Fruity Farro Salad with Honey Lime Dressing


HI all– I’m hoping summer is cooling down here– but we are still big on summer salads and with nectarines and strawberries beautiful and ripe these days, here was a recent supper.  A splash of farro and sprinkling of garbanzos gave it some heft and balanced out the sweet fruit and creamy avocado.  With the tart lime dressing and a chunk of walnut Levain bread– delicious!

FRUITY FARRO SALAD WITH HONEY LIME DRESSING

Salad:
1/2 cup farro
3 cups greens
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 nectarine, cut to small chunks
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 avocado, cut to small chunks
1/4 cup salted almonds, chopped

Dressing:
3 tab. olive oil
1  1/2 tab. lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey
salt & freshly grond pepper to taste

Cook the farro according to the directions on the package (mine simmered 10 minutes with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt).  Drain off any extra water.  Cool.

To make the dressing, put the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, honey, salt and pepper into a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake briskly until it’s thoroughly combined.  (If you let it sit, the honey may sink to the bottom, so shake it again just before you pour it on the salad).

Layer the greens, cilantro, garbanzo beans, farro, nectarine, strawberries, avocado,, and almonds on a platter.  Pour on the dressing when you are ready to eat.  Enjoy!

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Italian Chopped Salad

 

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Hello all-  Took this salad to dinner with a table full of friends on Valentines Day.  A big Italian feast.  Jill made us all wear large heart name tags (ala Julia Child) and Tim was ready with the go ’round questions after dinner–
What’s the most romantic things your spouse has ever done??
What about you, most annoys your husband/wife??
If your spouse were famous, what would he/she be known for??

It was a a delightful evening, 12 old friends, most of us married around 40 years, and I appreciated my Larry all the more by the time the evening was over.

And– we had this bright salad–full of a lot of my favorite tastes.  It’s hearty enough to be dinner on its own– or just part of a big festive dinner with friends!

ITALIAN CHOPPED SALAD

Salad:
6 cups chopped green leaf lettuce*
1/4 pound hard salami, thickly sliced & chopped
3 oz. feta with herbs, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup good mixed cured olives

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. white balsamic**
1 tsp. honey
3 tab. parmesan romano
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

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Spread the greens in a large salad bowl and top with the other salad ingredients.

In a container with a closed lid, shake together the dressing ingredients until they are thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad just before you are ready to serve and do just a bit of tossing to coat all the salad.  (This amount makes 6 servings)  Enjoy!

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Quinoa Avocado Garbanzo Salad

IMG_1700Hi all– in the middle of all this holiday eating, sometimes you just have to stop and say a salad is all we need for dinner.  It happened to us last Sunday– no big Sunday lunch.  A salad was quite enough.  And this one is satisfying enough to feel like a real meal.

QUINOA AVAOCADO GARBANZO SALAD
4 cups greens
1 cup quinoa
1 14 oz. can garbanzos, rinsed
1 avocado, cut in chunks
1 navel orange, cut in segments
1/2 cup almonds, cut in half

dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tab. orange chanpagne vinegar* (or cider vinegar)
1 tsp. seedy mustard
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer all the salad ingredients on a ample plate.  Shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are completely blended.  Add the dressing to the salad just before you are ready to serve it up.

makes 2 full lunch servings

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White Chicken Chili with Garbanzos & Cannellini Beans

IMG_3617Hi there– Soup’s here!!  After weeks, of crazy hot weather this fall, it’s finally cooled down!   I wore sweaters to school every day this week.  And switched over to my cozy winter pajamas.  We haven’t touched the air conditioning.  And soup!  Glorious soup!

I made a ample pot of this stuff and took soup lunches to school with me all week.  And it was delish–  all those chewy beans along with the tender chicken and slightly spicy broth.  So glad to be back to wonderful warming soup days!

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI WITH GARBANZOS & CANNELLINI BEANS
1 serrano chile
1 medium onion, cut to bits
2 tab. olive oil
4 cups chicken stock, divided
2 tab. flour
1 tsp. adobo sauce
1 chipotle chili, seeds removed, minced fine**
2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
1 roasted chicken, boned and cut to nice bites
2 11 oz. cans white corn kernels, drained & rinsed
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 7 oz. can salsa verde*
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup half & half (or whole milk)
3 tab. cornstarch
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
garnish: sour cream, avocado, corn kernels (saved from the recipe), cilantro

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil.  Then toss in the cut up onion and the Serrano chile, cut lengthwise and the seeds removed.  Cook 4 or 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown.
Remove the Serrano and discard (unless you like your soup way spicier than I do!)

Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock, adobo sauce, minced chipotle chili and 1 can of the cannellini beans that have been drained and rinsed.  With a stick blender whirl it all into a thick paste.  Or remove the mixture to a blender and blend it all up together and return to the pot.

To that mixture, add the rest of the chicken stock, garlic and basil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then put in the chicken, corn, the 2nd can of cannellini beans, garbanzo beans and salsa verde.  Simmer on low for 10 minutes more.

Jus before serving, shake together the half & half and the cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Stir it into the simmering soup for a few minutes, until it thickens a bit.  Then add in the lime juice and cilantro.  Simmer just a minute more.

Serve it up hot and garnish with sour cream, avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro and reserved corn kernels.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

*I like the Hedrez salsa verde.
**You can more chipotle, if you love more heat.

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Avocado, Garbanzo and Feta Salad with Lime Dressing


IMG_1001Hi there–  Sometimes in the summer, it’s easier to “gather” dinner than to do much full on cooking.  So last night we had a picnic dinner– a board with a couple cheeses, salami, ham, olives, sliced tomatoes with balsamic dressing, fruit and a crunchy loaf of bread to sop it all up,  and– this little salad, rich and so full of flavor– creamy avocados, smooth garbanzos with the bright lime dressing.  Pretty darn good.

AVOCADO, GARBANZO AND FETA SALAD
2  14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
3 large avocados, cut in smallish chunks
1/2 cup crumbled feta –with garlic & herbs|
1 lime, juiced  (about 3 tab. juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
few grinds of fresh black pepper
2 tsp. seedy mustard

Stir together the garbanzos, avocado and feta.

Then in a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the lime juice, oil, salt, sugar, pepper and mustard until it’s well blended.

Pour the lime juice dressing over the garbanzo mixture and stir it up.  You can serve it at room temperature, as is, but it benefits from a little chilling in the fridge.  Delicious!

P.S.  If you have a loaf of sturdy bread on the table, sopping up the extra lime dressing with a hunk of bread is heartily recommended!

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Chopped Kale Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing

IMG_8136Hey there–This was Sunday lunch a couple weeks ago. Tasted just right after a couple nights of heavy duty eating out with friends!  What can I say?– there’s so much crunch and it’s light and spiced just right.  We gave it two thumbs up!  Hope you give it a try…

CHOPPED KALE SALAD WITH HONEY GINGER DRESSING

4 cups chopped kale
1 tab. olive oil
1 avocado, cut in nice little chunks
1 cup canned garbanzo beans
1/3 cup chopped almonds
2 tab. sesame seeds
2 green onions

Dressing:
1/4 cup oil oil
2 tab. cider vinegar
1 tab. honey
1/2″ chunk fresh ginger, minced
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Shake together the ingredients for the dressing in a container with a tight lid until it’s all emulsified.  Taste to adjust for seasoning.  Set aside

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan.  Drop in the kale and stir it just one minute to soften it a bit.

Put it onto a pretty salad bowl and then layer on the avocado, garbanzo beans, almonds, sesame seeds and green onion.  Pour on the dressing and enjoy with a sturdy chunk of good bread…

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Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

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Hello there– Is it still soup weather where you live?  After  a warm winter here, it’s dipping down into the 60’s this week– and it’s suppose to rain today!!  Boy, do we need rain.
So to celebrate our chilly, soggy day ahead, here’s a nice light soup–sounds about right for a drizzly spring day.

COCONUT CURRY LENTIL SOUP
2 cups lentils
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut to bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
7 cups water
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. yellow curry powder
14 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 tab. lime juice
lime slices & cilantro for garnish

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.  When it’s hot, throw in the onion.  Cook it 3 to 4 minutes until the onion bits cook through.  Then add in the red pepper and garlic.  Cook 3 minutes more.

Pour in the tomato sauce, water, coconut milk, curry powder, garbanzo beans and lentils.  Bring it to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.

When you’re ready to serve it up hot, add in the lime juice and top each bowl with some sprigs of cilantro.