asian salad

September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week for our school’s staff appreciation luncheon the theme was salads, and I had the perfect recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE salad and that it’s one of my favorite foods. My girls also know it, and in first grade Bella made sure to tell her teacher this on a school report. (Of course, to be fully forthcoming, she also reported that my favorite drink is wine – a proud parenting moment to be sure!) This asian salad recipe came to me from my friend Stacy and is a wonderful combination of sweet and savory; and the crunchy topping – a mix of uncooked ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds – gives great texture. It is the perfect addition to any salad-making repertoire, and I love surprising people with its unique and delicious taste.

Asian Salad

1 whole shredded green cabbage
chopped spinach (about 6 ounces)
chopped green onion

2 packages oriental flavored ramen noodles (mashed)
1 pack of dry oriental seasoning from ramen noodles
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons butter (melted)

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine cabbage, spinach and green onions in salad bowl. For topping, mix together 2 packages of uncooked ramen noodles (I break mine up with a wooden spoon before opening package), 1 pack of the dry seasoning mix that comes with the noodles, the sesame seeds, and the sliced and slivered almonds. Melt butter and pour over mixture. Broil in the oven on a cookie sheet until toasted. Add toasted topping to lettuces, coat with dressing and mix well.

chopped salad

April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

My friend Nichole and her family moved away last summer, and it has been sad for our family living without the daily interaction from our sweet friends. While we miss them terribly for so many more important reasons – if I can be selfish for a minute, I must say the lack of interesting salads in my life has definitely left a noticeable hole. I don’t know how she does it, but Nichole can make a salad out of almost anything. At every party, she was the go-to person for salads. Fruits, veggies, nuts, cheeses – she has a million combos, and each has its own perfect dressing that she just whipped up. I didn’t even realize how much I loved salads until she came into my life. Since I am nowhere near that creative on my own in the salad department, I’ve been forced to fend for myself (although I did have to send an emergency text to Nichole a while back when I was out of ideas, craving one of her perfect concoctions and desperate for salad inspiration). While I’ll never make a salad quite like my friend, I’m trying and have added a few yummy choices to the mix.

One of my favorite restaurants in the Seattle area is Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. With several locations, it is always a great place for tasty food, wine flights and atmosphere. I’m sure all the food is delicious, but I have a very hard time moving past their amazing chopped salad. Finely chopped lettuces, onion, peppers, avocado, garbanzo beans and pancetta make this the perfect salad you can eat as a meal. I found myself thinking about the salad so often that I’ve adapted my own version – so simple and easy to make with just a few ingredients that I usually already have in my fridge. I’m sure Nichole would have the perfect balsamic dressing recipe to make this even more delightful, but I’ve found that this girl can be happy with a little Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette to get it close enough. A great salad for warmer days!

Chopped Salad

butter and romaine lettuces
red onion
red pepper
bacon – crisp
feta cheese – crumbled
garbanzo beans

Finely chop lettuces, onion, pepper, avocado and bacon. Mix together with feta cheese and garbanzo beans. Toss with a balsamic vinaigrette and enjoy.

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