Category Archives: Salad

Kale and Golden Beet Salad.

I still have lots of yummy kale coming out of the garden and we are really loving it raw. This past weekend we went to the local farmers market for some items we don’t have coming out of the garden right now and we got some really pretty golden beets. Since we were going to have kale salad anyhow, I thought adding the sweet earthiness of the beets to the salad might add a good layer of flavor. The salad turned out great, full of vibrant color and lots of nourishing vitamins and minerals and the best part is that this was a very simple salad to make. The only real time consumer was roasting the beets, which can be done in advance.

Kale and Golden Beet Salad. 


2 large golden beets

1 T olive oil

3 oz fresh kale

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T olive oil

1 T agave nectar

1/4 t granulated garlic

1/4 t kosher salt

1/8 t fresh cracked black pepper

1-2 oz crumbled goat cheese (optional)


Roast whole, unpeeled beets in a 400 degree oven for an hour and half in a foil pouch drizzled with olive oil.

Allow beets to cool and peel and chop them. Remove woody stems from kale and rough chop that.

In a medium bowl combine red wine vinegar and all remaining ingredients (except goat cheese). Toss in beets, kale and goat cheese. Serve chilled.


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Filed under Appetizer, Dairy Free, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Fizz Kale Salad.

I have not blogged in a while, surely not any recipes anyhow. I blame the end of winter blahs. But with the newly light evenings I have been getting my grove back and now that there are fresh vegetables coming out of the garden again (carrots and turnips ended about a month ago) I am feeling like getting into the kitchen some more. This lovely and very simple salad is made with fresh Fizz kale from the garden. I planted it back on December 29 and got it outside on 2/4. It was finally ready for its first harvest this weekend. I took only the largest leaves to promote future growth. We had this salad as a side to herby roast chicken.

Fizz Kale Salad. (Serves 2)


2-3 oz Fizz kale or Red/White Russian Kale, woody stems removed and rough chopped

1 medium carrot, shred

1 oz goat cheese (optional if you want to make this vegan)

1 t olive oil

1 t red wine vinegar

1/2 t agave nectar

pinch of kosher salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper


Make dressing in a small bowl by combining oil, vinegar, agave, salt and pepper, whisking quickly with a fork.

Toss kale and carrots together with dressing. Add goat cheese and toss again. Serve as a side.



Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Favorite Dishes of 2011.


Spent Grain Bread.


Fall Chopped Salad.


Smoked Celery Soup.


Veggie Yakisoba.

Veggie Yakisoba!


Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips.


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Filed under Bread, Chicken, Grains/Rice, Pasta, Salad, Smoker Fare, Soup/Stew

BBQ Salad Dressing.

We just love salad in our house. We have weeks where we will eat salad three or four nights. Every single one of them is different, though they usually include greens, meat or egg, lots of veggies and homemade croutons. They all also contain a homemade dressing. I am not in the habit of writing the dressing mix down or getting it on the blog because it changes every time I make it, but this last one was something special. Special enough to share for your noshing pleasure too!

BBQ Salad Dressing. This makes enough for a large salad for two people.


1-2 T of your favorite BBQ sauce

1 t apple cider vinegar

1 t olive oil

a pinch of kosher salt

a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 t honey or agave

water if it is too thick (I used about 1 t)

***the amounts of each of these may vary based on the BBQ sauce you choose. If the sauce is really vinegary, you will want to adjust the vinegar addition down. The same can be said for the honey and pepper. Add in small amounts and taste often!


Combine with a fork until oil is completely mixed in.



Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Salad, Sauce and Gravy

Fall Chopped Salad and Some Thanksgiving Dinner Thoughts.

This year I did not make Thanksgiving dinner. This was the first time in several years that I have not made it at home, myself. It was actually really difficult for me to wrap my brain around. I like making the big dinner. I like being in the kitchen, I like making the food. But we did not have any family coming into town and no unoccupied friends to invite over so we sought an alternative. We were welcomed into the home of some new friends, who are also new to our city. We met some of their family, we learned their traditions, ate their southern inspired food (my first time eating cornbread dressing), which was absolutely wonderful.

What I learned from this process was something about myself. I don’t want this to sound ungrateful for the wonderful Thanksgiving we had. It is exactly the opposite. I am thankful to have learned a little about myself.  I think that my traditions are deeper rooted than I knew before this holiday season began. I am not one to take tradition too seriously. I am also not a holiday-kind-of-girl, but I realize now that much of my love of Thanksgiving (it is my favorite, if I was to have one) is wrapped up in the ability to give my family the gift of good food. I am thankful that I have the food to make, the means with which to make it, and the family to provide it to. I am already looking forward to making next year’s dinner and finding people to put on my guest list (let’s not forget I have an extremely small house, so the list must remain fairly small!).

I did get to bring a salad and some antipasto to dinner, so I was not completely without food preparation, but I did not get to physically cook anything (ok, I cooked beets and toasted walnuts). And I did get up at 7am just to make it, taking my time, stretching my preparation out for two hours. Puttering about between steps, preparing for the Thanksgiving day to come, both mentally and physically. Just feeling grateful.

At the end of the day, the salad was darn good and I wanted to share it with you.

Fall Chopped Salad. 8-12 adult servings

Salad Ingredients

3 large hearts of romaine lettuce, rince and finely chopped

1 large golden beet (roasted 1 hour at 400 degrees in olive oil, peeled and chopped – I did this the day before I made the salad)

1/2 – 3/4 C dried cranberries

1/2 C toasted walnuts (toasted at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently)

1/2 C raw, shelled pumpkin seeds

2 oz blue cheese, crumbled

honey mustard dressing (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients, tossing well to coat everything with dressing. Keep cold until ready to serve.

Salad process

Dressing Ingredients

1 T local honey

1 T whole grain mustard

1 T cider vinegar

pinch of cinnamon

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

1 T olive oil

Dressing Process

Combine all ingredients except olive oil with a whisk until honey is completely integrated. Slowly add olive oil, whisking to cause a partial emulsion. Adjust flavors if needed to your taste.

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Appetizer, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Nuts/Seeds, Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw.

I have cabbage and kohlrabi coming out of the garden right now and even though cole slaw is one of those traditional dishes that epitomizes summer cook outs, it seems fall is a great time to make such a dish with garden veggies. Both the cabbage and kohlrabi were seeded in early July and planted outside in late August. The kohlrabis have been ready each week for the last three or four weeks, but the cabbage finally produced a head! Only one so far, but the rest are not far behind (those that made it through the rash of bugs we have had).

To accompany a lovely tri-tip steak this past Sunday evening we had this lovely slaw and some simply roast fingerling potatoes. It is just a little bit of summer as we head full boar into November!

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw. Serves 2-4.


1 small head of cabbage

1 medium kohlrabi

2 medium carrots

2 T sour cream

1/4 t celery salt

1/4 fresh cracked black pepper

1 t cider vinegar

1 t lemon juice

2-3 oz crumbled blue cheese, optional

Peel kohlrabi and carrot and core cabbage. Shred all three vegetables using a hand grater or the grater attachment for the food processor. Transfer to a tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place in a medium mixing bowl.

Make dressing in a small bowl by combining all remaining ingredients except cheese, adjusting seasonings to taste as needed. Add dressing and cheese to the vegetables and mix to combine. Refrigerate until serving.


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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Caprese Quinoa Salad.

Labor Day brings out the best of BBQ fare. Going into the holiday weekend we had absolutely no BBQ plans. By the start of the weekend, we had two separate BBQ events to prepare for. Bring a side. the typical party request, but honestly, I run out of new side ideas. Given the intense amount of mini cherry tomatoes I have this year I knew I had to make something with them. A tart? A sauce? Nope, caprese, but of course. I was inspired by the tiny size of the tomatoes to purchase those little tiny mozzarella balls. They are exactly the same size as the tomatoes.

But I ran into a mental snag. I could not figure out how I was going to get the tomatoes to soak up the dressing since they would not be cut…so I started searching through some of the other blogs I read for inspiration. It did not take long to find it. I stumbled upon this basil vinaigrette at Steamy Kitchen. The dressing in an of itself did not solve my issues, so I thought a little more. And it hit me, I love making quinoa salad. Why not combine this all together? Lo and behold it worked. The final result was lovely and chock full of basil flavor.

Caprese Quinoa Salad.


3 C cooked quinoa (cooking instructions below)

1/3 C basil vinaigrette (recipe below)

1 C mini cherry tomatoes (or other, chopped)

1 C mini fresh mozzarella balls (or other, chopped)

2 T fresh basil

Cook one cup of dry quinoa in a medium pan with two and half cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes, cover, remove from heat and allow to sit while you prepare the dressing.

For the vinaigrette:

1 small piece of elephant garlic, chopped (can sub shallot or garlic)

1 C loosely packed basil leaves

2 T water

2 T white wine vinegar

1 t kosher or sea salt

1 t fresh cracked black pepper

6 T  olive oil

Place garlic and basil in a blender. Top with water, vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree, adding oil as you mix. Allow mixture to settle.

Move quinoa into a medium mixing bowl. Add dressing and mix very well to combine. Place bowl in the refrigerator and allow quinoa to cool completely.

When quinoa and dressing is cool, mix in tomatoes and mozzarella. Chiffonade remaining basil and mix that in too. Garnish with a sprig of basil and serve. Can make this up to one day in advance.



Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Condiments and Seasonings, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grains/Rice, Holiday, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Panzanella Salad for Two.

If you are like me, there is one single summer salad. Just one. It is the undeniably, irresistible caprese salad. The basil, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella drenched in olive oil, balsamic and garlic. Oh how I melt for this salad. There is just one problem with this salad for me right now:  I have an over producing cucumber vine (or 7 of them) and for me, caprese and cucumber just don’t mix.

So you ask, what should I (or you) do with all those cucumbers, after you have made pickles and antipasto plates and cucumber salad? Make panzanella! We came across this dish at a Fourth of July party this summer and were pleasantly surprised that it was good, really good! The bread was not soggy and the flavors were really fresh. As it turns out, it is also the perfect dish to use up over producing cucumbers. We have been eating this just about every other day all month!

This recipe makes the perfect amount for two people. Being that we are only two people and this type of salad does not keep, it was important that I get the ratios right to make the perfect amount. You could easily make this for more, but I bet there are a lot of people out there like us, who don’t want to make a salad that has five cups of bread in it that must be eaten “right now!” in order to taste the way it should.

Panzanella Salad for Two.


1/2 french bread baguette, cubed (about 4-6 cups)

2-6 T olive oil

1 t kosher or flake salt

2 T high quality olive oil

1 T white wine vinegar (can use champagne)

1-2 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 T basil, cut in chiffonade

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 cucumber (or 1 small one), diced

2 T red onion, finely diced

1/2 t kosher, flake or sea salt (or to taste)

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper (or to taste)

***you can also add 1-2 T capers, which I detest, but some might say they would be very good in this salad!

Put two tablespoons in a large skillet and heat to medium. Add bread cubes and salt and toss. Add olive oil as needed throughout cooking process. Saute bread for ten minutes, tossing frequently to encourage even cooking.

In a medium dish combine high quality olive oil, vinegar, garlic and basil. Add tomato, cucumber and onions. When bread is well toasted, move the pan off the burner and allow the bread to sit until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve add the bread to the salad, top with salt and pepper, and toss to coat everything.


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Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Italian Inspired, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Quinoa & Veggie Salad and a Little Camping Trip.

I just love camping. Growing up my family camped every weekend from the middle of April until the middle of October. They still do! I on the other hand have gotten busy and I am lucky to get out camping more than a few weekends a year. Even though I don’t get to get out there in my tent as often as I would like it is still very much part of the fiber of my being.

Growing up, while I liked to sleep in the tent, my parents did not. They have a very nice park model in a resort campground that allows for many amenities, including the facilities (a full kitchen, gas grill, smoker) to make awesome food. And while, growing up, I might have appreciated the hamburgs and hotdogs more than anything, I now appreciate the understanding that one can cook both from scratch and fairly gourmet while camping. All of that said, hike-in (only .5 miles) tent camping requires a little more prep work than park model car camping.

Our menu this past weekend was full of pre-preped items such as marinated chicken thigh skewers, hamburgers, some of Mom’s Chocolate Cherry Cake, all of the breakfast fixins, and some salads, namely this one chock full of whole grain, protein, and veggies. The perfect snack for re-energizing when hiking around the woods. The best part is that it does not require a lot of refrigeration and can easily be stashed in a pack for a day hike.


3 C cooked quinoa (preparation instructions below)

1 medium head of broccoli

20 pea pods

6 mushrooms, crimini or button

6 colossal black olives

1/2 small bell pepper

2 T olive oil

1 T white wine vinegar

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T agave nectar

1/2 t kosher or flake salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

Prepare quinoa by placing 1 cup dry grain in a medium sauce pan with two and half cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cover and remove from heat. Set aside.

Prepare veggies by cutting them all into bite sized pieces. Create vinaigrette by whisking remaining ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork. Combine all ingredients together, tossing to coat. Store in an air tight container in your refrigerator or ice chest.


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Filed under Appetizer, Dairy Free, From the Garden, Grains/Rice, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Radish, Carrot & Cabbage Slaw.

Much like with my turnips and broccoli, all of the cabbage had to come out of the garden this weekend. The warm weather means cool weather crops, like my early season cabbage, need to be picked. In the case of the cabbage, it wasn’t just the weather though, it was also the slugs. The long, cool, spring made the slugs stick around in full force longer and my cabbage became the target of their hungary little mouths. The cabbage had slugs on leaves three layers in! What better to make than some summer slaw. I also had some radishes from the garden still so I decided to throw those in too. I wish I could have done the same with the carrots, but I did not overwinter any (no winter garden last year, just you wait!) and the early season crop is behind!


1 medium cabbage

2 carrots, peeled

8 radishes

2 T olive oil

3 T cider vinegar

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t celery salt

1 T yellow mustard

1 T yellow mustard seeds

Shred cabbage and grate carrots and radishes. Place in a large bowl and toss with hands. In a small bowl combine remaining ingredients and whisk with a fork. Drizzle over cabbage mixture and toss with tongs. Refrigerate at least one hour (overnight is ok too, I really liked it the next day) and toss before serving.

We served this zingy salad with this sweet flank steak.


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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian