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2014 Weekly Challenge #29: A Salad A Day | Food & Drink

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2014 Weekly Challenge #29: A Salad A Day
Food & Drink, Health
2014 Weekly Challenge #29: A Salad A Day

2014 Weekly Challenge #29: A Salad A Day

Summer is the perfect time for salads. The veggies and fruit are so tasty and fresh, and it is usually just too darn hot to heat up the kitchen.

One of our very own Mamas, Kim Box, has written a cook book all about the beauty of the salad. Here's a little bit about her:

Kim Box is an inspirational leader, writer and speaker. Kim is passionate about creating gourmet meals that are simple and healthy. Salad Inspiration was a collaboration with her daughter Nicole who did all of the photography of the salads. Kim has also written a book on leadership and the power of diversity – Woven Leadership. Kim is an inspirational speaker on leadership, diversity and living a life that is aligned with your passion and purpose. She is active in the community serving on various nonprofit boards and as Executive Director of the non-profit Pathway to Prevention. She lives in Granite Bay, CA with her family and achieves life balance by pursuing her passions of watercolor, creative cooking, and competing in triathlons.

Your challenge this week: Make and eat a salad a day! We suggest using these yummy recipes from Kim, but any healthful and nutritious salad will do.

Day 1: Spinach with Mandarin Oranges, Walnuts & Feta This salad is one of my ‘signature’ salads. It is a favorite at every gathering, and a recipe that has been shared with many of my guests. The dressing is a sweet and sour flavor that ties all of the ingredients together. There is one short cut that I’d like to share. If you like fresh red onion, you can skip the step of cooking the onion and leave it uncooked without the brown sugar.

15 oz fresh baby spinach

1 15 oz can of mandarin oranges

4 oz crumbled feta

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 small red onion

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar


Sweet & Sour Salad Dressing:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup cider vinegar

3 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

On a baking sheet, roast walnuts in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes then set aside to cool. Slice red onion about 1/4 inch thick. In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Put the onions in the pan and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until onions are wilted. Cook until slightly translucent, but do not overcook or they will caramelize. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to dry and remove excess oil.

Combine the dressing ingredients and stir well with a whisk. Place in the refrigerator to chill. In a salad bowl place the spinach then layer the mandarin oranges, feta, walnuts and onion. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Drizzle on the dressing before serving. Serves: 10-12.

Day 2: Aloha Caesar The Aloha Caesar is an inspiration from vacationing in Maui. We’ve enjoyed many tropical holidays with my sister, Leslie, and her family. Fresh pineapple and Maui onion are so delicious; along with the roasted macadamia nuts which bring together all the flavors of the island. The dressing below gives a tangy flavor or you can use a classic Caesar dressing.

1 head romaine lettuce

1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped coarsely

1/2 cup fresh mango, chopped coarsely

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1 small Maui (sweet) onion, sliced

1/3 cup parmesan, shredded



3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 egg

1 tablespoon of crushed garlic

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon finely grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon minced Maui onion

Mix together the dressing ingredients and chill in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Put the lettuce in a salad bowl, top with the remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. Serves: 8-10.

Day 3: Seared Ahi Salad This is a very special salad inspired by Hailey Holesapple, a friend of my daughter Nicole. Hailey was describing a salad that she thought would be very good for the book. So, I got the ingredients and she supervised while I put the salad together based on her inspiration. When it was completed, it met Hailey’s approval and was even better than she expected. Thanks for the inspiration Hailey!

1 lb ahi (uncooked tuna)

12 oz baby greens

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/2 red or orange bell pepper

1 small red onion

1/3 cup of pitted kalamata olives, chopped

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup sesame seeds

4 oz goat cheese

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

Mix the dressing ingredients and put in the refrigerator to chill.

Prepare ahi by slicing into long steaks that are 1 inch by 1 inch around to prepare to sear. Place the greens on four dinner plates (or 6 salad plates for smaller portions). Core the bell peppers and thinly slice, thinly slice the red onion. In a large frying pan heat the tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Sauté the peppers and onion in the frying pan, stirring constantly, add the balsamic vinegar (1 tablespoon) and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Sauté until vegetables are wilted, but not caramelized – about 8-10 minutes. Remove the vegetables onto a couple layers of paper towels to cool and let some of the oil absorb. Lay the sesame seeds out on a plate and roll the ahi on the seeds to coat all sides. Using the frying pan that the vegetables were cooked in, turn the heat to high. Sear about 5 to 10 seconds a side so the outer sides are cooked, but the inside is still raw. Remove from the pan onto a cutting board. Slice the ahi about 1/4 inch thick. Layer the sautéed vegetables on the greens, then the goat cheese, then the kalamata olives. Lay the ahi in a row on each salad. When ready to serve, drizzle with the dressing. Serves: 4-6.

Day 4: Raspberry, Tarragon & Chive Salad

This salad is great for a fresh summer meal or any season. The fresh tarragon and chive give the salad a unique flavor. The raspberries and goat cheese finish it off with a nice blend over the butter lettuce. The dressing is light and tangy. A perfect blend of flavors!

Salad Ingredients:

10 oz butter lettuce – loosely chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives – cut to 1 inch pieces

1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

2 oz chevre/goat cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

Dijon Dressing:

3 oz extra virgin olive oil

2 oz red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Put the lettuce in a salad bowl; layer each of the salad ingredients on top of the lettuce. Next, mix all of the dressing ingredients with a wire whisk. Chill the dressing until ready to serve. Before serving, mix the dressing then drizzle it onto the salad and enjoy! Serves: 6-8.

Day 5: Spinach & Orzo Salad If you are looking for a perfect companion to your grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef, or whatever sounds good for dinner!), this salad can complete the meal with the great array of vegetables and a little bit of pasta. It is also a wonderful lunch salad with fresh bread. You can add sliced roasted turkey to make the salad a main meal as well.

1/2 lb (1 cup uncooked) Orzo pasta

1 large bunch of fresh spinach or 2 bags of baby spinach

1/3 cup julienne sun dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons capers

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook orzo according to directions on package, leave to cool down. In large bowl combine all the remaining ingredients, mix well. When orzo is close to room temperature, combine with the other ingredients. Mix well; the spinach should wilt a little bit from the orzo. Serve immediately or refrigerate to chill before serving. Serves: 10-12.

Day 6: Avocado & Tomato Salad This salad is one that is a staple at my family’s dinner table. We are fortunate to have tomatoes and avocado all year round but the tomatoes are definitely best when they come from our summer garden or the local farmers market.

12 oz field greens

2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced

6 medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 shallots, thinly sliced


Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon of dried oregano or 2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Place baby greens in salad bowl. Layer the tomato, avocado, feta, pine nuts and shallots on top of the greens. Chill until ready to serve.

Combine all of the balsamic vinaigrette ingredients and mix with a fork or wire whisk. Chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, drizzle on the vinaigrette and enjoy! Serves: 6-8.

Day 7: Spring Greens with Strawberry Vinaigrette We are so lucky to have fresh strawberries all summer long in our region of Northern California. I can’t get enough of this salad and it’s fresh set of flavors. It is so easy to make and always a favorite with guests!


10 oz spring greens

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup almond slivers

1 apple, sliced with a touch of lemon juice


Strawberry Vinaigrette

1 cup fresh strawberries (halved)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend the vinaigrette ingredients, mix well. If you want to make the salad in advance, put the sliced apple in the vinaigrette as well so the flavors can mix and the apple will stay fresh. Place spring greens in a salad bowl with the dried cranberries, almonds and apple (if you haven’t already put them in the vinaigrette). Pour vinaigrette over the salad and serve. Serves: 6-8.

Eat and enjoy a salad a day. Your body will love you for it!


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