Thai Beef and Noodle Salad

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This is another really great recipe that I got from my mom (she always finds the best recipes!) I’m not a huge eater of red meat, but when I do eat it I enjoy it – and it was very enjoyable in this salad! The dressing, made with fish sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and others, had a nice tang to it that was prefect for the current summer weather, and the fresh vegetables added to the crispness of the salad. Enjoy!

Thai Beef and Noodle Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb linguine or other fine noodle
I use: 1/2 lb rice noodles & 1 bag of salad greens
1 lb skirt steak
1 1/2 cup of roughly chopped mixture of cilantro, mint, basil
2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced ( 2 inch long)
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts

Steak marinade:

2 cloves garlic crushed
1 T fish sauce
2 T soy sauce
1 T sugar

Dressing:

2 T and 2 teaspoon fish sauce
2T and 2 teaspoon sesame oil
1T soy sauce
3 teaspoon Sriracha
4 T brown sugar
4 T peeled, minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)

Directions:

Marinate the steak. (Large zip lock bags work great.). Place in refrig for at least 30 minutes and up to one day. The longer it marinates the better. Remove from refrig 15 min before grilling/cooking. Grill for 4 1/2 min on each side, let rest for awhile covered in aluminum foil, then slice thinly. Can also cook in frying pan over medium heat.

Cook noodles al dente, drain. If using rice noodles make sure they don’t stick together when cooking or pull apart if they did stick. Mix some of the dressing with noodles.

Place noodles, salad, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2/3 of the steak and add remaining dressing and toss all together. Top with the remaining steak and the chopped peanuts.

 

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Marinated Shrimp Salad

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This is another recipe I made in Washington DC with my family. It is my mom’s recipe, and it is perfect for a hot summer day, especially if served with a glass of chilled white wine!

Ingredients:

  • Large shrimps (30, about 5 per person to serve 6 people)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 T celery seed
  • Or use 2 cups of a nice champaign vinegar salad dressing and add capers

Directions:

  • Cook shrimp 3-5 min in boiling water until turn pink. Peel shrimp before or after cooking
  • Mix all ingredients into marinade. Can place in a large zip lock bag. Marinate cooked shrimp for 30 min – 3 hours. (But not overnight)
  • Serve over green salad with tomatoes, onions, and black/green olives. Add salad dressing to desired taste.

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Egg White Salad with Avocado

I love egg salad sandwiches. Living in the UK, these are a staple on most lunch or afternoon tea menus. The “high end fast food” chains such as Pret a Manger, Eat, Waitrose, and others all have their own versions of the quintessentially English egg salad sandwich, often served with watercress. While egg salad is something I will happily eat if they are made by someone else, I have never been a fan of making it myself – mainly because of the use of mayonnaise.

Now I have to explain my love/hate relationship with mayonnaise, typically a key ingredient in egg salads. Since I was a child, the thought of mayonnaise and its flubby white goop has severely grossed me out. I’m not sure if I even actually tried mayo – in typical picky-child fashion I just categorically refused to eat anything that had been touched by it. However, in the past few years I have realised, after mistakenly eating sandwiches in which mayo was generously applied, that I actually rather like the creamy condiment. So in my head I have made sense of this dichotomy by allowing myself to eat mayo in items I purchase but not use it when cooking or making my own meals. So this brings us to…the egg salad.

Being a lover of both making my own food and the egg salad, I have frequently pondered discovering the perfect mayo-less recipe. I’ve tried a few that have substituted mayo with plain yogurt, and while they have been good enough nothing ever really hit the mark. Until, however, I stumbled upon this glorious recipe, found on a blog called ‘Eat Yourself Skinny’.

It uses mashed avocado, Dijon mustard and a bit of plain yogurt as a mayo substitute, while a dash of paprika adds the perfect amount of spice. And, it was incredibly simple to make! I served it on a slice of the thick, German whole-grain health bread. I really enjoyed the recipe and will be making it again soon!

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Ingredients: (can be halved) 

  • 10 hard boiled egg whites
  • diced 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup green onions
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, mash avocado and add in mustard, Greek yogurt and lemon juice, mixing until smooth.

Stir in green onions, celery, paprika, salt and pepper and set aside.

Begin chopping the egg whites, discarding the yolks, and fold into the avocado mixture until completely combined.

Serve on whole wheat bread with fresh arugula.

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Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad)

Caprese is one of the most simple salads, and it is also one of my favorites. In Italy it is typically a summer dish and is best made with fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes and mozzarella bufala, or mozzarella made from the milk of a water buffalo. After layering slices of tomato and mozzarella, it is topped with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, a bit of oregano, and fresh basil leaves if you have them. And that’s it! Enjoy with a glass of wine and toasted bread.

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Balsamic Miso Root Salad

I found this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP website – which I pretty much love. There are tons of delicious, healthy recipe ideas on it that I am constantly eyeing. Unfortunately I haven’t tried too many as sometimes the ingredients are very specialised. But I saw this Miso Root Salad and was immediately drawn to both the parsnips and miso paste – two ingredients that I do not often experiment with while cooking but that did not seem too intimidating.  Indeed, the recipe was extremely simple to make (after having gone to a health store to buy the miso paste) and very tasty. The root veggies were colorful and perfect for the cold winter. I think I’ll be visiting this recipe again in the near future!

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Balsamic Miso Root Salad (Gwyneth Paltrow – GOOP)

Ingredients:

  • Mixed root vegetables: baby carrots and parsnips (about 2 pounds)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp yellow miso

Directions:

1. Peel the carrots and parsnips. Leave them whole if they are all the same size – if not, chop the larger veggies to equal the size of the smaller ones.

2. Place veggies onto a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in a 400F (200 C) degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, shaking them periodically for even cooking. Remove from oven when soft, slightly brown and caramelized.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place all the ingredients aside from the oil in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine. Season to taste.

4. Plate veggies with dark, leafy winter greens of choice and drizzle dressing generously over top.

Panzanella

Panzanella is a salad comprised of tomato and stale bread that is originally from Tuscany but is enjoyed all over central Italy. It has a light dressing of olive oil and vinegar and is popular in the summer. I had the pleasure of eating it in Sardinia this summer, where it was prepared by the Italian’s 82-year-old father. While born in Piedmont, the Italian’s father’s family is originally from Tuscany (although, rather confusingly, their family name means “from Milan”), and this dish is an apparent favorite. The Italian’s father, who lived through the Second World War in Turin often eating nothing but mushrooms and weeds collected from the forest, told me that the dish was traditionally for peasants who did not want to waste old, stale bread, so they turned it into a salad.

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Panzanella

Ingredients:

1 Loaf stale, dried country-style bread

3 Tomatoes (ripe)

1 Sliced Onion

12 Basil leaves

5 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 T Red Wine Vinegar

Sugar (1.5t to taste)

Salt Pepper

Directions:

Cut bread into chunks, about 1 inch x 1 inch.

Place tomatoes and onions in bowl with bread. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add to bowl with the bread. Add basil. Mix and let sit in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld. Bread should be moist but not soggy.

Optional: Add cucumbers, capers, red peppers, hard boiled egg, lemon juice, and/or garlic for added taste.