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Archive for the ‘Celery’ Category

dayfifteen

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Current guidelines for this time around are that there will be no weekend posts and any meal in a bowl on a bed of raw greens counts as a salad.

So, today I put my stir fry dinner in a bowl over a huge bed of raw spinach. The rest of the family is having brown rice, but I wanted to make sure to get my salad in for the day!

stirfrysalad

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I was making lunches early in the morning, and I knew I wanted a straightforward, no frills, very basic blue cheese dressing over a super crunchy salad. Something my grandmother would have enjoyed — familiar, simple, and tasty.

I grabbed romaine lettuce, carrots, celery for crunch, as well as italian flat leaf parsley and red onion for flavor, and I got to work.

Ingredients for Recipe for Creamy Blue Cheese Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

Ingredients, ready for action.

Ingredients:
(Serves one as a meal.)
1 heart of romaine, chopped.
4 baby carrots, cut into wheels.
1 rib of celery, coarsely chopped.
2 slices of red onion, quartered.
1/2 english cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced.
1 fistful of fresh italian parsley.
2 T blue cheese, crumbled.
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Blue Cheese Red Wine Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T red wine vinegar.
1 T sour cream.
1 T blue cheese.
1/2 clove garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

Since I was making two salads, I doubled all of the ingredients listed above. I mixed up two jars of blue cheese red wine vinaigrette, and then I started chopping. I began by creating my beds of chopped romaine hearts, and then I added the carrots, celery, onion, and parsley. I crumbled the blue cheese and sprinkled it on top of the salad, before cracking black pepper over it all.

I nestled my husband’s salad dressing jar in the larger glass container with the salad and popped the lid on top to keep everything fresh for lunchtime. I tucked mine in the fridge for later.

Recipe for Creamy Blue Cheese Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

Packed to go!


The Verdict:
This turned out exactly as I intended. Very creamy, savory salad dressing and powerfully crunchy veggies. Celery is highly underrated — I really appreciated it’s crisp flavor with the blue cheese. I think this salad was a bit boring for my husband, but as he always says, my worst homemade salad is always far tastier than anything he can get from a quick lunch restaurant near his work.

Make it a Meal:
Done. If you want to amp up the protein, add some chicken breast, or deli meat, or kidney beans.

Pack it to Go:
Done.

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Shared lunch! I love it when we’re both home at lunch time, and I can mix up a huge salad in one big bowl, and we can snuggle up and eat it together. We were out of lettuce, so I turned to my favorite lettuce stand-in, celery. I figured out a while back that celery salads are really incredible. Super crunchy, so you can go a little crazier with the beans, avocado, and other creamy ingredients. Celery also doesn’t wilt, so the leftovers are tasty, and you can play with dressing it when you make it instead of carting the dressing along. The flavor of celery works particularly well with lemon, but I didn’t have any. I didn’t even have a lime or a grapefruit to substitute, so I decided to try a simple rice wine vinaigrette instead. I added garbanzo beans, lots of mint and parsley, scallions, and an apple for a little sweetness.

Salad with Celery, Garbanzo Beans, Mint, and Apple

Let the chopping begin!

Ingredients:
(Serves two for lunch.)
1 head of celery, chopped.
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.
1 apple, quartered, cored, and chopped.
3 scallions, chopped.
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
1 fistful of parsley, chopped.

Rice Wine Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for several days.)
1T rice wine vinegar.
3T extra virgin olive oil.
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

This was a chopping frenzy. I started by rinsing the garbanzo beans and setting them aside to drain. I prepared my rice wine vinaigrette in a small jar. Then I turned berserker with my favorite knife. I transferred my mountains of chopped celery and apple and scallions and herbs to the big bowl as I went, adding the drained garbanzo beans just before shaking up the vinaigrette and drizzling it over the salad.

Please note that this salad serves two, and use half the main ingredients if you’re fixing it for one. Feel free to make a normal batch of vinaigrette, since it keep well for several days.

Salad with Celery, Garbanzo Beans, Mint, and Apple

Time to eat.

The Verdict:
I was surprised by how delightful the rice wine vinaigrette and apple were. They worked incredibly well — it was more delicate than the bright lemon version I usually make, and I loved it. The apple was a great addition, with it’s sweetness and the contrasting crunch. The fresh herbs brought the salad to life, and the creamy garbanzo beans made it remarkably filling, even hearty. My husband and I ate every bite. It was just that yummy.

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
This is the easiest salad to pack to go — it is actually fine to dress it when you pack it. I like how the celery soaks up the vinaigrette. If it will be sitting for more than a few hours, the herbs will wilt, so if that bothers you, keep the dressing in a separate jar, and combine before you eat it.

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