Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pear Salad

Change up the way to think of strawberries and rhubarb with this strawberry, rhubarb and pear salad with balsamic-herb dressing. It just might be your favorite spring salad!

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pear Salad 1

When you hear the word “rhubarb” what is the first thing you think of? I bet most of your answered that with “strawberries” and most likely combined in a pie or crumble. Well it is time to open your horizons and welcome this strawberry-rhubarb salad into your world, tossed with pears, crumbled, goat cheese, pistachios and spring salad greens. I even made a balsamic-herb dressing to go with it. With all of those ingredients combined together, this salad quickly became one of my favorites. Sadly rhubarb has been difficult to find and may have to sit on the bench for round 2.

In other news I had a phone interview for a job the other day which lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! Definitely did not feel like it took that long but at the same time was the most in depth phone interview I’ve had yet. But before all that happened I managed to screw up which time zone in which I currently reside. She told me 11:00 am central time and I reverted back to thinking I still lived in Memphis, so when 11:00 am came and went I was worried. I even sent an e-mail to check in and suggested other times I was available. Thankfully when my phone finally rang at noon eastern time she understood and we had a little laugh about it. Gotta find the humor in life!

Strawberry, Rhubarb & Pear Salad 2

One year ago: Strawberry Basil Gelato

Two years ago: Apricot White Chocolate Granola Bites

Three years ago: Chicken and Veggie Nuggets
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Southwestern Oven-Fried Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

If I could eat avocados in every meal of the day, I’d be one happy camper. Which means I was super excited to have a double dose in just one meal with this salad – fresh sliced avocado in a salad topped with avocado dressing. The dressing is definitely the star of this dish, but along for the ride is some oven-fried chicken which has taco seasoning mixed into the breadcrumb coating. Crunchy, creamy, fresh and zesty. What more could you want?

Southwestern Chicken Salad with Avocado Dressing

One year ago: Bacon-Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder
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Tofu Lettuce Wraps With Cashew Sauce

I know most of you are enjoying pleasant fall weather, but here in Memphis it’s still highs in the 80s and 90s. I cannot really complain though because we had a very moderate summer (for Memphis), with only a couple days over 100 degrees instead of entire months. As a result my electricity bill was never over $85 all summer! Normally I average around $140 because I live on the third floor and everyone’s heat comes to me (while during winter I barely turn my heat on). Add all my baking and cooking and it’s a never ending battle to keep the temperature under 80 inside.

Even though the battle against the heat isn’t very prevalent anymore, I still like to make no-cook meals or desserts from time to time. This meal is legit no cook because it doesn’t even require a stove top or a microwave – absolutely no heat involved. Well, except for some spicy heat from the cashew sauce!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Sauce

One year ago: Mini Pumpkin Black and White Cookies
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Potato Nachos

When I made these potato nachos, they made me think of my friend Christina because she believes that a potato is the best food on the planet. In fact, when I texted her to inform her of this and of what I was making for dinner she thought it sounded incredible. Now that I am posting the recipe I hope she makes it, because it’s also relatively quick and easy to prepare. Maybe she will cook it as the inaugural meal in her new apartment, since her kitchen will finally be bigger than a closet O:-)?

Potato Nachos

Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats
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Chili-Lime Roasted Butternut Salad

Get out your grocery list because you need to make this tonight. Yes, I am ordering you to make a salad which is strangely out of character. As you may have noticed I do not eat many salads, but this is the best salad I’ve ever had. EVER. To the point where I would pick this salad over pizza. This is monumental, folks and I am already putting butternut squash back on my grocery list to make this again.

The recipe says it should serve 4, but two servings disappeared before I knew what happened. I never know roasted butternut squash could be so magical! Even the dressing was just a bonus and almost wasn’t even necessary. Seriously, why are you still reading this? Go and let your taste buds rejoice!

Chili-Lime Roasted butternut Salad

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World Diabetes Day: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps & Giveaway

Today is World Diabetes Day, and Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, along with many other bloggers (including myself obviously) are promoting Diabetes awareness by posting diabetes-friendly recipes today. Check out her blog for the chance to win a blue KitchenAid stand mixer (as blue is the color of diabetes awareness), and stay turned here on The Spiffy Cookie for a different giveaway!

Diabetes

Diabetes has not affected me personally (something to be thankful for next week), but I admire Carolyn for her refusal to give up on her passion of baking and cooking after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Instead, she fought on and found new ways to enjoy her passions, to the point where I find myself craving her low carb treats too! Her blog, All Day I Dream About Food, has opened my eyes to how you can make creative, flavorful foods that are still low in carbohydrates and suitable for diabetics, dieters and even the everyday hungry person. Many of her recipes are also gluten-free!

But unfortunately diabetes isn’t just about coming up with friendly foods. Diabetes is an increasing global problem, particularly in developing countries. Although the causes are complex in nature, the rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity definitely have an impact. Worse still, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that diabetes deaths will increase by two thirds between 2008 and 2030. Therefore, in an effort to stimulate effective measures for surveillance, prevention and control of diabetes and its complications, WHO is building awareness by participating in the celebration of World Diabetes Day.

There is good evidence that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco may help in prevention and/or reducing complications. So eat healthy, get active, and put away those cancer sticks (aka cigarettes and that’s another good reason to quit). For my contribution to spreading awareness through healthy eating, I made these lettuce wraps using Swerve all-natural sweetener instead of brown sugar. proof that healthy eating can still be easy and fun.

Be sure to check out the giveaway for you own Swerve baking kit to try out yourself at the end of this post. Get your swerve on!

One year ago: Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
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Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza

Ever order a pizza but start with a salad, convincing yourself it will prevent you from eating too much pizza? That never works for me. I will still annihilate half by myself, so I would’ve consumed less calories without the stupid healthy salad . Maybe putting the salad on the pizza is the way to go.

Caesar salad was actually the first salad I ever liked. Probably because it has the least amount of vegetables in it and I used to despise all vegetables besides carrots, corn and potatoes (as if they counted as a veggie). Green things were very much absent from my diet growing up, but boredom of the food selections of my undergraduate meal plan that met my picky-eating ways forced me to dive into the actually very expansive options available (oh the benefits of going to a gigantic school).

But back to talking about this pizza topped with Caesar salad. It is cooked with a pesto sauce base and topped with Mozzarella, Paremesan and chicken. Then once out of the oven, you assemble the rest of the salad right on top! A little drizzle of dressing and some extra shredded Parmesan, but leave off those croutons because you will find them transformed into a pizza crust.

One year ago: Apple Harvest Oatmeal

CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD PIZZA

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients:

1 recipe pizza dough

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp basil pesto

1/2 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup shredded Mozzarella

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnish

2 cups leafy romaine

1 Roma tomato, sliced

1/4 cup light Caesar salad dressing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack for 15 minutes.
  2. On a cornmeal dusted pizza peel, roll out the pizza dough. Spread the olive oil and pesto over the dough within a 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with chicken pieces and sprinkle cheeses over top.
  3. Shimmy onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
  4. Allow pizza to cool slightly then top with romaine, tomato and dressing. Add additional Parmesan is desired.

Source: Inspired by Mellow Mushroom’s “The Caesar!” pizza.

Falafel Pizza

Even though this pizza isn’t much different than wrapping some falafels up in a pita and topping it with the usual suspects, I thought it was still worth sharing. Originally I was going to attempt making a giant pita for the crust, but decided to go with a thinner sourdough crust by dividing my sourdough pizza crust recipe in half. Mixes things up a little! And you have to admit, an entree option turned into pizza is always a winner.

FALAFEL PIZZA

Makes one pizza

Ingredients:

1/2 recipe sourdough pizza crust (I froze the other half for later)

1/3 cup tahini paste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp water

Juice and zest from half a lemon

1/4 cup red onion, sliced

1 small tomato, diced

1/2 cup lettuce

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

12 baked falafels

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with pizza stone on middle rack.
  2. Shape the dough into a flattened disk. On a well floured surface, roll out until it reaches the size of your pizza stone (or pan). Place it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel*, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the tahini paste, garlic, parsley, water and lemon juice and zest until well combined. Set aside.
  4. After dough has risen slightly, poke the dough with a fork several times, then shimmy onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  5. Allow crust to cool for 5 minutes before spreading the tahini sauce over it, followed by the red onion, tomato, lettuce, feta, and falafels. Slice and enjoy!

*If you do not have a pizza peel and/or stone, do these steps on the pizza pan or baking sheet you will be cooking the pizza on.

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original

Homemade Olive Garden Salad and Dressing

Although I do not frequent the Olive Garden often at all, I do enjoy their salad. Of course that meant when I craved it the other day I had to figure out how to make it on my own. Thanks to Copykat Recipes I was able to recreate the salad and dressing without troubleshooting (yes I was lazy). And it really does taste like their salad! I may have to use the dressing on other things too now that I’ve got my hands on it.

I served this along with dinner Saturday night with a group of friends. Huge hit! One person was even tricked into liking mayonnaise, which is part of the dressing. I feel like a mom trying to think of ways to get her kids to eat vegetables, but in this case it’s a not-so-healthy item O:-).

DRESSING

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used reduced fat)

1/3 cup white vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp corn syrup

2 Tbsp Parmesan, shredded

2 Tbsp Romano, shredded

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp Parsley

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Add sugar to taste (I used 1/2 Tbsp). Place in airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

SALAD

Ingredients:

1-12 oz bag American blend salad

4-5 red onion slices

4-5 black olives, sliced (I don’t like olives so I opted out)

2-4 pepperoncini or banana peppers

1/2 cup croutons

Small tomato, chopped

Fresh shredded Parmesan, for topping

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a salad bowl and toss. Top with Parmesan and serve with dressing.

Source: Copykat Recipes for both the Salad and the Dressing

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