Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.

I found another gem at our new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market this week – beautiful fresh golden beets!

I love beets – red or gold – but since these are a little harder to find where I live, I was excited to get them.  Golden beets are slightly sweeter and a little less earthy than red beets.  I actually love the earthiness of red beets, but those that don’t might enjoy these.

I love beets hot or cold, plain or fancy, so I decided to make a bit of a fancier salad for our Sunday supper this past week.  Here is my recipe.  Hope you will give it a try.

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small gold or red fresh beets (or a combination of both), cooked* and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Small bunch of arugula or mixed greens of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 small clementines or oranges
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat pecans or walnuts until warm and beginning to toast.  Add maple syrup and cook and stir to coat.  Remove from heat.  Spread out on cutting board or parchment or waxed paper to cool.

Prepare dressing by squeezing juice of clementine or orange into a small bowl.  Drizzle and whisk in vinegar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place a small bunch of arugula or mixed greens on each of two salad plates.  Top each plate with equal portions of the cut-up beets, followed by clementine or orange slices, toasted candied pecans or walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with additional coarse black pepper and salt to taste.

*To cook fresh beets, cut greens off top to about an inch from beet.  Place unpeeled fresh beets in a saucepan of water to cover and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on size, until beets are fork-tender.  (When you stab with a fork, the beet should slide right back off when done.) Drain under cold water and remove skin with paper towel.  Cool completely for salad.  Cut up after beets have cooled.

Enjoy!

Nothing beats a fresh beet!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad.

I love broccoli  – cooked or raw.
And I love broccoli salad.

The traditional version has a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing, and it is delicious!

But I was looking for a way to “lighten it up” a bit when making dinner one day this week, so I tried it with a vinaigrette dressing instead.

And it is DELISH too!

It is lighter and fresher tasting, and it is about half the calories of the traditional version!

This really is a nice twist on a classic that is healthier and just as yummy.

Here is how I made it.

Lightened Up Vinaigrette Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 thinly sliced, chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 large sweet red pepper, thinly sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices bacon, diced and cooked
  • Vinaigrette:
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider (or your favorite – red wine, white, etc.) vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl.  Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.  Pour over salad and toss to coat well.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese.

Summer is such a glorious time of fresh bounty.

Salads become meals made from fresh fruits and vegetables.  Like this yummy salad I made for lunch one day with some plump sweet and tart blueberries, crunchy pistachios, protein and fiber-rich edamame, and creamy crumbled goat cheese piled on a bed of greens.

All of this drizzled with a honey red wine vinaigrette is heaven in a bowl!

What is your favorite summer salad?  There are so many wonderful combinations and possibilities!

Fresh Blueberry, Pistachio, & Edamame Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Mixed Greens (Kale, Arugula, Spinach Swiss Chard – any of your faves)
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Pistachio Nuts, shelled
  • Edamame, shelled
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Green Onions, chopped (optional)
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing (homemade or your fave – this is how I make mine – it will make more than you need for one salad) 
    • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
    • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
    •  Tbsp Honey
    • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, place a handful of mixed greens.  Top with fresh blueberries, pistachios, edamame, goat cheese, and green onions (if desired).  Drizzle with Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans, and Corn.

I love legumes, and I am really growing to love quinoa.  I recently tried this new salad for dinner that was so so delicious, filling, and healthy.

A one-cup serving of quinoa is packed with 9g proteins, 5g fiber, and 20g carbohydrate. Red quinoa is also rich in magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and phosphorous. It contains high quantities of lysine, an essential amino acid.

Legumes like black beans and edamame are also high in protein and fiber, and avocado is extremely nutrient dense.

To eat something that is so easy, so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious is a win-win in my book!

Are you a legume lover?  Quinoa connoisseur?  I’d love to hear your favorite ways to enjoy!

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Red Quinoa, cooked in broth and cooled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, frozen, roasted, or fresh off cob
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vidalia or Green Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cilantro, fresh chopped, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cherry tomato (optional) for garnish

Directions

Cook quinoa, and set aside to cool.

Toss vegetables together gently.  Drizzle with lime juice, vinegar and oil.  Season with salt, pepper and cilantro.  Gently toss.

Spoon quinoa onto plate.  Top with a generous scoop of vegetable salad.  Garnish, as desired, with quartered cherry tomato.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Chicken Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Chicken Salad.

On warm Summer days, salads are so great for dinner!

And there are so many fresh ingredients available to mix and match.

I had some fresh Brussels Sprouts and thought they might work great in a dinner salad.

They are so delicious roasted simply with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Then all you have to do is add your favorite greens to a bowl and top with some yummy, healthy additions of fruit and nuts and cheese and protein and more veggies.

The grand finale topping is the roasted Brussels sprouts and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.  It is a full meal deal covering all the  bases!

Here’s the recipe for the way I made it, but feel free to mix and match and tweak it up to how you like.   Roasted Brussels sprouts are a great addition to any salad!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Chopped Romaine lettuce or your favorite mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or almonds or pecans)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (or dried cranberries or cherries)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or your favorite)
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (or your favorite)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut stems off Brussels sprouts, then cut into quarters.  In mixing bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Pour into baking pan and roast approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl, add lettuce.  On top of lettuce, add carrots, nuts, raisins, cheese, and chicken.  Top with a half cup of Roasted Brussels sprouts (or as many as you like – leftovers are always delish too!)

Pour dressing on top, then mix.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi2

Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken Spring Mix Salad

yellow-and-green-spring-mix-salad-1

Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken & Spring Mix Salad.

They say it is important to balance colors in our diet.

yellow-and-green-spring-mix-grilled-chicken-salad-2

I love to make salads from whatever I can find in the fridge and pantry – especially at lunch time – when it is only me, and I can make it whatever way I want!

I often make a large batch of grilled chicken during the week so I can have leftovers for salads and snacks.

I love mixing veggies and proteins and fruits and nuts in a beautiful, colorful meal.

yellow-and-green-spring-mix-grilled-chicken-salad-3

This yellow and green salad just “happened.”  I had not planned it to be yellow and green, but when it ended it up that way, I marveled at it’s beauty as well as it’s deliciousness.

For this “springy” lunch time salad in the middle of February – when the temperatures in our part of the world have been more spring-like than wintry – I found myself topping a bed of Spring Mix greens with beautiful yellows.

Enjoying yellows and greens not only in my salad, but in the air here in Mars in this beautiful stretch of Spring in February.

Yellow & Green Grilled Chicken & Spring Mix Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed greens -Spring Mix
  • 1/4 cup sliced Vidalia sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Handful of golden raisins
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
  • Balsamic Viniagrette Dressing
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Place Spring Mix salad greens in large salad bowl.

Add onion, tomatoes, shredded cheese, golden raisins and chicken.  A handful of walnuts and/or pumpkin or sunflower seeds  would be great too!

Drizzle with Balsamic Viniagrette and a dash of salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing

broccoli-slaw-with-viniagrette-dressing-1

Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing.

YUM!  Another wonderful way to enjoy one of my favorite vegetables!

Hubby said we are going to turn into broccoli this week!  We’ve had broccoli sprouts, steamed broccoli and broccoli slaw over the past few days.  I think I could eat it every day.

broccoli-slaw-with-viniagrette-dressing-2

This recipe is so easy – especially if you buy the pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix Green Giant makes.

Have you tried it yet?  What do you like to mix into your slaw?

Here’s how I made it:

Broccoli Slaw with Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:broccoli-slaw-with-viniagrette-dressing-1

  • 1 12-oz bag Broccoli Slaw Mix or 6 cups shredded broccoli stems, shredded carrots, and shredded red cabbage
  • Dressing
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp seasoned salt
    • 1/2 tsp dill weed
    • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • Optional Add-ins
    • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Soy nuts
    • Craisins (dried cranberries) or golden raisins
    • Broccoli sprouts

Directions:

Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Empty broccoli slaw mix into large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over top and mix thoroughly to combine.  Add any optional add-ins you like.  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Spinach Blueberry Salad & a Blueberry Botanical

blueberry watercolor 5x7 arches 140lb rough prussian blue panes gray green gold

Blueberry watercolor 5×7 arches 140lb rough prussian blue panes gray green gold

For today’s #WorldWatercolorMonth Painting, I present:   Blueberries in Prussian Blue.  This is a “botanical” painting of sorts and possibly one of my more “realistic” paintings.  A bit of a diversion for me.

And while we are on the subject of blueberries – the yummy, nutrient-packed fruit of the gods,  here is a recipe for a spinach salad I made last week with blueberries in it.  DIVINE!

Spinach blueberry salad

I tossed some fresh spinach with blueberries and blue cheese (but you could use feta or goat or any other cheese you like), toasted walnuts, and green onions, and then drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette for a really fresh, yummy salad.

Spinach blueberry salad 2

Some other favorite blueberry recipes I’ve shared in the past you might want to check out are my “almost famous” to-die-for Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies and melt-in-your-mouth  Fresh Peach and Blueberry Streusel Muffins.  Maybe not quite as healthy, but very delish!

ENJOY!

Spinach & Blueberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Spinach
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup toasted and sugared walnuts*
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup Balsaimic Vinaigrette

Combine fresh, clean spinach, blueberries, green onions and walnuts and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  Top with crumbled blue cheese and serve immediately.

*Melt 1 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add walnuts, and sprinkle with sugar.  Saute over medium heat for approximately five minutes until sugar has melted and walnuts have browned.  Cool completely.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds & Goat Cheese

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 2

This weekend we celebrated the 25th birthday of a very special young lady in our lives –  our son Nick’s girlfriend, Liz.

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese

For the special picnic we were invited to, I made a batch of my almost famous guacamole, a plateful of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and this YUMMMMMMY Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds and Goat Cheese.

spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 1

Drizzled with an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, the crispy fresh spinach, sweet juicy strawberries, crunchy candied almonds, and the creamy goat cheese just SING when tossed together!

Easy – fresh – delicious – beautiful – summery – this is a Five Star Salad you are going to want to try, and your family and friends are going to thank you for making.

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Candied Almonds & Goat Cheese*

Ingredients:spinach strawberry salad with candied almonds and goat cheese 1

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach (approx)
  • 1 qt fresh strawberries (chopped)
  • 6-8 oz. fresh goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper

Directions:

Prepare candied almonds by combining sliced almonds and sugar in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently for several minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize.  Keep stirring until all the almonds are coated, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Cool completely.  Once they are cooled, break them into chunks for little clusters of crunchy sweetness.

Prepare balsamic vinaigrette dressing by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

When ready to serve, combine spinach and chopped strawberries, candied almonds, and crumbled goat cheese.  Toss with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.

You could easily substitute your favorite greens for the spinach – perhaps arugala, romaine….  You could substitute the sliced almonds for walnuts or pecans…..  You could also substitute blue cheese or feta for the goat cheese.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe slightly adapted from Veggie & the Beast