Monday, April 19, 2010

THE Strawberry Salad

This recipe comes from my sis-in-law Maralee. The first time I met her family she served this great salad. I have not made it since that I have not had a request for the recipe. I know it will be a WOWZA recipe for you too! My sister has used it quite a bit in her catering business and it is a favorite there too. Without further ado....Strawberry Salad!

****all amounts are subject to change, put in what you like
Mixed greens (we like red leaf lettuce but the boxed greens at Costco are really pretty too)
1/2 purple onion sliced
3/4 pound strawberries sliced
1/2 cup crisp crumbled bacon
1/4 pack of wonton wrappers cut in 1/2 inch strips then fried till crisp
1 recipe salad nuts (we LOVE cashews in this but pecans work fine)
1/2 cup chopped red bell (I actually have never put this in)
Whirl together in a blender:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam (please don't use freezer jam...too much sugar not enough berries)

Salad Nuts

We have had a rough month. 2 Ambulance rides, 2 hospital stays, for 2 kids, ARGH! One good thing did come out of it though....a GREAT recipe. My friend Kim brought us dinner BOTH times (she really is up for sainthood). The first time she brought a salad with the best candy pecans ever. I have candied nuts for special occasion salads before but I have done them on the stove and it seems I always burn them or they go hard. These were light and crisp. As an added bonus they are EASIER!

Candied Salad Nuts
3/4 c brown sugar (please note you leave a lot of this behind)
1/8 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix first three together then add nuts. Spread on baking sheet lined with silpat (or sprayed real good). Bake at 350 for 30 minutes turning 1/2 way through.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lentil Soup

We are nearing the end of soup season here. I thought I needed to send this one out there while we still have some warm days. I love this soup. Maybe it is because it reminds me of my childhood. It is cheap and easy to make (which I think we are all looking for right now). I leave out the mint (YUCK). I took a picture and it didn't do it justice so you will have to imagine :) Also, the leftovers make a great burrito filling! This is vegetarian at it's finest. Even my meat lovin' husband makes yummy noises over this one :)

Mom's Lentil Soup
1 1/2 cups lentils
8 cups water (or unsalted chicken stock is what I used)
bay leaf (I was all out so I left this out)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
2-3 cloves minced garlic
4 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled or 16 oz can or chopped tomatoes (which is what I did for times sake)
1 large red onion diced
2 1/2 TBSP fresh minced mint (yuck, trust me on this)
2-3 stalks of celery (when I get celery in my produce co-op I always slice it and freeze it, I used about a cup of this)
salt and pepper

MAKES 10 cups
combine lentils, water, and spices in a pot. Boil for 2 hours until soft. Saute the onion in a little butter and EVOO for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and celery. Cook until the celery starts to soften. Add the tomatoes and simmer 10 minutes. Combine the veggies with the lentils. Season with mint (yuck), salt and pepper. Let simmer until ready to serve.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Granola bars

(photo from little birdie secrets)
Last night I made the best granola bars ever. I am always looking for snacks to send with Lee that will help him get through the day. I found these on Little Birdie Secrets have you checked her out? She is the ultimate in cool. LOVE her blog. I have made granola bars many times before. They were always good but very crumbly. This is one of those recipes that you can switch around a lot. I did not have sunflower seeds so I used more oats. I used 3/4 cup of raw almonds (what I had) and used 1/4 cup raw pecans (they give it a good flavor but I used mostly the healthier nut). For the fruit I only had about a 1/2 cup of raisins so I put 1/2 cup coconut in the toasting part. This turned out FABULOUS. I wrapped mine in wax paper and put them in the freezer. That way they aren't consumed in one sitting :)
click HERE to link to Birdie for this GREAT recipe!