Salad Bar!

Who doesn’t want to sit down to a fresh, colorful and crispy salad topped with your favorite dressing?  The simplicity, the beauty, the different textures all combine to make this lunch time treat such a pleasing and healthy option.

Recently we served this for a retreat, and it received such rave reviews that we thought we’d share our salad bar ideas with you.  We haven’t included amounts, because you can make as little or as much as you want.  As a guide, people would probably want to plan on 1 Tbsp. of toppings per person.   It’s also the perfect “to go” meal – just prep all the toppings, throw them in zip-lock bags or containers and then dish up before serving.

We hope you enjoy some of these ideas as much as we do.

Salad Bar Suggestions:

Lettuce – a blend of iceberg, romaine, bibb and red leaf is nice

diced ham
diced turkey or chicken
hard boiled eggs
cheese – Havarti, swiss, cheddar – all recommended
crumbled gorgonzola
tomatoes, wedged or grape or cherry tomatoes
roasted beets, julienned
avocado
cucumber
celery
olives
grated carrot
broccoli and/or cauliflower flowerets
peas
chopped scallions
sliced red onion
colored peppers
garbanzo beans
cooked lentils
diced cooked bacon
cooked quinoa
sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
chia seeds
toasted nuts – such as walnuts or pecans
croutons

An Assortment of Homemade Dressings – click on the link for the recipes

Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
English Garden Salad Dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Salad Bar!
SERVINGS
However much you want
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
However much you want
COOK TIME
0
PREP TIME
1 hour (or less)
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing
  1. Makes 1 cup (250ml), about four servings If you can’t get buttermilk, mix one part milk (whole or lowfat) with one part plain yogurt (regular or lowfat) to approximate the taste. Any kind of blue cheese, domestic or imported, should work well.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the blue cheese with the salt and pepper with the back of a fork until the pieces of cheese are finely broken up.
  3. Stir in the chives, sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice or wine vinegar until well mixed.
  4. Add a few drops of red wine vinegar. Taste, and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking and if the dressing too thick, add a bit more buttermilk. *Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
  1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.
English Garden Salad Dressing
  1. Combine all but the oils in a bowl and whisk. Slowly whisk in the oils to combine.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a glass jar with a lid.
  2. Replace lid on the jar and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Blackened Salmon

“Ooh”  I gasped under my breath as the waiter deftly lowered my plate, carefully centering it in front of me. Before I could gain my composure he had swept away with an enthusiastic injunction to me to “enjoy”.

I had been taken to lunch by a friend who was convinced that I would love the fabulous salmon salad this restaurant was known for. This was years ago just when blackened salmon was just becoming a new sensation. Although I’d heard of it, I’d never yet seen it, nor was I at all expecting  my salmon at this lunch to be blackened, but here it was before me…..and very black indeed..

Determined to make this a positive experience for the sake of my friend I bravely, though skeptically, took my first taste, and with that taste I became a fan. Now, years later I now have developed my own version, somewhat modified but very flavorful.  I highly recommend it to all salmon lovers, especially at this season of the year.

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Blackened Salmon
SERVINGS
4people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
10minutes
PREP TIME
10 minutes
READY IN
20minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, thyme, teaspoon of the onion salt.
  3. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt 2 ½ tablespoons of the butter. Add the lemon juice.
  4. Working with 1 salmon fillet at a time, dip the top and bottom halves first in the lemon butter, then in the spices.
  5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the salmon until blackened to your liking about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven for 8 minutes.

 

 

Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake

As our choir was preparing for our Lenten concert program this past week, we reminded ourselves that the English word Lent is a shortened form of Old English len(c)ten, which means ‘spring’.  This means that Lent refers to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

What could be more spring-like than a warm tart and sweet lemon soufflé?  As I was preparing this dessert as a gift for a friend, I looked out into our snow-covered yard imagining crocuses budding their heads out of the frozen earth as a promise of what lies ahead.

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Rating: 4.5
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Lemon Souffle Pudding Cake
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
40-45mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
1.5hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. A soufflé will work the best if all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter and dust with sugar six – 1 cup ramekins or other heatproof bowls or a six cup soufflé dish.
  2. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the sugar to use when whipping the egg whites. Place the remaining sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon zest to the sugar. With the beater attachment, grind the lemon zest into the sugar, creating a fragrant, slightly yellow tinged sugar. Working the zest into the sugar will release lots of the essential oils in the zest, creating a super lemony batter.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the lemony sugar and softened butter. Add the three egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt and beat until combined (do not over mix)
  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually pour in the lemon juice and milk. Set aside while you beat the egg whites.
  5. In a clean bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, in three additions, mixing only until incorporated.
  7. Carefully pour (or use a ladle) the batter into the prepared ramekins. (The batter does not rise much during baking so you can fill the ramekins almost to the rim.)
  8. Place the ramekins or soufflé dish in a larger baking pan. Boil a tea pot of water to create a water bath. (A water bath is used to provide temperature protection for the eggs.)
  9. Place the basting pan with the souffle inside into the oven, carefully pulling the oven rack out a bit. Carefully pour in enough hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins or soufflé dish, and carefully slide the rack back into the oven.
  10. Bake for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the sponge cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Be careful not to insert the toothpick into the lemon sauce at the bottom of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool slightly before serving.

This dessert can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust the tops of the puddings with confectioners sugar and dress with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries or lemon slices.