Artichokes Star in Salads

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Artichoke-Wild Rice Salad

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked wild rice

2 6-ounce jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or flat parsley

1 teaspoon chile powder

pinch cayenne, to taste

1/4 rice vinegar

1/2 cup yogurt

Combine all ingredients and chill.

4-6 servings

Spinach-Artichoke Dip or Dressing

1 10-ounce bag baby spinach leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 can white beans, drained

1 bunch green onions, sliced (white part)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

pinch cayenne, to taste

juice of one lemon

2 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped fine

Place all ingredients except the artichokes in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Put the puree in a serving bowl and stir in the chopped artichoke hearts. Serve it with your favorite vegetable dippers or use it to dress a tossed salad.

Yield: About 3 cups

Artichoke-Chick Pea Soup

2 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups bouillon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

pinch cayenne, or to taste

2 cups tomato sauce

2 16-ounce cans artichoke hearts

1 16-ounce can chick peas

1/2 cup chopped flat parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges

Bring the onions, garlic, bouillon, spices and tomato sauce to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the artichokes, chick peas and parsley and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and ground pepper to taste.

 

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Whole-Meal Salads: The Perfect Warm-Weather Meal

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Summer Barley-Bean Salad

2 cups cooked barley

1 15-oz. can pink or kidney beans, drained

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 T. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients and chill.

Tabbouleh

1 cup bulgur

Water to cover

1 onion, chopped

6 green onions, sliced

2 cups chopped Italian parsley

1/2 cup mint, chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup no-fat mayonnaise

Lettuce

Place the bulgur in a bowl and cover with cold water; allow it to soak for 2-3 hours or until the bulghar is soft. Line a colander with cheesecloth or a dish towel and pour in the bulghar; squeeze out all the excess moisture. Return the bulghar to the bowl and mix in remaining ingredients except the mayonnaise. Chill for at least 2 hours. Stir in mayonnaise just before serving. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Tex-Mex variation: Add 1 red bell pepper, chopped; 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced; and 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped.

Southwestern Bean Salad

2 cups cooked brown rice or barley

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup vinegar or more to taste

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 minced jalapeno pepper, or cayenne to taste

1 t. chili powder

Combine all ingredients. Tastes even better if you let it stand, refrigerated or at room temperature, for one hour before serving.

 

Salads with Whole Grains and Fruit

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Cooked wild rice, barley, brown rice or other whole grains make wonderful salads when combined with fruits, vegetables and seasonings. Here are four recipes to get you started. Experiment with your own combinations and favorite flavors; it’s hard to go wrong!

Wild Rice Fruit Salad

2 cups cooked wild rice

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1 cup seedless grapes

1 bunch green onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

2 T. lemon juice

1 t. curry powder

1/2 cup no-fat mayonnaise, or enough to moisten grains

Combine all ingredients and chill.

Cuban Mango Salad

1 small sweet onion, chopped

2 mangoes, peeled and chopped

1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked, chilled brown rice or barley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or Italian parsley

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Bottled hot pepper sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill.

Fruity-Nutty Salad

2 oranges or 6 tangerines, peeled and cut in bite-size pieces

2 tart apples, cored and cut in chunks

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced (white part)

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

2 cups cooked, chilled wild rice

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

1/2 cup cashews, chopped

Combine all ingredients. If making ahead, leave out the mayonnaise and nuts. Chill, then stir in the mayonnaise and the nuts just before serving.

Cranberry-Wild Rice Salad

1 cup dried cranberries

4 cups cooked wild rice, chilled

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion

1 6-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup chopped flat parsley

1/2 cup rice vinegar, or to taste

1/2 cup slivered almonds or other nuts of your choice

Combine all ingredients. If making ahead, add the nuts just before serving.

 

Potato Salads – Three Easy, Healthful Recipes

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Potato salads are not just for picnics! They’re good year-round, and the variations are endless. Try adding chunks of red-skinned potatoes to just about any tossed salad recipe, or make your own versions of my recipes by adding any other ingredients you like.

I never peel potatoes for salads. The skins of the red ones are pretty in a salad and if you throw them away, you waste their fiber. Just scrub the potatoes with a plastic scouring pad.

Favorite Potato Salad

6 red potatoes

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup non-fat yoghurt

1/4 cup dijon mustard

2 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup snipped fresh dill

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup no-fat mayonnaise

Boil the potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes. Cool and dice. Combine with the remaining ingredients except the mayonnaise and chill at least 30 minutes. Mix in mayonnaise just before serving.

4-6 servings

Green Bean-Potato Salad

1 pound green beans

1 pound red potatoes, preferably tiny baby potatoes

1 red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup no-fat yogurt or mayonnaise

Cut the green beans in 1″ pieces and steam until they are crisp-tender. Cut the potatoes into ½” cubes (leave baby potatoes whole) and cook them until they are just tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking; chill. When ready to serve, toss the potatoes with the remaining ingredients.

4-6 servings

New Potato Salad

For the dressing:

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic or rice vinegar

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 pound tiny red new potatoes

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 bunch green onions, sliced (white part)

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

Combine the dressing ingredients.

Cook the potatoes in boiling water to cover for about 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking. If they are larger than bite-size, cut them in halves or quarters. Combine the potatoes with the remaining salad ingredients, stir in the dressing and serve, or chill for later.

 

Simply Salads

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Somehow, salads were a part of our meals and also our lives. From the simple variations of salad greens tossed with a classic vinaigrette to the more complex salad ingredients served with various blended or whisked salad dressings, salads are a compliment to any meal.

A salad meal begins with a meatless vegetable soup that is filled with chunks of vegetables and topped with some shredded parmesan cheese.

Meatless Vegetable Soup

(Serves 4 bowls or 6 cups)

¾-cup celery, chopped

½-cup onion, chopped

1-large Russet potato, cut into one-inch chunks

2-whole carrots, sliced thin

1-cup cabbage, sliced

¾-cup fresh or frozen corn

1-large can stewed tomatoes, chopped

¾-cup fresh or frozen English peas

4-cans chicken broth

2-cans of water

½-cup fresh parsley, chopped

¾-cup fresh or frozen green beans

3-cloves garlic, sliced

1-Tlb. olive oil

¼-tsp. salt and cracked black pepper

1-Tlb. parmesan cheese(per bowl)

1-tsp. parmesan cheese (per cup)

Directions: In the one tablespoon olive oil, sauté the onion and the garlic until they are wilted. In a soup pot or a dutch oven add all of the raw vegetables plus the sautéed
onions and the garlic. Cover the vegetables with the chicken broth and the water. Season with the salt and the pepper. Simmer the soup on medium low for one hour or until the vegetables are tender. Serve in individual bowls or cups and sprinkle the top of the soup with the parmesan cheese. Serve the soup with a tossed green salad of: mixed green lettuces, roma tomatoes, radishes and green onions. Salad dressing: In a bowl combine
2-Tlbs rice wine vinegar, 1-Tlb sugar, 3 or 4 drops hot sauce, and 2-Tlbs. mayonnaise.

Nothing is better than a bowl of fresh salad greens enhanced with a classic vinaigrette.

Simply Green Salad

1-head bib lettuce

2-heads red tip lettuce

2-heads butter lettuce

2-green onions, sliced

3-Tlbs olive oil

2-Tlbs red wine vinegar

1-tsp.dry yellow mustard

¼-tsp sea salt

¼-tsp cracked black pepper

Directions: Rub a salad bowl with a clove of garlic. Whisk the three tablespoons of olive oil, the two tablespoons of red wine vinegar and the one teaspoon of dry yellow mustard until they are well combined. Add the salad greens and toss until the salad
greens are well coated with the vinaigrette. Serve with a slice of French bread and some butter.

The combination of bacon and avocado that has been combined with shredded bib lettuce and a blended blue cheese dressing has fewer calories than a sandwich made with the same ingredients.

Bacon And Avocado Salad

(Serves 4)

1-head bib lettuce, shredded

1-medium tomato, chopped

¾-cup bacon, cooked and cut into pieces

1-medium avocado, chopped

2-green onions, chopped

Blended Blue Cheese Dressing
(Makes 2 cups)

1-egg

¼-cup sugar

1-Tlb. fresh lemon juice

1-tsp. yellow mustard

2-cups canola oil

1-medium chunk blue cheese

Directions: Add the first four ingredients and set the blender on low. After they are combined, slowly add the canola oil. When it is of a mayonnaise consistency, cut the medium chunk of blue cheese into pieces and pulse the blender for a few seconds until the blue cheese is incorporated into the salad dressing.

The dessert for a healthful salad meal is a chocolate cake so rich and dense that it totally indulges all of the senses. The recipe below is from The Texas Cookbook and it is over a hundred years old.

Texas Cake

2-cups flour

2-cups sugar

½-cup shortening

½-cup butter or margarine

4-Tlbs. cocoa

½-cup water

½-cup buttermilk

2-eggs, slightly beaten

1-tsp. salt

1-tsp. baking powder

1-tsp. cinnamon

1-tsp vanilla

Directions: Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and the cinnamon. In a saucepan,combine the shortening, water and the cocoa slowly bringing the ingredients to a boil.Remove the ingredients from the heat and add the eggs, the buttermilk, and the vanilla stirring until they are well combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and combine them. Flour and grease a nine-to-thirteen inch cake pan. Evenly coat the
greased cake pan with the cake ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty-five minutes.

Frosting:

½-cup butter or margarine

4-Tlbs. cocoa

6-Tlbs.milk

3-1/2-cups of powdered sugar

1-tsp vanilla

½-cups pecans

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine the butter, cocoa and the milk slowly bringing the ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar mixing well. Stir in the vanilla and add the pecans. Frost the cake while it is still hot for a fudge texture. Serve slices of cake with a dip of homemade vanilla ice cream.

 

Summer Salads

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Green vegetables are the food most missing in modern diets. Nutritionally, greens
are very high in calcium (120 -190 mg per cup!) They’re also high in magnesium,
iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and they are a power house for Vitamin A, C, E
and K. Believe it or not, they are also crammed high with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll
and many other micro-nutrients and phyto-chemicals – you just can’t get any better
than this. Take a look at the following two recipes to help move you into a
sensational summer!

Sensational Summer Salad

For a summer snack that will cleanse the kidneys and help the body to unload toxic
wastes from the blood, use the following high powered recipe.

1/2 cup of watercress

1/2 cup of dandelion greens

1/2 cup of arugula

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 tsp grated ginger

pinch of Sea Salt

Mix washed greens together.

Stir lemon juice and ginger.

Pour over greens.

Season with salt.

Tomato Basil & Feta Salad

This is a simple salad that requires no salad dressing.

2 cups tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup red onions, finely chopped

2.25 ounces sliced black olives

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients in a medium serving bowl and toss!

Enjoy!

 

Easy Summer Salads, Lighter Foods For A Brighter Summer

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Easy summer salads are the way to go, now that the winter blues are fading into the distance and salad days are here. The best salads are light, bright and easy to prepare.

Who wants to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen when friends are round for lunch, the garden is in bloom and the wine is chilled and ready to pour. But before you start to cook you can save a lot of energy by buying the right ingredients. That way you don’t need the heavy bottled sauces and dressings to make a great flavor. After all you don’t want to take a beautiful crisp summer salad and soak it in a mixture of fat, sugar, salt and chemicals do you?

If you start off with great food and don’t do too much to them you don’t need all these strong tastes. All you need is to combine it well so that the flavors work together, have a nice crunchy texture and add a little light dressing to set it all off. Let the taste buds do the rest Freshness is, as in all cooking, the way to a good salad.

Don’t take what the supermarkets give you. Although it’s easier to pick up the ready packed tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers etc. To make sure you get the best, take a minute or two and pick over the vegetables, choose what is firm ripe and ready to use. The same of course applies with meat and fish. There is a reason why supermarkets prepackage, and it’s not always convenience. So choose well, cook quickly and simply and your friends won’t have finished the wine by the time you get there! Enjoy a little bit of summer now with this easy poached chicken salad.

Easy poached chicken salad

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (skinless)

1 finely sliced red onion

1 whole half onion

4 good ripe tomatoes sliced thickly

250 grams/4ozs salad leaves mixed

4ozs raisins soaked in hot water for ten minutes

1 half lemon

2 fresh or dry bay leaves

1 teaspoon peppercorns black

1 small French, stick loaf or similar sliced at an angle into 1/2 inch slices

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1clove garlic crushed

1/2 dessert spoon Dijon or other mild mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To make the dressing:

Whisk the vinegar and mustard together with the garlic, slowly add the olive oil while whisking and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the salad:

Bring a pan of water to the boil with the bay leaves, 1/2 white onion, lemon and peppercorns.

Carefully add the chicken and simmer gently until cooked, if you are unsure it is worth investing a few dollars in a meat thermometer. The temperature should be at least 75 celcius/167 Fahrenheit, put the sliced bread on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a medium oven until crisp but soft in the middle.

Mix the leaves together with the onions and raisins. Turn in the salad dressing and put into 4 good-sized bowls. Place slices of tomato and bread alternatly around the edge. Slice the warm chicken at an angle and put attractively on top of the salad. Sit back, enjoy and get someone else to do the washing up.