Archive for the ‘Super Salads’ Category

We have been having such a hot summer and the last thing that I want is to make something hot for dinner. I made this pasta salad the other night and it was light, healthy, and delicious. The best part was all of the leftovers- I think I got at least 4 meals out of it! I love the crunchiness of the veggies and knowing how healthy it is with the salmon and whole wheat pasta. It would be a fabulous side to bring to a BBQ or party!


  • 2 5oz. cans salmon (in water)
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, mix together all other ingredients.
  3. When pasta finishes cooking, drain and let cool. Gently mix in other ingredients and put in the fridge to chill before serving.

Read Full Post »

Yum! This is a meal that I cannot wait to make again! I’ve been really into salads lately, since they are light and healthy and also since summer is coming I am starting to work on my bikini body 🙂 I love to add as many colors into my salads- it makes it look pretty and also the more colors, the more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are in your meal! Salmon is a fabulous addition to the salad because it is full of important omega 3’s that our bodies NEED to stay healthy. I’m not a big meat eater, but I have always loved salmon for its taste as well as the health benefits that it offers. In addition to the omega 3’s in the salmon and avocado, this salad is also full of vitamin C in the tomatoes, red peppers, and mandarin oranges, beta carotene in the carrots and red pepper, and LOTS of fiber in all of the veggies. So eat up and enjoy this super yummy and healthy salad!

Here is the recipe:


  • Greens of choice (I use mixed greens, spinach, really whatever appeals to me when I am at the grocery store)
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Pepper
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Pine nuts
  • Feta cheese
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Salad dressing of choice (I like Annie’s dressings- balsamic, goddess, honey mustard, they are all yummy!)
  • 1/4 lb. baked salmon seasoned with lemon juice and lemon peppers (or your favorite seasonings)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in a small baking pan and place salmon in it. Squeeze lemon juice and season salmon as desired. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until salmon is cooked through.
  2. Wash and chop veggies and prepare salad while salmon is baking. There are not really specific quantities for the ingredients listed above. I usually just put as much in of everything as I want depending on how hungry I am. Use as much or as little as you would like and feel free to be creative and add different colors, fruits, or veggies to the salad. When salmon is done cooking, let it cool for a few minutes and then flake it over the salad. Drizzle dressing of choice and EAT UP this yummy and guilt free meal!

Read Full Post »

I’ve eaten a staggering amount of kale this summer and am constantly finding endless ways to prepare it.  Here’s the latest from Mom/Auntie Joan…

Wash and dry a bunch of kale leaves and remove stems and spines (I use my kitchen shears). Slice the kale. In a frying pan, saute half a sliced onion and a crushed clove of garlic in olive oil.  Add the kale and continue to stir fry for a few minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and let steam for a few minutes.  It’s the perfect side dish for almost everything.  Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Tomoko's somen noodles are a mix of plain and plum flavored...I don't think you can find the plum ones in the U.S...another good excuse to go back to Japan!

My aunt Tomoko is an amazing cook.  When we were in Japan this past January, I stayed with her and my Uncle and cousins for a few days and was treated to one amazing home cooked meal after another.  The other day I was delighted to find an email from her with a recipe for somen which, although it is traditionally a popular summer lunch, is a great quick/easy/healthy meal year-round.


  • 1 package somen noodles (cook as much as you want/need depending on how many people are eating)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Cucumber
  • Ham
  • Tsuyu No Moto (Japanese seasoning soy sauce found in the Asian section of your grocery store)
  • Finely fresh grated ginger


Mix the eggs, sugar, salt, starch and water.  Cook an egg omelet and slice thinly.  Slice ham and cucumber thinly as well and put on a serving plate.  Boil the somen noodles as indicated on the package and prepare the soup according to the instructions on the Tsuyu No Moto.

Enjoy by taking some of the noodles, toppings and a bit of fresh ginger and dipping it in the soup.

Here in Hawaii people also enjoy topping somen with char siu (usually pork in a chinses bbq sauce), kamaboko (fish cake), and green onion, and often layer first the noodles, then veggies, and then dress the entire thing as a salad.  Either way it’s delicious!  Thank you for sharing Tomoko!

Read Full Post »

Photo Credit: Keaolani Duhaylongsod

The long, warm summer days are here and I find myself eating later and later in the evening (9 p.m. last night!) and choosing much lighter food (I have to buy three bags of Ma’o greens from the farmers market just to make it through the week).  With salad combos on my mind, I was wandering around the Kanu Hawaii website this morning and came across this recipe for Spicy Ahi & Avocado Summer salad by member Keaolani Duhaylongsod (she modified a similar recipe from Sam Choy) – it looked so ono I had to share it.

Keaolani posted this as a Slow Food recipe – encouraging local food sustainability by using all local ingredients.  For those of you who can’t get locally caught, fresh tuna, either try experimenting with another type of fish that you do get locally (the firmer the better), or at least make sure that the tuna is raised and caught as sustainably as possible.  As for the veggies, what a good excuse to plant a garden!

Spicy ‘Ahi & Avocado Summer Salad

1. Cube up some LOCAL ‘ahi poke (about 1 lb.) and 2 small LOCAL avocadoes.

2. Mix 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tsp. hot chili sauce (Sriracha) to desired taste, 1 T. shoyu, and 1 tsp. garlic (pressed or minced). Toss this chili mayo sauce with the ‘ahi and avocado. Set aside.

3. Make a salad dressing out of 6 T. ponzu flavored soy sauce and 1 tsp. sesame oil. Add sugar and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle this over a bed of lettuce leaves (or chopped/torn leaves).

4. Layer a scoop of the ‘ahi/avocado mixture on top of the lettuce bed. Then top it with LOCAL garnishes of your choice: sliced LOCAL cucumbers, LOCAL tomatoes, LOCAL cabbage, LOCAL papaya, etc. I also topped it with nori (seaweed) cut into strips.  He ‘ono la!

Read Full Post »

Last night at a dinner party my girlfriend brought a gigantic salad (she works at Ma’o Farms so she always gets stuck bringing the greens!) with fresh papaya seed dressing.  It was SO good I had to share it, especially because I know this is an Elpern favorite!  Not only did I save some of the salad to take home, I also stole what was left of the dressing 🙂  Here is the recipe she got off of Recipe Zaar (I’ve edited it a bit to reflect the ingredients my girlfriend used).

So easy to make, this version of the dressing is much lighter and tastier than the bottled creamier versions you can get in the store.  I guarantee that once you try this, you’ll never go back.  Once you are done with the seeds, dice up the meat of the papaya and add it to the salad.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh papaya seeds
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


In a food processor, whir together the papaya seeds and onion until finely chopped.  Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard and pulse 3 or 4 times.  With the processor running, gradually add the oil in a thin stream until dressing emulsifies.  Use over your favorite salad greens and refrigerate what is left over.  Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

I was at the supermarket today after yoga and saw tomatoes in all kinds of beautiful colors and I thought oooh, I’m going to make a pretty tomato salad! I picked up red, yellow, orange, and green tomatoes and a container of feta and hurried home to put it together. I rinsed and cut the tomatoes and them arranged them on a plate, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and topped with feta. The result- AMAZING! It’s perfect for a light lunch or for a dinner appetizer. I can’t wait to make it again soon! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Here is another recipe from my Joy of Cooking day calendar. I thought it sounded so light and delicious and I could just picture myself drizzling it over a delicious salad… 🙂

Yields: 1.5 cups

Combine in a blender and process until thick and smooth:

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. catsup
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce

Read Full Post »

Shibi (baby yellow fin tuna), grapefruit, pickled fennel and a whole bunch of other yummy goodness

Saturday, as Lesley and I lazed around wondering what to do with ourselves, I flipped through the latest Twitter posts on my phone for some inspiration and came across a photo from @edstown of that night’s dinner menu at Town which looked incredible.  Lesley had never been there before and I’ve been craving it for months so we decided to splurge a bit and make it a date night – problem solved.

Beet, Arugula, Orange, Chickpea and Ricotta salad

Good thing we made reservations because it was packed when we arrived.  I love everything about this restaurant; the aesthetic of it makes you feel like you are at your friends house for dinner, the food is all farm-to-table (New American type dishes), the staff is great, and everything I’ve ever eaten there has been to-die-for delicious.  And that night was no exception.  We shared a bottle of white Italian wine, bread (I would kill for their bread recipe)/olive oil/butter/olives, a beet/orange/arugula/ricotta salad, shibi(baby yellow fin tuna)/pickled fennel/grapefruit appetizer, fresh ono with fresh veggies and a meyer lemon berry butter sauce, hand cut pasta with eggplant and prosciutto, and finally buttermilk panna cotta drizzled in honey.  If that doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what will.

So ono!

Great for lunch as well, I will have to make it a point to not let so much time go by before I find myself back there.  The game plan for next time however is to share an entree so that we can share the apple banana/chocolate panini for dessert….heaven in between two slices of bread I imagine.  Also on the list of things to try is their Wine Down Wednesday event where they have a special menu with wine pairings….For reviews, phone numbers etc. go HERE.

The hand-cut pasta was silky, flavorful and not overly heavy. The leftovers the next day were amazing!

"Milk & Honey" Buttermilk panna cotta drizzled in local honey....perfectly light and refreshing after a big meal!

Cheers to good food and even better company!

Read Full Post »

Soooo yum!

Last night when my girlfriend and fellow foodie Tori suggested that we do a theme night for dinner, I couldn’t have been more on board.  She had some arborio rice and a recipe for “almost no stir” risotto so, although a bit skeptical, we decided to give it a go and Italian night it was.  We headed to Whole Foods where we loaded up on cheeses, crackers, salami, arugula, prosecco, Italian red table wine (which was exquisite, I have to remember to ask Tori what it was), spicy Italian sausage and gelatto, of course.

A bit of a late start, we snacked on salami, crackers and cheese and sipped on prosecco while we cooked the risotto.  Amazingly, the recipe held true (I swear we stirred for less than 5 minutes) and about a half hour later we did indeed have amazingly delicious sausage risotto, arugula/almond/feta salad, and of course, more wine.  Paired with wonderful company, it was quite a wonderful evening.  Hopefully there will be many more theme nights in the future of our friendship 🙂

Click HERE for the risotto recipe…enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »