Tag Archives: romaine lettuce

3 Salad Ideas OR Greens with Envy

Gentle Readers, in the inimitable words of Shakira, hips don’t lie. Into every bacon-fueled life, some salad must fall. With the onset of summer and the quest to run a 5k (an even more poignant goal as my heart goes out to Boston), it’s time to focus on my other favorite food group, salad.

Blueberry Herb Salad: This picture just makes me want to eat it again.

Blueberry Herb Salad: This picture just makes me want to eat it again.

Yes, you can make friends with salad. It’s infinitely diverse and interesting, and not because you load it down with cheese and dressing and whatever else. It takes time to eat. It’s pretty. I love to top it with fruit.

Tomato Watermelon Salad from Crook's Corner

Tomato Watermelon Salad from Crook’s Corner

But I digress. Here are 3 salad ideas to get you started.

1. Mediterranean style. Greens with goat cheese, orange segments, dates, and almonds. I had this salad this week at Sitti, a Lebanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh. With a light lemony dressing, this was summer on a plate. Delightfully balanced between bitter, salty, sour, and sweet.

Orange Date Salad from Sitti. Mmmm Dates.

Orange Date Salad from Sitti. Mmmm Dates.

2. Ole! Who says salsa is not a salad dressing? This is a new wave take on an old idea: taco salad. A bed of greens, a diced avocado, a mango, some stray black beans, and a few crunchy noodles (forgive me, they should be tortilla strips), and you’ve got a party. I thinned the peach salsa (hello, Trader Joe’s)  just a bit with Orange Champagne Vinegar (also from Trader Joe’s), and it was a hit with everyone.

This is a different salad, because I ate the taco salad too quickly. This is greens, mango, goat cheese, and walnuts. Plus the orange champagne vinegar and a splash of olive oil.

This is a different salad, because I ate the taco salad too quickly. This is greens, mango, goat cheese, and walnuts. Plus the orange champagne vinegar and a splash of olive oil.

3. New Chicken Salad. Rotisserie chicken, diced apples (pink lady FTW), walnuts, Caesar Romano Dressing. I know, perhaps not what you would think of at first, but you’re taking Waldorf salad and mashing it up with chicken Caesar. Don’t be afraid.

TPC Tested, Ninja Approved: New Chicken Salad

TPC Tested, Ninja Approved: New Chicken Salad

As you can tell, I take my salad inspiration from leftovers. I often have less than 5 minutes to prep lunch. If you pre-chop and wash Romaine and leave it in your salad spinner in the fridge, you will grab for it first. Dicing fruit takes less than no time, and then toss something else crunchy or salty on top. Done.

Colander, Salad Spinner, Metal Bowl

Colander, Salad Spinner, Metal Bowl

What are your salad ideas of the moment? Tweet me your salad beauty shots by ccing @practicalcook on Twitter or @amylewi on Instagram. I’m waiting!

Send your food puns, questions, and frosted cupcakes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Up next on Friday, Kitchen Tool Talk: 3 More of My Favorite Things

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Filed under One Ingredient Three Ways, Recipes

Smoked Salmon Salad: A Recipe of Sorts

Gentle Readers, sometimes life requires hitting the reset button. After weeks of being on the road, meal after meal out, it is time to detox. The good eating habits were taking a beating, and the chocolate chip cookies were being consumed in grosses. When that happens, I have to stop and smell the carrot sticks.

Smoked Salmon Salad, now with pea pods!

Smoked Salmon Salad, now with pea pods!

I don’t really like carrot sticks, which makes it that much more effective. However, I do love salad. So I’ve been eating one most days for lunch. This one is exceptionally tasty, borne of what was on hand. Great blend of salt and crunch, tied together with a little smoke. Special thanks to SmokerNinja and family for the leftover salmon that anchors this creation.

Romaine lettuce prep!

Romaine lettuce prep!

Smoked Salmon Salad

a serving of leftover smoked salmon (prefer hot smoked over cold for this)
romaine lettuce
1/2 avocado, diced
sugar snap pea pods
crunchy rice noodles (in the Asian section of the grocery store, near chow mein noodles)
Caesar-Romano Dressing (or something light and fruity, your choice)

Avocado sliced in the halfshell.

Avocado sliced in the halfshell.

Toss in quantities of your choice. I was low on romaine and used a lot of pea pods. It was pretty fantastic. Smoked salmon adds depth, but leftover cooked salmon would work as well. Don’t skip the crunchy noodles, they are our current favorite salad topping.

Trader Joe's Romano Caesar Dressing, I Heart You

Trader Joe’s Romano Caesar Dressing, I Heart You

So what’s in your salad bowl? Share your ideas in the comments box below!

Send your bacon, your lettuce, and your vine-ripened tomatoes to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Sunday, Weekly Menus!

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Filed under Punt!, Recipes

Night Party Salad

Gentle Readers, though I typically deliver the promised blog, today I’m Punting! to share a most excellent summer idea. My friend, Complicated Vegetarian, invented the concept of the Night Party. Perfect for the younger set, the entire point of it is staying up late, or at least late enough to see the night properly.

Tonight’s Night Party came complete with the requisite pizza delivery, and a very beautiful salad. You see, this salad was composed completely by one of my favorite six-year-olds, Complicated Vegetarian Medium. I respect initiative in the kitchen, and she put this together with an eye toward presentation, set out the bowls and the forks, and topped it with a salad spoon for serving.

Night Party Salad with Serving Spoon

Night Party Salad with Serving Spoon

It was delicious, and introduced me to a bottled salad dressing (I know, not quite independent yet) from Trader Joe’s that I’m sort of in love with, a Caesar number that’s tart and salty. Perfect with the crisp Romaine and super sweet TJ’s grape tomatoes and carrots. I had two bowls.

Summer is the ideal time to slow down and celebrate the simple pleasures with friends. Sometimes it’s as easy as staying up until it’s dark outside, chasing fireflies, or building a fort out of every quilt in the joint. And if someone makes a great salad in the process, that’s just fine, too. This one’s dedicated to you CVM.

How do you celebrate summer? Post your suggestions here!

Send your salad pictures to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading the Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow, Weekly Menus. Another week on the road, and menus supplied by a special guest blogger.

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Punt!