Roasted and Pickled Beets

beetsCook’s notes: the beets are so good this way, but the dressing — oh my! Delicious.

3 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat beets lightly with olive oil.
  3. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and dice.
  5. Drizzle with the balsamic-maple dressing.

Dressing:
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Adapted from Roasted and Pickled Beets Recipe – Allrecipes.com and a beet recipe by Bobby Flay

Apple Harvest Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing

Maple Salad DressingCook’s notes: I made this salad recently for a Grilled Cheese Housewarming Party. The hosts asked everyone to bring a kind of grilled cheese sandwich or a compatible dish. It’s a pretty salad … and it goes well with grilled cheese. The recipe is easily cut in half.

Salad
6 cups mixed green lettuce
6 cups butter lettuce
1 Braeburn apple, cored and diced
1 Granny smith apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Maple-Balsamic Dressing
1 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-sealing lid. Close the lid firmly and shake vigorously to combine.

 

Pear & Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dressing

pearchickpeasaladlemon dressing: whisk together

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried scallion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

salad:

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 ripe pear, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon dressing (above)

Tip from Love and Lemons: In a small bowl, toss the chickpeas with a bit of the dressing and some salt and pepper. Marinating the chickpeas for a few minutes helps them become more flavorful.

Toss all of the salad ingredients together with as much dressing as you like. Season to taste. Add a bit more feta cheese, if you like.

Adapted from Pear & Arugula Chickpea Salad Recipe – Love and Lemons

Simple Corn and Black Bean Salad

Cook’s notes: This is a riff on an older recipe, the Best Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salad. We needed a smaller amount of the corn salad to use as a topping on turkey taco salad.

Dressing:
2.6 oz. olive oil
2 oz. lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried cilantro

Corn Salad:
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounce can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
Mixed salad greens

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil to black pepper). Stir in the corn and black beans. Serve on a bed of mixed greens.

Lighter Sriracha Dipping Sauce

RenderedContent-3A43D374-E43E-4E0C-82AD-1320216AE2A9Cook’s notes: Thank you, Paula Jones, for a lovely sauce recipe! via Lighter Sriracha Dipping Sauce » Call Me PMc. She recommends serving it on turkey burgers or with fries or baked cauliflower or on a salad. It would also go well with raw or roasted veggies. I served it with brown rice and sauteed chicken thigh strips.

  • 4 Tablespoons “Just Mayo” light mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons plain fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
 Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in refrigerator up to one week.

7-layer Greek Dip

IMG_0867Cook’s notes: Loaded with veggies and wonderful for parties. Serve with raw vegetables and pita chips for dipping.

Layer the following in an 8×8-inch dish:

  • 2 cups hummus
  • 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, mixed with 1 teaspoon dried shallots and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Diced cucumber, about 1 cup (we spiralized 1 English cucumber and cut the spirals into bite-size pieces)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
  • Sprinkling of dried herbs

 

 

Vinaigrette Matrix

IMG_0864Cook’s notes: I am fairly obsessed with making my own salad dressing and often browse recipes and instructions on this topic. The Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing post has several notes about ratios and emulsifying. I recently found a terrific recipe for a sweeter apple cider vinaigrette, which is perfect on a salad with mixed greens, carrots, and sliced apples. And I still love the Best recipe: Small Batch Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette with rosemary.

I’ve pulled the recipes for these three dressings, the ones I rely on the most, into the matrix below. Read the linked posts for more details.

First, pick which type of vinegar you want to use, and then follow the grid:

Apple Cider Balsamic Red Wine Amount
Oil 2.5 2 3 Tablespoons
Vinegar 2 1 1 Tablespoons
Lemon juice 1 None None Tablespoons
Honey 1.5 None 1/2 teaspoons
Mustard 1.5 1 1 teaspoons
Garlic powder 1/2 1 1/4 teaspoons
Salt 1/8 1/8 1/8 teaspoons
Pepper 1/4 1/8 1/4 teaspoons
Dried herbs None 3/8 1/4 teaspoons

Spiralized Cucumber Salad

IMG_0865Cook’s notes: This refreshing salad is good for hot summer days. We brought the components to a dinner party so guests could choose if they wanted olives or cheese in their salads.

Top butter lettuce leaves with:

  • Spiralized English cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Black olive slices
  • Crumbled feta cheese

Dressing: Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing (make a double recipe)

Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing

IMG_0864Makes about 2.5 oz (5.2 Tablespoons; about 3 servings). Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.

Favorite Italian Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week. Stir again before serving if needed.

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3-2-1 Salad

IMG_0743Cook’s notes: This recipe is loosely inspired by the “Build your own salad” at Bruegger’s Bagels. Their menu says “choose 3 veggies, 1 meat [protein], 1 cheese & 1 topping, tossed with field greens & the dressing of your choice.” I have simplified this to the following formula:

  • 3 vegetables
  • 2 cups (60 g) mixed greens and lettuce
  • 1 protein: 3 oz. lean chicken or 3 oz. drained tuna or 1/2 cup canned beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 topping/extra: a sprinkle of cheese (up to 1 oz.); 3 to 6 olives; 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds, nuts, or dried cranberries; or croutons if you like them
  • Dressing of your choice, up to 2 Tablespoons

Shown here:

  • 3 vegetables: Shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 protein: 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 topping: 1 Tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Buttermilk ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt (recipe from Ellie Krieger)