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.