Tag Archives: Salad

Heart Healthy Salad for Dinner

See—Little Baker does healthy too 🙂

Fast and good for your heart.

Enjoy!

Two Heart Healthy Salads (recipe by me)

printable recipe

Serves 1.

Broccoli-Tuna Salad

2 tbsp dijon mustard

splash balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1- 6 oz can tuna, drained

1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted (or fresh)

small handful raisins

salt and pepper to taste

Tomato-Jarlsberg Salad

1/2 medium tomato, sliced (4 slices)

4 small slices Jarlsberg cheese

splash balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

For Broccoli-Tuna Salad

  1. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Stir in tuna, followed by broccoli and raisins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Adjust flavor to taste by adding more mustard, vinegar, salt, etc. Serve along side tomato-cheese salad.

For Tomato-Jarlsberg Salad

  1. Spiral out tomato and cheese in alternating layers on a plate. Splash balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Peruvian Potato and Tuna Salad Rolls (Rollos de Causa Rellenos con AtĂșn)

Causa is Peru’s version of potato salad and it’s also one of my favorites. It seems unfair to compare it to the yellow, mayo-laden, eggy stuff we have here in the US. Causa is actually more like a cold gratin with layers of creamy pureed potatoes, tuna (or chicken or crab), avocado and a garnish of tart olives and hard-boiled eggs.

The recipe I found in a newspaper article from The Olympian is excellent and seems pretty close to authentic (at least to me). Especially helpful is the explanation on how to make aji amarillo (yellow Peruvian chile) paste with dried chilies. You can find a lot of “exotic” ingredients in Portland, but it’s still rather limited compared to the selection available in bigger cities. Here in San Francisco, I can buy frozen aji amarillos, but in Portland, I only found dried, which are available at Whole Foods. In any case, the recipe lists the chilies as optional, but I wouldn’t dream of leaving them out; they’re used a lot in Peruvian cooking and also provide a very particular spice, color and heat to the food.

In making this, I should have paid better attention to the ingredients list. First, I didn’t use Yukon gold potatoes, which are a must because of the characteristic yellow color and texture they give. I used regular baking potatoes, which I found too starchy and also a lot less pretty. Also, I forgot to garnish the top with olives and boil eggs; instead I used only chopped parsley.  Another thing I did differently, on purpose, is that I didn’t make mine in gratin form, but rather made mine maki-sushi style, i.e. rolled. I’ve seen it served both ways and since there was already so much food, I think the smaller pieces fit better.

I’ll definitely be making Causa again—it’s simple, comfort kind of food, which I love, but can be dressed up to be super elegant too.

Enjoy!

Rollos de Causa Rellenos con AtĂșn (adapted from an article found in The Olympian)

printable recipe

INGREDIENTS

Potato Paste

1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes (ca. 8-10), washed and scrubbed, but not peeled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lime juice, or more if necessary

1 tbsp aji amarillo paste, optional

salt to taste

Filling

2 cans tuna, drained (I used white tuna in water)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp chives, finely chopped

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1 tbsp red bell pepper, finely chopped (optional)

1/4 cup frozen corn, peas and carrots mix, thawed and drained

salt and pepper to taste

2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced thinly lengthwise

Garnish

3 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges or sliced into rounds

6 kalamata olives

METHOD

For the Potato Paste

  1. Cook potatoes until tender. Peel when still warm, then put through a ricer. Mix riced potatoes with oil, salt and aji amarillo. Add lime juice and stir the mix until the dough is soft and well blended. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

For the Filling

  1. Add mayonnaise, thawed vegetables, chives, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix well and add salt if necessary.

For Assembly

  1. Maki-sushi style: Line a bamboo maki mat with plastic wrap. Spread a portion of the potato paste to the edges of the mat.
  2. Then, spread filling over the potato paste, leaving 1/4 inch space at each edge. Distribute evenly 1/4 of the avocado slices on top.
  3. Roll, pulling out the plastic as you go and wrapping it around the roll to finish. Repeat for remaining paste and filling. Place wrapped rolls on a platter and refrigerate. When ready to serve, unwrap and place back on platter. Slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces, sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve.
  4. Traditional Squares: use a square baking pan, lightly oiled. Spread half of the potato paste in it, then spread the chicken filling. On top of the chicken filling spread the other half of the potato paste. Cover the baking pan and keep in the refrigerator until serving. Causa is a cold dish. When ready to serve, cut the causa into squares. With the help of a spatula, transfer each piece to a salad plate. Once on the plate, use the slices of avocado, egg and olives to decorate each piece. Each piece should have an olive and the same number of egg wedges and slices of avocado. (I didn’t add the olives or eggs; just topped mine with more chopped parsley)

Hint: You can make your own aji amarillo (yellow Peruvian chile pepper) paste with one pound of fresh aji amarillo and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place aji in a saucepan with water and boil for 5 minutes. Change the water and repeat procedure twice. Cut, seed and devein ajies. You can peel some ajies to reduce spiciness. Blend with oil until you get a creamy paste.

As an alternative to fresh aji amarillo, you can use dried chilli-peppers (known as dried aji mirasol), which are easier to find outside of Peru. The procedure is similar to the fresh ajĂ­es, just add some water when blending until you get the creamy paste.

Hello, Spring! Frittata with Radish-Red Cabbage Salad

Yay—Spring has come to San Francisco at last. And so has my first CSA box. (There are a lot of things I could write about CSA, but I’m too lazy to get into it right now. OK, I’m testing it out for a month. I know it’s good for the environment, good for the farmer, good for my body, blah, blah. But can I afford it? If I can and I actually enjoy the food and don’t have to eat celery sticks, I’ll keep doing it.)

Anyway, to celebrate my first Bay Area Spring, the blooming cherry blossoms and my CSA, I made this happy, little swiss chard frittata and radish-red cabbage salad.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had swiss chard before—I’ve definitely never cooked it. If I end up hating CSA, at least I’ll have learned one thing: I LOVE swiss chard: it has crunch, major flavor and serious BITE. And it tasted incredible in my little ode-to-Spring omelet with sauteed garlic, onion, cauliflower, raisins and shredded sharp white cheddar. For the side salad, I sliced up some radishes and red cabbage and tossed them in a simple lemon-olive oil vinaigrette (because balsamic would’ve been too much).

Happy Spring!

Swiss Chard, Raisin and White Cheddar Frittata with Radish and Red Cabbage Salad

A Little Baker SF recipe

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Frittata

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

2 leaves Swiss chard, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

1/2 cup cauliflower florets, broken into bite-size pieces

olive oil

1 tbsp raisins

salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg, plus a generous splash of non-fat milk, whisked

1 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

Salad

3 radishes, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

1/2 cup red cabbage, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

juice of 1/4 lemon

1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of evaporated cane sugar (or whatever sugar you have)

salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. In  a small, non-stick pan on medium-low heat, saute the swiss chard, garlic, onion and cauliflower in a little olive oil (ca. 5 minutes). Once the vegetables have softened a bit, add in the raisins, salt and pepper. Stir and allow to brown slightly.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Pour in the whisked egg-milk mixture and evenly distribute it in the pan. Cover and allow to cook/steam for 3-5 minutes (or until the egg is half-set).
  3. While the frittata is cooking, prepare the salad: In a small salad bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss in the sliced radishes and shredded red cabbage. Mix and set aside.
  4. Check on the frittata: If the egg is half-set, remove the cover, sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top. Cover again and cook until the egg is set and the cheese is melted (ca. 3 minutes).
  5. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice over the top. Serve.


Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

I’ve been eating a lot of red cabbage and cilantro these past few weeks. For two reasons: they’re totally budget-friendly (1 head of cabbage and 1 bunch of cilantro lasts me an entire week) as well as figure-friendly, or at least that’s what my mom and sister say. They both swear they’ve lost inches off their waistlines just by replacing lettuce with cabbage. Save money AND lose weight? Sounds good to me.

This salad was so awesome. Super crunchy from the red cabbage, kicky from the cilantro and sweet from the dressing. I made the dressing with non-fat greek-style yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and I sauteed the chicken thigh, eggplant and zucchini in only a drizzle of olive oil. So fat content is pretty minimal as well. You can of course play around with ingredient combination. I use canned tuna a lot or go completely vegetarian and use sweet potato instead.

Try this. It’s AMAZING.

Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 chicken thigh, trimmed and patted dry with a paper towel

1/4 cup zucchini, sliced

1 round slice of eggplant, halved

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 large tbsp non-fat greek-style yogurt

juice of 1/2 small lemon

1 tsp mustard (any style)

1 tsp sugar or honey

salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Put the sliced zucchini and eggplant in an unzipped Ziploc bag and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a pre-heated non-stick skillet, fry the chicken thigh in a little olive oil, ca. 2 min. Do not move or flip during this time. Grind salt and pepper over the top.
  3. Then, flip the chicken and push to the side. Put in the zucchini and eggplant. Grind a little salt and pepper over the vegetables and other side of the chicken. Fry for about 2 minutes, moving the vegetables around to ensure even browning.
  4. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the salad and dressing.
  5. In a medium-sized salad bowl, combine and mix together all dressing ingredients. Add the chopped onion, cabbage, cilantro and crumbled blue cheese and toss to coat.
  6. Slice the chicken at an angle. Put the salad on a large salad plate, topping with the sauteed veggies and sliced chicken. Grind a little more salt and pepper over top.

The Fruit Salad that Saved Dinner. And a Friendship.

I had this long weekend all planned out. Dinner with friends on Friday, hiking and studying my Spanish on Saturday. And for Valentine’s Day, one of those independent girlie in the city dinners.

But today is Valentine’s Day. And where am I? Sitting alone in a cafe, wondering how I ended up here. And by here I mean not at my V-day dinner and in particular, not with Dennis. (Btw, does anyone else get weirded out by the abbreviation “V-day”? Am I the only one who, instead of thinking of love, thinks of The Vagina Monologues? Maybe it’s just me. But all day I’ve been getting texts from people wishing me a happy V-day…and it weirds me out every time.)

ANYWAY, as it turns out, my “alone in the city” girl Valentine’s dinner was actually YESTERDAY. I was sitting at home last night about to prepare a quick bite before getting ready for some masquerade party over at Pier 39 (total bust, btw). And then comes the text from my friend asking when I’m coming over for dinner…shiiiiiit. Somehow I was able to throw all my stuff together and cab it over to her place in under 30 minutes—mumbling and grumbling the whole way over. (All that stress—I swear I can feel it shortening my life. It’s so unhealthy!)

All my cooking plans were ruined. I was going to make Peruvian-style Arroz con Pollo, Papa a la Huancaina (both Dennis’ mom’s recipes) and an Ecuadorian fruit salad I read about on Laylita’s Recipes. The only thing I managed to put together was the dessert—and thank goodness for that. I already felt like the biggest bonehead ever for nearly missing the dinner I co-planned. So I was glad to be able to contribute at least something. Really, it saved the day. And possibly a friendship.

Now my only problem is all the other groceries I’m now stuck with because of my bonehead mistake.

Anyway, this fruit salad is awesome. Easy to put together, healthy, sweet. I especially love the flavor of all the juices combined. It also looks great served in drinking glasses.

Enjoy!

Come y Bebe or Ecuadorian Drinkable Fruit Salad (from Laylita’s Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

4 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (ca. 10 oranges)

1 large papaya, peeled, seeded and diced

1 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced

6 bananas, peeled and sliced

sugar or honey to taste (I used brown.)

honey whipped cream to serve (optional)

METHOD

  1. Combine the diced papaya, pineapple and banana in a large, non-reactive bowl.
  2. Mix in the freshly squeezed orange juice, add sugar or honey if needed.
  3. Serve immediately or chill for 30 minutes if you prefer it very cold.

Quick Dinner of Poached Egg Topped Salmon

Just a quick post about my kind of brill’ idea for dinner tonight: Goat cheese and poached egg topped salmon patty served with a balsamic-dressed red onion and corn salsa. (Yes, I realize that is the.longest.title.ever. I did try to think of a more eloquent way of putting it, but I just don’t have the energy right now. Forgive me.)

So tasty and FAST. (Golden and slightly runny egg yolks—yum.) The only downside is the number of pots, pans and dishes you end up having to wash after making this. Oh, you know what would’ve been good too? Butter, instead of goat cheese on top of the egg. And maybe a simple lemon juice-olive oil vinaigrette for the salsa.

Enjoy!

Poached Egg Topped Salmon and Balsamic, Corn & Red Onion Salsa

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

1 frozen salmon patty, defrosted

olive oil

dried basil (or any herb like dill, rosemary, oregano)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 large egg

1 tbsp white vinegar, for poaching

1 tbsp goat cheese

Salad

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

a pinch of sugar

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill a small saucepan with water and allow to come to a slow boil.
  2. Pat dry the salmon patty; sprinkle each side with salt, pepper and basil flakes. Place the patty in a pre-heated non-stick skillet, allowing to fry for ca. 1-2 minutes on each side or until browned evenly and cooked just through.
  3. Add the white vinegar to the boiling water. Reduce the heat and gently crack the egg into the water. Use a large spoon to fold the egg white over the egg mass, in order to encourage the typical poached egg shape. Poach to your desired doneness. (Ca. 3 minutes for me. I prefer a slightly gooey yolk consistency—not too runny.)
  4. While the salmon is frying and the egg is poaching, make the salsa. In a small bowl, combine all salsa ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are completely coated. You can use the back of a fork or spoon to squish the onion and speed up the marinating/cooking process.
  5. Arrange the salsa onto a plate. Then, place the salmon patty on top, followed by the poached egg and then finally, the goat cheese. Grind a little salt and pepper over the top. Serve.

Broccoli Carrot Raisin Salad Topped With Tuna and Goat Cheese

This is just another one of my “I’m too lazy to cook / I feel fat and vitamin deprived” salads. I originally planned on doing this with red cabbage, but as it turned out, Trader Joe’s had nothing except for a 10 oz bag of shredded cabbage that they were charging an arm and a leg for. So I went for the next best (and cheapest) thing: broccoli.

Broccoli turned out even better. My mom never made any of those sweet-savory American potluck salads when I was growing up, but I just adore them—especially coleslaw and broccoli-carrot-raisin salad. With those salads as inspiration, I did the following in just 10 minutes: blanched the broccoli for about a minute (to bring out that gorgeous green), rough chopped it and then tossed it with grated carrots, sliced red onion and raising in a slightly sweetened white wine vinaigrette. I then topped the salad off with chunk white tuna and a bit of broken up goat cheese.

Easy. Delicious.

Broccoli Carrot Raisin Salad Topped With Tuna and Goat Cheese

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of evaporated cane sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 stalk of broccoli, washed

1/2 medium carrot, grated

1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

1 tbsp raisins

1 can no-salt added white tunafish

1 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, blanch the broccoli, about 1 minute. Remove from stove, drain and cool with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Mix together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper on a large salad plate.
  3. To the vinaigrette, add the carrots, red onion and raisins. Toss to coat.
  4. Peel away the tough outer layer of the stock and rough slice; break up the florets. Add to the salad. Toss to coat.
  5. Top the salad with tuna, breaking it up with a fork, and then the crumbled goat cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Winter Salad of Sauteed Carrots, Bartlett Pears and Blue Cheese

Does it seem like all I ever eat are pastries and salad? Based on my posts, perhaps it does. It’s actually probably not such a bad idea to balance the brownies, cookies and cakes with light and fresh veggie dishes.

Tonight was no different. Before baking a completely awful-for-you, artery-clogging and incredibly, buttery and decadent almond buttercake, I made myself a quick winter dinner salad of sauteed carrots, sliced bartlett pears and crumbled blue cheese over a bed of balsamic vinaigrette-dressed romaine lettuce. (Yup, still working my way through the family-size bag of carrots in the fridge.)

I really enjoyed this salad. Not only did it take only 15 minutes total to prep, cook and plate, but it also turned out to be an interesting combination of wintery vegetable and fruit flavors. Pear and blue cheese are always a great food-pairing; these tossed with balsamic-dressed salad greens is even better. I wasn’t worried about adding the carrots—besides being mild in flavor, I knew sauteeing them would bring out a sweetness that would complement nicely with the pears and blue cheese.

Winter Salad of Sauteed Carrots, Bartlett Pears and Blue Cheese (my own recipe)

Serves 2.

INGREDIENTS

Carrots

2 carrots, peeled, cut into thirds and sliced lengthwise thinly

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly

1/2 tsp sugar

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Salad

6 large leaves romaine lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped or torn

2 bartlett pears, quartered, cored and sliced

2 oz blue cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over low heat. In a little olive oil, saute the onion, garlic and carrots until tender (ca. 10 minutes).
  2. While the carrots are cooking, prepare the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a salad bowl, toss the lettuce, half the pears and the dressing together. Divide between two plates.
  4. Once the carrots are finished cooking, Top each plate with the carrots and remaining pear slices. Crumble the blue cheese over the top of each plate.
  5. Serve.

Family-Night Tilapia Salad Nicoise

Miss Busy-Pants Lauren left for Tanzania last Friday. (I wish my firm would send ME somewhere—not likely.) Though the house is sooo empty and lonely without her, it makes me happy to know she is there, working her little heart out for the good of others. (Awww—let’s all hold hands <3)

Anyway, it’s been a while since we all sat down together as a family. (Mostly because L. and M. are STILL madly in love with their boyfriends and are super busy being obsessed and in love—Lucky.) So a sit-down meal was long overdue.

Lauren and Melita put me in charge of deciding the menu this time. Naturally, the first thing I did was go to Tastespotting for some inspiration. Once there, I stumbled upon a gorgeous photo and recipe for a salmon salad nicoise from Molly at Organic Spark. Though I didn’t end up following the recipe at all, it was the idea of a tangy apricot dressing drizzled over mixed greens, grape tomatoes, shaved red onions and ghee-baked salmon that totally won me over.

Using Molly’s inspiring photo, I came up with a recipe for a pan-fried tilapia salad nicoise. (My original plan was to use salmon, but we’re all independent women on a budget right now.) The tilapia I prepared the way my mom typically does it—coating the fish with a flour-salt-pepper-lemon-pepper mixture and then pan-frying it in olive oil, lemon and a small bit of butter at the end; I prepped the vegetables; and L. and M. did the arranging. For the final ta-da factor,  I crumbled a little Gorgonzola on top.

To accompany our healthy salad, we served a Shiraz (Trader Joe’s $2-buck-Chuck variety, actually), cheese (aged Gouda and Gorgonzola) and gluten-free crackers. (What a trippy, stereotypical California “I-eat-only-organic-and-don’t-eat-meat” chick dinner this is.)

Cute family, yummy food.  Makes me sooo happy! (^_^)

P1070192

Tilapia Salad Nicoise (inspired by a photo and recipe found on Organic Spark)

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

Tilapia

3 largish Tilapia fillets, defrosted (We used the frozen 3-in-a-pack from Trader Joe’s.)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp lemon-pepper

olive oil, for frying

a little butter

Salad

4 hard-boiled eggs, halved

the leaves of 2 romaine hearts, prepped and torn

3 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1 large handful haricot vert, blanched and then plunged into a bowl of ice water (I used regular green beans, which I halved.)

kalamata olives

capers

optional toppings: Gorgonzola or goat’s cheese, little red potatoes, marinated red peppers, etc.

Dressing

1/2 clove fresh garlic, minced then mashed with the side of your knife

1 tbsp fresh white onion, minced then mashed with the side of your knife

1/3-1/2 cup white wine vinegar

scant 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, combine and whisk together all ingredients. Set aside to marinate.
  2. Prep the vegetables for the salad. Lay the lettuce first, then arrange the remaining items on top in their own section. Leave space for the fish. 1 tbsp capers and 3-4 olives should suffice for each person.
  3. Prepare the fish: On a plate, mix together flour, salt, pepper and lemon-pepper. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels.
  5. Once the pan is hot, coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil (about 2 tbsp). Quickly dredge both sides of the fish fillets into the flour mixture and place into the hot pan. Allow to brown on each side for about 2 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook.)
  6. Once cooked just through, reduce the heat to low. Put a very small dollop (maybe 1/4 tsp) of butter into the pan and then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Allow the liquid to cook and reduce for about 30 seconds.
  7. Place a fish fillet on each salad plate (I preferred to flake it first). Top with a little crumbled Gorgonzola and then drizzle the dressing over each.