Salad

Don’t you hate it when you go into the fridge for a radish to put on your salad and they are all gooey and gross.  Yuck!

Well, a little planning ahead can save those radishes and keep them fresh for weeks.

This is what you do…

  1. When you get home from the store or the first time you use them, remove all the radishes from their stems.  Discard the tops.
  2. Wash all the radishes really well.  Dry with a paper towel.
  3. Cut the stem and root off each end.  You don’t have to cut much, just a sliver off each end.
  4. Put them in a ziplock and toss them in the low humidity veggie drawer in your fridge.

This simple 5 minute prep tip will extend the life of your radishes dramatically.

I have really been enjoying  my new world of salads.  Although most of the time I stick to the basics, I have found some really great more creative offerings as well.  Nothing boring about this little number.

This salad would be perfect for apple season with fresh organic apples and fresh pressed cider from the farmers market.  But, if you can’t get it in season, I have found some really good organic unfiltered apple cider available at my grocery store.

I have written this recipe as a single serving because that is how I usually make it for myself for lunch, but you could easily double this for two or even make it big for a dinner party.

Shrimp and Spinach Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

1 serving

Cider Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 slice center cut nitrate free bacon
  • 1 sliver of organic butter
  • 1 small chopped shallot (about 2 T)
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 turn of fresh ground pepper

Combine cider and sugar in a small pot over med-high heat and boil until reduced by more than half. While you are doing that cook the piece of bacon in a small skillet until desired doneness. Remove and place on a piece of paper towel to drain off any excess fat. Use that same paper towel to wipe out the skillet. Don’t remove all the grease, you want a bit for flavor, but you don’t want to cook in it. Cut the bacon into small pieces and set aside.

Add butter to skillet at melt over medium heat. Add shallot to pan and saute until beginning to caramelize and brown up. Stir in cider mixture, vinegar, salt and pepper. Poor into the saucepan you used for the cider mixture and hold over very low heat while you finish the salad.

If the dressing seems to be getting too reduced, remove from heat and then heat up quickly before topping salad.

Salad

  • 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • thinly sliced red onion (generous amount within your tastes)

assemble on a dinner plate and set aside.

Shrimp

  • 5 large shrimp, thawed, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 t curry powder
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t olive oil

Mix together curry, cayenne and salt in a small bowl. Heat oil in the same small skillet you used for the dressing. Dip each shrimp into the spice mixture before adding to pan. Sprinkle any left over spice mixture over shrimp in the pan. Cook until pink and opaque, but not overdone.

Add hot shrimp, bacon and dressing to salad and serve immediately.

NOTE: Add a handful of raw nuts or seeds and a tablespoon of ground flax to make this more Gabriel Method friendly

I think I mentioned in my I love Salad post that my husband and I have been really enjoying what we call the “Big Salad”.  We have this for dinner once a week now and giggle about past Seinfeld episodes (did you catch the reference?).

I find it funny that without even trying to convince him, my husband is fully on board with whatever I put in front of him these days.  This one is a big hit though, so I thought I would share.

Big Salad

2 servings

Marinade Chicken

  • 1 boneless skinless free range chicken breast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • couple good grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced

Put this all in a Ziploc bag with one chicken breast and let marinate for a couple of hours.  At least one I would say but you could probably leave it for as long as 24.

Croutons

  • One slice sprouted wheat bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • one or two grind of fresh black pepper

put all ingredients in a medium skillet and toss with your hands to coat the bread well with the oil and spices.  Cook over medium until desired brownness and then turn on low (as low as you can go) while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Stir occasionally.

Leaving them on low will allow them to crisp up a little and keep them warm while you prepare the rest of the salad.  They are better if you put them on top warm.  If they start to get too done, then turn them off and then give them a quick sizzle on medium high right before you eat to get them warmed up.

Cooking the Chicken

I like the chicken cooked on the BBQ myself.  This way it has that touch of smoky charcoal flavor that compliments the rest of this meal so well, but you could also use a grill pan, broil it or even cut it up and saute it if you are in a big hurry.

You will want the chicken to be done about 5 minutes before you are ready to eat so that it can rest for a few minutes, but still be warm when you put it on the salad.

We cook it on the BBQ and it takes about 20 minutes.  You will need to figure this out for yourself based on your chosen cooking style.

Assembling the Salad

These are just the veggies that I like and choose to use, but you could use anything you like and try to use what is in season right now for fresher, healthier vegetables.

  • 4 handfuls of organic salad green mix – I have the guy at the farmers market mix half baby lettuce and half spicy mix.  Yum!
  • 2 carrots (or one if it is large – the ones I get at the farmers market are about 4 inches long, so I use 2), diced small
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 handful of sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 1 handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (use whatever kind of tomatoes you like or are fresh and cut them to bit size)
  • raw sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, raw almonds (or whatever seed/nut combo you like) – about 2 T total per plate.
  • 2 T freshly ground flax seed
  • Your favorite dressing

Split the above ingredients between two plates and top with half the croutons and half the chicken.  Dress and enjoy.

I love salad.  I think one reason that this eating plan works so well for me is that I love salad.  I eat at least one, if not two, large salads a day.  I’m lucky that my husband loves salad too.

I have been experimenting with different toppings and styles of salad, but for most meals it is pretty much the same.

  • Organic baby greens
  • A variety of chopped veggies depending on what is available that week at the farmers market, but in general carrots, onions, radishes, snap peas, cucumbers, tomatoes etc.
  • Handful of seeds and/or nuts
  • Tablespoon of freshly ground flax
  • Salad Dressing

So for lunch, I generally have a big salad and then a small portion of whatever sounds goods that week.  I usually make a big batch of something each week and eat it at least three times.  Generally some sort of saucy chicken (cacciatore, curry, tikka masala etc.)  and sometimes I will have a little brown rice or sprouted bread, but not always.

This week I made homemade chili with pork tenderloin and beans and organic veggies.  For this , I actually put the salad on top and topped with homemade creamy dressing.

For dinner, we generally have some sort of meat and then a salad and sometimes an additional vegitable, especially right now when asparagus is in season.  I have my husband hooked on what we call big salad, which is basically the above plus grilled chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper, and some croutons made with sprouted wheat bread, a little olive oil and some garlic.

My latest favorite salad dressing

I don’t really measure so these are really just guesses.  Tweak with it until it tastes how you want it to.

  • 1/4 cu finely shredded romano cheese (I found a really yummy pecorino made with sheep’s milk)
  • 2 t. red wine vinegar
  • 2 t. fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • couple good grinds of pepper
  • 1 t. fresh oregano (picked right out of my garden for “vitality” points)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. honey
  • couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or you could use flax oil) – Just add a tablespoon at a time until it tastes balanced.

Streamlining the salad process

Although salad is relatively easy, it can be a little prep intensive for making lunch before work or throwing something together when you just have a few minutes.  But with a little prep ahead throwing together a great salad can take only a matter of seconds.

I buy organic salad mix at the farmers market, but this is generally available at most grocery stores these days as well.  Too keep it fresh longer, put it in a gallon Ziploc with a damp paper towel.

I also cut up a variety of veggies, mix them together and store them in a Ziploc or Tupperware.  Seed and nuts can be mixed and stored this way as well.  Buying small tomatoes eliminates the need to cut them fresh.

I do grind my flax fresh, but I keep the seeds in a closed mason jar on the counter next to the grinder, which makes this very easy and quick to do.

With these small steps, a handful of this and a handful of that and a few seconds later you have a great healthy salad with little to no work.

I have been exploring new foods and ways of eating as part of The Gabriel Method.

This salad has become my favorite lunch.  It is hearty and filling, dare I say comforting, and chock full of nutrition.  It is also highly customizable.  Get creative.

When using the Gabriel Method, we ask three questions before preparing a meal.

  1. Where is the assimilable protein?
  2. Where is the Omega 3?
  3. Where is the live food?

The protein in this meal comes from the chicken (make sure to use free range or the chicken doesn’t really count) and also from the raw nuts/seeds (they must be raw – roasted doesn’t count).

The Omega 3 is found in the ground flax seed (grind it fresh for maximum potency) as well as the sprouted bread croutons. The sprouted bread I use is loaded with seeds and flax. Not all of these breads are high in omega 3. Make sure to check your particular brand and style.

For live food, I use organic dark greens for this salad as well as other organic veggies. I also keep a live basil plant (available at the grocery store in the produce department) in my kitchen window. This is a great way to add vitality to your meal.

Keeping an herb garden is a great way to increase vitality in your food, save money and add a punch of flavor to your food. Healthy, fun and budget friendly. What beats that?

Wilted Salad

2 cups dark organic greens
2 T fresh basil
5 medium mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1 T flax seed, freshly ground
3 oz free range chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks
2 t olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 t dried oregano
pinch red chili flakes
1 T raw sunflower seeds
1 T raw sliced almonds
1 slice sprouted grain bread, toasted and cut into bite size pieces and cooled
Your favorite Vinaigrette salad dressing, I use Newman’s Own Roasted Garlic and Parmesan.
salt and pepper

Pile the greens on a plate. Top with toasted bread pieces, basil and ground flax. Set aside.

Heat 1 t oil in a medium frying pan over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and a pinch of dried oregano and saute until browned, but not completely cooked through.  Remove and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and starting to soften.  Add mushrooms and saute until cooked through and nicely browned. Onions should be caramelized at this point and garlic will be brown and soft.  Season with salt, pepper, oregano and red chili flakes.

Add the carrots and chicken back to pan until chicken is cooked through, a couple of minutes.

Dump all that on top of the pile of greens. Top with seeds, nuts and salad dressing.

Toss and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

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I’ve been on a salad kick lately and this is a great classic chop chop, a little on the lighter side. Watching your fat? Use light dressing and leave out the salami. Banana peppers are the same as pepperoncinis. If you are looking for a large salad portion (restaurant size) then this is only one serving.

Chop Chop Salad Recipe

Makes 2 Servings

2 cups romaine lettuce, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup slice green onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 T sliced black olives
2 T Parmesan cheese, grated
3 oz chicken breast, grilled
1 oz dry salami, diced
2 T banana pepper, diced
2 T Vinegrette Dressing

everything in this salad should be pretty finely chopped to keep with the nature of a chop chop salad.

Other than that, just put it all in a bowl and toss. Serve and enjoy.

Nutritional Breakdown

This is one of those dishes that I just made up out of the sky one day. Hmmm, what to eat for lunch, combine a bunch of random stuff and poof, great dish. Well, some of the time it works out that way. As is also the way with these types of dishes, the ingredient list may seem a little eccentric, but it is a clean out the randoms in your kitchen kind of dish and boy is it good.

As with all my recipes, I recommend that you try it and customize it to your own liking. That is what cooking is all about. If there is an ingredient that you don’t like, or don’t have, omit it or substitute for it.

Since this is a kitchen cabinet meal, use what you have. No chicken? No problem, this would be good with any meat, no meat or tofu. Perfect use for leftover meat from last night’s dinner. Pretty much any vegetable would be great in this and any kind of rice will do just fine. The green olives and peperccinis are pretty integral to the flavor of the dish, but if you are strongly averted to one or the other, this dish will stand up just fine with just one of those. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this dish your own.

Funky Chicken and Mediterranean Rice Salad

1 c. cooked cubed or shredded chicken
2 c. cooked brown rice
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
1/2 c. roughly chopped mushrooms (I like cremini, but any kind will do)
1/2 c. finely chopped or shredded carrots
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. chopped green olives (my favorite are the garlic stuffed ones, but any will do)
1/4 c. chopped peppercini peppers (you can find these by the olives)
1/4 c. Italian Salad Dressing (this is My FavoriteNewman's own parmesan and roasted garlic salad dressing, use yours)

Putting this together is pretty simple.  Mix it all together and serve. The chicken and rice should be pretty warm when added.

mmmmm, tasty!