Tag Archives: salad

Cool Caribbean Salad Made with Lentils

24 Feb

by Deanne

Photo of Cool Caribbean SaladA few weeks ago Steve’s mom, Mary Jane shared an e-cookbook that she has been using from The Northern Pulse Growers Association

Photo of Steve and Mom

She discovered that pulses, which are peas, lentils, and chickpeas, are good sources of beneficial soluble fiber and proteins.  Since she is on a gluten-free diet she comes up with some good ideas.

According to the book:

Peas, lentils and chickpeas are among the most ancient crops in the world. Peas have been discovered in caves in Thailand dating back more than 11,000 years and lentils have been found in Egyptian tombs.

I am excited to cook my way through this book.  Here is the first recipe I selected.  It was so good, I felt like snorkeling after eating the salad.

Cool Caribbean Salad

 Makes 2-3 servings

1⁄2 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I used green lentils)

1 1⁄2 cups water

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (I used canned pineapple)

1⁄2 cup finely chopped cilantro or to taste

1⁄2 cup finely chopped red onion

Dressing

 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp peanut oil  (I used olive oil)

1⁄2 tsp grated lime zest

1 clove garlic,minced

1⁄4 tsp salt or to taste

  1. Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2.  In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients; in a serving bowl, combine cooked lentils with pineapple, cilantro and red onion.
  3.  Stir in the dressing. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

CoolCaribbeanIngred

 

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Another Way to Be Pink: Watermelon Radish Salad

29 Oct

By Deanne

When I was shopping at the farmers market on Saturday there were a lot of people running around with pink clothing and wigs.  Being a bit clueless, I finally realized that there must have been an event to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.    

Photo of watermelon radish cut into matchsticks or ribbons

Have you heard the term pinkwashing? 

It is an ad and marketing campaign where a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

One way to deal with pinkwashing is to learn more about the product you buy. 

In contrast to just mindlessly buying consumer packaged goods wrapped in pink ribbons, consider this Chinese proverb:

“Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees.”

Digging a bit deeper, one learns that radishes are full of phytochemicals like zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. The lovely pink watermelon radish is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

There seems to be a pattern unfolding on this real food journey:  nutrient-rich, plant based foods can have a large positive impact on our health.  If you agree, join me in developing a FarmerChef lifestyle by shopping and cooking mostly local and real foods. You might even consider planting a raised-bed garden.  It may seem overwhelming at first, but we can make it fun and make a difference to our health.

Francine introduced me to this pink beauty when she returned from China.  I picked one up at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market and decided to make this recipe.  A slight variation to Francine’s recipe which is also very good. The three spices:  cinnamon, turmeric, and cloves are added because of their health benefits and flavor. Photo of watermelon radish Photo of watermelon radish salad

Watermelon Radish Salad

  • 1 large watermelon radish, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 small white onion, also sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Use a peeler to remove the outside of the radish.  Slice radish and then cut slices into lovely pink ribbons. 

Slice onion and place in large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl mix the juice, oil, sea salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric and make a simple dressing to pour over the radish and onions.

Do you think it would be cool to pass out these radishes at the next #bepink event?  Imagine the conversations and education about the value of real food.

Asparagus Salad: First Taste of the Growing Season

24 May

By Deanne

Photo of Asparagus SaladSnow was the norm for April this year so we have been eagerly waiting for asparagus to do its duty and signal the start of the growing season.  Asparagus season was already over by this time last year.  We made our first post on April 5th in 2013.

This year, we are excited to have guest FarmerChefs again. For this recipe we are fortunate to learn and share a family favorite of Ellen’s.  She works with me at our restaurant

Ellen says:

We first got the recipe after my Aunt made the salad for my brother’s baptism.  After we tasted it, not surprisingly, we asked her for the recipe and have received rave reviews every time we’ve made it.  As soon as we take the first bite after making it you can almost hear the sigh of contentment around the dinner table as everyone in their own turn remarks:  “I love this salad, I could eat this everyday”, or simply, “wow!”

I feel honored to have been given permission to share this family treat. I like the picture Ellen painted in our minds in how she described their family table.  Join us on our FarmerChef journey and cook with local and seasonal food. You can suggest ideas and we will feature your recipe.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb pasta cooked and drained  (we used gluten free pasta)
  • 1/2 med red onion chopped
  • 1/2 oz. fresh basil  (we used 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can baby artichoke hearts drained and chopped
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped  (we used 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus hand chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz black olives sliced

Dressing

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Vietnamese BBQ Pork with A Rice Noodle Salad

5 Jul
by Deanne

Francine and I are thankful that the cooking chores in our family are shared among the men in our clan.  Both of our husbands are creative and talented in the kitchen. We also have Luke, our talented blog photographer and son/brother.  He is an amazing chef at the family restaurant and  always coming up with super flavorful dishes.  After we eat what he cooks, we crave that dish the entire next day.

We are excited to share the latest episode from his online cooking show.  Luke explains how easy it is to create great, restaurant-quality  Vietnamese BBQ Pork with A Rice Noodle Salad. (This dish is SO good you guys!!) 

Here’s how he explains the dish…

“In this episode of GamerKitchen, we are making Bun thit nuong, which is rice vermicelli mixed with fresh vegetables and topped with barbecued pork served with a lime dipping sauce (nuoc cham). It fits in well because grilling season is upon us and this dish makes a perfect recipe to share with friends for an afternoon barbecue or get together.”

Is your mouth watering yet?

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

7 Jun
by Deanne

We were hoping to serve Coronation Chicken Salad as our Wednesday FarmerChef special, but instead we decided to make and serve a Spinach and Strawberry Salad after picking up some lovely (and tasty!) strawberries from the Mankato Farmers’ Market.  We also wanted to use some of the final cuttings of our spring spinach crop. (The remaining spinach is tucked away in the freezer, waiting until we’d like to use it in soup or quiche during the the hot summer months.)

This week it was neat to be inspired by fresh spinach and juicy strawberries…a FarmerChef is flexible and being a FarmerChef is fun!

Here’s how we made this salad.A photo of the salad

Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Adapted from Taste of Home
Salad Ingredients:
  • 2 quarts fresh spinach
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower kernels
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Directions:

Place spinach in bowl.

In a separate container make the dressing by mixing all of the ingredients together.

Then add the strawberries and onions to the dressing and mix together.  Then add mixed strawberries to the large bowl and lightly toss to coat the spinach.  Top with sunflower kernels.

*Note…As you can see from the photo, we mixed the salad all together. But next time we plan to serve the strawberries/dressing on a bed of spinach because we think it will look prettier.*

Have you ever made a savoury salad using strawberries?

How to make a Sunshine Grilled Chicken Salad

26 May
by Francine

It’s (finally) safe to say that summer has arrived (Memorial Day is just around the corner)… and even in England the 5 day forecast lists temperatures in the 70s (F) with full sun illustrations, which is amazing considering a week ago it was cloudy and so chilly that I needed to wear gloves!

To celebrate the arrival of summer my dad created a Sunshine Grilled Chicken Salad and served it as a FarmerChef specialIt’s easy to recreate this salad in your home kitchen.A photo of the salad

For the salad you’ll need fresh lettuce, grilled chicken (see marinade recipe below), almonds, pineapple, green peppers, a mild cheese (they used goat cheese) and Sweet Camelina Dressing (see recipe below).

Since I won’t be having a Memorial Day barbeque this year, I’ll plan yours…:)

Grill the marinated chicken breasts.  The big time meat-eaters can enjoy the chicken, but your leaf loving guests can have this salad.  But I’m guessing that once the meat-eaters catch a glimpse of the fresh lettuce and sweet dressing they’ll be begging you to make them a salad.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day!!

Carribean-style Jerk Chicken Marinade

(makes enough to marinate 4 large chicken breasts)

Warning…this sauce is a tad spicy!  Ease off the jalapeños and cayenne pepper if you don’t want so much heat.

  •  2 tsp onion powder
  •  4 Tbsp lime juice
  •  2 tsp allspice
  •  4 tsp oregano leaves
  •  2 tsp cayenne pepper
  •  4 Tbsp olive oil
  •  3 Tbsp juice from jalapeño peppers
  •  4 Tbsp juice from diced pineapple
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together and allow chicken to marinate at least 30 minutes.A photo of the oil used in the dressing

Sweet Camelina Dressing

  • 1 cup camelina oil (purchase online, look for it at MN co-ops or buy it at Solar)
  •  1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  •  1Tbsp + 1tsp dijon mustard
  •  3 Tbsp honey
  •  1 tsp ground cloves
  •  1 tsp ground nutmeg
  •  2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix ingredients together and top your Sunshine Grilled Chicken salad with this dressing.  Or use on your favorite salad combination.

Winter on the Outside, Summer on the Inside: Watermelon Radish

24 Jan
by Francine

A photo of the radishIt doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you cut it open and see its brilliant pink, you’ll know why another name for this radish is Beauty Heart Radish.

 I first encountered it when I was living in China. One day it appeared in a lettuce and carrot salad when I was eating at a neighborhood restaurant with fellow teachers.

Immediately I fell in love with its color, its crunchy texture and its subtle radish flavor. Later I had it in another salad where it was the star of the dish. 

When I saw one of these radishes for sale at our local co-op, I knew that I had to try and re-create the salad I enjoyed many times when I was living in China.

I should also mention that these can keep for awhile. (I stored one in the fridge for about a month before using it…gotta love long lasting winter vegetables.)

Watermelon Radish Salad: Chinese Style

Ingredients:A photo of the inside
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt (to taste)
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • 3-5 green onions
  • sesame seeds (for garnish)
Directions:

Using a peeler, remove the tough light green skin. It’s okay if there’s some white “rind” left on the radish. Cut the radish into small pieces and toss with a dash of salt in a bowl. Set aside.

A photo of the saladPrepare the sauce. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar in a small bowl and stir with a spoon. Taste. If it needs more of any ingredient, you can add more. (I know this might not be the best way for those of you who love to follow recipes, but you should feel confident that you can add more or less of any ingredient, depending on whether or not you like it or how much you like it.)

Dice the green onions. If you have peanuts in their shells, crack them open and remove the thin papery covering.

Pour the sauce over the radish slices and toss together with peanuts and diced green onions. Top with toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch.

This salad is served cold. It would be a great accompaniment to a stir fry. Or if you’re like me, you can just eat it will a big bowl of steamed rice.

Have you ever tried other types of radishes? Would you be willing to put a little summer in your winter?