Category Archives: Salads

Quinoa Salad

Now that our long, harsh winter is finally coming to an end and spring is here (it really really is, I can see green grass in places!) I find myself craving salads more than ever.  I’ve had enough of rich, heavy foods!  Give me foods that are light and fresh!

I love cooking with different grains, and quinoa is one of my favorites.  I had some red quinoa in my pantry, and I wanted to make a salad with it but couldn’t really find any recipes that were quite what I had in mind.  So I took some ideas from here and there and came up with my own salad.

And if I may toot my own horn a little bit, I must say this quinoa salad creation of mine turned out delicious!  It’s also super healthy, quinoa being one of the most nutrient-packed grains out there.

If you’ve never had quinoa before, now’s the time to break away from that boring old rice and pasta and try something different!  It may look like there’s a lot of ingredients, but other than the quinoa, you probably already have most of them on hand.

Until next time, Happy Cooking :)

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (red or regular)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley

Dressing:

  • 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add the quinoa.  Cover, and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.  Set the quinoa aside to cool.

Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl.  Add the cooled quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour over the salad, and stir to make sure everything is coated.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Filed under Salads, Vegetarian

Pizza Pasta Salad

Who’s ready to start making salads of all kinds, fire up the bbq, and sit out on the deck in the warm spring sun?  *Raises both hands and waves them frantically around like a maniac*

Great, well let’s get to it then!

I love pizza.  I also love pasta.  So combining the two seems like a pretty darn good idea, dontcha think?  You do?? I’m so glad we think alike! :)

This is a Kraft recipe.  I don’t make many of their recipes because I find that they rely a little too much on convenience products for my taste.  A recipe that starts off with a box of Kraft Dinner? No thanks! 

But as I was looking through a stack of old what’s cooking magazines the other day, my eyes alighted on this pizza pasta salad recipe. 

It sounded really good.  I had (mostly) all the ingredients.  It was not overladen with convenience products. So I made it!  How’s that for short and to the point? ;)

The ingredients in this salad really make me long for summer.  I can’t wait to have a big, bushy basil plant growing wildly on the back deck again.  Luckily, I did have some that I’d tucked away in the freezer last summer that I was able to use.  If you don’t have any fresh basil, just sprinkle in some dried, it’ll be just fine :)

And don’t be afraid to add other favorite pizza ingredients like bell pepper and red onion.

Here’s my slightly adapted version. I hope y’all give this a try and enjoy it!  Until next time, happy cooking :)

Pizza Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups medium shell pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced or chopped pepperoni
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing

Directions:

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

I’m sharing this recipe with:

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Filed under Pasta, Pizza, Salads

Sam the Cooking Guy’s Warm Cabbage Salad

I’m jealous of those of you in the US who have access to Sam the Cooking Guy’s show.  I got to watch it when I was back home in Florida for a while last year and just loved it.  He’s kinda dorky, kinda nerdy.  Hmm maybe that’s why I like him-he reminds me of me! :D

I saw him make this salad on his show and wanted to try it because it looked really good.  The combination of ingredients is not something I would ever have thought of putting together myself.  They’re so simple but so tasty together.

Let’s make this!

The first thing you want to do is go ahead and put your shredded cabbage and feta cheese in a bowl together.  Set that aside. We’ll come back to it.

Moving on to the dressing now.  Throw your bacon into the skillet, and let it cook until it’s about 3/4 of the way done.

Now add your mushrooms.  You can drain some of the bacon grease off first, if you want.  I do this because I don’t want all that fat.  Cook until the mushrooms start to brown.

Now add the honey mustard dressing, and stir that all around.  Let it cook just for a minute or two, until it’s heated through.

Pour this over the cabbage/feta cheese mixture.

Give it all a good stir, and this is what you’ll have.  The longer it sits, the more that hot dressing will wilt the cabbage.  This is a good thing.  Delicious!

Here’s the complete recipe.  Enjoy! :)

Warm Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup honey mustard dressing
  • 6 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1 medium-sized head)
  • 2 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese

Directions:

Combine cabbage and feta cheese in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Add bacon to a skillet, and cook until almost done.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms have browned and the bacon is crisp.  Add the honey mustard dressing.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is heated through.

Pour over the cabbage/feta cheese mixture.  Stir well to make sure everything is coated.  This is equally good served immediately or when allowed to sit for a while.

This recipe is linked with:

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Hellman’s Jazzed Up Tuna Salad

Last week was a quiet week around here in Cat’s kitchen.  I didn’t really make any new recipes, I mostly stuck to some of my comfort food favorites.  This week, however, I plan on having quite a few new recipes to share!  To begin with this morning, I’m bringing y’all this tuna salad recipe which would make a great weekday lunch.  I found the recipe in the latest Cooking Light magazine of all places.  It was a Hellman’s advertisement that had a few different sandwich recipes listed.  I changed the title of it because I didn’t like the original and because, well, I can do that on my blog.  And doesn’t a jazzed up tuna salad just sound appealing?? :)

The Hellman’s recipe calls for this to be served in pita bread pockets, which I think would be great, though I plan to use whole wheat tortillas and make wraps.  Or you could just slap some between two slices of bread and call her good.  Whatever appeals to you :)

Hope y’all have a great start to the work week!

Hellman’s Jazzed Up Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1/3 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup EACH finely chopped celery, diced apple, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans
  • 4 slices cheddar or American cheese, diced
  • 2 Tb minced sweet onion

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.

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Filed under Salads, Sandwiches, Seafood

Miss Gayle’s Southern Green Bean Salad

I do not know who Miss Gayle is, but I do know that she sure makes a wonderful green bean salad.  This is a recipe that I copied from a little cookbook of my mom’s called Wesson Down-Home Cooking.  The green beans I used in this salad were some of the nicest, freshest green beans I’ve ever had.  They came from the Hutterites, just like the potatoes I used in my ham and cheese potato bake a little while back.  This year is the first time I’ve gotten the opportunity to buy their produce, and let me tell you, they’ve made me a huge fan.  I’ve got a pile of their potatoes in the bin under my microwave cart, and a bag of yellow wax beans in the fridge.  I’d better get cookin!

You can serve this salad warm, but it really is best if you refrigerate it for at least a few hours to let it marinate.  Enjoy!

Miss Gayle’s Southern Green Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh parsley
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans

Directions:

Steam grean beens until crisp-tender.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients.  Add the green beans and stir well to make sure they are all coated.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

This recipe is linked to:

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Filed under Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Chickpea Tomato Salad

It’s funny how our tastes change as we get older.  Up until about a year ago I hated chickpeas, just couldn’t stand them. Something about their texture, I think, was offputting to me. Then  a while back I tried them in a dish and discovered that I actually liked them!  They’re still not my favorite bean, but there are some things I really like them in, such as this salad. 

Even though it’s been cold and rainy here the past few days, I’m still stubbornly making salads!  I refuse to let summer be over yet.  Whatever your weather is, I think you’ll enjoy this recipe too.  And since the tomatoes are just as a big a star in this salad as the chickpeas, I definitely recommend using the best ones you can find.  I’m sure many of you have tomatoes coming out of your garden that would be perfect in this :)

Chickpea Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb of fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tb white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • chopped fresh parsley to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, eggs, and sweet onion.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over top.  Stir to combine.  Chill before serving.

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Rosemary Chicken Salad Wraps

I am of the opinion that one can never have too many chicken salad recipes.  So even though I already have several that I love, I’m always looking to try new ones as well.  This recipe from Cooking Light is going to go down as one of my all-time favorites I think.  Absolutely delicious, and great to take for lunch during the week.  The recipe calls for the chicken salad to be served on whole-grain bread, but I decided to use whole-grain tortillas instead and make wraps.  You do whatever makes you happy as well.

I also didn’t purposely post two recipes with rosemary this week, it just somehow happened!  This chicken salad does call for fresh rosemary, and I think in something such as a salad fresh herbs really make a difference.  But if you can’t get it, just use one-third as much of the dried stuff.  As far as the chicken goes, I just browned mine in the skillet, then chopped it up.  And I couldn’t find smoked almonds, so I just bought sliced almonds and toasted them.

Rosemary Chicken Salad Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped roasted chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped smoke almonds
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • lettuce leaves
  • whole-grain tortillas

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except lettuce and tortillas.  Place a lettuce leaf in center of tortilla.  Spoon chicken salad over top, then fold in the ends of the tortilla and roll up.

This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday.

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Filed under Chicken, Salads, Sandwiches