Category Archives: Salads

Spring Pea Farro Salad

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Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette - Colleen's Kitchen

This past week my pear trees finished blooming, all that remains of them is a snowstorm of white petals blanketing the front yard. My local farmer’s market also re-opened for the season, bringing with it a bounty of fresh, local vegetables. As much as I love asparagus this time of year, I also look forward to the first snap peas of spring.

My mother is an avid gardener, I always say I inherited my green thumb from her, and I can remember as a child being sent to pick peas from the garden for dinner. I’d head out with my little silver bucket and disappear between the tall rows of peas, it was like my own little green world in there. I’d pick the peas, nestle them in my pail, and then sit down between the rows, hidden from the world. One by one I would open up the pods, scoop out the bright little peas, and stuff them in my mouth, crunching happily on those sweet morsels of spring.

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Once my child’s tummy was content, I’d hide the shells someplace and then casually saunter back into the house, proclaiming to my mother that none of the peas were ripe. To this day, I’m not sure if she knows of my deception or if she truly thought that her peas never produced much.

I still love fresh snap peas, although the wisdom of age has taught me that the crunchy shell is just as good as the sweet peas inside. I love to eat a handful as a pick-me-up snack in the afternoon or throw some on top of a salad. But for this recipe, spring peas are the star of the show.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s not only easy to throw together, it also makes for a very large salad with little calorie impact. Filling and magically delicious? That’s right up my alley.

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

I start by combining chopped fresh sugar snap peas with nutty farro, crunchy fennel, a bit of chopped preserved lemon, and some reduced fat feta. I like using reduced fat feta because it still has a lot of flavor like it’s bigger, fattier sister, but it’s made from skim milk so isn’t full of chemicals like it’s non-fat bastard brother.

I finish the salad off with a vinaigrette made from the juice of a meyer lemon, which are also in season right now. A true vinaigrette calls for more oil, however I prefer to keep the dressing lean and let the flavor of the meyer lemon stand out.

What’s your favorite spring vegetable?

Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 servings
  • Calories: 468.4
  • Fat: 10.6
  • Saturated fat: 2.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.1
  • Carbohydrates: 69.9
  • Sugar: 14.9
  • Sodium: 712.2
  • Fiber: 20.0
  • Protein: 23.5
  • Cholesterol: 5.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Hearty and filling, yet lean and packing a nutritional punch, this Spring Pea Farro Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is a welcome harbinger of the season.
Ingredients
  • 16 oz. fresh peas, chopped
  • ⅓ cup dry farro, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 oz. reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the peas, farro, fennel, preserved lemon, and feta in a medium salad bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, thyme and salt.
  3. Toss the pea and farro mixture with the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

 

Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad

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Fall Raw Green Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

One of the traditional sides at our family Thanksgiving table is the waldorf salad: a mix of chopped apples, celery, walnuts, and raisins in a heavy mayonnaise based dressing. It’s always a favorite but this year I wanted to change it up a bit. So I deconstructed the salad into the pieces that I like about it: the tart of the apple, the crunch of the celery, the meatiness of the walnuts, and the sweet chewiness of the raisins. Thus began the foundational inspiration for this Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad.

I started by shaving raw brussel sprouts, this is easily accomplished with a sharp cheese grater. Brussel sprouts are in season right now and I just love the pop of green they add to the dish as well as the punch of nutrition. Then I added in some thinly sliced and chopped fennel, a cousin of the celery family, to add some crunch to the salad as well as a light licorice flavor. In place of the raisins, I used dried cranberries which aren’t quite as sweet as raisins but provide a tart-sweet chewiness to the dish. Instead of the walnuts, I toasted some chopped hazelnuts to add a smokiness to the salad and a differently textured crunch from the fennel. I used a honeycrisp apple in place of the traditional granny smith apple to lighten up the tartness of the dish, added some shredded parmesan cheese for a nutty, salty flavor, orange zest to brighten up the flavors, and, finally, I added quinoa.

Fall Raw Green Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Orange zest gives the salad a bit of brightness, both in color and flavor.

Why quinoa? It’s a fantastically versatile grain that packs a protein wallop. It makes the dish a wonderful add to a vegetarian Thanksgiving table, but it also makes it perfect for a stand alone entree salad. As I was working on the creation of this recipe that’s exactly how I consumed it: as an entree with a hunk of warm, crusty bread and a glass of Pinot Noir on the side. Perfect.

And the best part? The only piece of this salad that is cooked is the quinoa, which can easily be made a day or two ahead. This is such a bonus on Thanksgiving when oven and stove space are at a premium due to all of the cooking that is underway.

Fall Raw Green Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Pretty on the plate and pleasing on the palate!

But wait, I haven’t told you about the dressing! Gone is the heavy, fat-laden mayonnaise dressing. Instead I mixed up a vinaigrette of extra virgin olive oil, tarragon white wine vinegar, whole grain dijon mustard, and a little honey to sweeten it up. The result is a light dressing that adds a nice tart, peppery, lightly sweet flavor to the salad. I can’t wait to introduce my family to my new creation at Thanksgiving!

What twists do you put on your traditional Thanksgiving dishes?

Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6 servings
  • Calories: 166.6
  • Fat: 7.2
  • Saturated fat: 1.1
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7
  • Carbohydrates: 24.0
  • Sugar: 10.0
  • Sodium: 195.4
  • Fiber: 3.9
  • Protein: 4.8
  • Cholesterol: 2.4
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
This easy, colorful, flavor-packed Fall Raw Green Quinoa Salad is bound to become a favorite on your Thanksgiving table.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shaved brussel sprouts
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, thinly sliced and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced and chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts, lightly toasted
  • ⅓ cup dry tricolor quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 oz. shredded parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tarragon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium salad bowl, combine the brussel sprouts, fennel, apple, cranberries, hazelnuts, quinoa, parmesan cheese, and orange zest.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss, and serve. Salad can be made and refrigerated up to 4 hours ahead of time.
Notes
To toast the hazelnuts, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, add the chopped nuts, and cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned. Let cool before adding to the salad.

This recipe serves 6 as a side, and serves 2 as an entree (make sure to adjust the nutritional content accordingly if serving as an entree).

 

Fall Panzanella Salad

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Fall Panzanella Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Have you ever had panzanella? It’s one of my favorite summer salads, full of juicy tomatoes, basil, capers, fresh mozzarella, and chewy ciabatta bread.

Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that was created as a way to use up old bread. In fact, the secret to a good panzanella is to use stale bread, typically 3 days old. The tough bread soaks up the juices of the tomatoes and vinaigrette dressing making for a delicious and filling salad.

Fall Panzanella Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I recently had some leftover cornbread and was inspired to create a fall-themed panzanella salad using the stale pieces of cornbread. I mixed the cornbread cubes with fresh leaves of baby kale, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds, and — my favorite — roasted sweet delicata squash. For a finishing touch, I tossed the salad with a maple syrup based vinaigrette.

Ah-may-zing!!

Fall Panzanella Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 3 servings
  • Calories: 390.9
  • Fat: 11.0
  • Saturated fat: 3.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 66.7
  • Sugar: 28.7
  • Sodium: 706.8
  • Fiber: 6.0
  • Protein: 9.1
  • Cholesterol: 26.7
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Sweet cornbread transforms the traditional Italian bread salad into a tasty and filling autumn treat in this Fall Panzanella Salad recipe.
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 delicata squash, seeded and cut into ½" cubes
  • 1½ cups stale cornbread cubes (1/2" cubes)
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby kale leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with the olive oil and spread the delicata squash on the sheet in a single layer.
  3. Roast the squash for 15-20 minutes until tender and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  4. In a medium salad bowl, combine the cornbread, kale, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and roasted delicata squash.
  5. Whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, and salt.
  6. Toss the salad with the maple dressing and gorgonzola cheese. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
If your cornbread is too fresh, cut it into cubes, spread the on a baking sheet, and bake in a 300F oven for 30-60 minutes until the cubes are dried.

To toast your pumpkin seeds, heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the seeds begin to brown. Let cool before you add to the salad.

 

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad

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Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

With the coming of fall, I always look forward to experimenting with the bounty of squash. I especially love butternut squash. It’s so versatile, lending itself to steaming, roasting, or baking cooking techniques. And the sweet meat of the squash can be used in so many different ways, from my savory Butternut Squash Lasagna to countering the sweetness with a little heat, like I did in this recipe.

For this simple salad, I peeled, seeded and cubed the squash then tossed the pieces with a mixture of chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika. Roasting the spiced squash brings out a caramel flavor so that when you bite into a piece you first taste the heat of the chili mixture and then the soft sweetness of the roasted squash. The flavor sensation is so amazing that I’m actually working on another recipe incorporating the same roasting technique.

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Once the butternut squash is roasted, I let it cool a bit and then mix it with nutty farro, tender baby spinach, sweet chewy raisins, and salty pistachios. A simple dressing of honey and lime juice completes this hearty, entree salad.

What’s your favorite fall vegetable?

 

Chili Roasted Butternut Squash Farro Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2 servings
  • Calories: 425.2
  • Fat: 9.9
  • Saturated fat: 1.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 79.3
  • Sugar: 21.3
  • Sodium: 230.0
  • Fiber: 14.8
  • Protein: 10.6
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Sweet butternut squash is roasted in a spicy chili mixture then combined with nutty farro for a hearty fall salad that explodes with flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, cubed butternut squash (cut into ½" cubes)
  • ⅓ cup dry farro, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp chopped, shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Brush a baking sheet with the olive oil and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika.
  4. Toss the chili mixture with the butternut squash cubes in a medium mixing bowl until the squash is well coated.
  5. Spread the squash on the oiled baking sheet in a single layer and leaving room between the pieces so that they will roast up nicely.
  6. Bake the squash for 30 minutes or until browned and tender. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Combine the squash, farro and spinach in a medium salad bowl.
  8. Mix the raisins and pistachios into the salad.
  9. Whisk together the honey, lime juice and sea salt then pour over the salad and toss to coat.
  10. Serve immediately.
Notes
While high in carbs, the bulk of the carbs in this recipe come from the butternut squash, which is also an excellent source of potassium.

 

Grilled Red Potato Salad

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Grilled Red Potato Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Well, it’s finally here. The end of summer.

The heat is hanging on here in the Pacific Northwest, it was in the high 90’s yesterday. But the nights are crisper, it dropped into the high 50’s last night, and the leaves are beginning to fall from the fruit trees in my yard. Yes, the end of summer has arrived.

I’m always a little sad to say goodbye to my favorite season. It means the end of scenic hikes, outdoor concerts, fresh garden vegetables, road trips to the beach, and backyard barbecues. So before I say goodbye, I wanted to host one last barbecue. And isn’t potato salad essential to any barbecue?

 

Grilled Red Potato Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

For easier grilling, place the red potato slices in a burger grill basket.

I decided to put a twist on my potato salad by grilling the potatoes with a red onion and then using a dressing base of lean, protein rich Greek yogurt to cut down on the fat.  It took me a while to perfect this recipe, though, I couldn’t seem to get the flavor of the dressing right. And then I did.

Can you guess the ingredients that made the potato salad?

Grilled Red Potato Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

My Grilled Red Potato Salad makes a perfect barbecue side!

Worcestershire sauce and Rogue Creamery’s Blue Heaven blue cheese powder.

That’s it. The worcestershire added a nice salty, smoky flavor while the blue cheese added a sharpness, both of which play well against the grilled potatoes and red onion. They are absolutely essential to the dish.

For my last barbecue, I served my Grilled Red Potato Salad with some sausage dogs, local corn on the cob, and a homemade spicy-sweet ketchup. That’s right, I said homemade ketchup. I had a great tomato year so I turned some of my tomatoes into ketchup using the recipe here for Sweet and Spicy Ketchup. It’s absolutely delicious, so much better than store-bought ketchup. The only tweak I made to the recipe? I added 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce. 🙂

How do you like your potato salad?

Grilled Red Potato Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4 servings
  • Calories: 175.8
  • Fat: 6.5
  • Saturated fat: 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6
  • Carbohydrates: 23.0
  • Sugar: 3.1
  • Sodium: 277.7
  • Fiber: 2.5
  • Protein: 8.7
  • Cholesterol: 54.3
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
An essential barbecue side, the classic potato salad is grilled and leaned down in my smoky,sharp, and delicious Grilled Red Potato Salad.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced into ½" thick slices
  • ½ red onion, sliced into ½" thick slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ⅓ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp Rogue Creamery Blue Heaven blue cheese powder
  • ½ tsp ground dry mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used chives, tarragon, and society garlic)
  • 1 hardboiled egg, chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh arugula leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat your propane grill then reduce the flame to low.
  2. Brush both sides of the slices of potatoes and onion with the olive oil.
  3. Grill the potatoes for 4-5 minutes per side or until the potatoes are cooked through. Grill the onions for 3-4 minutes per side or until they are charred and cooked through. Remove from the grill and let cool.
  4. Whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk, worcestershire, blue cheese powder, mustard, salt, and herbs.
  5. Chop the cooled potatoes and onions and place in a medium salad bowl. Toss with the dressing.
  6. Mix in the egg and arugula.
  7. Chill until ready to serve, up to overnight.

 

Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad

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Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I am a lucky girl.

Recently Lucini Italia contacted me and invited me to participate in their olive oil taste test challenge. “Sure!” I said. After all, you might have noticed that I use olive oil a lot in my cooking. Like, a lot. Just take a look at all the recipes on here that contain olive oil if you don’t believe me.

Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

The Lucini Italia Olive Oil Taste Challenge Line-up: Delicate Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Tuscan Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The rep told me she would put together a care package for me to sample, so I was expecting some little samples of olive oil and some informational swag. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found 4 gorgeous bottles waiting for me! They sent me full-size bottles of their Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tuscan Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Delicate Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Trentino Apple Balsamic Vinegar to taste as well as some recipe suggestions.

Yes, it does not suck to be me.

Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad

I’m ready to taste some olive oil!

As you can imagine, I’m more skilled at tasting wine than olive oil, but I always take a challenge seriously. I got out some shot glasses and filled each with a little oil then settled in. The Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil is smooth, grassy, and pleasantly bitter with a slight peppery finish. I can see myself using it in many more dishes to come. I really loved the citrus bite in the Delicate Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in fact I brushed some on a couple of ears of fresh corn that I then grilled up and served just sprinkled with a little sea salt. Yum!

My favorite though was the Tuscan Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The infusion of basil gives it an herbal quality with that strong peppery flavor that basil is famous for. This little bottle of delight has become a must-drizzle on slices of sun-warmed heirloom tomatoes freshly picked from the garden. Now that is a little slice of heaven!

Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I love that the beets turn the quinoa a lovely purple color in this salad.

Coincidentally, I was also working on this recipe for Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad when I tasted these lovelies, and I immediately knew I had to pull the two together. I brushed the beets with the Tuscan Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil before grilling them and then made a very simple vinaigrette of it and the Trentino Apple Balsamic Vinegar to dress the salad. The olive oil enhanced the flavor of the fresh basil in the salad while the vinegar complemented the sweetness of the grilled beets and cherry tomatoes. The result was pure deliciousness.

Do you cook with olive oil? What’s your favorite recipe to use it in?

 

Grilled Beet Tomato and Quinoa Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 261.4
  • Fat: 18.2
  • Saturated fat: 2.4
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.1
  • Carbohydrates: 21.7
  • Sugar: 9.2
  • Sodium: 217.0
  • Fiber: 5.3
  • Protein: 3.6
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Sweet summer beets are brushed with basil olive oil, grilled and tossed with fresh cherry tomatoes and tender quinoa for a perfect, light summer salad.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup dry white quinoa
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp basil extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 3 fresh beets, about 2" in diameter, peeled and sliced into ¼" slices
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ haas avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp apple balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh colander or sieve and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the rinsed quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  3. Spread the cooked quinoa on a baking sheet in a single layer and set aside to cool.
  4. Brush each side of the beet slices with 2 tsp of the olive oil. Grill on a pre-heated propane grill on low flame for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and tender.
  5. Coarsely chop the grilled beets and place in a salad bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, avocado, cooked quinoa, and basil and toss to combine.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat.
  7. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Notes
The beets also grill up very well in a cast iron grill pan. Preheat the grill pan over medium-high heat, lightly coat with olive oil, and grill the beets for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

 

Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad

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Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad

People often ask me where I get inspiration for my recipes. My answer? “I don’t know!”

Things just come to me. Sometimes I get ideas from other recipes that I see online or in books. Sometimes I’ll have an abundance of a particular vegetable in season that necessitates some creative usage. Sometimes I have a “what if” idea of combining different ingredients just to see what the result tastes like.

Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Nectarine, peach and red onion are grilled to sweet perfection.

This Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad falls into the latter category. Peaches and nectarines are in abundance at the farmer’s market right now and I wanted to use them in a non-traditional savory dish. I knew right away I wanted to pair them with pasta, and I latched onto the idea of a small, delicate pasta like orzo from the outset. However, it took me a while to get the rest of the ingredients right.

I first used sliced green onions and a mild crumbled goat cheese in the dish, but the flavor combination wasn’t quite right. The goat cheese enhanced the sweetness of the grilled fruit rather than toning it down to a more savory dish. So I substituted a light feta cheese, which added a great salty taste to the dish and played perfectly against the sweetness of the stone fruit.

Grilled Stonefruit Pasta Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

This Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad is not only delicious, it’s a delight of vibrant colors on the plate.

But I wasn’t done. While the green onions added a nice pop of flavor and crunchy texture, it was a little too overpowering. I wanted something that would add visual interest and a light crunch but not overwhelm the sweet fruit and nutty whole wheat pasta. The solution? Grilling half of a red onion with the fruit. Grilling brings out the sweetness in the red onion, but it still retains enough bite to counter the sweetness of the grilled stone fruit.

What do you think? Did I get the dish right?

 

Grilled Stone Fruit Pasta Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 398.9
  • Fat: 14.4
  • Saturated fat: 2.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4
  • Carbohydrates: 60.7
  • Sugar: 12.8
  • Sodium: 296.3
  • Fiber: 8.9
  • Protein: 10.1
  • Cholesterol: 2.5
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry whole wheat orzo, cooked according to package directions, drained, rinsed and cooled
  • ½ red onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 nectarine, halved and pitted
  • 1 peach, halved and pitted
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup loosely packed chopped basil
  • 1 oz. light feta cheese, crumbled
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your propane grill then reduce flame to low.
  2. Brush both sides of the red onion slices and nectarine and peach halves with 2 tsp of the olive oil.
  3. Place the red onion slices on the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until tender and cooked through.
  4. Place the peach and nectarine halves face down on the grill for 2 minutes then turn over and grill on the other side for 1-2 minutes until the fruit is warm and slightly soft.
  5. Remove the red onion and stonefruit from the grill and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Coarsely chop the grilled red onion then cut the grilled peach and nectarine halves into slices.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the orzo, grilled onion and stonefruit pieces, basil and feta.
  8. Whisk together the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Drizzle over the fruit pasta mixture and toss to coat.
  9. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Notes
Serves 2 as an entree or 4-6 as a side!

 

Grilled Summer Squash Wheat Berry Salad

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Grilled Summer Squash Wheat Berry Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I love my summer vegetable garden. Yes gardening is a lot of work, but it’s an excellent stress reliever, decent workout, and you get delicious homegrown tomatoes in the end. What’s not to love?

Right now my summer squash is coming on: zucchini, romesco zucchini, yellow zucchini, crookneck squash, and pattypan squash. These are especially good brushed with a little olive oil and thrown on the grill. Grilling brings an entirely new flavor to summer squash, something that can’t be replicated on the stovetop or in the oven.

Grilled Summer Squash Wheat Berry Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

Pattypan squash from the garden is brushed with olive oil and grilled up.

For this recipe, I wanted to create a light summer salad that was also hearty and filling enough for a stand alone meal. Mission accomplished!

And the dish is so easy to make that it takes almost no effort to throw it together after a busy day at work. There’s a little prep work involved with the wheat berries, but once those are cooked I simply grill up the squash and throw everything together in a bowl. What’s easier than that?

Grilled Summer Squash Wheat Berry Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

The colors, taste and texture make this an unforgettable summer meal!

For the dressing, I only make a very small amount because the squash and cherry tomatoes (also from my garden!) have so much flavor that the salad doesn’t need a lot of dressing. Of course the fresh oregano and salty feta also help.

What’s growing in your garden?

Grilled Summer Squash Wheat Berry Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 314.0
  • Fat: 13.3
  • Saturated fat: 2.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.8
  • Carbohydrates: 40.7
  • Sugar: 2.6
  • Sodium: 355.6
  • Fiber: 9.0
  • Protein: 11.4
  • Cholesterol: 2.5
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Fresh summer squash is grilled and mixed with crunchy wheat berries into a light yet hearty summer salad for a delicious taste of summer's garden bounty.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dry hard wheat berries
  • 4 cups water (divided)
  • 1 medium summer squash (zucchini, crookneck squash, or pattypan squash), sliced into ¼" thick slices
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 oz. crumbled light feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place the wheat berries in a medium container and cover with 2 cups of the water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain the wheat berries. Bring the remaining 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium pan. Stir in the wheat berries, cover and reduce to low. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain the cooked wheat berries of any remaining water and rinse in cold water. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat your propane grill then reduce the flame to low and lightly oil the grate.
  5. Lightly brush each side of the squash slices with 2 tsp of the olive oil then grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and set aside.
  6. In a medium salad bowl, mix together the cooked wheat berries, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, oregano and feta cheese. Chop the grilled squash slices and stir them into the salad.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tsp olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  8. Serve immediately.
Notes
The wheat berries can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days before using!

 

Grilled Greek Salad

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Grilled Greek Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

As much as I love grilling in the summer, I also love the bounty of fresh vegetables that come both from my garden and the farmer’s market. It’s the perfect time of year for light meals best enjoyed in the sunshine.

A Greek salad is not exactly unique, you see it on countless restaurant and bistro menus across the country. It typically consists of romaine lettuce, red onion, kalamata olives and feta cheese with the occasional cucumber, chick peas, or whatever else thrown in. But grilling salad? Hmm… That’s a bit different.

Grilled Greek Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

Slices of red onion, baby peppers, and artichoke hearts are marinated overnight in an intense lemon based mixture then chargrilled over an open flame.

I start by marinating a red onion, artichoke hearts, and whole baby peppers in an intense lemon mixture overnight. Sometimes I also throw in some slices of zucchini just for fun. The marinade of lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil leaves the vegetables with a fantastic lemon flavor and also helps them grill up well on the barbecue.

Grilled Greek Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

Drizzle the leftover marinade over the cut side of the romaine hearts and then grill cut side up for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.

While the vegetables are grilling, I then drizzle the leftover marinade over the cut side of 2 hearts of romaine. A heart of romaine is essentially the inner part of a head of romaine lettuce. The leaves are tightly folded into each other making it a perfect grilling lettuce. I like to buy a package of organic hearts of romaine, which usually comes with 3 hearts.

Grilled Greek Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

Then grill the romaine hearts cut side down for another 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.

Once the vegetables are nicely charred, I throw the romaine hearts on the grill, cut side up first. The lettuce is thin and it cooks quickly so I only let it sit on the grill for about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes before flipping it onto the cut side for its final grill.

Grilled Greek Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

A perfect, light – and vegetarian – summer meal.

And that’s it. This hearty entree Greek salad is that easy. I simply top the grilled romaine hearts with the vegetables, sprinkle a little feta cheese and freshly chopped oregano over it, and then drizzle it with a simple red wine vinaigrette. I only make a very small amount of the vinaigrette because the vegetables and lettuce are already packed with so much flavor. It is a perfect, light – and vegetarian – summer meal.

 

Grilled Greek Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 248.1
  • Fat: 14.8
  • Saturated fat: 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0
  • Carbohydrates: 23.5
  • Sugar: 8.6
  • Sodium: 450.7
  • Fiber: 9.0
  • Protein: 7.7
  • Cholesterol: 2.5
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The classic Greek Salad is grilled to perfection and topped with a tart red wine vinaigrette and salty feta cheese.
Ingredients
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • ¼ tsp coarse sea salt (divided)
  • 6 baby peppers
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into ¼" thick slices
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 hearts of romaine lettuce, sliced lengthwise through the core
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped oregano
  • 1 oz. crumbled light feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, garlic and ⅛ tsp of the salt.
  2. Pour the marinade over the peppers, onion slices, and artichoke hearts in either a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat your propane grill then reduce the flame to low and lightly oil the grill.
  4. Remove the peppers, onion and artichoke hearts from the marinade - save the marinade - and place the vegetables on the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the vegetables from the grill and set aside.
  5. Pour the leftover marinade over the cut side of the romaine hearts and place the romaine on the grill cut side up. Grill for 1 - 1½ minutes on each side until the outer leaves are lightly charred.
  6. Remove the lettuce from the grill and place 2 halves on each plate. Top with the grilled vegetables.
  7. Sprinkle each plate with the fresh oregano and feta cheese.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, the red wine vinegar, the remaining ⅛ tsp of sea salt, and the black pepper. Drizzle over the top of each salad and serve immediately.

 

Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw

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Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw

You would think that in this heat wave we’re having in Portland that I would be seeking out cold chilled foods. Instead, I’ve found myself drawn to spicy foods that are easily prepared on the grill in the backyard, out of the heat of my little kitchen.

Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw

Jumbo scallops are marinated in lime juice, olive oil and garlic then threaded on skewers with slices of lime and grilled to tender perfection.

Last week I brought you my delicious Chargrilled Chipotle Salmon and  Corn Salad, this week it’s a super easy and spicy Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw. I start by marinating the scallops in a simple mixture of olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. I want to infuse the scallops with a bit of flavor but not overwhelm the tender meat.

Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw

A convenient store-bought slaw mix is sweetened with dried cherries and pineapple then livened up with a spicy sriracha dressing.

I like to use jumbo scallops for this recipe because they are perfectly sized for threading on skewers. Alternate them with thin slices of lime for an extra hint of flavor, and make sure to use 2 skewers to keep the scallops stable for even grilling.

Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw

When you can beat the heat with a dish this yummy and easy, why wouldn’t you?

The heat of the dish then comes from the slaw. To keep the recipe easy, I simply use a packaged mix of shredded cabbage and carrots from the produce section of the store. I always like to balance spicy with either sweet or sour, so I add sweet dried cherries and canned pineapple tidbits to the mix before tossing it with a simple dressing of sriracha, Greek yogurt, and salt. Add in some freshly chopped cilantro and black sesame seeds (aka nigella) for an additional pop of flavor, texture and color.

And the bonus? This entire recipe is under 300 calories leaving plenty of room for a side of warm, crusty bread or a scrumptious summer dessert afterwards.

What are you cooking in this summer heat?

 

Grilled Scallops with Sriracha Slaw
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 282.2
  • Fat: 5.7
  • Saturated fat: 0.7
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 33.8
  • Sugar: 19.1
  • Sodium: 321.7
  • Fiber: 3.9
  • Protein: 22.8
  • Cholesterol: 0.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
Jumbo scallops are grilled and served over an easy spicy-sweet slaw with dried cherries and pineapple in a spicy sriracha dressing recipe.
Ingredients
  • 1 14 oz. bag of classic coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 1 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained of juice
  • ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt (divided)
  • 1 lb. jumbo sea scallops
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the coleslaw mix with the cherries and pineapple.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, sriracha, and ¼ tsp of the salt in a small bowl. Pour it over the coleslaw mix and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ¼ tsp of the salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the scallops in a resealable bag and pour the mixture over them. Seal and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the scallops and thread onto skewers, alternating with thin slices of lime.
  6. Preheat your grill then reduce the flames to low and lightly oil the grate. Grill the skewers with the hood closed for about 1½ minutes on each side or until the scallops are cooked through. Remove from the grill and set aside.
  7. Give the coleslaw a good toss then stir in the cilantro and black sesame seeds.
  8. Serve a helping of the slaw topped with skewers of the grilled scallops.
Notes
1. If using bamboo skewers, always soak them in cold water for at least 20 minutes before threading the scallops on them and placing them on the grill.
2. The scallops can also easily be grilled on an indoor, cast-iron grill pan. Simply heat the grill pan on medium-high and lightly spray with olive oil. Cook the scallops for about 1½-2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.