Cold Peanut Sesame Chicken & Spiralized Cucumber

This salad is fresh, healthy and packs a to of flavor. I love PB2 (you can get it on Amazon), it seems strange, but packs a lot of flavor and is great for peanut flavored dressings. The trick when dressing anything is do it in a large bowl – drizzle lightly and toss to coat – you can always add more dressing, but you really don’t need a lot.

Peanut Dressing

  • 1/4 c powdered peanut butter (PB2) or peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

Salad

  • 2 english cucumbers
  • 8 oz cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 c bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar, shake to combine.

Spiralize the cucumber into 5 inch long noodles (or cut into small cubes).

Combine cucumber, peppers and scallions in a bowl, dress with salad dressing and toss to combine. Divide among plates. Add chicken to the same bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Divide among plates. Sprinkle with a little sesame seed and a drizzle of hot sauce.

Serves 4.

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Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Mint

I used tiny fergola past here. You could use any other tiny pasta or even a grain such as farro.

  • 8 oz pasta or farro
  • 4 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 c torn mint leaves
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges
  • Balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta according to the package.

Drain pasta, and stir in vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt. Let cool to room temp.

Sprinkle tomatoes with salt, stir into pasta. Stir in mozzarella, mint and olive oil (1 tbsp at a time – you don’t want it to be too wet). Squeeze lemon over the pasta and stir. Drizzle with balsamic.

Serves 4.

White Bean Salad with Arugula Pesto

This is a dinner salad – the beans really make it filling without feeling stuffed. You need preserved lemon so make sure you have it before you start this recipe.

  • 8 c arugula
  • 1/2 c pine nuts
  • 1/4 c grated parmigiano
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 – 15 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Pepper
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin

In a food processor, combine 2 c packed arugula, nuts, cheese, lemon, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Process until finely chopped. Add oil with the motor running.

Warm the beans for 2 – 3 minutes. Toss with 1/4 of the pesto, add more if needed to coat the beans.

Toss the remaining arugula with 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.

Divide arugula among plates, top with beans.

Serves 4.

Corn Cakes with Proscuitto

2 cup corn, frozen is fine

1 c four

2 eggs

1/4 c cilantro, chopped

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp baking powder

Salt

4 oz baby spinach

1/4 c sun dried tomatoes in oil

12 slices proscuitto

Place corn in a food processor with eggs, flour, cilantro, cumin, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and cook 1/4 c pancakes 3 min on each side.

Toss spinach, tomatoes and a little oil in a bowl. Place on top pancakes and drape with proscuitto.

Serves 4.

Lemon Chicken and Tomato Salad

Perfect end of summer salad!

4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

2 large Buffalo mozzarella, torn in half

Pesto

Poached lemon chicken, sliced

2 tbsp lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Lemon Chicken:

4 c chicken stock

1 lemon, sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp peppercorns

4 chicken breasts

Place stock, lemon, thyme and pepper corns into a large pot and bring to a boil, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a small jar, shake to combine.

Divide tomato, mozzarella and mint between plates. Slice chicken and toss with dressing to coat. Drizzle with pesto. Divide amount plates and serve.

Serves 4.

Burrata Caprese

Peaches, tomatoes, Basil and creamy burrata – oh yes!! And your are welcome!

3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

1/2 c packed Basil

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c olive oil

6 oz burrata

2 peaches, sliced into wedges

1 lb tomatoes, cut into wedges

In a blender combine Basil, lemon juice, salt and 1/4 c oil. Purée until smooth.

Arrange peaches and tomatoes on a platter, place burrata in the middle, drizzle with olive oil, Basil oil and pine nuts.

Serves 4.

Grilled Chicken Caesar

So easy – just light the grill and let it do the work.

1 lb chicken thighs

Salt and pepper

2 heads of romain, sliced in half

1 slice of french bread

Tomatoes, quartered

Dressing can be found here

Olives

Grated Parmesan

Heat grill on high. Spray chicken, lettuce and bread with olive oil spray.

Grill bread, chicken and lettuce – put lettuce toward the cool side, cook until you have nice char marks and chicken is cooked through.

Slice chicken. Cut bread into bite size pieces. Divide lettuce, bread, chicken amount plates, drizzle with dressing, too with tomatoes and olives.

Serves 2 – 4.

Smoky Kale and Haloumi Salad

A quick and filling salad – the smoked paprika really makes it special.

6 oz baby kale

4 oz haloumi, sliced thin

Croutons

2 tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp olive oil

Combine lemon juice, paprika and olive oil in a small jar and shake.

Toss the kale and breadcrumbs in a bowl with dressing. Divide among plates. Add tomatoes.

Heat a non stick pan over medium heat and cook cheese until golden. Divide amount plates.

Serves 2.

Grilled Veggies and Cheese

This salad is perfect for a warm summer night since it is grilled.

¾ pound halloumi

2 sweet red peppers

1 large zucchini

1 Japanese eggplant

1 bunch scallions, trimmed

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

2 tsp fresh thyme or crumbled dried mint

1 tsp sumac

Balsamic glaze

Prepare a hot grill. Cut halloumi into 8 to 12 slabs, about 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick. Cut peppers into wide pieces, slicing from top to bottom along the natural indentations. Discard seeds. Cut pieces in half crosswise. Slice the zucchini and eggplant on the diagonal, into 1/4- thick.

Season all vegetables with salt and pepper. Brush vegetables and halloumi with olive oil.

Grill vegetables until tender and nicely charred, turning occasionally. If you’d like, use an outdoor grill pan to keep them from slipping through the grate. Scallions will be ready after 3 to 4 minutes. Peppers, zucchini and eggplant take about 10 minutes. Arrange on a platter.

Grill halloumi, turning occasionally, for 2 to 6 minutes, until grill marks appear. When you press on the cheese, it should give but it should not be runny.

Remove cheese to the platter with vegetables and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Sprinkle cheese and vegetables with herbs and sumac, if you’d like, and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

BLT Panzanella Salad with Avocado

This is adapted from Tartine at Home – I added Avocado.

Basil Oil

1/2 c Basil leaves

2 tbsp parsley leaves

1/2 c olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp drained capers

Salt

Combine in a small food processor and pulse till chopped and combined.

3 tomatoes, quartered

Salt and pepper

4 strips bacon, cooked and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

6 oz spinach

4 oz arugula

3 slices of sourdough

Olive oil spray

1 avocado, diced

Preheat oven to 400. Spray bread with olive oil and bake until toasted on each side. Cool and cut into bite sized pieces.

Place tomato in a large shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add bacon, spinach, arugula and bread, toss to combine. Add a couple tbsp of Basil oil, toss. Divide among plates, top with avocado and a drizzle of basil oil.

Serves 2 – 4.