Waldorf Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

DSC_0606I decided that the perfect fall accompaniment to dinner one night would be waldorf salad. This is a salad that I remember from my childhood. It just made since with a drawer full of apples. The Waldorf Salad was first created by the Maitre’d at the Waldorf hotel in New York City.  So if I had any doubt that Little Miss Mixture would enjoy this I knew I could entice her with the fanciness of being from the Waldorf Hotel and being a New York City food.  Like many little girls she is taken by all things fancy and she absolutely loves the city.

Classic waldorf salad uses mayonnaise as the primary ingredient to bind the salad.  As a southern girl there are things that mayonnaise is definitely needed for and I do enjoy some mayonnaise, but Little Miss Mixture is not a big fan and it is not the healthiest of condiments.  So in an effort to lighten the salad and ensure everyone in the house would enjoy it, I decided to use greek yogurt.  The problem, which is not really a problem depending on your preferred taste is that greek yogurt can be tangy.  I love the tanginess of it but to create this salad and make it more traditional I needed to mask that.  I am happy to say in less than fifteen minutes I had created what I thought was a pretty good version of Waldorf Salad.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Waldorf salad can be a light meal served atop a bed of lettuce or as a nice side salad.

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Waldorf Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

1 1/2 cups apples*
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cups walnuts ( chopped )
1/2 cup celery ( diced )
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt ( non-fat )
2-3 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix together the apples and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl or serving dish.  In a small bowl combine the yogurt, honey, and mayonnaise.  Combine to ensure the honey is evenly distributed in the mixture.  Pour over the apple mixture and stir.  Add lemon juice atop the bowl and stir once then refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Stir lightly before serving.

* I used Jonagold apple, as a sturdy apple holds up best in this dish.

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Other great recipes that include apples and fall flavors.

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Spinach, Apple, & Mushroom Salad in Maple Vinaigrette (Let’s Have Mixture)

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Baked Apple Yogurt Parfait (Let’s Have Mixture)

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Kale Waldorf Salad (The Fountain Avenue Kitchen)

Apple-Pie-Panini-Recipe

Apple Pie Panini (Just a Taste)

 Squash1 copy

 Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa, Almond and Apple Salad in Maple Vinaigrette (Caroline Kaufman)

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Monday’s Mixture

It is hear the official end to our summer.  The lazy days of not having a particular plan, not needing an alarm clock.  Of course I was really starting to be ready for fall since the temperatures had not hit 90 this month and we had some wonderful evenings.  The perfect weather to sit outside and enjoy dinner.  But alas that is changing too, as this weeks forecast will be the warmest we have had in weeks.  On a positive the neighborhood pool is still open on the weekends and the temperatures are sure to heat the water back up again.  I can still wear some of those cute summer outfits, and the summer produce is still available in the markets.

1.  What we are Eating (August 10 – August 16)

Sunday – California Burgers, Grilled Okra and Watermelon

Monday – Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts, Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Tuesday – Any Season Salad

Wednesday  – Super Nachos

Thursday – Low Country Kebabs and Watermelon

Friday  – Srirachi Chicken over Quinoa (Family Fresh Cooking), Roasted Asparagus

Saturday -Squash, Corn, and Green Onion Flatbread

2. Srirachi Chicken over Quinoa – This is one of those recipes I pinned awhile back and keep meaning to add into our weekly menu.  I finally made it and as Marla Meridith says in her post of this recipe “hopefully you can make this ASAP,”  well I am sorry I waited as long as I did.  We will definitely be making it again soon.  We like sauce, so I would probably increase the sauce next time to enjoy the flavor over all the quinoa.  Unlike so many recipes where I increase the spices or heat for our taste this was perfect just the way it is.

3. 2 Ingredient salad– It is Meatless Monday and we had this today.  A simple salad of cottage cheese and fresh heirloom tomatoes.  So simple yet perfect on a hot day when tomatoes have so much flavor.

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4.  Ice Bucket Challenge – If you have been anywhere near social media this week, you have seen numerous videos of people taking the ice bucket challenge.  Our family has not yet been called out, but I have enjoyed watching friends, friends of friends, strangers, and celebrities take the challenge.  It is for a good cause and is helping to spread awareness.  But can we talk about how funny I think it is that here we are in the midst of summer, a season when most of us have donned our bathing suits at a pool, beach, or even a water park.  Family, friends, and strangers have seen us, yet only a few have taken the ice bucket challenge in their bathing suits.  Some have kept the cover up on, but the majority are fully clothed men, women, and kids.  Is it more fun to get cold water dumped on you when you are dressed?  Oh and I love the individuals who are not only covering their body, but their hair as well.  The shower cap videos are great.

5. Milk Bottles – I am so excited to use these for a party I am having this weekend.  For several years, I have pondered when to use those cute vintage milk bottles that pop up all over pinterest, but I never seem to have a use.  I found one.  I will have pictures next week.milkbottle1 milkbottle milkflower

 

It has been a busy week so my content is a little light, but hopefully I will start to have more time to cook up some great new ideas for family meals and snacks.

 

* photos of milk bottles courtesy of fashionmo.com.br, cathcmyparty.com, karaspartyideas.com

 

Edamame Salad

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When did Edamame come about?  This is in my opinion a new food.  I only started noticing edamame about eight to ten years ago when it started showing up in recipes I read, farmers markets I visited, and restaurants menus.  In that time, it has gained some popularity and quite a bit of followers.

This family never really caught on to the squeeze the pod and eat the edamame thing.  I find it interesting how many kids enjoy doing this and really like steamed edamame.  Is it because the pods usually get some salt tossed on them and they like that flavor?  Because I really think if you are going to eat something from a pod, snap peas are a lot sweeter.  Just my thoughts.

I gave edamame a try and found it to be something I could take or leave, but then we received some in our CSA box one summer I started looking for recipes and began doing more with it than just tossing it in a random salad.  Over the years, I have come to enjoy it in recipes such as Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad, ChickpeasTomatoes, and Edamame, and Edamame, Cranberry & Feta Salad.  I have also come to enjoy Trader Joe’s edamame hummus and chocolate covered edamame.  Chocolate covered edamame is a great protein rich item to toss into mixture.

In fact this salad is one that I make throughout the year as Little Miss Mixture really enjoys it.  This is a salad that is requested in lunches some weeks.  Now that makes a mom happy.

When edamame is in season it is an easy food to steam and prep for the freezer for later use.  Trader Joe’s also has fresh packaged or frozen edamame from that make this recipe simple to put together in minutes.  The recipe below is adapted from Edamame with Cranberries, Feta and Basil and while I have provided measurements, I really do not measure and in fact the salad can be made with any amount of edamame you have on hand.

Edamame, Cranberry and Feta Salad

Ingredients
16 oz. Edamame
1/2 cup Dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh Basil leaves, chopped
1-2Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Cup Feta crumbles
pepper to taste

Directions
Cook edamame in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Pat dry and remove from pods.
Toss edamame, cranberries, basil together.  Pour olive oil over salad, and add pepper. Gently stir in feta cheese. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Simple and satisfying.

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Grilled Corn Salad

IMG_2842Nothing says summer more than fresh corn and tomatoes.  For our first get together of the warmer weather season.  Okay actually our first dinner party in quite some time, I decided to serve a salad that has become a favorite.  I actually found this recipe by accident.  A couple years ago I had prepared grilled corn for a group and we had quite a few ears left over.

I love grilled corn on the cob, but it is not great leftover.  Typically I cut it off the cob and add it to salads.  Four or more ears left though I needed something else to make so as not to waste the corn.  This salad was a success and now I purposefully cook extra corn or grill corn ahead of meal time so as to serve this cold summer side.

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Grilled Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups ears of corn,
  • 1 Large bell pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red work best and add a nice color to the salad. Feel free to use a combination)
  • 1/2 Cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 Cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup crumbly salty cheese such as feta or cotija (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or lime juice
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. METHOD
  2. 1 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Oil the grill grates. Rub a little olive oil over the bell pepper. Place the corn and red bell pepper directly on the grill grates.
  3. Turn corn occasionally, so that every part is evenly cooked. Turn the red bell pepper occasionally until the skin has blistered up all around it. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Let the corn cool down for a few minutes. Stand the corn vertically, tip facing down, in a large shallow bowl or baking dish. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.
  5. Once the bell pepper has cooled a bit, remove the outer peel. Cut open the pepper, remove the seeds and stem. Chop the bell pepper into small pieces.
  6. Place grilled or toasted corn kernels, chopped bell pepper, chopped zucchini, red onion, cilantro, and serrano (if using) into a large bowl. Add the cumin, olive oil, vinegar or lime juice, and crumbly cheese (if using). Mix gently. Pepper to taste.

My Notes

I have always used Feta cheese and generally I use lime juice. The original version of this recipe also incorporated grilled zucchini. I find it can be left out or included depending on your meal or preference.

The salad is colorful and flavorful and pairs well with any grilled meat.

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Ceasar Salad

IMG_2816Ceasar salad is a classic salad.  I am not sure when I had my first caesar salad, but I have always enjoyed them though I do not eat them often.  However in the past year, I have been on what I would consider a caesar salad kick.  In fact I have probably had more caesar salads in the past year than the previous five years.

I am not sure what started my indulgence in caesar salad, but while in Boston last summer we had a lovely dinner in the north end.  Known for their italian food I had my eye on a gnocchi dish as I heard the restaurant made it from scratch and I would not be disappointed.  That was true, but I wanted some green, not that a caesar salad is high in nutrition, but it caught my eye on the menu.  Well the salad arrived and like the rest of the meal the portion was too much and Little Miss Mixture asked to try.

Cringe! Boo Hiss bad mom, whatever I am not one of those people who is squeamish or freaks out over my child having raw egg or raw fish.  I prefer to encourage her desire to taste new foods.  Besides I am the mom who has allowed her to have raw cookie dough and guess what everyone we are both fine.

Anyway the salad was very tasty and Little Miss Mixture enjoyed it so much that she has subsequently ordered them for herself when eating out.  Fast forward a few months and Mr. Mixture and I went to a restaurant in Mexico that was known for their table side Caesar Salad.  The shocker here was Mr. Mixture ate the salad as I am not sure he had ever previously had one.  So, back home Little Miss Mixture asks if I could make a caesar salad.  The concept of the salad is simple, but it had never occurred to me to make one at home.  This is one of those salads that has always been a treat I saved for eating out.  Well not anymore I tried and I conquered.

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Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

What you need for the salad:

Chicken Breast

Romaine Lettuce

Parmesan Cheese

Croutons*

Caesar Dressing

Marinade Boneless Skinless Chicken breast in olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and garlic.  Grill just before ready to serve salad.  Romaine lettuce can be served in large slices or torn based on your preference.  To assemble salad toss lettuce and croutons in a bowl and mix with Caesar Salad Dressing.  It is best if you use your hands to gently mix so the dressing can attach to the lettuce and croutons to optimize the flavor.  Chicken can be cut and tossed as well or sliced and placed atop the salad.  Once salad is assembled top with some fresh pepper and shaved parmesan and enjoy.

* I think freshly made croutons help to make this salad taste fresh.  Croutons are simple and easy and can be made up to 3 days ahead.  See recipe below.

Recipe for Caesar Dressing

Ingredients

1 tsp Anchovy paste
1 Small garlic clove
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 1/4 Tbsp Lemon Juice, using fresh 2 tbsp
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
3 1/2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
grinds of Black Pepper

Directions
Mix together garlic clove, kosher salt and anchovy paste into a paste consistency, being sure to mince and mash the garlic.
Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard and mix with paste
Gradually add olive oil then Vegetable oil until dressing is thick and glossy
Whisk in Parmesan cheese and season with pepper to taste
Can be made 1 day ahead

Printable Recipe Caesar Salad Dressing

Homemade Croutons

Day old bread, if available ( I used fresh sourdough bread from a local baker and the croutons turned out perfect)

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut or tear bread into cubes about 1-2 inches in size.  Toss bread in olive oil until lightly coated.  Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.  You can season with salt, pepper, or herbs of choice if you want a particular flavor.  For the caesar salad I simply used olive oil knowing the dressing would be the prominent flavor.

Printable Recipe Homemade Croutons

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