Blueberry Broccoli Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Ranch Dressing

Hi all– Should I apologize for the extra long title of this salad??– I just wanted you to know the yummy components and plus also the lovely dressing on top!

Took this salad along to my brother’s house for our Easter dinner.  And liked it so much we had it again last night!  It’s bright and fresh and I can say it works well with Easter ham or a slice of mushroom pizza!

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI AVOCADO  SALAD

Salad:
5 cups of your favorite salad greens
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Poppyseed Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer the salad ingredients in a pretty bowl.

Then stir together the ingredients  for the dressing until they are thoroughly blended.  It makes more dressing than we needed on our salad, so there’s more in the fridge for another day.

Mandarin Pomegranate Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

 

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Hi all–  A couple weeks ago we had friends in for a wintery night dinner.  There was honey crusted pork loin, wild rice and Brussel spouts– and this bright sweet salad to start us off.

The real hit of the evening was after dinner, when our friend Mark pulled out his little bag of tricks and did an amazing magic show!  How did the nine of hearts jump from that stack of cards to the other?? Or the coin go right through the table??  You had us totally mystified Mark.

MANDARIN POMEGRANATE SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
4 cups of your favorite greens*
3 mandarin oranges
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 avocado, cut to neat chunks
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. orange vinegar**
2 tab. honey
1 tab. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and break the mandarin oranges into neat segments.  Then layer the greens, mandarin segements, pomegranate seeds, avocado and almonds onto a pretty platter.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds. salt & pepper until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.

*I used baby arugula– spinach, green leaf lettuce, bib lettuce are all great.
** Love love Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Vinegar, but red wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar would be terrific too.

 

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Green Goddess Veggie Dip

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Hi all– I think I’ve already told you about the group of 20 somethings who drop in every Monday night to meet up, talk, laugh, plan, pray.  The don’t knock–just drift in 2 or 3 at a time, stop in the kitchen to say they’re here, to catch up.  It’s great. And I get to feed them– just a little snack to get us going.   I love our Monday nights.

So this week (too hot to bake!) we had the coffee table full of veggies, dip and some crackers on the side.  Here it is:

GREEN GODDESS VEGGIE DIP
2 ripe avocados
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt (about 1/2 tsp.) and freshly ground pepper to taste.
garnish: chopped green onion

Just drop all the ingredients into a blender or use a stick blender until it’s smooth and creamy.  Set it out with a board of veggies and maybe a few crackers.  Done.

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P.S.  I know this recipe is nothing like the traditional Green Goddess dressing– I think the name was just stolen because it’s green!

Crunchy Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing

 

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Hi all–  I like this bright friendly salad– All that sturdy kale, hearty farro and those crunchy almonds.  But the real star is the dressing!  So much flavor from the cilantro, tahini, cumin, garlic…

Actually I had the tahini in the fridge, because I got it for a humus recipe that was grand failure (lumpy, bumpy and bland).  Add that to the list of not so great cooking attempts that never made it to be blog posts!!   But happily, the tahini was just what I needed when I came across a version of this salad (thanks Pinterest!). I think you might like it as much as we did…

CRUNCHY KALE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. red wine vinegar
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
2 tab. tahini
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
several grinds of freshly ground pepper

Salad:
1/2 cup farro, uncooked
5 cups, kale, chopped to bits
1 carrot, shredded to strips
5 radishes, sliced thin
1 avocado, cut to small pieces
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients until they are thoroughly blended, set aside.

Cook the farro according to the package directions– mine said boil with 1  1/2 cups slightly salted water for 10 minutes.  Drain in a sieve and rinse with cold water to be cool enough for the salad.

Then layer up the kale, farro, carrots, avocado, radishes and almonds.  Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve it up.  Crunchy good!

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Avocado Green Sauce

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Hi all– If you love Mexican food as much as we do, I think you will love love this green sauce!  It’s the best all purpose sauce– on tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chicken, fish and just for chip dipping…  And so delicious. I couldn’t stop eating it!!

Got this scrumptious green sauce from Melody on her friendly Texan blog– Meals with Mel. She’s a pro when it comes to Mexican dishes.  And this is one our favorites!!

AVOCADO GREEN SAUCE
7 oz. can salsa verde (I like Hedrez brand)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 avocados, peeled & pitted
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a blender and whip until it’s smooth.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.

P.S.  The recipe I worked from called for 2 cans of salsa verde and optional jalpeno or serano pepper– You might want to spice it up, but this version is just spicy enough for me.

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Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Avocado & Pecans

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KALE SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE, AVOCADO & PECANS

Hello all– It’s summer.  So we are just having grilled fish, this salad and a chunk of sour dough bread.  That’s it– just enough to satisfy on a hot summer evening.  (or maybe just a prelude to a walk for frozen yogurt…)

Salad:
4 cups kale, chopped to bits
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut in chunks
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup pecans

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar*
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

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Pour the kale into a bowl and top with avocado, pomegranate seeds and pecans>

In  container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt & pepper until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour it over the salad.**

*Any vinegar will do– It’s an inexpensive luxury to have a collection of vinegars to choose from, since they keep for quite a while in a cool place.
**Usually I dress the salad at the last minute before I put it on the table, but kale will hold up to dressing so you can pour it on stick it in the fridge for a few minutes while you get the rest of the dinner on the table.  That way it’s ready to go!

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Mexican Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Hi all– We are trying to get a little jump on summer here.  It’s been warm and my thoughts are already on summer break, lazing in bed mornings with a book, lunch dates with friends, weekend beach walks, dinner out under the maples in the backyard…  It’s all about slowing down, less rush.

And salads.  A bright salad for dinner, makes it seem like summer.  Fresh colorful veggies, salty bacon and cheese.  And tart cilantro lime dressing.  It isn’t June yet, but with this salad on the table, it feels like summer!

MEXICAN COBB SALAD WITH CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

Salad:
4 cups leafy greens
3 small tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 firm avocado, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
1 Persian cucumber, sliced thin
3 strips of bacon, fried & crumbled
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
2 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
1/3  cup cortijo cheese*

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. lime juice (about 1 large lime)
2 tab. cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

This is easy.  Spread the lettuces out on a platter and spoon the other ingredients on top.  Done!

For the dressing, put the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, sugar and salt & pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake til it’s thoroughly blended and drizzle over the salad.

Great served with a chunk of cornbread– or if there’s no time to bake, a handful of crispy tortilla chips. Dinner for two.  Enjoy!

*I didn’t have cortijo cheese in the fridge, so used feta.

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