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Posts Tagged ‘rice wine vinegar’

Another weird one, this time with the pasta pesto and mini chicken apple sausage’s one of my kid’s made for dinner piled on top of a bed of mixed greens. Let’s see if I can do better next week…

anotherweirdone

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Homemade tzatziki, a hefty bed of arugula, a quartered tomato, garbanzo beans, sliced mushrooms, a splash of rice wine vinegar, a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and more of those toasted pine nuts. Not bad!

tzatzikiarugula

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Weird, I know, but this is my one chance to get a salad as a meal in today, so I’m taking it. Leftovers from last night’s dinner made the prep super easy.

daytwelveburritobreakfast

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This was an experiment. My dad showed up with a gorgeous, ripe pineapple. I had baby kale in the fridge. My miso soup eating son provided me with half a block of savory firm tofu. Add avocado, mushrooms, rice wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, and I was set. Yum. A little weird, but I really enjoyed the pineapple and tofu, and they worked well with the earthy baby kale.

kalepineapple

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IMG_4666

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Here’s a weird one. Romaine lettuce, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, scallion, basil, rice wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. With a fried egg on top. Delicious with my coffee!

breakfastsalad

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My salad-a-day practice slowly died a couple years ago. For health and happiness reasons, I’m determined to get it going again. For now, I’m trying a new experiment. I’ll use this space to document my salads. Minimum of one meal per day that is a salad, craziness encouraged. That might mean I post just a picture, or just a brief description. In other words, my posts should be prolific but less detailed and polished. (Of course, I reserve the right to get detailed and fancy if I feel like it.) We shall see! Here’s yesterday’s salad, a day late. It included arugula, cucumber, corn, cherry tomatoes, shallots, cilantro, and a rice wine vinaigrette. I ate it with a small piece of veggie lasagna, so it maybe shouldn’t count. Still, I developed this plan while I was making it, so it gets to be included: image Today’s lunch salad is coming soon.

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I love a good ranch salad dressing, and I don’t have go-to recipe for it like I do with vinaigrettes and citronettes. You’ve seen my experiment with buttermilk ranch vinaigrette. This time, some leftover homemade sour cream veggie dip* looked like the perfect addition to the pseudo-chef’s salad I was planning for lunch.

I bemoaned the absence of romaine or green leaf lettuce because I love their crunch with creamy dressings and deli meat. Instead, I made do with some mixed baby greens I had on hand. Then I grabbed the ham, turkey, cucumber, radishes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and scallions — all ingredients that work really well for me with ranch dressing. I added tarragon and savory for extra flavor. And I got to chopping.

Ingredients for Recipe for Salad with Sour Cream Ranch Dressing, Deli Meat, Cucumber, Radishes, and Cherry Tomatoes

The ingredients, ready for action!

Ingredients:
(Serves one as a meal.)
4 cups of mixed baby greens.
1/4 cucumber, quartered and sliced.
2 large mushrooms, halved and sliced.
3 baby carrots, sliced.
3 radishes, quartered.
3 cherry tomatoes, left whole. If serving instantly, slice in half.
1 scallion, sliced.
3 thin slices of red onion, quartered.
2 slices of honey ham, sliced.
2 slices of turkey, crumbled.
2 sprigs of tarragon, chopped.
2 savory leaves, chopped.

Sour Cream Ranch Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
2 T sour cream ranch veggie dip.*
1 T rice wine vinegar.
1/2 clove garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
A pinch of salt, to taste.

I was making two salads for lunch, so I doubled all of the ingredients listed above, including the salad dressing. I mixed the ranch dressing in a small jar, tasting as I went to make sure I liked the flavors. It looked like a lot of dressing (I thought it would easily work for three salads), so I put some of my husband’s serving into my jar, which would be staying at home in our fridge. I thought we could enjoy it later.

With the sour cream ranch dressing mixed up, I started chopping veggies and adding them to the two beds of lush baby greens I’d built. The bowls filled up fast! I left the cherry tomatoes whole so that they would travel well. I nestled the dressing jar in the glass container for my husband before popping the red rubber lid on it. Mine just went into the fridge for lunch time.

Recipe for Salad with Sour Cream Ranch Dressing, Deli Meat, Cucuber, Radishes, and Cherry Tomatoes

Two salads, prepped and ready to eat. All they need is that delicious dressing drizzled over them...


The Verdict:
Yummy! This was the creamiest dressing I’ve ever made, and due to the inclusion of the sour cream dip, it had a really nice depth of flavor. I used every drop of the dressing I set aside for myself. (Remember, I thought I had enough for two salads? Wrong.) My poor husband texted me at lunch time to tell me that he loved it, and he’d never worked so hard to get every drop of dressing out of the jar before… Moral of the story? Really thick, creamy dressings don’t spread as well as light vinaigrettes. Or we just both adore lots of good, sour cream ranch deliciousness with our crunchy cucumber, radish, and carrot bites.

This salad was really filling. I didn’t mind the softness of the baby greens as much as I thought I might, though I still think romaine or green leaf lettuce or even a very fresh iceberg would be a better match for the creamy salad dressing. It was still tasty, and I ate every bite. In fact, I was so hungry and it was so good that I didn’t realized I’d failed to snap a picture of it fully dressed until after I’d devoured every last bit. Oops… I will have to continue experimenting with ranch so you get more pictures of creamy delectability.

Make it a Meal:
Done. For a veggie version, skip the deli meat and toss in your favorite beans or some cheddar cheese.

Pack it to Go:
Done.

*Ingredients for Sour Cream Veggie Dip
1 cup sour cream.
1 sprig of tarragon, finely chopped.
1 scallion, very finely chopped.
Dash of rice wine vinegar.
Pinch of garlic powder, to taste.
Pinch of smoked paprika, to taste.
Pinch of Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute, to taste.
Pinch of salt, to taste.
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.

My husband whipped this up on the fly. Combine and sample and tinker with the ingredients until it pleases you. We went heavy on the garlic powder and light on the smoked paprika.

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We were all starving. Quick dinner time. I tossed a pot of rice on the stove, and pulled out what I needed for stir fried sesame chicken with shitake mushrooms and celery. I wanted a salad that would work with the stir fry, and a jar of hoisin sauce sitting in the door of the fridge caught my eye. I grabbed mint, daikon, scallions, mushrooms, and my hand picked mixed greens, which included a hefty amount of mizuna.

Recipe: Ingredients for Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint

The ingredients, ready to be transformed.

Ingredients:
(Side salad, serves four.)
6 cups of mixed greens, including mizuna, red leaf lettuce, radicchio, and frisee.
4 inch piece of daikon, sliced.
3-4 scallions, sliced.
2 large mushrooms, halved and sliced.
1 generous fistful of fresh mint, chopped.

Recipe: Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint, tossed

Up close look at all the beautiful colors.

Hoisin Rice Wine Vinaigrette with Ginger:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T hoisin sauce.
1 T rice wine vinegar.
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
2 inch knob of young ginger, chopped.
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt.

I mixed up the vinaigrette right away, tasting it as I went to make sure the flavors were working together. Then I prepared a bed of greens. I chopped all the vegetables and added them to the bowl. When the rice and stir fry were done cooking, my salad was ready to be dressed and tossed.

Recipe: Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette, Mizuna, Daikon, and Mint, plated

On the plate and ready to eat!

The Verdict:
This was incredible. It helps that I absolutely adore hoisin sauce with mint. The daikon added perfect crunch and that yummy peppery flavor, and the mushrooms soaked up the vinaigrette like the tasty little sponges that they are. It was a little too weird for the kids, but my husband and I ate every bit of it. Absolutely perfect.

Make it a Meal:
Add your protein of choice — I highly recommend leftover steak, sliced over the top of the salad. Beef and hoisin and mint together are mouth wateringly delicious. Simple chicken or grilled shrimp will also work well. For vegetarian options, I think tofu would be a great addition, or shelled edamame, or green beans, or snow peas.

Pack it to Go:
This one is easy. Salad in a large glass or stainless steel container with a tupperware-style lid, vinaigrette in a small jar. Shake vinaigrette, drizzle only as much as you need on the salad, and then fork toss or put the lid back on the large container and give it a few good shakes to combine. Eat and enjoy.

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This is an easy classic salad. I usually make it as a side dish for a special dinner, but it was lunchtime, and I wanted something light but extra tasty.

Ingredients for Salad with Blue Cheese, Apple, and Candied Pecans

Simple ingredients, ready to be transformed.

Ingredients:
(Lunch salad, serves one as a meal.)
1 hearts of romaine, chopped.
1/4 cup of candied pecans.
1/2 apple, quartered, cored, and chopped.
1 scallions, chopped.
1 1/2 T blue cheese, crumbled.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T rice wine vinegar.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1 T blue cheese.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I was feeding two of us, so I gathered doubled the ingredients above. I like this salad lightly dressed, so I didn’t bother making two batches of dressing — one jar worked perfectly for two salads.

I mixed up the vinaigrette first, so the flavors would meld, and then I chopped my salad ingredients. First, I built a crispy bed of romaine, and sprinkled the nuts and cheese over the top. I put crumbled blue cheese into the salad as well as in the vinaigrette because I love the creaminess it adds to the dressing, but I don’t want to sacrifice the tasty clumps that you get when you put it directly into the salad. It’s a win-win to have it both places. Then I chopped the scallions and the apple and added them to the salad. I drizzled the vinaigrette, tossed, and enjoyed.

Salad with Blue Cheese, Apple, and Candied Pecans

Luscious. Delicious. Ready to be devoured.

The Verdict:
I always love this salad. Sometimes I use pear instead of apple. Sometimes I use arugula. Sometimes I go for the mixed greens. Regardless, the crunchy nuts and the clean fruit work perfectly with the creamy, tangy blue cheese. I really enjoyed the super crunch of this one, with the crispy apple and the fresh romaine. I tossed the scallions in on a whim, and decided they were irrelevant. They didn’t detract or add, they were just there. I probably won’t bother with them next time, but if you really love a little extra onion crunch, go for it.

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
The apple needs to be packed in the jar with the dressing so that it doesn’t brown. Keep the rest of the salad ingredients in a large glass or stainless steel container, and combine the dressing with the salad when you’re ready to fork toss and eat.

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