Free Whole Foods salad!

Almost.

O.K. I lied. Uh. Sorry.

But it feels like it is for free. Did you know that Whole Foods Market has a collection of it’s recipes online? Did you know that the recipes are actually really good? My salad feels like it was for free because it is full of ingredients I already have in my refrigerator, my pantry and my garden. Click here to view the recipe for Brown Rice Al Fresco Salad. It is a crispy, tangy rice salad, perfect with turkey sandwiches. The only thing I did differently was to substitute half lime juice for the lemon juice since I was short a couple of lemons and I used a little less mint since my herb garden is a little sleepy at this time of the year.

It’s January. A new year. But do yourself a favor. Instead of making resolutions for your health that you’ll never keep, just look around. A healthy lifestyle is as close as adding a new recipe to your arsenal. Look for recipes that feature whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. Enjoy!

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A public service announcement

MyKindaSaladBar

We interrupt this blog for a public service announcement.  It is summer!  Stop buying bagged salad!! Heads of fresh lettuce are available for half of the price of that sickly possibly dangerous stuff (remember that little E Coli problem a couple of years back?).

Grab a giant bowl.  Fill it with fresh salad greens.  Cut up broccoli, carrots, radishes, avocado, celery and anything else that is fresh crispy and tastes delicious.  The picture above is an example of what you could have.  (I forgot the can of chickpeas).  Buy a good quality salad dressing or make your own.  These goodies will keep in the fridge for a couple of days giving you salad at a moment’s notice.  You now have no excuse not to eat your veggies and this is far cheaper than going out to buy a salad at a restaurant.

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by Delectable Tidbits.

A very healthy side salad indeed

carrotraisonsalad

After a year and half or so of blogging, I am beginning to feel like I am getting recipe amnesia.  There are some things I cook that are such a part of my repertoire that I am certain I have shared the recipe with you.  I make the most delicious, the healthiest, thebest ever carrot raisin salad…. and I was sure it was on this blog until I did a search of the recipes here and found out that I had omitted it.  What a terrible omission!

 

I make carrot raisin salad whenever I need something quick and tasty to eat during a barbecue.  I make this salad for people I love because I know it makes them healthy and happy and I used to make it a lot when I took my lunch to work ages ago. (Which is a habit that I should go back to, but can’t seem to do.  I am a bit of a hermit and eating at home suits the hermit habit better).  This salad is so clean and healthy tasting that it never occurred to me that some people cannot even stand the sight of carrot raisin salad.  Carrot raisin salad is absolutely scorned by some people!  Back when I used to bring lunches, I brought a big container of carrot raisin salad.  I had been looking forward to eating it all day.  When I opened the container and one of my coworkers saw the bright orange glare of my salad he exclaimed “Ewwwwww!   Carrot Raisin salad!  Gross!!”  Hmmm… now that I think about it, maybe that’s why I don’t take my lunch to work anymore. Anyway, please don’t listen to my coworker.  This is no ordinary carrot raisin salad.  Please try it even if you aren’t a big fan.  I think you may be surprised by how much you like this version.

 

A note:  Use fewer carrots if you like a sweeter moister salad.  More if you want a milder carrot raisin salad.  The last time I made this, I realized that I no longer measure the carrots.  I shredded three enormous farmers market carrots and I’d estimate that they yielded at least seven cups of carrots.  The salad was very mellow and delicious with less dressing and raisins to carrots.  Also, I cannot remember where this recipe came from but I acquired it years ago during the low fat craze.  I prefer to stick with the original intention of this salad to be low fat and make it with reduced fat mayo. It is not very rich this way.  You can certainly make it with full fat mayo (I have before) but you may want to adjust the mayo to your taste, using real mayo will make the flavor richer.

 

Carrot Raisin Salad

4 cups (or more) shredded carrots

 

½ cup raisins

 

3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise

 

1 apple, shredded

 

½ cup natural apple juice

 

Shred the carrots and the apple in a food processor (you’ll be happy you didn’t have to do this by hand).  Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing the salad well.  Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.  Mix again before serving to make sure the dressing is distributed throughout the salad.

 

 

The Green Titans

 

There is never a shortage of broccoli in this house.  A certain someone who lives with me considers it not only nourishing and tasty but it is a tonic for what ails ya.  Got a pimple?  How about a nasty little tickle in the back of the throat?  You just feel droopy and listless?  Have a bowl of steamy broccoli goodness for breakfast! It’ll perk you right up!  Uh.  Yuck.  I prefer my broccoli as a side dish and only after eleven a.m., thank you very much!

 

 Broccoli never goes to waste in this house but one little thing has often annoyed me about broccoli.  Broccoli is often sold by the pound instead of the bunch and the big heavy stems are always included.  If you want to buy broccoli “crowns”, you will be charged a premium for the service of having someone take a knife and cut the stems off for you.  Either way you end up paying for the stems so you better find a good use for them.  So, what’s a gal to do?  Well, here at Delectable Tidbits, we like to do things the hard way!  Yes Siree!  I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to try the broccoli slaw recipe in one of my Moosewood cookbooks for quite some time.  The recipe calls for broccoli slaw mix, which consists of shredded broccoli stems, shredded carrots and shredded cabbage.  I always have a plethora of broccoli stems on hand so I figure tonight that I’ll just peel ‘em and shred ‘em myself!  How hard can it be?  My DBF bought the nicest organic broccoli at the Farmer’s Market during the weekend.  Huge stems!  These things looked like tree trunks.  Just gorgeous! Twenty minutes of peeling with a vegetable peeler later, these titans of broccoli goodness were reduced to fist sized lumps of broccoli hearts and I had a sink buried in several inches of peelings.  Now I know why people just buy the pre-shredded mix.  Ugh!

 

Whether you do things the hard way or the easy way.  I highly recommend this slaw recipe.  It is delicious!

 

 Broccoli Slaw

Adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers

 

6-7 broccoli stems, peeled and shredded

2-3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage

(or substitute 3-4 cups packed broccoli slaw mix for the above three ingredients)

3- 4 tbsp minced cilantro

1 red pepper, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1tbp fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

 

Toss the vegetables with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for at least twenty minutes. 

 

The kind of salad Mexican restaurants should serve

citrus-chile-salad.jpg

Have I told you that I watch a little too much Food Network?  I have to confess that I do.  The worst part is that I have begun to watch Food Network when I am at the gym.  I enjoy it, but I feel self conscious like I am a cliché:  the tubby girl watching Food Network while she works out.  Now the reason why I am making this admission to you is because of Rachel Ray.   For a while there, I was addicted to 30-minute meals.  The thing I noticed after watching scores of episodes was that although Rachel Ray uses such short cuts as bagged pre-cut veggies and bagged pre-shredded cheese, she always takes the time to make salad dressing from scratch.  I tried making a couple of her dressings and they weren’t half bad.  I had made some salad dressings from scratch before watching 30-minute meals, but watching that show made me realize that there was really no reason to buy salad dressing.  A good dressing could be constructed in a few minutes.

 

I often make Mexican style meals because they are as easy to improvise as pasta.  Do you have a bag of corn tortillas, a jar of salsa, some leftover chicken and some cheese?  Well, my friend, you have enchiladas!  One day when I was tossing things together, I decided a nice crispy green salad would be great to go with our meal.  I didn’t want a regular creamy style dressing and vinaigrette didn’t seem right either.  I hate it when you go out for Mexican food and they can’t give you a salad that seems authentic.  The choices are usually Ranch or Bleu cheese.  I wanted something that felt more like the simple tomato and cucumber salad my friends make but would also be reminiscent of something like ceviche.  I had a lot of citrus fruit and the idea of something tart sounded so good.  I thought about what would compliment the flavor of orange juice and lime juice and chili powder sounded good.  I improvised a dressing and loved the result.  I made it maybe one more time and forgot about it.

 

Tonight, I decided to use some leftover chicken to make quesadillas.  As I was making guacamole, I realized I had plenty of limes left over and a bowl of oranges.  I made the citrus chili dressing from earlier in the summer, adding ground cumin to the recipe.  I scavenged in the fridge and found all sorts of yummies to make salad with.  In a stroke of insight, I decided to add fresh cilantro and chunks of cantaloupe to the salad.  Those two additions to the salad complimented the dressing well. 

 

Salad is a lot of work but I felt really good about balancing out a cheesy meal with something really healthy.  I hope you like the result of my improvised salad.  As a suggestion, add tomatoes and avocado if you have them.  I had to use mine up for the guacamole but they would add even more flavor to the salad.

Cilantro and cantaloupe green salad with citrus chili dressing

Dressing:

 

½ cup olive oil

 

juice of 1 orange

 

juice of 1 lime

 

1 tsp chili powder

 

½ tsp ground cumin

 

salt to taste

 

Salad:

 

½ head of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces

 

½ large cucumber, peeled and chopped

 

6 radishes, sliced

 

1 small red pepper, sliced

 

¼ – ½ cantaloupe, chopped

 

½ red onion, thinly sliced

 

2 handfuls chopped cilantro

 

Mix together citrus juices, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Slowly pour oil into citrus mixture as you whisk with a fork or small whisk.  Set dressing aside.  Chop and slice all of your salad ingredients and add them to a large bowl.  Add as much dressing as you like to the salad and toss.  This makes close to a cup of dressing and the dressing is pretty thin.  I use it all but you may want to add less, toss and taste.  If you feel like you need it all, add it all.