Monday, October 5, 2009

Simply Salads Recipe book review


Thanks to the author, Jennifer Chandler for giving me a copy of her wonderful cookbook, Simply Salads, to review!

*Her book contains more that 100 recipes made from prepackaged greens found in your vegetable aisle with a few extra easy-to-find ingredients!

* When I first zoomed through her book I realized that she was right about the easy-to-find items! I was very impressed at how she took all those prepackaged greens and put together quick, easy meals.

*I believe every recipe contains a large, mouth-watering picture! I'm a visual learner so this pictures made it very easy to toss together the ingredients into a lovely meal/side dish for my family.
This is a cookbook that you wish your local stores carried right in the aisle with the prepacked greens! This would be great business for Jennifer, of course, but also for the grocery and the customers!
She pointed out that these prepackaged salads have changed the way we eat salad. It is wonderful to pick up a bag of Fresh Herb Salad that includes such items as royal red oak, lolla rose to little gem and frisee! They are perfectly bagged and offer you a variety that most would not normally be able to toss together with what is found in local stores. I live in a tiny town of 6,000 so I know this for a fact!


Her book includes how to select& store salad blends, listing of the common prepackaged bags as well as wonderful pictures of all of them and a well stocked pantry list!

I've made at least 10 of her recipes! Most I stick to 100%. A few I've changed or added a few ingredients. I love to read cook books so I've read this one many times from cover to cover.

I'll share 2 of the salads that I've made!

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(Jennifer's and Mine)

Chicken Tostada Salad with Salsa Verde

Makes 4 dinner salads. It is very tasty and can be low-fat if you use reduced fat sour cream.


For the salad:
4 8-inch round flour tortillas
3/4 cup coarsely shredded pepper jack cheese (we also used shredded taco cheese)

1 bag (8 ounces) Shredded Lettuce salad blend
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup jarred green salsa
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large tomato, cored and diced
1/4 cup sour cream
*AVACADO, slices (This was my variation. We love avacado and added it to our tostadas)

For the salad:
Preheat oven to 395°F. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and evenly cover with the shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crunchy, about 8 minutes. (I cooked mine for 10-12 min. We wanted a really crunchy shell) Remove from the oven and transfer to serving plates.
In a large salad bowl toss together the salad blend, chicken, and cilantro. Add the salsa to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon salad evenly over the warm tortillas. Garnish with diced tomatoes and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Tip: Made from tomatillos, salsa verde, or green salsa, typically has a naturally sweet tangy yet mild taste. Look for it in your grocery store next to other jarred salsas. Substitute your favorite jarred salsa if you prefer.
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(Jennifer's)
Steakhouse Salad with Bacon, Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese
Makes 6 dinner salads- Very yummy! I've had this recipe in a few steakhouse but never made it at home, until now!

For the Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (preferably Maytag)
3 tablespoons reduced-fat buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 bag (3 pack) Romaine Hearts
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1/2 pound bacon (about 10 slices), cooked, drained on paper towels, and crumbled
1 1/4 cups crumbled blue cheese (preferably Maytag)
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing:
In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise, onion, garlic, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, blue cheese, and buttermilk together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:
Cut the heads of Romaine in half lengthwise. Place one wedge on each plate. Generously drizzle with the dressing. Top with the tomatoes, red onion, and bacon. Garnish with the freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Tips: There is no substitute for freshly cooked bacon. Use either the traditional pork or turkey variety; but avoid the temptation to use processed bacon bits.

For a lighter version, substitute balsamic vinaigrette for the chunky blue cheese dressing.
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To order go to Amazon! This would make a great Christmas gift!
This is truly one of the most creative, practical, and mouth-watering cookbook that I have seen in a long time!



2 comments:

Karen Mc. said...

Looks so yummy!

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness, the salads you made look delicious! This cookbook is right up my alley and I've just added it to the top of my Christmas list! Will make a great gift for my best friend, too!

Great review & pics/recipes

Thank you!

Wendy

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