Food Hero

Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, Medium Fix, Salads, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


This recipe for Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes is from my favorite cooking magazine, Everyday Foodwith Martha Stewart. My mom saved all my copies over the past year, and I had a blast tearing out the new dishes to try out. I made this one while at Pura Vida and it was a big hit. I’m allergic to walnuts, so I substituted pine nuts. And couldn’t get red leaf so I had to use Romaine as you’ll see in the photos.

Red-Leaf Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in chunks
1 med red onon, quartered
2 T olive oil
coarse salt and ground black pepper
1 package (10 oz) frozen cut green beans, thawed
1/3 c walnuts
1 c plain low-fat yogurt
2 T white-wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 head red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

misenplacesweetpotatosaladPreheat oven to 450. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes, onions, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until sweet potatoes are tender, about 20min.

Add green beans and walnuts to sheet, toss. Roast until green beans are tender, about 5 min.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, and garlic. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Top lettuce with roasted veggies, drizzle with dressing.


Strawberry Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Salads | Tags: , ,


Too hot to cook? I’m a huge fan of “big salads.” (Remember how Elaine on Seinfeld always wanted to order “big salad.”) But sometimes you just can’t think of something yummy to put on your salad greens. My soulssitah Jen Payne to the rescue! Jen passed this great list of 101 Salads from the New York Times on to me, and I offer it now to you. (I understand #7 , the carrot blueberry salad  is especially great.)

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite combos: Strawberry Spinach Salad. Start with clean, dry baby spinach leaves. Toss in a couple hand full mint leaves. Add very thinly sliced red onions, chevre (goat cheese), and cashews. The lightest splash of olive oil and rice vinegar, or poppy seed dressing is nice.

Cumin-Flavoured Carrot Salad by Katy K
February 2, 2009, 3:29 am
Filed under: Katy K, Salads, Side Dish | Tags:

img_2546I made this salad for the first time several years ago when I prepared a Spanish-themed Christmas dinner for the family. I made paella and a selection of tapas instead of turkey. The recipe is from the great cookbook Tapas by Penelope Casas. This preparation of carrots tastes surprisingly exotic to me. For some reason, the glow of carrots with paprika and the taste and smell of the smoke and cumin make me  fancy that I am eating carrots in a much warmer place…perhaps at a table outside, with a slight breeze coming off the ocean,  resting my shoulder against a Moorish wall…
Yes, I like this salad. I have made it as a side for potlucks and, most recently, I brought it to a Spanish wine-tasting party.  It always elicits pleasantly surprised and complimentary remarks. I think it surprises people because it looks like it’s just a cold carrot salad but it’s really so much more.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/2     lb         carrots (about 4 medium)
2        Tblsp   white wine vinegar 
1 1/2  Tblsp   water
1        clove    garlic, pressed
1/4     tsp        oregano
1/4     tsp        cumin, freshly ground
1/4     tsp        paprika, Spanish, smoked, sweet 

Peel carrots, place in a saucepan, whole, and fill with broth until carrots are just covered.  I use a broth made from vegetable bouillon cubes. The original recipe calls for chicken broth, which is probably delicious, but I’ve never tried it. I don’t keep chicken broth on hand.  I keep vegetable bouillon cubes in my freezer to use when I’m not making a stock or a court bouillon.  Bring to a boil and simmer carrots until just done but slightly crisp, about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the carrots.  I have trouble getting this just right. The carrots keep cooking a little after you take them out of the broth because they’re still hot, so it’s kind of tricky. After they cool, slice into 1/4-inch slices. Mix the vinegar, water, garlic, oregano, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Toss carrots in this dressing and allow to marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.  The salad in my pictures was made with some multicoloured rainbow carrots – aren’t they pretty?

Quinoa Caprese Salad by Katy K
September 23, 2008, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Katy K, Salads
Quinoa Caprese Salad

Quinoa Caprese Salad

Another whole grain salad that I love.  This salad recipe is from the same set of recipes as the Bulgur with Grapes and Goat Cheese salad I posted a few weeks ago (Shape magazine May 2006). You can’t beat the combination of tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozarella.  This salad adds quinoa cooked in broth to give it more nutritional power.  The dressing is also interesting, it’s a simple combination of garlic oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.  It adds a new dimension to the traditional Caprese flavours.


1 Cup         quinoa
14 oz          broth
1 pint         grape tomatoes or roma tomatoes
3 oz           fresh mozarella
1 Cup         torn or chopped basil leaves

2.5 Tblsp    fresh lemon juice
1 Tblsp       garlic oil (I use a brand named Garlic Gold) 

...with a fork

...with a fork

Simmer quinoa in the broth until all the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes), fluff witha fork and cool. I use a vegetarian boullion cube (from Rapunzel) just to make it easier.  Slice or chop tomatoes and mozarella into attractive bite-sized pieces.  I normally make all my salads with grape tomatoes and this one is particularly attractive with similarly-sized tomatoes and mozarella balls – but this week the roma tomatoes looked great and the smallest mozarella balls were a little larger than bococcini so that’s what’s in the pictures.  Tear or chop the basil leaves into manageable pieces.  Mix quinoa, tomatoes, mozarella, and basil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  Whisk lemon juice and garlic oil together, pour over the salad, toss, and get yourself a fork!

Salad – Bulgur with Grapes and Goat Cheese by Katy K
August 30, 2008, 1:03 am
Filed under: Katy K, Salads
This salad has unusual ingredients, but every time I make it for a party or potluck I get a lot of compliments. I love it too. The grapes, green onion, mint, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar go together so well.  It’s healthy and refreshing and fills me up enough for a light lunch.  I found this recipe in Shape magazine (May 2006). It was with a group of recipes for salads that have whole grains in them.  The dressing is made up of equal parts maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and has no oil.  A friend who tasted it thought that the dressing was great and was going to use it for other dishes.  She pointed out that balsamic vinegar doesn’t cling to food very well and that mixing it with the maple syrup tastes good and it improves the texture of the balsamic vinegar as a dressing.  I thought this was a very good point and I’m going to try using this dressing for other balsamic vinegar applications very soon.

Ingredients (serves about 4)

1 Cup       Bulgur
1.5 Cups  boiling water
1.5 Cups  red grapes, halved
3              green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 Cup   chopped fresh mint
2 oz         goat cheese (crumbled or chunked with a fork)
3 Tblsp    balsamic vinegar
3 Tblsp    maple syrup

Put bulgur in a heat-proof bowl, pour boiling water over it, mix a little, cover with a heat-proof plate, and allow to sit for a 1/2 hour.  Remove lid and fluff bulgur with a fork and allow to cool completely.  I use a bread knife to halve the grapes.  Add grapes, onion, mint, and goat cheese and mix together.  Combine balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, pour over the salad and toss a little with a fork.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and enjoy!