Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts

8/30/14

Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing


 


Spinach salad can take on so many different twists.  You can change it up and add your stamp with your favorite cheese, fruit, cooked chicken, onions, and varieties of nuts. I made this last week for the teachers at Woods Cross High. It's simple and always a crowd pleaser.




I love this salad made with end of summer strawberries, fresh avocado, spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and sugared almonds. The homemade poppyseed dressing tastes like Brianna's, costs a fraction of the store bought bottle, and only takes about two minutes to mix up in a blender.  Such a great salad for anything from a girl's lunch to a family reunion.
Happy end of summer!





Strawberry-Avocado Spinach Salad with Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

16 oz baby spinach
1-pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1-2 avocados,  ripe but still slightly firm cut into chunks or sliced
6-8 oz Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese, crumbled
1 cups almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
dash salt
Homemade Poppyseed Dressing (below)

Place a sheet of foil (about 12 inches long)  or parchment paper on the counter.  Give the foil a light spray of cooking oil.
Place the almonds and sugar in a large teflon pan over medium-medium high heat. Stir when sugar begins to heat up. It will give off a fragrance similar to cotton candy :) Be careful not to turn the heat up too high, or you will burn the sugar and have to toss the almonds.
Stir the almonds and sugar constantly after sugar starts to melt. This takes about 5-8 minutes to get to this point. Once sugar begins to melt or caramelize, remove pan from heat and pour onto foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with an additional tablespoon of sugar. Let cool. Break apart when cooled if necessary.
Place the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with strawberries, avocado and Gorgonzola cheese. Or place the spinach in a bowl and top with avocado, strawberries and cheese. Top with cooled sugared almonds.
When ready to serve, toss with about 1/2 cup of the poppyseed dressing, or serve on the side.
Serves about 6-8 as a side salad.

Tips:
-If you are making this ahead, wait to cut the avocado until no more than an hour before serving.
Add the almonds just before serving.
-I usually double or triple the amount of sugared almonds for future use. I like the salad to be heavy on the almonds, so I probably use two cups total of sugared almonds.
-I also love this with a little thinly sliced red onion or bunch of green onions, chopped.

ABK Copycat Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayo, light or regular (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1 teaspoon grated onion (white, yellow or sweet onion, optional)
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion and process for 30 seconds.
With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stir in poppy seeds.

Tips:
-If you don't have a blender or food processor, you can make this in a large bowl using a whisk or a hand mixer.
-You may make the dressing without the mayo and add it after all of the other ingredients if you prefer. If the dressing is not as creamy as you would like, or too tart, add the mayo.
-Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.
-This recipe is enough dressing for 3 times the salad above. 



6/23/14

Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad




Have you tried Panera's most popular salad? According to the girl who helped me last time I was there, it's the Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad. She promised I'd love it. She was right.
I loved all of the fruit in this salad: fresh pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges. As I was eating the salad, I knew it was going to end up on ABK...




If you're a Panera purist, you're probably wondering if a homemade salad is really going to taste like Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad. This recipe comes via  Panera's website. They demonstrate the recipe online through video (as far as I could find, only the dressing is in print).  I followed the recipe for their dressing (tweaked it just a bit reducing the Stevia and Dijon mustard) and made a note of the salad ingredients. They didn't disclose the recipe for their chicken, but it seems to have an herb/citrus type flavor. I came up with a version that has a nice herb crust that is flavorful, moist and easy to prepare in a home kitchen.

Herb-Crusted Chicken
I made this for dinner last week- twice, and guess what?
Don't tell our friends at Panera Bread, but it tasted  even better at home.
Every thing is better homemade.
Promise.


Panera's Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Chicken:
3 chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb total skinless, boneless
salt
*Mrs. Dash seasoning
olive oil
Lay the chicken on a plate. Generously salt and season one side of the chicken breast with Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Heat a heavy pan over medium to medium-high heat. Pour the olive oil in the pan while it's heating up and place the chicken, seasoned side down in the pan and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, season the side facing upward. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan when turning chicken. After the chicken has cooked for a total of ten minutes ( 5 minutes on each side), remove the pan from heat and cover loosely with foil. Let sit for an additional 5-7 minutes in pan. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool completely on a cutting board.
Slice thin and set aside for salad. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Poppyseed Dressing:
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon stevia sweetener (or two additional tablespoons sugar)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a blender or food processor, combine the sugar, stevia, vinegar, orange juice, salt, mustard, and onion, and process for 20 seconds. With the blender on high, gradually add the oil in a slow, steady stream. Remove from the blender and stir in the poppy seeds. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well before using on salad.

Salad:
1 large head romaine lettuce, washed, chopped
1- 6 oz bag spinach or spring mix
(greens combined should equal about 15 cups total)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
1/2 lb strawberries, washed and sliced
1 pint blueberries, washed and patted dry
1 cup pineapple, sliced into chunks, then thinly sliced (about 1/2 of a medium size pineapple)
1 cup pecans, toasted and cut in half 

To prepare salad:
Using a large bowl or platter, arrange the greens on the platter. Sprinkle with a few pieces of fruit. Layer additional greens. Place the remaining fruits and chopped pecans on the greens. Top with sliced chicken. Drizzle about half of the dressing on the salad. Toss before serving. you may also plate the salad individually. In this case, toss the greens with the dressing and place on plates. Top each plate with fruit, nuts and chicken. Serve immediately. 
Yields about 15 generous side servings. 


Tips:
-*Mrs. Dash is found in most grocery stores near the spices.



5/22/14

Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad








Are you looking for a new potato salad to serve at your Memorial Day barbecue? I have a favorite tried-and-true potato salad  that I love, but thought it would be fun to put a new twist on our family favorite. Most Memorial celebrations include a barbecue. What barbecue is complete without a good potato salad? It's kind of like serving apple pie without ice cream. Not happening here.
Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad  tastes like a loaded baked potato, served cold.  It's creamy and filled with things you love in a good old fashioned potato salad, with a few extras like sour cream, bacon and fresh parsley.
My first bite to taste-test ended up morphing into an entire plate of potato salad for dinner. I couldn't put the fork down.
I'm guessing you'll love it too.



Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

5 lb bag of red potatoes
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp and diced, divided
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups sour cream (light is fine)
1 1/2 cups mayo
3 tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper

Wash potatoes and place in a large pan. Fill pan with enough water to cover potatoes by about one inch. Boil on high for about 30-40 minutes, or until potato is soft and knife is easily inserted into potato. Drain water from pan and let potatoes sit for a minute to cool.
While potatoes are still hot, quarter or cube potatoes and place in large bowl.
Salt the potatoes generously.
Chop one egg and set aside for garnish.  Reserve a few tablespoons of chopped bacon and a bit of parsley, also for garnish.
Quarter the remaining 5 boiled eggs, and add to the potatoes in the bowl. Add the parsley and remaining chopped bacon and toss all ingredients lightly.
Whisk the sour cream, mayo, spicy brown mustard and hot pepper sauce in a bowl and add to the potato mixture. Taste the salad and add more mayo or sour cream, depending on how creamy you like your salad.
Heap into a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved chopped egg, bacon and parsley. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve immediately at room temperature.
Serves 10-12 as a side dish

Tips:
-I don't peel the potatoes before boiling. Peel after the potatoes are cooked. I always leave some of the peel attached.
-I used regular sour cream. Low fat sour cream will also work in this dish.
-After the initial mixing of the sour cream and mayo with the potatoes, the potatoes will absorb some of the moisture. I always add a bit more either sour cream or mayo before serving. Wait to place the final garnish on the salad until just before serving.
-I use French's brand Spicy Brown Mustard.
-If you really want to truly mimic the flavor of a loaded baked potato, add some grated cheese as well. I would only do this as a garnish to the top of the salad so the cheese doesn't get soggy.



5/5/14

Pork Tenderloin with Sesame Ginger Glaze and Warm Cabbage Slaw











Here's a main dish for your Mother's Day meal that is guaranteed to make Mom feel like a queen and make you her favorite child!
Don't be intimidated by the length of the recipe. It's really simple, with a few steps that can be done ahead (also make sure to read all of the tips below the recipe before heading to grocery store):
-On Saturday, make the marinade and place the meat in a bag to marinate.
-Prepare all of the ingredients for the cabbage slaw by cutting up the veggies and set in the fridge.
-Make the Tarragon Mayo to dress the slaw and refrigerate.
On Sunday all you have to do is cook the pork and steam the cabbage.



This photo is the pork tenderloin after it has been seared and cooked in the oven. This will hold in the moisture and allow the pork to cook for a few more minutes. My sister in law, Sheri always cooks her pork and then wraps it in foil. I love the way her pork is always tender and juicy.
Dry pork? It's not going to happen if you use this method.
Mom's going to be asking you for this recipe.
Count on it.
Come back on Thursday, I'll post a simple and delicious dessert for Mom :)


Three simple steps for the warm cabbage slaw.  Chop.
Cover and steam for 5 minutes.
Toss with vinegar.
That's it.
Serve warm or room temperature. 

This one is drizzled with a little tarragon mayo...if you think Mom will like dressing that's a little creamy





Pork Tenderloin with Sesame Ginger Glaze and Warm Cabbage Slaw
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup balsamic port vinegar ( I used "O" brand), regular balsamic is fine
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 shallot, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
salt and pepper
olive oil for searing meat

Place the pork tenderloin in a gallon Ziplock bag. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour  3/4 cup of the marinade over the pork. Squish the pork around in the bag to make sure has covered all areas of the pork.  Reserve the remaining (about 3/4 cup)  marinade to make a reduction after the pork is cooked. Do not put the reserve marinade on the pork. Set aside remaining marinade.
Marinate the pork for at least 2 and up to 24 hours in refrigerator.
This is a good time to wash and cut up the cabbage and carrots for the warm slaw to be served with the pork.
Preheat oven to 425, with rack on top third of oven.
When the pork is done being marinated, Turn the heat on the stove to medium high heat. Place a tablespoon  or two of olive oil into the pan after the pan is hot.
Remove the meat from the marinade and season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Let any excess marinade drip off the meat before searing, so you won't get splattered by the hot oil/liquid reaction. Discard marinade.
Using tongs, carefully sear the meat on all sides for about 2 minutes per side. When the meat is browned on all sides, remove from pan with tongs and set on a baking sheet.
Cook for 15-18  minutes at 425.  Do not over cook. Remove meat from oven, and immediately wrap meat in Saran or other plastic wrap tightly. Set aside.
Make the reduction:
Take the remaining reserved marinade (that was not used with meat) and place in the same pan used to sear the meat, do not wipe out pan.  Heat over medium high heat until boiling. Simmer for about one minute. Add water if too thick (1-2 tablespoons). Remove from heat.

Warm Cabbage Slaw with Tarragon Mayo
2 cups green cabbage, washed and sliced thin
2 cups purple cabbage, washed and sliced thin
2 cups dark leafy greens, such as: spinach, kale or mustard greens
2 large carrots, or 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced into thin pieces,
or 1/2 bag of matchstick carrots
1/2 cup water
2-3 tablespoons white balsamic or cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Tarragon  Mayo (optional, but yummy)
1/2 cup mayo, regular or low fat
1/4 cup fresh, or 2 tablespoons dry tarragon
2 tablespoons green onion
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper

Use a wok or large fry pan to cook the slaw. Place the cabbage and carrots in the pan with the water. Turn the heat on high and bring water to a boil. Cover and cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Remove from heat. Toss with salt and pepper and vinegar. Keep lid on until ready to serve.
Whisk together all ingredients to make tarragon mayo. Serve drizzled on top of cabbage slaw or (I like it) on the side.

When ready to serve dinner:
Remove the meat from plastic wrap. Place on cutting board and slice into 3/4-1 inch thick medallions. Place the meat on a serving platter and pour the sauce over the meat. Serve with warm cabbage slaw and tarragon mayo.

Serves 8

Tips:
**Very Important**-
Buy the right kind of pork. This is Pork Tenderloin.  The package is long and skinny. Pork Tenderloin is often confused with Pork Loin. Do not buy Pork Loin roast.  It's usually a fat (shaped) roast. It doesn't work well with this cooking method.  I can't tell you how many times a friend has called and said they are ready to make a recipe that calls for Pork Tenderloin, but instead have purchased Pork Loin roast. Oops. Check the name of the cut of meat carefully. Remember, the package is long and skinny. You may purchase Pork Tenderloin at any grocery store or at Costco in a two-pack. If you purchase in a two pack, usually one side of the package will weigh about 2 1/2 lbs. or enough for a single recipe above. If you double the recipe, I would 1 1/2 times the sauce. You won't need two times the sauce/marinade.
- If you are following instructions for make ahead (above in the post) remove the meat from the fridge about an hour before cooking, and let sit on counter in bag.
-Make sure the oven is preheated for at least 10 minutes before cooking the pork. You want the oven to be all the way up to temperature.
-Wrapping the meat: Use plastic wrap. This adds an extra measure of trapping the juice in, and next to the meat. If you are waiting more than about 10 minutes to serve dinner after the pork is cooked, try wrapping in foil over the plastic wrap as well to keep it warm. One more note about wrapping the meat in plastic wrap. I watched a chef from the Grand America Hotel in action last year at a fund raising dinner. He wrapped the pork roast he cooked in plastic wrap. If it's good enough for the Grand, it's good enough for me :)
-Don't over cook the meat. it will continue to cook after removed from oven while wrapped in plastic wrap. 









5/1/14

Kale, Radish and Roasted Corn Salad with Parmesan Crisps- Mother's Day 2014 Menu




Hi friends.
Today is  the first recipe in our 2014 Mother's Day Menu.
Get excited.
Have you ever been to Red Butte Cafe in SLC?
Last  summer I went to Red Butte for lunch and ordered the salad of the day. The server promised I'd love it. He was right. I'm not usually a raw kale fan. When I asked the server why the kale was so tender he told me the chef actually massages the greens. Uh. What? Massaging the produce? He claimed that massaging the kale leaves breaks down the fibers, therefore producing a more tender leaf in the salad.  I took some notes from my new found friend and server, and was determined to create my own version of this salad at home.
Because the greens are so firm, the salad keeps well in the fridge and it's perfect for make-ahead. You can make this on Saturday and serve it on Mother's Day. Just re-toss, and add a little more dressing if needed, and top with a few Parmesan crisps.
Mom is going to love it.







Kale, Radish and Roasted Corn Salad with Parmesan Crisps
A Bountiful Kitchen

Salad:
5-7 oz kale, washed, dried (I used a little over 1/2 of a 10 oz bag)
1 bunch, or about 5-7 medium sized radishes
1 large ear fresh corn or about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more if you would like to have a few extra chips

Dressing:
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 clove of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

To make the dressing:
Mix all dressing ingredients with a blender or immersion blender. Taste and add more salt, pepper or sugar as needed. Set aside. Note- you will not use all of the dressing on this salad.

To make the salad:
Wash the radishes, trim off the ends, slice thin. 
Cut the corn off of the cob. Spread on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper generously. Roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool. 
Place the kale in a medium size bowl and add about 1/3 cup of the dressing. You may use food handlers gloves for the next step. Work the dressing into the salad with your hands (give the kale a good massage :) This takes about 2 minutes.  Add the radishes and corn when you are finished massaging the dressing into the kale. 

To make the Parmesan crisps:
Heat a pan over medium high heat.  Do not grease the pan. Place piles of grated Parmesan cheese on the hot pan or griddle until the cheese melts and begins to brown on the bottom. Flip to the other side and cook until golden on the opposite side. When cooked to light golden brown on both sides, remove and let cool in single layer on a cooling rack or cookie sheet. 

To assemble the salad:
Add more dressing to the kale mixture if needed. Toss. Add Parmesan chips just before serving. 

Serves 8 as a side salad

Tips:
-This is a very simple salad. If you roast the corn while making the Parmesan crisps, you will be able to put this salad together in about 20 minutes (or less).
-The dressing is one of my favorites, it goes well on several different types of salad and would make an excellent dressing for any pasta and vegetable salad. 




4/14/14

Orzo Salad with Fresh Lemon and Chive Dressing





I love Orzo pasta salads. There are so many combination possibilities with Orzo.  In my latest Orzo creation, I chose veggies that I love and paired them with a fresh lemon and chive dressing to feature the flavors of Spring.
I'll be making this for our family Easter dinner next Sunday. Total time to make this salad, less than 30 minutes. If you're looking for something fresh, simple and a little out of the ordinary, it's staring you in the face.
Not me, the salad.




Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Fresh Lemon-Chive Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

for salad:
1 lb orzo
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped chives, divided (half for dressing, half for garnish)
1 lemon rind, grated fine, using a microplane grater
sliced lemon, for garnish

for dressing:
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


Cook the orzo according to package directions, set aside. This may be done up to three days before serving salad.
Wash and snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Cut into one inch pieces on the diagonal. Place about 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Put the asparagus in the pan, heat until water boils. Cover and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Asparagus should be bright green. Drain off hot water and pour cool water into the pan. Drain again and place asparagus in the bowl with the cooked orzo. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl with the orzo and asparagus. Add one half cup of the chopped chives and the grated lemon rind.
In a large measuring cup, Mix all of the dressing ingredients with a whisk,  or place in a blender, or use an immersion blender and pulse until ingredients are blended well.
When ready to assemble, toss all of the salad ingredients. Pour about 3/4 cup of the dressing over the salad. Toss. Let the salad sit a bit before placing in serving bowl or platter.  Just before serving, toss with additional dressing if needed. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of chives and lemon slices.
Serves 12 as a side dish

Tips:
-Try to assemble and serve the salad on the same day. The pasta may be cooked ahead, but the asparagus is best when tossed with the dressing on the same day.
-You will have leftover dressing. Don't be tempted to drown the salad in dressing. Use the leftover dressing on a green salad, or chopped avocado and tomatoes. This dressing would also make a great marinade for grilled chicken.

3/14/14

Springtime Salad with White Chocolate Pecan Croutons and Harmon's $250 Gift Card Giveaway!




I'm in love.
With a grocery store.


Last week, I was invited to a blogger event at Harmon's City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City. We were treated to a cooking class taught by Aaron, chef and director of the cooking school in the Harmon's City Creek location.



Aaron taught us how to make a creamy asparagus risotto with topped with duck bacon.  Oh my. We were also served a pork tenderloin, cooked using the Sous Vide method.  The tenderloin was served with a balsamic reduction, wilted baby kale, shaved white asparagus and a piece of french cut purple potato.  Absolutely delicious.
Harmon's cooking school  offers a variety of cooking classes at three locations, covering a wide range of classes, individual tailored small group classes and even private parties.



Harmon's is a home grown business, started by Jake and Irene Harmon on the corner of 330 South and Main in SLC.  Harmon's humble beginning in 1932 has grown to 16 stores and over 3,000 associates. Their focus on customer service and fresh, quality products has made Harmon's, in my opinion, the best of the best in Utah.


Original Harmons Market Spot








What started at The Market Spot over 80 years ago has flourished under family ownership. Do you wonder why some businesses fold overnight, while others have long term staying power? After spending the afternoon at Harmon's I can tell you why they have not only survived, but thrived.  Customers are #1 at Harmon's.
Bob Harmon (grandson of Jake and Irene) spent over three hours with us, in the cooking class, and then gave us a department-by-department tour of his store. Bob shared his enthusiasm for everything in the store from the house-made guac to the cookies in the bakery.




It tastes as good as it looks.
















I knew Harmon's had the best in-store bakery in the state, but didn't know each and every one of their cookie, cakes and pastries are baked in house.  Everything, right down to the frosting on the cookies are made in-store, with fresh ingredients. That sugar cookie pictured above was one buttery piece of heaven. I may have eaten two of the four I brought home.


Man can live by bread alone. 

The artisan breads are phenomenal. If you love bread like I do, Harmon's is the grocery store for you. Not only do they sell whole loaves, but half loaves and single slices of bread. Oh, happy day!
Sometimes, I sneak in and get a couple of slices of my favorite breads, including sugared challah and a bowl of soup to take home for lunch.  This is the White Chocolate Pecan artisan bread, it's making a guest appearance in my salad today :)

Harmon's famous White Chocolate Pecan Bread












The produce is local when available, and always the highest quality. I recently purchased a 4 lb bag of Harmon's oranges from Brandt Farms in Reedley, CA. The oranges are packed for Harmon's and shipped immediately, which guarantees the freshest product for Harmon's customers.



  I compared a Harmon's orange to one from a warehouse store I had at home, and the Harmon's orange won the sweetness and juiciness test hands down.



Bob's Kabobs


Are you tired of reading about my love affair with Harmon's?  Don't answer that question.
Last chapter.
Meat.
Harmon's is the only grocery in the state to offer only Prime and Choice beef, the two highes grades on the USDA grading scale. Hormones? You won't find them in any of the meats or poultry sold in Harmon's meat cases. A while back I was looking for Italian sausage without additives. Could not find it.
Anywhere.
Except Harmon's.
I purchase a few kabobs for a quick dinner last week. Threw them under the broiler, (because I was too much of a sissy to go outside and grill in the snow). Outstanding.  Even the leftovers were tender, juicy and full of flavor. The quality? = to that of a high end steak house, with a much smaller price tag, $4 for a 8 oz kabob.




Have you worked up an appetite after reading my epistle on Harmon's??
I've got a special dish for you. With Spring approaching I decided to use a few fresh ingredients I found on my most recent trip to  (you guessed it)  Harmon's.  One vegetable in particular, white asparagus, was especially interesting to me. Chef Aaron served it raw and thinly sliced with our lunch.  You can steam it, or serve it raw.  I love it both ways.  It adds a nice white healthy splash to the salad instead of somewhat predictable white grated cheese.


The frosting on the cake (or salad) in this case, are the sugared croutons. They are made from the White Chocolate Pecan Artisan bread found at Harmon's bakery.  They take the place of the commonly used sugared nuts in a sweet and savory salad. I know they're going to be your new favorite. Try this out for your next gathering. It's the perfect salad for your upcoming Easter brunch or the wedding shower you're hosting. Fresh, simple and unique.





If you've been thinking about checking out Harmon's enter this giveaway using the rafflecopter code below. You could win $250 to spend on your next visit to Harmon's!
Good luck :)





you may want to slurp up any leftovers...



Springtime Salad with White Chocolate Pecan Croutons and Fresh Strawberry Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

croutons:
3 thick slices (3/4 inch thick) White Chocolate Pecan Bread (about 4 cups)*
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
coarse salt

dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 canola oil
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half
3-4 tablespoons honey or sugar, to taste
dash salt
pepper to taste

salad:
8-12 oz mixed greens, spinach, baby kale, etc.
3 green onions, sliced
4-5 asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off, sliced thin* (optional) or green asparagus may be used
16 oz sliced strawberries (1 cup to be used for dressing)
2 cups fresh blackberries or blueberries

prepare croutons:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rack on top third of oven . Cut bread into cubes. Use all parts of bread, do not remove crust. Place bread cubes on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Prepare salad dressing:
Place all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Set in refrigerator until ready to serve salad.
May be made a day ahead. Stir before serving.

Prepare salad:
Place all greens on a platter or in a salad bowl. Arrange fruits and vegetables on top of the greens.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Place the croutons on the salad just before serving.  Serve with fresh strawberry dressing.
Serves 8-10 as a side salad

Tips:
-If this bread is not available, you may substitute any type of bread to make the sweet croutons. i suggest using  raisin bread or other artisan bread.
-The white asparagus may be steamed lightly, then cooled quickly in a ice water bath. Place the asparagus in between paper towels to remove excess water and sprinkle lightly with salt. The asparagus
may also be served raw. Wash well and drain, slice thin on an angle.




1/16/14

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100





Salad for 100, anyone?
Last summer, I made this salad three times, in two months, for groups of 100 or more.
Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. Here's why:  It sits well at a gathering (no mayo in the dressing). Perfect for weddings, funerals, missionary farewells and homecomings, Girl's Camp, family reunions, church parties and school events.  It's easy to make in large quantities.  Even though it looks summery it can be made year-round. AND last, but not least, everyone loves it.
The original 12-15 serving recipe is posted here . I've had oodles of requests over the years for a large quantity recipe, so I decided it would be best to re-post the recipe with directions to feed 100.
Make sure to read my tips short story (below the recipe) for all of the info you'll ever need (or want) to make pasta salad for the masses.
Happy salad making, my friends.



Got Chicken?

First three layers. 

Starting to look like something I'm interested in eating...

This was taken at Girl's Camp. I think we served 300 with these salads.
It was like the loaves and fishes. Kind of. 




Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from Favorites cookbook
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Pasta:
5 lbs Bowtie pasta

Salad dressing:
2 2/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 1/3 cups Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken
2 2/3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Salad ingredients (veggies and fruit) :
4 Costco tubs of Spinach ( 1 lb each)
8- 8 oz cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped into matchstick pieces
6 bunches green onions, chopped
48 oz - (1 large bag) Craisins 
12 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
48 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews

15 lbs chicken breasts, marinated (ingredients below), cooked, cooled and sliced

Teriyaki marinade for chicken:
6 cups soy sauce
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon or about 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix teriyaki marinade for chicken. 
Marinate chicken overnight, or at least 6 hours. Place the chicken in Ziplock bags and mix the marinade in a bowl, then pour into the bags over the chicken. The chicken may be taken directly from the freezer and set in the refrigerator in marinade for up to two days before cooking. 
After the chicken is marinated, place the drained chicken on baking sheets and broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes (about 2-3 inches from element), or bake at 350 for about 45  minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Cool completely, trim off any fat and cut into slices. Set in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad. The chicken may be cooked up to three days before serving salad.
Discard any leftover marinade, DO NOT use the marinade in the salad dressing. 

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water and toss with a tablespoon olive or canola oil  or a little of the Veri Teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator in covered containers (I use gallon Ziplock bags) until ready to assemble salad. May be cooked up to three days before serving.

Blend the salad dressing ingredients together using large bowl or blender. Mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Assembly:
May be done early in the day, or the day before serving.
Using two large containers, layer the ingredients to the salad in the following order (see photos)
Pasta, chicken, spinach, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and Craisins. Make sure the water chestnuts are drained well.
Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the following to the top of salad:
Drained mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, honey roasted peanuts.
Mix the prepared salad dressing well, pour about 2 cups onto each container of salad, tossing gently so the mandarin oranges do not break apart. Add more salad dressing, sparingly, as needed.
Serve individually onto plates, or in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and nuts if desired.

Tips:
-This salad may be prepared in advance. When I'm making salads in large quantities, I usually start the day (or two) ahead with any of the steps that can be done early. Read this recipe carefully for instruction on make ahead.
-If you are serving this with a main dish, say at a barbecue, you may leave out the chicken. Or half the chicken (and marinade).
-This salad is a hearty serving of a main dish salad. It will yield 100 generous lunch size portions of salad. If served with a roll and dessert, it should satisfy most appetites. If you are serving the salad on a buffet, with other salads or sides, this should serve up to 150 as a side dish. 
-For the chicken, I buy Costco 10 lb bags of frozen- boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Usually the Tyson or Foster Farms brands. They are generally trimmed of most fat so the prep work is minimal regarding trimming the chicken. I use the chicken right out of the freezer, no thawing needed.
If you are trying to cut costs, use less chicken. This recipe may be adjusted to serve 100 with 10 lbs of chicken (instead of 15). Cut the teriyaki marinade for the chicken in half as well.
-Teriyaki Sauce for dressing on the salad- I like  Soy-Vay "Veri Veri Teriyaki"  for this recipe. It is highly concentrated, so you will use less than when using another brand. It can usually be purchased at most grocery stores and Walmart or Costco. I've also seen it online at Amazon.  Make sure to shake the bottle before using.
- Purchase Honey Roasted Planters Peanuts at Walmart in large size containers compared to the containers sold at the grocery, they are quite a bit less expensive. I love this recipe made with honey roasted cashews, but they cost quite a bit more than peanuts, so I usually stick with peanuts when making a large quantity.
-Less is more with regard to salad dressing. Use less dressing than you think you need initially. Let it sit for a few minutes and see how much has soaked into the pasta, and how much has settled to the bottom of the serving bowl. Add more dressing if needed. I rarely use all of the dressing.
-Purchase sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery in the health food aisle or in the Asian section of the grocery. The cost is significantly less than if purchased in the spice section.
-Toss the peanuts and the sesame seeds last onto the salad to preserve the crunch of the nuts.