Sunday, October 17, 2010

Black Bean Taco Salad w/ Lime Vinaigrette

This recipes is from my sister Katie. She says, "This salad is crazy good but time consuming to make the dressing. You can double the recipe and then freeze it in 1 cup portions for later."

Black Bean Taco Salad: Chop as much of these things as you like then toss with the dressing.

Head Romaine lettuce

Chopped cooked chicken

Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Chopped red onion

Frozen white corn, thawed

Can black beans, rinsed and drained

Shredded cheese

Avocado, chopped

Tortilla chips

Lime Vinaigrette: Combine these ingredients and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.

1⁄2 cup seeded tomato (I usually use 1 can diced tomatoes with its juice)

1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro

1⁄4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 large lime)

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled or minced

Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette & Lillian's go-to salad

For the salad:
1 pack spring mix (in this salad I used "herb mix" from Walmart and really liked it)
1/2 C loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 red onion, sliced as thin as possible
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 ~ 1/2 C sliced almonds (or any chopped nuts you like--hazelnuts are really good in this, too)
1/2 C dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (cranberries are my favorite)
1 firm bosc pear, sliced thin
1/4 C finely grated Parmesan cheese (I used Pecorino Romano instead, but any hard Italian cheese works well here)
Lemon-Parmesan dressing (recipe follows)
  1. In a medium bowl, place the sliced onion and cover with cold water.  Let soak, draining and replacing the water as needed, for about 20~30 minutes, drain and set aside.  (This will remove the harsh bite that raw onions have, while maintaining good flavor and texture)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place the sliced almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer, and place in the preheated oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 10~15 minutes.  Let cool completely.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine all ingredients and toss with dressing just before serving.
For the dressing:
2 T fresh lemon juice (juice of about 1 lemon)
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper--to taste
pinch of sugar or 1/8 t honey or agave nectar
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil (or a more neutral oil can work better, depending on the salad)
1/4 C fine grated Parmesan cheese

Place all the ingredients into a jar large enough to hold 1.5 C of liquid.  Shake until emulsified.  (or you can use a blender) Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  Shake before using.

Applesauce Muffins

2 C. flour
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, beaten

-Mix all ingredients.
-Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown on top.
-Cool on a wire rack, in pan, for 5 minutes and then turn out onto the rack to finish cooling.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apple Streusel Bars (from Our Best Bites)


2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened (no substitutions!)
1 egg, beaten


1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I've used Granny Smith in the past, although this time around I used Gala and they were fabulous)

2 c. powdered sugar
About 3 Tbsp. milk (whole milk is best)
1 tsp. almond extract

To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.
To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss with apples and spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. When finished, allow to cool completely.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place glaze in a Ziploc bag and cut off a very small portion of one of the corners. Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along). Cut into bars and serve.