Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad

nclrBrocCaulSalad1nm

I really need to eat more veggies, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for good salad ideas and veggie side dishes. I found this veggie salad over at Nap-Time Creations last month–it was called Holiday Veggie Salad, and it looked really good and healthy! It also has feta cheese in addition to the veggies, and I love feta cheese! So I knew I had to try this. :) I changed a few little things in the recipe, so I’ll share my version with you. It’s really good and a great way to get more broccoli and cauliflower in your diet!

BROCCOLI-CAULIFLOWER SALAD  adapted from Nap-Time Creations

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins (or substitute dried cranberries or other dried fruit)
  • 6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/3 cup light balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I used Newman’s Own Light Balsamic; I think it would even be good with a raspberry vinaigrette)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice (omit this if you’re using raspberry vinaigrette or another type of sweet vinaigrette, and just add a little more vinaigrette to the salad)
  • additional raisins and chopped pecans or walnuts for garnish

Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets; place in large bowl. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and add to bowl. Add raisins (or other dried fruit), crumbled feta cheese, and sesame seeds if desired. Toss these ingredients together to distribute evenly. Then add the vinaigrette dressing and lemon juice; toss to mix and coat all the ingredients with the dressing. If serving in a large salad bowl, sprinkle additional raisins and chopped nuts in the center of the salad as a garnish. If serving on individual salad plates, garnish each serving with a sprinkling of raisins and nuts. Makes 4-6 servings.

If you want some tips on cutting cauliflower, I found some over at a site called cookthink. There were some very helpful instructions and photos, some of which I’m posting below…

Cut the head of the cauliflower in half (remove leaves first), by wedging a knife into the core from the bottom. Then slice through the core of each half, which will give you four quarters.

Slice the thickest part of the core away from each quarter (you can chop the core into smaller pieces and use in your salads or cooking–the stems will be tender when they’re cooked).

Then just pull the florets apart with your fingers!

I had never visited the cookthink site before…I just came across in when I was googling how to cut cauliflower. It looks like there are lots of helpful tips and recipes over there, so you’ll have to check it out when you get a chance!

About these ads

Italian Panzanella

If you’re in a “salad rut” and wanting to try something new, try this Italian Panzanella! When I saw this recipe and photo over at MarthaStewart.com, it looked and sounded so good and healthy! As I looked over the ingredients, I discovered that I liked everything that was in it. So I tried it out the other day…I thought it was really good. I had never made anything like it before, but it was very easy to put together. Martha’s website mentions that the cannellini beans and provolone cheese, mixed with the veggies, make this a “well-balanced vegetarian meal.” I’m not a vegetarian, but I do like to eat healthy, so I give this recipe a “thumbs up!” This makes 4 servings.

ITALIAN PANZANELLA

  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups large cubes of Italian country bread* (or your favorite bread)
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, diced (buy the cheese unsliced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Whisk together vinegar and oil in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then add beans, cubed bread, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and cheese. Toss these ingredients with the vinegar and oil mixture; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours. Stir in the basil just before serving.

*Italian country bread has a chewy, coarse texture that holds moisture well without becoming soggy. Also known as pan bigio, it is typically made with whole wheat flour or a mixture of white and whole wheat flour.

Linked to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Savory Strawberry Salsa

nclrStSals1nm

This is a nice twist on your typical salsa if you’re wanting to try something different. I slightly adapted this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. The strawberries and honey make it naturally sweet and the lime juice, chopped green chiles, and pepper give it a mild spiciness. This goes great with grilled chicken (spoon it on top); you can also spoon it on salad greens (instead of using dressing), for a tasty salad. Or have it as a snack with some tortilla chips. It’s yummy and healthy, too! This recipe makes 12  1/4 cup servings (or 3 cups).

SAVORY STRAWBERRY SALSA (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped avocado
  • 1/2–3/4 cup coarsely chopped cucumber (remove seeds before chopping)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. canned chopped green chiles or 1/2-1 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno chile pepper (seeds removed) if you want it spicier
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl; if using on a salad or serving with chips, cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. If serving with grilled chicken, you can use it right after you make it. 51 calories per 1/4 cup serving.

Here’s how you can serve it with grilled chicken…it’s really good!

nclrStSals2nm

Linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Tastes, Anything Related Tuesday, Toot Your Horn Tuesday, Make it Yours Day, Show and Tell.

Strawberry-Walnut Spinach Salad

This easy-to-make salad is tossed with a homemade honey-sweetened dressing that is so good! Although this is a spinach salad, you can substitute your favorite mixed salad greens for the spinach if you like. It’s a good and healthy way to enjoy fresh strawberries in the summertime! Make sure you wait until just before serving before you toss your greens with the dressing to prevent your greens from wilting. This recipe makes about 8 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 10 well-packed cups baby spinach or mixed salad greens (or you can use some of both)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or you can substitute chopped pecans)
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

In small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, poppy seeds, garlic powder, dry mustard, and vinegar; refrigerate until chilled. In large salad bowl, place the baby spinach or mixed salad greens. Right before serving, add the chilled dressing and toss with the greens. If you are serving this in a big salad bowl, sprinkle all of the sliced strawberries over the greens and then sprinkle on the chopped walnuts. Or, you can divide the salad greens (already tossed with the dressing) onto individual serving plates and sprinkle each individual serving with the sliced strawberries and chopped walnuts.

If you want to make a smaller salad, just halve the recipe; that should give you about 4 servings.

Linked to Feature Yourself Friday, Foodie Friday, Hodgepodge Friday, Favorite Things Saturday, Sunday Showcase, Sundae Scoop.

Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad

Fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella…three of my favorite things to eat, in one great salad! This is another quick and easy tomato recipe that I adapted from my old cookbook, The Tomato Cookbook. Also known as a Caprese Salad, it makes a nice lunch or light dinner. I’m so glad my garden tomatoes and basil are doing well…it’s great to just go out into the backyard and pick your meal fresh from your garden!  I don’t use any bug sprays on my plants; instead, I planted a big bunch of marigolds (from seeds saved from last year’s garden) near my basil and tomato plants, and have found that marigolds really do help keep the bugs away. Little by little, I’m learning how to do things the organic way. :)

TOMATO, BASIL, AND MOZZARELLA SALAD

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 5-6 medium size)
  • 12 ounces Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. each (or to taste) of salt, pepper, and sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • dash of red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts (optional)

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, and arrange on a serving platter. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar if desired. Scatter basil leaves over the tomatoes and cheese (if using large basil leaves, you can chop them if you want; if using smaller basil leaves, just keep them whole). Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and cheese. Add a dash or two of red wine vinegar if desired. Sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts if desired (to toast the nuts, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until they are a pale golden color). Serve your salad with warm Italian ciabatta bread, garlic bread, or your favorite crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.

Linked to Just Something I Whipped Up MondayMarket Yourself Monday, and Rednesday.

Easy Chicken BLT Salad with Dressing

This is a great salad you can put together really quick, especially if you make the homemade Buttermilk Dressing ahead of time. If you don’t want to use the Buttermilk Dressing or don’t have time to make it, you could substitute 3/4 cup of store-bought Buttermilk, Ranch or Vinegrette dressing. This recipe makes 4 servings.

BUTTERMILK DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. spicy brown mustard or honey mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • dash of salt and pepper

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 tightly–packed cups of chopped romaine lettuce or your favorite salad mix (I used a spring mix)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups of your favorite salad croutons (I used a Cheese Garlic flavor)
  • 4 heaping Tbsp. of real bacon pieces or bits (if you want to cook and crumble your own bacon, use 4-5 slices)
  • 2 cups pre-cooked chicken, chopped in chunks or wedges (I used Tyson’s fully cooked Oven Roasted Diced Chicken Breast–it’s sold in the freezer section–but you can use any leftover chicken you have; grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken are good in this salad)

Whisk together all the Buttermilk Dressing ingredients in a large bowl (or put 3/4 cup store-bought dressing in bowl). Then add lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, half of the bacon pieces, and all of the chicken chunks; toss all ingredients together well. Serve in individual salad bowls or on salad plates, and top with the remaining bacon pieces.

OR, you can just drizzle the dressing over each individual salad and top with bacon pieces (that’s how I did it in the above photo). And if you’d like to add some additional toppings, you could try chopped avocado, sunflower seeds, and/or shredded cheese.

Find more recipes at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.