Tag Archives: dressing

Kale Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

I got a new blender this weekend! I bought it to replace my on-it’s-last-legs blender. This old blender operated only on the lowest setting or on pulse, plus the rubber ring that sits between the blade and the bottom of the blender pitcher disappeared!

The blender I ended up purchasing is a Hamilton Beach Professional 1500 watt Blender.

Blender

This blender is a compromise, or maybe a blending of two requirements … I wanted a high powered blender and “Tom” wanted a quiet blender. It turns out that the higher the wattage or power of a blender, the noisier it is and we wanted a blender with a minimum of 1000 watts. Well, it turns out that there actually are a few quiet high powered blenders out there. They can be very expensive though. We finally settled on this Hamilton Beach blender because it’s got the power, it’s got a quiet shield, it’s got a variety of settings including a self-clean setting, and it was on sale at London Drugs right near our house! The pitcher is a bit small at only 1 litre, but I think I can live with that.

As soon as we got the blender home, we wanted to try it out – me to try out the high power and “Tom” to test out the quiet shield. I decided to make the salad dressing for a kale salad in the blender (I would usually make a dressing in a measuring cup with a whisk). Well, let me tell you that a high powered blender whips salad dressings together so well that the oil and vinegar does not separate! So cool! And quiet? Yes indeed! “Tom” is very happy with that quiet shield!

Kale Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

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Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took of the salad. I took it with my phone in poor light.

3 tbsps apple cider vinegar

2 tbsps honey

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic (minced if you are whisking, cut in quarters if you are high power blendering)

pinch sea salt 2 tbsps olive oil

handful of walnuts, broken

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into small pieces

salt

5 or 6 fresh strawberries, large dice (I used local strawberries which are still available from the local road stand if you can believe it!)

In the blender, add the dressing ingredients, vinegar to oil. Blend on medium power for less than a minute, until ingredients have transformed into a smooth sauce. Toast the walnuts in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking and stirring, for about a minute or so until the nuts smell toasty and just start to brown. Set aside to cool. Place the kale leaves in a large bowl. Add a drizzle of the salad dressing and a sprinkling of salt. Massage the sauce and salt into the kale until the leaves begin to wilt and reduce down. Add the strawberries to the bowl, pour on about 1/2 of the dressing, toss gently to combine. Sprinkle on the cooled walnuts.

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Another Dinner Party – White Bean Salad and Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Pie

This summer saw a few dinner parties. I posted about the party “Tom” and I had here. The next dinner party was a casual bday celebration outside on some friends’ patio. It was a potluck – not in the literal sense where everyone brings whatever, and all guests take their chances on what food is available, but where the hosts provided the main course and the guests brought complementary food. Our hosts made Puttanesca sauce with pasta, so I thought I’d bring a salad. But what kind of salad goes with the strong flavours of Puttanesca sauce? Here’s what was recommended by Moira Hodgson in Oprah Magazine:

White Bean Salad

(adapted from Moira Hodgson)

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3 cups cooked navy beans

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1/4 red onion, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsps. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1/2 tsp salt (or more)

sprinkling of black pepper

Gently toss the beans, bell pepper, onion and tomato together. Whisk the dressing ingredients together then pour over the beans. Gently mix together and let marinate in fridge for a couple of hours. Bring to room temperature to serve.

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I also decided to bring a dessert. I have been making my chocolate mousse pie for some time now, but I wanted to add in another layer … literally another layer, but also another layer of flavour. I had some late season local strawberries in the fridge so I created this:

Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Pie

(my own creation)

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2 packages Oreo cookie type cookies

2 tbsps. coconut oil

1 recipe chocolate mousse

  • 1 full package (200 grams) organic fair trade baking chocolate (I use Camino semi-sweet)

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  • 1 package silken tofu

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla (liquid or powder)

  • pinch sea salt

1 cup strawberries

1 tbsp. maple syrup

several strawberries cut in slices

Crumble 1/2 of the cookies in a blender, then transfer to a pie plate. Crumble the other 1/2 of the cookies in a blender with the coconut oil until well mixed. Mix the dry and oiled cookie crumbs together and press up the sides and into the bottom of the pie plate.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

Slip the tofu into a pot of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes (helps get rid of any beany taste).

Put the tofu into the blender with the milk and blend until smooth. Add in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt and blend for 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Pour the chocolate mousse into the pie plate on top of the cookie crumb base. Put in fridge for an hour or so until the mousse cools and firms up.

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Put the cup of strawberries into a blender and blend until liquid. Add in the maple syrup and blend briefly. Ladle the strawberry puree onto the chocolate mousse, letting the puree spread on its own to the edges.

Top with sliced strawberries.

Chill in fridge for at least an hour. Serve straight from the fridge.

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Chopped Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

Salads are pretty great, don’t ya think? I mean, there’s gotta be an infinite number of ways you can combine some vegetables, maybe some grains or some noodles, possibly some fruit. And then there’s the dressing. You can take your same ol’, same ol’ salad and add a new dressing and it’s not so same ol’ anymore, is it? Or you can take your standby dressing and pour it on a different base of vegetables and you’ve got something new! Take this salad for example. I introduced this salad way back in April 2014 – a chopped salad with all the ingredients arranged separately in the bowl – and, last week I recreated it with a few different vegetables and a new dressing. Voila! A new salad!

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The salad ingredients choices are my own, but the dressing is inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing.

(http://minimalistbaker.com/mexican-quinoa-salad-with-orange-lime-dressing)

Chopped Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing

(Ingredient amounts depend on how many servings you want to make. The dressing makes about 4 servings.)

quinoa, cooked

red cabbage

carrots

orange bell pepper

green onion

lettuce

cucumber

Dressing

1/2 ripe avocado

juice of 1/2 lime  (3 tbsps.)

juice of 1/2 orange (3 tbsps.)

2 tsp agave nectar

1 tsp hot sauce

1/4 tsp cumin

a sprinkle of cayenne (less than 1/8 tsp)

2-3 tbsps. water

Arrange the quinoa and vegetables in individual bowls. I like to chop up one ingredient and arrange in the bowls, then chop up the next ingredient and arrange in bowls and so on.

Put all the dressing ingredients except the water in a tall container and blend with an immersion blender. When things start to get too thick, add in the water, 1 tbsp. at a time until the dressing blends smoothly and is pourable but not runny.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients. Admire your artistry, then toss everything together in your personal bowl!

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