Monday, June 25, 2012

On The Lighter Side: A Tale Of Two Salads

My parents came to visit us last week.  They had been traveling for weeks; driving to Nebraska to visit my Nanny, making their way back to Texas through a snip of Iowa, down through Missouri, stopping in Branson and keeping south through Arkansas until home.  They were only home long enough to launder their clothes and then drove the four hours to our home.  I could only imagine how hard it was to find a light summery meal on the road.

They arrived at my house Father's Day evening and upon the Hub's request we ate Pot Roast & Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes.  Dessert was my husbands (and my) favorite pound cake topped with freshly whipped cream, raspberries & blueberries.  It was a delicious Father's Day meal-but not so light and really not so summery (except for the dessert).

The next day I finally treated my parents to something lighter and a bit more refreshing.  For lunch I decided to make salads alongside a platter of fruit.  I love summer meals like that.  It just seems fitting to eat something simple and cold while the sun is firing up the earth and the heat creates a heft in the air.  Geez, its hot out there.

Broccoli Slaw is something that I had found here & here, so you know its got to be good...and it is.  I seriously can eat all of this slaw in one sitting.  There is a bit of sweetness from the added sugar, tartness from the cranberries, bite from the vinegar and crunch from the broccoli and almonds.  It is seriously addicting and my favorite summer salad.
Quinoa, Corn & Scallion Salad is a different kind of salad.  It takes a special person to like quinoa, I think.  But I wanted to introduce it to my parents and showcase a new food that makes a good & healthy salad.  Quinoa is not a grain, but rather a seed and is closely related to the beet and spinach family.  It is high in protein, a good source in dietary fiber and is gluten-free.  The dressing is tart and the corn gives the salad a sweet crunch.  If you haven't tried quinoa, try may like it.  The recipe can be found here.

Broccoli Slaw
serves:  4-6 servings
This recipe is slightly adapted from Under The Highchair, who slightly adapted their version from Smitten Kitchen.

3 crowns of broccoli
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3/4 cup cranberries

Buttermilk Dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons shallots, minced

  1. Trim broccoli from stalks.  Slice broccoli into 1/4 inch slices or hand chop into small pieces.  Add broccoli, cranberries and almonds into a bowl and toss together.  
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.  Season it with salt & pepper.  Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss well.  Reseason with salt & pepper if needed.

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