle. And I talked him into giving me one of the smaller ham bones. So soon there will be soup!

But not today. Today is salad day. I love a good salad. And what better way to use up leftover ham than to toss it in a salad, right? … Okay, there are tons of other great ways to use ham, but this is one of the best options, in my humble opinion.

Ham, Avocado & Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pinons

Ham, Avocado & Blue Cheese Salad

on Mixed Greens with Toasted Pinons and Avocado Ranch Dressing

  • Mixed organic greens
  • Cooked ham, sliced or diced or just torn into chunks
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Avocado slices
  • Pine nuts (pinons), toasted
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Avocado ranch salad dressing (recipe here)

Directions:

  1. Make the salad dressing. Go here for the recipe.
  2. Make a nice big bed of greens on your salad plate or bowl.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes (watch them closely!) or until they just start to turn brown. Just be careful to watch them carefully so they won’t burn. If you have a toaster oven that toasts nicely without burning things (unlike mine), you can put the nuts on a toaster oven pan in your toaster oven and set it on toast (medium setting) and they will be perfectly brown. Or you can toast them in a skillet pan over medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle the ham, red onion, avocado, pinons and blue cheese crumbles over your beautiful bed of greens.
  5. Drizzle with avocado ranch dressing. If you happen to have a wild violet or a viola, invite it to sit on top of the salad to make a pretty garnish. Then chow down and feel how much your body (and your taste buds) love you.

Ham, Avocado & Blue Cheese Salad with Toasted Pinons

This recipe was shared at Newlyweds Recipe LinkyMelt in your Mouth Mondays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Salmon, Havarti, Blue Cheese & Veggie Omelet

Salmon, Havarti, Blue Cheese & Spring Vegetable Omelet

I still had some salmon in my fridge from the other night when I made it for my daughter (I made extra just for times like this … salmon is such a fun fish to “play” with!) and a bit of Havarti and blue cheese, some cucumber, red onion, tomato, and dill … sounds like a fantastic omelet … It was.

You see, Wednesday night was yogilates night. It’s a tough workout. Usually after yoga on Wednesdays, we go out for wine. I never eat after that … I just roll into bed. So I tend to wake up on Thursday mornings just STARVING … time for an omelet.

Salmon, Havarti, Blue Cheese & Spring Vegetable Omelet

Salmon, Havarti, Blue Cheese & Spring Vegetable Omelet

Blue Cheese Dilled Salmon Spread:

  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon or so of blue cheese
  • A sprig of fresh dill, snipped
  • Garlic scapes, snipped … or a bit of fresh garlic, chopped
  • A bit of finely chopped onion … or green onion
  • A small fillet of salmon, grilled or smoked

Omelet:

  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • Dabs of the Blue Cheese Dilled Salmon Spread
  • Chopped red onion
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Snipped dill
  • Shredded Havarti cheese
  • Flakes of cooked or smoked salmon
  • Tomato slices and sprigs of dill for garnish and toasted french bread

Directions:

  1. Mix up the Blue Cheese Dilled Salmon Spread by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl. This will make more than enough for an omelet, so use the rest for salmon cucumber toasts or serve it as a spread with crackers. It’s lovely that way.
  2. Prepare your chopped vegetables and shred the cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, and 1 tablespoon of water till fluffy. (Use water to keep the eggs moist without sticking to the pan.) Season with salt and freshly ground pepper (and/or my favorite: Red Robin seasoning).
  4. Heat a skillet or omelet pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Arrange your omelet toppings close by so you can work quickly once you start cooking.
  5. When the pan is hot, add the egg to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan, then quickly sprinkle with dabs of the salmon spread, the chopped vegetables, dill, salmon, and Havarti cheese. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted and the egg is cooked. The omelet should be just lightly browned on the bottom.
  6. With a spatula, carefully fold over one side of the omelet onto the other, then slide it out of the pan onto a serving plate.

Salmon, Havarti, Blue Cheese & Spring Vegetable Omelet

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck, the Egg Blog Hop and Talent Show Tuesday.


Smoky Blue Cheese & Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

Smoky Blue Cheese & Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushrooms are curious things. Some mushrooms are healthy and delicious and nutritious … and then other mushrooms are quite dangerous.

I have gone mushroom hunting several times. The little shrooms can be quite elusive, and then suddenly you’ll discover a whole field of them. Or not. It’s hard to tell with mushrooms. If you’re going to go hunting them in the wild, though, make sure only to pick the ones you KNOW are safe to eat. I’ve hunted morels, chanterelles, shaggy manes, and a few other stragglers. Morels are by far my favorite. There is nothing like them in the whole world. They are just exquisite.

These aren’t morels or anything I found growing wild. Just some huge mushrooms I saw at the grocery store that were screaming to be taken home and stuffed. They sat neglected in my vegetable drawer for a week, waiting for me to attend to them, pulling at my consciousness with little nags telling me they’re not going to wait forever. Sorry I kept you waiting so long, dear mushrooms. Here, have a nice cheesey-licious stuffing. And some basil.

Smoky Blue Cheese & Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

First you must make this funky cheese mixture. I used this same cheese filling in my Pepperoni Pull Apart Rolls.

Smoky Basil Cheese filling:

  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)

Mix the ingredients up in a bowl. I know, it makes more than you’ll need for these mushrooms. Use it on toast or in a sandwich, or toss it into the cheese mixture for a lasagna or some stuffed pull apart rolls. It’s really tasty … I know you’ll find SOMETHING to do with it.

Smoky Blue Cheese & Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 8 big mushrooms
  • 4 small cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, peeled
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese
  • 2/3 cup smoky basil cheese filling
  • Fresh sprigs of basil, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Carefully pull the stems out of the mushrooms and chop the stems and the garlic and onion into little bits.
  3. Spray a pan with cooking spray and sautee the onion, garlic, and mushroom stems briefly over medium high heat, then add the wine and cook until the wine has mostly evaporated.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the sauteed vegies with the breadcrumbs, blue cheese, and smoky basil cheese filling.
  5. Stuff the mushroom caps with the cheesy crumb mixture. You can pile it on there a bit.
  6. Set the stuffed mushrooms on a baking pan and pour 1/4 cup white wine plus 1/4 cup water in the bottom of the pan.
  7. Bake the mushrooms at 350 for 15 – 25 minutes or until they are nice and hot all the way through.
  8. Garnish with basil leaves. You may have to use a toothpick to make a little hole in the stuffing to stick in the basil stems. (I did.) Serve them while they’re hot. You can make them ahead of time, store them in the fridge in a covered container, then pop them in the oven just before serving time if you like. You’d have to bake them a little longer, but not too much.

Smoky Blue Cheese & Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck.


Blues n Beef Salad with Pear & Pomegranate

And a kickin’ blue cheese yogurt dressing

Blues n Beef Salad with Pear & Pomegranate

This was a salad-scape I threw together on Friday for lunch. I had some steak from a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich I bought that was way too big for me, so I was looking for things to go with the extra meat I pilfered from the leftover sandwich. Blue cheese, definitely, and mushrooms and onions … oh and some toasted nuts for crunch. A spicy blue cheese dressing, yes. But then it needed a little something sweet and juicy to counterpoint all the intense meat and cheese flavors. I had some of the pear and pomegranate seeds left from the pear crostini — that was just the thing.

Make the dressing first.

Kickin Blue Cheese Yogurt Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons blue cheese crumbles

Mix all ingredients together and let sit to blend the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Blues n Beef Salad with Pear & Pomegranate Seeds

Blues n Beef Salad with Pear & Pomegranate Seeds

  • Mixed greens
  • Steak or Roast beef, thinly sliced and warm
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced red onions
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Hunks of ripe red pear
  • Pomegranate seeds

Fill the bowl 3/4 full of greens. Top with the rest of the ingredients as you like. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy.

Blues n Beef Salad with Pear & Pomegranate

This recipe was shared at Talent Show TuesdayTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


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