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Posts tagged “Vinegar

Wilted Kale, Quinoa & Bacon Salad

Wilted Kale, Quinoa & Bacon Salad

So we got back from vacation last night after a long long 14-hour drive. I needed some GOOD food today, something that not only tastes good, but has all those super-nutritional things in it that are hard to find when you’re travelling. So I threw together this wilted kale salad. It has just the right mix of protein, fiber, grains, greens and herbs, with a little salty smoky taste from the bacon and cheese and a bit of crunch from the sunflower seeds. This was just what I was missing while I was on vacation!

The trip to Yellowstone was lovely, the scenery was spectacular, and it was great to spend time together with my kids where we actually TALKED to each other and joked around and just enjoyed each other’s company … we really had a good time … but there were a few aspects of a normal “vacation” we kind of missed. Trips to the coffee shop. Eating exceptional food. We ate our meals in the car or the hotel for the most part. The first night I tried to get the kids to go out with me, but they were exhausted from the drive and just wanted to chill (and play on their computers) in the hotel room. The second and third days we ate sandwiches in the car and breakfast & dinner in the room. The resort we stayed at had a gas grill, so I cooked up grilled salmon one night and chicken and hot dogs the next, but by the third night we were dying for some really good food OUT. So Wednesday after the tour of my favorite brewery, the Grand Teton Brewing Company (which was wonderful!), we decided to try a brew-pub in Jackson, the Snake River Brewing Company. We were disappointed. The food was okay, but the pretzel was cold and hard, the pizzas and fish and chips were mediocre. It wasn’t the really good food we were hoping for at all on our “big night out”. And after visiting Grand Teton, even the beer tasted kind of blah. The whole experience just made us want to go home.

Oh but before we go on, you need to see the awesome beer I had at the Grand Teton Brewing Company … this is the Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter. I really wanted to bring some home with me, but they didn’t have any bottled for sale … I’m hoping like mad that they DO send some our way soon because I really loved this deep dark beer! The other cool part about our brewery tour was my teenagers each got a bottle of the Black Cherry soda straight off the bottling line, which was REALLY cool. It made them feel much more welcome.

Wake up call Imperial Coffee Porter

(No, there’s no beer in this dish … I just wanted to TELL someone about this awesome beer and the great time we had at the brewery … if you want an awesome recipe for dark beer, check out the Black Cauldron Imperial Chocolate Stout Cake)

Okay, anyway, back to the topic at hand … what were we talking about? Oh yes, the quinoa, kale & bacon salad …

So my daughter and I went shopping for shoes and groceries today. (Way fun on both parts!) I had to get some kale. Kale is my new favorite food. It crisps up delightfully to make kale chips, but you can also quick-steam it for omelets and salads. My friend Sonali, the Foodie Physician can tell you how wonderful kale is for your body … and how to make those crispy fun kale chips. But kale also tastes good, and because kale is so good for you, it makes your body feel wonderful all over when you eat it. The bacon and cheese might even win over some of your more skeptical eaters.

Wilted Kale, Quinoa & Bacon Salad

Wilted Kale, Quinoa and Bacon Salad

for each serving, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 slices lean bacon
  • 2 stalks of kale, stems removed, then take the greens and chop or tear them into smaller pieces
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • About 3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  • Red robin seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • A few very thin slices of Dubliner cheese (you could substitute Parmesan or Romano if you don’t have Dubliner)
  • About 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, in a frying pan, fry the bacon until it’s crisp, then remove from pan and set on a clean towel to soak up the excess fat. If there’s any excess fat in the pan, drain it out, but don’t wipe out the pan … leave a micro thin coating of bacon fat on the bottom.
  3. Over medium high heat, throw in the kale along with a splash of water. Stir them around a little. The kale will soften and turn a brilliant green almost immediately.
  4. Add in the quinoa, bacon, vinegar, oil, basil and season to taste.
  5. Pour the salad into a bowl and top with the cheese shards and sunflower seeds.

For me this was a full meal, but you could serve it as a side with some meat if you prefer.

Wilted Kale, Quinoa & Bacon Salad

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Manic Mondays, Best Healthy Salad Recipes, Recipe of the Week and Summer Salad Sundays.


Lisa’s Chocolate Mud Cake

Lisa's Chocolate Mud Cake

Last week, my foodie friend Lisa from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish found this recipe for “Mud Cake” in her recipe box, so she made it and blogged about it.  It looked so good and moist and chocolatey … and easy. I needed a little chocolate in my life yesterday, so I decided to make Lisa’s cake. I mentioned “chocolate cake” to my friend as we were talking, and a short while later, there he was, pulling into my driveway … LOL. I didn’t have time to frost it because I had to run off to yoga, but both of the guys who tasted it agreed it was delicious without frosting. My son was a little angry with me for making it on the day he was leaving to stay with his dad … sorry buddy! I’m saving the recipe for you, though. We’ll make it again.

Lisa’s Chocolate Mud Cake

Recipe from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients till smooth. Pour into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Head on over to Lisa’s to get the recipe for the frosting! It looks super yummy …

Lisa's Chocolate Mud Cake

This recipe was shared at Thursday’s Treasures.


Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I don’t know why, but the past two days, all I have wanted to eat was this salad. I need to make some soup, but I don’t really care … all I want is this green salad with pink, juicy grapefruit chunks and toasted sweet walnuts and this luscious vinaigrette. I could drown myself in it …

The first time I made it, I didn’t have any greens, so I had to go foraging in my lawn and what little is growing in my garden so far. I added the petals from a couple chrysanthemums too … since I was picking things …

The mums were lovely, but I completely forgot them the second time around. Because this time I had a big tub of organic spinach I found at the grocery store, so I didn’t have to go outside picking anything. And because the second time my son joined in in “helping” me prepare the grapefruit and before I knew it, we’d gone through 3 grapefruit  and only one was left for my salad … because he pilfered all the rest … not that I mind … I love it when he revels in eating something healthy.

It reminded me of a different time and a different place when we used to have a grapefruit tree, so we would have “grapefruit festivals” … the kids and I would sit at the table and eat and eat and eat grapefruit to our heart’s content … and if we wanted more, we just ran out to the tree and picked a few more. This went on until we had each eaten 3 or 4 grapefruit. I’m not really sure how many we actually ate … it just seemed like the feasting went on and on and on. There was always a huge pile of rinds when we were done.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

  • Mixed greens or spinach
  • Grapefruit
  • Walnut pieces (just a couple tablespoons per serving)
  • Powdered sugar (maybe 1/3 cup?)
  • Cinnamon (not sure how much I used … 1/2 teaspoon? maybe more?)
  • Chrysanthemum petals (or fresh mint leaves … or you could just leave these out)
  • Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Peel the grapefruit and section it like you would an orange, then pull off all the membrane. If you have any difficulty doing this with your fingers, use a knife. Make sure you have extra grapefruit if you have any others around that like to “help”.
  2. Take the powdered sugar and mix it with some cinnamon (and maybe a bit of powdered ginger? of course this occurred to me AFTER we’ve eaten all the grapefruit in the house!), then dump your walnut pieces in. Use a colander or sifter to separate the nuts from the powdered sugar. Reserve the cinnamon sugar mixture for next time (or for powdering a dessert).
  3. Put the nuts on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until the nuts are brown on top.
  4. In the meantime, put a big bunch of greens in the salad bowl and hide the grapefruit sections amongst the greens.
  5. Sprinkle with the sweet toasted nuts and chrysanthemum petals (if you have them), then drizzle with a bit of the ginger grapefruit vinaigrette.

Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This makes a small amount, but you really don’t need much on the salad because it has a lot of flavor (but then, I’m a “light on the dressing” kind of person). If you want extra for future salads, double the recipe!

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger sugar (the sugar that falls from making candied ginger … or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
  • 1 Tablespoon jam (I used mixed berry jam, but I think you could use whatever jam suits you)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fancy prepared mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard, but Dijon would also be fine.)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil until everything is well blended. In a thin stream, add the olive oil, whisking the dressing till the oil is incorporated into the dressing.

Store any extra salad dressing in the fridge … let warm slightly for just a few minutes at room temperature to warm the olive oil and shake well before using.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdaysThursday’s Treasures, Full Plate ThursdaysWeekend Potluck, and Meatless Mondays.


Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Feta & Romano

and a Kumquat Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Almonds, Feta & Romano Cheese

This is an intense salad, with bursts of contrasting flavors all over the place. Smoky salty prosciutto contrasting with the sharp cheese, nutty almonds, onion, and then those kumquats come along and blow your taste buds away. Top it all off with some a tangy sweet kumquat ginger yogurt dressing and oh my your taste buds will start dancing.

Not for the faint of heart … this salad is bold and feisty.

Kumquat Proscuitto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

First make the dressing and let it sit while you mix up the salad …

Kumquat Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

This dressing has an intense ginger taste. If you are not a ginger fanatic, or if you are not sure if you are, I would recommend seriously toning down the amount of ginger in the dressing.

  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (if you’re not a ginger fanatic like me, cut it down to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon kumquat syrup (from making candied kumquats … you could substitute orange marmalade)

Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Kumquat & Prosciutto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

  • Mixed greens
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Thin sliced prosciutto
  • Kumquat, thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Shards of fresh Romano cheese (slice off very thin slices of the cheese)
  • Toasted almonds

Fill your salad bowl about 3/4 of the way with the greens, then add the rest of the ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy the party in your mouth.

Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper ThursdaysFit and Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Sometimes it’s good not to have anything in the fridge to eat. It means I have to get creative if I want to have something good for lunch. I went into the kitchen at lunchtime, starving, completely ravenous, because all I had for breakfast was one of my little cranberry apricot energy balls, which seriously wasn’t enough …

So here I am digging through the fridge. The soup is gone. The ham is mostly gone … but there are two mostly-empty containers of salad greens that need to be used up … okay, then, a salad, but what to put on it? I pulled some chicken nuggets out of the freezer and looked for something to dress this up. In the fruit bowl are some forgotten tangerines … my daughter has me buy these big bags of “cuties” for her … she can eat a whole bag in one or two days, and then she wants more … but eventually she gets tired of them. At that point, there are usually a couple neglected tangerines left. This is one of those times. She has moved on to gala apples, and forgotten the tangerines.

So I settled on chicken and tangerines, and then started wondering what shall I dress this baby with? Scrounged some more and found a partly-emptied container of greek yogurt … yes! that’s it! yogurt and some freshly grated ginger … perfect.

Oh yes. Perfect.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Chicken and Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

  • Mixed Salad Greens
  • Sliced Red Onions
  • Tangerines, peeled, separated, and chopped into chunks
  • Chicken nuggets or other cooked chicken, heated and chopped into chunks
  • Toasted almonds (yes, toast them … they are SO much better toasted!)
  • A bit of fresh dill for garnish

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic greens, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing … or go ahead and DOUSE it with it if you so desire because this salad dressing is SO good for you.

Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

There is no fat in this dressing (unless there is fat in your greek yogurt) and it has all kinds of goodness for your body. This is like the healthiest dressing EVAH, and I can’t believe it only has 5 ingredients. I never make things with only 5 ingredients!

I need to warn you: I really love ginger. I love the spicy heat of it. So I used a LOT of it in the dressing and I loved the intensity of it with the sweet tangerines and the crunchy chicken and the toasted almonds. If you are not a ginger fanatic, or if you are not sure if you are, I would recommend seriously toning down the amount of ginger in the dressing.

  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (if you’re not a ginger fanatic like me, cut it down to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Mix all ingredients until well blended. The dressing will not be smooth because of all that yummy ginger root in there. It’s okay. Chunky dressing is a good thing sometimes.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

This salad was featured by Bon Appetit Magazine.

This recipe was shared on Foodie FridaysKatherine Martinelli’s DIY blog hopTotally Tasty TuesdaysKM’s Honey Bloghop and Gooseberry Patch Inexpensive Recipes.


Cranberry Habanero Chutney

Cranberry Habanero Chutney

My friend had an antelope roast to cook, and I suggested we make a cranberry roast, remembering one my sister made years ago for a Christmas dinner, but of course I didn’t have the recipe she used. So I googled it, found one I thought would be good, and emailed it to her. She cooked the roast for dinner on Friday night–we were invited to join them.

I noticed at the end of the recipe I had sent her, it said “serve with cranberry chutney” … hmm, cranberry chutney. And I happen to have some habanero jelly my other friend gave me … hmm … this sounds good.

This chutney was just perfect with the cranberry roast. I think it would also go well with beef, venison or pork. It’s also yummy spread on hot, fresh bread.

Cranberry Habanero Chutney

Cranberry Habanero Chutney

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger
  • 1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored and diced)
  • 1/4 cup habanero jelly (or other pepper jelly)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (finely diced–optional. Depends on how hot you like it! You may want to see how hot it is with the pepper jelly first, than add jalapeno to taste.)
  • 1/2 cup cranberry-raspberry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

Directions:

  1. Put onion, garlic, and candied ginger in a handi chopper or food processor and chop into tiny bits.
  2. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan, add remaining ingredients and cook on medium high heat for about 20 – 30 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Store in the refrigerator.

Cranberry Habanero Chutney

This recipe was shared at Trick or Treat Tuesdays and Tastetastic Thursdays.


Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranates are so beautiful. I’ve been entranced with them since I studied Greek mythology way back in junior high school.

Then when we lived in California, our neighbors had a pomegranate tree … one long branch of the tree stretched into our yard and that one branch always gave us plenty of pomegranates. Not that it really mattered, because the neighbors let us go into their yard and pick pomegranates whenever we wanted. My kids used to sell pomegranates like some kids sell lemonade. The neighbors loved it.

When you open up a pomegranate, it is full of all these gorgeous little jewels; it looks like a treasure chest to me. And the taste of the little jewels when you bite into one … oh my.

If you want to make this salad, you will first need to make the Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar, and that takes about a week … just giving you fair warning. You could do some clever substitutions, perhaps, but the jewel-toned vinegar with the little pomegranate jewels in the salad is really quite nice.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Mixed Cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

with Dried Cranberries, Apricots and Mixed Cheeses

  • Organic Herb Mix (or mixed greens)
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Shards of Parmesan Cheese (cut very thin slices off the edge of a hunk of parmesan)
  • Toasted Walnuts, chopped roughly
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chopped dried Apricots
  • Blue cheese crumbles

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic herb mix, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette.

Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup cranberry raspberry vinegar (recipe here)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon strawberry or raspberry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon, Spicy Brown or other fancy mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard seed
  • A couple of basil leaves, a small sprig of rosemary, and several sprigs of fresh dill weed

Mix all ingredients together in a handi chopper and whir until the herbs and garlic are well chopped and everything is mixed well. Refrigerate any of the remaining dressing.

Pomegranate Walnut Salad with dried cranberries, apricots, mixed cheeses and Maple Cranberry Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, and Full Plate Thursdays.


Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

Make your own Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

This is almost not even a recipe it’s so simple, but it makes such a beautiful color and flavor of vinegar that you would probably have to pay ginormous amounts of money for it … if you could even ever find such a beautiful vinegar at a store.

Making it is so so so much simpler and so much more impressive. You can use this same method to make almost any fruit or herb-flavored vinegar that you want.

Take some fresh cranberries. Cut them in half. Put them in a quart jar. Add some fresh or frozen raspberries (whatever you have). I used more cranberries and just a few raspberries, but if you want more raspberry flavor, use more raspberries. Fill the jar most of the way (like 90% full) with the berries.

Pour in plain white vinegar so that it completely covers the fruit. Let sit in a dark place for a week or so, shaking gently every couple days to mix up the flavors.

After the resting period, strain the fruit out by pouring into a cheesecloth covered strainer over a bowl and squeezing all the juices out of the fruit.

If you are giving it as a gift, package it up in a pretty bottle and add a ribbon. Or make a fantastic vinaigrette salad dressing. The gourmet cranberry raspberry salad dressing makes a great gift too … recipe coming very soon to a blog near you … ;)

Make your own Cranberry Raspberry Vinegar

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTuesday Talent Show, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons & Oriental Vinaigrette

Herb Salad with Breaded Chicken, Feta Cheese, Pinon Nuts and Oriental Vinaigrette

I don’t know if you noticed but I was away from my kitchen last week, travelling in California. The company I work for lives out in California … everyone else who works for this company lives in California. Most of them come into the office every day. I am the lone midwestern employee, working remotely. They give me a lot of crap about the weather. My boss loves to call and tell me when he’s wearing shorts in sunny 70 degree weather and we are up to our armpits in snow. It’s all in good fun. My son and I called them all wimps when we were visiting last week and they were shivering in their jackets while we were reveling in what (to us) was lovely weather.

We got home late Sunday night, so there was no time for grocery shopping, and work began early Monday morning, so I wondered what on earth I was going to eat. But I was in luck. My parents were here to stay with my daughter for the weekend and they left me a big, beautiful tub of organic herb salad mix.

So all I needed to do was find something to go with it. I scrounged up some frozen (natural) chicken nuggets, feta, pinons, tomatoes, onion and pulled out one of my homemade dressings and haha! I had a lovely lunch.

Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons and Oriental Vinaigrette

  • Organic herb salad mix
  • Chicken nuggets, cooked and cut into small pieces (I used 4 for my salad)
  • Pinon nuts, toasted
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Chopped tomato
  • Sliced onion

Directions:

  1. Fill the salad bowl most of the way with herb salad mix.
  2. Top with remaining ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with dressing.

Herb Salad with Chicken, Feta, Pinons & Oriental Vinaigrette

Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • About 10 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. chinese mustard

Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tastetastic Thursdays and  Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.


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