If you are a fan of cherry tomatoes, you’ll like this pasta salad, because it has alot of them! Some of my friends share cherry tomatoes from their gardens, so I had quite a few. I wanted to use some in a recipe and I thought a pasta salad sounded good. I also Continue reading
Hello and hope you are all staying cool! This is one of the hottest summers we’ve had in awhile! I don’t like to bake or cook much when the weather is this hot–instead, I make a lot of salads, sandwiches, and simple side dishes that require little or no Continue reading
I’m so glad May is finally here–the weather is warming up, flowering trees are in full bloom, and more and more plants and flowers are springing up! And this time of year I start craving more summery kinds of foods–foods that are easy to make with minimal or Continue reading
Just about a week and a half ago, we were having some seriously cold winter weather. Like zero degrees. That is way too cold for me! And apparently for lots of other people, because no one wanted to get out in that weather. We were kind of all hibernating during that deep freeze. And then, much to everyone’s delight, the weather gradually started warming up. Things slowly came back to life. It felt like the frozen world was beginning to thaw. And as that happened, I started craving a good salad.
And right about this time, I received my review copy of a new cookbook called Fresh Tastes by Lee Clayton Roper. It actually has a great photo of a salad on the cover! So I knew then that I would be picking out a salad recipe to try from this book. There are much more than salad recipes, though–there are over 170 recipes for everything from appetizers and breakfast foods to main dishes, vegetarian dishes, and desserts, all made with fresh ingredients (hence the name, Fresh Tastes) and easy to prepare. There’s lots of very nice full-color photography of many of the dishes, too. Had I not wanted to make a salad so badly, I might have tried the Green Chile Canapés, Cinnamon Loaf, Chicken Pot Pie, Cajun Meatloaf, Vegetable Curry, or Blueberry Peach Custard Pie. But I was set on a salad, so I’ll have to try those another time! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it yourself:
APPLE, WALNUT AND STILTON CHEESE SALAD from Fresh Tastes
Makes 6 servings
- 1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar (or substitute raspberry vinegar with 1-2 Tbsp. honey–if you can’t find raspberry vinegar, just substitute a raspberry or raspberry-walnut vinaigrette for the vinegar, lemon juice, and oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup walnut oil (or substitute olive oil)
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 10 ounces mixed baby greens (spinach, arugula, lettuce)
- 2 large Gala or other red apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups (6 to 8 ounces) Stilton cheese, crumbled (or substitute Gorgonzola or other forms of blue cheese)
In a medium glass jar with fitted lid, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and oil until well blended and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside (you can skip these steps if you’re using a raspberry-walnut vinaigrette).
In a large bowl, toss together mixed greens, chopped apple, walnuts and cheese. Just before serving, toss with just enough dressing to coat the lettuce (you may have some dressing left over). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is a great winter salad, and the chopped apples, walnuts, and Stilton cheese go really well together. Do you have a favorite winter salad recipe?
I’ve been on an avocado kick lately! So I was drawn to this recipe from the new cookbook Lose Weight By Eating (William Morrow, softcover). This side dish has so many ingredients I love–avocados, of course, along with black beans, red onion, bell pepper, and corn. I just knew I would like it!
There are lots of other great-sounding recipes I found in my review copy. Author Audrey Johns developed more than 130 clean eating recipes during her 11-month weight loss journey, losing more than 150 pounds and proving that you really can lose weight if you’re eating the right things! There’s a good variety of recipes for every meal and healthy desserts, too–things like Chili Cheese Omelet, Strawberry Scones with Lime Glaze, Meatball Sliders, Skinny Chicken Alfredo, California Club Pizza, and Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.
I decided to try the Black Bean Avocado Salad, which is described in the book as a crisp, salsa-like side dish–and just 131 calories per serving. You can serve it with chips as a snack, or top a chicken breast with it for extra flavor and protein.
BLACK BEAN AVOCADO SALAD from Lose Weight by Eating
Makes six 1/2 cup servings
- 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the beans, jalapeño, bell pepper, avocado, red onion, cilantro, corn, lime juice, and garlic. Gently mix and add salt and black pepper to taste.
Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour and serve.
I really liked the way this tasted–it’s nice when a dish is both healthy and yummy, isn’t it? Do you have a favorite healthy snack that you like to make?