oil and vinegar

100 days, 100 salads

a very green salad

Tuesday! I made this salad with every green thing I could find in my fridge:

baby spinach

cucumbers

mixed deli sprouts

snap peas

green onions

chives

apple vinaigrette (OK, not green, but still delish)

Sometime soon I want to make an even more  impressive green salad- add some avocado, other fresh herbs like basil and sage, and some other leafy greens. I really liked the chives and green onions- they made it a very tasty salad!

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two salads in one day

Folks, I have a confession. I didn’t make or eat salad yesterday! Well, actually, I did eat a bit of leftover bean salad, but I already had written about it so that was a bit of a fail. Not to fear, however, since today I made TWO salads! First one is a version of a salad my parents used to make a lot when I was growing up. To be honest, I never really liked this salad, but my tastes have changed significantly and I like it a lot more. When I asked my Mom for the recipe, she gave me a list of the following ingredients:

romaine lettuce –> I used spinach ūüôā

grated carrots

toasted (unsweetened) coconut

mandarin slices–> I used grapefruit

dressing made of yogurt and a tbsp. or two of mayonnaise

With my little changes, it was great! It didn’t bring me back to my childhood, though, so I think I’ll have to do it again, sticking to the recipe. The part that did remind me of home was the toasting coconut- Mom used to do this in the toaster oven and it always smelled great.

My second salad today (dessert salad?) was another version of Katryna’s yummy salad. This time, instead of grapes, I used banana slices (shout out to Sophie on this one), and added some sunflower seeds and toasted coconut I had left from the other salad. Yum!

dinner party of champions!

I’m going to let this post speak mainly for itself! Basically, I am part of a wonderful dinner club (started by my friend Deanna). We get together about once a month and share food! Basically, whoever hosts is responsible for the main course, and then we others are to bring appetizer, side, and dessert. Saturday night was our fifth (or sixth? anyone remember?) and it was fab! I picked the theme, since I was hosting, and it was Clean Food (vegetarian, whole foods etc etc..). I basically wanted an excuse to serve fresh juice and sprouts on my chickpea burgers ;).

The menu:

Fruits and veggies ready to be juiced:

Fried cheese! It was so freakin’ good. Deanna served it with a lightly-cooked dressing of fennel, onion, and mint.

Deanna and her freshly fried cheese:

The gang: (so sorry I cut you off, Moira!!)

Opened-faced chickpea burgers with quinoa cakes and cabbage salad:

Moira’s wonderful fair-trade chocolate tart (with amaretti-cookie crust!):

elm cafe salad

Friday’s my day off (i.e.: the only day I don’t have choir!), so I ate out twice! Decadent, I know! Lunch was a meal from the Elm Cafe, my favourite neighbourhood cafe that serves sandwiches, soups, and salads to go. The salad today was chickpeas, carrots, cucumbers, and a flax vinaigrette. I also had a roasted cucumber sandwich that was really interesting!

Here’s the website, or follow them on twitter¬†for their daily menus! I’m a big fan.

 

simple salad

Today I had supper at F’s parents house, where his Ma made the most delicious coconut-chicken curry. Om nom nom. My contribution to the meal was a simple salad made with veggies from their fridge- red peppers, long-sliced cucumbers, and green onions, with a balsamic vinaigrette. I love the red-green colour combo and the extra flavour from the onions!

dean’s salad, take two

I made Dean’s salad again today, but it was so different! I was looking to make a bean salad (chickpeas and kidney beans), and I thought it would be wicked to use the lentil salad recipe with the beans instead. I wasn’t disappointed! I also added extra green onions and currants: loved that too.

sprouts and apples!

Have you ever sprouted beans at home? It’s seriously so much fun. I sometimes get weird looks from roommates (hippie!) and my parents have had bad experiences with me forgetting to rinse the sprouts and the funky smell that gets left behind… But if you are on top of things, they are really easy! Here’s a link if you want to check it out:

http://www.westcoastseeds.com/topicdetail/topic/sprouting-101/

I made some mixed beans sprouts a couple of days ago. They’re my favorite- chewy and hardy, they ¬†have a nutty, fresh flavour. (and they’re great for your health too!) Did I mention that they’re super cheap to make too?

Anyway, I took the bean sprouts (sprouted chickpeas and lentils), sliced up a gala apple and a pear, covered them in lime juice (used all my lemon juice in the tart!!), and a bottled Fuji Apple vinaigrette. The bottled vinaigrette might be cheating… but I also ran out of olive oil and need to get more. For the record, I only buy the kinds of store-bought salad dressings that you find in the fridge, since someone told me that there’s an ingredient in shelved salad dressing that is close to antifreeze. Gross. This salad and its dressing were good though! Fresh and sweet.

greenhouse salad

Today was a busy day, which included a stop a Good Earth Cafe/Greenhouse for lunch for a conductors’ meeting. I didn’t make my own salad today, but I sure ate one! Greenhouse is a great place for salads- ingredients are fresh, varied, and they are pretty quick. I had the ‘guilt-free’ salad, which had mixed greens, blueberries, carrot, feta cheese, almond pieces, and two pieces of salmon! The dressing was a light red-wine vinaigrette. It’s great to have healthy, protein-filled options for on-the-go!

dinner party salad (day 15)

Sunday was a wonderful day. F and I spent the afternoon cleaning and getting food ready (we made roasted ratatouille and two different Galette des Rois (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake)- there are more stories there that I will share another time! In the evening, we had 10 people around our little table (5 couples). It was so nice to have warm company in this warm house, eating warm food. It was -25 outside. Our meal turned out to be multi-course, with everyone bringing something to share. First was wine and cheese, then a salad and carrot-ginger-orange soup, mushroom turnovers, ratatouille and couscous, then more wine and cheese, chocolates and our Galettes. Kyla made the salad and it was perfect- mixed greens with plum tomatoes, mushrooms, chives, cucumber, and a balsamic dressing. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the meal!

The funny part about the galettes was that we were reminded that afternoon that one of our guests is allergic to nuts; which was pretty hilarious, since we had planned an almond dessert! Thinking through what I already had in the kitchen, I suggested we try a lemon curd filling for the second galette- I hadn’t made it before, but how hard could it be? I combined the lemon juice, butter, sugar, and eggs on the stove and started whisking. F quickly took over, since I was getting tired, and he whisked and whisked, waiting for the ‘soft peaks’ and ‘bubbles’ indicated in the recipe. Well, the bubbles came fast enough, but it didn’t seem to be thickening at all. After more than 20 minutes of whisking (recipes varied from 6-10 minutes- I think we got something wrong!), F took the electric mixer and started at it. After 10 more minutes of that, and no visible thickening happening, we gave up and put the whole thing in the fridge, hoping that the act of cooling would thicken it a bit. Let me add that we know had a lovely layer of white foam (meringue?) from all of the mixing. After a couple of hours, and in the midst of dinner, we were ready to stick the galettes in the oven, so we poured the curd into an open puff pastry shell and stuck it in with the almond galette. Forty-five minutes later, when it was time to take the desserts from the oven, I realized our grave mistake: the curd was already cooked! We didn’t need to put it in the oven in the shell- we could have just poured it into the cooked shell! These were my thoughts as I saw the lemon curd boiling and spurting out of its shell in the oven. We were laughing so hard that everyone was asking what we’d done! When we showed them, they were thoroughly entertained, but Dave, our nut-free guest, was really sweet and said it smelled good and he’d still love a piece. We cut it after cooling it briefly, and it looked like a biscuit with yellow baby food poured over top, honestly. The meringue we had unintentionally created had browned and added yet another ‘element’ to the look of the tart. We had another big laugh when we realized that the dried chickpea we put in as a king’s piece would be cooked by now, after sitting in a pool of boiling lemon-y liquid for 45 minutes. I had a piece, and honestly enjoyed it, despite the less than desirable presentation. In any case, a word to the wise: don’t double-cook your curd :).

katryna’s salad of delight!

This is a salad that could easily convert non-salad people. Oh my gosh, it’s so good. F and I seriously had a serving each, and then I proceeded to eat all the rest, that’s how amazing it was. When Katryna heard I was doing this salad, she quickly sent me this recipe from her Ma, one of my cooking heroes. Her recipe was for papaya, grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, avocado, red onion, butter lettuce, some lime juice and a red wine vinaigrette. For the fruit in mine, I put only grapefruit and grapes– a great combo, I thought. I also made a vinaigrette out of pear balsam (got it in a gift pack from http://www.crescendocanada.com), olive oil, dijon, and honey, which worked really well. Seriously, you need to try this salad.

A word about butter lettuce: do we have it in NS? I’ve only discovered it since coming to AB, and it’s been a revelation. The great thing about it is that you buy it while its ‘alive’- you’re actually meant to add water to the container to moisten the roots/soil that the lettuce is still attached to; making it the freshest lettuce around! The name is super appropriate too, since the texture is so buttery and smooth. Yum yum YUM

 

 

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