October 9, 2017

Summer Farro Salad

Posted in Salads, Vegetables at 12:09 pm by Sheila OConnell

This is kind of like a pasta salad. The farro gives it a nice texture.

Olive oil for cooking
Small onion, finely chopped
2 cups farro, uncooked
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 large English cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil (optional)
Salt and pepper

Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and cook, stirring to coat each grain, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until farro is soft but still chewy in the center, about 15 minutes. (If there is more than a tablespoon or two of leftover stock, strain it out.)

Cool the farro to room temperature. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil, and stir to combine. Fold in tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust vinegar and oil amounts to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.



May 21, 2016

Yet Another Spinach Salad!

Posted in Salads, Vegetables at 6:22 pm by Sheila OConnell

I got this recipe from the Whole Foods app.  It is easy to prepare and delicious!  The recipe below serves 2 with dressing left over.

1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp fruit vinegar (I used 1 tbsp fig balsamic and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, which is what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 oz baby spinach (I remove the stems and tear into bite-size pieces, but you don’t have to do that)
1/2 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the chopped shallot, brown sugar and vinegar.  Whisk in the olive oil.
Salad:  Put spinach, strawberries, almonds and goat cheese in a salad bowl.  Add about half of the dressing and toss well.  Serve immediately.

Reserve the remaining dressing for another day.

March 22, 2015

Artichoke and Palm Salad with Citrus Mustard Dressing

Posted in Salads at 7:12 pm by Sheila OConnell

I had a salad like this in San Antonio and re-created it at home.

About 3 cups chopped romaine
1/2 can artichoke hearts, drained, patted dry  and sliced
1 or 2 canned hearts of palm, drained, patted dry and cut into rounds
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 small tomato, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp orange juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/3 cup light olive oil

Put chopped romaine lettuce on a large plate or platter. Arrange other vegetables on top.
To make dressing, whisk together all ingredients except olive oil. Then whisk olive oil in slowly.
Drizzle some of the dressing (about half of it is enough) over the salad.

Makes two generous servings.


December 29, 2014

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Posted in Salads, Vegetables at 3:58 pm by Sheila OConnell

We had this at a Hanukkah party, loved it, and made it a few days later for Christmas.  It looks festive and is very tasty!

1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup almonds, slivered
1 lb spinach, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use Wesson canola oil for this)

In a dry saucepan, toast sesame seeds over medium heat 3 – 5 minutes or until browned.  Remove from pan and put on foil to cool.
Melt butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and put on another sheet of foil to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil.
Toss spinach with dressing, using enough dressing to coat it liberally but not drown it.
Add the cranberries and almonds to the spinach and toss lightly.


September 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Curried Chicken Salad

Posted in Chicken, Salads at 8:45 pm by Sheila OConnell

This recipe is from a book called “The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth”.  Most of the recipes take me about 30 minutes, but I am notoriously slow at doing everything.  I used Perdue frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken strips for the chicken (just thaw in microwave or frig) but you could also use rotisserie chicken.  I suppose it would be possible to cook an actual chicken, but who does that any more??

1/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 or 2 tbsp honey (I used 2 tbsp)
1 tbsp curry powder
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 cups chopped green apple (about 1 large apple)
2 stalks celery, diced
1/3 cup dried unsulfured apricots, chopped  (I couldn’t find any apricots without sulfur, and I try to avoid sulfur.  So I used golden raisins instead)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, honey and curry powder until smooth and well-blended.  Gently stir in the chicken, celery, apples, apricots and almonds.

That’s it!  It’s good with a simple side salad of greens dressed with vinaigrette.  And corn bread.

Posted by Sheila

June 26, 2014

Cabbage Apple Slaw with Honey Dressing

Posted in Salads, Vegetables at 7:06 am by Sheila OConnell

This is somewhat similar to the recipe from Grandma, but cilantro, green onions, and honey-based dressing give it a very different twist.  I used cabbage and cilantro from my garden!

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 apple, chopped or cut into matchstick pieces
1 carrot, grated coarsely
2 green onions, sliced thin to use all of the white and a little of the green
cilantro, about 1 tbsp fresh, chopped

For dressing:
2 tbsp oil (I use Wesson for this)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

Mix dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake well.
Mix vegetable together in a bowl.
Pour some dressing over and mix until coated.  Use enough dressing to give a zingy taste, but not enough to drown it.


June 29, 2010

Thai Beef Salad

Posted in Beef, Salads at 4:26 pm by Sheila OConnell

Jeff and I made this when he came to visit in Providence. The cool salad and sweet sauce complements the spicy chili and makes for a refreshing summer dinner in a hot, hot apartment.


  • 1-1/3 green onions, chopped
  • 2/3 lemon grass, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons and 1-3/4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 pound (1 inch thick) steak fillet
  • 2/3 head leaf lettuce – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 English cucumber, diced
  • 1-1/3 cups cherry tomatoes

In a large bowl, stir together the green onions, lemon grass, cilantro, mint leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, chili sauce and sugar until well combined and the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the flavor, if desired, by adding more sugar and/or fish sauce. Set aside.

Cook the steak any way you like, until it is cooked medium. Do not overcook the meat! Remove from heat and slice into thin strips. Add the meat and its juices to the sauce. The original recipe says to refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 3 hours, but I’ve eaten it right away and had very tasty results.

Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl. Arrange the cucumber on top of the lettuce, and then pour the meat and sauce over. Top with the cherry tomatoes and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Posted by Sophie

June 27, 2010

Chicken Salad

Posted in Chicken, Salads at 8:51 pm by Sheila OConnell

   3 cups diced cubed chicken (use a rotisserie chicken if you don’t feel like cooking one)
   1 1/2 cups diced celery
   3 hard-boiled eggs, cut in eighths
   3 sweet pickles, chopped
   1 tsp salt

   Mix chicken, celery, eggs, pickles and salt.  Moisten with mayonnaise. 

This is good served on a bed of spinach leaves.  You can drizzle a little balsamic dressing on the spinach leaves for extra flavor.

April 11, 2010

Blueberry Spinach Salad

Posted in Salads at 9:54 am by Sheila OConnell

I was inspired to make up this salad after a visit to Seasons Oil and Vinegar Taproom in downtown Bethlehem. 

   2 tbsp walnut oil
   3 tbsp Wesson oil or other light flavored oil
   2 tbsp blueberry balsamic vinegar
   1/4 tsp salt
   8 grinds black pepper
   1/4 tsp sugar
   1/4 tsp dry mustard

   Baby spinach leaves
   Tart apple, cored and sliced thin
   Sunflower seeds

Whisk dressing ingredients together until well mixed.  Toss with salad items.  I made a salad for two with half an apple and about half of the dressing.  I can’t wait to make the salad again tonight with the rest of the dressing!!  It was SO GOOD!  It has a strong blueberry taste, so if you want to tone that down you could use one tbsp blueberry vinegar and one tbsp red wine vinegar.

I was thinking that this dressing would be good with a salad of spinach, walnuts, bluberries and goat cheese or bleu cheese.

March 11, 2010

Easy Baby Spinach Salad

Posted in Salads at 4:03 pm by Sheila OConnell

Purchase package of pre-washed baby spinach.  Combine with either:

   Fresh peach slices

   Fresh orange slices

   Small strawberries or large sliced strawberries

Add one or two sliced bananas.

Stir together equal parts of strawberry vinegar, sugar and salad oil.  Pour over spinach mixture and toss.  Sprinkle top with sliced almonds.  Serve immediately (or very soon).

You will find that you can vary the proportions as desired.  It does not matter.  It is always good.

Note:  This salad dressing is also good with other salads – especially fruit salad.

Posted by Gram

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