Guest Blogger: Heidi’s Tale of Two Salads - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Guest Blogger: Heidi's Tale of Two Salads

Roughage!
This was lit­er­ally the bat­tle cry of my Aunt Trixi from the kitchen at the cot­tage our fam­i­lies rented together every sum­mer. Din­ners were epic — there was at least nine of us at the table (more like twelve as there were always addi­tional guests). Epic too for the hard-fought veg­etable com­pe­ti­tion that my mother and Trixi would play.  The only rule? Use as many veg­eta­bles in a sin­gle meal as pos­si­ble. I’m fairly cer­tain the all-time high was 17. I have a very clear mem­ory of that night.  As Trixi piled the veg­gies high on her plate, she shouted, “ROUGHAGE!” in a cry of tri­umph.
This sum­mer, I rented a cot­tage with my own fam­ily. My per­sonal best, while not record-breaking, was a solid show­ing at an even dozen fresh veg­eta­bles. And my daugh­ter Maude was in for most of them.
Here are two of my favorite sum­mer and fall sal­ads which, served side by side, involve 12 dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles. I love them because they keep for sev­eral days and work with just about any­thing you fancy, or even as a meal on their own.
We served these sal­ads along­side BBQ ham­burg­ers one night, a lunch of egg salad sand­wiches and then grilled pork loin the next evening. Both cole slaw and quinoa sal­ads were given the day off but reap­peared for one more din­ner with chicken breasts…and they were still deli­cious.

Quinoa and Feta Salad
I call this a Quinoa and Feta Salad, because those are the only two ingre­di­ents that I am cer­tain belong in the salad.  The rest is lit­er­ally any­thing else I can find. I admit in advance that the list below is a bit much — but this is what went in to my lat­est ver­sion. This sum­mer in par­tic­u­lar I have a large cache of veg­gies on hand as I have a seven month old who goes through pureed veg­eta­bles at an almost alarm­ing rate. I have no fear of throw­ing veg­eta­bles out so I’m hav­ing fun buy­ing every­thing and any­thing that looks good, and at this time of year my bas­ket is over­flow­ing!

Maude rejected the red pep­pers which is nor­mally a favorite. What can you do? Almost four year olds can be a fickle lot. Mine enjoys reject­ing one aspect of every meal. But when I load it up as I’ve done here, I never worry that she isn’t get­ting her veggies.

Recipe

1 cup Quinoa
1 cup goat feta — I go for a dryer feta for a salad like this and save the creamy feta for other occa­sions. You can cer­tainly do low fat feta and not loose as the olive oil in the dress­ing will fat­ten things up a bit.
1 hand­ful each of chopped:
red pep­per (1)
corn (2)
car­rots (3)
broc­coli, slightly steamed (4)
cau­li­flower (5)
zuc­chini  (6)
cucum­ber (7)
sweet peas (8)
basil — or other fresh herbs (9)

Dress­ing (makes enough for a few days)
1/2 cup extra vir­gin olive oil

1/8 cup bal­samic vinegar

1 clove gar­lic minced (10)

1 heap­ing tea­spoon dijon mustard

salt and pep­per to taste


Maude and her princess pick basil for the salad.

Method

Cook Quinoa as instructed on pack­age. Fluff with a fork and let cool. Chop what­ever veg­gies you have in the fridge into man­age­able bites.
Mix veg­eta­bles in with the Quinoa.  Top with crum­bled feta and fresh herbs and toss with dressing.

If you are plan­ning for left overs, divide in two and only add the feta and dress­ing to the half you're abou to serve. The salad will keep for sev­eral days in the fridge depend­ing on the veg­eta­bles you use.

Creamy Coleslaw
Here’s the thing about creamy coleslaw. It’s creamy. I’ve tried to make a vinai­grette based  coleslaw, but feel it’s a dis­ap­point­ment every time. What works with potato salad, just doesn’t do it for me with cab­bage. Keep in mind there’s a lot of cab­bage for this 1/2 cup of mayo, so really it isn’t too ter­ri­ble. And don’t for­get there’s loads of ROUGHAGE! I never make a white slaw, if I’m mak­ing coleslaw it always employs the pur­ple cab­bage. There’s some­thing so sat­is­fy­ing about its deep pur­ple colour. You just know it has to be good for you.
If you can, make this the night before — the cab­bage soft­ens while you sleep! If you don’t have all night, then be sure to leave at least an hour for the dress­ing to wilt the cab­bage before serving.

Recipe
1 white cab­bage chopped (11)
1/2 pur­ple cab­bage chopped (12)

4 car­rots grated (already appeared in the quinoa salad so it doesn't make the count)

Dress­ing
1/2 cup organic mayo — feel free to use low fat, just don’t bother with the no fat stuff.
1/4 cup plain organic yogurt — I use 2%
2 table­spoon cider vine­gar
1/2 tea­spoon sugar
1 heap­ing table­spoon  dijon mus­tard
salt and pep­per to taste
1 tea­spoon cel­ery seed is optional but give coleslaw a nice kick

Method
Com­bine the veg­gies with the dress­ing and you’ve got a week’s worth of salad and a whole pile of ROUGHAGE!

  

5 Comments

  1. trixi says:

    Heidi

    My salad days,
    When I was green in” roughage.
    Noth­ing tasted bet­ter and was more fun to eat than raw ‘Eng­lish’ green peas from my Dad’s or Granddad’s cot­tage gar­den your Grand­par­ents. Dad would extol upon the virtues of Pisum Sativum, and their tooth­some snap. He made a believer of me. I was three.
    To be given the respon­si­bil­ity to har­vest the warm plump shiny pods for sun­day din­ner was an hon­our, but the task of shelling with Grandma was the real treat. First you pressed down on the pods between your thumbs and fore­fin­gers, they would then snap open to reveal their lus­cious bounty. Every sweet mini green mar­vel had to be counted, six, seven, some­times up to nine per pod. I was allowed to eat all those con­sid­ered too small for the pot, some­times even the per­fect ones. Grandma was such a soft touch. Cheap thrills!

    For the love of veg­gies
    Aunt Trixi

  2. Ceri says:

    Who wouldn't love veg­eta­bles in a fam­ily like that! Thanks for the inspi­ra­tion — love the veg­etable con­test! May have to insti­tute it at our next fam­ily get together.

  3. Barbara Yankoski says:

    As always, love you posts. I come away with new ideas every time. Also love Quinoa so always on the look­out for some­thing new and dif­fer­ent to do with it. The cute guy I mar­ried and I are big veg­gie eaters but I am going to start the veg­gie con­test with the grand­chil­dren next time they visit. When they are here I always let them cook with me and my rule is, if they choose it and put in the the dish we are prepar­ing, they have to at least try it. I also let them announce to those gath­ered for din­ner that they them­selves made it and, there­fore, "every­body had bet­ter love it!" Works every time. Keep up the good work.

  4. Ceri Marsh says:

    Thanks Barb! I'm so glad you're enjoy­ing the site! I really like your idea of mak­ing a big­ger fuss at the table when the kids help out. Who doesn't like a lit­tle recog­ni­tion for their labours?

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