Salads

Tomato, Cheese, Black Olive Appetizer Salad/Spread

93670225-FD1C-4A14-8DCD-8C2291CF7917This tomato, cheese, and black olive salad is so delicious! It can be eaten as a traditional European side salad or a spread on some baked baguette bread. I have been making this side dish for several years. I got the recipe from my hubby back when we were dating in 2009. He tried it somewhere, called me and gave me the recipe and said that I must try it. I fell in love with it at first bite, and now several years later it still continues to be a favorite side dish of mine and my hubby’s. The recipe is super easy, just putting everything together so not really a recipe but an idea. Can be made a day in advance or right before you eat, however I like to make it at least a few hours in advance to give the flavors time to blend. Enjoy! 🙂

Tomato, Cheese, Black Olive Appetizer (Salad/Spread/Side)  {Serves 2-4} :

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) Block Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
  • 1 (small) Pack Baby Tomatoes
  • 1 (6 oz/170g) Can Large Pitted Black Olives
  • 6 TBS Mayonnaise (I prefer to use Hellman’s or Trader Joe’s real mayo)
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves (Squeezed. Depending on your love of garlic)

DAE2D549-C2D3-4FF1-8F0A-669D6E5065E9Directions:

1) Wash tomatoes and add them to a big bowl. Drain out the water from the can of olives and add the olives to the tomatoes.

2) Shred the Mozzarella cheese. Add it to the bowl of tomatoes and black olives.

408DF7A8-E722-4788-8FAA-E6433FD52705

3) Add 6 TBS Real Mayonnaise to the bowl. Squeeze 1-2 garlic cloves into the bowl. Mix everything together with a spoon, gently not to crush the tomatoes or olives. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

4) Transfer to a pretty bowl if eating as a side dish/salad or spread over fresh baked baguette Slices on a plate. Yum!!! 93670225-FD1C-4A14-8DCD-8C2291CF7917

 

 

Advertisements

Garden Veggie Salad

IMG_0097This is not a recipe but rather a recipe idea. I first tried this salad at my friend Lidiya’s home when we were over for dinner and it was love at first bite! Since then this is how I always make my salad but Lidiya get’s the credit for the recipe. This salad tastes fresh with all the vegetables and light because instead of dressing I use Sun flower oil. It’s so satisfying, it can be a meal all on it’s own! The parsley and dill herbs add the perfect touch to this salad and are a key ingredient. Also this salad is great even on the second day if left overs are covered and refrigerated over night, it doesn’t get soggy like most salads and tastes just as great.

Garden Veggie Salad {Serves 2-4}

  • 1 1/2 heads Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 Small box Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Orange Bell Pepper
  • 1/4 bunch Parsley
  • 1/4 bunch Dill
  • 3  Small Cucumbers or 3/4 Long English Cucumber
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Sunflower Oil

IMG_0099Directions:

1) Wash all the veggies. Chop everything up except the grape tomatoes, they are already small. Put veggies in large bowl and mix together. Finely chop the parsley and dill herbs and add into salad. Add some Sunflower Oil (About 3 Tablespoons) then add salt and pepper and Mix again.

IMG_0097

Left over salad can be covered and refrigerated, and tastes just as great on the second day!

IMG_0098

Shrimp Salad

DSCN4076This Shrimp Salad recipe was created by me but inspired by a salad I had at a restaurant called Canyon’s, in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It was the perfect meal for me after a long, hot, exhausting day of exploring Tweetsie Railroad (a wild west theme park) in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I had to recreate it at home and I did. The restaurant version was great but this home made recipe is even better, so much more flavor and you can add as much shrimp as you’d like. I love shrimp! And this shrimp salad takes it to a whole notha’ level (lol I know I’m corny). So fast and easy to prepare and definitely a summer favorite in our house now. I could literally eat this salad every single day! We ate it as a meal for dinner, but you could also make it as a side dish/salad. You can omit the shrimp if you are not a fan, and add anything else you want to it and get creative. Please don’t forget to share your idea’s with me, I would love to hear them!

Shrimp Salad {Serves 2 as meal, 4 as side}

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 package Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers or 1 long English Cucumber
  • 1 to 2 LB Shrimp, Raw (I used 2 LB as we love our shrimp!)
  • Dressing of choice (I used Marzetti Brand Classic Ranch Dressing)
  • Croutons of choice (I used Texas Toast Cheese & Garlic Croutons)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce

Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Peel & devine the shrimp, rinse through with cold water and let dry. Wash all the veggies and chop everything up into one big bowl. I chopped the lettuce into small squares. The grape tomatoes in halves. The cucumber in fourths and then chopped into pieces.

DSCN4047

2) Set a pan on Med-High heat (I did a 6) add some olive oil. When the oil heats up, add the shrimp. Add salt/pepper to shrimp and mix. When the shrimp looks done, lower the heat to low (I did 2) and add some Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce, I added about 2 tablespoons and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Simmer with the lid on for a few minutes until shrimp is well cooked through. Turn off heat and keep shrimp hot.

DSCN4041

3) When you are ready to eat, add the shrimp into the salad bowel. Mix gently. Each person can add dressing and croutons to salad individually to their liking. Enjoy!

DSCN4085

Korean Carrot Salad (Markovcha)

DSCN2590

This is probably my most favorite salad ever, and I do not throw the word “favorite” around. It is the classic Russian carrot salad (Markovcha) Although it is actually an authentic Korean dish that has been adapted by Russians/Ukrainians.  I am sure most Russian/Ukrainian people have tried this salad at one point or another and can agree with me that it has become a traditional favorite. I have this salad on the table at all the special occasions, fancy dinners, and especially Holiday dinners, and it is always the first dish gone! I always make a double or sometimes even triple batch of it to enjoy for the next few days. This salad is common at almost all Russian/Ukrainian weddings and for good reason! This is my version of the salad, I got this recipe from my mother in law Tamara, but of course have added a few of my own changes to it. You should have seen that coming. 😉 I have yet to try a Korean carrot salad that tastes better then this one. I hope you all enjoy it just as much as my family does.

Korean Carrot Salad {Makes about 2.2 pounds. Serves 12-14}

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kilogram Carrots (About 2.2 LB)
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 packs of Korean Carrot Salad Seasoning (Found in most Russian, European, Polish stores.)
  • *IMPORTANT TOOLS*: Mandolin Slicer (My dad bought me one at an Asian store.)

DSCN2556

(I did not take a picture of the ingredients as they are very basic ingredients, But for those that need it, here is a picture of the Korean Carrot Salad Seasoning. It usually cost .65 or .75 cents and can be found at most Russian, European, and Polish stores. I got mine at the Polish store.)

1) Wash and peel all the carrots then set them aside in a big bowl.

2) Take a large bowl and using the mandolin slicer, slice the carrots into thin, matchstick like, neat strips. (I used a big pot because this was for a party and I made 3X as much and it only fit into a big pot lol.)

DSCN2543

DSCN2544

3) In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, pressed garlic, pepper, and Korean carrot salad seasoning packets. Mix it very well.

DSCN2550

 

4) Add it to the large bowl (Or pot in my case lol) with carrots, pour it on top. Then mix the carrots very well until well blended with the sauce and seasonings.

DSCN2559

 

5)Cover and refrigerate over night or at least 10 hours. It is then ready to be enjoyed. Just make sure to mix it very well before putting it into the serving bowls!

DSCN2590

DSCN2596

(And a close up, so you can see the texture, and detail.)

 

Classic Crab Salad

DSCN1769

DSCN1773

This salad is a very classic Russian dish, and it is my most favorite Russian salad. It is very delicious and has a unique taste. I make this salad for pretty much every single Holiday dinner, or special occasion. I just made some this past Saturday, for Easter Sunday. This batch lasted enough for lunch and dinner, as a side dish and we finished the last bit of it Monday night with our dinner.  I was pretty disappointed when we finished all of it, so I will probably be making another batch some time soon. This salad is great to bring to a Potluck, because it is easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Since this dish has been around for decades, each family has their own recipe for it. This is my special family recipe and it’s the way I have always made this salad. This salad needs to be refrigerated and it tastes best when it is made the night before you eat it, So that it stands overnight. It can stay good in the refrigerator for about a week, However at our house it never lasts that long because we eat it within a few days. 😉

Classic Crab Salad  {Serves 10-12, As a side}

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 LB Imitation Crab Meat (Flake style tastes best)
  • 8 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1 Cup Real Mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s)
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • 1 Small Onion

DSCN1734

Directions:

1) Do all the prep work first. Finely cut the imitation crab meat, put it in a big bowl. Then peel the hard boiled eggs, I peel them one by one and rinse them really quick under some cold running water, to make sure there are no small pieces of the egg shell still on the egg. Dice the eggs into small pieces, and add it to the big bowl with the imitation crab meat. Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces, then add it into the big bowl as well.

2) Drain all the water out of the can of corn, rinse the corn under cold running water using a strainer. Then add the corn into the big bowl also.

DSCN1737

3) Add the 1 Cup of Mayonnaise to the big bowl and mix it very well. I put on kitchen gloves and mix it well with my hands. This way it mixes up evenly. Then add salt and pepper, according to your tastes, and mix it very well again. Cover the bowl with a lid or aluminum foil and keep this salad refrigerated. It tastes good served cold. And is best if it has been refrigerated overnight.

DSCN1739

DSCN1743

DSCN1769

 

 

Perfect Chicken Salad

IMG_0900Home made Chicken Salad is so much better tasting then anything you’d buy at a grocery store. I like buying my own organic chicken and other ingredients so I know exactly what goes in it, that’s why I always make my own! This chicken salad is the perfect combination of ingredients. It’s not too dry and not mushy either. Keep in mind it does take some time to make but it’s definitely worth it! It’s great as a side dish but I love making croissant sandwiches with this chicken salad! When I make it for parties or get togethers it’s always a big hit and everyone asks for the recipe so that’s why I’m posting it. I make a big batch of it because we eat it for a couple days as a side or a croissant sandwich on the go. Super convenient lunch for days! This is how much I would make for a party or get together. But if your not planning on making a big batch, you can easily make half of this recipe. Also feel free to add grapes, dry cranberries, eggs, or nuts as some people like it that way. I personally like to keep this recipe simple so I don’t add anything else to it. 🙂

Perfect Chicken Salad {Serves 18-20}

Ingredients:

  • 6 LB Chicken Breast (With no skin or bones) *Organic tastes best
  • 2 Cups Real Mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s brand)
  • 7 Celery ribs
  • 5 Scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (From 1 Large Lemon)
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilanto
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Montreal Chicken seasoning

IMG_0845

Directions:

1) Wash the Chicken breasts thoroughly. Then pat them dry with paper towels.

2) Put the Chicken breasts on a baking sheet rimmed with aluminum foil. (I used 2 baking sheets to fit all the Chicken breasts.)

IMG_0850

3) Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees. With a cooking brush, rub some olive oil on each Chicken breast. Sprinkle salt on each chicken breast, Chicken seasoning, and some pepper on them.

IMG_0858

IMG_0863

4) Stick the seasoned Chicken breasts in the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, Until they turn slightly golden on the outside.

IMG_0875

5) Meanwhile wash and finely dice the celery ribs. Then wash and chop the scallions (Both white and green parts of it.) Set aside in a bowl. Wash and finely mince the parsley and cilanto, add everything to the bowl.

IMG_0889

6) When your Chicken breasts have cooled off, Shred them into bite-sized pieces, You can do this by either finely chopping the Chicken breasts or breaking it into pieces with your hands or using 2 forks. I always preferred to just do it with my hands by pulling it apart and breaking it until it looks almost shredded. *Note: I tried shredding it with a shredder before and the pieces were way too small, Making the salad mushy.*

IMG_0884

7) Put the shredded Chicken breasts in a large pot or large bowl. Add the celery, green onions, parsley, and cilantro. Then add the mayonnaise to the pot. Mix it all together.

IMG_0896

IMG_0897

8) Squeeze out the juice from 1 Large lemon, using a lemon press. It should measure out to about 2 Tablespoons and add it to the salad. Then sprinkle more salt and pepper only if necessary. I sprinkled a little bit of each. Mix again very thoroughly. Don’t forget to store it in the refrigerator and keep it covered with a lid or foil.

*You can eat this salad as a side or make yummy croissant chicken salad sandwiches with it. We just toast some croissants and spread the Chicken salad in the middle, sometimes adding lettuce and tomatoes.*  🙂

IMG_0900

IMG_0902