Cold Noodle Salad Jars

So here it is… the recipe 86% of my Instagram Story followers asked me to post, lol! Love these salad jars because they make lunch quick and easy all week long; just grab and go! If you like the peanutty flavor combo of Chinese restaurant Cold Noodle, you’ll love this salad jar version with added fresh veggies and seasoned ground chicken. Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Makes 5, 10 oz salad jars

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 9 oz cooked rice noodles
  • 2 cups shredded broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 cup zoodles (from 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • shelled, unsalted roasted peanuts for garnish
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Trader Joe’s EBTB Sesame seasoning for garnish

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground chicken in a skillet over medium heat. Halfway through cooking, add the garlic, ginger and oyster sauce. Season with salt and pepper, set aside and let cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the next 7 ingredients (peanut butter through sugar). Prepare the noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse. Toss warm noodles with 3 – 4 tbsp of dressing and set aside to cool.
  3. To assemble the salad jars evenly divide and layer the remaining ingredients in the following order: chicken, broccoli slaw, carrots, zoodles, red pepper, rice noodles. Add a tablespoon of dressing in between the chicken and slaw layer and the red pepper and noodle layer. Top with a sprinkle of roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro and EBTB seasoning if desired. Seal and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  4. Serve by gently shaking the jar and then pouring contents onto a plate or into a bowl. Or… simply eat right outta the jar!

Comments:

You can use whatever vegetables you like in this salad, the sky’s the limit really. I simply grabbed what I had on hand which included broccoli slaw, shredded carrot, a lone zucchini and a half of a left over red pepper. I like the broccoli slaw over cabbage slaw because it doesn’t get soggy that easily. You will also end up with some extra dressing; save it and dip apple slices as a snack!

 

 

Deconstructed Big Mac Salad Bowl

Craving a greasy fast food burger but trying to stick to those New Year’s Resolutions you just made to eat healthy? Give this Big Mac Bowl a try and satisfy your itch! It’s easy, low carb and tastes just like the real deal!!

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 cups lettuce of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 dill pickle slices

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Half way through, add the chopped onion and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent. Drain the fat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayo, relish, mustard, vinegar and spices together to make the special sauce.
  3. Combine lettuce and half the sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat. Divide the lettuce among 4 salad bowls or plates.
  4. Top each with a generous spoonful of meat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and garnish with pickle slices. Drizzle additional sauce over each salad bowl if desired.

*Adapted from homemadeinterest.com

Homemade Cole Slaw

This is a quick and easy 5 minute cole slaw marinade! It’s got just the right balance of sweet and sour and won’t make your veggies super soggy (assuming you like your cole slaw crisp and not soupy like me) Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes approx 3/4 cup of marinade

  • 1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 oz of shredded cabbage blend

Directions:

Whisk ingredients together. Toss with your favorite cole slaw veggie blend. I like to use a prepared bag called “Power Blend” by Mann’s containing shredded brussel sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale. Cool 30 minutes prior to serving.

*Adapted from allrecipes.com

 

German Style Potato Salad

My dad Rudy makes the BEST potato salad, drawing inspiration from his German heritage.  Although I draw my inspiration from his original recipe, I use less vinegar. What we both have in common is mixing everything together while the potatoes are still warm.  It makes a huge difference in the profile and complexity of this rather simple dish; as the potatoes cool they absorb all the flavors and the result is pure deliciousness! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 8

  • 3 lbs baby Yukon Gold potatoes (skin on), quartered
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped (plus more as garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil with the potatoes in the pot. Once boiling, stir occasionally and cook approximately 15-20 minutes until you can easily pierce a potato with a fork and go all the way through. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the warm potatoes with the mayonnaise, mustard and apple cider vinegar. Gently fold in the chopped celery, egg and scallion.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. This salad can be served warm, however, I like to let chill 2 – 3 hours in the fridge before serving to allow time for the flavors to develop. Garnish with additional chopped scallion if desired.

 

Pasta Salad with Pesto

Made this for our neighborhood Fourth of July gathering in our cul-de-sac. We are so fortunate to have great neighbors who are more like friends and family than simply people living in close proximity! This is an easy pasta salad with a mediterranean twist, perfect for sharing and feeding a small crowd! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 8-10

  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 1, 15oz can artichokes hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 small cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 8 oz mozzarella pearls (or feta, cubed)
  • 6 tbsp prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus additional if needed)
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain/rinse with cold water and set aside to partially cool.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine the artichokes, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and mozzarella.
  3. Once pasta has cooled some, toss it in a large bowl with the prepared pesto, olive oil and vinegar to coat. Gently fold in the artichoke mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and let chill at least 30 minutes. Toss before serving and season with additional salt/pepper/oil if needed.

*Adapted from Pioneer Woman Magazine

Texas Caviar

I cannot take credit for the catchy name or the tasty combination of ingredients; I know quite a few home cooks who have their own version of this recipe on file! However, I can tell you how I make it as well as list a few unique ways to repurpose your leftovers!

Ingredients: Serves 10 – 12

  • 24 oz frozen corn, thawed
  • 1, 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro (loosely packed), chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (plus extra)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus extra)

Directions:

  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the last six ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Add the liquid to the corn mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Adjust seasoning to your personal taste preferences by adding additional salt and/or pepper..
  5. Let chill 2 – 3 hours, allowing flavors to develop.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips.

Leftovers:

IF you have them… consider the following (drain any liquid that accumulates first):

  • Add it to eggs in a scramble or a quiche, or use it in egg cups (search site for recipe).
  • Fold into corn bread batter to jazz up your corn muffins/corn bread.
  • Top grilled chicken or fish with a scoop.
  • Toss it with a green salad.

Kale and Berries Salad

An Instagram follower (you know who you are;) asked me to post this recipe, so here it is! It’s the perfect homage to summer!! Enjoy!

Ingredients: Feeds 2 – 4

  • 4 cups torn kale, ribs removed (I use organic red leaf)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. In a large serving bowl, mix torn kale with lemon juice and salt. Massage kale with your hands to tenderize it.
  2. Drizzle massaged kale with olive oil and season with fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Toss kale with strawberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Top with goat cheese crumbles and almonds.

Suggestions:

Add protein to this salad to make it a complete meal! I’ve used grilled teriyaki pork loin but I think blackened chicken, salmon or even shrimp would pair nicely!

IMG_3127