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Coleslaw with Granny Smith Apple and Chili

easy to make coleslawWarmer weather brings out all our favorite recipes for barbecues, family picnics and when it gets too darn hot to cook in the kitchen!  Everyone has their favorite coleslaw recipe that perhaps their mom or grandmother used but this one, for me, takes the blue ribbon at a state fair hands down!  Coleslaw gets its origins from the Dutch – koosla (from kool cabbage and sla salad).  Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.  For more information on the health benefits of cabbage, click here.

Serves 6
inspired by Charred & Scruffed

green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 handfuls)
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar

dressing –
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a small skillet and finely ground
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, and cut into julienne (skin left on)
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (remove seeds and membrane)
1/2 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

cabbage apple chiliCombine cabbage and bell pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Toss with the sugar and allow to macerate for 15 minutes. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps as this will break up later on. Add the apples, chili pepper, dill, and parsley to the cabbage and peppers and mix well. Toss with the dressing to coat and serve.

pretty veggies before dressingThe Culinary Chase’s Note: For increased flavor, place slaw in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Grilled Romaine Salad with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon Dressing

grilled romaine

‘We both love to garden. We love the look of our gardens (most of the time). We talk about what we will do next season differently and what new crop we want to try. But we both garden differently. Karen’s garden mimics the French “potager” (raised-bed in a pattern) style with an emphasis -a BIG EMPHASIS- on tomatoes of every type. She also grows herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Judith’s garden is more edible landscaping and container gardening with baby turnips, rhubarb, melons, Italian plum tomatoes, and baby lettuces amongst the pear trees, raspberries, roses, and lavender. Even though our garden types and plantings differ, we’re both on the same page – grilling makes garden-fresh foods taste great.’

After flipping through the pages of this cookbook and getting excited at what I saw, I read the introduction (part of it is shown above) and was immediately drawn in. John and I are avid grillers no matter what time of year it is. When it’s winter there are three paths cleared: driveway, front steps and a path from kitchen door to the barbeque!  I am in total agreement with Karen and Judith’s statement – ‘when you want fresh and healthy foods with more depth of flavor, grilling from the garden makes perfect sense.’  While I don’t have a garden in my back yard, there are local markets nearby.  Their book has me salivating and this recipe for today’s posting is the first of many from The Gardener & The Grill.

Serves 4
adapted from The Gardener & The Grill

2 heads romaine lettuce, trimmed
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
rosemary, garlic & lemon dressing (recipe follows)
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese shavings (use a vegetable peeler)
4 slices cooked bacon (optional)

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads into quarters. Brush surface with olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place two wedges on a salad plate and drizzle with rosemary, garlic and lemon dressing.  Add bacon slices and cheese shavings.  Drizzle with more dressing, season with salt and peper and serve.

Rosemary Garlic & Lemon Dressing –
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the dressing –  if using a mortar and pestle, combine rosemary, salt, and garlic in the mortar and grind into a fine paste. Drizzle in the olive oil and grind again. Add lemon zest, juice, grind and taste. Alternatively, combine the rosemary, salt, and garlic in a food processor and pulse into a paste. Add the oil and pulse again. Add lemon zest and juice and pulse. Season as needed. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Wow! This salad is so unbelievably good! Use any leftover dressing on veggies, chicken, beef, pork or lamb. The authors also say to try it brushed on bread or pizza dough. Enjoy!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad

acorn squashIf you’ve been following my blog you know how much I love a salad.  For me a salad can be as simple as leaves such as rocket (arugula) gently tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper or dressed up where the veggies are grilled such as this zucchini ribbon salad.  Salads can make good use of whatever is leftover in your refrigerator.  Pomegranate is one of the oldest known fruits and is the most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits.  It’s a good source of vitamin A, C, and E as well as a good source for folic acid.  Acorn squash contains vitamin A and C.  The yellow-orange flesh helps reduce the free radicals in the body.

Serves 4
acorn squash
mixed beets
pomegranate seeds
olive oil
sea salt and pepper
salad leave mix
1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)

Preheat oven to 375f. Cut squash in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds (save the seeds and roast for a snack).  Cut the squash again into wedges – you can use the ribs of the squash as a guideline.  Remove the skin by using a potato peeler or knife.  Arrange on a cooking tray, add a splash of olive oil, cumin and toss to combine.  Bake 40 minutes or until fork tender.

acornsquashTo prepare the beets, make a pouch out of tin foil and leave an opening to place beets in.  You can also used a dish with a lid but I like using the tin foil pouch as there’s no mess to clean up.  Use a different pouch for lighter colored beets otherwise the juice from the darker ones will bleed into the lighter ones.  Add a splash of olive oil and roll up the pouch.  Place pouch on a cookie sheet and bake 40 minutes or until soft at 400f.  Remove and allow to cool enough to peel the skin – the skin can be easily slipped off with your fingers.

Arrange leaves on a platter followed by squash and beets.  Sprinkle over the salad with pomegranate seeds.  Add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and season to taste.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Serve this with the veggies still warm or room temperature.  Enjoy!


Bulgur Salad with Cannellini Beans, Feta & Mint

Whenever I feel as though we’ve eaten too much red meat, we take a break and consume loads of veggies and ancient grains such as bulgur.  It’s this sort of balance that keeps us healthy…I can’t recall the last time I had a cold or the flu.  Bulgur is made from precooked wheat berries.  It’s a perfect substitute for rice as it has more fiber and is low on the glycemic food index.  We enjoy this ancient grain and especially like its chewy, mild nutty flavor.  I’m sure you’ve eaten it before in dishes such as tabbouleh and pilafs.  Because it’s low in fat and calories, it’s a perfect way to feel satiated without adding pounds.  Bulgur is already partially cooked and therefore needs little time for preparation –  perfect for a quick meal without jeopardizing nutrition.

Serves 4 to 6
adapted from BHG

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 cups shredded purchased roasted chicken
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped yellow and red sweet pepper
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Add bulgur and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Return to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes or until water is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small saucepan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and reduce heat to medium high. Cook and stir until garlic starts to turn golden around the edges. Remove from heat. Stir garlic and oil into bulgur mixture.

For the dressing, in a screw-top jar combine red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, lime zest, and lime juice. Cover and shake well. Stir dressing into bulgur mixture. Add chicken, cannellini beans, sweet pepper, feta cheese, cumin, 3/4 cup of the parsley, and 3/4 cup of the mint to bulgur mixture; toss to mix well.  Season and top with remaining parsley and mint.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  This is such a hearty salad and loaded with nutritional goodness! You can substitute the bulgur for cooked brown rice or quinoa.  Enjoy!

Kale and Orange Salad

I have to admit I first used kale last year.  I guess I’m a bit late on the kale bandwagon.   The “queen of greens” has been gaining in popularity for a few years.  It’s in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels spouts and collards.  Because of kale’s anti-oxidant health benefits it has been studied extensively in cancer research.  Adding kale to your diet on a regular basis may provide health benefits including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.  An easy meal ready in less than 15 minutes!

kale, leaves washed and cut away from spine
navel orange, peeled and segmented
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Chop kale leaves.  In a pan over medium heat add olive oil.  Add chopped kale and sauté until just wilted (soft).  Remove from pan and place in a bowl.  Add orange segments – you may need to cut in half if too large – and toss.  Season with salt and pepper.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Sautéing the kale allows the body to better absorb its nutrients.  When segmenting the orange, do so over a bowl to catch the juices and use this to add to the salad.  Citrus juice splashed over vegetables also help with vitamin and mineral absorption.  Enjoy!