Lettuce

Coronation Chicken served on Lettuce Leaves


Leftover chicken, chopped up
Mayo
Curry powder
Green onion, or small regular onion, diced small
Raisins
1/2 Apple, peeled and diced small
Pinch of sugar
Salt and Pepper



So it's basically chicken salad, with curry.  But better.  And I hate including quantities because I think a lot of what I cook is 'to taste', so I want you to add as much of whatever ingredient, as you like.  Add enough mayo until you're happy with it and then add curry powder until you like the flavour. Stir in some raisins and add more if you want more, etc. etc.  Typically we have it on bread or crackers but as long as I have some of Jen's bib-like head lettuce, we'll have it on that.  I especially like those smaller, silky inner leaves, so I'll usually use the outside leaves in my regular salads and save the inside ones for this.  The kids call them chicken boats and Mark and I enjoy knowing it's even better for us, without the bread.  They make a really nice addition to a potluck table and take plain ol' leftover chicken to a higher place. - From Sally's Real Food Blog

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We are having some of the most gorgeous weather today and I felt like having a nice light and quick dinner to eat out on the deck.  So I whipped up a quick lemon vinaigrette for my greek salad and pan fried a nice thick slice of Halloumi cheese for on the side. If you have never tried Halloumi cheese which frequents Greek restaurants as Saganaki, you should give it a try.  This semi-hard brined cheese has a high melting point so you can pan-fry it or grill it to get a crispy crust and melty inside.  Try topping it with some oregano and fresh lemon juice for a little added flavour. 

Quick Greek Salad with Pan-fried Halloumi Cheese 
Serves: 4

For the dressing:
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon of your choice of mustard
1 tablespoon of honey (optional; eases the sourness)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
1 head of fresh romaine lettuce, chopped
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
1/4 cup of sliced kalamata olives
1 cup of fresh spouts (optional)
any other vegetables that you prefer
1 teaspoon of oil
2 blocks of Halloumi cheese, sliced in half lengthwise
2 pita breads, sliced in half (optional)

For the dressing, pour all of the ingredients into a mason jar and shake until combined. Preheat a frying pan or your barbecue over high heat and add the oil.  Place the cheese in the hot frying pan or barbecue and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown and crunchy.  Serve immediately along side the salad and some grilled pita breads.  Enjoy! 


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Chipotle Steak Salad
Serves: 6 side or 4 main sized salads

For the dressing:
1 cup of plain yogurt
2 fresh green onions
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (try half for less spicy or two peppers for more spiciness)
the zest and juice of half a lime (add the whole lime if you like a little more tanginess)
1/4 teaspoon of salt

For the Salad:
4 cups of mixed greens (one bag)
2 cups of your choice of greens (arugula, tatsoi, mustard greens, kale, etc)
1 cup of fresh corn kernals
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
3 hakurei turnips, sliced thinly
4 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

1 barbecued steak, chicken or pork, thinly sliced
Toss all of the dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth and creamy.  Start with 1/2 a chipotle pepper and ramp up the spiciness by adding more peppers.  Layer the salad in your favourite serving bowl, greens, vegetables, cheese, steak and lastly the dressing.  Enjoy! - From Sara's Be Nourished by Food Blog


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Salad Dressings:

This is my number one favorite way to eat and serve the salad mix; and it doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Sally’s Favy Quick Dressing

1 part oil (I use extra virgin olive)
1 part maple syrup
1 part balsamic vinegar

Mix in a jar, shake well, drizzle over salad.

You can decrease the oil and increase the balsamic if you want, but this is the basic recipe.  I like to make a big batch in a jar to have enough for a weeks worth of salads, just shaking up the jar everytime I need some.  (Note: Don’t store it in the fridge as the oil will go thick and cloudy.  It’s fine at room temperature for a while.)

Along with the dressing, I like to toss in a few ‘salad accessories’, like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins.  If I’ve got an extra minute I’ll shave some radishes in, or crumble some feta, or toss in some black beans, or throw some left over quinoa in there.  But for tonight, first salad of Week One, we’re keeping it simple.

Another favorite homemade dressing is my creamy poppyseed, for spinach salad.  With strawberries just around the corner (and don’t fall for that crazy/frustrating/deceiving Sobey’s scheme with the cheap American berries due to “challenging growing conditions in the Maritimes”), along with some almonds and sliced mushrooms, a classic spinach salad is a crowd pleaser anytime and place.  And the homemade version of this dressing is shockingly simple: 

HomeMade Creamy Poppyseed Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. cider vinegar (or white if that’s all you’ve got)
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
a splash of milk if you want to loosen it up a bit (but note it will not keep as long if you add the milk).

Again, I just add everything to a jar, shake it up and keep it in the fridge for when I’m ready to use it.  (It constantly amazes me that I can buy organic salad dressings, but I can’t buy organic mayonnaise to make my own and since canola oil is the main ingredient in mayonnaise, this one is a tough GMO to avoid.  Homemade mayo is a whole other challenge to itself, but truly is worth it if you can make the time for it.)

Although there was no proper romaine in this week’s share, the beautiful head lettuce could suffice for a sweet ceasar salad and with this homemade ceasar dressing, you can turn any salad into your best ever ceasar.  (This one is from Canadian Living.)

The Ultimate Ceasar Salad Dressing (doubled)

½ cup oil (I like something neutral like sunflower)
4 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. anchovy paste 
4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
6 tbsp. mayo 

The anchovy paste is getting increasingly hard to find here in Summerside, but it’s worth the search for this recipe alone.  It smells pretty funky and hardly seems worth it for 4 tsp., but it really does make a big difference in the flavour.  I’ve doubled this recipe because again, I like to make up a bunch and have it in the fridge so I’m not rushing around before supper trying to make dressing along with everything else.  Once you’ve made this once, you’ll not likely buy a ‘store bought’ ceasar dressing again.


The last dressing I’m going to include is a very straightforward, basic vinaigrette that will work with most any greens mixture. 



Basic House Dressing/Vinaigrette

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon
½ tsp. thyme (fresh or dried)
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper 
My sweet tooth likes the first, 3 ingredient dressing best, but if you prefer more bite and less sweet, this one might work better for you.  I find that letting it sit for a bit, to give the thyme and garlic to work themselves into the flavour, is best, but I often leave it to the last minute, which is ok too.