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Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

lemonveggie

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Still using up the arugula, cherry tomatoes, shallots, and mushrooms. Today’s variation includes kidney beans, basil, dried cranberries and a pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette.
Kidneybeancranberrybalsamic

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When life gives you leftovers, make salad!

Leftover protein and vegetables are amazing in salads. It’s a quick, easy way to make a delicious, nutritious meal. It’s cost-effective, because the leftover ingredients go further in a salad than they would on their own, and it’s fun, because you’re not actually eating the same damn thing twice in a week.

So, I was short on time and creativity, and I had some excellent leftover chicken tenderloins and some cooked corn. I rooted around for lettuce, mandarins, fresh herbs, and other veggies, and I made the best of it.

Ingredients for Recipe for Salad with Lime Citronette, Leftover Chicken, Mandarins, Mint, and Cilantro

The ingredients, ready to be transformed!

Ingredients:
(Serves two as a meal.)
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped.
2 scallions, chopped.
3 mandarins, peeled, cut in half, and quartered.
4 button mushrooms, quartered.
1 avocado, quartered and sliced.
1 red bell pepper, sliced.
2 chicken tenderloins, leftover, cooked with onion, chopped.
1/2 cup of cooked corn.
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
1 fistful of cilantro, chopped.
Zest of one lime.

Lime Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a day or two.)
1 T lime juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I made a lovely bed of romaine lettuce and zested my lime over it. Then I whipped up my citronette in a small jar, and started chopping. I added the chicken, vegetables, and herbs first, saving the avocado and mandarin for last so that they would be bright and colorful. I don’t like brown avocado, and I prefer for citrus fruit to go into salads at the last minute so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce. Once all of my ingredients were properly sliced and diced, I drizzled the dressing over the top and tossed it before serving it up.

Recipe for Salad with Lime Citronette, Leftover Chicken, Mandarins, Mint, and Cilantro

Rainbow deliciousness, ready to eat!


The Verdict:
Straightforward and delicious. The mint and cilantro brighten up the salad, and the juicy mandarins work well with the creamy avocado. The simplicity of the lime citronette works well with the leftover chicken and corn, and helps bring all of the flavors together. The crunchy red bell pepper and the crisp romaine lettuce keep the salad fresh and the textures diverse. This was a perfect example of how using leftovers meat and cooked veggies in salads is a great way to streamline cooking while keeping the food fun, tasty, and interesting.

Make it a Meal:
Done. For a vegan salad, swap out the chicken for garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, shelled edamame, or lightly seasoned tofu, and add a smashed and minced clove of garlic to the lime citronette for a little extra flavor.

Pack it to Go:
As usual, the avocado and citrus fruit go in the jar with the salad dressing (this keeps the avocado from browning and the mandarin juices from wilting the lettuce). Everything else goes in a large glass or stainless steel container with a lid. Combine when you’re ready to fork toss and enjoy!

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Improvising for dinner again, I needed a kid-friendly salad to accompany the chicken tacos they wanted. I went for a southwestern citronette, happy for a chance to play with the ingredients for one of my favorite salads.

I pulled a heart of romaine and some arugula out of the fridge, and grabbed a yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, a cucumber, cilantro, scallions, and of course some citrus fruits. Impressed by the beautiful colors, I snapped a picture and got to work.

Ingredients and Recipe for Salad with Sweet Southwestern Citronette, Arugula, Avocado, and Navel Orange

Here are the ingredients, ready to chop.

Ingredients:
(Side salad, serves 4-6.)
1 heart of romaine.
2-4 cups of arugula.
1 fistful of cilantro.
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced.
1 avocado, quartered lengthwise and sliced.
5 mushrooms, quartered.
1/4 english cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced.
3 scallions, sliced.
1 navel orange, skin sliced off, quartered and sliced.
Zest of one navel orange.
Zest of one lemon.

Southwestern Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T lemon juice.
1 tsp maple syrup.
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp cumin.
1/4 tsp smoked paprika.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

Recipe for Salad with Sweet Southwestern Citronette, Arugula, Avocado, and Navel Orange

Tossed and ready to serve!


While the chicken for the tacos cooked, and my husband crisped the corn tortillas, I created a gorgeous bed of salad greens and zested the citrus fruit over the top. Then I juiced the lemon and prepared my citronette in a small jar. I doubled the maple syrup this time (from my typical half of a teaspoon for this type of salad to a full teaspoon). I’m not sure why I did that — in part to appeal to the kids, but it also just tasted right to have a sweeter dressing with the spicy arugula.

With the citronette made and mellowing, I started chopping and adding vegetables to my bowl. I saved the avocado and the navel orange for last so that the avocado would be lusciously green and the citrus juice wouldn’t wilt the lettuce.

Recipe for Salad with Sweet Southwestern Citronette with Arugula, Avocado, and Navel Orange: Plated

On the plate and ready to enjoy!

The Verdict:
The salad was delicious. It worked really well with the tacos, and was devoured by everyone at the table. Complete success!

Make it a Meal:
Easy enough — add pinto beans, black beans, leftover chicken, steak, carnitas, or shrimp, and then sprinkle some corn chips over it for extra crouton-style crunch.

Pack it to Go:
Avocado and orange need to be packed in a jar with the salad dressing. The rest of the salad is fine in a nice large glass or stainless steel container with a good rubber lid. Nestle the jar in the salad container and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, simply shake the dressing and pour it over the salad. Use only what you need (use a fork to pull the yummy fruit out of the jar without getting more citronette than you want). Fork toss your salad, or put the lid back on the salad container and give it a few good shakes to combine. Enjoy!

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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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I was in the midst of preparing a very rich meal. I had two plump chickens roasting in the oven, a pot of rice simmering in garlic chicken broth on the stove, and a bowl of sliced leeks ready to add to the saucepan of chanterelles I was stirring on the front burner. I wanted a salad to round out this meal, and I wanted it to be assertive and bright. Something explosive, with strong, clean citrus juiciness to complement the chicken and mushrooms.

I grabbed one of each kind of citrus fruit I had in the house, and a large fistful of mint. I added lots of radishes for crunch, and some scallions for flavor, and I got to work.

Ingredients for Triple Citrus Side Salad

Time to slice and chop.


Greens for Triple Citrus Side Salad

A bed of greens, ready for the triple citrus zest.

Ingredients:
(Serves three or four as a side salad.)
4 cups of mache and mixed greens, including frisee and radicchio.
6 radishes, sliced.
3 scallions, sliced.
1/2 cup of grated golden beet.
1 navel orange, peel sliced off, quartered and sliced.
1 lime, peel sliced off, quartered and sliced.
1 large fistful of mint, chopped.
Zest of one orange.
Zest of one lemon.
Zest of one lime.

Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
1 T lemon juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1 small clove of garlic, crushed and minced.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

Triple Citrus Side Salad, Orange and Lime

The orange peel is sliced off, and the lime is in step one of peel removal.


Triple Citrus Side Salad, Lime

The lime peel is now completely sliced off.


I started with a gorgeous bed of mache, radicchio, and frisee. Then I zested the citrus over the greens. Once the zest was safely in the salad, I juiced a lemon and prepared my citronette, giving the garlic time to mellow.

I sliced up my radishes and scallions, and turned to the lime and the orange.

I love slicing the peel off of citrus fruits and exposing the bright, jeweled fruit. I did this for the lime and the navel orange, and added them to the salad just before it was time to serve it, since mache wilts easily.

Triple Citrus Side Salad

Ready to serve!


The Verdict:
This salad was exactly what I wanted. My verdict? Amazing. It was quite sour, which I loved. My husband, on the other hand, was less impressed. He wound up leaving a little pile of pretty lime bits on his plate, and it was far too sour for the kids. Make this if you’re a fan of sour deliciousness. If not, move on.
Triple Citrus Side Salad, Plated

Time to eat!

Make it a Meal:
Garbanzo beans, chicken, or any kind of seafood would work very well with this salad.

Pack it to Go:
Citronette in a jar with all the cut fruit. The rest of the salad ingredients in a large glass or stainless steel container with a tupperware-style lid. Shake up the dressing and pour as much as you need over the salad before eating it.

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Early morning, making lunch, I scanned the fridge and the cupboards and decided to make a southwestern salad. I didn’t have the radishes I love in those, or any oranges, or jicama, but I had cilantro and pinto beans. A scallion would help round it out, and the very last of our amazingly crisp apples from my mother-in-law’s tree would make up for the deficit of sweetness and crunch.

Greens for Cal-Mex with Apple and Pinto Beans

A gorgeous bed of mixed greens.

Ingredients:
(Lunch salad, serves one.)
4 cups of mache and mixed greens (including radicchio and frisee).
1/2 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained.
1/3 apple, sliced into bite sized pieces.
1 scallion, chopped.
1 fistful of cilantro, chopped.
Zest of 1/2 lime.
Zest of 1/2 lemon.

Ingredients for Cal-Mex with Apple and Pinto Beans

Beautifully simple ingredients, ready to join the greens.

Citronette:
(Use only what you need, save the rest in the fridge and use within a few days.)
1 T lime juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1/4 tsp cumin.
1/4 tsp smoked paprika.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I doubled the ingredients listed above (for the citronette as well as for the salad) and made two lunches, one packed up for my husband to take to work, and one in a bowl for me to enjoy later in the day.

I started by rinsing the pinto beans and leaving them in a strainer to drain. Then I laid down a nice, hearty bed of mixed greens. I zested the citrus fruits over the greens. I mixed up two jars of citronette, tasted them, and set them aside. I chopped the cilantro and the scallions and tossed them in with the greens. After slicing the apple, I added it to the dressing jars so that it wouldn’t brown, screwed on the lids, and shook each jar up so that the citronette coated the apple pieces. Finally, I added the drained beans to the salads, nestled the dressing jar into my husbands large salad container, covered my salad and stuck it in the fridge, and cleaned up.

Cal-Mex with Apple and Pinto Beans

The finished salad, dressed and ready to eat.

The Verdict:
This was a fine, simple, hearty salad. I really enjoyed the apple in lieu of radishes and jicama. Not gourmet, but very tasty.

Make it a meal:
Done. It would also have worked well with black beans or leftover chicken in place of pinto beans.

Cal-Mex with Apple and Pinto Beans, Packed

Packed to go.

Pack it to go:
Done. Remember to put the apple in with the citronette and not directly into the salad!

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Officially, it was lunchtime. We had just gotten back from the Berkeley Bowl, and while I unloaded bag after bag of produce, I set aside a few things that really appealed to me. I’d already nibbled on the thuringer salami with the kids in the checkout line, and I’d helped them polish off some sushi in the car on the way home, so I wasn’t wanting to make a whole meal for myself. Just a really fun, tasty side salad to fill me up with vegetable goodness. The cantaloupe-looking melon with an unusual name was my star, and the kids were happy to help me sample it. Really fresh greens, mint, a shallot, and a gorgeous lime, and I was ready to start chopping.

Winter Melon with Arugula and Mint

Ingredients, ready to go.

Ingredients:
3 cups arugula and mixed asian greens.
1/8 hami melon, sliced into bite sized pieces (substitute with cantaloupe).
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
Zest of one lime.

Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for several days.)
1 T lime.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1/2 shallot, finely diced.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

I filled a glass bowl with the arugula and the mixed asian greens, then zested a lime over the greens. Once the zest was removed, I juiced the lime and measured a bit into a jar. I added the diced shallot and salt to the lime juice, and let that sit while I cut up the hami melon and chopped the mint. Then I added extra virgin olive oil and a touch of maple syrup to my citronette, shook it up, drizzled it over the salad, fork tossed, and enjoyed.

Winter Melon with Arugula and Mint

Here it is, crisp melon and tasty mint, ready to eat!

The Verdict:
This was really different. The bitter greens were perfect with the hami melon, which was incredibly light and crisp. It had a really unique texture — imagine an apple and a cantaloupe mating, and you’ll have an idea of what the hami has going for it. Perfect salad fruit. The lime and mint brought everything together, reminding me a bit of the fresh flavors of Vietnamese food. I think it would be fun to push this salad further, with some chili flakes, and to serve it with Pho.

Make it a Meal:
I liked how clean the flavors were, so I’d recommend keeping it a side salad, but if you really want to toss some protein in, I can see grilled chicken or steak working pretty well. Quinoa or shelled edamame might also work, if you need a veggie version.

Pack it to Go:
I think the hami is crisp enough to go in with the lettuce, though if it’ll be sitting in the fridge for a long time, the citronette jar might be a better place for it. As always, dressing gets its own little jar, salad ingredients go in a large glass or stainless steel container, and combine it all when you’re ready to eat. Toss it with your fork to help mix the dressing in, or do what my husband does and put the lid back on the salad container and give it a few good shakes.

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Dinnertime again, with just one hour for me to make food and for all of us to finish eating it. Luckily, my husband was home and he pitched in — he pan fried our wild snapper fillets and sliced the bread. I made the salad.

I knew I wanted something light and lemony, with lots of crunch. I was hoping the kids would enjoy it as well, since I didn’t have time to deal with broccoli or any of their other favorite veggies, and they’d already polished off a five pound bag of mandarins for lunch. I used romaine as a base, for the crunchy, clean flavor that my munchkins prefer. I added a navel orange for bright color and juiciness, avocado for creamy deliciousness, scallions for a mild onion tang, and radishes for more color and that perfect peppery crunch. I also mixed up a lemon shallot citronette, and grabbed a handful of mint for the salad. Mint is an excellent brightener, and it works incredibly well with any citronette. I wanted the salad to be really clean and simple, to complement the fish, and to appeal to the kids.

Simple Citrus Side Salad with Radish and Avocado

Rainbow of ingredients, ready for action.

Ingredients:
2 hearts of romaine, chopped.
3 scallions, chopped.
6 radishes, sliced.
1 avocado, quartered and sliced.
1 navel orange, peel sliced off, quartered and sliced, for maximum shiny jewel appeal.
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
Zest of one lemon.

Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate leftovers for a couple of days.)
1 T lemon juice.
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 shallot, diced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

Simple Citrus Side Salad with Radish and Avocado

The finished salad, tossed and ready to serve.

I dealt with the lettuce first, making a nice base in the bowl. I zested the lemon over the lettuce, juiced the lemon, and made the citronette. My shallot was on the large side, and I thought about using half of it instead of all of it, but tossed it all in on a whim. I chopped and sliced the rest of the fruit and veggies, added them to the bowl, and then drizzled it all with citronette. While I tossed the salad, my husband started dishing up the fish and bread. My kids asked for salad, and two of the three came back for generous second servings.

Simple Citrus Side Salad with Radish and Avocado, Plated

On the plate, ready to eat!

The Verdict:
In case you missed it above, let me repeat: my kids asked for salad, and two of the three actually came back for seconds.

Yes. Total success. This salad rocked. It was incredible with the fish. Light, perfect flavors. Just the right combination of crunchy and barely sweet. Really delicious. My husband and I agreed that it was a real winner.

I do think in the future I’ll use less shallot, but the extra just coated the bowl and didn’t end up having any impact on the salad itself, so it isn’t really a big deal.

Make it a Meal:
It’s a very light, bright salad. I think if I were making it a meal on it’s own, I’d want something simple to add — grilled shrimp would be really good, or any other simple seafood. I think it would also work with grilled chicken. For a vegetarian version, I’m always a fan of garbanzo beans and lemon, although if I added chick peas I would cut out the avocado, or add another crunchy element, and I would swap garlic for shallots in the citronette… So that turns it into a completely different salad pretty quickly. I think shelled edamame would work well without any other changes, or some tasty toasted nuts.

Pack it to Go:
Easy enough — the orange goes in the jar with the dressing so that it’s juices don’t wilt the romaine. If you add protein to make it a stand alone meal, put the beans, chicken, fish or shrimp, (chilled, not hot, since heat also wilts lettuce) in the salad container. As always, leave space for fork tossing and combine it all when you’re ready to eat. Use your fork to pull the fruit out of the dressing so you aren’t forced to use all the citronette — remember, you might not want it all. Always add your dressing a little at a time, to taste.

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