by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, April 25th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Recipes, April 21st, 2014
At least once a week, I try to make something for dinner that helps me clear all the odd bits out of my produce drawers. During the colder months, I make huge pots of soup that serve as the basis of quick meals all week long. When the weather starts to warm up, however, I turn to salads to use a handful of mushrooms and the last skinny stalks of celery from the very center of the bunch.
No one really needs a recipe for this kind of use-it-up salad, but sometimes it’s nice to see how other people approach their clean-out-the-fridge meal. I can easily fall into a rut, so a little bit of outside inspiration is just plain nice.
This is where Jeff Mauro’s Garbage Salad and Champagne Vinaigrette comes in. It’s not a recipe that’s reinventing the wheel, but it does pull together a nice assortment of complementary flavors that are outside my regular, well-trod paths. The vegetable base is a motley collection of romaine, iceberg, carrots, celery, mushrooms and pepperoncini. The brain wave is that he also includes blue cheese, sliced deli turkey and oil-packed anchovies. That means there’s enough protein in that salad for it to pass for a full-on meal (at least in my house).
It’s good for Sunday afternoons or whenever your Weekender craving may strike.
by Marisa McClellan in Holidays, Recipes, April 11th, 2014
Fresh, simple and vibrant, salads are fuss-free meals that can come together in mere minutes, but if they’re not beefed up with plenty of ingredients and a rich, flavorful dressing, often they’re not satisfying for a main dish. The key to preparing a hearty salad is opting for hefty add-ins with bold tastes — but you don’t need meat to do that.
Rachael’s Greek Salad (pictured above) is a colorful take on the classic recipe that can be on the table in less than 15 minutes. Instead of relying on a bed of lettuce for the base of her salad, Rachael fills the plate with fresh vegetables, like juicy tomatoes, cool cucumber, and both crunchy bell and Cubanelle peppers. Traditional kalamata olives offer a salty bite to the salad, while parsley adds brightness. No Greek salad is compete without tangy feta cheese, and Rachael opts for slices of authentic Greek feta for a decadent topping before finishing the dish with a simple red wine vinaigrette. Serve warm pita bread as a hearty accompaniment, and use it to sop up the oregano-laced dressing.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, March 17th, 2014
When I was growing up, Passover wasn’t a holiday we celebrated with any regularity. My mom was Jewish, but she had grown up in a very secular branch of the family. Occasionally we would attend a Seder at our Unitarian church (they were very into the world religions back in the 1980s), but it was not an annual thing.
Once I moved to Philadelphia, however, I found myself surrounded by family that, while still pretty New Age and multicultural, was far more observant when it came to the Jewish holidays.
And so Passover has become a staple holiday on my yearly calendar, second only to Thanksgiving in terms of eating. The meal is coordinated by my mom’s first cousin Amy, and she distributes dish assignments at least a month prior to the meal (so that people can practice and get things just right).
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 17th, 2014
Between the corned beef and cabbage, ham-studded mashed potatoes and Irish lamb stews that traditionally line holiday tables today, it’s easy to get lost in the meaty buffet of St. Patrick’s Day. But despite these classic recipes, it’s indeed possible to stick to a meatless menu — or at least introduce one vegetarian option — all while sticking with the green theme of the day. Fresh vegetables and leafy salads are naturally colorful, so you can introduce a few of these vibrant plates and make them appropriate for the holiday.
Food Network Magazine’s Green Bean and Egg Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing (pictured above) is a five-star pick that’s easy to make, and it’s packed with bright-green ingredients. Featuring tender potatoes and in-season green beans, plus a bed of mixed greens and juicy tomatoes, this good-for-you salad boasts a mix of textures and light, fresh flavors. Since raw red onions can be a bit powerful, Food Network Magazine recommends soaking them in cold water for a few minutes before adding them to the salad, so they lose some of their sharp bite. Round out the salad with hard-boiled eggs and a creamy mustard-horseradish dressing, made with tangy goat cheese and buttermilk.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, February 3rd, 2014
Remember the overly sweet Waldorf salad your aunt would bring to the annual potluck picnic when you were young — the salad so drenched with creamy dressing that all of the other ingredients couldn’t be tasted? This Waldorf salad isn’t like that. Giada’s new-age version, her Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine, is everything your aunt’s isn’t, with a fresh mix of colors and textures, plus a made-over topping that only enhances the best flavors of this tried-and-true dish.
While the old-fashioned recipe largely features fruit and nuts, Giada’s salad goes several steps further by incorporating grains and lettuce. She starts by making whole-wheat pearl couscous, then adds to it crunchy fennel, as well as the requisite green grapes, apples and toasted walnuts so it doesn’t lose that traditional taste. These ingredients become married with a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar and honey. For an additional spin on the classic, Giada serves her Waldorf salad in individual lettuce cups — the leaves of bright-purple radicchio — to offer added crispness. Perhaps best of all, because Giada’s salad takes only 25 minutes to prepare and doesn’t need to chill in the refrigerator before serving, it’s a go-to last-minute recipe for when you’re tight on time.
by Melissa d'Arabian in Food Network Chef, Recipes, January 9th, 2014
With game day mere hours behind you, chances are you’re probably chock-full of all things saucy, snacky and deep-fried right now. Today, instead of succumbing to more indulgent dishes, start the week off on a fresher note with a simple salad.
With kale all the rage these days, recipes using this good-for-you vegetable are seemingly everywhere. But while some may suggest you cook kale as you would other leafy greens, the experts at Food Network Kitchen explain, “Antioxidant-rich kale is even better for you when eaten raw.” In its top-rated, quick-fix recipe for Kale and Apple Salad (pictured above), the Kitchen celebrates a myriad of textures, plus light, zesty flavors. Start by making a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, then add sliced kale and let it rest for about 10 minutes so the leaves have a chance to absorb the flavor. Since kale is a sturdier green than romaine or iceberg lettuces, you don’t have to worry as much about it wilting quickly. For added texture and a bit of heft, add in crunchy sliced almonds and chewy dates, plus crisp apple slices and pecorino cheese to round out the taste.
by Foodlets in Family, September 10th, 2013
I’d like to commit to having a salad a day this year. Who is with me?
Perhaps I should back up and start with a confession: I’m not a naturally disciplined person. Left to my devices, I will sleep until 10am, lounge about in sweats all day, never work out and order in spicy Thai food until my palate finally forces me to switch to a day of pizza(!). Yes, natural me is an ugly scene. That’s the bad news. The good news is I know this about me. And I also know how to create a life I really want, despite my human imperfections. What is the secret? It all comes down to one thing: creating habits that support the life I truly want to live that will circumvent my natural (read: lazier) tendencies. And what better time to start a new habit than now, amidst all the belly-gazing the new year inspires?
Why a salad a day? Why not an apple, as the saying goes? I’ve already done an apple a day for a year. It was brilliant and I still have an apple most days — proof that habits, even good ones, die hard, which is why it is doubly wise to choose our habits purposefully. Back to our salad, I feel better when I eat raw vegetables. I have more energy, my skin is clearer, my body feels leaner and I feel generally healthier. Committing simply to “eat more raw veggies” in the new year would be to trust my whims to lead me to a crudite plate night after night. As I mentioned before, I know myself. The first week, I would be making a gorgeous platter with elegant zucchini spears, cutely bulbous tiny heirloom tomatoes and mini sweet peppers perfect for scooping up a low-fat yogurt dip. But by the end of the month, I’d be pulling a baby carrot from the leftover dregs of my daughter’s lunchbox, mentally checking off the veggie resolution box. Not good.
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by Maria Russo in Recipes, August 12th, 2013
First things first, don’t call a dish a “salad.” Most kids don’t like salad or the thought of a salad. Try something more fun like, “We’re having a cherry tomato surprise!” Most kids like surprises.
Next, let them get involved. For this particular easy late-summer dish, even the tiniest hands can help. I slice the tomatoes and my 2-year-old puts them into a bowl. Same goes for the basil. I handle the onions (and more on this in a second), then our 4-year-old adds the olive oil and helps to gently stir.
So the onions. Yes, I left in the long slices of red onion. I know most kids don’t like onions, but there are usually two ways to approach this: Make the onions so small kids won’t see and taste them or make them big enough to easily avoid. We went with the latter. And it worked.
by Foodlets in Family, July 30th, 2013
The key to enjoying a salad as an entree is making sure you beef up the dish with more than just leafy greens, croutons and dressing. Hearty protein, plus cheese, vegetables, olives and eggs, turn a simple salad into a complete lunch or dinner. But when you remove the meat from the plate, finding substitute ingredients can be challenging and often leads to an unsatisfying meal. Food Network Magazine, however, reinvented the chef’s salad — one such main course salad traditionally packed with deli meats — into a meatless plate that won’t leave you disappointed.
Instead of turkey, ham or chicken, the star protein in Food Network Magazine’s Vegetarian Chef’s Salad (pictured above) is tofu, either your favorite smoked or baked variety. Tender roasted mushrooms add an earthy flavor, while crisp-tender wax beans — conveniently cooked in the same pot of hot water used to hard-boil the eggs — and prepared beets add texture. Puree a few of the remaining roasted mushrooms with tangy plain yogurt, olive oil and vinegar to prepare a smooth topping, then mix the topping with the greens, and assemble the vegetables, eggs, cheddar cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds on top for a classic chef’s salad presentation.
My kids don’t like salad. In fact, every time they see lettuce, or fresh herbs for that matter, on anything, I hear the same thing from the pink booster seat section of the dining room: “Salad!? I don’t like salad!” But if you’re trying to get kids to eat (and at some point enjoy) fresh and healthy foods, it’s all about repetition — sometimes with a twist. I bought these Japanese vegetable cutters online for less than four bucks, and they’ve been worth their weight in gold. Here, simple carrots and cucumbers get a new look in seconds — and make this spinach salad suddenly appealing.
I’m no fool; I know a star-shaped carrot will get you only so far, but I’m just trying to get the kids engaged. Pique their interests. If it takes a heart or a star to pull off a spinach salad for the under-five set, I’m in.