Tag Archives: simple salads

Blueberry Herb Salad: Obnoxiously Healthy, Magically Delicious

Gentle Readers, as you’re reading this, The Practical Cook is scampering about an event center in London spreading the good word about data centers and virtualization. Though I feel certain there’s a London/Cloud joke in there, I shall refrain. Point being, I’m busy, just like you. I need fuel, just like you. Here’s a salad I created the other day that bears repeating.

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.

It’s full of high-impact nutrition, comes together in a flash (15 minutes between conference calls is about my time limit during the week), and it’s beautiful and delicious.

Blueberry Herb Salad

herb salad blend in a clamshell (I’m sure there are other brands, but this was Earthbound Farms, and I’m a fan of this blend)
blueberries, like 1/4 cup or so, rinsed and dried (I know they’re out of season, they’re a wicked indulgence for me right now)
sliced almonds, toasted (on a plate, in the microwave, for about 2 minutes, in 1 minute increments, stirring between)
shredded mozzarella (I was out of goat, which would be awesome, but the mozzarella was surprisingly good)

Compose your salad artfully, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a healthy splash of Balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

Blueberries are just so cute, they make greens happy to be with them.

Blueberries are just so cute, they make greens happy to be with them.

This was crunchy, salty, sweet, and herbalicious. I was surprised how well the dill and the blueberries paired. See what you think.

Are you a fan of the salad blends? Cast your vote, let your voice be heard. Post a comment today!

Questions, comments, good ideas? Email me at 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 to stay current on all of The Practical Cook news!)

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Coming tomorrow, Parmesan Rinds Spotted!

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Simple Seasonal Salad with a Moroccan Twist (Recipe)

Oh Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook would like to tell you she was immune to the pleasures of holiday overindulgence, but that would be a big fat lie. Emphasis, mine. Surrounded by mountains of chocolate and seas of baked goods, I’ve sampled, heartily. To assuage my guilt, and hopefully beat the cholesterol odds in an upcoming test, I’m indulging in another love, salads.

Simple Seasonal Salad with a Moroccan Twist: Romaine lettuce, toasted almonds, mango, goat cheese, and chopped dates (not bacon!)

Simple Seasonal Salad with a Moroccan Twist: Romaine lettuce, toasted almonds, mango, goat cheese, and chopped dates (not bacon!)

Yes, lean in, you see, I love salads. I love them because they are infinite in variety, and take forever to chew. I’ve found that one of my great pleasures in eating comes from chewing. I would not do well on a smoothie diet, or anything gelatinous in nature. Salads provide that necessary crunch, with optional squish, snap, cold, hot, spicy, etc. Just no French dressing please. Ever.

I fear the orange French Dressing, even if it's Piggly Wiggly brand.

I fear the orange French Dressing, even if it's Piggly Wiggly brand.

I thought I hated salads because of a childhood of the orange stuff. It was the 1970’s, and it was de rigueur. Good news, I just greatly prefer vinaigrette. Enough jawing, to the recipe.

Simple Seasonal Salad with a Moroccan Twist (Recipe)

bowlful of lettuce (I used Romaine because it was what I had, would be great with butter lettuce or mixed greens)
diced mango (orange segments would also be lovely)
toasted sliced almonds (put ’em on a plate, microwave them for a minute or two, voila)
goat cheese
2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (I get mine at Trader Joe’s, of course, and they are divine)
cooked chicken (optional, would be good, but I didn’t have any)

Compose the above ingredients, and dress lightly with the dressing below. This is a single person order of salad, but the dressing will cover at least two, so feel free to double and share with a friend.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon white Balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
orange zest (if you can, it is delish)

Combine OJ and vinegar with salt, stir until salt dissolves. Whisk or stir in olive oil until it emulsifies slightly. Add zest and stir. Dress your salad, it’s waiting for you.

This salad is different, light, and full of various flavors. Enjoy!

What’s in your salad bowl these days? How do you feel about French dressing? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way!

Send lettuces, queries, and lucrative offers 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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Up next, One Ingredient, Three Ways: Parmesan Rinds.

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Can this supper be saved? Yes, by Trader Joe’s

Gentle Readers, I hope it’s just us here in the confessional booth today. You see, I attempted to declare my independence from bottled salad dressing, but I fell in love. As food love goes, it often happens with a chance encounter at a friend’s house. Then, as I skipped gleefully and unattended down the aisles of Trader Joe’s the other morning after a successful camp drop-off, there it was.

Trader Joe's Romano Caesar Dressing, I Heart You

Trader Joe's Romano Caesar Dressing, I Heart You

Yes, I bought a bottle of my very own. (Along with many, many other things, having discarded the list; shopping for the pure joy of new food discovery, more on those items as I taste them.) The cashier commented on his love for the Romano Caesar Dressing as well. I’m starting to suspect this product has a cult following. And if you give The Practical Cook some dressing, she’s going to buy some Romaine to go with it. And make some croutons from scratch from the stale bread. (Heat some butter or olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add a  bit of minced garlic if you like, toss in thinly sliced baguette or cubes of stale bread, brown, sprinkle with parmesan cheese while still hot, eat. Preferably on a salad but straight up is good too.)

Butternut Squash Ravioli from Trader Joe's

Butternut Squash Ravioli from Trader Joe's

And then came the butternut squash ravioli. Bliss. I browned a large hunk of butter and some fresh sage, toss, toss, toss, a simple and satisfying dinner that everyone loved without any fuss in the kitchen. It was beautiful and delicious, the perfect end to a day of camp, swim lessons, and general chaos.

Simple Salad with Romano Caesar Dressing and Homemade Croutons

Simple Salad with Romano Caesar Dressing and Homemade Croutons

Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter and Crispy Sage

Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Ravioli with Browned Butter and Crispy Sage

It was a nice break from tomato-based sauces, and the sweetness of the ravioli went so well with the sage. The Youngest Practical Cook ate all of her sage (and the croutons) and left some ravioli.

Thank you Trader Joe’s, for saving my supper. I was steps away from collapse, but the simple elegance of the meal kept me going. I shall persevere and cook another day. And I forgive me for buying another bottle of salad dressing, and you just might if you try this stuff.

Do you have a favorite bottled salad dressing? Have you tried the Romano Caesar? Comments and confessions are welcome in the comments section, just below.

Submit your questions and thoughts 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, a timely review of Locopops: Home of the Delicious Paleta.

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Filed under Can this supper be saved?, On the Table, Punt!