Archive for ‘Salad’

August 5, 2014

Thai Beef Salad

This is a rather versatile recipe. Feel free to add/adapt as you see fit! Speaking of fit, this counts as healthy food, right?

thai beef salad

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • ~1.5 lb flank steak
  • 1 tbs thai red curry paste
  • Marinade:
    • 1/4 cup (4 tbs) soy sauce
    • 2 tbs fish sauce
    • 2 tbs oil
    • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 basil leaves, julienned (stack and roll, then rock the knife to create thin strips)
  • green onion, julienned (cut thinly on the diagonal with a SHARP chef’s knife)
  • 1/2 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • handful or two of cherry tomatoes
  • 10 oz fresh spring salad mix
  • crushed peanuts
  • sesame seeds
  • fried shallots


  • 3 parts soy sauce
  • 1 part fish sauce
  • 1 part sesame oil
  • 1 part thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy is my brand of preference)
  • optional if you like sweeter: honey to taste
  • dash of lime juice


Mmm… all prepped?


  1. Marinate steak, uncut, in a ziplock bag for 4-8 hours. Remove and rub with a thin coat of red curry paste.
  2. On an aluminum foil lined grill (or cast iron griddle with grill lines), bring heat up to high. Drizzle aluminum with oil and grill meat 4-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Better to undercook than overcook!
  3. Let meat REST for 3-5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal (against the grain) in thin slices.
  4. Combine veggies and toss with vinaigrette. Top with sliced meat, then sesame seeds, peanuts, shallots, or whatever toppings you please.


January 5, 2013

Healthy Eggs Benedict + Wilted Spinach and Truffle Salad

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 1.14.05 PM

Weekends = real breakfast.


  • 1 multigrain English muffin
  • 2 eggs
  • white vinegar (or any non colored vinegar)
  • 4 slices canadian bacon
  • shredded cheese


  1. Fill a small sauce pot half way with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 tbs vinegar. Carefully crack eggs into hot water (or crack into individual small ramekins and dip ramekins into water and slide out egg). Cover pot and set aside ~4 min. 
  2. Halve and toast English muffin.
  3. Heat small frying pan on medium high. Add a tsp or so of oil and fry canadian bacon until crisp on edges, flipping as needed.
  4. Remove bacon from pan onto each slice of toasted English muffin. Top with cheese. Return to toaster oven, set on broil, and let cheese melt. (If you dont have a toaster oven, put cheese on bacon while it’s still in the frying pan and let it melt with heat on medium).

Screen shot 2013-01-05 at 1.13.56 PM


  • 2 handfuls of clean baby spinach
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • truffle oil

In remaining bacon fat, fry shallots until soft. Add spinach and a pinch of salt. Toss until just wilted. Remove and plate. Drizzle a few drop sof truffle oil on top.

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January 5, 2012

Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I found my new go-to salad recipe! Who would’ve thought raw kale could taste so good…I had a similar salad at Brooklyn Winery during my winter vacation in New York this December (awesome place, btw. we won trivia night last week!), and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Solution? Some reverse engineering. Ok, so BKWinery’s salad still has some magical touch that makes it taste beyond amazing, but this recipe has passed my live-in New Yorker’s taste test, and he’s OK-ed it for our dinner rotation.


  • 1 batch of kale
  • 1/2 small butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup hulled barley or farro, cooked in chicken stock
  • 1/2 small apple, sliced
  • 1 cup candied walnuts* (adapted from SimplyRecipes)
  • ~1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinaigrette**


  1. Soak barley over night or for several hours. Rinse and drain. Add to a small sauce pan with 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until barley is cooked through. Stir when needed to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Wash kale thoroughly. Pull stems off leaves and discard. Stack a few leaves on top of each other and roll like a cigarette. Slice from one end to the other. (aka chiffonade) This prevents bruising of the leaves. And it’s less messy and produces more uniform results than hacking at the leaves. Set aside in colander to drain.
  3. Peel skin off squash with a vegetable peeler. Dice into small cubes. Line a baking pan in aluminum foil. Add cubed squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Spread out evenly across the pan, and bake on 400F until soft. ~2o min.
  4. Add kale into a large mixing bowl with the vinaigrette. With your hands, massage the kale until it soaks up the vinaigrette and softens a bit.
  5. Add apples, squash, grains, and nuts. Mix and serve! (I served it with a spicy pan seared white fish.)

*Candied Walnuts: 

Toast 3/4 cups of crushed walnuts in toaster oven on 350F, for about 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat 2+ tbs brown sugar until it just begins to darken and caramelize.  Add a pinch of salt. Toss in walnuts, stir, turn off heat, and continue to stir, on and off the hot stovetop until walnuts are well coated and not sticking together. Spread out on a flat surface and let it cool. I like my walnuts to have little grains of crunchy sugar, so I dont wait for all of the sugar to melt. You can do that instead if you want glossy coated walnuts.

**Apple Cider Vinaigrette (adapted from Martha Stewart)

  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4+ cup olive oil
  • salt/black pepper
July 12, 2011

Pepper Crusted Salmon Scramble


  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 filet of pepper crusted smoked salmon*
  • salt & pepper
  • baby arugula

*not the thin sliced kind you use for lox and bagel, but the filet kind. Preferably one that’s already pepper crusted. Otherwise just add more pepper when scrambling.

Caramelize onions in a pat of butter over high heat. Beat eggs in a bowl, add onions and salmon. Break salmon up into pieces. Reduce heat to medium and pour egg mixture back into pan to scramble. Salt and pepper to taste. When no longer runny, but NOT cooked all the way through, add a handful of arugula to a large plate and spoon over eggs. I find the soft scramble texture is a better compliment to the salmon. Otherwise you get dry fish and dry eggs. yuck. Also, other greens would work but arugula itself is nice and peppery and has more of a kick than just plain spinach etc.

May 30, 2011

Spiced Chickpeas and Apricot Salad

My new favorite salad! Very summery with deep earthy spices, a citrus-y dressing and sweet ripe apricots. It just might become your new favorite, too!

Adapted from Cooking Light magazine:


  • spinach
  • 1 large apricot, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onions
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • 1/2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Drain, rinse and pat dry 1 can of chickpeas. In a small tupperware container or a ziplock bag, pour in chickpeas, 1 tbs olive oil, a few pinches of salt, cumin and coriander, then shake and bake: Spread on a foil lined baking pan and toast on 450F for 20 min or until crunchy, stirring once or twice.  Remove and set aside to cool. In a large salad bowl, add several handfuls of spinach, top with onions, apricots, feta and toasted chickpeas. Pour over dressing and serve immediately.

May 12, 2011

Pistachio and Cranberry Chicken Salad

Adapted from this lovely recipe from Plum Pie:


  • 2 chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, salted/roasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup apples, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tbs shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs mayo (I used the new Olive Oil stuff..)
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tbs rosemary, minced
  1. Preheat oven: 375F
  2. Lightly coat chicken in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for ~35 min or until fully cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mince apples and coat in vinegar.
  4. Add apples in a big bowl with pistachios, shallots, and rosemary.
  5. Shred chicken with a fork and knife into small bite-size pieces. Lightly salt. Add to mixture.
  6. Toss with yogurt and mayo. set in fridge to cool ~1hr.
April 8, 2011

Warm Spinach and Lentil Salad

Inspired by a little French bistro I went to last March in Manhattan. Been craving Le Puys ever since! And since I’ve yet to find a (authentic) little French bistro in Houston that serves lentil salad, I’ll just have to make my own. Adjustments I would try in the future: add bacon. Mmm..bacon. Stopped at the bacon isle today but resisted. I’ve got a wedding to go to in a few weeks. Must fit into bridesmaid dress…Anyway, I think a nice smokey bacon flavor would compliment this well. Without it, it’s just kind of tangy. Which is fine. But you know, bacon makes everything better, no?
Lentils: (makes a big bowl. 4-5 cups)
  • 1.5 cups green lentils (le Puy)
  • 3 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 0.5 – 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp parsley


  • < 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • << 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ~1/4-1/2 cup liquid from lentils


  1. rinse lentils.
  2. put lentils, bay leaf, and crushed garlic in a ~3 qt pot and cover with water (submerge by at least 1-2 inches).
  3. bring to a simmer and cover for 30 min or until lentils are just soft.
  4. remove bay leaf and drain lentils when done, reserving the water. set aside.
  5. in pot, melt a pat of butter, or a little bit of olive oil, and saute shallots until soft. (i added an extra minced garlic. just ’cause i like garlic.)
  6. add spinach and saute until just wilted. remove from heat and mix in lentils. toss and combine.
  7. mix ingredients for dressing until emulsified. pour over lentils.
  8. serve warm (i served it as a side to a pan seared steelhead trout.)

yea. see that hole in the center? i almost took a bite before i realized, again, that i’d forgotten to take a picture. man. i’ve gotta stop doing that. note to self: stop waiting until you’re hungry to start cooking.

February 26, 2011

Chickpea + Roasted Bell Pepper Quinoa w/ Feta Cheese

the second most depressing news i’ve discovered this week (and second only to the Libyan revolution), is that produce is scarce right now due to recent crazy-assed freezing weather scouring the country. and as evidence, sitting there the produce isle of HEB, was a handful of pathetic, ugly bell peppers staring back at me. so what did i do? i bought a crap load of them. “yea.” you’re thinking, “she’s one of thOSE people. that buy bottled water by the case when news of some impending disaster is announced.”

no, not really. i’ve just really been craving red peppers lately.

in the past couple of days i’ve had red pepper bisque, haricot verts and red peppers, stuffed peppers, some sort of stir fry noodles with bell peppers, etc. no idea what’s hit me.


  1. halve and scoop out seeds
  2. place over aluminum foil into the toaster oven on 400F, broil, for ~20 min or until skin blackens and blisters
  3. remove from oven and crimp foil to seal in heat.
  4. in 10 min, open foil and peel off skins of pepper.
  5. use what you need and freeze the rest

now back to my recipe.


  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1.5 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1/2 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • crumbled feta


  1. toast quinoa in a large saute pan ~ 2 min
  2. add 1 cup chicken broth, stir and cover and cook over medium high heat, then once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another half cup of stock + juice from canned tomato. continue to cook until liquid is mostly absorbed.
  3. drain liquid from chickpeas and add chickpeas to quinoa.
  4. mix in 1/2 can tomatoes and diced bell peppers.
  5. stir and cook until chickpeas heated through.
  6. mix in oregano + parsley.
  7. remove from heat and stir in feta. (feta = salty. wont need to otherwise salt quinoa)
  8. serve warm or cold, as a side or alone.

January 29, 2011

Anjou Pear + Bleu Cheese Salad

anjou pears + crumbled bleu cheese + walnuts + raisins + raspberry balsamic dressing.

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November 21, 2010

Fig, Walnut, and Prosciutto Salad

w/ a honey balsamic dressing and lots of pepper.