Minor adjustments

Tonight’s dinner was going to be a salad with spiced pork and a ginger dressing. I have the pork tenderloin in the freezer. We had leftover ribeye steak from Sunday so it seemed silly to cook more protein. I had some tomatoes and red pepper that I chopped up with the spinach. There was goat cheese in the cheese drawer that I thought would lend some creaminess to the salad. Keith found two bottled salad dressings – an onion and sweet pepper vinaigrette that appealed to him and a creamy balsamic that appealed to me. It’s easy to pull together a salad with what you have on hand and a great way to use leftovers!

Again, so hungry (I played 9 holes of golf after work), that I forgot to take a picture.

Inspiration

I saw blood oranges at the grocery store over the weekend.  They looked so pretty that I had to buy some.  Then I started getting a vision for a salad.  The vision started with a blood orange vinaigrette and it grew from there.  We both loved the salad and it is a definite do-over!  You could easily adapt with whatever toppings you like.

Spinach salad with roasted shrimp and blood orange vinaigrette

  • 1 blood orange, juiced
  • about 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 – 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 2/3 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped red onion (I had extra from last night’s chili)
  • 2 tsp slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp craisins
  • 2 TB crumbled goat cheese

Mix orange juice, vinegar and olive oil by shaking in a jar.  Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 8 – 10 minutes at 425 (until pink).  Place spinach on plates and top with dressing.  Top with shrimp (I halved them after they were cooked), avocado, red onion, almonds, craisins and goat cheese (or your choice.)  Serve.  Delicious, beautiful and healthy!

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Menu swap

This week was a bit unusual in that I had chicken on the menu plan twice – once in the Southwestern Cobb salad and once in the chicken with coconut curry.  The coconut curry was inspired by the fact that we had a packet of Saffron Road coconut curry simmer sauce and we had leftover rice from ordering Indian carryout.  I’m not usually a fan of prepared sauces and marinades but we have had several of the Saffron Road and they have all been excellent.  I was going to have that on Thursday and the salad on Tuesday.  Then it turned out that Graul’s was out of bone-in chicken breasts on Monday.  I wanted to do the salad because I found Queso Fresco at Wegman’s!  It’s hard to find so I was psyched to find the real thing.  Delicious!

Southwestern Cobb Salad

Dressing

  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried chipotle pepper
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey

Shake all ingredients together in a glass jar with a lid.

Chicken

  • 1 bone in chicken breast per person
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Toss chicken with oil and salt and pepper in a ceramic baking dish.  Bake at 375 for 30 – 40 minutes.  Remove skin and slice.

Salad

  • dressing (see above)
  • chicken (see above)
  • salad greens (tonight I used mache but I often use Romaine)
  • 1 avocado, pit removed and sliced
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • cheese (preferably Queso Fresco but you can substitute goat cheese or feta)
  • fresh tomatoes (you can use salsa but I have delicious tomatoes from my garden)

Mound plates with lettuce and top with dressing.  Line up chicken, black beans, avocado, cheese, tomatoes and bacon.  Serve.

Big salad

Do you remember Elaine on Seinfeld talking about a big salad?  This is the perfect big salad for a warm summer night.  If you don’t think you like Greek salad, try this one – marinating the cucumber and red onion in the dressing seems to make a significant difference.  They don’t taste as strong.

Greek salad (for 2)

  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl

  • 2/3 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined and cut in half lengthwise
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce greens (I used a mixture of green leaf and mache – Romaine is also good)
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped (tonight I actually used 1 big tomato and a few grape tomatoes sliced because I didn’t make it to the produce stand yesterday)
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 4 oz good quality feta cheese cubed
  • olives (optional – I omitted the olives because my husband isn’t a big fan)

Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 8 – 10 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature.  Combine cucumbers and red onion with vinaigrette in a bowl for at least 20 minutes.  When ready to serve, combine lettuce with cucumbers and onions (including the dressing), add tomatoes, feta, olives (if using) and cooked shrimp.

The "Big Salad"