Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Gardens behind the Boonville Hotel, Boonville CA

Lovely Boonville Hotel gardens

Summer Salad with fresh new Peas and strawberries

Summer Salad with fresh new peas and strawberries

 

We recently visited Boonville, CA, a small bend in the road (rte 128), on the way to Mendocino. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boonville Hotel, actually a top level hotel and restaurant that serves fresh farm-to-table selections; many items, such as the peas, right from their beautiful on-property gardens.

I was especially knocked out by this salad combination so I tried to recreate it on my own to share with you. I added avocado (which is a “good fat” along with the olive oil), plus sliced almonds. Served with a tangy, lemony olive oil dressing, this salad is refreshing and delicious.

One important thing is that the peas need to be very young and tender. (I made a mistake the first time I made it and the peas, especially the pods, were tough- no good!) If you can’t use fresh, young English peas, use snap or sugar peas instead.

So good, so easy, so pretty and with very fresh peas and sweet strawberries– one of the best salad combos I’ve ever tasted!

Summer Salad –serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Head of Red Butter, or Red Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; (and/or arugula; if adding to lettuce use 1cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (plus pods, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, any strings removed and quartered)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. Sliced toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s is my friend)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • Dash of white (or red) balsamic or white wine vinegar- again, adjust to your taste
  • fresh Thyme leaves (about a Tbsp.)
  • Salt-free seasoning and pepper to taste
  • shake or mix with wisk

TO DO:

1. Wash and spin dry lettuces

2. Put lettuce(s) in salad bowl; chill in fridge until ready to serve

3. When ready to serve, add dressing to lettuce and mix (a tip–mix dressing with lettuce before adding other ingredients, so they don’t sink to the bottom)

4. Add other ingredients on top

5. Add seasonings and salt if you like.

6. Serve; (especially good with fish)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

New Tuna Salad

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In the previous post I told you about the delicious lunch combo and gave the Lemony Kale Salad recipe.

Now here’s the 2nd half; the New Tuna Salad recipe. What’s new about it? If you’ve followed Type2delicious for awhile you may remember “Rick’s Chicken Salad,” chock full of carrots and other good things; you can find in previous recipes under “Light and Tasty Lunches.” This time I added hummus to the salad mix, along with a dollop of Mayo, carrots, red onion and spices, and of course, fresh lemon juice.

You can serve the tuna salad on a bed of romaine lettuce or a slice of whole grain toast, depending on your dietary needs; of course, the lettuce base is ideal for low carb diets.

This is a perfect lunch dish to enjoy when the weather cooperates and you can eat al fresco, as we do in our “Cafe Baxter,” named for our cat who likes to rest on the chairs in the CA sun.

Our backyard Cafe!

Our backyard Cafe!

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Baxter on his favorite cafe spot.

INGREDIENTS

New Tuna Salad ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 can solid Tuna (I use water packed but oil is ok too-up to your dietary needs and likes)
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 celery stalk, chopped fine.
    • 2-3 tsps. sliced toasted almonds or pine nuts (I use Trader Joe’s pre-toasted unsalted sliced almonds.)

Dressing

  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice (or more – to taste)
  • 1/3 cup hummus, any flavor; (I tried tomato basil hummus and liked it, also a lemon garlic one was delicious.) You can add a bit more once you mix the dressing with the tuna to get the consistency you like.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise; Best foods (or Hellman’s) light is my favorite.
  • no-salt spices of your choice, including lemon pepper

TO DO

  1. Combine/mix dressing ingredients; I use a small wisk to mix well.
  2. Combine Tuna and veggies in medium size bowl.
  3. Combine Tuna salad and dressing, and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Optional: Top with chopped cilantro, dill or chives

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemony Kale Salad and New Tuna Salad

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A delicious lunch combo

A delicious lunch combo

We are lucky in CA to have warm days in April that beg for outdoor eating “al fresco.” We take advantage when we can and enjoy these two delicious salads together; crunchy kale with a tangy lemony dressing along with our favorite tuna veggie salad. This time I added hummus to the tuna, along with Mayo, carrots, red onion and spices, and of course, fresh lemon juice.

You can serve the tuna salad on a bed of romaine lettuce or a slice of whole grain toast, depending on your dietary needs.

First comes the Lemony Kale Salad recipe; the Tuna to come. Stay Tuned!

INGREDIENTS

Lemony Kale Salad (serves 2-3)

  • 2 cups baby kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup sprouts ( your choice)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin, approx. 1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or pita nuts or a combination

Dressing

  • 2-3 Tbsp. Lemon juice (or more – to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive and/or walnut oil; (it’s  expensive but really adds flavor– you can add just a Tbsp. with the olive oil if you like)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • no-salt spices

TO DO

  1. Combine/mix salad dressing ingredients and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Combine kale and sprouts and onion in salad bowl.
  3. Brown seeds/ nuts in skillet or bake 350 on cookie sheet for 10 minutes – let cool.
  4. Dress salad and sprinkle nuts/seeds on top.

Optional: grate semi hard goat cheese, such as Midnight Moon, Trader Joe’s White Goat Gouda or regular Parmesan on top

Enjoy!

 

 

Easy Tomato Salad and Greek Salad 2

Back to Greece for a Greek Salad update-plus a salad with the first tomatoes from our garden-I wait all year for this–tomatoes from the garden can’t be equalled! And of course, low carb and easy to prepare. With such delicious fresh ingredients simple preparation is the best.

diabetes-friendly-Fresh-Tomato-Salad

Simple, delicious, fresh tomato salad

healthy-greek-tomato-salad

Special Greek Salad I made a version of the special Greek Salad I enjoyed in the one (only) high end restaurant. The feta is soaked in olive oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds plus plump capers were added – a delicious variation. Rick loved it! ( see my blog post on “Superb Greek Salad” for more details.)

Fresh Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 ripe, fresh sliced tomatoes (depending on size),  per serving
  • Walnut or other nut oil ( I also use Hazelnut oil from Trader Joe’s) or good Greek olive oil
  • Fresh chives cut and sprinkled on top (chives are easy to grow in pots)
  • Fresh ground black pepper and salt-free seasoning if you like

TO DO:

1. Slice tomatoes, put on serving plates

2. Drizzle with oil ( about 2 Tbsp per serving)

3. Sprinkle chopped chives on top

4. Grind pepper, add seasoning if you like

That’s it! So simple and delicious!

Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Greek Salad Superb

 

traditional greek salad

traditional greek salad

I’ve enjoyed Greek salads for years and thought I knew what they consisted of- a generous bed of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, green peppers, Kalamata olives, some feta cheese sprinkled on top, with lemon and olive oil dressing. Sounds good (and it is) but what’s wrong with this recipe? Nothing, but it’s not exactly the traditional way.

I recently had the good fortune to visit Greece and was even more fortunate to eat traditional Greek salads in lots of tavernas. Guess what? No or very little (a few leaves) of lettuce. Yes, lots of fresh, delicious tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and green peppers, sweet red or white onion and both green and black Kalamata olives with big flat slabs of feta cheese on top, usually sprinkled with dried oregano. No lemon, but good first press Greek olive oil and sometimes red wine vinegar. Fresh, tasty and of course, healthy- no carbs to speak of. In one (my only) high end restaurant the feta was soaked in olive oil and covered in toasted sesame seeds plus plump capers were added – a delicious variation.

This salad is best with fresh tomatoes and the other vegetables from your garden or farmer’s market. And please use only best quality extra virgin Greek olive oil!

Traditional Greek Salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 1-2 ripe fresh tomatoes (depending on size), chopped into 1/2 ” pieces
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 peeled cucumber, sliced into thin rings or chunks
  • 1/2 red or sweet white onion slices
  • 1/2 cup green Greek or black Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 Lb. feta cheese in a flat slab
  • Oregano to sprinkle on top of the Feta
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Capers (optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Greek olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

TO DO:

1. In a large bowl, put cucumbers on the bottom.

2. Add tomatoes, green pepper, onion.

3. Add olives (and capers if you like).

4. If you like, soak feta in olive oil and roll in toasted sesame seeds.

5. Put feta slab on top; pour olive oil and vinegar over the salad; sprinkle feta with oregano.

6. Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

 

shrimp asparagus egg salad

shrimp asparagus egg salad

This salad is a major treat especially on a warm spring day when asparagus are in peak season!

At this time of year, it’s one of our favorite main dinner dishes. Of course, this also makes a delish special luncheon for your very best ladies who lunch. (<*

The ingredients are simple and the preparation pretty easy. The key ingredient is use the freshest you can find!

(If shellfish are a problem you can substitute tuna.)

Best Shrimp Asparagus and Egg Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 cups lettuce (your choice, but I suggest at least some Romaine for crunch. Also as you might know, best to tear off leaves and tear up with your hands rather than a knife, especially if not using a whole head. Somehow the knife use makes the remaining lettuce turn brown faster- not sure why–if someone knows the details please let me know.)
  • 1 avocado, chopped or sliced
  • 1/3 red onion, chopped ( not too fine)
  • 1/2 lb. Bay shrimp cooked, rinsed and cooled the little guys)- put in fridge at least 1 hr. Ahead of serving ( I buy them cooked and cooled, but still rinse as they can be salty)
  • 4-6 med Prawns, cooked, peeled and cooled
  • 1 egg, hard boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 lb. Green asparagus, cooked but still crisp, and cooled ( blanched is best– cook until crisp, then dunk right away in ice water to keep the color and crispness). Chop into 1″ pieces, leaving 4-6 spears whole for garnish.
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of I lemon ( you can use 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • Tarragon, savory and/or Herbs de Provence; salt free seasonings and pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. At least one hour in advance of serving time, boil the egg, let cool or place in fridge ( can be done a day in advance ), when prep time, slice or chop and set aside. ( leave 3-4 round pieces for garnish)

2. Wash, spin and tear lettuce into bite sized pieces, put into serving bowl.

3.  Prepare dressing; add garlic to oil, whisk in juice, mustard, spices and seasonings. ( can be made ahead and re-wisked)

4. Right before serving add Bay shrimp, chopped asparagus, chopped egg and chopped onion to lettuce.

At this point, dress and toss ( this is a trick I learned from a catering assistant, Maggie, my partner Rick’s daughter; dress the basic salad first, then add the toppings/garnishes, so they don’t all sink to the bottom.)

5. Add avocado pieces, whole Prawns, egg slices and asparagus spears for garnish- make it pretty! (see photo or use your own creativity!)

6. Serve with whole grain toast or crackers and cheese and a crisp, white wine if you like–we do!

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Rick’s Chicken Salad

healthy-chicken-salad

Chicken salad on our old wooden plates!

We enjoy cooking together, and I admit that Rick is a much better chopper! One of our favorite lunch foods is chicken salad; it’s a great use for leftover chicken as everyone knows, right? Also it’s low in carbs and has a good combo of protein and veggies in our version. (The amount of chicken I’m giving is based on leftover roast chicken; you can start fresh and cook your own chicken if you prefer.)

Rick’s Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • Approx. 2 cups of cooked chicken shredded; (we use the whole leftover chicken breast as we both prefer dark meat so usually the breast is left over)
  • carrots diced (last time we used 2 carrots)
  • celery, diced (3 stalks)
  • 1/3 red onion, diced
  • 6-7 roasted or raw almonds, chopped fine
  • 3-4 Tbsps. light mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mustard (last time, whole seed Dijon)
  • 1Tbsp. Pickle relish
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Lemon pepper (salt free) to taste
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper (or drop in Siracha- our new found favorite)
  • Optional; 3-4 Tbsp. apple, skin on, diced; your choice; (we are lucky to have an apple tree and use those when in season or get what’s featured at the Farmer’s Market)

A Variation: Susan’s Chicken Salad Sauce (a bit more Indian/Mediterranean spice mix)

First mix the sauce:

  • 3-4 Tbsp. light mayonnaise or 1/4 cup light mayo and 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt (if dairy is not a problem)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (more or less, depending on your taste – lemon to me is a necessity)
  • 1 tsp. White wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard any type you like (Dijon or whole seed; I also like Snug Harbor * mustard)
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder and/or turmeric
  • Salt-free spice mix like Mrs. Dash’s
  • Ground pepper to taste
    *www.snugharborcompany.com

As I’ve said before, use the amounts you like, but these proportions work well.
Combine all ingredients into a bowl, and mix well.
Serve on lettuce leaves and/or whole grain toast; depending on your carb situation.

We really like eating our lunch al fresco under the apple tree in the back yard.

Enjoy!!