Friendly Food Snobs

salads

best kale caesar salad

kale caesar I brought kale into my life with this recipe! Two years of tinkering and I thought it time to share. The secret tricks to this being healthy and absolutely delicious are fresh lemon juice and a quick massage of the kale with the dressing. Unlike most salads, the kale leaves hold up to the dressing, and once tossed and dressed this salad tastes better an hour after mixing or a day later. It’s a great side dish for just about any protein, or stirred into quinoa for a quick quinoa salad. Hello leftover lunches. I use organic kale so a head is about 5 leaves.

best kale caesar salad

Ingredients:
head of kale washed and chopped into 1 or 2 inch strips
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 and 1/2 tsp honey or substitute like maple syrup or agave
1 and 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
pinch red pepper flake
3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese (half goes in dressing, half on top)

I find it easiest to chop the kale, then wash it in a salad spinner. Another quick trick is to measure the olive oil and whisk the dressing together in the same glass measuring cup. Less clean up! Combine all ingredients for the dressing, reserving half of the grated parmesean. Pour the dressing over the kale in a large bowl. Massage the dressing into the kale (30 seconds max). Top with remaining cheese and that’s it. I have made this dozens of times and find it tastes best after hanging out covered with cling wrap in the fridge for an hour before serving.

balsamic chicken salad

balsamic chicken salad

It’s almost Christmas! The house abounds with cookies, chocolate, wine and treats. Time for a mini detox and lots of salads and greens leading up to Christmas Day and New Year’s. Whipped up this salad today and the chicken and roasted peppers are really the stars. The recipe for the roasted peppers can be found on my blog here. The balsamic glaze at the end really makes the dish. You can find it at any grocery store or specialty food shop. I add it to salads or over cheese on a cheese board. If you have time on your hands here is a great recipe for how to make it at home from the Pioneer Woman. I have also added toasted pine nuts and asiago or parmesean cheese to this salad to fancy it up for guests too. Recipe below serves two.

balsamic chicken salad

2 big handfuls salad greens
2 roasted peppers (hint: recipe here)
2 chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
herbamare (can be found here)
olive oil
half of a lemon
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
balsamic glaze for drizzling on plate

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season each side with salt, pepper and herbamare. Roast in oven (I use my cast iron pan) 10 to 15 minutes a side until browned. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the chicken when you flip it halfway during cooking. Remove chicken from oven to cutting board and let cool. Divide greens onto two plates. Dress the greens with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Top with roasted pepper pieces. Slice the chicken and add to salad plates. Drizzle balsamic glaze over the chicken and dig in!

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad
This is my go-to salad this summer. So simple and so good. The bitter arugula plays so well off the sweet pear, salty parmesean, walnuts and lemony dressing. I will often toss this all in a big white bowl and it gets nibbled on before a meal and polished off at the end. This is how salads should taste to me, hearty, satisfying with every mouthful leaving you wanting another. Salad pairs well with any grilled meats, or as a standalone lunch with a poached egg on top too. Hope you love it as much as I do.

arugula pear walnut parmesean salad

Ingredients for the lemon dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:
2 large handfuls baby arugula
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
parmesean peels (use a potato peeler) to taste (I like A LOT)
1 small ripe pear cut into slivers

Whisk the dressing together. Mix the salad ingredients. Toss and serve. Bonus points! Dressing can be added 30 minutes before serving with no fear of wilting. Recipe serves two as a main, or four as a side.

apple cider vinegar salad dressing

apple cider vinegar salad dressing I’ve been making salad dressing from scratch for years and finally started adding apple cider vinegar a few weeks ago. We suddenly started eating more salads. Maybe because it’s March and spring’s around the corner? But I think it’s this dressing. The perfect tangy and sweet dressing for massaging into kale or drizzling over romaine. It lends itself to almost anything like dressing a lentil or quinoa salad. Serves four hungry salad eaters.

apple cider vinegar salad dressing

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 finely chopped shallot or 1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients. Let sit for a few minutes before eating. Keeps for three days in a sealed glass container in the fridge.

vietnamese style chicken + rice noodle salad

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I LOVE the flavour profile of Vietnamese food. So happy I finally figured out how to make this at home. Plus the recipe comes together in 30 minutes. This dish has so many layers. The rice noodles to slurp, the vegetables to crunch and the herbs and Vietnamese dipping sauce that make it so addictive. This used to be my favourite take out in my single-just-starting-my-first-real-job-days. Ten years later, I finally figured out the recipe and make a variation of it once a week.  Serves four.

Vietnamese style chicken + rice noodle salad

Ingredients for the chicken:
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Ingredients for the salad:
Half of a package rice noodles (makes four one cup servings)
2 grated carrots (or chopped red peppers)
½ cucumber cut into thin matchsticks
½ cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or mint)

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 tablespoon  rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons water to dilute the sauce (optional)
Juice of half a lime

Slice chicken lengthwise. Combine the garlic, hoisin and chicken and marinate for 20 minutes while you prep everything else.

Pour just boiled water over the noodles in a bowl. Let noodles soak for 4 minutes before straining. After straining well, pour a few drops of rice wine vinegar over top to keep them from sticking.

Scrape off a little of the chicken marinade. If it’s too saucy, it won’t crisp up. Sear it on either side until cooked through on medium-high heat in a non stick pan (or cast iron) or toss it on the BBQ. It cooks quickly because it’s so thin.

Plate the noodles, vegetables, fresh chopped herbs, peanuts and chicken with sauce on the side. Serve with soy sauce, siracha hot sauce and lime wedges on the table if you like. Dig in! Also very delicious the next day cold or warm as leftovers. [wink, wink]

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