Cooking with Tammy Kelly: When you really just want a salad!

Cooking with Tammy Kelly: When you really just want a salad!

Chilly weather is always joined by comfort food, but the recent snap of spring like weather makes us ready to bounce out of the slow winter mode and get back to some good old-fashioned clean eating!!!  It’s time to mix up some hearty winter salads!!  Try some of these in and out of the box recipes for your dinner this week!

 Winter Chopped Salad 

3 tablespoons cider vinegar 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced shallot, about 1 small (or red onion)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey 

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 apple, cored and diced

½ head chopped Radicchio

6 cups chopped escarole

4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce

½ cup finely diced celery hearts

½ cup finely diced carrots

½ cup finely diced radishes

Puree vinegar, olive oil, shallot, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper in blender, mini food processor or with immersion blender. Combine apple, radicchio, escarole, Romaine, celery, carrots and radishes in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.

Serves 6, each 2 cup serving contains; Calories 106, Fat 7 g., Carbohydrates 10 g., Fiber 4 g., Protein 2 g., Sodium 351 mg.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pickled Red Onion Salad 

2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 2 medium

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

1/2 cup whole-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon (or more if you like it stronger) finely minced ginger

Pickled red onions, (purchased or homemade)

Handful of Italian parsley leaves

Lemon

Optional, Feta for topping 

Preheat your oven 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Toss the sweet potatoes with a hefty pinch of salt and the olive oil. Add them in a single layer to the prepared pan then roast for 40 to 45 minutes until they are tender and charred in parts.

While the yams roast combine the yogurt, ginger and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

Let the roasted potatoes cool to room temperature before you transfer them to a serving platter. Dollop the ginger yogurt on top. Finish with pickled red onions, parsley leaves, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, salt and Feta. (You will be surprised)!

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing 

Dressing

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon fresh minced chives

2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro

Salt and pepper, to taste

Milk or water, to thin (about 1-2 tablespoons)

Salad

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (Frank’s is my favorite)

3 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

4 stalks celery, diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

4 green onions, sliced

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. You may need to use a fork to break up some of the blue cheese chunks. Refrigerate while you make the rest of the salad.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat. (For ease often I will bake chicken tenders in the Buffalo sauce, in the oven) 

Season the chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Using a pastry brush, brush one side of the chicken breasts with about 1/4 of the buffalo wing sauce.

Place the chicken, sauce side down, onto the preheated, greased grill grate or grill pan. Brush the top of the chicken with another 1/4 of the buffalo wing sauce.

Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes, or until sear marks appear, then flip. Brush top side with an additional 1/4 of the buffalo wing sauce. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until sear marks appear, then flip. Brush top with last of buffalo sauce. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

Meanwhile, assemble the salads by filling bowls with lettuce, celery, tomatoes, green onions, and blue cheese. Add on the chicken, and then sprinkle with cilantro. Drizzle on the dressing.

Caesar Salad with Brussels Sprouts 

(My favorite with fresh Winter sprouts) 

2 tbsp. olive oil 

2 lb. Brussels sprouts, shaved 

Salt and Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar 

1/2 c. creamy Caesar dressing 

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish 

1 Garlic clove, minced 

Juice of 1/2 lemon 

1/2 tsp. dried oregano 

Croutons, for serving 

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Add Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are crisp tender and a vibrant green, about 5 minutes. Stir in red wine vinegar and remove from heat. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together Caesar dressing, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and oregano. Drizzle some of the dressing over Brussels sprouts and toss to combine. Add more dressing if desired. Garnish with more grated Parmesan and croutons.

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Hearty Kale Salad with Bacon, Egg and Cheese 

8 slices bacon 

1 clove garlic, minced 

1/4 c. red wine vinegar 

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard 

Salt and Freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil 

2 tbsp. butter 

4 large eggs 

1 lb. kale, chopped 

1 c. freshly grated Parmesan 

1 avocado, sliced 

1 c. croutons 

Preheat oven to 350°. Line sheet pan with parchment and place bacon strips without overlapping them. Bake until crispy, 20 to 22 minutes.

Meanwhile, make dressing: In a small jar, add garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, and oil and, with a tightly fitted lid, shake until blended. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. When it begins to bubble, fry eggs until whites are set and edges are crispy but yolk is bright yellow and runny, 3 to 5 minutes. 

In a larger platter or bowl, toss kale with dressing. Top with Parmesan, avocado, croutons, a fried egg, and bacon.

Classic Ambrosia Salad 

(This is not just for the Holidays

1 1/2 c. Cool Whip 

1/2 c. sour cream 

3 c. mini marshmallows 

1 (15-oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained 

1 c. chopped fresh pineapple 

1 c. shredded coconut 

3/4 c. halved maraschino cherries (stems removed), drained 

3/4 c. toasted pecans 

In a large bowl, fold together Cool Whip and sour cream. Add oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut, pecans, and marshmallows and stir gently. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. 

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