Some tahini here, some lemon there, and kale everywhere!

Had some friends over for dinner and was going on an Asian theme.  Was making some stir-fry like chicken dish and was looking for a salad to go with it.  I found a great Cooking Light recipe to pair with it based on a whole page of kale salad ideas they had.

I went with the Tahini-Lemon Dressing — quick, easy and refreshing!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 cups thinly sliced stemmed Lacinato kale
3/4 cup cooked quinoa (I did not include this)
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Prep:
Combine water, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, soy sauce, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
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Add kale (and cooked quinoa; toss) — I did this in a more normal salad way.  After making the dressing, I dressed the salad/kale.
IMG_2130[1]Delicious, I’m addicted.  I’ve made it twice since they’ve been over.  And the dressing keeps/holds well, so you can make a good amount and just keep it in the fridge.

Bulgur & Chickpea Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Was at a friend’s place a couple weeks ago and she made this mouth-watering salad.  Decided to make it as part of Christmas Eve dinner last night.  It’s definitely one that you have to take seconds, or thirds of.  I think it’s from the dressing.

Bulgur & Chickpea Salad with Cranberries, Toasted Almonds + Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

Salad
2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup Bulgur Wheat (I used quinoa — you can basically use any grain)
1 cup chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries (the store didn’t have them, so I used dried cherries, just as good)
1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
Fresh cilantro, chopped (use as much or little as you’d like)
2 scallions, sliced thin crosswise

(last night I made half the recipe — it makes a ton)

Vinaigrette (this is the part that’s the best)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice + lime zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, smashed (though you can always use more!)
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
Pinch salt and fresh ground pepper
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Bring the 2 cups of water and salt to a boil and add the bulgur. Turn down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 12-15 minutes until water is absorbed and bulgur is soft but still has a bite to it.

Toss all the salad ingredients in a big bowl until combined.

In a small bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour half of the dressing over salad and stir to coat the salad in dressing. Taste and add more dressing as needed.

Good warm but it’s best after it sits in the fridge for an hour or two.

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So, so good.  And, it’s dairy free and gluten free!  You can even play with all the ingredients that go in the salad.  Give it the taste that you want.  I could not stop nibbling on the stuff.

Ahh…Caesar

And the taste goes on.  Love salad, love Caesar.  There was apparently a recipe from the 70s or 80s in The (Washington) Post that had no dairy in it for the mouth watering, delicious Caesar Salad. It is great that I can make this recipe and enjoy it!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed (or jarred garlic, if needed)
1 tin anchovy fillets with capers, coarsely chopped, reserve oil (if you can’t find these, just remember to add capers, chopped later)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
S&P

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Directions:

In a jar with tight lid (tupperware works wonders too), combine olive oil, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, capers, anchovy oil, and lemon juice.

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Screw lid tightly on jar (or snap on lid) and shake vigorously. Taste and correct seasoning to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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When ready to serve, tear romaine and dress salad with as much dressing as needed.  Season with additional S&P to taste.

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Curiosity…

…might kill the cat, but it only creates a (better) cook.

I had this huge bunch of basil left from a recipe I made yesterday and was trying to figure out what I could/should do with it.  Didn’t want tomato-basil salad, pesto wasn’t striking my fancy so decided to walk into my kitchen and see what I could do.  I opened the freezer and scanned what was in there that I could be creative with and also looked around the counter.  And the wheels starting spinning…

I was going to make a unique (?) dressing with fresh basil, fresh lime juice, shallot, pepper, black sea salt (decided that after the first blend) and a bit of olive oil.  Wanted to play with appliances so threw it all in the mini-prep.  That’s all it took.  WOW!

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Then, the ingredients I found — simple, basic, easy and healthy — what other words do I need?  Like I said, I found them ‘sitting’ around — some were in the freezer and some were fresh.  Sort of mentioned this in another post — use what you have!  Corn, tomatoes, edamame, mango, olives.

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Put them in a bowl (some of each — no specific quantities or ratios), toss with the dressing.  Can we say colorful?

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Then I served the salad with some pan seared scallops.  Great balance of flavors all around.  And, a pretty healthy Sunday night meal.  Also, with the rest of my tons of basil, I did make pesto — basil, walnuts, olive oil, S&P — that’s it.  Forgot garlic…

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