Bulgar Corn Salad

I love this salad. I discovered it a few weeks back while cleaning out my fridge at the end of a week eating all of the bbq food we smoked a few weekends ago. I also had a bit of Italian dressing kicking around in my fridge door, so I added it to the veg and grains to provide some moisture. Great decision. Tasty.

Corn Salad:
3-4 Corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1 Shallot, thin slices
1/4 Red Pepper, small dice
6″ Cucumber section, hauled out and fine dice
1 Celery Rib, fine dice
1/2 Roma Tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 C (or less) Italian Dressing
S & P to taste
Pinch Smoked Paprika (optional)

The above alone would be lovely with some blue cheese or feta crumble on top, too. But, as I said, I morphed this into a grain salad using what was leftover for a lunch.

Bulgar Corn Salad:
Corn Salad (above recipe)
1-2 Leaf Green leaves, torn up small
1/4 C Bulgar, cooked and cold
Drizzles of more Italian Seasoning (if needed to moisturize everything)
Small pinch Salt (if needed to wake up all of the flavours)

I love this salad. This is one I will keep going back to during all of the good weather months. Without a doubt.

Shawarma Salad

I love me a great rice bowl. I also love me a great entre salad. So, I combined the two into a shawarma ‘on the rocks’ salad. I cut out the pita (or naan if you’re used to eating donairs), and I didn’t miss it one little bit.

This salad starts on a bed of greens (arugula this time) and it’s topped with some spicy rice (optional if you simply use more greens instead), shawarma style chicken, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions, and some spicy cream sauce of choice. (I’m still in love with the sriracha ranch sauce I bought a few weeks ago, so that’s what I used. It was quite good and quite filling.

Shawarma Chicken:
1 Chicken Breast (makes enough for two servs)
1 Garlic, minced
1/2 Lime, juice + rind
1/4 Lemon, juice
1 tbsp Yogurt, thick + plain
1 tbsp Oregano, dry
1/2 tea each S & P

Cut up meat into 1″ cubes. Toss them with the dry and wet ingredients in a glass bowl. Mix it up well to fully coat the meat. Throw in the spent lime rind. Cover and chill 30-45 mins.

Discard the lime rind and skewer the meat chunks as the oven or grill heats up. (You will need 4 small skewers, or 3 long ones.) Cook each side 3 mins on the grill, or oven cook for 12 mins, turning once halfway. Cook to the full 165F degrees.

Steak Entree Salad

We had some leftover steak that needed to be used up tonight, and some other veg that was on the cusp, so in a big entree salad they went after I reheated the meat. I topped it with this groovy dressing I found at Walmart. Very tasty. It made a believer out of the husband who isn’t into salad.

Steak Entree Salad:
3-4 oz Steak, cooked / cut on bias 1/4″ slices
3 C Leaf Green
Salt
1/4 Pepper: Green & Red, diced
1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
Pickled Red Onions (for colour, texture, and tart taste)
Any dressing (mine is creamy and zippy, but balsamic glaze would be great, too)

Wash the greens, spin dry, and toss lightly with salt. Divide greens into two large plates or bowls, top with diced veg and picked onions. Add small drizzles of the dressing and top with the rested sliced up steak.

Note: Warm pan friend mushrooms would be lovely in this salad, too.

Picture Dump

I’m cleaning out my Instagram archives. There is just too many photos over there. I want to house some of them here as I have time to upload them to this blog.

  1. Blueberry Banana Bread (pre-bake)
  2. Chickpea Salad
  3. Prepping mushrooms for the week like a boss.

Spring Spinach Salad

This is a salad I used to make when I worked at the cafeteria 3+ years ago. I love this salad. Very easy to assemble, and you can pair it with all kinds of fruit-based vinaigrettes you want to use. (We used to sell it with Raspberry vinaigrette packs.)

This salad makes me want to eat better all year long. Enjoy.

Spring Spinach Salad:
3 or 4 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
6 canned Mandarin slices, drained
3 Cucumber slices, 1/4″ thick, quartered
3 or 4 Strawberries, cut into quarters
1 ounce Carrot sticks, julienne’d
Small pinch Almond slices

Stuffed My Face Veggie Delight

Catered Grub

(From the archives.)

This is why I loved working in the food industry — leftovers from a catering gig. I got to take all the fabulous veggies I can fit into a takeout container and call that dinner at the end of each one I work. Yum!

Here we have a stack of widely cut veggies that include eggplant, three pepper colours, zucchini and portabella mushroom – all pre-soaked in balsamic and extra virgin olive oil and then baked in rich tomato sauce, some delicious asparagus stalks drizzled with unknown ingredients and steamed to perfection. One of two stuffed tomatoes (I ate the other before I thought of taking a photo – please forgive!) that was hollowed out and stuffed using the guts mixed with all kinds of yummy goodness before being baked to the perfect softness to dig into with a fork without the risk of it falling apart.

Oh.my.gawd… This was the best dinner! I got full after a bit of it so I have some leftovers from the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Yee-haw!

This entry was posted on April 19, 2007.

Auntie Stacey’s Taco Bowls

l love any recipe that cleans out my fridge. This is one I keep returning to over and over again. I know it seems like a lot of prep, but it’s fast, easy prep. Nothing too complicated or even expensive. Give it a go when you’re craving Mexican rice bowls but don’t want to leave the house or even pay $15 for one serving.

Auntie Stacey’s Mexican Spice Blend:
2 tea each: Onion Powder / Garlic Powder / Ground Cumin
1 tea ea: Black Pepper / Seasoning Salt
1/4 tea Ground Red Hot Chili Pepper Flakes

Auntie Stacey’s Mexican Rice Bowl:
1 cup Jasmine Rice, rinsed twice + 1 1/2 cup water
Pinch Salt
2 tea Mexican Spice Blend
1″ x 2″ knob of Unsalted Butter, cubed
1/4 cup Red Pepper, diced
3 fistfuls Frozen Corn
1/3 cup Pinto Beans, canned/rinsed

Basic Mexican Ground Beef:
1 tbsp Oil
1/4 small Onion, diced
1 lbs Ground Meat of choice
1 tbsp Mexican Spice Blend

Topping Selections:
1/2 Roma Tomato, diced
1/3 cup Marble Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Leaf Green, 1″ x1″ torn pieces
Pickled Jalapeno Rings (optional)
Pickled Red Onion Slices (optional)
Salsa of choice (optional)

And if you have any leftover ingredients like the cheese, the meat and the rice blend,  mix them together and stuff them into some steamed bell pepper halves. Top with a bit more cheese grate if you have it.

Santa Fe Salad

I discovered this one watching a tv cooking show. It’s going to be in heavy rotation around here this summer, me thinks. I can already imagine it plated beside the smoked ribs we are going to make on our charcoal bbq. Oh, boy!

Santa Fe Salad:
1 sm can Black Beans, rinsed
1 1/2 C Frozen Corn, rinsed to thaw quickly
1/4 C Red Onion, diced
Pinch Cilantro leaves, fine chop (garnish)

2 Limes, Juices
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 Tea ea: Chili Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder, Honey

Shake the dressing up in a mason jar. Pour over veg mix. Toss in the bowl right before serving.

Auntie Stacey’s Tabbouleh

tabbouleh[ Click to embiggen ]

Tabbouleh is a great salad for the summer months when the heat is intense and the stove is ignored in our house. I really love eating it at room temperature, too. I’m weird like that. It makes a wonderful addition to salad bars, so keep this in mind for your next brunch. It’ll be a lovely unexpected surprise for your vegetarian guests. We all get stumped when planning meals for those who have specific eating habits, right? It’s all ok because tabbouleh is here to save the day, and your dinner parties!

Years ago I worked with a chef named Sami. Sami is from Lebanon. Sami’s mother taught him how to cook as a little boy. Many of the recipes she taught him he still uses today at work and at home. He used to make the best tabbouleh I have ever eaten, so one day I begged him to teach me the ways of his magical salad. Surprisingly, he was happy to pass it along to me, imparting some great home cooking philosophy along the way.

Here is a version of his mother’s tabbouleh based on my calculations and ingredient choices. He never gave me increments, just suggestions and steps. His feeling is that tabbouleh should be a free flowing salad that has some basics for structure but lots of freedom for using the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on, so feel free to look at this recipe as I do – as a guideline.

Auntie Stacey’s Tabbouleh:
1/2 C Bulgar
1 C Water, boiled
1 Tea Salt

1/2 Yellow Onion, medium sized, chopped to small dice
1 C Water, very hot
1 C Water, very cold

2 Tomatoes, medium Hot House (or 1 C chopped Grape Tomatoes)
1/4 C Herb of choice, fresh, washed and chopped up, packed down *

1/2 Tea Pepper, fresh cracked
1-2 Tea Lemon or Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 C Olive Oil

* Note: I have made this salad over the years using the following herbs: parsley (flat or curly – doesn’t much matter except for presentation aesthetics), mint (lovey when in season and the herb Sami liked to add a sprinkling of along with the parsley when it was in season), and cilantro (I love cilantro so I tend to use this a lot). This will be the first year I’m growing sorrel, and with its lemony tinged taste, I will be trying that in this salad as soon as I can, so I’ll report back at a later date about how well it worked, or didn’t.

Place the bulgar and salt (mixed up) into the boiling water for 30 minutes to cook. In the meantime, prep all the other ingredients. In a bowl, place very hot water from the tap over the small diced onion bits and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to take the sting off. Afterward, drain the hot water and cover with very cold tap water. Let it rest the same amount of time before draining and dumping the onion into a large container. Set this aside.

While the onion is bathing in the hot and cold baths, wash and chop up the fresh herb and measure it out to a packed 1/4 cup. Top the onion with it. Cut and seed the tomatoes. Dice them to a small but not too small size. Top the herbs and onions with the diced tomatoes. Crack the pepper over top and pour the juice of half a lemon (about 1-2 teaspoons) and olive oil over that.

When the bulgar is finished cooking, fluff it up and dump it over the other ingredients in the large container. Using a spatula or gloved hands, till all of the ingredients well in the container, until everything is sure to be covered by the citrus juice and cracked pepper. Taste the overall flavour, and adjust the amount of salt and pepper as desired at this point.

Cover and chill this salad for at least 24 hours before serving. It will be hard (I know!), but the ingredients need time to rest and marry with each other. Trust me, the wait will be worth the time and resistance.

Auntie Stacey’s Chickpea Salad

chickpeasalad1 1/2 – 2 C Chickpeas, brine drained and rinsed
1 Shallot, halved and thinly chopped
1/8 C Roasted Red Peppers, brine sopped off with paper towels
1/4 C Cilantro, leaves washed and dried
Salt & Black Pepper, freshly cracked
1/8 C Oil
White Vinegar, generous splash

Assembled the ingredients in a medium bowl and lightly toss. Top with the seasonings, and mix well. Store in the fridge for at least an hour so the flavours have time to marry.