Friday, July 19, 2013

An Easy Shortcut for Quick Tossed Salads

It's such a long and drawn-out ordeal to chop a lot of colorful vegetables for a tossed salad, but I've been using a shortcut which saves a lot of time.  Back in the BC days (before children), I was an Assistant Food Service Supervisor at Penn State, and when I used to order fresh produce for tossed salads, vegetables were sent from the "Produce Center," all chopped or sliced as ordered!  How I've wished for that luxury in my home especially when it came to tossed salads and soups.  So I shred, slice, or chop certain vegetables to be used in salads and  bag them in a Ziplock  where they wait in the refrigerator to be added to salads.  My favorite vegetables to use are sliced cauliflower, thinly sliced red cabbage, and shredded carrots - all mixed together.  These keep quite well for about a week. 

Then when I plate up a salad for my husband and myself, on each plate I put a handful or so of organic mixed greens and maybe spinach, with a handful of the prepared colorful vegetables on top.  Vegetables that get soggy or turn brown such as sliced celery, sliced cucumbers, or chopped peppers are not cut up ahead of time for instant use, but they could be saved whole in a bag to be cut just before serving. But all you really need for a colorful and healthy salad are mixed greens and the mixture of prepared vegetables!

So ...  now a tossed salad really can be a fast food that's healthy for you and your family!

Add  a special dressing with homemade mayonnaise as the base, and you've got a very quick and healthy tossed salad. 

Summer Vegetable Medley - Tasty and Colorful

To make this spur-of-the-moment dish, I used what was in the refrigerator: First I sauteed a sweet onion with minced garlic in coconut oil.  After the onion was limp and browned a bit, I added sliced  yellow squash, zucchini, a little sliced cauliflower, and finely sliced red cabbage.  Ginger paste, onion powder, salt and pepper gave it extra flavor.  It was cooked until tender but not mushy.  Very tasty!  Shredded carrots and sweet red, orange or yellow peppers would add even more color and flavor.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ginger Paste - Homemade

Making your own ginger paste is more economical than buying it in a jar at the grocery store.  I refrigerate and freeze it in Tupperware midget cups to add to many dishes for extra flavor and good health.

I found it very hard to peel ginger root, but since it was organic I simply soaked it in hot water with a few drops of doTERRA On Guard essential oil for a few minutes to be sure it was completely clean.  A produce cleaner would work as well.  I figured the peel would just add a little more fiber, and as you can see below, not a trace of the organic peel is visible. 

It was chopped into about 1-inch pieces and blended in my Vitamix with enough olive oil to blend it well.  Water could be used instead.  I did need to tamper it down with the tampering tool but it only took less than two minutes to get it smooth and creamy. 

Next, I filled these Tupperware midget cups, getting it ready to freeze.  There was a little extra paste left over which made a wonderful cup of ginger tea, with a small amount of NuStevia for a sweetener.  It was so delicious and ginger supports the immune system and also aids in digestion, so I plan to drink ginger tea more often, using this paste.

Ginger paste in Tupperware midget cups and a cup of ginger tea

A closeup of the ginger paste

I add ginger paste to some chicken, turkey, and beef dishes, as well as to soups, casseroles, sauces, and dressings.