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. 

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

Brussels Sprout Salad with Caramelized Onions

Over Memorial Weekend we went to D.C. to go visit Tara (of Tara’s Multicultural Table) and her family. There will be more on that trip tomorrow, so stay tuned! On Sunday, we went to a Farmer’s Market. We were so happy to have decided to drive so we could actually buy produce to take home with us the next day!

Dale City Farmer's Market

We took home two cartons of big, beautiful Brussels sprouts, a bunch of red beets, cinnamon peanut butter from Sprelly, sweet potato pasta from Gypsy Hill, and some local honey.

I’ve used the peanut butter in a popcorn recipe that you’ll see in July. I’ve used one beet to make some sweet potato beet baby food and another for a beet potato salad, I’m not sure yet when I’ll share that latter recipe with you. The honey is about to be opened (I just emptied what we had already) and I’m still deciding what to do to highlight the fresh pasta. The Brussels sprouts are showcased in today’s recipe.

I had planned on making this Brussels sprout salad a few days after we got back from our trip but a night of feeling ill postponed the dinner plans for when our family was here for the little man’s baptism. With 5 extra people who also enjoy Brussels sprouts I had to expand my supply with a bag from the grocery store. Separating the leaves of the sprouts to create the “lettuce” for the salad is tedious work, the large Brussels sprouts from the Farmer’s Market were very much appreciated! As was the help I recruited from the moms.

This salad does take some time to make, but it can easily be done in stages. And it is absolutely worth it! We’ve never had Brussels sprouts raw before and tossed in a salad with warm caramelized onions and tart dried cherries is a fresh way to enjoy this vegetable in the spring and summer.

This salad makes 8 servings. I paired it with grilled pork chops and mashed potatoes.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 C plus 4 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 4 Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 4 tsp brown sugar, divided use
  • 2 lb Brussels sprouts, leaves removed
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard

Steps:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat melt butter and 4 tbsp olive oil. Add sliced onions and caramelize for 1 hr. In last few minutes stir in 2 tsp brown sugar and a little bit of salt. (You could also do this in the slow cooker.) Set aside.
  2. Make dressing: Whisk together vinegar, 2 tsp brown sugar, agave, mustard, and 2/3 C olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Place Brussels sprout leaves in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave about 1 minute. Note: This will not cook the sprouts but will warm them slightly. 
  4. Toss warmed Brussels sprouts with dried cherries, caramelized onions, and dressing.

*This recipe is modified from Susan at http://thewimpyvegetarian.com/2014/11/warm-brussels-sprouts-salad-with-caramelized-onions/*

Brussels Sprout Salad | Sew You Think You Can Cook

A Fiesta Potluck

I know it’s a little “late” to be sharing a slew of Mexican recipes but rarely does anyone ever eat Mexican food ONLY on Cinco de Mayo! Besides, it’s Mexican Monday!

On May 5th my friends and I had a Cinco de Mayo potluck. As can be expected, our fiesta theme brought everyone out of the wood-works and we had a great turnout and more importantly amazing food!

The day before the party my friend came over to help me make these Papel Picado Banners to put on the bar below the food. I think it really added some holiday flair to the place. And it was fun to be crafting something. Thankfully both of our babies napped at the same time and we were able to tackle this project quickly.

Fiesta Potluck

Here are most of the recipes from the night:

IMG_4821I brought my baby baked beef burritos to the party, which ended up being a perfect potluck food. I doubled the recipe, accidentally quadrupling the amount of black beans, to yield 33 burritos. (I left 3 of them for Stuart) I was able to make the beef mixture while the little man was taking a nap and while he was playing happily at my feet with the tupperware cabinet I rolled up the burritos. I then baked them in two batches (because my oven is small) right before leaving the house. I put foil between each layer of burritos to keep them warm. (I felt like a caterer!) IMG_4822Stuart had to stay at work late that night so I brought my son to the party until he could be picked up. I let him try all of the food off my plate and he ended up eating the filling of three burritos! (I took 8 of them home with me when the party was over and we both enjoyed them for lunch the next day, too.)

Next month we’ll celebrate summer with a BBQ themed potluck!