Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Winter Quinoa Salad


All we’ve left is a chunk of turkey, a pomegranate, goat cheese and pistachios from cocktail hour.  Oh, and a little honey shallot vinaigrette.  Add in our favorite grain and some peppery greens and we got ourselves a sweet and crunchy, high-protein quinoa salad that looks nothing like Thanksgiving leftovers.

Winter Quinoa Salad

Serves 2 as an entree salad


For honey shallot vinaigrette:

1 medium shallot

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

6 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For salad:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to the package directions and cooled to room temperature

2 cups cooked turkey or chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 pomegranate, de-seeded (see how here)

1 cup roasted and salted pistachios in their shells

2 cups arugula

4 tablespoons goat cheese


To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mini cusinart.

To make the salad, combine your cooled quinoa, meat and pomegranate seeds in a large mixing bowl.  Pour in enough dressing, about half the total amount, to thoroughly moisten the quinoa.  Reserve the rest to add in just before serving.  This can be done up to a day in advance.  Keep chilled.

Just before serving, shell your pistachios and lay them out on your cutting board.

Use your chef’s knife as a weight to crush your pistachios.  Lay the blade flat -the edge facing away from you- over the nuts and press down gently with your palm.

A little pressure crushes the nuts slightly and separates them from that stubborn, purple skin.

Stir the arugula into the salad and add more dressing as desired.  Top with your crushed nuts and crumbled goat cheese.  Taste then add more salt if necessary.





Lydia’s Dinner Party Advice


by Lydia Ellison


Got this question yesterday from a dear friend…

“So I have 5 women coming over (in their 50’s, 40’s and 30’s) and I want to really do it up. Something impressive, but also, not terribly hard to make as I am an amateur.”

This was my response…

Ok this is my advice on entertaining, much of it I learned from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa books and cooking show. Her two biggest rules are…

1. Only serve 3 dishes for dinner and a dessert and only cook 2 of the dishes (i.e. a store bought dessert, or one dish a green salad.) Trust me, cooking is fun but tiring and you have to shop and get the house ready so don’t over do it. Just make 2 really yummy dishes and simplify the other dishes.

2. NEVER make a dish that requires lots of last minute work, you won’t be able to hang out with your guests if you are stirring risotto during cocktails!

So for your party based on that above advice these are my suggestions…

Do 1 store bought appetizers and a signature drink (the sig. drink adds the “wow” factor)
Appetizers ideas-
soft goat cheese drizzled with honey, wafer crackers or bread and walnuts
proscuitto wrapped around bread sticks
sliced cucumber and pita bread with store bought taziki
sliced baguette topped with blue cheese, melt in the oven and then top with a drizzle of honey
olive tapenade and bread and mini mozzeralla balls

Signature Drinks-
prosecco with a spoonful of lemon or raspberry sorbet mixed in the glass
Gwyneth’s dirty martinis
white wine sangria- fruity Savingon Blanc with sliced citrus fruit and a cup of lemonade all mixed in a pitcher
bottle of rose champagne (so chic)

Salad Course– (you  must make your own dressing, this one is good)
grilled eggplant with goat cheese
mixed greens with a round of goat cheese on a baguette round toasted in the oven
butter lettuce with a creamy vinaigrette
roast butternut squash salad

Dinner Course-
Vegetable Lasagna this recipe is SO GOOD and you can make it in advance warm it up during cocktails
Indonesia Ginger chicken with garlic smashed potatoes (so so yum)
Baked Shrimp Scampi– incredible!! serve with white wine, french bread and this

Dessert course- no bake ideas
store bought pound cake served with fresh berries and lemon yogurt sauce
good chocolate cookies (from a bakery) and fresh strawberries
good brownies (from a bakery) warmed slightly topped with vanilla ice cream
chocolate sorbet with this raspberry sauce (very light which is good for women)

Thought this might be helpful to some of you out there!



Southwestern Quinoa Salad


By Sarah Lagrotteria

Serves 6

I’ve been making this salad since my Ithaca days– usually with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Lydia added the jicama, which makes it even more refreshing. Now that quinoa is back in vogue, we get many requests for this summer salad.

2 bone-in chicken breasts, roasted or 1 rotisserie bird

1 box quinoa (cooked according to directions on box), cooled
1 14-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red pepper, cut into small dice
1 small yellow or orange pepper, cut into small dice
Kernels from 3 ears summer corn
1 cup fresh jicama, cut into small dice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, cut into fine dice
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (can substitute cotija cheese)
1 large bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 cup), roughly chopped

Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 table spoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tsp ground cumin
1-1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Using your fingers or a fork, strip the meat from the chicken breasts (or rotisserie bird) and shred into bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl, gently combine the chicken, quinoa, beans and chopped vegetables (peppers through red onion). Add half the crumbled feta and half the cilantro and gently stir until mixed through.

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil, whisking continually until the dressing is emulsified. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste.

Add 3/4 of the vinaigrette to the quinoa salad and stir to combine. Top with the remaining feta and cilantro and serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.