Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

August 29, 2009

Last weekend my mum and I went on a Slow Food Cycle, spending two days cycling to and from farms in Agassiz and Chilliwack.  We visited a herb farm, several diaries, an organic mill, goat cheese makers, pea shoot farmers, beekeepers and much more. We also added a special farm to our tour, my grandparent’s farm, Auchenway. Though they are now retired, the farm was home to a prized herd of Ayrshire cows and my grandpa still has a very impressive garden. I was lucky enough that he let me pick a bunch of his beets. Overall, it was a perfect way to spend a weekend (and may have just made me decide to run off and become a dairy farmer!)

So with grandpa’s beets and some fresh goat cheese in the kitchen, I decided to whip up this warm beet and goat cheese salad for my lunch.

beet_salad

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Yield: 1 large serving

4 large beets (or more smaller ones)
1 ounce goat cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon chives
1 sprig thyme

Preheat oven to 400F. Wash beets thoroughly and cut from leaves leaving 1″ of stem.

Wrap each beet tightly in foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The beets will be done when a knife slides easily into the flesh. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Once the beets have cooled slightly, remove from the foil and peel off the skin. Cut into bite-sized chunks.

While the beets are cooling, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine the oil, vinegar, honey and herbs in a jar and shake until combined.

In a medium bowl, toss the beets in the vinaigrette and sprinkle the goat cheese over top. Serve.


Spinach Salad with Bacon & Goat Cheese

August 1, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, we headed down to Granville Island with some friends for dinner. After walking around, we settled on Sandbar for our meal. I had never been there before and was very pleasantly surprised by how good everything was. C particularly enjoyed their spinach salad, so I couple of nights ago I decided to try to recreate it as an accompaniment to our burgers. It turned out very tasty (bacon usually ensures that)! Definitely a make-again.

spinach_salad

Spinach Salad with Bacon & Goat Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
lots of pepper

Salad:
Large bowlful of spinach (one bag or several bunches)
6-8 strips of bacon
1/4 cup goat cheese

Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crispy. Place on paper towels and pat to remove excess grease. Cut or crumble into small pieces.

Put all the vinaigrette ingredients into a small jar and shake to combine. Toss with the spinach in the large bowl.

Crumble up the goat cheese over top of the spinach. Do the same with the bacon. Mix gently.

Serve.


Quinoa Salad

July 30, 2009

Money’s a bit tight these days with the whole law school debt and European vacation situation, so I have been making a big effort to pack a lunch every day. However, I am so not a morning person which means lunches must be made the night before. Even better, the Sunday before and last the whole week. This salad is one such Sunday concoction. I have had the remains of a box of quinoa in the cupboard forever (left over from some cleanse I did – ugh) and I wanted to finally do something with it. I also had a bunch of veggies from the market in the fridge and fresh herbs in containers on the patio. Inspired by tabbouleh, I decided to mix up a big grain salad. It turned out really well and lasted the whole week in the fridge. Five lunches in one go!!

quinoa_salad

Quinoa Salad

Yield: 5 to 6 servings

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chives
1 yellow pepper
1/2 cucumber
10 cherry tomatoes
4 green onions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
lots of pepper
sprinkle of chili flakes

Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let cool for about 30 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, chop up all the vegetables and herbs  into small pieces.

In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, vegetables, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and chili flakes together. Put in the fridge to completely cool.

Serve.


Potato Salad

July 9, 2009

After being away for over 3 weeks, we invited some friends over for a barbeque to catch up and enjoy all the sunshine. While everyone was bringing something for the grill, I wanted to make a side salad – and nothing says summer barbeque like potato salad. I looove potato salad (must be the Irish in me)! I didn’t have a recipe but I knew I wanted mayonnaise and lots of grainy mustard. So I threw in a bunch of things and it turned out super delicious if I do say so myself!

potato_salad

Potato Salad

Yield: At least 6 servings

1 to 1 ½ pounds new potatoes
½ red onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup really grainy German mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender but still firm (not mushy), about 10 to 15 minute. Drain and then rinse in cool water.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine.

Serve warm or refrigerated. (This salad lasts several days in the fridge and is great for lunches).