This salad was created by White House chef Sam Kass when he visited the set of “The Biggest Loser.” It is known as the salad that no one can get enough of. I tested out this salad on a picnic with friends this past weekend and it is a winner! Simple ingredients paired with a super flavorful dressing.
1 head of fresh lettuce
2 fresh in-season tomatoes
1/4 red onion
1 bunch fresh basil
1/3 C olive oil
4 T lemon juice
1 t honey
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad: tear the lettuce into bite size pieces, peel the cucumber and cut into bite sized bits, cut tomatoes and cut them into bite sized pieces, slice onion as thin as possible, chop basil into large pieces. Mix all together.
For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Cover the container and shake vigorously.
Toss and serve immediately.
My comfort food prior to going gluten/grain free was pizza, particularly a Papa John’s pizza dipped in cheese sauce. Yummm! I don’t think anything will measure up to a Papa John’s pizza but this dish does a great job of capturing the flavors of pizza. We’ve now eaten this twice for dinner and have greatly enjoyed it.
Meat, could be a pepperoni slices, ground beef, or our favorite–turkey sausage
2 bell peppers, chopped or sliced
1 eggplant, diced
1 red onion, diced
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
Chili flakes, to taste
Black or green olives roughly chopped
Banana peppers, roughly chopped
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces
3 T pizza sauce
1 T red wine vinegar
Any other pizza-like topping you’d like… the “pie” is the limit (Haha!)
Over medium-high heat, saute the meat until crispy. Remove from the pan. Add olive oil, peppers, onion, eggplant, and mushrooms to the pan. Let all the ingredients cook until they’ve softened and caramelized. Add the veggie mixture to the meat, along with the chili flakes, olives, banana peppers, and basil.
For the dressing, whisk pizza sauce, vinegar, and 1/4 c of olive oil together. Drizzle over the pizza salad and toss to combine. Serve the salad hot, but cold pizza salad is good too!
One of the best appetizers of the summer is a caprese salad. Fresh basil… Ripe tomato… Avocado….
Avocado? Wait a second, isn’t that last ingredient mozzarella?
While I love the gooey yummy taste of mozzarella, my stomach does not. I have been making caprese salads with only tomatoes and basil for years now, but at a party last month I heard of a great alternative for mozzarella cheese, avocado! The creamy texture and calming taste of avocado fits in super well with the basil and tomato, so much so that you don’t miss the mozzarella.
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, washed
1 ripe tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste
Arrange the basil, tomato and basil leaves artistically on your platter. Drip olive oil & balsamic vinegar across the tops of the veggies and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!!
Tuna salad is my go to lunch when we don’t have leftovers from dinner. The key ingredient in making canned tuna tasty? I think many would quickly said mayonnaise. I know I would have a few months ago. Mayonnaise has loads of preservatives that makes an otherwise healthy lunch choice…not healthy. Awhile ago, I found a recipe from Pinterest and skeptically tried to make tuna salad without mayo. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the tuna salad and have eaten it this way a number of times since. Now when I add mayo into my tuna salad it tastes too heavy. The avocado and the oil in the recipe add the moisture and creaminess that the tuna salad usually gets from mayo.
1 can tuna
1 T grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
1 t yellow curry powder
1 pear chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 T slivered almonds
Handful of cilantro (or other herbs), roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
**Have fun adding other herbs, veggies, fruit, even cheese to your tuna. Get creative!**
Mix all together. Serve cold. I often enjoy mine over lettuce or on cucumber slices.
–Adapted from: http://www.health-bent.com/
This recipe really is an ode to Trader Joe’s and the amazing creations that keep appearing in their store. One of my favorite summertime vegetables is Heirloom Tomatoes. We’ve been growing them and receiving them in our CSA box, but we always eat them up so quickly, so I bought us some more from Trader Joe’s. I love the produce at Trader Joe’s, they always have plenty of organic fruits and veggies for reasonable prices.
On that same shopping trip, I discovered their Blueberry & Vanilla Goat Cheese, you can read more about that product here. I had no idea what I might use it for when I bought it, but really how can you not buy a creation with that delicious combination?? Finally I had some leftover Basil Vinaigrette to use, which by the way, was made with all Trader Joe’s ingredients.
Here’s what I came up with, and it was an amazingly refreshing treat on a hot summer night.
3 Heirloom Tomatoes
1/2 Log of Trader Joe’s Wild Blueberry & Vanilla Chevre Goat Cheese
2 T of Basil Vinaigrette
2 T of Olive Oil
Slice the tomatoes thinly and arrange artistically on platter. Crumble the goat cheese on top of sliced tomatoes. Drizzle the vinaigrette and olive oil on top of everything. Let each flavor dance on your tongue as you enjoy every refreshing bite.
Thanks Trader Joe’s for being so great!
I was inspired by a recipe found in Whole Living. The dish is too tangy without the dates, but when added the dates bring a perfect sweet & sour mixture. Perfect salad for hot summer night.
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 C dates–pitted & chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and cook just until they turn bright green and are barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and cool in a bowl of ice cold water. Drain and pat dry.
To make the dressing, whisk together remaining ingredients. Toss green beans with it. Chill until serving.
1/4 c slivered almonds
2 lbs. fresh kale, rinsed, stems removed, and leaves chopped (20 cups)
1/2 c water
1/2 c apple juice
1/4 c golden raisins
2 T butter or margarine
1. Toast the almonds in a large skillet over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring often. Scrape into a small bowl.
2. Add the kale and water to the skillet. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally with 2 spoons, until the leaves are just wilted and most of the liquid is evaporated.
3. Stir in the apple juice and raisins. Cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until the apple juice is almost evaporated. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter, then almonds. Serve right away.
*Kale is a great source of calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. The apple juice and almonds of this recipe really tone down the flavor of the kale, which is a good thing in my opinion! 🙂
–The Women’s Day Cookbook pg. 416