Sunday, May 21, 2017

Curried Pineapple Salad

I found inspiration for this salad at one of our local hipster supper clubs.  After enjoying their version of this salad, which contained curried yogurt, dried pineapple, and roasted red peppers, I decided to tweak the ingredients by freshening them up a bit, increasing the portions of veggies, fruits, and greens, and make the whole thing mason jar-ready.  I have also been obsessed with marinading chicken (and tofu) in a pineapple-sriracha marinade lately, which seemed like a natural addition to the original salad ingredients for a more satisfying lunch.  This salad is as delicious as it is gorgeous - and it's super healthy, to boot!  Enjoy.



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp water (optional - depends on how thick you like your dressing)
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c pineapple juice concentrate
  • 2 - 4 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 heaping cup fresh pineapple, finely diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced or chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 - 2 heads butter or bibb lettuce, roughly torn
  • 1/2 c cashews, roughly chopped and toasted


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the creamy curry dressing: combine the yogurt, buttermilk, mayo, lemon juice, water, honey, curry powder, 1/8 tsp salt, and pepper in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Marinade the chicken: combine the pineapple juice concentrate, sriracha, garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt  in a shallow baking dish.  Add the chicken, turning to coat.  Marinade the chicken thighs in the remaining dressing for 2 hours and up to overnight.  Grill, broil, or roast the chicken.  Cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the chicken, pineapple, red bell pepper, chives, and lettuce in the jars.  Divide the cashews evenly among four snack-sized zip-top bags or 2-oz jars, one for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with cashews.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Stir 1/2 tsp curry powder into your favorite creamy dressing, such as ranch, to substitute for the homemade dressing.  Use rotisserie chicken in place of the marinated, grilled chicken thighs.  Substitute canned pineapple "tidbits" for the diced fresh pineapple.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, substitute 14 oz extra-firm tofu for the chicken.  For a vegan salad, add 1/2 tsp curry powder to your favorite creamy vegan salad dressing.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seeds for the cashews.  This salad is gluten-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chinese Chicken Salad

I apologize for the delayed post this week.  We've got a great excuse - we adopted a second dog!  Head over to Team 52 Weeks if you'd like to meet her (and the rest of the crew!)

On to the salad!  We can thank Saveur for this killer recipe, which I slightly modified for the mason jar.  I hope you enjoy the peanutty, Asian-inspired dressing, loads of fresh, crunchy veggies, double-hit of protein, and crunchy, fried wonton strips to finish.  Although this salad is far from traditional Chinese food, it is nothing if not delicious.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1/4 c rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • additional canola oil, for frying
  • 5 wonton wrappers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • few pinches kosher salt
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, halved if large
  • 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 2 hearts of romaine, shredded
  • 1/2 c roasted peanuts


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the peanut dressing: combine the canola oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, lime juice, dry mustard, honey, toasted sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, and pepper in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Marinade the chicken: reserve 1/2 c of dressing, and marinade the chicken thighs in the remaining dressing for 2 hours and up to overnight.  Grill, broil, or roast the chicken.  Cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces or shred.
  3. Make the fried wonton strips: head 1/2 inch of canola oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Fry the wonton strips, several at a time, until golden brown and crisp.  Use tongs to transfer the strips to paper towels to drain and cool, and season lightly with kosher salt.
  4. Pack the salads: divide the remaining dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the chicken, carrot, sugar snap peas, bell pepper, cucumber, sprouts, green onion, cilantro, cabbage, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the peanuts and fried wonton strips evenly among four snack-sized zip-top bags. Refrigerate until serving.
  5. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with wonton strips and peanuts.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite prepared peanut sauce for the homemade dressing.  Use rotisserie chicken in place of the marinated, grilled chicken thighs.  Substitute coleslaw mix with carrots for the carrot and Napa cabbage.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, substitute 14 oz extra-firm tofu for the chicken.  For a vegan salad, also substitute agave nectar for the honey in the dressing.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute tamari for the soy sauce and corn tortilla strips for the wonton strips.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter for the peanut butter in the dressing, and 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds for the roasted peanuts.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Chef Salad

I accidentally deleted this post that I wrote so carefully.  Ooops!  Here's a delicious Chef Salad.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz diced, cooked ham
  • 2 oz diced, cooked turkey
  • 2 oz diced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz diced swiss cheese
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the honey-cider vinaigrette: combine the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper, and oil in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)
  2. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the ham, turkey, cheddar, swiss, egg, carrot, radish, tomato, and lettuce in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use your favorite prepared honey mustard dressing for the homemade dressing.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, substitute your favorite vegetarian deli slices, cubed, for the ham and turkey.  For a vegan salad, also substitute non-dairy cheeses for the cheddar and swiss, and 1 cup rinsed and drained chickpeas for the hard-boiled egg.  This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Stephanie's Wheatberry Salad

My dear friend Stephanie is celebrating a milestone birthday this week!  In honor of her, I'm featuring one of her "signature recipes," adapted for the mason jar.  It's a sweet-savory salad featuring a unique combination of ingredients, hearty whole grains, a triple-dose of protein, and copious amounts of her daughter's favorite leafy green, baby spinach.  Happy Birthday, Steph!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 c wheatberries
  • 1/2 c pearl barley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, minced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled or roasted, cooled, and diced
  • 1/2 c sweetened, dried cranberries
  • 4 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c chopped chives
  • 8 oz baby spinach
  • 1/2 c roasted slivered almonds

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded wheatberries: bring a small pan of water to a boil.  Add the wheatberries and boil gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the pearl barley and continue boiling for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the grains, rinse well under cool water, and drain again.  Combine the garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)  Combine the cooked grains, dressing, and minced red onion.
  2. Pack the salads: divide the marinaded wheat berries evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the chicken, dried cranberries, mozzarella, cucumber, green onions, chives, and spinach in the jars.  Divide the almonds evenly among 4 2-ounce jars or snack-size zip-top bags for each salad. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl, and top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use rotisserie chicken in place of the grilled or roasted chicken breasts.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian salad, omit the chicken.  For a vegan salad, omit the chicken and substitute smoked tofu for the smoked mozzarella.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute 2 cups prepared quinoa for the wheatberry/barley mixture.  For a nut-free salad, substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the almonds.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Thank you to Pinch of Yum for the inspiration for this salad.  When I saw her recipe for "Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles" several years ago, I knew I had to make a vegetarian version ASAP.  The sweet-salty-spicy-tangy dressing called to me, and I have an almost unholy love of rice noodles.  I gathered and prepared my ingredients, swapping in browned tofu for the chicken, and I also decided to pack my salads "upside down," in a few quart-sized mason jars I had lying around, in imitation of my coworker who had been bringing salads to work for lunch in just such a fashion.  This recipe was, indeed, my first-ever attempt at a mason jar salad lunch!  I have fond memories of enjoying this salad while hanging out in the car in-between home visits on a cold, grey, January afternoon.  This salad brightened up my day then, and I hope it does to yours this week!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp lime juice
  • 6 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 serrano peppers, sliced
  • 6 oz rice noodles, prepared, rinsed under cool water, and drained well
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, grilled or roasted and shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 package fresh mint leaves, julienned
  • 1 small head napa cabbage, shredded


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the serrano-lime dressing: combine the garlic, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and oil in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)  Stir in the sliced serranos.
  2. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the noodles, chicken, carrot, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, mint, and cabbage in the jars.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use rotisserie chicken in place of the grilled or roasted chicken thighs.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: For a vegetarian/vegan salad, substitute grilled or broiled tofu for the chicken..  For gluten-free diners, use gluten-free tamari.  This salad is nut-free as-is.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Asparagus and Egg Salad with Fresh Dill

We all have our favorite sources for rock-star recipes: battered-splattered-dog-eared cookbooks, traditional family favorites, and, in the last 10 years or so, the Internet.  Those of us who cook frequently from the Internet can all agree ... not all online recipes are created equal!  I'm sure we all have our go-to sites for recipes that rarely disappoint - my bookmarks skew generally in the direction of Real Simple, Smitten Kitchen, New York Times Cooking, King Arthur Flour, Pinch of Yum, and The Kitchn.  This week's salad is inspired by this sandwich recipe, courtesy of The Kitchn.  While the linked sandwich is pretty much my favorite spring lunch ever, (and packs especially well for squelchy early-spring hikes,) sometimes I want a lunch that is more greens-forward.  Salad to the rescue!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4-6 oz baguette or other crusty bread, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 1 bunch asparagus, steamed 2 minutes, cooled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c fresh dill fronds
  • 8 oz baby arugula


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the pickled onions: toss the sliced red onion with the red wine vinegar and pinch kosher salt.  Allow to marinade at room temperature for 20+ minutes.  Drain, reserving the onions.
  2. Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the bread cubes with the 2 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and large garlic clove.  Bake the croutons for 10 - 15 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown.  Cool.
  3. Make the lemon vinaigrette: combine the lemon zest and juice, garlic clove, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/4 c olive oil, and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  
  4. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the pickled onion, egg, asparagus, dill, and arugula in the jars.  Divide the croutons evenly between 4 snack-size zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  5. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with croutons.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use prepared croutons, pre-cooked/peeled hard-boiled eggs, and frozen asparagus (thawed and drained,) in place of the homemade croutons, home-cooked egg, and steamed asparagus.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, double the dressing, marinade a 14-oz package of extra-firm tofu in half the dressing, then grill or broil the tofu and substitute for the hard-boiled egg.  For gluten-free diners, substitute your favorite gluten-free bread for the baguette.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Spring Salad with Radish and Peas

Hellooooooooo spring!  We have been enjoying warmer temperatures and loads of sunshine here in Minnesota the past couple weeks, and I'm thrilled to see chives and garlic beginning to poke up in my garden.  While it's still a bit too early to expect any substantial produce from my garden yet, I can rely on grocery store staples for this ultra-springy salad - green peas, radishes, shallots, and tender lettuce combine with hard-boiled egg (anybody have a surplus of those this week??) a creamy-herby dressing, and garlicky homemade croutons for a fresh, bright, super-flavorful salad to welcome in this new season!  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4-6 oz baguette or other crusty bread, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed and drained
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 1 bunch radishes, stemmed and sliced
  • 1-2 heads butter or bibb lettuce, coarsely torn into bite-sized pieces


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the bread cubes with the oil, salt, pepper, and large garlic clove.  Bake the croutons for 10 - 15 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown.  Cool.
  2. Make the buttermilk-herb dressing: combine the buttermilk, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and garlic clove in a pint-sized mason jar.  Puree and emulsify the dressing using a handheld stick blender.  (Alternately, puree and emulsify the dressing ingredients using a blender or mini food processor.)  Fold in the parsley and chives.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the shallots, green peas, egg, radishes, and lettuce in the jars.  Divide the croutons evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top bags for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with croutons.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use prepared croutons in place of the homemade croutons.  Use your favorite prepared creamy ranch or buttermilk dressing for the homemade dressing.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan option, use your favorite creamy vegan salad dressing, and substitute grilled or broiled tofu steaks for the hard-boiled egg.  Substitute your favorite gluten-free bread for the baguette for a gluten-free option.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.