Category Archives: Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

I can’t believe this recipe hasn’t been on Kitchen Sherpa yet. It was one of the first recipes Jeni posted on Serendipitous Reflections back on April 5, 2005, and it is still one of our favorites. One note, recently we’ve used Texas Pete instead of Louisiana Hot Sauce, but they’re both good. Enjoy!

Once again, Rachael Ray has come through with another quick and delicious meal. This recipe is quickly becoming a household favorite. When I make this, I don’t change a thing. At first I thought about using bottled blue cheese dressing that I had in the fridge, but thank goodness I didn’t because the blue cheese crumbles are wonderful. This recipe is pretty healthy in comparison to actual buffalo wings. No skin, no deep frying, very little butter, and lots of veggies. For hot sauce I use Louisiana Hot Sauce. It has good flavor and just enough heat to really enjoy having all the cool veggies and blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Salad
2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches
2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 package, 3/4 to 1 pound, chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.

Combine lettuce, carrots and celery in a salad bowl. Combine ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles in a small bowl.

Add oil and butter to hot pan with the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 or 3 minutes, then add hot sauce. Reduce heat a little and cook 5 minutes more.

Toss salad with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top salad with Buffalo chicken and serve.

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Denny’s Favorite – Waldorf Salad

Going way back in the archives again for a favorite from my first recipes on Serendipitous Reflections. Looking back, I’m amazed how our pictures have improved. (But the food’s still good).

If you have every spent a weekend at my in-laws house, you have surely had Denny’s waldorf salad. It’s one of my favorite parts of going to their house. Denny will whip this up for breakfast with some bagels or sausage biscuits. Dean and I sort of got on kick for about two weeks where we were just craving this. It’s super easy and the amounts can be adjusted very easily. Dean and I have made this to our tasting…this isn’t Denny’s exact recipe because he makes it on the fly. Enjoy!

Waldorf Salad
2 large Granny Smith apples, coarsely chopped
juice from a half of lemon
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 C walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toast to release the oils*
1/2 to 3/4 C raisins
1/3 C Mayo, regular or low fat
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add celery, walnuts, and raisins to apples. In a separate bowl, combine mayo, sugar, and salt. Toss mayo mixture with apple mixture. Chill for 1 hour then serve. Waldorf salad can be served over greens if desired.

* To toast walnuts

Stove top method: for small batches
Toast walnuts before chopping. Over med-low heat, place walnuts in a skillet. Heat until you can smell the oils being released. This should take about 4 minutes. Stir or toss walnuts frequently while toasting. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Oven method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast walnuts BEFORE chopping them into smaller pieces.
Place nuts in a single layer in an ungreased shallow pan or RIMMED baking sheet such as a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. (DO NOT use a baking sheet without sides. You may have nuts all over the oven if you accidentally tip the sheet when removing it from the oven.)
Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until they are GOLDEN brown. A toasted walnut may look more GOLDEN than BROWN. They will continue to brown slightly after they’re removed from the oven. Stir once or twice or shake the pan during toasting to aid in even browning.
Remove from pan to cool.
NOTE: The first time you try toasting walnuts, it’s better to err on the side of under-toasting than over-toasting. As walnuts toast, you’ll notice a change in their fragrance as well as their color.

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Filed under Apples, Fruit, Raisins, Salad, Walnuts

Black Bean – Taco Salad Lime Vinaigrette

Black Bean – Taco Salad Lime Vinaigrette

There are three words that describe this salad — fresh, healthy, and easy. Oh wait, four words – tasty. The night I made this salad it was unseasonably warm and wanted something light for dinner and I remembered this salad. The dressing is incredibly easy to make and it packs a wonderful citrus punch.

The only change I made to the recipe was I added a can of drained corn to the salad and omitted the green pepper.

One change I made the second time I made this salad was to add boiled shrimp instead of chicken. It was fantastic!

Black Bean-Taco Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

With chicken, cheddar cheese, and black beans, this Southwestern-influenced salad needs nothing on the side except some iced tea. Fresh lime gives it a citrusy counterpunch.

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled

Salad:
8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)

To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups salad and 1 cup chips)
CALORIES 402 (28% from fat); FAT 12.6g (sat 3.2g,mono 6.5g,poly 1.9g); IRON 3.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 35mg; CALCIUM 236mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51.6g; SODIUM 861mg; PROTEIN 24.5g; FIBER 8g
Cooking Light, JULY 2000

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, Cilantro, Cooking Light, Corn, Dinner, Dressing, Entrees, Lettuce, Onions, Red Onions, Salad, Tomatoes, Veggies, Vinegar

French-Style Shrimp Salad

French-Style Shrimp Salad
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

The day I made this salad I had been thinking about a shrimp salad all day. I decided to start looking through some old  Cooking Light magazines and this was the recipe that I came up with. And boy oh boy did I make the right choice – it was fantastic. The salad dressing is very refreshing and garlic-y. I did leave out the olives because I’m not really a fan of olives. I also substituted asparagus for the haricots verts because I had asparagus left over from the night before.

This recipe makes a HUGE salad! It would be great for a brunch, lunch, or dinner…yummy anytime!

French-Style Shrimp Salad

Assemble this salad in individual servings, or arrange it on a platter and serve family style. Niçoise olives are a small purplish-black variety; you can substitute kalamata. Serve with crusty French bread. This dish is a twist on the classic salade niçoise with tuna.

Vinaigrette:
6 garlic cloves, halved
2/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad:
2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
12 small red potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
1/2 pound haricots verts
Cooking spray
5 cups gourmet salad greens
4 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
3 medium tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
3 hard-cooked large eggs, each sliced into quarters
1/2 cup niçoise olives
2 tablespoons capers

To prepare vinaigrette, drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add broth and next 7 ingredients (through black pepper); process until well blended.

To prepare salad, combine 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and shrimp in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning bag occasionally to coat shrimp. Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 8 minutes. Add haricots verts to pan; cook 2 additional minutes or until haricots verts are crisp-tender and potatoes are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Set aside.

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove the shrimp from bag, and discard marinade. Add shrimp to pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until the shrimp are done.

Combine potatoes, haricots verts, greens, lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, and artichokes in a large bowl. Add remaining vinaigrette, tossing gently to coat. Place lettuce mixture on a serving platter. Arrange shrimp and eggs over lettuce mixture; sprinkle with olives and capers. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 2 1/2 cups salad mixture, 5 ounces shrimp, 2 pieces egg, 4 teaspoons olives, and 1 teaspoon capers)
CALORIES 366 (30% from fat); FAT 12g (sat 2.2g,mono 6g,poly 2.2g); IRON 6.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 336mg; CALCIUM 179mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.1g; SODIUM 798mg; PROTEIN 39.3g; FIBER 6.4g
Cooking Light, JULY 2006

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Filed under Artichoke hearts, Basil, Cooking Light, Dinner, Dressing, Entrees, Garlic, Haricots verts, Herbs, Italian parsley, Lemons, Lettuce, Potato, Salad, Shrimp, Tarragon, Tomatoes

Tomato Napoleon

Caprese salad is one of my favorite summer salads. It are very light and refreshing, yet simple and delicious. Perfect for a summer dinner out on the back porch. Tomato Napolean takes the classic Caprese and gives it a little twist – fresh tomato dressing. I know it sounds silly to dress a tomato salad with a tomato dressing, but it is to die for. The first time I made this recipe was one of my cooking classes I did with Andrew, Pierce, and Charlotte. The kids did a great job making the dressing and they loved the presentation.

Please note the dressing needs to made about 8 hours before you are going to serve it. (We only let it sit for a couple of hours and it turned out just fine.)

Tomato Napoleon

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into slices
3/4 C Fresh Tomato Dressing
3 large tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
24 basil leaves, shredded

Place cheese in a shallow dish. Pour Fresh Tomato Dressing over cheese; cover and chill 1 hour. Remove cheese slices, reserving Tomato Dressing marinade.

Sprinkle tomato slices evenly with salt and pepper.

Place 1 tomato slice on each of 4 salad plates; top each with 1 cheese slice and 2 shredded basil leaves. Repeat with remaining tomato slices, cheese, and basil. Drizzle evenly with reserved tomato dressing.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Chill: 1 hr

Fresh Tomato Dressing

1 C olive oil
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl salt
1 tsp pepper
4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbl fresh thyme leaves or 2 thyme sprigs

Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Stir in tomato and fresh thyme. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Yield: 4 Cups
Prep: 20 mins
Stand: 1 hr
Chill: 8 hrs

Note: Dressing may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month. Stir additional fresh chopped tomatoes into dressing after each use.

Southern Living, August 2000

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Filed under Appetizers, Balsamic, Basil, Cheese, Herbs, Mozzarella, Salad, Thyme, Tomatoes, Vinegar

Pickled Mostaccioli


Pickled Mostaccioli
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

Pasta salads are always a good go-to recipe for a barbecue, family reunion, or just a snack. Pickled mostaccioli is a freshing twist on traditional pasta salad. It has a wonderfully zesty taste and perfect for summer because it doesn’t have mayonnaise. Michelle, a friend of mine from Iowa, gave me this recipe. Thanks Michelle!

Pickled Mostaccioli

1 lb Mostaccioli
1 1/2 C white vinegar
1 1/2 C sugar
2 Tbs prepared mustard
1 tsp garlic salt, salt, and pepper
1 Tbs parsley
1 med. onion
1 med cucumber, skin on
1/2 C vegetable oil or olive oil
yellow food coloring

Bring a pot of water up to a rolling boil. Add 6 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 tsp salt; then add pasta. Cook pasta to al dente, about 10 minutes. Rinse well in cold water then drain well. Place pasta in a bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, put all ingredients except pasta and oil in a blender or food processor and puree.

Pour spice mixture and oil over the cooked pasta; stir well. Chill overnight.

**Make sure to stir well before serving.

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Filed under cucumber, Italian parsley, Onions, Pasta, Pasta, Side dishes, Vinegar, white

Spinach, Orange and Almond Salad


Spinach, Orange and Almond Salad
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

Dean and I both love spinach salads. I make about 15 different ones. I came across this recipe a year or so ago, I have made it several times since then. The combination of the creamy goat cheese, fresh oranges, crunchy sweet almonds, fresh spinach, and the dash of cayenne pepper in the vinaigrette makes my taste buds pop!

The only semi-complicated part to this salad is making the candied almonds. The directions are very straight forward, so please make them if you make this salad. They are fantastic.

Spinach, Orange, and Almond Salad
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse, Emeril’s Potluck, William Morrow and Company Publishers, 2004

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 oranges
1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 ounces baby spinach (6 cups), washed and dried
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
Freshly ground black pepper

Lightly grease a 10-inch square of aluminum foil with butter or vegetable oil and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden amber color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Continue cooking until the almonds are fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared aluminum foil, using a spoon to spread into a thin layer, and set aside to cool completely.

With a thin, sharp knife, cut the peel and bitter white pith from the oranges, 1 at a time. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, cut in between the membranes to release the segments. Reserve the segments in a separate bowl. Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the Champagne vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer the dressing to a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid until you are ready to serve.

Put the spinach in a large serving bowl, then top with the orange segments, celery, and red onions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, break the caramelized almonds into bite-size pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.

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Filed under Almonds, Celery, Champagne vinegar, Emeril, Goat cheese, Oranges, Salad, Spinach, Spinach