With summer almost here and the spring bringing fresh lettuce to the markets I am thinking of all the salad combinations I can begin making. I’ve already tried my hand with combining hot proteins with cold lettuce and vegetables as well as pasta salads. Around my house we like different combinations of flavors and textures so anytime I offer up an “experimental” recipe the response is usually yes!
Last week I was sick so these are recipes I tried the week before. Bear with me as I try to remember just how I made these salads. And with our rainy, cloudy weather there is hardly a bit of natural light anywhere to help my photos so these are the best I can do.
Gingered Pork and Red Pepper Salad
1 pound trimmed pork cutlets
1/2 large red pepper, diced
1/2 sweet white onion, diced
Assorted red and green lettuce
1/4 inch piece of peeled ginger
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
salt and pepper
fresh lemon juice
Slice pork into 1/2 inch strips. Finely chop the ginger, add to pork with a little olive oil, dash of vinegar and lemon juice as well as a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Dice pepper and onion. Add about 3 Tbsp olive oil to large skillet and heat. Add pepper and onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. At this point add in the pork and marinade. Cook, stirring often, until the pork is done, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile cut up lettuce and divide onto 4 plates. When the pork is done, add to lettuce. If the salad seems dry, add a little more olive oil and lemon juice if you like.
We really enjoyed the ginger-y flavors in this salad. It was neat to dive into a salad with a hot topping. I’m sure it’s not a new concept but for us it was new to use pork. The next night we used up the remaining lettuce and made chicken in the same way but used garlic, oregano, and left out the peppers. Another great combination of flavors and textures.
Last week when I was sick, I did manage to make a nice orzo salad only to find out later the cucumber we used was possibly tainted with salmonella. It was recalled but we had already eaten the suspected cucumber. None of us got sick so either I washed it well and peeled it or it was safe. Here is what I made with orzo.
1 cup orzo (measure before cooking)
black olives- 1 can
1/2 pint grape tomatoes- slice in half
1/4 pound fresh mozzarella pearls, drained
1 cucumber, scrubbed, peeled and diced small
Cook orzo according to package directions. Rinse under cool water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and cool down. Add to a big bowl with the cheese and vegetables. Make a simple oil and vinegar dressing with various dried herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. If you desire, add in some leftover cooled cooked chicken.
I had, for all intents and purposes, planned on making a fresh strawberry pie this weekend but with my energy levels rather zapped, I decided it was best to save them for my upcoming week. I have to teach 2 classes on healthy cooking to kids and their parents as well as do a birthday party where we make the candy sushi. I’m glad to be back blogging and chatting with my online friends.