This has been a great summer for salads in Kaleigh’s Kitchen. Nothing inspires me to make new recipes like cooking for friends and family, and this amazing salad is no exception. I was making a salad for a family get together (that’s my gorgeous cousin Kelly in the main photo!), and wanted to keep the flavours vibrant and summery, while still packing a nutritional punch with lots of kale. As I had a punnet of raspberries, I decided to try my hand at a homemade raspberry vinaigrette. It did not disappoint!
With summer in full swing, all I want for lunch and dinner (and, if we’re being honest, breakfast) is cool, crunchy raw vegetable salads. This confetti salad takes the conventional wisdom of adding color to your plate to heart. Purple cabbage, red and yellow peppers, fresh corn, carrots, celery, cucumbers — we’ve almost got a rainbow on our hands. It’s just as delicious as it is beautiful, and the green dressing is so creamy, perfectly offsetting the crisp vegetables.
I’m on a major kale kick. Partially for you (recipe testing), partially for me (I’m a self-confessed salad glutton). This simple salad takes advantage of the amazing nectarines that are filling the supermarket shelves, and balances their flavour with a sweet and creamy tahini dressing, almonds and feta. You know you want this.
The spiralizer craze hit just before I went to away to Ireland for med school 6 years ago. I didn’t want to accumulate too much stuff overseas and I was so busy working when I was home in the summers that I didn’t think I’d use it enough. I held off buying one and made due with a julienne peeler to make my “courgetti,” but my spiralizer-envy was sparked again when the Hemsley sisters repopularized spiralizing with “The Art of Eating Well” in 2014. My mom gave me one for my birthday a few weeks ago (she knows me) and when I finally turned that handle earlier this week, I was hooked!
A few summers ago, I was introduced to the watermelon-mint-feta flavour combination. I love it! Its so fresh and summery. I had my last exam of medical school today, and I feel like a little kid on the last day of school! I needed something to kick start my summer break (which ends at the beginning of July).
Remember how I said I love all foods Mexican? I wasn’t kidding. I actually can’t get enough. Side note: am I the only one who will fixate on one specific dish and want to eat it every single day for three months and then needs a serious break from it? My current fixation is this salad.
A classic revisited. My Mom makes the best healthy Caesar salad, and she’s agreed to share her recipe with everyone. You probably have all of the ingredients for the dressing already. My mom whisks the dressing in a bowl and then soaks her croutons in it. My healthy croutons don’t hold up that well to the soak. I blend the dressing with 2 Tbsp parmesan to amp up the creaminess factor. Both ways taste great! Our family has a bit of a garlic problem (well we don’t think its a problem, but only because we all love it!), so with the garlic I’d say start low and go slow.
This salad is a mix between a classic Greek salad and tabbouleh, but I subbed the bulgur with healthier quinoa. If you have cooked quinoa on hand it takes no time to make. If you don’t, it will still be easy but will take 20 minutes including the quinoa cooking time (that’s still pretty good!). I used to make a batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week, but lately I must admit I’ve been buying pre-cooked packages that take 2 minutes to cook. I’ll try to be more organized after exams!
With the weather warming up, all I want for dinner is salad. This is a long-time favourite of mine. Its easy to throw together and oh-so-satisfying. I make it with either homemade refried beans or with lean ground beef, depending on which side of the flexitarian spectrum I’m leaning towards that day. I had Steak Tagliata yesterday, so today I went for the beans.
Making your own refried beans is as easy as frying up some garlic in a pan and dumping in the entire contents (water and all) of a can of black beans in. Simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is mostly gone, add a small handful of minced cilantro and some salt to taste and you’re good to go. For the beef option, just brown 500g lean ground beef with 1 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chilli powder.
I don’t know if I should be embarrassed to admit this, but once I ordered “Steak Tagliata” at a restaurant expecting pasta (tagliatelle) and a salad showed up. A quick phone-google enlightened me – tagliata means sliced grilled beef served with spices and olive oil. My cheat meal was not to be.
A few weeks later, I hadn’t been to the supermarket in a while and I made this salad with the remnants of my sad, almost empty (except for one million condiments obv) fridge. I was almost out of EVOO (not enough for a dressing), so I added a few tablespoons of the steak drippings after frying to make it go further. This, along with some balsamic and maple syrup, made the most delicious dressing.
Needless to say, my “whatever is in the fridge” dinner turned out to be a hit. I told Zac I made “steak tagliata” and then when he thought it would be pasta I pretended to be super-cultured and gave him a mini Italian lesson…. kidding I’m not that mean – I was actually just happy that I wasn’t the only one.