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Posts Tagged ‘salad’

I’ve been going at full speed the last few days, so today I took things easy and worked from home. One of the perks of working from home, for me, is to take the time to make and eat a proper breakfast, with a cup of earl grey and milk, and a good book.

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The epitome of peace

So we have a mushroom, herb and cheese omelet, toasted whole wheat bread and butter. For some reason, I  never pack a butter sandwich, or a cheese omelet to take to work.  For me, this is the essence of taking it easy.

Mushroom, herbs and cheese omelet 
Heat oil (can also be olive) in a frying pan. Place sliced mushrooms in one layer in the pan. When browned, turn over and pour eggs mixed with milk, a dash of salt and some snipped herbs (I used parsley and dill, use what you have). Wait until firm and brown on the bottom, then flip over. Place two slices of cheese on half the omelet, wait a minute the fold in half over the cheese. When cheese is melted, move to a plate and eat immediately.

If I’m still hungry, another small pleasure I usually don’t take time for is a tomato and cucumber salad, cut small, with a large splash of good olive oil, a small splash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Simple, but I’m the only one in my family who eats this so I make it only when I’m eating at home alone. You can imagine how often that happens. 😉

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So simple, so good

Sometimes the simple things are all we need…

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I love cherry tomato salad. It’s tasty and refreshing and best of all ridiculously easy:

Cherry tomato salad

Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
Good quality olive oil
Salt
Dried or fresh oregano and/or basil

Mix,  add more spices if you want and eat! It’s even better if you let it sit for half an hour first, but I rarely have the patience.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t continue getting better, and to my taste is quite soggy the next day. So leftover tomato salad is an issue.
However, paired with the inevitable question “what’s for dinner?” An answer appears:

Pizza on Matzah (or pita)
This is a staple dinner that a kid can make on his own, and is standard when the kids have their friends, as it’s easy and appealing to most children. I’ll start with the Passover version and add notes for the regular one.

Matzah, broken in two or four
Pizza sauce of choice:
   1. Ketchup
   2. Leftover tomato salad, minced in the food processor. Add some tomato paste if too thin.
   3. Mix tomato paste, a dash of water, oregano, basil, and optionally ketchup.
Yellow cheese or mozzarella cheese, sliced
Topping of choice

Spread sauce over matzah.

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On the right tomato salad, the rest is the tomato paste mix

Top with cheese.

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Add topping of choice. Kids love to experiment with this,  but this time we went with the classics:

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If only one or two, microwave for 30 seconds on high. For a family, grill in the oven for 3-5 minutes at 200 °C.

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Serve with vegetables cut into sticks: cucumbers, carrots and red peppers are favorites at my house.

Bon apetit!

Notes for pita version: using a knife, separate the pita sides. Spread sauce and cheese as toppings on each round pita half and cook as above.

Obviously this would work with regular sliced bread as well, but for some reason kids like that less.

This is a great use for leftover tomato pasta sauce as well.

Happy Passover!

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I’ve been trying to make my diet more healthy, specifically avoid sugar. This is a bit of a problem for me, as most of my snacks have sugar. Even though I use oil and whole wheat and oatmeal (instead of margarine and white flour) I usually add sugar. So I’ve been trying to make my snacks more vegetable-y 😉

I’ve found how satisfying a simple lettuce salad can be. I rip a few leaves of lettuce with my hands, add some halved cherry tomatoes, and that’s it. If the mood strikes me (and if my hunger allows me to spend a few more minutes) I add sliced red pepper, sliced cucumber, or fresh mushrooms. However, the piece de resistance from my point of view is the honey mustard salad dressing.

I’m willing to eat almost anything if it comes with honey and mustard. 🙂

I make a small amount in an old jam jar. It keeps for 3-4 salads, easy. And it’s so much tastier to make it myself.

Of course, I’m substituting honey for sugar, but amounts mean something right? 1/4 tsp honey has got to better than a tbsp sugar. And the lettuce probably counts for a lot as well 🙂

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

1 tbsp real mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
dash olive oil
dash vinegar

Place all ingredients together in a jar with an airtight lid. Shake it until mixed. Taste and add ingredients to your liking.

Additional options: You can use balsamic vinegar in place of regular vinegar for a different tang. You can use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of vinegar for added freshness. You can add spices such as dried oregano or basil for an Italian touch. Just don’t leave out the honey and the mustard 😛

Enjoy!

Salad Dressing [and salad]

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I wanted something quick and relatively healthy for dinner. I had leftover chicken breast and some vegetables that needed using up. So I decide on a salad with chicken cubes. However, I like salads of this type with thousand island dressing. I didn’t have any, and no patience to begin making real thousand island dressing . So I tried to find something similar enough to thousand island without, you know, bothering too much. I googled “quick thousand island recipe” and predictably, the first try was a recipe that indeed was quick, but needed a bunch of stuff I didn’t have or even know what they were (query: does any one know what sweet pickle relish is? All the thousand island recipes I saw had it). And the more serious problem was, that at the end it specified “refrigerate for a few hours until sugar is dissolved”.

This is NOT quick.

In the end I found  this recipe.  The result was spectacular! (It came out a bit too much dressing, but really, I don’t mind 🙂 )

Salad: (serves 1)

1 grilled chicken breast, cubed
1 mini-cucumber, cubed
4 cherry tomatoes
half a grilled squash, cubed
1 large fresh mushroom, cubed
Anything else you have in mind 😉

Mix everything together.

Pseudo Thousand Island dressing:

1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
squirt ketchup
splash balsamic vinegar
1 drop tabasco (or to taste)

Mix everything together. Taste and add tabasco/vinegar/ketchup if necessary. Pour over salad and serve.

Chicken salad with pseudo thousand island

Yum!

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Cabbage

Even though my baby will soon be one year old, I still have not returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. (Not that I know what it was, exactly – I’m going by my pants). So I decided to take a more active approach than “just trying to eat healthy”. I’m going to be eating cabbage soup for the next week.

Just kidding! (Got you there for a moment, though, didn’t I? 😀 )

Actually, my “diet” is ridiculously simple:
1) I’m going to try to eat more vegetables
2) I’m going to walk whenever time and weather permit

To implement (2) I started walking between baby’s daycare and toddler’s daycare when picking them up. My original idea was to walk from home, but I’m starting small, and that turned out good. Walking between baby’s daycare (let’s call it A) and toddler’s daycare (B) is roughly 5 minutes. Going back from B to A with toddler and stroller is a good 15-20 mins as it is all uphill. I get completely out of breath! It is better now than it was at the beginning… but not much.

I do Pilates 1-2 days a week as well (have been for a few years now) but as they themselves say, Pilates alone is not enough as it is not aerobic. Well, after walking uphill for 10 minutes I can definitely testify to that!

To implement (1), I try to add to each meal a salad or cooked vegetables. One of the things I’ve rediscovered is my love for green cabbage salads.

Here are two of my favorite:

Easy cabbage salad

This is also known as “Falafel” cabbage salad as this is the type of salad you can usually find at falafel stands. Easy and refreshing.

Ingredients

half green cabbage, sliced thinly
3 tbsp veg oil
3 tbsp vinegar (any type)

mix all and eat!

The standard version has a lot more oil, but I don’t like mine so oily. You can put more or less vinegar to taste.

My cousin’s cabbage salad

We tasted this when staying Shabbat at my husband’s cousin. She made two types of cabbage salad, but I fell in love with this one.
This is an impressive salad, good for company as well as when you feel like something special yourself.

Ingredients
half green cabbage, sliced thinly
3-4 stalks green onion, sliced thinly
1-2 tsp sugar, to taste (I use 1)
1-2 tbsp veg oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1-2 tbsp dried dill
1/3-1/2 cup almond slices
handful almond slices to garnish

Mix everything except the last handful of almond slices. Just before serving, sprinkle almond slices on top.

Bon Apetit!

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