Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

There are only two of us to I cut the recipe in half and if you know me you know I love that 18 year old balsamic  vinegar. All I can say is Yum as a meal or side dish

Yield: 4 main dish servings (6 as a side)

Prep Time: 20 min

 Ingredients:

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SALAD:

  •  Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  •  1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  •  2/3 cup chopped bell pepper (mix red/yellow/orange)
  •  3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
  •  3 green onions, sliced
  •  12 kalamata olives, sliced in half
  •  1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

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DRESSING:

  •  4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  •  1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  1 tablespoon red wine vinegar – I used 18 year old balsamic Vinegar, cause I love the stuff
  •  1 small garlic clove, minced
  •  1/4 teaspoon cumin
  •  salt and pepper, to taste

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How:

1. In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle juices on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Tips:

*Use good quality canned chickpeas for this recipe (not generic). I really think it makes a difference in the flavor of the salad.

*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, be sure to use a brand of chickpeas that is known to be GF.

 

 

Source: RecipeGirl.com (adapted from The New York Times)

Basic Recipe for Greek Salad Dressing

Basic Recipe for Greek Salad Dressing

The simplest of all salad dressings is a drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil and wedges of lemon on the side – squeeze to taste. For salads with feta cheese like the Greek Salad, I recommend straight olive oil (with a little water). For salads with cucumber, I like oil and vinegar.

Greek-Salad-

Ingredients

For 1 cup of dressing:

  •  3/4 cup of Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed Greek oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch of pepper.

greek salad

How:

Whisk together in a bowl, or place in a tightly covered jar and shake to combine. The dressing will turn a light color with a creamy texture as the oil and vinegar combine.

Tip Add Dill: add 1 teaspoon of dried dill to the dressing nice touch!

Quick Cucumber Salad

 

 Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
  • ½ teaspoon salt

300px-Cucumber_and_cross_section

Salad

  • ½ medium cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

How:

Combine you can let sit in frig to let flavors come together or server right away as side or topping

Buffalo Bufallo Burgers

Buffalo Bufallo Burgers

We have been suffering from a heat wave and after the 5th day of over 92+ degree temps we decided to forgo our normal Sunday walk at the Wrentham  Mall which is one of those out-door discount malls, flat and if you walk all the lanes is a one mile walk. Yesterday we did the Natick Mall this is a good one inside and if you do top and bottom is 2 miles. Yep we both like to walk but with the temps and humidity the way it has been we also like to be comfortable. Early in the week Vermont and NH were much cooler and no humidity and we did go to Nebo’s new location which was right on the water front so while we waited for them to open we sipped wine and gazed out over the harbor enjoying the cool breeze but most especially the smell of salt air. Anyway before I drift to far from my point we decided today to go to Solomon mall but half way there I asked why not Wegman’s it is huge and a bet just about 1 mile if we did all the isles, besides we needed a few things. I ask you what weekend is a weekend without visiting at least 3 grocery stores each with their own specialties.  As we walked picking up this and that we saw the ground buffalo still at $7.399 for a 1lb package all the other stores were at $9.99 so I figured we would use at some point. Oh I was right the walk was just over 1 mile. Tonight just before the thundered and rain rolled in I quickly made some patties roasted some corn and prepared dinner. I was not going to post this but it came out so good I decided it was a keeper for me, hence not a lot of pictures.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground buffalo
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs, you could use some crunched us puffed brown rice
  • Some slice Jalapeno that I diced
  • 1 tablespoon of the Jalapeno juice from jar.
  • Small amount of smoked maple cedar to melt on burgers

 

Roasted Corn salad – I have made this before but every time it is different here is another version

  • 1 can black beans drain
  • 1 Red bell pepper chopped into bean size pieces
  • 1 Yellow or orange bell pepper chopped into bean size pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jalapeno rough chopped
  • 2 teaspoons juice from Jalapeno jar
  • 1 tablespoon or so of 18 year old balsamic vinegar
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ears of grilled corn

How

Burgers

Combine all ingredients and mix well set aside and let sit

I added the breadcrumbs because it is a leaner meat and the bread crumbs help retain some moisture

Form 4 patties

Grill on preheated oiled grill for about 4-5 minutes

Flip top with the cheese continue to cook 4-5 minutes

Take off grill and cover loosely let sit 4-5 minutes

off the grill

 

Roasted corn salad.

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Shuck the corn rub with olive oil put on grill turning occasionally until the corn is slightly charred in spots.

Set aside until cool enough to hold.

In the meantime chop the peppers and combine all ingredients

I like to take a small cup inverted in the middle of the bowl place the con bottom down and cut the kernels off the cobb with a sharp knife following the cob. This way they fall into the bowl. Now combine mix completely. You can server right away of refrigerate and the flavors should come together. I say why wait that’s what left overs are for.

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Tuna Roll with a Twist

I bought these little tiny cans of tuna at BJs that come in a 12 pack and whether in a salad or sandwich found them just the right size for one. Lyn does not like the way I make tuna, too much mayo so now I can make it the way I like it lots of mayo. When I was a kid I used to make mayo sandwiches for a quick snack but now a days I just pile on a little extra. Tunas sandwich is a quick and easy solution to that what’s for lunch question.

Make the tuna the way you like it then make a roll up, salad or my particular favorite in an organic hotdog roll.

Usually I like to sprinkle some paprika on it I like the color but most of all the little kick it adds,  but today I drizzled a little hoisin sauce.

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Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Next to work is a bakery called Ray and Dicks and they make a great bread or sheet pizza. The sauce is heavy tomato paste base and when slightly warmed it melts in your mouth. My wife does not care for it likes the Portland style sheet pizza better. I will buy one for work every once in a while freeze in single servings of the left overs to reheat and top with whatever is left over or in the frig that hits me when I open the door. This week it was in celebration of avocado season.

 

So this is simple reheat top and eat!

 

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Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

Salad with Strawberry, Pineapple and Avocado

So its lunch time and every day I bring a salad for lunch. Usually on Sundays make one huge base salad and store in a container that you can give CPR to the top and it pushes the air out of it.freshvac

I don’t put in things like cucumbers or other things that tend to spoil quickly just the base salad. Then in the morning I grab a bunch put it in my container and add my condiments if you will. saladshakerThe condiments are things cukes, tomato, whatever I had left over from dinner last night.  My handy little container has a compartment for dressing which for me is just plain ole 18 year old balsamic vinegar.

 

Ingredients

  • Base salad
  • Organic Strawberries cut in chunks
  • Fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • ½ avocado slices
  • Cumber cut into chunks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  •  18 year old Balsamic Vinegar (you could add oil but why dilute the vinegar.)

 

How

Place all in your handy take to work container along with an orange and banana maybe some celery or carrot sticks.

Release vinegar, shake or toss and eat!

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Related articles

4 Healthy Reasons to Eat a Salad Today

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

WebMD Feature

 

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Have you had your salad today? Eating salad almost every day may be one of the most healthy eating habits you can adopt — and one of the simplest, experts say.

 

Eating salads is a super-convenient way to work in a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit. Green salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant. You can even buy a side salad (with Romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, available with fat-free or reduced-calorie salad dressing) for a buck at many fast food chains these days. And you can make a green salad at home in 5 minutes, armed with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other veggies, and a bottle of light salad dressing.

 

Not only that, but salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat (lots of textures, colors, and flavors). Most people enjoy eating salads–even kids! You can customize them to include the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most, and whichever ones you have on hand.

 

Here are four health reasons to reach for a salad today:

 

1. Eat Salads for the Fiber

It’s hard to believe that something we can’t even digest can be so good for us! Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

Read more…

Not only that, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating more fiber can help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

 avacoda about

Avocado Health Benefits: The World’s Most Perfect Food?

It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado (Persea gratissima or P. americana) originated in Puebla, Mexico and its earliest use dates back to 10,000 years B.C. Since AD 900, the avocado tree has been cultivated and grown in Central and South America. In the 19th century, the avocado made its entry into California, and has since become a very successful commercial crop. Ninety-five percent (95%) of U.S. avocados are gown in Southern California.

The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Read more here

Endive, Radicchio, Fennel, and Watercress Salad

Endive, Radicchio, Fennel, and Watercress Salad

Lyn reminds me that I forgot to mention the salad and also the Wholefoods Cranberry multigrain rolls we had at our Eastover feast. Laurel once made a similar roll but they are much better perhaps someday I will get the recipe but we were there and convenience sometimes rules. We recently decided that Wholefoods bakery is not so good again convenience sometimes rules. I rarely bake to exact a science for me. Although I usually say ½ cup or 2 Tbsp. of this I am guessing for others sake I am really a handful of this a pinch of that kind of guy. Anyway…….

Eastover Surf and Turf BBQ Rub Salmon, Grill NY Strip Steak, Roasted potatoes, carrot root, turnips and carrots, Fennel salad and asparagus.

Eastover Surf and Turf BBQ Rub Salmon, Grill NY Strip Steak, Roasted potatoes, Celery root, turnips and carrots, Fennel salad and asparagus.

Ingredients:

  • 4 endive, thickly sliced on the diagonal

BelgianEndive

  • 1 large bulb fresh fennel, fronds removed and bulb very thinly sliced

fennel

  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed

watercress

  • 1/2 Head of Radicchio sliced crosswise thinly

radichio

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of one Meyer lemon
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How:

In a bowl, combine the endive, fennel, radicchio, watercress and Meyer lemon zest then toss gently to mix.

add Myer lemon zest

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Add half of the dressing and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately..

toss

THE HISTORY OF  WATERCRESS

watercress about 1

From http://www.watercress.com/history.aspx

Watercress is the most ancient of   green vegetables known to man and its use can be traced back to the Persians,   Greeks and Romans. In fact, a famous Persian chronicler advised Persians to   feed cress to their children to improve bodily growth. He also strongly   recommended its use to the Greek and Persians soldiers of that time.Although these eminent rulers knew   nothing of such matters as mineral content and vitamins, they did observe   that their soldiers were in better condition when this plant was made part of   their daily diet. The Romans, too, looked with favor upon Watercress as a   salad. The common method of preparation in those days was with oil and vinegar.   It was also served with pepper, cumin seed and lentiscus…leaves of the mastic   tree.

When Hippocrates founded the first   hospital on the Island of Kos around 400 BC, he grew wild watercress in the   natural springs and used it to treat blood disorders.

It is reported that Nicholas   Messier first grew watercress in Erfurt, Germany, in the middle of the 16th   century. English cultivation started in early 1800, when a farmer near London   began to give cress attention as a product of Agriculture to be used in salads.   It was not long before its popularity spread and it became increasingly   difficult to meet the rather sudden increase in demand for watercress.

The herbalist John Gerard extolled   watercress as an anti-scorbutic (remedy for scurvy) as early as 1636. No doubt   in those days it was far easier to come by than oranges – a foreign   extravagance.

According to the book ‘James Cook   and the Conquest of Scurvy’, Captain James Cook was able to circumnavigate   the globe three times, due in part, to his use of watercress in his sailors   diets. And watercress is recorded as being on the menu for the vary first   Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and the American Indians.

Wherever Watercress has been   reported in history, it has been common to eat the crisp green sprigs out of   hand, combined with other tender greens in salads and as a garnish on hot and cold dishes. In addition,   certain nationalities have made a particular watercress use famous in their   country.

For instance, the French are noted   for delicious thick soup made of potatoes and watercress, Potage Cressionniere.   This is usually served hot, though it is delicious served cold.

The English, of course, are   responsible for popularizing the watercress sandwiches. These are now practically standard service, appearing at   daily family teas and high teas alike. The Italians, too, did their bit by   adding shortcut sprigs of Watercress to their minestrone and other satisfying   and hearty vegetable soups. The Chinese have long used watercress sprays in their egg drop,   wonton and of course watercress soup.

Here in America, B&W   Watercress, Inc. has not only made watercress available easily, but we also   developed interesting recipes for using Watercress. These include: watercress   salad, soups and sandwiches, dips, entrees and of course the vegetable   dishes.

watercress2

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

For my birthday my wife gave us a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen which was great had a really good time which started with Pina Coladas on the beach but those are both another story for another time.

This post is about my love of Balsamic Vinegar.

Hanging with the chef

Hanging with the chef

A few years back we discovered eighteen year old balsamic vinegar at LeRoux Kitchen in Portland Maine. You can drink this stuff it’s just so good. They are online but also have stores at Martha’s Vineyard, MA and Portsmouth, NH so where Stonewall Kitchen is in York Maine we decided to stay just a few minutes away in Portsmouth NH on the river. Portsmouth has a nice walking downtown with small shops and a lot of restaurants it has the feel of a college town with a touch of tourism to me.

View from the room PortsmouthNorthChurch_lg Portsmouth Downtown

Anyway, armed with our 5 empty bottles we clinked our way to the store and had them refilled. All set for a few months now. Which brings me to the point of this post Vinaigrette dressings they can be simple or complicated but once you get in the habit of making your own fresh you will not go back to the off the shelf bottle. Ok maybe in a pinch.

I mostly wing it but here are a few that I have made or tried. Oh before I forget they are not just for salads so experiment and see. Let me know some of your favorites.

How: They all prepare similarly so

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Nice little gadget!

Nice little gadget! I snuffed at first.

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Note: With a good quality balsamic you may not need to add a sweetener that depends on your tooth as the saying goes.

My version of someone’s house dressing

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard – Trader Joe’s add a kick
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced finely if you like a stronger garlic flavor
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Another twist

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced if you like a stronger garlic flavor

Yet another twist

  • 1/4 cup red wine (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fruit jam or 2 teaspoons jelly
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Options:

  • Try a teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Add some grated cheese
  • Chopped cilantro or mint or oregano or…..

 Maple vinaigrette dressing (Cooks.com)

  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz malt vinegar
  • 2 oz rice vinegar
  • 1 clove fresh chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 9 oz olive oil
  • 4 oz maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cilantro

How:

Add garlic and vinegars together and let sit overnight to infuse flavors. Strain. (Garlic pieces may be left in for stronger garlic taste.)

Blend oil, vinegars and mustard until mixture is well emulsified. Stir in maple syrup. Add cilantro, pepper and oregano (to taste). Stir and shake well prior to serving.

May substitute vinegar favorites, berry syrups for maple and substitute or add favorite spices to taste. Oil/vinegar ratio may also be adjusted to taste.

 Basil Vinaigrette (simplyrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 shallot, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup olive oil

How:

1 Place the salt, sugar, mustard, shallot and basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula. Add the vinegar and pulse again.

2 Turn the blender on low and take off the cap in the center of the blender’s lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold you hand over it to minimize splashing.

3 When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.

Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.

Oils|Vinegars Subcategory images

White and Dark balsamic Vinegar

I was told at the class that the difference is the dark is cooked but here is another opinion that backs that up …to say it’s just the color is a little too simple…balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and are fermented over decades…they take some out after a year and cook it under pressure to maintain its clearness, and that is the white balsamic….the other as I said is left to ferment for years and that’s the dark. Me again..I should add that now a days the grocery stores have a way to speed up the process

I believe with the good stuff that each year stated the vinegar is processed in another barrel.

balsamic_battery

About Balsamic Vinegar here is an interesting article

Because balsamic vinegar is one of olive oil’s natural companions, we thought it might be useful to discuss in some detail this complex product, especially since prices can fluctuate even more wildly than olive oil (between a $3.00 pint and a $50.00 ounce).

The highest art of vinegar (aceto in Italian) making in Italy is known as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (ABT).  Sadly, the reputation of this exceptional product has been bastardized by low-grade products bearing the same name and which only ever so faintly resemble the real thing.  There are, however, two bits of good news.  First, it is quite simple to recognize a ‘real’ ABT.  It will be always be sold in one of two distinct bottle types (the difference being that of the two competing DOC’s, Modena and Reggio Emilia, both strictly controlled by respective ‘Consorzios’1). Second, you do not always need the best balsamico for every dish and, in fact, that might be ill-advised even if you could afford it. Read more

Poached-Chicken Salad Roll Up with Creamy Vinaigrette

Poached-Chicken Salad Roll Up with Creamy Vinaigrette

Adapted from a recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Had to use what I had on hand.

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Two 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 Tbsp. lemon juice or the left over lemon from juicing

 

  • Whole wheat roll up (low carb)

Salad

  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds or more
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon juice or juice of one lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. Trader Joe’s Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks–trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
  • 3 scallions, white and light green part only, thinly sliced

How:

Poach the chicken: Set the chicken on a plate and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the shallot is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaves and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, then pour in the chicken broth and water.

If using whole lemon, juice the lemon and set the lemon juice aside for the vinaigrette. Add the juiced lemon halves or 1.5 Tablespoons juice to the saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer, then add the chicken breasts and reduce the heat to low. Gently cook the chicken in the broth until it registers 160° on an instant-read thermometer, about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the chicken in the broth for 10 minutes, then remove the chicken breasts from the broth and set on a paper-towel-lined plate to cool for 10 minutes. When the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred them into shards. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, tarragon and salt together. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until all of the olive oil is added and the vinaigrette is thick and creamy. Add the pulled chicken to the bowl along with the sunflower seeds, celery and scallions. Gently toss to coat and serve on roll up, buns or wrapped in lettuce leaves.