Tag Archives: summer salad

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

9 Jul

Yet another salad post, but this one is so exceptionally good, my fiance could not stop raving about it and immediately asked for seconds. This salad should really be called strawberry spinach salad with candied pecans, blue cheese with a strawberry chia seed balsamic vinaigrette, but for obvious reasons I’ll go with strawberry balsamic salad. None the less this salad has a complex flavor profile that will rock your taste buds!

The candied pecans are the most time consuming part of the recipe but they are well worth the extra 20 minutes. Or you can always just buy candied pecans or use toasted pecans and save on extra sugar.

I love to experiment with salad dressings and I wanted to make this one super fresh and special. I started with fresh squeezed orange juice and add to that strawberries, chia seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whoa it’s a kick in the mouth! The chia seeds not only thicken the dressing but they also add omega 3’s, fiber and protein. If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet this is a simple way to sneak some into a meal.

Strawberries are by far my favorite fruit,  I eat them all year round, but summer strawberries are the best. This salad showcases strawberries in a more savory way that will surprise you.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • approximately 6 strawberries, sliced( more or less to taste)
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans ( homemade or store bought)*
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoon chia seed
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, tops removed
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions:

  1. Place the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together.
  2. Take the rest of the ingredients and place in a blender or food processor,  blend until combined and smooth.
  3. Pour salad dressing over salad and serve.

*Candied Pecans recipe

  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans

Boil sugar, salt, honey,and water in a saucepan until it reaches 242 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pecan. Stir to coat.

Place pecans on a lined cookie sheet. Separate pecan from on another and allow to cool 15 minutes until coating is hardened.

Keep the extra candied pecans in an airtight jar.

Fiesta Black Bean & Corn Salad

5 Jul

It is summer in Texas, which means it rarely dips below 100 degrees around dinnertime. Because of this heat and the abundance of fresh organic veggies from our garden, we eat salads more nights than not during summer.

I have been experimenting with salad dressings. I have been trying to make them healthier but also more flavorful. Finding the right ratio of flavors can be tricky, it is a trial and error process. The first experiment for a zesty dressing for this salad was a big fail, but I gave it another go and I found success!

I used red bell peppers, red cabbage, red onion, jicama, and romaine for the base of the salad. Then added corn and black beans, baked tortilla strips as garnish and a creamy spicy cilantro dressing t0 bring the whole salad together.

Fiesta black bean and corn salad

serves 4 entree salads

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 6 cup romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup jicama, julienned
  • 2 cup fresh corn, boiled or roasted on the grill ( removed from cob)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 5 corn tortilla, cut into thin strips

Dressing

  • 1/2 jalapeno, to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt 0%
  • 4 drops liquid stevia or any sweetener to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place tortilla strips evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Bake tortillas until the slightly curl on the edges and are crisp. Around 6 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, and toss until combined.
  5. In a blender or food processor add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Right before serving garnish salad with tortilla strips, add dressing and toss.