Apple-Cranberry Walnut Salad

This almost didn’t make the post as my son kept trying to steal it off the plate ūüôā

Last year a friend came over with this salad.

It was wonderfully simple and I had to re-create it! Then one day I

was completely out of an ingredient, so I made a substitution. My family loved

it even more! And so I continue to make it this way. As always, I am itching to

revamp it again, but here is take 1 ūüôā

Apple-Cranberry Walnut Salad

3– 4 large apples

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 Tb honey

1. Remove core of the apples and then slice them up.

2. Place apple, cranberries, walnuts in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the mixture and toss.

3. Add cinnamon and toss again.¬†Finally add the honey and toss 1 last time¬†ūüôā

See, Easy Peasy! You want to make sure to add the lemon, cinnamon, and honey

in the order. That allows the lemon juice to adhere to the apples to prevent browning.

If you add the honey before the cinnamon, then the cinnamon tends to get clumpy.

By any chance you have leftovers of this wonderful dish (which unless I hoard it, never happens)

it is wonderful served in oatmeal the next morning for breakfast! I have also been

tinkering with the idea of serving it warm over pancakes (yum!)

This post participates in the following:

 Morristribe-Homesteader-Blog-Carnival
Prairie Homestead Barn Hop
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter

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Cucumber Salad with Dilly Ranch Dressing

Please forgive my pictures. Sometimes in life you just have to go with what you’ve got!

I love cucumbers, which is a good thing since I have an over-abundance of them in my garden ūüôā

This is a little somethin’ somethin’ that I threw together at the last-minute, and it was a hit!

My dd who claims she hates cucumbers, couldn’t get enough!

Cucumber Salad 

2 4 in cucumbers peeled

1 Tb red onion diced

2 Tb (approx.) Dilly Ranch Dressing- recipe below

1. Roughly chop the cucumbers in a medium dice. Place the onion and cucumber in a bowl and toss.

2. Add enough dressing to coat cucumber/ onion mixture. Serve immediately or chill covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

I hope you enjoy this simple creamy goodness!

Dilly Ranch Dressing

1.5 Tb of mayonnaise (preferably homemade)

4 Tb of  creme fraiche

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tsp of dried dill weed

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

fresh cracked pepper

1/8 tsp of cumin

1. Combine all ingredients, taste and adjust salt/ pepper to your preference. Use right away or chill in the fridge (covered) until ready to use.

Warm Asian Bacon Salad

Please excuse the paper plate. With being due any day¬†I am trying to cut down on chores. Last thing I want is to come home to a sink full of dishes! I love this dish as it is naturally sweet…..but no sweeteners¬†are added¬†in it! Here is it shown served with Coconut Rice for a nice filling meal.

Dressing:

6 Tb sesame oil

3 Tb Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar

2 Tb Soy Sauce

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp powdered ginger

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cumin

1/4 cardamom

1. Combine ingredients and set aside

Salad:

2 large bunches of Tai Soi¬†or bok choy~stems finely chopped and leaves in 1 ” slices

2 small/ medium carrots shredded

1/4 c diced onion

1/2 c bell peppers cut into strips

1 c frozen pineapple chunks

1 pkg of bacon (I used beef bacon)

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.

2. In the same skillet add in frozen pineapple, bell peppers, onion, tai soi (bok choy) stems, and shredded carrots over medium heat. Stir until the onions are soft and the pineapple is heated through.

3. Add in the Tai Soi (bok choy) leaves and continue to stir until the leaves are wilted about 5-8 minutes.

4. Chop bacon, add back into skillet, pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve!

This is apart of the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop on the Penniless Parenting at www.pennilessparenting.com

This is apart of the Homestead Barn Blog Hop #64 on the Prairie Homestead at http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/06/homestead-barn-hop-64.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePrairieHomestead+%28The+Prairie+Homestead%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

Greek inspired quinoa salad

“More! More!”…”Me too! Me too!” Those words are music to a mother’s ears….especially when heard at the dinner table! I’ve put off making quinoa because the last time I made it the kids wouldn’t eat it. I decided to give it another go this time using the white quinoa instead of the red. The white is more mild in flavor, which seems to be a hit ūüôā

Ingredients:
2 cups of quinoa soaked overnight and rinsed until water is clear*
3 cups of water
olive oil
1 cup of cucumber de-seeeded and diced
1 Tbsp of minced red onion
1/2 c of diced & de-seeded tomato
10 olives (your favorite) cut in half or quartered
1 1/2 cups of baby spinach sliced into ribbons

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c olive oil
1 Tbsp of greek seasoning
salt & pepper

*Make sure you rinse your soaked quinoa until the water runs clear….if this step is skipped your quinoa will be BITTER! For more information on soaking your quinoa visit http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/basic-quinoa-soaked.html

1. Place quinoa in a pot on medium heat with the 3 cups of water. Cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, and drizzle with olive oil to prevent clumping.

2. In a bowl add the quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredients. (Other optional veggies could be colored bell peppers, artichokes, or even capers.)

3. In a separate bowl prepare dressing. Squeeze in lemon juice, add greek seasoning, and SLOWLY pour in olive oil, whisking until emulsified. It should take about 1/3 c of olive oil, but watch carefully! Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

4. Pour dressing over salad, toss, then taste to adjust salt & pepper to taste. **tip the more salty the olive you use, the less salt you will need to add in, the same goes with the capers ūüôā Enjoy!

This post was shared as a part of the Pennywise Platter. http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2012/01/pennywise-platter-thursday-119.html

Warm Mediterranean Rice Salad

I love this salad! It has the brightness of summer, yet the warm-ness of winter. A perfect combination for a springtime meal. Use it as a side or add chicken on top for an entrée. Serves 3-4.

Salad ingredients:
1 2/3 c brown rice *see note
2 c. loosely packed torn spinach
20 cherry tomatoes halved
2 mini seedless cucumbers, thickly sliced and quartered
2 oz of ricotta salta or feta cheese, crumbled
10 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
salad dressing (listed below)

1. Cook the * brown rice according to the package. When most of the water has been absorbed add the spinach and cover. Total cook time should be about 45 minutes, adding the spinach doesn’t change the rice’s cook time.

2. After the rice and spinach have cooked, remove from heat and remove cover. You want to allow the rice to cool a little so that it is warm but not hot. While cooling put the rest of the ingredients (except dressing) into a large bowl.

3. Once rice and spinach have cooled a little, add to the bowl and gently toss.

4. Just before serving lightly drizzle with salad dressing. Depending on the texture of the rice you may not need all the dressing. You will want a light coating, but you do not want the salad to look really wet.

*Note* This is a great way to use up leftover rice. To save time, when you prepare rice for another meal, cook extra and set it aside for this recipe. Then steam the rice and spinach together until spinach is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
~ 1/4 c olive oil
1 garlic clove finely minced
1/4 tsp cracked red pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup squeeze in lemon juice. The amount of juice will determine how much olive oil you need. Wisk the lemon juice, while slowly adding olive oil. When it has emulsified you have enough olive oil. My lemon had a lot of juice, so I needed more oil. Whisk in rest of ingredients tasting as needed. *tip go light on salt until after you have added to salad, you can always add more if needed.

This recipe is a part of Nourshing Gourmet Pennywise Platter. For more information please visit:
http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2011/03/pennywise-platter-thursday-310.html#more-3928