Category Archives: Salads

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad

The wheat berry is one of my favorite grains so I was excited to try out this Waldorf Salad recipe I discovered in the November / December issue of Midwest Living.  I brought it over to my friend’s today for lunch and we both agreed it was pretty good.

There are a lot of pretty good recipes and stories in this issue of Midwest Living, actually.  One of my favorites is a story of a Christmas cookie – Date Pinwheel Cookies – featured on page 26 by a Minneapolis blogger.  Oh wait!  That blogger is me!  I was pretty honored to be asked to contribute a story for this issue of the magazine and I think that my grandma would be pleased as punch to see one of her recipes in a glossy magazine, even if she never would have submitted it herself.

In any case, if you’re looking for some tasty, Midwestern holiday recipes, whether they be cookies or grain salads, you’ll want to check out this very special (at least to me!) issue of Midwest Living.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad (from Midwest Living)
2 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. wheat berries, rinsed
1/3 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp.  dried parsely
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 large apples, chopped (ML suggests one Granny Smith and one Braeburn; I used one Fireside and one Honeycrisp)
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. dried currants (or cranberries, cherries or raisins)
1/2 c. grapes, halved
4 Tbsp. slivered almonds

1.  In a small bowl, combine the water and wheat berries.  Cover and chill in your refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours.  Do not drain; transfer to a medium saucepan.  Bring to boiling and then reduce to a simmer, covered for 30 mins or until tender with a chewy texture.  Drain and cool.  (I admit, I forgot to do this step and just cooked the wheat berries, sans soaking.  I think they’re fine.)
2.  Prepare the dressing.  In a screw-top jar, combine oil, parsley, vinegar, juice, sugar, salt and nutmeg.  Drizzle dressing over wheat berries, stirring to coat.
3.  In a large bowl, toss apples, celery, cranberries, and grapes.  Stir in wheat berry mixture and mix well.  Serve immediately, or chill for up to 4 hours.
4.  Serve over a bed of spinach and garnish with almonds.




Chicken Salad

A few weeks ago my friend and I went out for dinner and she proclaimed that she was on a chicken salad kick (she’s since moved on to French dips, oh well).  I don’t order chicken salad very often because it’s usually just a little too goopey for my tastes, but then I ran across this recipe in Cooking Light and thought I’d give it a whirl.  The poached cooking method for the chicken was perfect.  Plus, with a few adaptations, it was a great way for me to use up some CSA goodies.  I think now I’m on a chicken salad kick!

Chicken Salad (adapted from May 2011 Cooking Light)
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 c. chopped radish
1 c. chopped green onion
1/4 c. dried currants
1/3 c. coarsely chopped almonds

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Fill a stockpot two-thirds full of water; bring to a boil.
Step 2:  Wrap each chicken breast half completely and tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Add the chicken to boiling water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Remove from pan, and let stand for 5 minutes. Unwrap chicken and shred; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.
Step 3:  Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken, radishes, onions, currants, and almonds; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve over salad greens.

Chicken Salad

Barley and Chickpea Salad

This salad, or some version thereof, has become my go-to salad this spring / summer season.  Last year was the summer of quinoa and I think this might become the summer of barley.  Or maybe wheatberries (I can’t wait to try this recipe).  In any case, with Burning River Farms delivering our CSA goodies weekly now, I’m trying to think of creative ways to eat up all those greens.  Although few things beat a regular ol’ green salad, mixing in some grains really does make for a heartier meal.

Barley and Chickpea Salad (adapted from Cooking Light, April 2011)
1 c. uncooked pearl barley
2 c. arugula, spinach or kale, chopped
1 c.  chopped bell pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
1 c. dried chickpeas (about 2 or 3 cups cooked)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
8 kalamata olives, drained and quartered
2 Tbsp. chopped pistachios

Step 1:  Prepare the chickpeas.  Soak overnight, or for at least 4 hours.  Rinse thoroughly before cooking.  Put chickpeas in a stock pot and cover with water.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until chickpeas are cooked through.
Step 2:  Prepare the barley.
Step 3.  Mix peppers, olives, tomatoes, barley, chickpeas and greens* together.
Step 4.  Whisk olive oil, lemon and spices together.  Add to chickpea mixture.
Step 5:  Sprinkle pistachios over each serving as desired.
* If using kale, steam it just a bit before mixing it in.

Barley and Chickpea Salad

MMM Day 6: Maple Pecan Salad Dressing

To celebrate the warm weather (it’s over 50º!!), I think a light salad is in order for day 6 of March Maple Madness.

I’ve been enjoying this salad dressing over greens and roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes and beets.  Add a little goat cheese, some dried currants or whatever else suits your fancy and you’ve got yourself a meal!  Or a nice side salad at the very least.

Maple Pecan Salad Dressing
1/3 c. pecans, finely ground
1/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic

Whisk together all ingredients except pecans and garlic until smooth.  Stir in garlic.  Stir in pecans.

Salad with Maple Pecan Salad Dressing


Carrot and Beet Salad with Ginger Vinagrette

Last week’s CSA shipment brought in the last of the beets, and possibly the carrots as well.  I’m a little bummed.  Although I never liked beets much growing up, I’ve really come to enjoy them as an adult.  Pickled beets still aren’t my thing, but this salad and this gnocchi proved to be quite nice.  And then there’s my ol’ stand-by, the Carrot and Beet Salad with Ginger Vinagrette, found on Epicurious.

Come to think of it, this recipe is the last one I made with my Grandma before she passed away last year.  She was happy as a clam shredding carrots and I was equally happy shredding the beets.  Admittedly, the salad didn’t turn out that great last year because we didn’t have any fresh ginger and this recipe MUST use fresh ginger, not powdered, but I’m glad that my last moments spent with Grandma were in the kitchen, cooking together.

Carrot and Beet Salad with Ginger Vinagrette
4 c. shredded carrots
4 c. shredded beets
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp FRESH minced ginger
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. seasame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Tabasco to taste
1/2 c. olive oil

Shred carrots and beets.  Put in a bowl and set aside.  Put all remaining ingredients except oil in a blender.  Blend.  Gradually add olive oil.  Pour dressing over beet and carrot mixture.  Enjoy!

Black Bean, Tuna, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lime Mustard Dressing

A few friends and family members have pointed out that I have been remiss in posting to the blog as of late.  True enough.  As it turns out, I don’t like sitting in front of my computer half as much in the summer as I do in the cooler months of the year.  It also seems that when I’m not taking or teaching classes, I have far less reason to sit in front of my computer at all, which leads me to believe that this whole blog is just a great way for me to procrastinate from all of those educational endeavors.

Well, so be it.  Summer classes started this week and what a coincidence – I have a recipe to blog about (and some lesson planning to do, but clearly my priorities are once again in line)!  I actually conjured this recipe up about a week ago, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was really good or not because I was starving at the time and probably would have found just about anything,  food or otherwise, to be delicious.  Anyway, today I ate the last of the leftovers for lunch and guess what – I was NOT starving and it IS really tasty!  Not bad for a random collection of stuff from my freezer, cupboards and the latest CSA delivery.

Black Bean, Tuna, Kale and Quinoa Salad
2 tuna steaks
1 1/2 c. black beans (I usually use dried beans, not canned, because I can control the salt better and because I just like them better)
1 c. corn
1 bunch kale  (this was fresh from the CSA box )
3 green onions (from the CSA box!)
1 c. quinoa
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar
pinch salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped

Step 1:  Cook the quinoa. Set aside when done.
Step 2:  Mix the spices together.  Cut the tuna into bite size pieces and coat with spice mixture.  Pan fry in olive oil.  Remove tuna and set aside.
Step 3.  Add the corn, black beans, onion and remaining spice mixture to the same pan in which you cooked the tuna.  Cook until corn is cooked through.  Add kale in 3 bunches until it cooks down.
Step 4:  Add the cooked quinoa and tuna to the bean mixture.

Lime Mustard Honey Dressing
1/4 c.  white wine vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsps. finely chopped cilantro
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Agave or honey
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger (no dried ginger!! I keep this on hand)
1/2 c.  olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa and bean mixture to taste.  Top off with avocado and tomato to taste and you’ve got yourself a yummy salad!

Wild Rice, Adzuki Bean and Veggie Salad

Guess who’s done grading papers?  Me!  Guess who’s done writing papers?  Well, almost.  I have found that when writing papers, it’s best to sleep on the final draft and correct typos in the morning after a good night’s rest.  So I’m almost done.  Which means that writing on the blog is no longer a procrastination tool!  How novel!

Here’s a recipe for a salad I threw together for a potluck we had for a co-worker last week.  It seems the end of the semester brings about the need for a lot of cooking and baking, but not enough time to actually report on the food items.  This recipe happened to work well for last week’s potluck because it is both gluten-free and vegan-friendly.  The currants add an unexpected burst of sweetness, too.  Here it is!

Wild Rice, Adzuki Bean and Veggie Salad
1 c. wild rice (uncooked)
1 c. brown rice (uncooked)
1 c. adzuki beans (uncooked)
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
1 – 2 Tbsps. veggie broth*
1/3 c. dried currants

Cook rices and beans in separate pots.  When cooked through, place in large stock pot.  Add chopped vegetables and cover with lid.  Cook over low heat until vegetables are steamed (I like my veggies a little on the crunchy side, but not completely raw).  Add veggie broth as needed if you need liquid in the rice and veggie mixture.

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

Mix dressing ingredients together.  Toss with rice mixture.  Add currants and serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

* I have started making my own veggie broth from vegetable scraps that I collect and save in the freezer.  Once the bag of scraps is full, I make some broth.  Then, I put the broth in ice cube trays and just use a cube or two as needed.

Wild Rice, Adzuki Bean and Veggie Salad