Just Another Meatless Monday…..

  

I found this great meal replacement salad via Martha Stewart last week and tossed it up for meatless Monday. Baby romaine, cukes, red onion, orange pepper, yellow tomatoes, lime, pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds, chopped parsley, capers, feta cheese …

  
Oh , and a yummy dressing made out of pomegranate molasses!

Let’s look again…

  
Theirs….

   
 
Ours….

Hey, it worked!

    
A long time ago, my friend J and I were doing a catering gig. He came up with the idea to build the salad in a ring mold to make it a little different. Anyway, good idea, but hard to do for 100+ plates with limited skilled hands. However, if you only have to do four for Easter dinner, it’s a snap!

     
  

I wanted to recreate a carrot cake in my salad for Easter. I know, call me crazy. Not too hard if you take individual components like raisins and pineapple which I used in their original form. I roasted some teeny tiny Peter Rabbit sized carrots with some honey and candied some walnuts in a pan with butter, brown sugar and apple pie spice.

  

I mixed up a dressing of orange juice, ginger, salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar, and creme fraiche to mimic the whole cream cheese frosting of a cake and then I started building. Bibb lettuce (it is a salad after all), then canned chunk pineapple, then the carrots, then ricotta salata cheese that I shaved with a vegetable peeler, then walnuts and raisins.

Then you kinda smush the ingredients down in the mold for a couple of seconds, to give the ingredients time to bond. The key is not to have to move the salad to a plate. Build it where you need it!

I pooled the dressing around the stack and am happy to report it was an all round success!

BONUS ROUND!

  
Here’s my sister’s molded ice cream bird nest dessert. Shredded phyllo wreath with jellied leaves, vanilla and Irish Cream ice cream, an topped with malted chocolate eggs! 

We had the wrap on culinary molds this holiday!

  

Summer Salad

I’ve been making a lot of salads lately…for a variety of reasons.  All of which contribute to a lifestyle of healthy, wealthy and wise… so bear with me while I present an unfolding panoply from the last few days !

First up a copy cat recipe from of all places, Ireland. It’s not really the first place you think of when you see an avocado!


IMG_3082[1]But on our last nite in Clifden last summer, we had dinner in Foyle’s hotel and both my sister and I ordered the “baked avocado” salad. I honestly don’t remember if there were greens on the plate, but I do know that there was a whole avocado, cut in half and the top had a melted piece of mozzarella on it. Well that’s easy…

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I tossed some cherry tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and then placed them in a foil pan with the halved avocado and two slices of mozzarella. In the future I will start the tomatoes before hand because I like them a little roastier than they came out.


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I placed the whole package on some arugula tossed with some balsamic glaze and added a little bit more salt and pepper. Nice protein fix from the cheese and avocado, so this was dinner for the nite. You could serve as a side salad also if you desired. But the baked avocado becomes much creamier with the heat. Just need to balance heated through versus melted!











 

In lieu of salad…

  

I didn’t feel like making a salad last nite, but I do try to make us something each day composed of something that grew in the ground. I had nifty leftover roasted tomatoes from our pizza night last weekend and decided to use them on a roasted zucchini. 

  
I split and seeded the zucchini and put in a 425 oven for about 40 minutes with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Once it was soft through, I added the leftover tomatoes and a skim of ricotta and popped it back in the oven for about 15 minutes. I topped them with sunflower sprouts. I like them better than bean sprouts, not as risky for food borne illness issues, and all the antioxidant bennies!

  
You could also top with another favorite of the Hubs and add some peppery arugula!