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salad with fried halloumi

salad topped with fried halloumiHalloumi, a Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, has a high melting point and can easily be fried, grilled or roasted.  When fried or grilled, it develops a delicious crust that surrounds a slightly springy, mild interior that squeaks between your teeth when chewed!  Its uses are so versatile: skewer cheese chunks and place on a grill (brush with olive oil), make halloumi fries, wrap in prosciutto (grill or pan-fry), sliced and added to baked peppers, or shrimp and halloumi skewers with mint salsa. Continue Reading →

antipasto salad – a cinch to make

antipasto saladAntipasto (Italian – before the meal) simply refers to the dish that precedes all the others to come. It should be colorful allowing the senses to awaken and gets the palate ready for the meal that follows. It is there to whet the appetite and not be too filling. A typical antipasto dish consists of cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, coppa, speck, mortadellaContinue Reading →

warm barley salad

warm barley saladBarley is one of those staple grains that sit in my pantry for the longest time and then, without rhyme or reason, I go on a barley binge!  I usually throw barley in soups or stews but recent years have seen me use it as a substitute for rice, mixed in with roasted vegetables and tossed in warm or cold salads.  Rich in many nutrients, barley is a staple everyone should have in their cupboard. Continue Reading →

pasta salad with roasted chickpeas

pasta saladI’ve had this package of multicolor farfalle (Italian for butterfly) pasta for weeks now and every time I open the pantry door, there it is, waiting for me to do something with it.  The colors of the butterfly pasta are all natural using beetroot, spinach, turmeric, paprika and black squid ink.  I wanted something special to salute this gorgeous pasta with and wasn’t quite sure what.  The can of chickpeas in my pantry sparked an idea.  I have, for longest time, wanted to try roasting chickpeas and somehow the two would come together.  Continue Reading →

wild rice salad

wild rice salad by The Culinary ChaseA rice salad is so versatile and using wild rice is a healthier option.  Wild rice is a grass and can be as long as one-inch and range in color from brown to black.  I prefer a wild rice mix which is a combination of brown basmati and wild rice.  A salad of your own creation can take on many forms and if you’re like me, making the same one twice never seems to happen.  I find I’m adding whatever is leftover in the fridge.  Continue Reading →

Grilled Pepper Salad

grilled pepper saladSimple ingredients mingling together to pull off an out-of-this-world taste! If you’ve never had grilled peppers then you are in for one heck of a treat!  Grilling or roasting brings out their natural sweetness making them so good on their own and they really don’t need much attention to shine, so keep the ingredients simple.  A grilled pepper takes little effort to cook so don’t fret about the charred veggie.  It’s this step that enhances their flavor to give you a slight smokey, sweet taste.  Continue Reading →

bulgur and black bean salad

bulgur and black bean saladSummer always means a change in cooking gears.  The oven gets used less, our barbeque more, and food prep becomes simple.  Spending as much time outdoors is key and my energy is focused on leaving kitchen time down to a minimum.  I think we eat better during the summer with fresh, local produce available at markets and grocery stores.  Salads are a favorite and I never seem to make the same one twice.  It’s either missing one veggie or something else is added.  Continue Reading →

Salade Niçoise – slightly deconstructed

salade NiçoiseFresh and simple best defines my style of cooking.  When I’m pondering what to make for dinner, I look for dishes that look pretty (eye candy), have a nutritional benefit (help sustain a healthy body), and take little time or effort to make.  Salade Niçoise (knee-swahz) is a classic example of making a harmonious dish by building on flavors, using fresh ingredients, and presenting it in a way that looks sumptuous and colorful.   Continue Reading →

Micro Greens, Avocado and Strawberries

micro green saladMicro greens are sprouting up everywhere (pardon the pun) from local farmers’ markets to specialized food shops.  What are they, you ask?  Think of tiny seedlings bursting into young greens from vegetables and herbs.  Micro greens are typically one-inch to two-inches in height.  Although little in size, they tout an intense flavor but not as strong as mature greens and herbs.  In restaurants you’ll notice them as a garnish on food.  Are micro greens the same as sprouts?  Continue Reading →

Brussels Sprout Salad

Brussels Sprout SaladSalads take on many forms from the traditional and the not-so-traditional like the one posted here. Brussels sprouts are not every persons cup of tea but I’ll bet if you try it as a salad with the following delicious ingredients, I think you just might be pleasantly surprised.  Brussels sprout salad not only is esthetically pleasing but full of nutritional goodies.  Continue Reading →