Category Archives: Salads

Best fresh from the Garden

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

So, this living off the grid thing? I find myself less inclined to look recipes up as often as I used to. I spend much less time at my iMac and way more time on my iPad because the iPad requires much less power to operate.

But today the sun is shining and the wind is blowing so our batts are charging and I am living large having both my iMac and my iPad going at the same time! Shocker, I know!

I had half a can of refried beans that needed using up; also had some flour tortillas hanging out in the cold room; oh, and a heavenly head of romaine lettuce! Set the brain to churning what to make with those ingredients? Quesadillas; have the tortillas, cheddar cheese, a tomato, green pepper and 4 green onions to go with the refried beans. Now, a Mexican flavoured dressing. Thanks Google! At Mel’s Kitchen I found what I was looking for: Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette. Do I wish I had all the fresh veg to put together her Chopped Salad? You betcha! As it is, I used what I had in my cold room: that lovely Romaine, some black olives (note to self: remember to buy SLICED black olives) a yellow pepper, 1/3 of a long english cucumber. Do I have fresh limes on hand? Nope, but I do have lime juice so that had to do.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lime Juice
4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

In small jar with a lid combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and shake until well combined.
Add additional S&P, to taste.
Pour dressing over salad, toss; serve immediately.


Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad

So having moved off-grid is challenging how I do kitchen stuff. For one, I am meant to only go grocery shopping once every 2 months or so. Now, as a Vegetarian? That’s a lot of produce to purchase! And you can well imagine that there is no way that much produce is going to keep that long even if I DO store it in Tupperware Fridge Smart containers! I have planted garden greens and stuff in my greenhouse but that was only 3 weeks ago so I am not able to enjoy its bounties just yet.
Anyway, one of the produce purchases I made was 4 LE Cucumbers. Now if the weather was nice and cold up here like it’s supposed to be then maybe the cukes would have lasted longer but it ISN’T cold so now I have to find ways to use up all my precious produce!
Another tricky thing? My husband doesn’t really like cucumbers! I love ’em but there are only so many cukes a girl can eat! Well, thankfully I still have internet access out here in the middle of no where; I googled cucumber recipes and found this one over at Two Peas & their Pod(s)  whom I have been following for years so always trust their recipes!

Oh, I suppose I should have mentioned that we use a cold room and not a fridge in the winter to conserve propane. Hence my lamentations that the weather is not all that cold here at the mo. If I am to believe this thermostat, it is a balmy 10C outside!!!! What?? We are high up in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia and it is supposed to be COLD here.  I digress. I was pleased to find their Asian Cucumber Salad. And much to my delight, Luke loved it. He even said, “Hey, there’s ginger in here, right?” Now normally he is like Emile in Ratatouille and eats any and everything without a lot of regard to what goes into a recipe so I was impressed.

Right, the recipe! Please do go over and visit The Two Peas! They have a great site and some GREAT recipes!

Asian Cucumber Salad

1 Long English Cucumber, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
a pinch of Sugar
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 small clove Garlic, minced
a smidge of fresh Ginger, peeled and finely chopped (less than 1/8 tsp, all up)
1/2 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Place sliced cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle with salt; set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, cilantro, green onions, garlic and ginger; drizzle over cucumbers.

Sprinkle salad with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, to taste.

Serve Immediately.

Serves 2

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Avocado Dressing

I subscribe to a few different recipe sites and this morning a very delicious looking Chicken, Bean, Pepper salad arrived in my inbox. The picture made the salad look so good, I just had to try it! Unfortunately my first swipe at it left me feeling a little flat so I jazzed it up a bit. The end result was pretty satisfying though I think there is still some room for tweaking…

It just so happens that we grilled Chicken Burgers last night and there were a few left over; for lunch today, Luke got a Chicken Burger with Avo Dressing and Bean Salad on the side!

This recipe was inspired by Kalyn’s Kitchen

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Avo Dressing
Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Avo Dressing

1 – 420 g can Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
1 Pepper,  chopped – Red or Orange
4 Green Onions, sliced, greens only
Fresh Ground Pepper and Salt, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons Lime Juice
1/2 cup Salsa
3 Tablespoons Buttermilk

Avo Dressing
1 large Avocado
Green Onions, the white bits you have left from the first part of the recipe
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
Fresh Ground Pepper and Salt, to taste

Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Fresh Cilantro
Grape Tomatoes

In large bowl combine black beans, chopped pepper, chopped green onion, lime juice, salsa and buttermilk.
Add salt and pepper to taste and stir well.

In separate small bowl. mash large avocado.
Stir in white portion of green onions, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over prepared Black Bean and Pepper Salad and stir well.

Serve on a bed of Fresh Spinach leaves or Garden Greens.
Top with a bit of shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese.
Garnish with Fresh Cilantro and Grape Tomatoes.

Serves 4 – 6

I reserved a lil of the Avo Dressing and spread about 1 teaspoon on the bottom portion of a hamburger bun, topped it with a grilled chicken burger, dolloped on another Tablespoon of Avo Dressing, finished off with fresh spinach leaves and a few tomato slices.

Chicken Burger with Avo Dressing
Chicken Burger with Avo Dressing




Napa Valley Salad

A recipe I got years ago from dear friend, Lisa Kemle. It was well received and became a family favourite! It is supposed to have savoy cabbage in it; sometimes mine does, sometimes it doesn’t! I just use whatever I have on hand when making it.

Napa Valley Salad
Crunchy, Delicious Napa Valley Salad

2 pkgs Mr. Noodles, cracked
1/4 cup Butter, melted
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

1 head Savoy Cabbage, shredded
1 head Romaine Lettuce, thinly sliced
4 Green Onions, chopped

3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Xylitol or 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Over medium heat, in a large shallow pan, melt butter.
Reduce heat, stir in cracked noodles, slivered almonds and sunflower seeds.
Cook over very low heat, stirring often for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Meanwhile measure the olive oil, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener and pepper into a Tupperware Qucikshake or jar with a tight fitting lid.
Shake well to combine; set aside.

In a very large bowl combine the shredded savoy cabbage, romaine lettuce and green onions.

When ready to serve, pour cooled noodle mixture and dressing over the salad greens, toss well.


Low Carb Greek Salad

Low Carb Greek Salad
Low Carb Greek Salad

I don’t usually measure this stuff…

1/2 cup  Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced (why did I give away my Garlic Press? Oh yea, coz I want a    Pampered Chef one!
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
a splash of Brine from the Kalamata Olives
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Basil

3 cups Spinach Leaves, washed and spun
1 Long English Cucumber, cut into chunks
1 each, Red Pepper, Orange, Yellow and Green Pepper, chopped
1/2 Red Onion, diced
4 ounces Feta, crumbled
Kalamata Olives
Grape Tomatoes, garnish

Measure all of the ingredients together in a resealable jar, screw on the lid and give it a good shake.

Toss together in a large bowl the spinach, cucumber, peppers and onion.

If serving all of it immediately, go ahead and toss in the feta, dressing and Kalamata olives.
If not serving all of it immediately, I like to just put a serving of the “Greens” in a large pasta bowl, top with a bit of crumbled feta, a few (lot) Kalamata olives and a generous drizzle of dressing.

Greek Salad doesn’t hold well which is why I don’t add the feta and dressing to a big bowl of prepared “Greens” thereby avoiding the soggy cucumber syndrome!