April 1, 2013

Pretty, Yummy Fruit Salad

If you’re looking for a fast and simple recipe to create a delicious, healthy fruit salad, a colorful blend of fruits will walk you through it. After creating a simple syrup from water, sugar, vanilla and some orange zest and orange juice, you put it in the fridge to cool. Next, chop up your fruit of choice … strawberries, blueberries, grapes or melon all work well. Lastly, toss the cooled syrup with the fruit and you have a delicious fruit salad that would work well for brunch or desert.

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Pretty, Yummy Fruit Salad



Should You Make Vinaigrette, Yogurt, or Avocado Salad Dressing

One of the first things I realized when making salads was that it’s all about making things from scratch. So whether for health reasons, to prepare great food for the kids, or to impress my wife, the next thing I consider is the kind of salad dressing. Now, I am not a home-cooking fundamentalist who believes that homemade foods are always a-must compared to their packaged counterparts. What I am saying is that homemade salad dressing is always better than bottled.

Try the following:

salad dressing

Yogurt Salad Dressing

The body needs a healthy amount of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract, and most yogurts are made using active, good bacteria. Just blend plain yogurt with other ingredients like Dijon mustard and chives. When using a richer ingredient for your mixture, get a yogurt that’s fat-free or low-fat plain. Yogurt instead of mayonnaise can make a wonderful base for your dressing, and if you’re into spices, then this is the dressing for you. Throw on some garlic, chives, and parsley for even more added flavor, and enjoy.

Avocado Salad Dressing

Don’t be afraid of calories in avocado. Moderate amounts of unsaturated fats are good for the heart and skin, plus a healthy alternative to oil-based salad dressing that goes well with lettuce and tomato. It can also be used as a sandwich spread in place of mayo or as a dip for veggies. To make a healthy salad dressing, try a combination of avocado and parsley. The mild mixture is refreshing when sprinkled over a tossed green salad. Avocado and crushed garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt is another worth trying salad dressing.

Cottage Cheese and Dill

Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, which when combined with dill produces a flavorful salad dressing. Try mixing half a cup of cottage cheese and freshly chopped dill. Salt and pepper are all you need to season. Many likes their cottage cheese topped with nice fresh or canned fruit juice. I like cucumber and a little salt olives. Get a low-fat cottage cheese with less than five grams of fat per serving.

salad dressing

Oil and Vinegar

The best option is oil and vinegar. It’s usually a combination of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Since balsamic vinegar is known flavorful, mixing it along with olive oil creates vinaigrette with tremendous health benefits. For two tablespoons of olive oil, you can use as much vinegar as you like. I like adding a touch of lemon to this salad dressing option. The drops of lemon into my vinaigrette bring zest to my whole salad entree.

As far as equipment goes, the old-fashioned way is to put the vinegar in a bowl with the salt and pepper (and any add-ins, minced) and add the oil very slowly as you whisk vigorously. An easier way is to put all the ingredients in a blender and blend for about 10 seconds. But the ease may not truly worth the cleanup; a stick blender is a convenient option.

Fortunately, all healthy salad dressing are free to begin in your own kitchen. Amaze yourself at how salad dressings can be one of the easiest things to make. If you’re not using olive oil, try hazelnut or walnut oil. Nut oils considerably exude fragrance for salad dressings.


March 21, 2013

How to Make Gourmet Salad Really Easy

From the selection and chopping of ingredients to blending of tastes and mixing process, a gourmet salad determines to satisfy salad cravings. The trick? Choose high quality ingredients and spare special time for preparation. Gourmet salad entails to see what is available then let the ingredients inspire the recipe. The exact ingredients you choose and how it will satisfy the palate, should be your guide.

Make It Quality Rich and Complex


Quality here means fresh. Fresh salad ingredients speak to all the wonderful salads out there. Complex doesn’t necessarily mean difficult. It simply means how complexity of flavors mingles together to make an exceptional salad. In short, it’s all in how dressing is mixed well throughout, and how to perfectly blend sweet, salty, savory, sour, and bitter tastes.

Begin with what you need. It can be easier putting whatever toppings or dressing on your salad you want, when you know what you are having. Though it varies on location and season, the effort is not only healthy, appetizing and delicious as possible, but real friendly to the pocket and super time saver, as well.

Cut Everything Perfectly


A Chef’s Knife, all the time adapts to the flexibility of fruits and vegetables. Potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin, carrot, parsnip onions, asparagus & whole mushrooms, are to be peeled and cut into chunky pieces. Make sure to remove all moisture from vegetables, especially lettuces, before chopping. Fresh vegetables release moisture as you chop, so everything can get soggy. Most home cooks would overchop a lettuce like mesclun, and it would wilt. Chop all ingredients the same size as much as possible. If you’re chopping in advance, store them separately until you are ready to serve the salad.

In making gourmet salad, bear in mind that the salad should make everyone salivate; when they do, your gourmet salad is hearty, complex and just delicious.


Beets of the Southern Wild with Candied Quvenzhané Walnuts

The dish that won the Oscar party, Beets of the Southern Wild with Candied Quvenzhan Walnuts. Now as unappetizing as beets may seem, the way these are cooked makes them appetizing to all. When powerful business people have powerful business meetings, they don’t do it over beets; they do it over steak at a steakhouse. Winning with beets would be like winning the Super Bowl while wearing a tutu. That’s just the kind of challenge in this dish. In case you’re wondering, even with stiff competition, this dish won the competition by a mile.

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Beets of the Southern Wild with Candied Quvenzhané Walnuts



March 19, 2013

Seriously Green Dill and Cauliflower Soup

Simple as it is, there are so many great things coming out of this soup you almost won’t even believe how little is going in. Cauliflower is such a great vegetable belonging to the family known as “Super Foods.” These are foods that are ‘super’ packed and concentrated with nutritional value beyond just their taste and satiating qualities. In simple detail, they are a great source of phytonutrients and have been known to be very helpful in fighting (detoxifying the body) the big, bad cancer.



– 1 onion, chopped
– cauliflower head, chopped into pieces
– 1 bunch of dill
– 1-2 Tbsp sea salt
– 4-5 cups of filtered water OR your own home-made broth (or store bought)


Chop up all of your ingredients. Steam the onion and cauliflower for 15 minutes, then blend with a blender until it reaches a smooth consistency. Add the chopped dill slowly and continue to blend (taste to make sure it’s not too ‘dill-y’, this is completely up to you and your palate (use a hand blender for less kitchen tools and help make less mess to clean up later). Sprinkle a few pinches of salt, or your favorite spices, and season it to your taste. Garnish with a few sprigs of dill. Enjoy!

After a tiring day and you needed something quick, easy and delicious to make when you get home, a seriously green soup is one of the easiest, nutritious and most comforting things you can have. Why? Because along with kale, brussels sprouts & cabbage, cauliflower is specifically a great source of fiber, vitamin C and folate. Now combining cauliflower and dill in a hot bowl will make you one of the world simplest but healthiest soup.

Are you ready to be blown away?


Bread Soup Stories Going In

These are winner soups, so let me warn you first – if you want to make the most of really good bread soups, you need to go an extra step farther than ordinary. Many diners enjoy bread with their soup. The simplest are made with thick, toasted slices of bread, sometimes rubbed with garlic, arranged in wide bowls and covered with soup. They can be topped with poached eggs for a satisfying meal. Other bread soups are thick, paplike dishes: chunks of bread are added to the soup and simmered until they break down, thickening the broth.

Along with tasting various breads, the delectable pairing of bread and soup offers comfort food whether entertaining guests or enjoying a nice meal at home with family. In fact, like wine, bread can make a meal full and gratifying. The secret ingredients, classic cooking techniques, inspiration and care, and lots of good things, go into all these Panera soups. These are some of their stories.



Creamy Tortellini Soup

Creamy Torellini Soup is an easy recipe perfect especially for a cold winter’s night. This recipe is super easy that even the kids will love. To prepare, combine cheese tortellini, tomatoes, chicken broth, cream cheese, and baby spinach. This will give you a kind of soup that’s not only hearty and healthy, but creamy and flavorful. Perfect treat after a busy day.

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Creamy Tortellini Soup


March 13, 2013

Broccoli Stalk Salad

If you cook with fresh broccoli, you’ve probably been throwing away the best part – the stalk. Use the whole vegetable this time with this delicious recipe for broccoli carpaccio with broccoli stalk salad. It’s a tasty and different way to use this familiar and highly nutritious vegetable, plus it’s low fat and low-calorie to boot. If salad to you must be healthy, you’re not missing on this one.

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Broccoli Stalk Salad

broccoli stalk


An Ideal Lunch Salad

An ideal lunch salad should consist of at least fruit, some bread, and cheese. Today, our salad will include chickpeas, celery, black olives, pepitas, avocado, and blanched broccoli. Arugula is the best and most popular lettuce to use, or shredded romaine, as an alternative. Let’s not forget broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower. Does that sound a bowl of total wholesomeness?

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An Ideal Lunch Salad



3 Fruit and Vegetable Salad Recipes – Matrix Style

Many people like it very much to add fruits for an added natural sweetness to the crunch of their vegetable salads. In these recipes, notice the salad texture and how it will best show up shortly after you mix everything. You can transform any of this salad dish for a wonderful light dessert the salad matrix style. Let’s go get genuine healthy salads.


Fruit and Nut Salad

You’ll Need:

1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1 can mandarin oranges, drained and halves
1 cup seedless red grapes, cut into halves
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
For the Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 dash salt and pepper

Combine the lettuce, oranges, grapes and almonds in a mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix all of the dressing ingredients and whisk. Pour over the fruits and toss to coat.

Mixed Fruit and Vegetable

You’ll Need:

1 apple, with skin on
1 cup cantaloupe, cubed
1/2 of a big cucumber, with skin on
3 bell peppers, red, green and yellow
1 orange, sectioned
Juice of one lemon
Fresh basil, cut into ribbons
Cinnamon to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

After cutting all fruits and vegetable ingredients into small neat dices, place them in a mixing bowl. Zest the orange and slice off the skin, then cut the flesh into small dices. Stir the orange zest, orange flesh and remaining ingredients into the bowl of fruits and vegetables. Transfer your salad into a glass serving bowl, garnish with a sprinkle of additional cinnamon and a piece of fresh basil.

Bright Fruit and Vegetable

You’ll Need:

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon minced chilies
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 1/2 cups pineapple, neatly diced
1/2 cup peeled mango, diced
1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 1/2 ounces fried tofu, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 1/2 cups cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

Begin by cooking the beans in boiling water for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge the beans into ice water then drain. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and juice then whisk. Add the peanut butter, chilies, and salt then stir with a whisk to combine well. In a large mixing bowl, put together beans, pineapple, and remaining ingredients and drizzle with the dressing.

Two secret salad tips:


Fresh fruits are tender so make sure to slice them gently. Blade of your knife should be fine and sharp to allow for the finest and smoothest cuts of your salad ingredients. Think perfect.

Allow your salad to rest for at least an hour before serving so you get the best blend of flavors headed by the fruits.