Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Summer Squash Salad — What to do with Zucchini

One of the most delicious (and flexible!) ways to use summer squash, is to give it a shave.  Taking your vegetable peeler to a zucchini or a yellow squash (yes, it’s gotta be sharp) turns it into beautiful, edible ribbons.  Add a nice dressing and  it’s a salad to behold. And because zucchini has a low-key personality, it gets along very well with many ingredient combinations.  You can find all sorts of combinations of ingredients for this salad if you google “zucchini ribbon salad.” There is a vegetarian food blog I love called “Cookie and Kate.”  She’s a good cook, loves whole food and knows what to do with it. Her recipe for a simple summer squash salad, with a light and refreshing dressing follows below.  Kate got the recipe from someone else and adapted it, which she acknowledges below as well.  And then I adapted it again to suit my tastes. Here is her website.   http://cookieandkate.com/

Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Dressing

Serves: 4Zucchini Ribbons

Ingredients

Salad
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts. You can substitute another nut of your choice, such as almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. Toasting brings out the flavor.
  • 2 pounds mixed small, young zucchini and yellow squash, preferably organic, locally grown — sure to have the best flavor and freshness.
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper — I’m nuts about Tellicherry Black Peppercorns from Penzeys.
  • 1/2 to 1 cup quality feta  cheese, crumbled, optional.  I have used goat cheeses at the very end of the prep, and they work well if added last.   Other recipes suggest Manchego.   You can also completely omit the cheese idea and add capers or olives instead.
Lemon Dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, preferably organic and unwaxed.  Use a microplane or good sharp small grater to make the zest.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste.
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon mixed fresh herbs, rough chopped or torn — such as thyme, fresh mint (or tarragon), and flat-leaf (Italian) parsley.  Feel free to change up the herbs according to what you like and what you have.
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Use your best sharp vegetable peeler to shave the squashes into paper-thin ribbons, starting on one side and making quarter turns until you reach the seedy core, if you don’t like the seeds.   If you don’t mind the seeds, use them, too.  It’s your call.  Spread the ribbons on a cutting board, sprinkle liberally with salt, and let them sit for 20 minutes.
  2. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the nuts until they are turning golden and fragrant, stirring frequently.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, mint and parsley. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is well blended. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the squash and gently pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towels. Place in a serving bowl.  The ribbons can be refrigerated and used later in the day.
  5. Right before serving, whisk the dressing one last time. Toss the squash with the feta, pine nuts and dressing. Best when served immediately.  To me, this salad as a leftover loses something.
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Summer Greek Salad with Shrimp and Marigolds

Summer Greek Salad with Marigolds and Shrimp

It sounds slightly wacko, this idea of eating flowers.  Not just flowers, but marigolds, of all things.

But I am a farm girl, and I figured that since chickens eat marigolds (did you know that?),and we eat eggs, then marigolds must be good for us! Actually, marigolds are better than good… more on that in a minute.  So why not consume the marigolds even more directly? For anyone who has never been around a chicken coop — chickens eat growing things of every color if left to their own devices.  Meaning — if they are truly free range and can get outside to enjoy bugs and flowers and plants, they are healthier and produce beautiful eggs with gorgeous yolks, high in nutrition.

Marigolds in a Window Box

Chickens are often given marigolds to make their egg yolks a deeper yellow, which is especially nice in the winter time when they spend less time outside eating vibrant colors in their happy chicken yard. The really lucky thing is that besides the beautiful yellow color of marigold leaves, all that vibrant yellow color contains two wonder ingredients — lutein and zeaxanthin — vital food for healthy eyes. Eating enough lutein and zeaxanthin (most Americans don’t) can prevent or slow macular degeneration. Macular Degeneration  is a serious subject and you can learn more here. Keeping healthy vision is reason enough to eat marigold leaves. But then there is the subject of color — the vibrant sunset colors of marigolds.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!  Adding marigold leaves to a salad makes the entire salad come alive with color. In my book, any way to make food more beautiful is simply icing on the cake. Marigolds could be my new favorite salad ingredient.  I don’t know.  They are bright.  They are healthy.  There is a fierce competition going on in my kitchen, however, between red and green shiso and marigolds.  I’ll update you, I’m sure you can’t wait to hear. So far, I think the marigolds are winning, and to be fair, it’s probably because I have them planted everywhere.  There is something to be said for strength in numbers.

Edible Flowers -- Marigolds

By the way, pansies and nasturtiums are edible as well, and used often in gourmet salads.  Substitute freely if those are more available. The benefits of marigolds are many, and not just for your diet, or the diet of your chickens.  According to Mother Earth News marigolds help ward off pests in the garden.  Sprinkle them everywhere in your garden. Planted in borders around a garden, or in rows next to vegetable crops, marigolds are an above ground trap for Japanese beetles. But did you know that marigolds are at work below the surface of the soil in your garden as well? Underground, they ward off nematodes, which attack the roots of plants.  Good for marigolds, my new heroes! Here is a recipe for a summer salad that is flexible and easy.  This list of ingredients is for starters.  Feel free to add or subtract depending on your tastes. When preparing food, just remember that color is key.  The more colors in the meal, the more nutrition present, guaranteed. To your health!

Summer Greek Salad with Shrimp and Marigolds

Romaine lettuce — a large handful per person
Soaked pumpkin seeds — 1 T. per person.  See “Soaking Nuts”  note below.
Chopped green onions — about 1 T. per person
Kalamata Olives — about 5 per person, or to taste.
Tomatoes — chopped fresh.  About 1/2 tomato per person.  Use heirlooms if available.
Fresh oregano leaves — to taste.  Or the leaves from a 6″ tall spike per person.
Marigold leaves — the leaves from one or two marigold flowers per person, depending on the size of the marigold.  Put in enough to make a color splash!
*********
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar — 2-3 tsp. per person
Olive Oil — 1 T. per person
Salt and Pepper to taste
*********
Feta Cheese — 2 T. per person
Cooked Shrimp — 5 large Shrimp per person
 
Combine romaine through marigold leaves.  Toss with the simple dressing of cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and cracked pepper, or your dressing of choice.  Divide onto plates.  Sprinkle each serving with crumbled feta cheese (it looks nicer than adding it before tossing).  Arrange cooked shrimp on top. 
 
Oh, and expect “oooo’s and ahhhh’s.”
 
Soaking Nuts — Soaking seeds and nuts is a great benefit nutritionally and they are easier to digest.   For starters, go to The Nourishing Gourmet.  She gives directions for soaking any kind of nut.  You can simply put them in a small bowl, cover with spring water, and soak overnight in the refrigerator.  You can also soak them in salt water, which is what The Nourishing Gourmet suggests. 
 
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Fresh Tuna Salad with Capers, Cilantro and Lime

 

Fresh Tuna Salad with Capers, Cilantro and Lime

Fresh Tuna Salad with Capers, Cilantro and Lime

Canned tuna is always in my pantry, and it will do in a pinch, but for a change, try making Tuna Salad from fresh, wild caught tuna.  It doesn’t taste as strong, and is a nice change from the usual fare. Also, you can add a lot of finely chopped vegetables to the mix — a meal in one can be a handy thing! — and you can use almost any vegetable YOU like.  I’ve been known to put carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, and so on in my tuna salad.  Make sure you get enough “crunch” in there. Here is one very simple and tasty combination:
Wild Ahi Tuna, Steamed, about 4-6 oz.
1 – 2 T. capers or to taste.
1-2 T. chopped red onion, or to taste
1/4 c. chopped cilantro, or to taste
1/4 c. chopped celery
juice from 1/2 lime, or more
Vegenaise (or your favorite mayonnaise) — enough to make the salad hang together.
Mix and enjoy.

You’ll find you can enjoy Fresh Tuna Salad with Capers, Cilantro and Lime any season of the year!

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Baby Arugula Salad withTurnips and Tomatoes

Baby Arugula Salad with Turnips and Tomatoes

Turnips

It’s a mystery. I don’t know why this salad works. Putting together the strong flavors of turnips and arugula shouldn’t be delicious, really.  Think about it. The flavors by themselves are risky — strong and complicated.  They can overwhelm the timid palate.  Steak stands up to arugula. And turnips?  Well, turnips are turnips.  There’s not much that stands up to a turnip.  You have to add sweet carrots and carmelized onions to sweeten a turnip dish.  Raw turnips in small amounts are often more acceptable. Combining these two — arugula and turnips — would be like putting two strong-headed, opinionated, “star” type people right next to each other at a dinner table.  Might work.  Might not.  Maybe serve them enough wine so they both go with the flow…. Same thing here.  Put Mr. Arugula and Mr. Turnip in the same salad and add a lot of lime.  Maybe it’s a chemical thing that occurs, maybe the lime dressing  mellows the flavors and ties the flavors happily together, I don’t know.  But it works.

Ingredients:

A handful of baby arugula per person.

Baby Arugula

A small handful of raw turnip sticks (bitesize) per person.  Use small turnips.  They get woody and strong tasting if they are too big.  The smaller the turnip, the better.  The health benefits of raw turnips are many.  If you’re having problems with kidney stones, check here for how turnips may help you. A small handful of tomatoes per person.  In summer, use heirlooms.  At other times of the year other varieties are more available — like cherry tomatoes, or tomatoes on the vine. Dressing: 1 tsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp olive oil per person/serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. What do I love about this Baby Arugula Salad with Turnips and Tomatoes?  It’s easy, surprisingly delicious, and it’s beautiful. Continue Reading

She’s Got Love Fingers

Christie Lenee can play a guitar. She’s the 2017 International Finger Style Guitar Champion of the Year. In September of last year in London, she also won Acoustic Guitarist of the Year.

But lucky for us, she’s not just a champion guitar player. Christie Lenee is also quite the composer.

A friend of hers, Michael Pukac, requested that she write a song, one he described as “the story of love.” She scribbled notes and went to work.

Through Christie’s ability to imagine, his desire became music. Now she plays this song for the world with her love fingers. Lucky you, lucky me, lucky us.

Take very good care of yourself this week. Why not sing a little…

Love,

Terri

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

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Terri Crosby

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