Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I love a good broccoli salad and I am not afraid of mayo.

But I know many people who aren’t as in love with the condiment as I am. And that’s okay.

I settled on bringing broccoli salad to Easter dinner as my contribution. I was going to use my go-to recipe, which involves pasta, but then I found a non-mayo recipe on Pinterest. Those stalkers knew just what I would like!

My favorite thing about this broccoli salad is that there’s lots of fruit involved – apples, blueberries, and cranberries! The poppy seed dressing is sweet and tangy and a perfect compliment to both veggie and fruit. It gets bonus points for sunflower seeds.

I’m sharing the recipe today with some other Festive Foodie bloggers in honor of National Picnic Day, which is today April 23rd. I think this salad would be great for any picnic or potluck!

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large apple, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli, apple, blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and red onion with 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, remaining lemon juice, poppy seeds, and vinegar.
  3. Pour dressing over salad to taste (I had a little dressing leftover) and serve.

*This recipe is adapted from Kristine at https://kristineskitchenblog.com/no-mayo-broccoli-salad-blueberries-apple/ *

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing for National Picnic Day from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great picnic worthy recipes:

Asian Slaw by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bánh Mì + A Wine Suggestion by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Broccoli Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicken BLT Shaker Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Deviled Eggs with Horseradish and Dill by Palatable Pastime

Florida Stone Crab Claws with Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce by Family Around the Table

Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad by Books n’ Cooks

Marinated Three Bean Salad by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Roasted Corn Salad with Chile Vinaigrette by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Southern Crispy Oven Fried Chicken by Everyday Eileen

 Thank you, Ellen of Family Around the Table, for hosting this National Picnic Day event.

#EasterWeek: Whipped Ricotta Salad

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Wait a minute.

Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Am I allowed to admit I feel like I haven’t reached a level of organization for 2018 yet?

And we’re talking Easter!?

Well, since we’re talking about it, might as well cook about it!

This year’s #EasterWeek, hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, convenes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and providing you plenty of time to come up with your perfect Easter menu. (Easter is April 1st – that’s 13 days from now!)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

To start your menu, I propose a light and bright, spring-timey salad.

This salad comes from the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count … Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis and is featured in her Las Vegas restaurant.

I quite like ricotta cheese, but when I have leftovers I never know what to do with it besides make some lasagna, ravioli, or pasta sauce. I have done muffins before, which is quite delicious.

With an almost full container of ricotta in my refrigerator, I selected one of Giada’s cookbooks hoping she’d know what to do.

Guess what.

She does!

This salad is both refreshing and satisfying.

The basil vinaigrette paired with the fresh tomatoes and the creamy ricotta reminded me of a caprese salad.

Whipped Ricotta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 1 C whole milk ricotta cheese, chilled
  • 3 C baby greens salad mix (I used a blend of kale and spinach)
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

Steps:

  1. Make dressing: Place basil, toasted pine nuts, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and blend. Add in 3 tbsp of the olive oil until the dressing comes together. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the ricotta with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, gently toss the salad green, peas, and tomatoes with the dressing.
  4. Plate: Spoon whipped ricotta onto a plate and top with the salad. Serves 4-6 people.

Whipped Ricotta Salad for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great Easter recipes:

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Bunny Cinnamon Rolls by Family Around the Table

Bunny Mary by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Carrot Roll Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Chocolate Dipped Robin’s Egg Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Crunchy Easter Bird Nest Granola Bites by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Deviled eggs with creme Fraiche and herbs by Simple and Savory

Easter M&M Blondies by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Easter Mini Chocolate Rum Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes

Egg Benedict Quiche by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Orange Ricotta Pancakes by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Puff Pastry Eggs with Ham and Cheese by All that’s Jas

Sausage and Spinach Pie by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Tsoureki – Greek Easter Bread by Caroline’s Cooking

Whipped Ricotta Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook

#SundaySupper: Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

When my mom was here in April, I asked her if there was anything in particular she wanted for dinners during her visit.

Her answer, not surprisingly, was “something light!”

My brother and his wife recently bought a house in my parents’ neighborhood and are doing some remodeling. While the construction is taking place, they’re living with my parents.

My dad travels a lot for his job so my mom doesn’t tend to cook much when he’s gone. Simple salads, high protein snacks, and lots of fruits and veggies are usually enough.

My brother and sister-in-law do cook, and enjoy doing so. (From what I hear I’m going to be insanely jealous of the kitchen they’ll have once their first home is complete.) The food they cook is delicious, too! But the diet change had her craving “something light.”

“Something light” isn’t usually in my wheel house, so I took to Pinterest hoping to find something in my long list of saved pins to satisfy. I sent Mom a link for a Superfoods Salad and was met with a resounding “yes, please!”

If you’re feeling the tug to healthier eating as the summer draws near, be sure to scroll past my recipe for some more great dinner salad options from the Sunday Supper crew.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

This salad was so fantastic, that I made it again the following week when my in-laws were visiting! Even my “meat and potatoes” father-in-law enjoyed the salad.

I know I’ll be making the salad again. It’s satisfying and filling without leaving you feeling weighed down. As a salad with a bunch of ingredients, it’s easy to assemble. Particularly if you have some leftover quinoa in the fridge already! Because kale is a hearty green, the salad will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to a week.

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)When my in-laws were here we cooked up some chicken and had pita bread, too. I forgot the Greek yogurt/sour cream in the dressing the second time around and it works just beautifully. Literally. While I preferred the touch of creaminess to the dressing it’s not necessary, and does make for a more photogenic salad.

The recipe below feeds 2-3 people. (I tripled it to serve a party of 5, which was an over estimation.)

Kale Superfoods Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C frozen edamame, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and torn
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Toss kale, quinoa, edamame, fruits, cheese, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and Greek yogurt/sour cream in a small bowl. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Pour dressing over the salad and carefully toss to evenly coat.

*This recipe is adapted from Averie at https://www.averiecooks.com/2016/06/twelve-superfoods-salad.html*

Kale Superfoods Salad for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook (3)

Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

Brilliant Beef Salads

Choice Chicken Salads

Superb Seafood Salads

Vibrant Veggie Salads

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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

#SundaySupper: Healthy Green Recipes for Saint Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and the Sunday Supper crew has over 35 healthy recipes from breakfast to dessert to make you feel less guilty about all of that Guinness and Bailey’s you’re likely to indulge in over the weekend. Thanks Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting this event.

I tried something completely new to share today and am happy to say that my “bravery” paid off with a side dish that we’d be (and have been) happy to repeat.

Grilled and wilted greens isn’t exactly a new phenomenon but it’s one that’s always kinda made me cringe. Lettuce is supposed to be crisp and refreshing. How can grilling it be a good idea and why is it so popular?

As for cabbage – that’s a green that can be served warm and often is, but I’ve never really cared for it hot. That’s the only reason I didn’t like my mom’s cabbage rolls growing up (though I should revisit them now that I’m a food blogging adult).

Yet here I am, sharing a recipe for grilled cabbage. And it’s fantastic! It’s warmed through, charred to a level of near sweetness, and maintains texture. Topped with a fresh dressing makes it nearly addicting. This side dish is quite easy to do in 10 minutes and can be done indoors on a grill pan. But if you’re out grilling already, just throw that cabbage on the grill while you’re at it!

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Grilled Cabbage with Spicy Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • canola oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 C lime juice
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • lime wedges

Steps:

  1. Clean the outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut into 8 wedges, leaving the core intact for easy handling.
  2. Brush wedges with oil.
  3. Grill cabbage 4-5 minutes on each side, until charred and warmed through.
  4. Make the dressing: Combine lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, salt, cayenne, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Spoon dressing over the grilled and serve with lime wedges.

*This recipe is adapted from Faith at http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-grilled-cabbage-wedges-with-spicy-lime-dressing-157671*

Grilled Cabbage with Spicy Lime Dressing for #SundaySupper from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Best Breakfasts

Must Make Main Dishes

Scrumptious Salads

Stunning Sides

Dreamy Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

Now that we’ve closed the door on Halloween, it’s comfort food season.

You totally thought I was going to make some joke regarding Christmas.

Nope!

There won’t be a hint of Christmas (well, except for getting a start on my Christmas gift shopping) happening in my house until after Thanksgiving! That’s right people, there’s another holiday (at least in the US) before putting up that tree. (You hear me, Mom?!)

Sorry for that little rant there….

Back to salad.

Salad? What?

Yes. Salad.

Even amid the sea of hearty baked casseroles, you still need to eat something a bright and fresh and a salad with hints of fall is the perfect way to break up your weekly menu.

I served this walnut dressing over a salad of Brussels sprouts, spinach, and romaine lettuce. The “mix-ins” included walnuts, bacon, and apple. Dried cranberries or cooked chicken would work great, too!

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 C walnuts
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients except oils into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. With the blender running, pour in the oils. Add a little water, if needed.

*This recipe is adapted from Monica at http://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/38*

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

SRC: Nectarine Caprese Salad

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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.

Tara introduced me to The Secret Recipe Club and ever since I was accepted into this fun blogging group I’ve been waiting for this day to come. The day I’d be assigned her blog, Tara’s Multicultural Table. (Tara was assigned my blog August 2014) When I saw my assignment pop in my email, I was on a walk with my mom and I literally yelled, “Yes!” and threw my arms up in the air. (You can go ahead and ask her! If you know her, that is.)

I have a dedicated Pinterest board to Tara’s blog so there wasn’t any stealthy searching for me to do this month. I’ve even commented on just about every post on her page in support of her incredible blogging career that’s blossomed over the past few years. Tara’s blog is quite different from mine and her dedication to her passion for international cuisine leaves me in awe. I don’t know how she keeps up with it! She is also the mother to two. Her kids love to join her in the kitchen and you can see fabulous photos of family bonding interspersed among stunning food photography.

Tara and I have known each other for 7-8 years, now. Our husbands were in the same ROTC class at Auburn and we were stationed in the FL panhandle together for 4 years. After that we parted ways and are hoping to be stationed together again soon!

Memorial Day 2015 we were able to reunite after almost a year apart at their home in the DC area. I got the opportunity to cook with her once again and witness her photography station. As if the timing couldn’t be perfect, we’ll be joining forces again this weekend when she comes to visit, I can’t wait for her to meet Treat! She is Firecracker’s godmother and we are godparents to Claire. The friendship we created in Florida has only grown while we’ve been separated, talking in one form or another almost daily.

tara&lauren

Okay, enough mushiness. On to the food!

I have made multiple recipes from Tara’s blog already, most posted on Sew You Think You Can Cook. There are even two or three dishes on my camera waiting for the right time to share them with you. I didn’t use those for today’s reveal though.

I gave Stuart a list of 4 things to pick from Tara’s blog: Burnt Honey Ice CreamCarrot Cheddar Crackers, Nectarine Caprese, or Popcorn Tacos. It wasn’t until after handing him the notepad with the choices that I realized we got to try the ice cream first hand during our visit last year (we’re the friends mentioned for the tea she made in her review of the cookbook, too)! The popcorn tacos have been haunting my dreams ever since she posted them and you’ll be seeing them pop up here eventually (pun slightly intended). Same goes for the crackers, I’m always looking for ways to get more veggies in Firecracker’s diet.

Stuart decided on the caprese though, and I am glad he did. While it’s quite a simple option, it’s entirely delicious. Particularly when stone fruits are ripe and readily available in these summer months. I served this salad as a starter to salmon with roasted root veggies – quite the healthy night! I have decided, without question or fail, that I do not like yellow peaches. White peaches however are fantastic. I didn’t know if the same would be true for nectarines so I picked up both varieties. Turns out, I enjoy both varieties of nectarines but would recommend the yellow for this recipe. My knife cuts weren’t exactly restaurant worthy so I decided to layer my salad instead of stack it the way Tara had.

Nectarine Caprese Salad (1)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Nectarine Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 ripe nectarines, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • fresh basil, julienned

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce by about 1/2. Set aside.
  2. Layer mozzarella slices and nectarine slices. Season with salt. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh basil.

*This recipe is adapted from Tara at http://tarasmulticulturaltable.com/nectarine-caprese-with-honey-balsamic-reduction/*

Nectarine Caprese Salad for #SecretRecipeClub from Sew You Think You Can Cook

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

Three Bean Salad

You guys, I have a story to share.

And it has absolutely nothing to do with the side dish I’m sharing with you. A dish that’s perfect for potlucks and looks like summer.

Today was a rough day. Tempers were running both short and high. The day started 45 minutes too early (when you have two energetic little boys at home, that 45 minutes is precious!), the broken garage door (full story on that Sunday) was being uncooperative putting me in a bad mood I couldn’t snap out of, and naps were not taken. My 2 year old didn’t listen even a little bit at the playground, and I have a “three strikes you’re out” rule which cut our trip quite short.

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When we got home all he wanted to do was play in his Duck Pond Water Table patio. I told him he had to prove to me that he could listen. He was charged with going into his room, getting a book, and sitting still while I read to him. My kid came back with a Chick-fil-A kid’s meal board book – a 4 sentence novel! FullSizeRender (1)Seriously, is my child that smart or was it simply coincidental? After some time playing in the water the boys had their first shared bath. Firecracker asked for dinner, which he didn’t eat. Treat was fussy, so I assumed he was also hungry (he did eat). At 6:20pm both boys were asleep at the table. Thankfully my husband was on his way home and I didn’t have to figure out how I was going to wriggle us out of our position. (See photo. –>)

It’s now 9pm and the boys are still sleeping in their beds! I’m a little nervous for what that means my tomorrow will look like. But I’m grateful for the date my husband and I ended up getting. We cooked dinner together and ate it on the patio. We then shared the kitchen clean up, and watched non-cartoon television. Ah, the exciting life of parents of young children.

Firecracker ended up waking around 9:30. He needed to come upstairs for a cup of water and to watch his nighttime programming. He then snuggled in our bed for a little bit before asking to go lay down in his room. Treat stayed asleep until his typical midnight awakening, and 4, and both were up between 6-6:30.

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used a combination of orange and red)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used Gourmet Garden lightly dried parsley)
  • 1/4 C + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 3 tbsp agave

Steps: 

  1. Cook green beans in a pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes, or until desired tenderness is achieved. Drain and place the beans in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain.
  2. Toss green beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl.
  3. In a measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, oil, and agave. Season to taste with S+P. Dress bean salad with as much dressing as desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Marcie at http://flavorthemoments.com/fresh-and-easy-three-bean-salad/*

Three Bean Salad - Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.