What’s-on-Hand Salad

Because I’ve been getting the Madness Boxes from Misfits Market every couple of weeks, I’ve come up with a few salad combinations. All I’m doing is using what I have on hand that week for fresh produce. I’m not adding meat, seeds, or nuts, unless I want something with it when I am actually eating.

This type of salad is also good for using up those odd bits of produce leftover from other meals.

Don’t feel like you have to follow this recipe closely. Just use what you have available.

What’s-on-Hand Salad

Ingredients

mixed lettuce

spinach

cucumber

broccoli

  1. Rinse the produce well. Place on a towel and cover with another one. Press gently to dry produce.
  2. Break the lettuce and spinach up using your hands. There’s no kneed to use a knife.
  3. Slice the cucumber into rounds, then cut into halves or quarters.
  4. Chop the broccoli.
  5. Add everything to a bowl.
  6. Enjoy!

I take this a little further by breaking out the reusable containers and filling each of them with enough salad for a meal or a snack. With these in the refrigerator like this, I can just grab a salad when I want one. Easy-peasy!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with soup on a cool day.
  • Serve with a meal of meat and potatoes.
  • Add some grilled chicken and seeds or nuts and call it dinner!

Tips

  • Use scraps so nothing goes to waste.
  • Use produce from your own garden to save money.

~ Shannon

 

Tomato Bake

Here is a vegetable bake for you to try. This does not take much time, and can be served as the main component of a meal or as a side dish. The best vegetables to use are the organic heirloom variety you grow yourself. Same with the herbs. Heirloom varieties of each taste better than non heirloom varieties.

The amount of each ingredient needed will depend on the size pan you are using, and the number of people being served. Think lasagna for basic amounts. I usually start with bulk purchased shredded cheeses and a jar of each grated cheese, as well as about 32 ounces of sauce and a bowl of tomatoes.

Beefsteak tomatoes work well, but you can use other medium to large varieties. Experiment. Also consider trying more than one type of tomato in your bake.

Ingredients

tomatoes

shredded mozzarella cheese

shredded mild cheddar cheese

grated Parmesan cheese

grated Romano cheese

dried parsley

pasta sauce

  1. Start by pouring ¼ cup of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and spreading to cover, then work in layers. You will be able to fit 2 or 3 layers into one baking dish, being sure to leave room at the top for another cheese layer.

  2. Rinse the tomatoes well, and dry with a towel.

  3. Cut the tops off and then slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick, placing some of the slices in a layer over the sauce. Spread more sauce over this.

  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the slices, covering completely.

  5. Sprinkle some of mild cheddar cheese over this, so as not to completely cover.

  6. Shake some of each grated cheese over the other cheeses, then add another layer of tomatoes.

  7. Spread the sauce again, then add the cheeses.

  8. If there is room in the pan, start another layer.

  9. If not, add a thin layer of sauce over the cheeses, and sprinkle the parsley on top.

  10. Bake at 350* – 400*, depending on the oven, until the cheese is melted.

Tips

  • Use tomatoes from your garden and home canned sauce, to save money on this recipe.

  • Growing your own herbs and drying them will save you a great deal of money as well.

  • Try other types of cheeses as desired.

Serving Suggestions

 

Watermelon and Blueberries with Coconut Cream

I love melons and berries, and find combining the two makes for some tasty recipes. These combinations are great for spring and summer.

This recipe makes a great side dish to any meal, but will also make a delicious snack or dessert.

Ingredients

1 cup cubed or balled seedless watermelon

½ cup blueberries

2 to 3 tablespoons coconut cream flavored with pure vanilla or mint extract to taste

  1. Rinse the blueberries well. Lay them out one towel and pat dry with a towel.

  2. Place the watermelon and blueberries in a salad bowl, and top with coconut cream.

Tips

  • To save money, use fresh produce from your own garden.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Shrimp Scampi Salad

Salads are common fare during the spring and summer months, as we try to eat lighter after a winter of hearty meals. Experimenting with different combinations of foods keeps our meals new and exciting. I don’t know about you, but I get so bored with food after a while I need to break out and try something different or I wont feel like eating at all.

This recipe is super-easy, and is so good. I use the same recipe for shrimp scampi that I used to make Lettuce Wraps: Shrimp Scampi & Veggies. As a matter-of-fact, I used leftover shrimp from the scampi made for that meal with no loss of flavor.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright 2017. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/shannonbuck

What a beautiful salad! How about making one for yourself.

Ingredients

about a dozen shrimp from the scampi recipe (I used the one from Paleoplan.com) (Hot or cold. does not matter.)

2 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, patted dry, and shredded

a little cabbage, shredded

3 slices cucumber, cut in fourths

3 slices zucchini, cut in fourths

7 or 8 sugar snap or snow pod peas

4 baby carrots, diced

  1. Layer the vegetables on your plate, however you like.
  2. Top with the shrimp scampi and a little of the sauce from the pan.
  3. Enjoy!

I try to use mainly organic vegetables when possible, though sometimes cost trumps everything.

This is a good-size salad, so I count it as a main meal.

Tips

  • Use whatever vegetables you can get affordably to save money.
  • Try different types of seafood.

Serving Suggestions

What are your favorite salad recipes?

Shannon

 

Harvest Salad

My parents had a good harvest this year, and they passed some of their bounty on to me and each of my siblings. I love fresh produce from the garden. Mom was proud they weren’t using anything toxic on the food. Homegrown food tastes so much better than store-bought.

Of course, I had to make a salad. I just couldn’t resist. And it came out so good I wanted to share the recipe with you.

The ingredients from the garden were: Kale, kohlrabi, tomato, cucumber, and zucchini. Having these items on hand cut the cost of the salad significantly.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015

I also used leftover roasted squash and sweet potato to cut costs. I wasn’t sure how it would be with these items, but it turned out well. They had been refrigerated and were cold when I added them.

I started out by roasting 3 small turkey breasts, cutting them into bite size pieces when they were done, and letting them cool in the refrigerator earlier in the day.

The lettuce mix was organic, a find at Walmart. Four different kinds, unspecified. I used the whole thing.

I did’nt really measure things out, but knew I wanted it to last for the better part of the week. I just threw everything in together. As for vegetables, I don’t peel them all. For instance, zucchini and cucumbers are never peeled. I do take the ends off though.

Ingredients

lettuce mix, organic

kale

kohlrabi

tomato

cucumber

zucchini, chopped

leftover turkey

dried cranberries

leftover roasted squash and sweet potato

  1. Wash all the produce, patting dry with a clean towel.
  2. Chop the lettuces and kale into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Peel and chop the Kohlrabi, adding it to the bowl.
  4. Dice the tomato and put it over the lettuce mix as well.
  5. Cut the ends off the cucumber and the zucchini. Chop and place in the bowl.
  6. Cut the turkey into bite size pieces, and place in the bowl with the other ingredients.
  7. Sprinkle dried cranberries over everything.
  8. Cut the roasted squash and potatoes into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  9. Toss everything with your hands or tongs.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015This made so much that it filled two midsize bowls. There was plenty to eat for five days. I had some with each lunch and dinner, and a small bowl as a snack every couple of days.

Tips

  • This is a great recipe in that you can use whatever is harvested at the time you make it. Things that are picked here in Maine may not be ready in your area, so it is okay to switch things up.
  • Depending on what leftovers you have and what items are available in the garden, this recipe might cost next to nothing. Buy what is affordable where you are.
  • Use coupons, if available, when shopping for what you need, but only if doing so will save you money over buying a different brand.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a bowl of Easy Autumn Soup for a nice lunch.
  • This would also be a great side salad with your Mabon or Thanksgiving Meal.

Shannon

Patriotic Holiday Recipes: Fruit Salad

Salads are great for patriotic holidays, because of the sheer number of color combinations of the different foods that might be added. This salad concentrates on combining reds, whites, and blues, in a tasty way that will make your mouth water. Sweetness, with a bit of tang. Perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic day.

I love fruit salads. Previously, I have made them with whipped topping. Feel free to do so if you prefer, but I am trying to eat healthier. This is a new recipe for me, in that it uses coconut cream instead of whipped, as well as berries.

I am sometimes able to get a couple pints of blueberries at the grocery store for $4.00, or can buy them for $2.00 per pint on the side of the road. Fresh berries are the best to use, and often the most affordable.

There are no measurements for my version, as I usually make a lot and eat what is left over the following few days. I really just guess at everything. I will try to give measurements here though. Use them or not. Change them if you please.

This is a great recipe for kids, but an adult will want to open the cans and cut the fruit.

Ingredients

1 can pineapple chunks in water

1 large banana

1/2 to 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pound strawberries

1 can coconut cream concentrate

1 tsp or more pure vanilla

  1. Drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the juice for later use in a smoothie or another recipe by storing it in a covered canning jar.
  2. Peel the banana, and slice into rounds. Cut the rounds into halves or quarters, whatever you prefer.
  3. Rinse the remaining fruits, and pat dry with a clean towel.
  4. Cut them into slices or chunks.
  5. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Cover with coconut flakes.
  6. Pour the coconut cream into another bowl, and add vanilla to taste. Whisk or beat for a couple of minutes to combine well.
  7. Pour as much of the cream as you think you will need into the bowl with the fruit and coconut flakes. You can always add more if necessary. Combine the cream with the berries, and coconut, using a rubber spatula, until well combined. Add more cream if necessary. If not, store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Tips

  • Try using different types of berries. Whatever is affordable (or free!) at the time.
  • Look into whether it would be more affordable to buy a whole watermelon than canned.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve at barbecues and picnics with burgers, corn on the cob, and other foods.

You may also enjoy these patriotic holiday recipes

Watermelon Stars

A Simple Food Platter

Berries and Cream

Red, White, and Blue Parfait

Berry Parfait

Happy 4th of July!

Shannon

 

Pineapple, Chicken-Beef Soup

Previously I posted my Pineapple Kielbasa Soup. It is a tasty recipe that does not require much prep time.

The recipe in this post is almost the same, but I used two different types of sausage: Chicken and Beef. The combination made for a delicious soup this time around as well. I was pleased.

Ingredients

20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, or you could use a fresh pineapple

13-16 ounces of beef sausage, cut into bite size pieces

13-16 ounces of chicken sausage, cut into bite size pieces

water or chicken stock

desired herbs, such as parsley

  1. Put the pineapples into the slow cooker. If it is canned pineapple, the juice can go in with it.
  2. Add the sausage and enough water or stock to fill the slow cooker 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  3. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, and any herbs desired.

Tips

  • Purchase store brand canned pineapple and corn to save money.
  • Use home canned versions to save more.
  • Try other types of sausage for something new.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve this soup with a side salad of greens and cherry tomatoes.

Shannon

Ground Beef and Vegetables

This recipe calls for the use of leftover baked white and sweet potatoes, as well as a few other ingredients. It’s easy to make, and the other ingredients could also be from leftovers if you had enough available. It is a simple recipe that will not take long to make.

Ingredients

3/4 lb ground beef

1 tbsp coconut oil or butter

1 to 1 1/2 cups peas

2 cold baked sweet potatoes, chopped

1 cup chopped squash

desired seasonings

  1. Melt the fat in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until done, cutting the beef into small pieces as it browns.
  2. Drain off the access fat, then put the beef back into the pan.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until warmed through, stirring as needed.
  4. Add seasonings. Cook for a minute, then remove from heat.

Tips

  • There is no need to buy peas if you have other leftover vegetables that can be substituted. Try carrots or celery.
  • Use fresh produce whenever possible to save on the food bill.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a fruit salad, such as watermelon and cantaloupe balls with mint.
  • Or, serve with a side salad of Romaine lettuce, cucumber and tomato.

Do you have a favorite recipe similar to this? Share with us in the comments below, or message me privately at shannonlbuck@gmail.com.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Lettuce Wrapped Turkey and Sweet Potato

Lettuce wraps are something I tried a few months back. I mainly use the lettuce leaves for wrapping salads to enjoy at work. However, I thought this would be an idea to use in the fall for heartier meals. What can you think up to put in lettuce wraps?

Lettuce Wrapped Turkey and Sweet Potato

(Serves 2)

Ingredients

1 cup diced leftover turkey

1 cup diced leftover baked or roasted sweet potato

4 lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

1 tbsp coconut oil

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey and potato, cooking until just warmed through. Stir occasionally.
  3. Place a 2 leaves of lettuce on each of 2 plates.
  4. Spoon the turkey and potato mixture evenly over the 4 leaves.
  5. Wrap the leaves around the mixture. Serve.

Tip

  • Use the rest of the lettuce to make a simple salad, adding slices of cucumber and a diced tomato. This can be used as the base for your next meal if you add some leftover turkey.

Serving Suggestion

Enjoy!

Shannon

Kohlrabi and Summer Squash Salad

I like to try different salad recipes throughout the spring and summer months, mainly because I prefer to cook less 🙂 I especially love going to farmer’s Markets and roadside stands for their fresh produce. During last weekend’s trip to the farmer’s market, I picked up some summer squash and cucumber, and my boss was kind enough to share some of the kohlrabi from his own garden.

I, of course, made a salad.

Ingredients:

romaine lettuce

baby spinach

summer squash

cucumber

kohlrabi

grape tomatoes

  1. Rinse all the vegetables. Pat dry with a towel.
  2. Peel and slice the kohlrabi and the summer squash, and place into a bowl.
  3. Break the lettuce up into bite size pieces and put into the bowl.
  4. Add the spinach.
  5. Slice the cucumber, and add them along with the grape tomatoes to the bowl.
  6. Toss the salad to mix.

Tips:

  • Try different types of lettuce.
  • Grow as much of your produce as possible.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with burgers and oven baked sweet potato fries.

 

Enjoy!

Shannon