Green Money a la Salad

This is the salad I usually make on New Year’s Day to go with my black eyed pea, turkey kielbasa and rice dish. I call this salad “Green Money a la Salad” as it works with the saying to eat green for money on New Year’s Day. The southern people I believe eat cooked collard greens, but since I am not fond of that I changed the tradition a little. I think the concept still fits, and I love it.

Green Money a la Salad
Created recipe on 01/01/2010

Green Money ala Salad

¾ bag of organic baby spinach washed and spun dry
2 organic Golden Delicious Apples (you can use any apple you like)
Juice of a ½ lemon
1 cup of lightly salted Cashews
½ cup of cran-raisins (you can use raisins if you like)
6 oz of cubed smoked Gouda cheese
Sweet Honey Mustard Dressing

The Salad:
Wash, core and chop apples into 1” bite size pieces and squeeze the juice of a ½ lemon over apples to prevent browning. Put baby spinach in a nice platter-like bowl. Sprinkle the chopped apples, cashews, cran-raisins and cheese on top of the baby spinach.

The Dressing:
3 tablespoons Fago Greek Yogurt (substitute with mayonnaise if prefer)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Mix well, the flavor is really by individual taste, you can adjust the ingredients according to your taste and how much dressing you prefer over your salad. If you like a lot then you will need to add more ingredients. Enjoy!

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Eggplant Braid

I was experimenting with a lot of recipes involving mushrooms. I added the eggplant as a wow factor and believe me this recipe is a wow factor!

Eggplant Braid
Created recipe on 11/11/2009

Eggplant Braid

1 large eggplant – peeled and cubed approx 1-1/2” cubes
1 large onion – peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic – peeled and minced
1 – 10 oz spinach – washed and dried well
1 – 8 oz Creimini or baby portabella mushrooms brushed off with damp towel and sliced
1 medium tomato – seeded and diced
2 Crescent Roll tubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
¼ cup breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese divided to ¼ cup each
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese divided to ½ cup each
1 egg – for egg wash – to make the dough golden brown
½ cup walnuts or pine nuts (optional)

• About 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil – melt in a large pan over medium heat

• Sauté the onions for about 5 to 7 minutes depends on the stove – until they are caramelized a very deep brown color

• Add the garlic and eggplant and mushrooms to the onions around the 4 minute mark so the eggplant, mushrooms and garlic becomes almost caramelized also – you will have to judge on the texture, taste it and then salt and pepper to taste should take no more than 15 minutes – maybe

• Add spinach at the last minute and sauté until semi-wilted

• Add ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese and ½ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup breadcrumbs– fold into mixture (the breadcrumbs will help prevent the vegetable juices from becoming too runny)

• Remove from heat and cool completely (because the crescent rolls will be too hard to manage if the filling is hot or warm)

• Prepare the crescent dough into one large square

• Cut 2” strips up to 3” on each side of square to leave a 6” dough path for filling

• Put the cool eggplant filling down the center of the crescent dough

• Sprinkle tomatoes on top with the rest of the cheeses – Parmesan and Mozzarella

• Bring one strip of the dough and twist gently to the middle and meet with the other strip and pinch dough together

• Continue all the way until the filling is braided – remember the filling will show because the dough does not cover it completely

• Mix egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the dough

• Sprinkle with nuts on top

• Bake 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden brown and all the cheeses are completely melted

• Serve with a salad

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Diane’s Famous Spinach Salad

Diane’s Famous Spinach Salad
Created 06/11/08

Dressing:
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon parsley (fresh or dried)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Couple grinds of fresh cracked pepper
10 drops of Tabasco sauce – do not deviate from this – it makes the dressing

Salad:
About 1/2 cup to 1 cup sliced Almonds
1 large can of Mandarin Oranges drained
1/2 sweet onion sliced very thin
4-5 stalks of Celery chopped
1 package of baby spinach organic
1 package romaine lettuce organic

Put sliced almonds in saute pan with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar (not the sugar used for the dressing this is additional sugar). Over medium high heat continuously stir almonds with sugar for about 10 to 15 minutes until all the sugar has evaporated and coated the almonds. Almost like a crystallized effect on the almonds. Remove from the heat and spread the almonds single layer onto parchment paper until cooled.

In large bowl, put baby spinach and romaine lettuce in bowl. Or you can just use one or the other, I think it gives a great salad using both. Sprinkle mandarin oranges on top, onions, celery.

Prior to serving sprinkle almonds on top of salad, and pour dressing toss well and serve.

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