SRC: Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. For a little “behind the scenes” information, The Secret Recipe Club (SRC) is divided into three groups. Each group posts on a different Monday of the month. I am in Group C and always post on the 3rd Monday of the month. Which meant that during those special months with five Mondays there’d be two weeks without any fun reveal day! So now, on the 5th Monday of the month there is a themed reveal and it’s a “free for all,” which means that there aren’t any group restrictions. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other bloggers in the club.

The end of May unofficially marks the beginning of barbecue season and so today, the Secret Recipe Club is sharing recipes that would be perfect for your upcoming summer picnics and barbecues.

I was assigned the blog An Affair from the Heart written by Michaela. Michaela and I sound like we could be great friends! She describes herself as a “party thrower, gift giver, wish I were craftier, liver & lover of life” kind of gal. It’s that “wish I were craftier” bit that made me smile as I can relate completely. She is a stay-at-home mom to four children and has been married for 25 years this year!

I searched for great side dishes to accompany any summer picnic barbecue or family reunion. I always love a good pasta salad to eat alongside my grilled burger or dog and her Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is definitely on my radar. Any family reunion isn’t complete without my Aunt’s 7 Layer Dip and Michaela’s Not Your Average Mexican Layered Bean Dip looks like it could compete (because it’s avocado free, an allergy I developed while pregnant with Firecracker that I won’t try again until I’m done breastfeeding Treat). Ultimately I went with a fruit salad, after being distracted by a Shirley Temple Float, because how could I not be?!

I altered her recipe to use fruits that were available to me and that met my family’s taste preferences. That’s the beauty of fruit salad – make it however you want! Because of my overall volume of fruit, I only ended up using one carton of yogurt instead of two. I didn’t adjust the honey accordingly and my local variety of Eucalyptus honey was quite over powering. I would of course make this fruit salad again (and use a sweeter honey). My husband loved having it as his mid morning snack in his lunches all week. Truth be told, this fruit salad was part of the very first meal we cooked in our new home!

P.S. I know I said in my SRC Reveal Post two weeks ago that I was supposed to get internet that day, well, it didn’t happen and now today’s the day! Theoretically. I’m not holding my breath on it though, that’s for sure. So, once again, I’m sorry to my fellow club members, but I promise I’ll be stopping by all your picnic worthy posts soon!

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 C grapes, halved (I used red)
  • 2 C cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 ½ C chopped strawberries
  • 2 tangerines, segmented
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
  • 1 container (6 oz) lemon yogurt
  • ¼ C honey
  • Juice ½ large lemon

Steps:

*This recipe is adapted from Michaela at http://www.anaffairfromtheheart.com/2015/08/honey-lemon-fruit-salad/*

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the themed Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Greek Salad

Do you experience a big gravitational pull towards salads that happens every January?

Eating salads as a main meal isn’t something we do as often as we probably should. And when we do it comes in waves. Maybe we’ll make it a whole month having a salad night once a week and then all of a sudden you’d be hard pressed to find lettuce in the fridge.

This Greek Salad is one that we made in the beginning of the year. There were a good deal of moving parts but it still came together quickly and easily. While homemade pita chips are baking in the oven, the rest of the dish can come together. And don’t forget to let your meat rest before slicing it, allowing you the perfect amount of time to pull together the dressing.

Greek Salad (assembly)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

To use up the leftovers, I stuffed everything inside a pita pocket as a perfect lunch.

Greek Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb sirloin steak
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing pita
  • 4 pitas
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried oregano
  • 1 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • juice of 2 lemons, divided use
  • 2 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 6 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 C loosely packed fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Rub 1 tbsp olive oil over the steak and season both sides with S+P. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side, or until desired temperature is reached. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes. Thinly slice.
  3. Tear pitas and place on a baking sheet, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt, oregano, and pepper flakes. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until crispy but not burnt.
  4. Put the yogurt, Feta, garlic, cumin, and juice of 1 lemon in a food processor. Process until smooth and a pour-able consistency is reached. Add a little water if needed.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the juice of 1 lemon and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  6. Assemble the salad: Top lettuce with pita, veggies, dressing and parsley, and meat.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook*

Greek Salad  Sew You Think You Can Cook

#EVOOChallenge: Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette

It’s day 2 of the #EVOOChallenge. This challenge, in which we make foods with the only cooking fat being olive oil, was issued by Spartan Olive Oil. The goal is to highlight the benefits of using olive oil over its less healthy counterparts, I’m looking at you butter and vegetable oil. Search the hashtag on social media to see more great recipes!

While both olive oil and vegetable oil have 120 Calories and 14 grams of fat per tbsp, olive oil has 10 grams of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) whereas vegetable oil has only 3 grams of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is actually good for your health; it reduces bad cholesterol and provides vitamin E. (Source: American Heart Association)

This unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil is made from the olives of 700 year old trees in Sparta, Greece. The flavorful oil has a rich golden color and smooth texture. I wanted to highlight the nutty, fruity flavor of the oil in my recipes this week.

Shallot Confit for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can CookOne of the cookbooks I got for Christmas is The Chef Next Door by Amanda Freitag. While flipping through it for the first time we came across a recipe for Shallot Confit. I knew I just had to try it for this challenge! The recipe calls for a mix of olive and canola oils, but as that would go against the rules I omitted the canola oil. I was a little nervous about omitting the canola oil and didn’t think substituting was the right way to go either. I opted with using fewer shallots than called for. And it worked.

These shallots would be incredible as a pizza topping, would add a little something extra to a sandwich, and could even work well in an onion dip. I decided to add them to salad. And as a bonus I used some of the oil in a vinaigrette!

The shallots will keep up to two weeks in the oil.

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole shallots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 C + 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • mixed baby greens (I used spinach, swiss chard, and arugula)
  • crumbled Feta cheese
  • cooked, crumbled bacon
  • pear, sliced

Steps:

  1. Make shallot confit: Place shallots in a small saucepan with 1 C oil to cover. Add the thyme, peppercorns, and S+P. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to low and cook 25 minutes until shallots are easily pierced. Allow shallots to cool. Store in fridge, covered.
  2. Roast chickpeas: Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy. Toss roasted chickpeas in 1 tbsp oil. Add the garlic powder and a little salt to taste.
  3. Make dressing: Put 3 oz of the shallot confit oil in a jar with the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and S+P. Shake until combined.
  4. Assemble salad: Top greens with Feta, bacon, pears, chopped shallot confit, and roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

*The shallot recipe is adapted from The Chef Next Door*

*The chickpea recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*

Winter Salad with Shallot Balsamic Vinaigrette for the #EVOOChallenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer 1: By participating in this 5 day challenge I received a bottle and pouch of Spartan Olive Oil. 

Disclaimer 2: This post contains affiliate links. 

SRC: Garlic Parmesan Sauce & Caesar Dressing

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

With the new year I have switched groups and will now be posting with Group C on the 3rd Monday of the month instead of the 4th. (I did this so I can continue participating with #MuffinMonday!)

My first assigned blog in Group C is Kirstin of Loving Life! Kirstin and I have quite a lot in common: having both lived in FL and OH; her father was in the military and my husband is currently serving; and browsing the internet and window shopping are skills we both share, too.

I enjoyed searching through Kirstin’s blog and ended up making not one, but two of her recipes! I was this close (imagine me holding up my thumb and pointer finger really close together) to finally braving a cauliflower pizza crust but then I saw her Copy Cat recipe for Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Sauce. I had just tried B-Dub’s Caesar Salad which is topped with garlic Parmesan coated chicken and couldn’t stop dreaming about it. (Until I can go back to my Spicy Garlic wings post breastfeeding this Caesar salad will be my new B-Dub staple.) Conveniently Kirstin also had a Caesar dressing in her recipe index, too.

Instead of wings, I used chicken thighs to top our salads because that’s what I had in my freezer. I will definitely be making this dish again. The wing sauce was an exact match to the one you get at the restaurant. I know because the following week I found myself back at BWW ordering that salad. I might have a problem… Thank you Kirstin for fueling this new addiction.

Copy Cat: BWW Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, fold up and place on a baking sheet. Roast garlic 25 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Mash the cooled garlic and add to the sauce. Refrigerate.
  4. To use: toss cooked wings in sauce or baste roasted chicken in the last 10 minutes of cook time.

*This recipe is adapted from Kirstin at http://troyerslovinglife.blogspot.com/2015/02/mock-buffalo-wild-wings-wing-night.html*

Caesar Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, and pepper. Add the mayo and whisk until combined. Add the olive oil while continuously whisking until smooth. Stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt.
  2. Keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

*This recipe is adapted from Kirstin at http://troyerslovinglife.blogspot.com/2009/01/recipes-top-ramen-salad-yummy-quiche.html*

bww salad

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Tomato and Bean Salad

Late spring and summer this year have been fairly wet. All of the rain yielded quite the tomato crop over in my neighbor’s yard. Which means just about every week I’m being given fresh homegrown tomatoes! (Black cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and roma tomatoes) I’ve even been handed two quarts of homemade tomato sauce.

This pregnancy I’ve found that I adore tomatoes. BLTs have been shamelessly scarfed down for lunch at least once a week, and those cherry tomatoes turned into my favorite salad (tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, S+P).

I took a play on that aforementioned salad and added beans and basil to make a heartier potluck contribution at a church function.

Tomato and Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 very large heirloom tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried basil)
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced red onion
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, gently toss together beans, tomatoes, basil, and onion.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars, oil, agave, and garlic. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Dress salad and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve (at least 30 minutes).

*This recipe is adapted from Rebekah at http://rebekahrose.blogspot.ca/2015/07/bloggerclue-white-bean-tomato-and-basil.html*

tomato bean salad | sew you think you can cook

#SundaySupper: Asian Cuisine

Last week my mom was in town to help out with the little man so I could have a less stressful doctor’s appointment during which I had the absolute pleasure of drinking a 10 oz bottle full of sugar for my glucose test. (I passed! Which is good, because there has been a lot of baking happening in my kitchen this month.)

I know my mom likes to keep a lighter diet than I typically cook so it’s always welcome to have my hand forced into healthier options. We had the chipotle lime shrimp and strawberry salsa for Mexican Monday and this CPK remake for a salad night, which we topped with rotisserie chicken (not pictured).

For those who might not know, CPK = California Pizza Kitchen. One of my favorite restaurants that I must return to when I go home to visit. While I am keen to have their spinach and artichoke dip as my entree I have to share the appetizer with the rest of the table, so I order a half size of one of their {quite large} amazing salads. Their Thai Crunch is one of my favorites so I was very happy to have found this Copy Cat recipe. Now all I need is to figure out their recipe for “spin dip!”

This Copy Cat salad fits in beautifully with today’s Sunday Supper theme of Asian Cuisine. (Although, I’m sure it’s far from authentic Thai.) For an impressive variety of Asian eats scroll past my recipe. A big thank you to Amy of kimchi MOM for hosting today’s cultural menu.

Copy Cat: CPK’s Thai Salad

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 romaine heart, thinly sliced
  • approximately 2 C shredded red cabbage
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 C frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 scallions, sliced
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • other optional salad mix-ins: avocado, peanuts, cucumber, cooked chicken

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp dried ginger (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried ginger)
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water

Steps:

  1. Toss all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Put peanut butter, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, syrup, and ginger in a blender. Blend until combined. Add in the oil and blend until combined. Add 3 tbsp water and blend until combined. Add the last tbsp water if a thinner consistency is desired.
  3. Divide salad onto serving plates and individually dress each salad as desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2015/06/thai-crunch-salad/*

Copy Cat CPK Asian Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Small Bites

Soupy Goodness

Big Plates

On the Lighter Side

Cheers!

Oodles of Noodles

8387592742_f6164fd5a8_oJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this yet – but I have really loved spring and summer here in Ohio. (Despite Monday’s post complaining about the rain.) The weather barely gets above 90 degrees and the sun doesn’t set until 9! This extra sunlight has really taken a lot of pressure off me when it comes to preparing meals for the blog. And no snow on the ground means I can take my photos outside again!

IMG_3575This particular salad I made at the end of May when my little man was almost 11 months old. At this point he was an expert crawler and good at pulling himself up. His mobility skills allow me to bring him outside with me while I photograph food, which means I’m not putting it on the floor by the window and playing defense. It also means I don’t have to wait until nap time or for my husband to come home first!

I followed Renee’s suggestion and served this vinaigrette over a spinach salad with apples, shallots, and feta cheese.

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2/3 C extra virgin olive oil

Steps:

  1. Place orange juice, honey, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and garlic in a small blender. Pulse until combined.
  2. While the blender is running slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Separation is normal, shake before using.

*This recipe is adapted from Renee at http://magnoliadays.com/2015/spinach-salad-honey-tangerine-dressing*

Honey Orange Vinaigrette | Sew You Think You Can Cook