Archive for Lunch
I was never a big fan of salads as a child. As I got older, I began to appreciate all the fresh vegetables. And since going gluten-free, my body seems to better handle all the fiber. Recently, this salad has become a favorite of mine.
The ingredients are layered in a 9 x 13 pan, covered with my own dill dressing, and topped with shredded cheese and bacon bits. It’s perfect for entertaining or taking to parties. It makes 12 large servings and you can make it the night before. I love to make it for dinner and have leftovers for lunch later in the week. You can choose your favorite salad ingredients and even your favorite dressing, but here is what I do:
2 Cups lettuce, chopped (iceberg, Romaine, Cosmopolitan — you choose)
2 Cups baby spinach
2 Cups frozen peas
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 Cup (8 oz.) diced ham
2 Cups (4-6 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. bacon (8-10 slices), fried crispy and crumbled into bits
Creamy Dill Salad Dressing (recipe below)
- Cover bottom of 9 x 13 pan with chopped lettuce, then add layers of baby spinach, chopped cucumber, peas, and diced ham. This should make the salad almost fill up to the top of the pan.
- Next, pour and spread the dressing evenly over the salad.
- Top salad with shredded cheese and bacon bits.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The salad can be chilled for an hour, or even overnight.
- Choose your ingredients carefully. Tomatoes don’t do well overnight: they add too much water to the salad. If you want tomatoes in your salad, I suggest adding them right before serving.
- No need to defrost the peas. They defrost quickly in the refrigerator and help keep the salad cool.
- Other ingredients to consider: Green onions and celery add great flavor. Red cabbage, carrots, and yellow sweet peppers add bursts of color.
Creamy Dill Dressing
1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP dried dill weed
- Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Keep chilled.
- Feel free to add fresh herbs from your garden instead of dried dill, but you may want to increase the amount for freshly chopped herbs.
- I’ve recently been introduced to delicious Greek yogurt and found that it makes a thicker, creamy dressing — perfect for this recipe. For a thinner dressing use plain yogurt, or consider adding a couple tablespoons of milk.
As much as I love the traditional potato salad, this is a wonderful alternative. The basil and dressing, made with balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, give it a nice, fresh flavor. The lack of mayonnaise and the addition of green beans make me feel like I’m eating healthier, or at least a little lighter on the calories. I found this recipe about a year ago on AllRecipes.com and modified it slightly for my own taste. It’s become one of my favorite vegetable salads to accompany grilled or barbecued meats. It makes a great side dish for pulled pork sandwiches.
Red Potato and Green Bean Salad
1 lb. red potatoes
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped
1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 large red onion, chopped (about 1/2 Cup)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP Dijon mustard (I like to use whole, or coarse-grain mustard.)
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash Worcestershire sauce (Make sure it’s gluten-free. We use French’s brand.)
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
- Add the green beans to the pot of cooking potatoes and cook both for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and pour off the water. Let them cool slightly until able to cut potatoes into quarters (or halves, depending on size).
- Place the potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add the fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Stir gently and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and toss to coat.
- To add a little more flavor, consider adding bacon. Cook 3-4 strips of bacon until crispy, then crumble, and sprinkle over the salad.
- Makes about 8 servings.
- I think this salad is best served warm or at room temperature. And that makes it good for taking on a picnic or to an event where there’s no refrigerator or cooler, which you might need to keep a traditional potato salad cold.
Planning a large family gathering for Father’s Day? This recipe for Pulled Pork is so easy, but so delicious. A pork shoulder roast, or Boston butt, is cooked slowly, so that the meat literally falls apart with a fork. It’s great eaten right out of the slow-cooker, but fathers will like it even better with some BBQ sauce. Makes 12-16 servings.
Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork
6 lb. pork shoulder roast (bone-in)
1/4 Cup Cajun seasoning (I use Zatarain’s Creole seasoning.)
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 large onion, sliced
1 Quart (4 Cups) vegetable broth (Make sure it’s gluten-free. I use Pacific brand.)
2 TBSP Liquid Smoke
24 oz. barbecue sauce (optional)
- Peel and smash the garlic cloves. Slice the onion. Place garlic and onion into a 6-quart Slow Cooker.
- Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning on all sides of the pork, and rub it in to the meat. Place the pork in the slow-cooker, fat side up.
- Pour vegetable broth and liquid smoke over the pork.
- Cover the slow-cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- When cooking is complete, remove the pork from the slow-cooker and place into a large mixing (or serving) bowl. If the bone hasn’t already separated from the meat, remove it. Then shred the pork by holding it with one fork and pulling the meat apart with the second.
- If desired, mix 16 oz. of your favorite barbecue sauce into the pork.
- Serve pork as is, or place it on sandwich buns and top with some of the remaining 8 oz. of sauce.
- There are other varieties of liquid smoke, but my favorite, and I think the most common, is hickory.
- If you like your sandwich meat a little more moist, you may want to add a cup of the cooked broth to the pulled pork and barbecue sauce. Then, mix it all together.
- The gluten-free buns in the above picture are Chebe frozen sandwich buns.
For more dinner ideas, visit What’s for Dinner? Wednesday at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.
I put this dinner together the other night while trying to clear the leftovers out of the refrigerator. It turned out so much better than I was expecting! Another quick and easy recipe that really doesn’t need directions, but sometimes we all need a little inspiration. For more dinner inspirations check out What’s For Dinner Wednesday at the Gluten-Free Homemaker.
Southwestern Chicken Salad
Mixed salad greens (I used a spring mix and baby spinach.)
Avocado, chopped (1/2 avocado per person)
Corn and Black Bean Salad (1/4 cup per person)
Slow-Cooked Mexican Chicken, shredded (1/2 cup per person)
Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz. per person)
Black olives, sliced
Salsa or Spicy Ranch Dressing
- Place your mixed salad greens on the bottom of your salad bowl. Sprinkle the cilantro on top.
- Then add the chicken, corn and black bean salad, and avocado.
- Top with cheese and black olives.
- To finish it, use salsa or Spicy Ranch dressing.
- I was going to add some tortilla chips, but decided it really didn’t need it. It was filling enough (and tasty enough!) without chips.
- You may also want to add diced tomatoes and a little lime juice.