Kale Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing | farmgirlgourmet.com

A beautiful Kale Chopped salad loaded with cabbage, carrots, herbs and topped with a creamy garlic-tarragon dressing.  This is a sponsored post.

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing | farmgirlgourmet.com

I don’t know about you, but my garden is busting at the seams this summer already.  The hot dry conditions have my kale, cabbage and tomatoes zooming through their growing cycle.  This is definitely not a complaint, as usually I’m waiting around impatiently for the first ripe tomato, but not this year.  We’ve been eating them for weeks.

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing | farmgirlgourmet.com

One of my favorite meals from the garden is a giant kale salad.  This Kale Chopped Salad is one I make frequently during the summer.  The crunch from the 2 varieties of cabbage mixed with the sweetness of dried cranberries compliments the tangy dressing perfectly.  Toss a few chopped pistachios on the top and this can be dinner or a side in a flash.  

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing | farmgirlgourmet.com

Imagine all of the possibilities with this salad; you could top it with grilled shrimp or chicken, add sliced radishes, switch up the herbs in the dressing by using basil instead of tarragon.  It’s such a great salad base and so easy to modify with what you have in season in your garden or farmer’s market, or what’s available at your grocery store.  I’m a huge fan of Dole’s chopped red cabbage to make tossing together a salad much quicker.  The convenience of it being chopped is not the only one, it’s also great because it’s a smaller quantity and you’re not left with that half of red cabbage in the veggie drawer staring at you each time you pop open the fridge.

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8-10 Servings

Kale Chopped Salad with Garlic Tarragon Dressing

A beautiful Kale Chopped salad loaded with cabbage, carrots, herbs and topped with a creamy garlic-tarragon dressing.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups DOLE chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups DOLE chopped white cabbage
  • 1 cup DOLE chopped red cabbage (radicchio)
  • 1 cup DOLE grated carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 4 tbsp chopped green onions (optional)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a very large bowl add the kale, salt and olive oil. Using your fingers to rub the oil and salt into the kale. This will soften the kale and make it less bitter. Rinse kale in a colander under cold water. Drain well. Chop more if desired. Add both chopped cabbages, carrots, parsley, cranberries, cilantro and green onions. Toss to combine.
  2. In a blender jar, add the mayonnaise, sour cream, champagne vinegar, tarragon, sugar and garlic. Pulse to combine. Add a little milk or water to thin if the consistency is too thick.
  3. Toss the kale mixture with the dressing to coat. Sprinkle pistachios over and serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2015/07/kale-salad-with-garlic-tarragon-dressing.html

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  I am a paid ambassador for Dole.  All opinions are my own.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage and Pine Nuts

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage & Pine Nuts | Farmgirlgourmet.com

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage & Pine Nuts | Farmgirlgourmet.com

My sweet friend Lori over at Recipe Girl reached out to me to see if I’d like a copy of her incredibly delicious cookbook.  Along with the offer of the book was another offer to give away a copy of it to one of my readers.  I knew you’d love this book as much as I do, so I said Heck Yes!!

Austin Food Bloggers | farmgirlgourmet.com

Pictured from Left to Right: Cheryl (TidyMom), Kristen (Dine & Dish), Sommer (A Spicy Perspective), Sandy (Reluctant Entertainer), Brenda (A Farmgirls Dabbles), Yours Truly & Lori (Recipe Girl)

Lori and I met for the first time at Big Traveling Potluck in Los Angeles this past April.  We’ve been online blogging friends forever it seems, but never had to the opportunity to meet.  It wasn’t until BlogHer Food conference in Austin in June that we had the chance to just hang out.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage & Pine Nuts | Farmgirlgourmet.com

Lori was chatting the other day on Twitter about this roasted butternut squash salad and it was that moment that my mind was made up that this was the recipe to try in the book.  I was working on several other recipes the day I made this so I enlisted my neighbors stove to roast the squash, so I asked if she’d like to partake in the finished dish with me.  She and her husband said sure.  So after the roasting was done, she popped over to bring the beautiful toasted goodness and we assembled the dish.  One bite.  Two bites.  Before we knew it we’d both gobbled it up and there were no leftovers for her husband.  Oops.  It’s seriously that good and so incredibly easy to make.  Tossing the garlic in the pan for a few takes away some of the sharp bite and brings out the sweetness of the cloves.  Take my advice, go get a butternut and make this pronto!  Send all thanks to Miss Lori!  She’s the rockstar of this recipe.

Enter to win the book by filling out the promosimple app below.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic, Sage and Pine Nuts

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 Servings

Make it as a side or a vegetarian main course. Either way, this is a delicious dish that screams fall flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread out the butternut squash on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 35 to 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. While the squash is roasting, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts, sage and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the pine nuts are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Scoop the butternut squash into a large bowl. Scrape the pine nut mixture onto the butternut squash and gently toss. Serve Immediately.

Notes

Add crumbled goat cheese on top for a kicked up version.

Lori's note: "Pine nuts can turn from brown to burnt very quickly. Keep a close eye on them and keep stirring".

http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/10/roasted-butternut-squash-garlic-sage-pine-nuts.html

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of the Recipe Girl Cookbook free of charge.  One winner will be chosen via random.org and notified via email on November 5, 2013.  Failure to reply will forfeit winnings and a new winner will be chosen.  Cookbook shipped via Recipe Girl.

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Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear and Walnuts

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear & Walnuts | farmgirlgourmet.com

Sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear & Walnuts | farmgirlgourmet.com

There is nothing I love more than a crisp salad filled with lots of sweet and savory bits.  Maybe it’s the thrill of getting a bite with everything on it, or the fun of seeking out every last morsel of cheese under crisp leaves of lettuce.  Whatever the case may be, I love it and so does my young family.  Salads of all shapes and colors are set on our dinner table weekly and, lucky for me, my kids gobble them up.

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pears & Walnuts | farmgirlgourmet.com

Some may think of salad as a summer meal, but winter salads are just as wonderful and full of flavor.  Take this Belgian endive salad, for instance.  Beautifully ripe pears are typically only available in the fall and they pair perfectly with tangy blue cheese and earthy walnuts.  All that’s really needed to complete this salad is a drizzle of olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and some fresh cracked pepper.

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear & Walnuts | farmgirlgourmet.com

This is just one of many recipes that can be found in the American Diabetes Association Vegetarian Cookbook.  It was really tough to pick just one recipe from this book.  You don’t need to be a vegetarian or a person with diabetes to enjoy this cookbook.  See below for a few of the other recipes I loved.

ADA Vegetarian Cookbook

A few of my other favorite recipes from this book…

  • Creamy White Bean Soup with Basil & Olive Oil
  • Terra Cotta Cob Salad (think Southwestern cob)
  • Black Bean Patties with Cilantro & Lime
  • Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta (this one is next to be made)

The American Diabetes Association is hosting a fabulous giveaway on the Kitchen PLAY Facebook page in conjunction with #30DaysofFamilyHealth.  Five winners will receive their choice of three of the five cookbooks involved in the series plus a $50 Visa gift card.

Enter Here:  http://l.inkto.it/bslb

If this book sounds like one you would enjoy having in your library, you can use the discount code: KITCHEN2013 (which will offer 25% off all books in the ADA online store.  Valid through October 4, 2013.)

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear & Walnuts | farmgirlgourmet.com

Don’t hesitate to make this salad.  It goes together quickly and the flavors meld like a beautiful symphony in your mouth.

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear and Walnuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 recipe

Calories per serving: 155

Fat per serving: 10g

Endive Salad with Stilton, Pear and Walnuts

A quick winter salad of Belgian endive, tangy Stilton, sweet pear and earthy walnuts. A drizzle of olive oil and lemon and salads on.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads endive, thinly sliced crosswise into rounds
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled Stilton, blue, or gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 ripe pear, halved, cored, and sliced thinly crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss.

Notes

Chef Steve's Tips from the ADA Vegetarian Cookbook: Walnuts are a nutrient-dense food packed with flavor. Being of Russian descent, I remember my grandparents using walnuts after keeping them in the freezer. This keeps walnuts fresher for longer.

EXCHANGES/CHOICES 1/2 Fruit | 1 Vegetable | 2 Fat Calories 155 | Calories from Fat 90 | Total Fat 10.0 g | Saturated Fat 2.2 g | Trans Fat 0.1 g Cholesterol 5 mg | Sodium 120 mg | Potassium 565 mg | Total Carbohydrate 13 g Dietary Fiber 6 g | Sugars 5 g | Protein 5 g | Phosphorus 95 mg

http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/09/endive-salad-stilton-pear-walnuts.html

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Pea, Tomato & Ham Salad

Pea, Tomato & Ham Salad | farmgirlgourmet.com

This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.
Pea, Tomato & Ham Salad | farmgirlgourmet.com

As I get older and start listening to my body more and more, I know that when I eat a diet that is low in complex carbohydrates, with a low-glycemic index, I feel a million times better.  It’s true.  My body behaves differently and my migraines are fewer.  I’ll admit that I still fall victim to the pasta and bread dishes here and there, but for the most part my family leads a low-gluten lifestyle.

ADA-3

That’s why when I was contacted by Kitchen PLAY to participate in the 30 Days of Family Health sponsored by the American Diabetes Association, I was excited to say YES!

ADA-4

Keeping meals exciting for the whole family is tough, especially when you’re limiting the processed carbs.  I fall victim to the usual suspects of grilled chicken or fish and steamed veggies, which usually leads to moans and groans from my family.  3D Smart ShopperMy first book of three books to review is The Smart Shopper Diabetes Cookbook by Robyn Webb, MS.  This book is full of beautiful photos, inspiring recipes and even a menu planner to get you started on eating healthy.  It’s perfect for diabetics, prediabetics and heart health.

I settled on the Pea, Tomato and Ham Salad partially because my garden is overflowing with these little orange gems, but also because I LOVE Pea Salad.  You know the one I’m talking about, don’t you?  The one that shows up at barbecues and potlucks with chunks of cheese and hued white with mayonnaise.  Yep, that one.  I can usually be found camping out near that bowl of bad-for-me ingredients, which is why I really wanted to give this recipe a try.

ADA

I added the orange tomatoes to give the visual effect of the chunks of cheese, but you can add any color of tomato.  The salad is perfect for a warm summer barbecue and my whole family loved how fresh and delicious it was.

ADA-7 The dressing is light with a slight tang from the champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard.  Let the salad chill for an hour before you serve it to allow the flavors to marry.

Other recipes from The Smart Shopper that I’m excited to try:

  • Italian Turkey Sauté
  • Grilled Balsamic Pineapple
  • Pesto Couscous & Chickpeas

If this book sounds like one you’d like in your library, you can use the discount code: KITCHEN2013 (which will offer 25% off all books in the ADA online store.  Valid through October 4, 2013.)

Pea, Tomato & Ham Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups

Calories per serving: 265

Fat per serving: 13g

Pea, Tomato & Ham Salad

This is a great salad for toting to picnics and all other summer fun activities—a refreshing change from leafy green salads. It will be in your summer cooking repertoire for a long time.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) frozen peas, thawed
  • package
  • 1 1/3 cups diced low-sodium deli ham
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the peas, ham, tomatoes, and scallions.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, and sugar. Slowly in a thin stream, whisk in the olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Season with pepper. Pour the dressing over the pea salad and mix well.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving.

Notes

Exchanges/Choices 1 Starch 2 Lean Meat 2 Fat Calories 265 Calories from Fat 115 Total Fat 13.0 g Saturated Fat 2.3 g Trans Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 25 mg Sodium 585 mg Potassium 505 mg Total Carbohydrate 22 g Dietary Fiber 6 g Sugars 8 g Protein 16 g Phosphorus 205 mg

http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/09/pea-tomato-ham-salad.html

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Warm Potato Salad with Sausage & Cotija

Warm Potato Salad with Sausage & Cotija | farmgirlgourmet.com

This post is brought to you by Epicurious/ZipList & ABC’s The Chew.

Warm Potato Salad with Sausage & Cotija | farmgirlgourmet.com

Summer is upon us and my garden is busting with vegetables, especially potatoes in red and gold.  I recently had some foodie inspiration from the popular food show ABC’s The Chew where Carla prepared a warm potato salad using fresh herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  You can watch the snippet below.

I make warm potato salad on my barbecue all summer long, but this recipe was a little different with the tangy dressing.  I knew I had to make something similar.  I added browned sausage and added a bit of sweetness by caramelizing some onions.  Soft tang comes from the Cotija cheese (a Mexican farmers cheese) and it’s all melded with a bunch of fresh herbs snipped from the garden and a quick vinaigrette of balsamic & olive oil.  All that’s missing here are forks and hungry mouths.  According to my 15 year old, this “needs” to be my new go-to potato salad.  Guess what?  It’s even better the next day.

Warm Potato Salad with Sausage & Cotija

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Warm Potato Salad with Sausage & Cotija

A warm potato salad that is sure to become a new family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 pound ground sausage, crumbled1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 ounces Cotija cheese
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
  2. In a medium saute pan brown the sausage until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Add butter to saute pan used for sausage and add the onions. Turn down to medium and cook until caramelized and turning light brown. Add to the sausage and add potatoes.
  4. In a small mason jar add the mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and herbs. Shake to combine. Pour over warm potato mixture and season with salt and pepper. Add the cotija cheese and toss lightly to coat. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/07/warm-potato-salad-with-sausage-cotija.html

I’m always looking for new ways to spice up my Summer dishes, and ABC’s The Chew serves up everything from grilling and outdoor entertaining to road trips and picnics. Watch weekdays 1e|12p|c on ABC to see what celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz are dishing out to inspire you this Summer.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ABC’s The Chew. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ABC’s The Chew. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad | FarmgirlGourmet.com

Chinese Chicken Salad | FarmgirlGourmet.com

I will admit right now – I love Chinese Chicken Salad.  There’s something about all of the components that just work together.  The crunchy wonton chips, the moist chicken, the sweet mandarins and the zingy dressing.  It’s like the salad marriage made in Heaven.  I could eat it every single day.  This recipe is super simple to make and only takes as long as the time to broil the chicken.

Cardamom - FarmgirlGourmet.com

The picture above really has nothing to do with this post.  I was just monkeying around the other day while I was waiting for a quiche to bake.  Which reminds me, the giveaway on that post ends Thursday 3/21/13 – so head over there and enter.  Over $300 in kitchen goodies.  Free stuff = good stuff.  Today is the last day to enter to win the cutting board too.  So many fun things.  Make sure you enter here: CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Chinese Chicken Salad | FarmgirlGourmet.com

Now to the recipe…

Chinese Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 Entree Servings or 4 Side Dish Servings

Chinese Chicken Salad

A quick Chinese chicken salad that won't break the calorie bank.

Ingredients

  • 7 wonton wrappers, sliced into strips
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • cooking spray
  • 4 cups romaine torn lettuce
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 large mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons local honey
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray and add the wonton strips. Toss to coat with some of the cooking spray. Spread out evenly. Bake for 5 minutes, or until starting to turn brown and crisp. Remove and cool.
  3. Spray another small baking sheet with cooking spray (or use the same one after wontons are baked) and add the chicken breasts. Drizzle the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil over the 2 breasts. Bake for 15 minutes, or until chicken releases clear juice when pierced with a knife. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl add the romaine, spinach, mandarins, mushrooms and scallions. Toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Drizzle over the greens and toss to coat. Divide between 2 serving bowls and top with sliced chicken breasts and wonton strips. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to taste and serve.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/03/chinese-chicken-salad.html

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Warm Potato & Acorn Squash Salad – Munch Madness

Warm Potato & Acorn Squash Salad | farmgirlgourmet.com

Warm Potato & Acorn Squash Salad - farmgirlgourmet.comI am so excited to be a part of the Kitchen PLAY and Knuckle Salad Munch Madness challenge that’s sponsored by US Potatoes – did you see the awesome badge on my sidebar?  This challenge is all about potatoes where 8 food bloggers will create healthy, light recipes, perfect for spring and then the fun part begins.  Those 8 recipes will go through a “March Madness” type bracketing playoff (see the infographic below) and one foodie will rein supreme.  Will it be me?  I sure hope so!

Click here to vote for this salad!

MyMunchMadness130312075450

As soon as spring weather hits, I am all about warm potato salads using my barbecue wok, but since it’s still pretty cold out, I roasted the veggies in the oven instead.  I used a bag of mixed fingerling potatoes, acorn squash and spinach & arugula mix.  Tossed in some reduced fat feta cheese, fresh herbs, some heart healthy olive oil and a large pinch of red pepper flakes and the end result was a healthy side or lunch salad.

Warm Potato Salad - farmgirlgourmet.com

Potatoes have gotten a bad rep over the years as being a good for nothing starch, but did you know that one medium potato has more potassium then bananas, spinach or even broccoli?  It’s true!  See other great potato facts at http://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition.

Warm Potato & Acorn Squash Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

Warm Potato & Acorn Squash Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 28 ounce bag mixed fingerling potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 Acorn squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large handful spinach & arugula mix (or one or the other)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a large baking dish and add the potatoes, squash, rosemary, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and remaining olive oil. Toss lightly to coat. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the potatoes, spinach/arugula mix and feta. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2013/03/warm-potato-acorn-squash-salad.html

MunchMadness2013

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post by Kitchen PLAY & the US Potato Board.  All opinions are my own.
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Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad + a Giveaway from World Vision

Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad

Today’s question: Have you ever thought to yourself – “I am so truly blessed for all that I have in this life”?

During the holidays we are all filling our carts with food and gifts and decorations to create the best season of giving ever for our family and friends.  I know that I, personally, don’t stop and think of others around the world during the holidays and their inability to put food on the table, presents under the tree or buy that special gift for a loved one in their family.  There are many countries where people don’t have the luxuries I have and will most likely be hungry or without shelter during the holiday season.  Yes, I know…there are many that will be hungry right here on US soil as well, and rest assured, I will be donating to my local food bank to help those in my community.

Give to Where It’s Needed Most

I was recently contacted by World Vision USA regarding their holiday catalog.  You have probably seen the commercials on TV where you can sponsor a child in Sri Lanka or India, to name a couple.  They also have a beautiful catalog where you can purchase farm animals, wells for drinking water and even housing for families in need.  If your not sure whether to gift a chicken or a goat, you can also make a donation and receive a hand crafted item specially made just for World Vision.  Take for instance these gorgeous hand carved olive wood servings spoons.

Here’s what World Vision has to say about the spoons:

Help where it’s needed most … AND get a gift for yourself or someone you care about! With your gift of $65 or more to our Maximum Impact Fund — which provides for the unique needs of children and families worldwide — you will receive this beautiful set of two hand-carved serving spoons delivered in a gift bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women. The serving spoons are made to benefit orphans of the Kamba tribe in Kenya. Each one is unique—just like the children they help.

I have known about World Vision for many years and have always thought “we should sponsor a child or gift a farm animal”, but that has never happened, well until this year.  At a recent family dinner we sat and discussed how it would make us feel to help another family far away feed themselves by giving them resources, such as farm animals.  To my surprise, my children were excited about it – demanding that we do it, actually.  So this year we will set aside money that we would’ve spent on frivolous or unnecessary items and help a much needed family by providing them a farm animal or 2.  I have to say that even just typing that made my heart sing.  It’s a good feeling.  You should try it.  :)

World Vision Gift Catalog

World Vision asked if I would help spread the word about their Gift Catalog and in return they would send me the serving spoons AND give a set away to one of my readers.  This really is a fantastic organization and I think not enough people know they exist, so I proudly agreed to help.  Here’s how you can win a set of these gorgeous spoons for yourself:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now that you’re entered to win and have learned a lot about a great giving organization (and are hopefully feeling compelled to help), how about we check out a hearty warm winter salad?

Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad + a Giveaway from World Vision

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2-3 Servings

Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Rice Salad + a Giveaway from World Vision

Ingredients

    For the Roasted Pumpkin:
  • 4 cups kabocha squash, cut in 1 inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Wild Rice:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup black wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
  • For the Mushrooms & Snap Peas:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 large mushrooms, cut into large pieces
  • 14 snap peas, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For the Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cubed Iberico cheese, rind removed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the diced pumpkin, olive oil, salt & pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with your hands. Spread the squash around so they are not on top of one another. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, add the water and bring to a boil. Add the salt, rice and tea bag and return to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice is cooked through and no longer chewy. Remove from heat and add to a large bowl and add the cooked squash.
  3. In a medium skillet set over high heat, add the teaspoon of olive oil, mushrooms, snap peas, sage & thyme and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the mushrooms have just started to brown. Add to the rice and pumpkin mixture.
  4. In a small glass jar, add the 3 T olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar, 2 t Dijon and season with salt & pepper to taste. Shake vigorously to combine. Pour over the rice mixture and add the Iberico cheese. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2012/12/roasted-pumpkin-wild-rice-salad-a-giveaway-from-world-vision.html

Disclaimer: I was provided a set of the spoons to review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this post.  One person with a US address will receive a pair of the spoons from World Vision USA directly from the giveaway.

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Clam Cakes with Lemony Greens & a Poached Egg

Clam Cakes with Greens & a Poached Egg

This is the second recipe I have developed for the Charleston Wine + Food Festival Lambs & Clams Contest.  You may remember my first recipe: Lamb Roulade with Mushroom Duxelles and Tawny Port Jus (so yum!!).  A few weeks after we ate the best lamb I’ve ever had in my life, I received a giant box from Rappahannock  River Oysters.  By giant, I mean GIANT.  Inside were big beautiful clams and oysters.  My kids were begging for Clam Chowder, but I knew I had to bring my A Game.  The last challenge was a tough one. Everyone made something incredible with their leg of lamb and I figured clam chowder wasn’t kicked up enough to win this challenge.  By the way, a big congrats to Gwen over at Bunky Cooks for winning the 1st challenge (I came in 3rd).  I am planning to give her a run for her money this go.  :)

Ok, back to these clam cakes.  Crab cakes are a pretty common menu item, but I have yet to see a clam & oyster cake in my seafood eating travels.  Aside from opening the clams (I figured out the trick eventually) this recipe is super fast to make and was a great lunch for the husband and I.  Let’s go make some, shall we?

Shucking the clams and oysters was interesting at first, but I quickly figured out the trick.  Make sure you were protective gloves or your hands can get rather beat up from the sharp oyster shells.  You will need approximately a dozen of each for this recipe.

Panko breadcrumbs tighten up the clam and oyster mixture and make for a light finished cake.  I used 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutters (available at most kitchen stores) as molds in the skillet.  This helps keep the cake together while it’s cooking.  Remove it with tongs right before you flip the cakes.  Assemble the greens and poach the eggs while the cakes are cooking and you will have a quick lunch or dinner.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite recipes on the Charleston Wine + Food Festivals Facebook page!  This is a fun contest and the winner will be given an all access pass to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival in March 2013.

Recipes created by the other bloggers participating in Lambs & Clams:

Vivek’s Epicurean Adventure – Linguine with Clams Steamed in Ginger, Jalapeno & Vermouth

Taste Food Blog – Smoky Clam, Chorizo, and Butternut Squash Stew with Saffron Aioli and Oyster Croutons

A Cook Blog – Che Casino

Mango Tomato – Lambs and Clams Contest #2

Eat Drink RI – Baked Oysters

Bunkycooks – Southern Rockafella’s

One Vanilla Bean – Chorizo + Manchego Stuffed Clams

 

Clam Cakes with Lemony Greens & a Poached Egg

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 clam cakes

Serving Size: 4 Servings

Clam Cakes with Lemony Greens & a Poached Egg

An easy clam and oyster cake recipe with lemony greens and a perfectly poached egg on top.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces shucked clams & oysters, without liquid
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lemony Greens:
  • 4 cups mixed lettuce greens
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved with vegetable peeler
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Poached Egg:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, add the the clams & oysters, shallot, egg white, heavy cream, dijon, salt and pepper. Pulse until combined, but not pureed. Remove to a medium bowl and stir in the Panko bread crumbs. Allow to rest for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add 4 - 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter rings to the pan and fill each with the clam mixture. Allow to cook for 4 minutes and carefully remove the rings with tongs and flip the cakes over. Continue to cook until the center is firm and no longer gelatinous, about 4-6 minutes longer. Remove to serving plates and assemble with the lemony greens and poached eggs, recipes follow.
  3. For the Greens:
  4. In a medium bowl add the lettuce greens, lemon juice, olive oil, Manchego, salt and pepper. Toss lightly with your hands to coat. Set aside.
  5. For the Poached Eggs:
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the vinegar. Using a slotted spoon, stir the water to make a whirlpool. Carefully break the eggs into the swirling water. The water should be slightly bubbling, not rapidly boiling. Allow the eggs to cook for 3 minutes (or longer to your taste). Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate while you assemble to clam cakes.
  7. Assemble:
  8. Top each of the 4 clam cakes with 1 cup of the lettuce mixture. Top each with a poached egg and sprinkle with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2012/11/clam-cakes-with-lemony-greens-a-poached-egg.html

Other seafood recipes you may love:

Disclaimer: I was provided clams and oysters free of charge from Rappahannock River Oysters for the purpose of recipe development.  All opinions stated are my own and this post has not been sponsored or paid.

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@Emeril Egg Salad Supreme – #SeriousSandwich

Emeril's Egg Salad Supreme Recipe - Click Image to See Post


As a young girl I can remember sitting on the rocky sand bar at Benbow Lake in Northern California with my grandmother.  She would pack my cousin and I an egg salad sandwich on white bread and we’d picnic there during the warm summer months.  It’s one of those memories that comes flooding back every time I take a bite of an egg salad sandwich.  

She, of course, made hers on good old white bread and would sometimes slice a few black olives on the top.  Nowadays I try to be a little more mindful of the type of bread I choose, but sometimes, it’s just necessary to buy a sack of white bread and go for it.

Memories like that are amazing.  I hope someday that something I make with love will fill my kids or grandkids minds with joyous times of the past.  When I saw that we were making Emeril’s version of egg salad for the #SeriousSandwich blogalong, I was skeptical.  I mean, how could it be any better than my grandma’s egg salad?  Well, this is definitely not your ordinary eggy deliciousness.  It’s “kicked up” as Emeril would say.  And in a goooooooood way!  I thought maybe my kids would turn nose to all of the ingredients but they loved it, well one really liked it, the other is still in Grandma’s Camp.  We had them for dinner with freshly made tri-color potato chips and it was delish!  

Photo courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

I won’t tease you anymore.  You just need to give it a try for yourself and see if it rivals your favorite egg salad memory.

Egg Salad Supreme

Here’s a simple, delicious sandwich. The dry mustard and paprika give it a wonderful surprising wasabi-y or horseradish-y accent.

Ingredients
12 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
¼ cup minced shallot
¼ cup chopped green onion or fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup minced celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise, homemade (see page 309) or store-bought
12 slices White Sandwich Bread (page 303)

Instructions
  1. Roughly chop the eggs and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, mustard, paprika, shallot, green onion, celery, and mayonnaise. Stir with a rubber spatula or a spoon until very well blended. Transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.
  2. Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the egg salad between 2 slices of bread. Repeat with the remaining salad and bread.
Makes 6 sandwiches, about 3 cups filling

Don’t forget to check out The Secret Ingredient Blog for fun bios on the participating bloggers – here and here!

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Roasted Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Croutons

GEFreshpedition3

Looking for a refreshing summer salad?  Well, look no further.  This roasted beet salad with sweet green grapes and tangy goat cheese croutons will satisfy the hungriest eater.  The recipe is from Chef Ben Sargent of Hook, Line & Dinner on Cooking Channel TV from his 2000 mile journey to surprise a scientist stuck in the desert with fresh food.  Want to know more?  Read on…..

I was recently contacted by GE about a new ad campaign for their french door refrigerator called GE Freshpedition.  It’s a fun adventure where Justin Berger, a GE Engineer, hops in a truck with Ben Sargent, a celebrity chef from Hook, Line & Dinner at the Louisville, Kentucky GE Appliance factory and head 2000 miles with a GE french door fridge strapped to the back.  They are tasked with sourcing fresh food along the way to fill the fridge before they arrive in the remote desert of Texas and cook it up.

Check out Episode 1 below.  It’s pretty comical!

There will be 4 more installments in the coming weeks and you can follow along at www.freshpedition.com.  You can also enter to win your very own GE Profile French Door Refrigerator by checking out the Where’s Ron sweepstakes on Facebook.

Let’s make some salad?  Shall we?

Roasted Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Croutons

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Roasted Beet Salad with Fried Goat Cheese Croutons

A quick roasted beet salad with sweet green grapes, crisp greens & tangy fried goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet (3 medium or 8 baby), scrubbed and tops removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces goat cheese (firm kind usually sold in logs)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil8 cups romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
  • 1 cup bib lettuce, washed, dried
  • 1 cup arugula, washed, dried
  • 1 bunch seedless grapes, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place beets in aluminum foil and drizzle with the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, wrap and place on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and remove skins. Slice into thin rounds. Set aside.
  2. Slice the goat cheese into 8 equal rounds. Place the flour, egg and panko on separate plates. Toss each slice of goat cheese in flour, then egg and finally in panko. Set aside. Heat the 1 cup vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the cheese until golden about 1 minute, flip over and repeat. Drain on paper towels. Cheese should not be runny.
  3. Combine lettuces in a large bowl. Add grapes, croutons, 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat. Add the sliced beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2012/06/roasted-beet-salad-with-fried-goat.html

Disclaimer: Beet Salad recipe reprinted with permission.  This post is not sponsored and I was not compensated for writing it.  All opinions are my own.  
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Mustard Crusted Chicken over Quinoa & Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Mustard Crusted Chicken and Quinoa Roasted Pumpkin Salad

My garden is busting with arugula right now.  It’s growing like it’s name – Rocket.  I had a Ghost Pumpkin on hand in my cellar from the previous fall and wanted to make a healthy salad for my husband for lunch.  Using a grainy mustard to crust a chicken breast adding so much flavor and the addition of quinoa and tart goat cheese rounded out all of the flavors of this beautiful salad.

Mustard Crusted Chicken Quinoa Pumpkin Salad | farmgirlgourmet.com

Adding grapeseed oil to the dressing makes it fruity and not overpowering with a light taste.  I have been choosing grapeseed oil over olive oil lately and love how versatile it is to cook with.  I hope you’ll give this recipe a shot.  It’s packed full of flavor and good for you ingredients!

Mustard Crusted Chicken and Quinoa Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Mustard Crusted Chicken over Quinoa & Roasted Pumpkin Salad

Yield: Makes 2 servings

Mustard Crusted Chicken over Quinoa & Roasted Pumpkin Salad

A quick and healthy salad of steamed quinoa, roasted pumpkin, crotin cheese, baby arugula and topped with mustard crusted baked chicken.

Ingredients

    Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon Molasses Mustard (or other grainy mustard)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • Salad:
  • 1/2 of a 2.5 lb pumpkin, skinned, seeded & diced (or butternut squash)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, such as Pompeian Grapeseed Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat crotin or feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Spray a small baking sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts on the sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, garlic, 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, salt and thyme. Stir well to combine. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each of the chicken breasts reserving about 1 tablespoon of the mixture for the salad.
  4. Place chicken breasts in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Meanwhile add the pumpkin to a large rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, grapeseed oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  6. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring back to a boil. Turn to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Add to a large serving bowl and add the pumpkin, arugula, crotin and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of grapeseed oil and the 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the reserved mustard mixture and whisk to combine. Add to the quinoa mixture and toss lightly to coat. Slice the chicken breasts and top the salad. Serve immediately.
http://www.farmgirlgourmet.com/2012/05/mustard-crusted-chicken-over-quinoa.html

Mustard Crusted Chicken Quinoa Pumpkin Salad | farmgirlgourmet.com

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