Archive for Salads

Aug
22

Not My Mom’s Chicken Salad

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IMG_4235xIn an effort to use up leftover chicken in the refrigerator, I decided to make a chicken salad. I intended to make my mom’s wonderful recipe, but found that I was missing some key ingredients from it. So, I started to modify the recipe to use up the ingredients I had in the kitchen and accommodate the gluten-free diet, too. By the time I was done tweaking, it was nothing like the salad my mom used to make. It turned out just as good, but with a completely different taste. It made a tasty chicken salad sandwich (on gluten-free bread, of course), but was also great just served on green leaf lettuce.

Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

Dressing:
3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt

Salad:
2 Cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 TBSP onion, finely chopped
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/4 Cup sweet pickle relish
1 Cup red seedless grapes, each cut in half
1/2 Cup (about 3 oz.) pine nuts, lightly toasted

Directions:

  1. Mix dressing ingredients well and refrigerate.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients, except the pine nuts. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and mix well, but gently.
  3. Serve on gluten-free bread, rolls, or a bed of lettuce.
  4. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on top.

Additional Notes:

  • To toast the pine nuts, place in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Using a spoon or spatula, push them around in the skillet for about five minutes – just until they’re golden and fragrant. Don’t walk away, they can burn quickly if the heat gets too high.
  • This is best after chilling in the refrigerator overnight, so go ahead and mix it all up the day before. However, to keep the pine nuts a little crispier, you may want to wait until just before serving to sprinkle on the pine nuts.
  • Makes 4-6 sandwiches or salads.
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Aug
07

Corn and Black Bean Salad

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Here’s another quick and easy recipe that’s great to make for parties, especially a Mexican fiesta. Everyone will love the fresh flavors and the bright colors. You can serve it as a dip with corn or tortilla chips, but I think it’s best as a side salad. It’s also great added to Southwestern Chicken Salads, rice bowls and even as a filler in tacos. I’ve made this salad with several variations. Here’s what I put in it the last time I made it:

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Corn and Black Bean Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

4 Cups (about 16 oz.) frozen whole kernel corn
1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 Cup (about 4 – 6) green onions, sliced
1/4 Cup red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 2-3 fresh limes
3 TBSP vegetable oil
1 TBSP ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, chopped and added right before serving

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except the tomato.
  2. Cover and chill the salad for a couple hours or even overnight.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir gently right before serving.

Additional Notes:

  • Adding the tomatoes right before serving, prevents the salad from getting too watery and the tomatoes from getting mushy.
  • If you don’t want to bother with adding the tomatoes at the end: chop up a sweet red pepper instead and mix it in with all the other ingredients before you chill it.

For more gluten-free recipes with onions, check out this week’s Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

Comments (26)

IMG_4047xI 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:

Seven-Layer Salad

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

  1. IMG_4027xCover 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.
  2. Next, pour and spread the dressing evenly over the salad.
  3. Top salad with shredded cheese and bacon bits.
  4. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The salad can be chilled for an hour, or even overnight.

Additional Notes:

  • IMG_4034xChoose 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

Ingredients:

1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP dried dill weed

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Keep chilled.

Additional Notes:

  • 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.

Notable Links:

Comments (16)
Jun
29

Gluten-Free Menu Swap – June 29

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menu-swap-009This week I’m hosting the Gluten-Free Menu Swap. Thanks to Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness for keeping it going. I chose balsamic vinegar as the theme ingredient this week for two reasons: One, because it is acceptable for most diets (Balsamic vinegar is generally considered to be gluten-free, however some may have additives such as coloring, so it’s always a good idea to check the label for ingredients.); And two, because I seem to be using it a lot lately. It must be all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available during the summer.

Balsamic Vinegar adds such a nice flavor to foods, actually enhancing the natural flavors and balancing out the tastes of sweet and sour. It can be used in salad dressings, sauces, marinades, or on fruit, fish, steaks, and more. And, according to wikipedia traditional balsamic vinegar has excellent digestive properties. Balsamic vinegar is more expensive than your typical red wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar. And the range of prices can vary as much as the cost of wine. I settle for the lower cost balsamic vinegar at $3 per 16 oz. bottle, but have seen some for $14 per 8 oz. bottle. Fortunately, a little bit goes a long way in recipes.

Here are some recipes I’ve made with balsamic vinegar:

Baked Salmon with a Balsamic Glaze

Berry Fruit Salad

Red Potato and Green Bean Salad

Slow-Cooked Balsamic Carrots

Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

Monday – Crockpot Chicken
Whole chicken cooked in the slow cooker with garlic and onion. Serving with mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Tuesday – Baked Salmon with a Balsamic Glaze
Serving with pearl quinoa and Brussels sprouts.

Wednesday – Hamburger Stroganoff
Hamburger, bacon, and mushrooms cooked with a creamy chicken soup and served atop wide noodles. Serving with asparagus with balsamic vinegar.

Thursday – Seven-layer Salad
This is a one-dish meal with a variety of ingredients (seven, if you want to be precise) — diced ham, bacon, fresh or frozen peas, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, green onion — and topped with a creamy dill dressing.

Friday – Fish and Chips
Hoping to try a recipe for gluten-free fish and chips. Serving with Berry Fruit Salad.

Saturday – Cheeseburgers
Grilling burgers and serving with corn-on-cob and potatoes cooked on the grill.

SundayLeftovers
Any leftovers still in the refrigerator come out for everyone to choose their own meal.

And here’s what some gluten-free friends are having this week:

Like me, Kimberly at Gluten-Free is Life also has salmon on the menu this week. And her Caprese salad with balsamic gastrique sounds yummy. Looks like she also has plans to try out the new Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix. I’m looking forward to seeing her review of it, since I haven’t tried it yet. Be sure to check out her full week’s menu on her website.

Planning for warmer weather, Elizabeth at Modern Gal is putting salads and other meals chilled or served at room temperature on this week’s menu. I’m especially interested in her Thai chicken salad, but everything on her menu looks great.

Lots of enticing meals on JoAnn’s menu plan: The picture she posted of BBQ Chicken Pizza is making me drool. She’s got fish tacos planned for Friday and breakfast quiche planned for dinner on Sunday. More of her meals, with recipes linked for most, are at My Experiment in Gluten Free Living.

Sorry to hear that Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness is allergic to balsamic vinegar. But never mind that, she always has interesting, flavorful recipes to share, and her menu this week is no exception. She’s making Thai Coconut sauce to go with turkey and a Roasted Tomato and Carmelized Onion Soup. She’s also planning to try my Raspberry Divinity Tarts. I’m anxious to hear how the recipe works for her.

If you’re still looking for more meal ideas, be sure to check out I’m an Organizing Junkie where hundreds of people post links to their weekly menus (not all gluten-free).

Kristine at Glutenfreeda submitted this recipe for Roasted Strawberries With Wine & Balsamic Vinegar Sauce.

Comments (9)
Jun
19

Red Potato and Green Bean Salad Recipe

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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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Add the green beans to the pot of cooking potatoes and cook both for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. 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).
  4. Place the potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add the fresh basil, red onion, salt and pepper. Stir gently and set aside.
  5. 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.

Additional Notes:

  • 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.

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Categories : Lunch, Salads
Comments (35)