Category Archives: Salads

Watermelon, Chicken, bacon and Feta Salad, Tahini ranch dressing

Beautiful nutritious Salads is what summer is all about.  They are easy,  healthy and delicious and can serve as a meal or as a side. Fresh ingredients like, Watermelon, crispy greens, chicken, bacon and feta all join forces with fresh basil and mint for a quick and easy salad that’ll be sure to delight your family and friends.
Also, this happens to be the perfect food to take with you on a picnic, potluck or beach day.
Having a good list of go-to-salads will make your life so much easier this Summer. 
Some of my favorites salads for Summer are Quinoa Salad, Halloumi Peach salad, Greek salad, Elotes and pineapple salad, Peach Basil Shrimp Salad with Sweet Chili Vinaigrette and Bbq Honey Chicken Tenders Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing.
This watermelon, chicken,  bacon, and feta salad is what dreams are made of. The tahini ranch dressing may come as a surprise but there’s sweetness and nuttiness with a touch of “zing” from the lemon juice, so delicious.

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the Salad

  • 3 cups market greens
  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 thinly sliced onion
  • 1-2 avocados sliced
  • ½ cup feta
  • Handful chopped pistachios
  • Fresh basil and mint
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For the tahini ranch

  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the vegetable oil with the seasoning. Place the chicken in a large zip top plastic bag and add the marinade, give the chicken a little massage and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for about an hour.

Heat a large skillet, remove the chicken from the marinade and cook the chicken for 6 minutes on each side depending on thickness,  until it is cooked thru. Remove the chicken from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes on a plate. Slice the chicken and set aside. Whisk the ingredients for the tahini ranch together.

On a large platter arrange the salad greens, top with the avocado,  cucumber,  watermelon,  feta, bacon, onion and chicken. Sprinkle with herbs and pistachios. Serve with tahini ranch.

Enjoy!

 

One pot Summer Quinoa salad, Tahini-Orange dressing.

A quick Summer Salad that is made all in one pot. It can be served straight away (aka warm),  at room temperature,  or cold. We like it best cold, but that’s completely up to you of course.
I mean, what’s not to love about a salad that can be made all in one pot right?
You start by heating some olive oil in a large pot and cook some onion, garlic and veggies. Then you add the Quinoa,  add the rest of the ingredients and like magic,  15 minutes later you have the best Summer Quinoa salad of your life. Perfect for lunch or dinner over a bed of some greens, or as a side.
The Tahini Orange dressing takes the recipe to a whole new level 
Before you know it,  you’ll be making this one pot Summer Quinoa Salad, all Summer long.

INGREDIENTS:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium carrot,  peeled and chopped
1 cellery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove,  peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, green top removed,  chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup chickpeas from can, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh corn, removed from ear or frozen

Tahini Orange Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup orange juice, about one
Juice from half a lemon
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons Coconut aminos
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A dash or two of franks hot sauce

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup basil leafs, torn or chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Chili flakes
Extra orange or lemon wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:


Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil,  add onion and cook until glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables in the order mentioned above stirring while doing so.  Carrot, cellery, garlic,  bell pepper and the tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes and then add the quinoa,  give it a stir and combine well with all the vegetables in the pan.
Now add the hot stock, bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 13 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Tip the Quinoa into a large serving dish.  Add the fresh herbs and carefully spoon thru to combine.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and decorate with orange or lemon wedges if desired. Serve with the Tahini Orange dressing .
To make the Tahini orange dressing,  simply combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix.  This dressing is delicious on all sorts of salads,  so I advise you to bookmark it. Enjoy!

Peach Halloumi Summer Salad with Sweet Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Ripe Sweet summer Peaches and crispy Halloumi, a salty, sweet and tangy element in every single bite. The sweet lemon Basil Vinaigrette just brings the whole salad to WOW level. Make this at your next Barbeque, so you can grill the Halloumi on there too or make it in a griddle pan in the convenience of your kitchen. 

Either way this salad is always good, as a side, lunch or as a dinner on it’s own. And make double the dressing, because it’s delicious on everything, grilled chicken, fish, sandwiches…..

As always, the salad ingredients are all optional and inter-changeable. Use what you have on hand, and leave out what you don’t like


Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 2 minutes
Serves : 4 as a side, 2 as a light meal

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large bags of prepared salad mix, about 10-14 oz. / 300-400 gr.
  • 1 block Halloumi, drained and patted dry
  • 1 or two ripe peaches, pealed and cut into wedges
  • 1 or two Avocados
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 Spring onions
  • 1/4 cup whole Basil leafs
  • micro greens


SWEET LEMON BASIL VINAIGRETTE:

  • a handful Basil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste



INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Get out a large serving platter, plate or salad dish and place all the lettuce leaves in the bowl.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in blender and blend for a minute to combine everything well.  Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Heat a small frying pan and toast the pine nuts, keep an eye on them since they burn quickly.
  4. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and again each half in half. Then cut into thick slices, so you end up with thick quarters. Arrange on top of the lettuce leafs.
  5. Cut the avocado in half and scoop out pieces using a small spoon and place on the salad.
  6. Arrange the red cabbage over the greens.
  7. Arrange the peaches over the greens.
  8. Slice the spring onions and sprinkle over the salad.
  9. Arrange micro greens on top of salad, if using. 
  10. Heat a griddle pan until hot. Slice the Halloumi into 1/4″ slices (1/2 cm) and place on the dry griddle pan and grill each side for one minute. Alternatively, grill on the barbeque.
  11. Place on top of the salad as soon as them come out of the pan.
  12. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the salad and serve straight away with plenty of the sweet lemon basil vinaigrette. 


Enjoy!!

Elotes and Pineapple Salad , Ensalada de Elotes con Piña

This is our favorite Summer Salad, Elotes Salad or Mexican Street corn Salad with pineapple. It’s basically Mexican Street Corn that you can eat with a spoon rather than digging into a whole corn on the cob covered with Cotija, paprika etc…which can be a challenge, except that I have added some grilled pineapple.
This is a great salad to serve at your next Barbeque, or as we like to do, add it to Tacos and even pile it high on Burgers. So SO good!
It’s very simple, you start by grilling corn and fresh pineapple and once they are cooled you cut off the kernels carefully with a sharp knife, then toss together with the pineapple chunks in a simple dressing.

Prep time : 15 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 ears of Corn
  • 1/3- 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced thick-ish (see note*)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 small red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped fine
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese (see note**)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro, more for on top

Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more according to taste
  • A few dashes of Tabasco ( or Franks hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, more for on top
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat (an outdoor) grill or grill pan to medium heat. Clean your corn if necessary and rub all over with a little oil. Place on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning every few minutes. Do the same with the Pineapple slices. Remove them once cooked from the grill and let them cool.
Meanwhile mix mayonnaise, crème fraiche, lime juice, tabasco and paprika together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut the kernels off the cob, and cut the pineapple slices into bite-size pieces
Get out a pretty bowl and combine everything… the corn, pineapple, onion, scallions, chili peppers, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and dressing. Reserve some cilantro and Cotija to sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

* Any left-over Pineapple is great grilled and then served with ice-cream as a dessert.
** If you can’t find Cotija, I think that Feta resembles it most, it has a similar texture and taste.

If you make this Elotes salad, be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and if you love it, pin it. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! @thecookingspoonblog or hashtag it #thecookingspoonblog