Tag Archives: salad

Skip the lettuce

Every now and then I like a salad without lettuce. Here’s tonight’s version:

Diced base of green pepper / Small chunks of half a tomato / two celery stalks, chopped / 3 Tbs diced red onion / small handful of chopped endive / half a chopped avocado / one small cuke, peeled and chopped / chopped herb (cilantro or parsley).

Tasty with all kinds of dressings but my favorite is a tangy vinaigrette.

This is a single serving.

* * *

Great opportunity opened up last night: got a space at a writing retreat. I had moved on it late. It was full. Forgot about it. And then: ta da! I was first on the waiting list and a spot is mine!

Not only is it being held in my old stomping grounds just outside of Northampton in central Mass., it’ll be DAYS dedicated to writing and feedback. The timing couldn’t be better!

Brutally hot here again. Finn and I started our day in the lake!

I’ll be taking about a week-long break here.

Beets and radishes

Anyone who camps knows how even the most pedestrian meal is enhanced to a near-miraculous degree after a day in the wilderness. It happens all the time. “How can a bowl of pasta with canned sauce and chopped zucchini taste so good,” you wonder. And yet it does.

The visit to Salem was tense and then tenser. We didn’t manage to capture the cat. The aide had to leave a full hour earlier than expected. Plans had to be abandoned, limitations accepted. But before we got there, a fair amount of hostility was expressed. I spent a lot of time walking around the building, sort of wishing I smoked.

My sister blamed her temper on a transiting Mars / natal Sun conjunction and pretty much everything else on me.

She kept telling me to sit down and to stop moving. I kept suggesting that it might be time to put some pants on. The aide cleaned the kitchen. Then the bathroom.

My wish to get something done collided with my sister’s refusal to move. It’s often this way.

It’s a kind of wilderness, really — and I think it made the salad I made after getting home taste ridiculously good.

The gorgeous food blog, Harvest and Honey, inspired the choice of ingredients.

With the sweet, candy-like beets, the smooth and creamy avocado, plus a little goat cheese, chopped scallion, sliced radish and a handful of micro greens, it was beyond delicious.

Recipe (you hardly need one!)

1 large beet, roasted, peeled and diced*

1/2 scallion chopped, including white end

1 radish, sliced thin

1 1/2 Tbs goat cheese

Handful of micro greens

Dress with a tangy mustard vinaigrette (loaded with garlic).

* if you stow beets, post-roasting, in their foil wrappers in a large, unsealed zip lock bag, be very careful carrying the bag to the cutting board unless you want your kitchen to resemble a crime scene!


A very cold day that included a brisk walk, raking (and more raking), and cleaning out some duct work. Polishing glass. Writing and sewing. Decapitation.
IMG_6377.JPGThat’s right: decapitation. I took the head off one of my figures. More on that later.

Meanwhile, Boy Mouse has his skates. His grey scarf is another one of my size zero knitting needle adventures. He’s more ready for winter than I am!

IMG_6375.JPGWhen I lamented to my husband that Boy Mouse’s skates were a little too big, he quipped, “That’s okay. He doesn’t have feet.”

IMG_6374.JPGThe pipe cleaner on his back is for hanging. He can go on a wall or a Christmas tree. His jacket comes from old pjs and old (clean!) socks.

IMG_6373.JPGI made a substantial salad with blue cheese, bacon, apple, romaine hearts and bitter greens for lunch. It was satisfying.

IMG_6370.JPGI’ll sign off here. Stay warm if you are in cold temps! IMG_6371.JPGDanny comes home tomorrow and there’s chili on the stove in his honor. Later in the week, I’m cooking for Thanksgiving, but only for seven, so I hope to check back in here before then!IMG_6376.JPG

Barley yummmmmm

How could I have forgotten about barley?! Having chef-extraordinaire, Elizabeth Germain, visiting for two weeks upped my game in the kitchen some. I learned that my burners don’t get quite hot enough (who knew?). That I wasn’t cooking my chicken thighs quite long enough (sorry, guys!). And that barley is terrific for cold weather eating.
wintersalad-barley-deemallonThis salad is an adaptation from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. Their’s featured oat berries and feta cheese. I used barley and pomegranate seeds instead.  I think pine nuts would be good here, too. Here’s the recipe.

Two handfuls arugula
1 c. cooked barley
2 roasted peppers, skinned & chopped
14 oz. can of chic peas
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
2 scallions, chopped

1 lemon, squeezed
splash of rice vinegar
about 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
dash cayenne
1/8 t paprika
1/8 – 1/4 t cumin
salad-barley-pomegranate seeds-deemallon
This salad is terrific the next day, which leads me to think the arugula should be added in by plate. Barley is not gluten free but may be less aggravating to some with sensitivities.

Spring cleanse salad


IMG_9247Any salad with bitter greens and lemon juice fits the bill.  Mine features broccoli sprouts, watercress, lettuce and cabbage.
IMG_9245If you are in a more ‘serious’ cleanse, skip the olive oil and spritz with lemon only.
IMG_9242This mild cabbage partnered well with the watercress and tangy broccoli sprouts.


Chicken and Rice Winter Salad

IMG_7595From my plate to yours – Chicken with Wild Rice and Walnuts. I am eating some right now and it is out of this world!

When I make chicken stock with a whole bird, I like to use about half of the meat for something other than soup… in this case a salad that is richly flavored and full of protein — perfect for a cold New England day!!  If you make this salad while preparing the soup, there is a nice economy of effort, since you’ll be chopping onions, parsley, and celery for both dishes.

IMG_7600Chicken with Wild Rice and Walnuts

Chicken — roughly 1/2 of a small bird (5-ish lbs) — chopped
Be sure to use half of the bird’s tender breast meat
1 cup cooked rice — I used mostly brown, with some grains of wild
3 stalks celery — chopped
3-4 tablespoons white onion — diced
1/4 c walnuts — chopped
1/2 cup parsley — chopped
olive oil and salt and pepper

There is so much flavor here, that a generous sprinkling of a fruity, extra virgin olive oil, plus a little S&P, is all the dressing needed.

You can skip the inclusion of wild rice (though I love the color!), but you will sacrifice too much taste and toothsome texture if you substitute white rice (I have some wonderful white rice salads for the summer).

Variation: If you are in the mood for a richer, creamier salad, you could use a more classic mayonnaise-based dressing.


Cabbage and Parsley Salad

IMG_7360You probably didn’t know this about me, but I’m somewhat of a salad genius. I know it’s not that unique a thing — I can name at least two OTHER geniuses off the top of my head, without even thinking that hard. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to start sharing some of these combos. Today seemed like a good day to start, if for no other reason than I am craving the color green (need I write? it’s snowing again . . .)
IMG_7382Cabbage and Parsley Salad
Serves four as a side; two as a main course
I like to use parsley as a green in the winter.  In addition to being a good source of Vitamin C, it’s pretty. Cabbage adds a tangy contrast to the lettuce and if you use a mandolin to slice it, you’ll get an especially thin ribbon. Most of my celery tops go straight into the freezer for eventual use in stock production, but here they are chopped in with the parsley.

Bowlful of iceberg lettuce
Handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
Handful of black olives
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley and celery tops, mixed
Wedge of cabbage, sliced thin

Vinaigrette (1/4 c olive oil; 1/4 c white vinegar; 1 T mustard, chopped garlic and salt and pepper)
IMG_7380Celery tops add a refreshing piquancy.
IMG_7379IMG_7390When paired with red quinoa and a batch of sauteed peppers, onions, and zucchini — a very satisfying winter meal!