Category Archives: Salads

T’s Quick Pickle

Quick Pickled Veggies | Paleo + Life

 

My oldest boy loves to cook, which is fantastic, because occasionally I need him to start dinner while I’m picking up the younger girl from school. He is happy to do it — he often says he wants to be a chef like his dad. He will suggest a meal from time to time, but usually asks what I would like. This results in a flurry of texts between us. Occasionally, those texts are misunderstood, which can result in some, er, interesting meals. Even more occasionally, those meals turn out to be better than what I’d originally planned.

Last night, for example, I decided to pick up a rotisserie chicken, cheese and tomatoes so that we could make tacos. Since I knew we had it at home, I asked the boy to chop up some lettuce. Then I gave him an off-the-cuff recipe for a simple vinaigrette to put over some shredded carrots, so we would have another vegetable in the dinner. However, he misunderstood that I wanted two separate things — and mistook the cabbage for a head of iceberg. So he shredded both cabbage and carrots together, then put them in the vinaigrette. The result? Surprisingly delicious.

Quick Pickle & Chicken Wrap | Paleo + Life

Crunchy, crispy and tangy, this little pickle turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to roast chicken and lettuce wraps. It was so tasty, I had it for breakfast again this morning. It’s basically a cole slaw, but even better because it’s faster than my usual version.
I’m pretty excited to have an inventive little partner in crime. Here’s to more happy accidents in the kitchen.

T’s Quick Pickle

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 2 fat carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir thoroughly. Allow flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes; serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/ts-quick-pickle/

Paleo Sardine Salad

Sard Sal V Blog

*Note to my readers: I received kitchen tools from Crisp Cooking for review. As always, my opinions are absolutely my own.

Is it weird to be squeamish about a food you love?

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of sardines. This seems a wee bit odd, knowing the sweet-toothed creature that I was (and am), but there’s something about that feisty, briny flavor that hits all the right notes for me. Maybe it just reminds me of my childhood, and spending time at my grandma’s. In my memory, my grandma always had sardines in her pantry, and we kids ate them all the time.

It was simultaneously awesome and terrifying to eat a (nearly) whole fish, bones and all. That seemed incredibly daring — perfect for a kid who wants to do something grown-up and brave, but that won’t get them in trouble. Munching on sardines was only for the big kids, which increased the cool factor by about a million. Sardines on saltines with a glop of yellow mustard was a perfect snack.
Now, of course, knowing that sardines are terribly good for you, being full of calcium and omega-3s, I think Grandma was pretty darned smart to keep them around. These days, I eat them with no hesitation.

Sard Sal Blog

I almost feel that I can’t call this a recipe — it’s one of those “I need lunch now – let’s raid the pantry” kind of dishes. I combined my beloved sardines with capers to punch up the saltiness, a a little lemon juice to tame this fishiness, some salt and pepper, and a bit of dill for that bright herbal taste all good salads need.

I also wanted to spiff up my plate: just because it was a quick lunch didn’t mean it had to look rough, right? Half the joy of a good meal is in the presentation. So I played around with some kitchen tools I received from Crisp Cooking, and did some quick fancy cuts. Taking an extra few seconds to do that was simple, but so satisfying to do. I felt like a guest at my own table.

Paleo Sardine Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 romaine lettuce heart, washed and cut in a chiffonade
  • 1 can sardines in olive oil
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced with a wavy knife
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut with a julienne peeler
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Instructions

  1. Create a mound of lettuce on a medium plate.
  2. Arrange the sardines, pepper slices, and shredded cucumber atop the lettuce as shown in the photo (or whatever way appeals to you). Splash the entire salad with the remaining oil from the can of sardines.
  3. Sprinkle the scallions and capers over the assorted vegetables, then top with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Finish with a grind of freshly ground black peppercorns, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of dill. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/paleo-sardine-salad/

Warm Fennel Salad with Bacon

Warm Fennel Salad with Bacon | Paleo + LifeMy friend S. mentioned that she currently has a bumper crop of lettuce, which got me thinking about warm salads. I have often wondered why Americans don’t usually cook salad greens; it is an easy way to increase one’s veggie intake. It’s also a handy way to use up the greens before they go bad — I’m sure we aren’t the only family who buy lettuce with good intentions but sometimes find it shriveled in the fridge several days later.

While I was thinking about salads, I found gigantic bulbs of Florence fennel at our local farmer’s market. I had my littles with me, so was not able to get a picture, but it was an impressive site: with the fronds attached, each fennel bulb was about two feet long. It was so strikingly beautiful, I just had to buy some. I remembered that my friend with all the lettuce also happens to be very fond of fennel, and that as a college student in Santa Barbara, she used to forage for wild fennel.

I brought these two ideas together to create a simple, paleo-friendly dish that is inexpensive enough for a college student budget, and substantial enough for a meal. I used spinach because that was what I had on hand, but another salad green like a red leaf or buttercrunch lettuce would be just as tasty and would take even less time.
The mild, licorice-like taste of fennel gets even milder here, with gentle cooking; the deeper flavors of garlic and bacon dominate. Dress this salad with a dash of oil and vinegar; add tomatoes and slices of avocado if you like, but it is quite tasty as is.

Fennel & Onion Salad with Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz. package bacon
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 medium bulb fennel
  • 1 purple onion
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare bacon in the oven, following the package directions. Once the bacon is fully cooked, remove from the oven and set it aside, reserving the rendered fat.
  2. Meanwhile, mince garlic. Thinly slice fennel and onion. Wash the spinach; spin the leaves dry in a salad spinner. (If you do not own a salad spinner, just squeeze the moisture from the leaves as best you can and pat them dry with a paper towel.)
  3. Warm a large saute pan over medium heat for approximately two minutes. Pour the rendered bacon grease into the saute pan.
  4. Add minced garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic browns. Add onions and fennel to pan; saute them until they soften (6-8 minutes).
  5. Add spinach to the saute pan. Stirring continuously, cook until spinach is warmed through (4-5 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Crumble in the reserved bacon. Serve immediately.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/fennel-salad-bacon/

Mama Dear’s Cucumber Salad

Mama Dear's Cucumber Salad | Paleo + Life

While I grew up in Chicago, my people are from the South. Dad’s parents were from Arkansas, while my mother’s folks hail from Mississippi and Tennessee. Despite moving way north of the Mason-Dixon line, our families never stopped eating Southern soul food. This was especially true on holidays: Thanksgiving would not have been Thanksgiving without Mama Dear’s cornbread dressing. Her collard greens and peach cobbler were so delicious they could make grown men weep. Banana cake (even for big family dinners, my Grandma would make this one just because she knew I adored it). Butter rolls. Oh, and sweet potato pie! That creamy, nutmeg and cinnamon concoction was a revelation. I deeply pitied my poor friends whose unfeeling parents forced them to eat the obviously inferior pumpkin pie.

As an adult, I have developed a different cooking style — and having gone paleo, even more so — but one of the dishes that I love and try to eat all summer long is this simple cucumber salad. Though I’ve varied it here with fancily spiralized onions, miniature cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes, its essential simplicity never fails to comfort me. My grandma made it, my mother still makes it, and when I need a taste of home, I make it too.

Mama Dear’s Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 miniature cucumbers
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Using a spiral slicer or mandoline, thinly slice the onions and cucumbers.
  2. With a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes into wedges.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle in the parsley. Using salad tongs or your hands, toss thoroughly.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and olive oil with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss again.
  6. It may be served immediately, though I prefer to refrigerate at least 30 minutes for best flavor.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/mamas-cucumber-salad/

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