Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

I’ve made versions of this salad over time, always with broccoli.  Today knowing that I had both broccoli and cauliflower on hand, I decided to do a twist on my go-to recipe and share it with you.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries – add to 1/2 c very hot water for 1o minutes, drain
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar, cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 c chopped red onion
  • 1/2 c pecans – chopped and lightly toasted
  • 4-5 slices crisp bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 t coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • red pepper flake to taste (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, cranberries, cheddar and red onion.  Make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, pepper, dijon and red pepper flakes.  Dress the salad with the desired amount of dressing – you can always add more.  Add the bacon and pecans, stir to blend. Chill for one hour and serve.

Festive Winter Fruit Salad

My lifelong BFF put together a Winter Solstice Meditation for a small group of women.  We’ll start with a delicious dinner (she is an amazing cook) and I’ve offered to bring a salad.  At least three of the women there are vegan and I wanted to honor that so that everyone can enjoy it. As I thought about the holidays, I shopped for ingredients that would be both delicious and look festive.  This recipe is what I came up with…what do you think?

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Festive Winter Fruit Salad

  • organic baby greens
  • baby spinach
  • shredded purple cabbage
  • Belgian Endive
  • thin sliced red onion
  • sliced strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • pomegranate seeds

Toss the greens, spinach and cabbage together, place the endive around the edges.  Top with the onion, then berries.  Finish topping with the pomegranate seeds.   Chill and serve.  I’m bringing toasted walnut halves and Boars Head crumbled blue cheese – on the side – for those that want to add them.

This is the dressing I made for the salad…

Dressing

  • 1/2 c white strawberry & peach balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 c good extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 T dijon mustard

Place ingredients in a large mason jar, stir to blend and put top on tight.  Shake vigorously to blend, allowing the mustard to emulsify.

Wedge Salad with Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

The other night I threw a small dinner party. As I was putting together the menu, I thought – how about Wedge Salads?  I’ve never made them, but love the crunchy, freshness of the lettuce with all the toppings – plus I’m a bit obsessed with blue cheese. If I may say so, this was a huge hit with my guests!  You can certainly use a chunky blue cheese dressing from the store but this simple recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make and it’s worth the effort.  For the Wedge Salad, I’ll tell you how I top it and you can decide how many you’re making at a time.

Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c chunky blue cheese
  • 1/2 t red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • sea salt & coarse ground cracked black pepper to taste

Place together in a bowl and stir together until mixed.  It’s ready to serve and will be even better in 24 hours.

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Wedge Salad

  • Iceberg lettuce – cut into wedges (I can get six wedges from a head of iceberg lettuce – remove the core)
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped crispy bacon (I sprinkle pepper on my bacon before cooking it)
  • chopped fresh chives
  • blue cheese dressing
  • blue cheese crumbles to top

When I served this the other night, I neglected to take a picture.  I placed six wedges on a vibrant green platter and then topped them. It was gorgeous and a showy way to present a Wedge Salad for a dinner party. Tonight, I made up two for Spence and I.  Here’s what my wedge looks like.

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Caprese Salad

Is there anything much better than fresh tomatoes from your garden or the Farmer’s Market? This summer I’ve been getting the most delicious tomatoes and am constantly building my meals around ways to incorporate them.  Here’s my easy Caprese Salad – I’m giving you the ingredients and a photo, just build the amount that you want for this evening’s meal and enjoy!

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Caprese Salad

  • fresh, sliced tomatoes
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • fresh basil – either tear or chiffonade the leaves
  • good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • pesto
  • sea salt (or other finishing salt)

Assemble the tomatoes, then mozzarella and repeat.  Sprinkle the basil over the top, drizzle olive oil over the platter, drizzle pesto and then finish with a bit of salt to taste.  It’s just that easy and such a refreshing side salad or meat-less entree.

 

Refreshing Fruit Salad & it’s zero points

Inspired after finding dragon fruit at my local Meijer’s Grocery Store (as posted a few days ago) and seeing some stunning fruit medleys on Pinterest, I put together this recipe. It can be served as a salad, breakfast or snack.  Perhaps best of all, it’s zero points on Weight Watchers!

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Refreshing Fruit Salad – makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups

  • zest from 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 navel orange – sectioned & squeezed for the juice
  • 1 dragon fruit – halved, then scooped out with a melon baller
  • 1/2 c fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 c fresh blueberries

Place the dragon fruit, raspberries, blueberries and orange sections in a bowl.  Add zest and orange juice, using a spatula to gently combine. Chill and serve.  How easy is that?

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Having recently reached my goal weight (to achieve lifetime status) in spite of traveling and enjoying delicious foods, it remains important to me to stay on track with Weight Watchers.  At this time of year, the Farmer’s Market has so much to offer and I’m planning to make dishes that are colorful, healthy and low in points. Stay tuned – there’s more to come…

Festive Napa Cabbage Salad

Festive Napa Cabbage Salad                        Serves 4-8

For the Crunchy Ramen topping:

  • 1 package ramen noodles – broken up, (discard the flavoring package – not needed)
  • 1/2 c slivered almonds
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1 stick butter

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Add noodles, almonds and sesame seeds, lightly brown them.  Set aside to cool.

The topping is pure crunchy and buttery goodness.
The topping is pure crunchy, buttery goodness!

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 c champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 c canola oil
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes

Mix together well and set aside. (I put it in a jar and shake it to dissolve the sugar and emulsify) You’ll dress the salad just prior to serving.

The dressing in a jar!
The dressing in a jar!

For the salad:

  • 1 head Napa Cabbage – shredded (I don’t use the last two inches of the base and eliminate some of the stalk like center of the larger leaves)
  • 1 bunch green onions – chopped
  • 1/2 c finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 c finely chopped carrot
  • 1/4 c finely minced parsley

Toss all salad ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The salad, assembled but not yet dressed.
The salad, assembled but not yet dressed.

When ready to serve, pour dressing over the salad mix and toss together.  Top generously with the crunchy ramen topping and serve.  Enjoy!