Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Salads and Sidings

I am not a vegetarian but I am a veggie-fanatic. Cooked the right way, slathered with the right sauce or dressing, it is definitely yummy! I figured, many people tire of veggies easily because it appears that there is not enough variety.

Ahhh but there is a wide array of options! It just takes taste-bud adventure and research.

Take for example my new discovery--Clara Ole Vinairgrette series, wittily called the "Salad Squad". They are delicious with salad greens and the customary tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and jicama (singkamas to true blue pinoys). My favorites undoubtedly are My My Parmesan, Pesto and Sesame Mucho (like the Japanese Salad Dressing in small bottles).

What I do, after a weekend of family-centered meals, I detox on a Monday and Tuesday with fruits and salad. I buy a bottle and leave it in the office. I just cross the street to Hypermart; buy about 45 pesos worth of assorted lettuce and drizzle away!

But, it shouldn't stop there. With a little imagination, the same Clara Ole has given me my veggie fix in new ways. Drawn from inspiration, I brought out my 2 favorites and whipped up a siding and a veggie meal without breaking a sweat!

Warm Potato Salad

  • 1/2 k potatoes, boiled in their skin
  • 1 small carrot, boiled in its skin
  • 4 rashers of bacon, fried to a crisp and sliced into bits. OR 4 slices of ham cut into cubes
  • 1-2 T of coaresly chopped flat-leaf italian parsley
  • 2 T of grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
  • 1/2 c of Clara Ole My My Parmesa Vinaigrette
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced or quartered for topping

Remove potato skin while warm and cut into medium size cubes. Same with the carrot. In a big bowl, put potato, carrots, bacon,flat-leaf parsley, grated cheese and toss with the vinaigrette.Top with slices of egg. As an option, you may add about 1/2 c frozen green peas that have been blanched and drained. EASY!

Serve while warm and as siding to grilled sausages like kielbasa, hungarian, bratwourst or shublig. You may drizzle a little bit of the dressing as a last touch, if you like more oomph. We enjoyed this with fish fillet.

Gado gado-inspired sesame and peanut dressing
  • 1 bunch blanched baguio beans
  • 2 carrots, sliced into sticks or batons, blanched
  • Other veggies can be potatoes, jicama (singkamas), cucumber)
  • Small block of tofu, fried and sliced into strips
  • 2 eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c Clara Ole ,Sesame Mucho vinaigrette
  • 1/4 c creamy peanut butter
  • Optional: chili flakes or cayenne pepper

Blanch veggies and drain. Shock them in cold water to stop the cooking to keep it crunchy. This also keeps the color vibrant. Veggies such as jicama and cucumber of course, should not be cooked. Arrange on a platter.

In a bowl, whisk the sesame vinaigrette and peanut butter until smooth. If you want more tanginess, add about 2-3 more tablespoons of the dressing. I could not wait and soon as I put the whisk down, I got a veggie stick and dunked it!

This is a good idea for a dip with veggie crudites especially if you're planning an Asian-theme dinner. Or serve as a hearty main dish for an Indonesian-inspired meal. (This is my going to be in my lunch pack tomorrow.)

Be a veggie-fanatic!

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