Tag Archives: fresh

Bachelor in the Kitchen: Dressing Up a Seasonal Favorite

Written by Nick -

Creamy Parmesan Romaine Recipe

I eat seasonally. Wintertime is for meat and potatoes, but when the sun is shining, I’m all for a fresh salad. Salad doesn’t need to be a side dish. It’s easy to “dress-up” with your favorite salad dressing and adding a bit of grilled chicken or any other favorite protein item makes it a filling meal. A salad is also a great way to get your recommended five servings of fruits and veggies. And it’s one of the simplest meals to make for one or two people, which is what I typically cook for. But, I think, the best thing about a salad is the constant variety you can create by adding new and interesting dressings with the seasonal veggies and fruits.

I’m lucky enough to live close to a fantastic green grocer. Not only do they have great, fresh produce, but shopping there takes out the headache of dealing with the crowds at the grocery store. Plus it helps you avoid the grocery store temptations. After all, salads should be healthy, but I can’t help adding bacon to my cart when I see it right next to the low fat ranch dressing…

You can add all the different veggies you want, but if you don’t have a unique dressing, salads can become stale and boring. So I’m always on the lookout for homemade dressing recipes. I like making dressings at home so I can constantly customize to my individual liking and then brag about my expert skills in the kitchen. Anyone can chop some lettuce and tomatoes and throw in a bit of store bought dressing, but when you have a“signature” dressing it’s worth showing it off.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try this creamy salad dressing, which uses NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer! I didn’t follow the recipe for the salad, I like to pick out whatever looks fresh. In this case I mixed in some romaine, added some spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocados (since moving to California I add avocados to everything), and topped it all off with some grilled chicken. This dressing is a delicious, creamy mixture with a kick of pepper. Each tablespoon is packed with flavor, so don’t get too overzealous when adding to your salad. A little goes a long way with this dressing.

What’s your favorite way to dress up a salad?

Creamy Parmesan Romaine

Ingredients for 4 Servings:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread (about 2 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons Original NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Liquid Coffee Creamer
  • 2 tablespoons fat free sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons BUITONI Refrigerated Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

PLACE bread cubes in single layer on large baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven; cool completely.

PLACE lettuce, cucumber and onion in large bowl; set aside.

COMBINE Coffee-mate, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, vinegar, salt and pepper in small bowl; stir until completely blended. Add to lettuce mixture; toss gently, yet thoroughly, to coat completely. Add bread cubes; toss gently.

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A New Favorite: Fennel & Apple Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Written by Chris -

Apple and Fennel Salad with Apple Vinaigrette Recipe

This Fennel & Apple Salad has become my new favorite salad – and mind you, this is coming from someone who avoided fennel her whole life. Really. I’m not sure why it took me so long to warm up to fennel, but now, I can’t get enough of it. Fennel and apple play so well together and I’m kicking myself for just discovered this.

I have our local Farmer Fresh to You program to thank for my new obsession. Bi-weekly, we get fresh, local and organic produce delivered to our doorstep, so I like to challenge myself to create new recipes from what’s in the box. Two of our recent deliveries were overflowing with apples and fennel. My first thought was – shoot, what am I going to do with all this fennel? Then I remember coming across a recipe for a stacked fennel salad that caught my eye. It was more the visual that I fell in love with, because, well, fennel was the star ingredient.

I nearly always add fresh thyme, glazed walnuts or pecans and crumbled blue cheese to my salads, so why not incorporate these elements into a stacked fennel & apple salad? I thought I’d tie it all together with an apple vinaigrette that I created for Nestlé. Wow! I am certain I ate at least 3 servings.

I used a mandoline to slice the apples and fennel, but you could thinly slice with a sharp chef’s knife as well. I made one minor change to this recipe after photographing it. I’ve been using the mandoline to shave the apples and fennel almost paper-thin. This way, you can eat it with just a fork. It’s really just a matter of preference. One tip: if you like fennel, double the recipe and save half. This salad gets even better the second day! The fennel softens ever so slightly, the apple stays crisp and the flavors marry beautifully. I was topping everything with it – turkey burger, ahi tuna – you name it.

Apple & Fennel Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cups Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 small red apples, washed, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 small fennel bulbs, washed and thinly sliced (about 4 cups total)
  • 2 to 3 slices red onion (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped glazed pecans
  • 1/4 (1 ounce) cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

BRING Juicy Juice to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes or until juice is reduced to ½ cup. Cool to room temperature. (Juice can be refrigerated in covered container for up to 2 days.) Whisk in vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper.

apple fennel salad edit2

TO ASSEMBLE: Alternately stack layers of fennel and apple (and onion if using) on salad plates. Drizzle with apple vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pecans, blue cheese and thyme leaves.

Related recipes:

Apple Quinoa Salad Recipe Spring Farro Salad Recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad Spring Farro Salad
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