Salads

Get creative with in season fresh greens, vegetables and fruits in your salad making and enhance almost any meal. Go local!

Pork Salad Annie

This falls into our K.I.S.S. series of meals; quick yet delicious and perfect for busy weeknights. Pork salad Annie has become a favorite of ours and I’ve created two versions depending on whether its’s a training or rest day.

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Ingredients

1 pound pastured pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon lard or bacon grease

Preparation

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Season it

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Sear it:  melt the tablespoon of fat over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet and sear the pork on both sides. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 – 15 minutes.  Let set for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the pork is cooking tear up your favorite salad greens, top with your choice of add ons such as bell peppers, cucumbers, onion, carrot and a few olives.  Top with the sliced pork and dress with olive oil and vinegar.  Perfect for a rest day dinner meal.

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If it’s a hardcore training day and you’ve earned your carbs serve with a side of freshly steamed spinach and white rice with a dollop of butter.

To get two meals out of one simply double the recipe above.

Feather & Fin Supper Salad

Leftovers?  Sometimes they’re great and sometimes they can be a little ‘blah’.  My husband’s rather particular in that department especially when seafood is involved which leaves me eating them all or finding a creative way to spruce them up. . .

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With more leftover chicken and grilled tuna than one person could eat I decided to revamp last night’s dinner by making this salad giving it a complete makeover along with a beautiful presentation.  Get creative with the recipe and ingredients using what you have leftover and on hand.

Tuna salad
12 oz grilled tuna
1/4 cup homemade mayo
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Break or chop tuna into chunks; add the rest of ingredients and combine well.  Add additional mayo to suit your taste if desired.

Salad
2, 6 oz chicken breasts cooked and sliced
4-6 cups butterhead lettuce (or your favorite)
1 large tomato
2 fresh beets, cooked and sliced
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 carrots, diced
1/2 apple unpeeled and diced
2 oz grated cheddar cheese
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Arrange salad ingredients on 2 plates.  To each plate add 1 sliced chicken breast and a scoop of tuna salad.  Reserve rest of tuna salad for snacks. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

Spinach Blues

I don’t know about you but I had one too many pieces of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving and I’ve got to tighten it up until the Christmas baking begins.  Lest my belt won’t fasten.  With the cooler weather (everywhere but here in Florida) cravings were high for a heartier green and fresh spinach came to mind.  One of our favorites this salad is a meal complete when served with your favorite flesh — beef, pork, fowl or seafood it’s sure to please and perfect for rest day meals.

Oh, and the blue cheese dressing. . . yum

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Recipe & Ingredients

The Salad
fresh organic spinach
red or yellow bell peppers, diced
purple onion, sliced
carrots, chopped
cucumbers, peeled and sliced
hard boiled eggs
pastured bacon, crumbled

The Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup raw blue cheese
1/4 cup homemade mayo
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all ingredients together well.  And yes, that’s all there is to homemade blue cheese dressing.  No need for chemicals and unhealthy preservatives.  And it will last around a week in the fridge — in theory (ours disappears way before then).  It can also sub out as a veggie dip your children will love.

Tuna Lean Salad

As the heat begins to sizzle during our spring leaning some nights call for a nice light, cool and crisp meal for dinner.  This tuna salad can be whipped up in about 20 minutes.  Perfect for a recovery day when you didn’t earn that many carbs and you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

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Take two large plates and pile them high with your favorite fresh greens (butterhead, leaf, red leaf, romaine, arugula etc), add the vegetables of your choice such as carrots, bell pepper, radishes, sweet onion and whatever else tickles your palate.  Add a little healthy fat — avocado, eggs or olives and pile high with tuna; drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.   Enjoy!

Applewood Smoked Shrimp Salad

Spring leaning and summertime around the corner sparks a craving for more seafood especially living on the coast of Florida.  When the Jag offered to grill the shrimp I had planned for Friday night’s dinner — I took him up on his offer.  He had a an idea to smoke with some apple-wood chips lending an amazing flavor to the shrimp.

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The apple-wood chips created a sweet mild smokey flavor that was a delight to the shellfish.  He definitely scored some brownie points Friday night.

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Season up those babies with the rub mixture and place on your skewers.  I prefer the double prong skewers as the shrimp will not turn when you go to flip them. Well worth the investment; we’ve had these since the 80’s.  I like leaving the heads while hubby doesn’t.  He tends to be a little squeamish in that area.  I peel mine leaving the the tail and head intact; when eating (just like a craw fish) you can pinch the head off and suck the juices out of it.  There has to lots of good stuff in there because it sure is tasty.

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Life is so busy I guess I hadn’t been paying to much attention to the Jag.  When he took his shirt off while grilling I noticed that damn, he appeared to have gotten a little leaner; by default since I’m on my spring leaning program.  He was eating chocolate bunnies Easter weekend and the cocktails haven’t gone away. Another month or so and I just might see the six pack of yesteryear.  All right honey, I’ll give you credit–not bad for 66.

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Smoke it!  For about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes per side depending on size of shrimp.  These were ‘large’ and 1 minute 45 seconds each side was perfect.

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Time to eat–enjoy!

Recipe & Ingredients

The Shrimp:
2-3 pounds wild caught large shrimp, preferably with the heads on
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Applewood chips
Soaking liquid (water, apple cider, chardonnay, pinot noir or even pineapple juice)

Peel the shrimp leaving the heads attached.  Place on skewers. Mix spices together in a small bowl combining well.  Sprinkle evenly on both sides of the shrimp.  Meanwhile place your applewood chips in your liquid of choice to soak for at least 30 minutes.  Fire up your grill.

While you’re waiting make up a simple cocktail sauce out of organic ketchup and fresh horseradish with a splash of lemon juice to taste.  That’s it; nice and simple.

We don’t have a big Green Egg yet but if you do have a smoker, cook according to manufacturer’s directions.  We’re using our old fashioned Weber charcoal grill so the chips are placed directly on the coals.

Place the skewers on the grill, put on the lid and about 1 minute 45 seconds per side.  Precision is key here as the shrimp are easy to overcook.  The time will vary depending upon the size of the shrimp.  I would say ours were ‘large’; adjust the time accordingly.

Serve with fresh lemons and freshly made cocktail sauce.
The Salad
Your choice of fresh organic lettuces (butterhead, leaf, red leaf, romaine, arugula)
carrots
sweet bell pepper
thinly sliced onions
green olives
olive oil and lemon juice was our dressing; choose your favorite

Get creative adding the vegetables that are in season in your locale.  My salad is generally never the same depending on what I have on hand or what sparks my taste buds at the local market.

Spring Beauties: fresh sliced Tomatoes

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Slice em, dice em or eat em whole.  Come spring time in Florida nothin’ beats a home grown tomato.  Excitement bubbled when I spotted these spring beauties at my local coop last weekend.  I cut one open as soon as I walked in the door.

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Simply cut with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as a snack or side to your meal

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Or dressed with a little fresh parsley and olive oil.

Of course the ultimate just may be a BLT — tomato and bacon are just short of heaven.