Cook’s notes: the beets are so good this way, but the dressing — oh my! Delicious.
3 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Coat beets lightly with olive oil.
- Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and dice.
- Drizzle with the balsamic-maple 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
Cook’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.
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
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.
Cook’s notes: This recipe is based on author Pam Anderson’s Formula for Bean and Grain Salads. Ms. Anderson is one of my favorite cookbook authors. Her formula helped me make just the right dish for a supper potluck right after work. I made the pasta dish the night before, which let the flavors blend nicely. You can also use 1/3 cup your favorite vinaigrette instead of making the lemon dressing.
Yield: Makes about 7.5 cups; enough to feed a crowd
2 cups cooked pearl couscous
15 oz. can [2 cups] chickpeas, drained
2 cans tuna, drained (net 8 oz.) and flaked
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
1.5 cups roasted corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 Tablespoons dried Italian herb blend
Dressing: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 4 teaspoons lemon juice.
Prepare couscous according to package directions; make the dressing while the grains cook. Place couscous in a large bowl with remaining ingredients (chickpeas to herb blend) and stir gently to combine.
Drizzle salad with dressing and toss to coat.
Cook’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.
Cook’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)
Makes 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.
Dinner party size
Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.
- 6 oz extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 oz red wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
An amazing flavor combination, but not too spicy
Cook’s notes: This recipe is adapted from Alaska from Scratch, and it’s just terrific. The turkey mixture is enough for 6 servings. Leftovers are great for lunch. Note that the raw garlic in the dressing gets more pungent overnight. This salad has an excellent combination of flavors and textures, and the recipe is quite flexible.
Make the turkey mixture and the dressing, then assemble salads. You can also top them with a spoonful of guacamole.
1 lb. (16 oz.) package ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Arizona Dreaming chili spice blend (from Penzeys)
1 can (14.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.25 oz.) organic corn kernels, drained
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the turkey with salt and taco seasoning and brown the meat, breaking it up with a spatula as you go. When cooked through, add the black beans and corn, heating through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or taco seasoning, as needed, to taste.
Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice [half a lime]
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Assemble the salads (per person):
- 3 oz. mixed greens
- 1 oz. slightly crushed tortilla chips
- 1 cup turkey, bean, and corn mixture
- 1/2 tomato, diced
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 1/2 scallion, chopped
- Cilantro Ranch dressing to taste
- Salsa, if desired
Black Bean Brownies
Honey Mustard Dressing
Black Bean Brownies without Flour (link): One of my coworkers started a Vegan Lunch Club, where we bring dishes to share. It’s been a fun way to try out new vegan recipes. At our first potluck, no one brought dessert, but we talked about black bean brownies. This recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie is great: vegan, gluten-free, and very fudgy.
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing with Greek Yogurt (link): This dressing is awesome on roasted beets or with raw baby carrots. It’s also good on salad. Reduced the honey in the recipe to 2 Tablespoons, and it’s still plenty sweet.
Rosemary-Garlic Chicken in the Slow Cooker (link): A wonderful way to cook boneless skinless chicken breasts so they aren’t dried out. The rosemary and garlic blend to make a delicious gravy.