Browsing all articles tagged with salad

Cracked Wheat and Radish Salad With Herb and Olive Vinaigrette

Cracked Grain and Radish Salad

Summer has me craving salad like a mad man. Fresh ingredients from the market, or – better yet – your garden are always screaming to be left raw, sliced up and eaten. Or, maybe they’re screaming because they’re being sliced up…Who knows! Anyway, I made this salad a few weeks ago for my ¬†audition for MasterChef Canada. It is with a heavy heart – ok, not so heavy – that I inform you with the news that I did not move on into the top 50 finalists for the show. But, at least you can try the dish that I whipped up for the MasterChef Canada tasting round!

This is my version of summer on a plate, since nothing says ‘Oh my god summer is almost over!’ like a mish-mash of bright colours, right? On a more serious note, it’s salty-sweet vinaigrette would even make a great topped for grilled meats if you’re going to have the barbecue going this weekend!

If this looks a little too fancy to you, that’s alright, don’t get intimidated. Feel free to just toss everything together in a big bowl to make a hot mess of deliciousness. It will taste the same, albeit slightly less sexy than pictured above. Rest assured, it will be tasty either way.

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Kale, Feta and Barley Salad and MasterChef Canada

Kale, Feta and Currant Salad

I think I’ve said this before, but I love kale. It tastes good year-round. Whether I’m saut√©ing it in some butter with garlic, baking it into ‘chips’ – which is one of the most oddly delicious things you’ll ever try, I assure you – or just chopping it up for a salad, the leafy green never lets me down. I wish I could say the same for some of the people I’ve dated. Kidding, kidding…Well, half kidding.

Lately, I’ve also been debating whether or not to have a summer fling with barley. It doesn’t sound quite as cool as kale (obviously), but it’s a great grain that’s easy to cook and awesome in a fresh salad. Cooking it until it’s, more or less, el dente will give it a nice texture and let it hold up against salad dressings without getting mushy like some types of rice.

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Seared Scallops with Blue Lentil and Roasted Radish Salad

What you’ll need…

Lentil Salad:

1 cup radishes (trimmed and halved)

2 cups cooked beluga lentils

1 gala apple (thinly sliced, then cut into matchsticks)

1/4 cup kalamta olives (pitted and sliced)

1/4 cup chives (finely chopped)

1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)

8 cherry tomatoes (quartered)

1 lime (zest and juice)

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 TBSP kalamata olive juice

salt and pepper

olive oil


1/2 cup sea-buckthorn berries

1 orange (zested and juiced)

1 clove garlic

1 TBSP white sugar

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 TSP chili powder

1 TSP butter

2 TSP grape seed oil

8 large scallops

I spent the last week in Saskatoon. I was home to attend my ten year high school reunion. It’s kind of scary how fast time goes by these days. I’m gettin’ old!

Although, Saskatoon has a tendency to make me over indulge in patio beers and barbecues with friends, I found some time to whip up this dish at my parents’ house this past Sunday. Saskatoon has a gorgeous farmers’ market where I found some sweet beluga (blue) lentils and sea-buckthorn berries.

Both the lentils and berries might be hard to locate in Calgary, so feel free to stick with your favourite lentil and some cranberries in lieu. The seared scallops with this salad were the perfect thing to eat on a warm Sunday evening, and I always forget how surprisingly filling lentils can be! Lentils, you rock!

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Brussels Sprout and Pancetta Salad w/Citrus Ginger Beer Vinaigrette

What you’ll need…


4 cloves roasted garlic (minced)

1 orange (zest and juice)

1/4 cup Steam Whistle Pilsner

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP soy sauce

1 TBSP freshly grated ginger

2 TSP brown sugar

1 TSP sriracha

ground black pepper


1/2 cup pancetta (loosely chopped)

1/2 cup walnuts

1 TBSP white sugar

1TBSP water

3 cups brussels sprouts (trimmed and leaves separated)

2 Belgian endives (trimmed, halved and thinly sliced)

1 orange (segmented and halved)

I seem to be on a weird salad kick lately. Well, nothing like being deliciously healthy I suppose. This salad is perfect for any brussels sprouts haters out there. Long gone are the days of microwaving previously frozen b-sprouts and smothering them in processed cheese. Sometimes it’s alright to allow these little green guys to get a sorta fancy once in awhile.

For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. If you have any mason jars kicking around, just place the dressing ingredients in there and give ‘er a good shake…with the lid on, of course. Season with a bit of ground black pepper and set aside for now.

Place the chopped pancetta in a small pan and cook on medium-high heat until nice and crispy. Remove the pancetta from the pan and onto some paper towel to a soak up any excess grease. Next, add the walnuts, sugar and water into the same pan, tossing a few times to coat. Let the walnuts cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Blanch the brussels sprout leaves for one minute in a medium-sized pot of liberally salted, boiling water. Remove from pot and bring into an ice bath or rinse with cold tap water. Pat dry with some paper towel, or salad spinner if you have one.

When it’s time to eat, combine all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl, pour in approximately 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and toss gently with hands or tongs until the salad is dressed.

Serve with a cold beer! You deserve it!

Serves 4

Total prep time…20 min


Roasted Kale and Radicchio Salad with Blueberry Green Tea Vinaigrette

What you’ll need…


2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 lemon (juiced, reserve zest for salad)

2 TBSP dried blueberries

2 TSP sugar

2 TSP grainy mustard

1/4 cup steeped green tea (cooled)

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper


1 bunch green kale (stem removed, loosely chopped)

1 head raddichio (chopped)

1 lemon (zested, sliced into thin strips)

1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)

5 radishes (thinly sliced)

1 orange (sliced, then quartered)

1/2 cup green pumpkin seeds

2/3 cup ricotta cheese

Now that it’s finally spring, my love of salads has finally returned. Not that it ever disappeared, it just takes a back seat to comfort food and beer in the colder months of the year. As well, as a result of my increased intake of comfort food and beer during the winter, I will obligated to keep on the lighter side for awhile, diet-wise. Kale is a superhero green with it’s hearty and almost meaty kind of flavour. Makes for a wicked salad. Roasting it will bring out a more vibrant green colour and give it a bit of a crunch as well. This is spring on a plate people! Eat it up!

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Acorn Squash And Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette

What you’ll need…


1/2 acorn squash (gutted, reserve seeds)

3 cloves garlic

2 TSP pink peppercorns

1 orange (zest and juice)

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups olive oil

salt and pepper


Whatever you’d like, really, but here’s what I used…

remaining 1/2 acorn squash (chopped 1″ pieces, skin on)

1 package spring mix

2 tomatoes (sliced)

1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)

1 small zucchini (halved, 1/2″ sliced, approximately 1 1/2 )

remaining 1/2 acorn squash (chopped 1″ pieces)

1 cup garlic and fine herb boursin cheese (gently crumbled)

There are so many things to do with some many different types of squash and very enough time. True. Story. Since I think most of us are knee deep in squash soups right now, figuratively of course (what an odd sensation that would be if literal), I thought it might be need to try throwing a squash into a salad dressing. Blending the roasted squash in with the usual suspects of vinaigrette ingredients, with some sweetness of the maple and orange, resulted in an interesting autumn-appropriate salad. I tested out this concoction just this past week at my Thanksgiving dinner and although I was too busy drinking wine and socializing, I’m going to just assume that everyone enjoyed it!

As mentioned above, save the squash seeds, then roast them until crispy. Toss with some salt and pepper and sprinkle on top of or salad. Or, do what I did, and just eat all of the seeds by the handful and do not share with anyone.

Roasting a squash of any type is ridiculously simple. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Place the half squash on a prepared baking sheet, brush with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and let roast, flesh side up, for about 35-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from heat and let cool.

Once cool, spoon out flesh into a blender, followed by the next six dressing ingredients. Puree until smooth. Next, while pulsing, gradually pour in the olive oil. Once everything is combined, have a quick taste, and season with some salt and pepper if needed. Store in an air-tight container and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to one week.

**Note: I did notice that after a few days, the maple flavour of the vinaigrette became more and more prominent. If you’re making this in advance, add a bit more oil and vinegar to avoid this. Unless you really like maple, then just sit with it!

When you’re ready to serve, combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the crumbled boursin cheese (and squash seeds if you didn’t eat them all!) on top, finish with some freshly ground black pepper and you’re good to go!

Yields 4 cups salad dressing

Total cook time…55 minutes (including roasting)


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