Tag Archives: Salad

Spring Is In The Details

Cave spring watercress This is the cave spring that feeds the little creek that runs in front of our home.  The cave is located on our neighbor’s property.  Lucky for us she doesn’t mind us walking down her lane and across her front yard so that we can view this lovely spring.  During the winter everything surrounding the water turns a dullish gray-brown. The leaves pile up and freeze. The flowers along the creek lose their blooms and die.  It is winter after all.

Cave Spring 2014Yet, before the daffodils bloom, before the grass turns green, and before the spring wildflowers pop up everywhere this beautiful little creek glows green with watercress. Wikipedia tells me that watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans.

If I were Martha Stewart I would be making watercress salad. When my Chief Culinary Consultant first saw the watercress in our creek he said “you should make watercress salad.”  Being the ever dutiful wife, I said, “Okay.”  But before I ventured out to gather the leafy green water-laden vegetable I Googled it.  I quickly found that the USDA says it should not be eaten if there is any chance an animal or animals have access to the water.  Well, of course they do! The article I read went on to mention contamination and all that.

Our friend Tom, who has lived in these parts all his life (and is a medical doctor) says that’s crazy. He says “just wash it well and enjoy it!”  Dutiful wife or not I have chosen not to poison  treat my family to watercress salad — until now.

A recent early spring walk up to the cave spring unveiled this stunning leafy watercress sitting right at the cave’s opening in flowing fresh water.  Soon I will venture down the creek embankment and harvest some fresh watercress.

Have you ever eaten watercress salad? How was it?

Martha Stewart salad watercressThis is a picture taken by Jose’ Manuel Picayo Rivera for Martha Stewart. It is a Roasted Sweet Potato Watercress Salad.  Looks good doesn’t it?

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!   Psalm 34:8

Psalm 34:8 is one of my favorite Bible verses and it seems so fitting for this first day of April.  Have a blessed day and Happy Spring!


Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

thai chicken salad
This past summer the Brown Eyed Baker posted a recipe similar to this one, sans the chicken.  I like Thai peanut flavoring and was on a salad kick trying to get in shape for eating myself silly on an Alaskan cruise with The Chief and my sous-chef dish-washing mom! This salad made for a wonderfully main dish meal.

Last year I posted a recipe for Chicken Thai Salad that is fast and tasty covered in a Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing.  I like using this dressing when I cook chicken to be asian shredded chickenshredded.  I put chicken breast in the crock pot and pour some of the dressing over it.  For the first hour I like to cook this on high to get things heated up and then turn to medium or low until the chicken is easy to shred, leaving the meat moist, usually in 3 or 4 hours.

For this Thai Peanut Chicken salad I started by cooking the chicken in the morning.  Once shredded I put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.

This homemade Thai peanut dressing is really easy to make and it is especially delicious tasting every bit homemade!  It only takes a couple of minutes to whip up in a small food processor.

bowlful thai chicken salad
Tossing this all together and including some peanuts makes a full meal in one dish.  I served this with a veggie egg roll and it made for a filling, but light meal!

It’s never too late for salad season!

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 ESV

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad
Packed with flavor this all-in-one meal is a keeper!
For the Dressing:
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & chopped
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Coleslaw:
  • 16 ounce bag cole slaw mix (or 5 cups shredded cabbage)
  • ½ red or green bell pepper, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Crispy Rice Noodles
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken*Optional
  1. Puree all of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor (the consistency will be like applesauce); set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together all of the coleslaw ingredients. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw ingredients and mix until all of the coleslaw is evenly coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Rice noodles may get a little soft, just add some crispy ones before serving leftovers.
Recipe Adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

strawberry pretzel 2
I am doing it again. Posting a recipe to share because I typically lose my copy of the recipe and can’t find it at the moment I need it. Now I will have it on my blog — forever. Well, at least for as long as I need it!

I adore this salad and/or dessert. I call it Strawberry Salad and the Chief calls it Definitely Dessert!  If you haven’t made it lately, you should.  The sweet and salty combination makes for mouth-watering tastiness! And the fruit, well that makes it healthy! :)

Strawberry Pretzel SalaldMy sweet sous-chef dish-washing mom made this for us one hot day in July and it was so refreshing with dinner.  You will most generally see this pop up around the holidays but I say “don’t wait.”  Make your own strawberry pretzel holiday soon!

Happy Baking!

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 ESV

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Colorful tried and true recipe that doubles as a salad or dessert! Sweet and salty combination is a real winner.
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, plus ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
  • 2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
  • Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish* Optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ¾ cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  4. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.
  5. To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

marinated cucumbers

As I sit with my computer on my lap, poised ready to write about cucumber and onion salad, I am brain-dead.  Truth is, I am posting this recipe for myself.  Yep, it is true. Selfishly, I am thinking of all the time I spend looking for the recipe note card, sorting through recipe files on my computer and yet trying to remember how much sugar to how much vinegar.  It should be so easy, yet I can’t ever remember.

Dish of Cucumbers

Growing vegetables can be such a funny and unpredictable activity.  Last year our cucumber plants came down with a fungus and had to be destroyed.  No cucumbers for us.  This year — we have 4 plants and they are producing at maximum capacity.  Go figure.

marinated cucs

I will keep cucumber and onion salad in my refrigerator and on our dinner table for the next month.  When the tomatoes are ripe I will toss a few of those in.  Come middle of August I won’t want to touch another cucumber until Christmas.  True story.  Meantime, I highly recommend you get some fresh cucumbers from the garden — yours, your neighbors, the farmers — wherever you can.  Make a cucumber and onion salad.  Enjoy!

Happy Summertime!

P.S.  And when you can’t find the recipe next year, it will be right here! :)

Cucumber and Onion Salad
The every summer freshest-favorite salad ... cucumbers, onion, sweet and tangy all at once.
  • 2 to 3 cucumbers
  • 1 medium white onion
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • *Optional: 1 to 2 tomatoes cut in quarters
  1. You will need a 2 quart jar with lid or other 2 quart container.
  2. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and peel along the long edge in 3-4 strips to leave a sort of stripped cucumber.
  3. Slice the cucumber in thin rounds.
  4. Peel and slice the onion in thin slices and separate.
  5. Put the cucumber and onion alternately in your jar/container. *Optional: add tomato quarters
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover your jar/container tightly and gently turn so the ingredients are mixed together.
  7. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
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