Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summer Salads!

What I want to concentrate on here is salad. It has been incredibly chilly around here; we are talking 100 degree last Saturday and then Sunday, the high was 60. So us weenies around this part (I am raising my hand too) are not used to such a drastic temperature drop. I have broke out my sweatshirts and actually am loving the walk to classes now that they are brisk and refreshing instead of draining and suffocating. But I wasn't ready to kiss all of my favorite summer produce good-bye just yet, so I made salad!

My salad I want to feature is my grandma's chicken grape salad. (Happy Grandparents's Day Mommaw and Boppaw - and to all those other grandparents out there!) I LOVE her chicken grape salad. Swoon worthy for sure. I mean look at it!

 I try to steer away from mayo-based salads (egg, tuna, chicken, you name it) simply because they usually aren't very healthy and I am not the biggest fan of mayo to begin with. But Mommaw's chicken grape is the epitome of exceptions. Whole baby purple grapes, toasted poppy seeds, beautifully poached and shredded chicken, crisp celery, and a honey mayonnaise dressing that tastes anything but heavy. But what to eat it with? (Since I had to convince myself that eating this scrumptious salad right out of the Tupperware was not appropriate - why I don't know.)  Usually Mommaw serves this on a flaky croissant, but since I was fresh out, I made a salad out of a salad! I just dolloped some on top of a bed of spinach and away I went. 

Paired with a Wasa cracker (check these out if you haven't already people! It is the most perfect combination of bread and cracker; crispy and hearty) and I was the happiest of campers.

I am still working with the very limited pantry items that I have in the apartment but still made an extremely satisfying dinner. The salad is cucumber (peeled and diced), Roma tomato, carrots, with a dressing of simply balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

I made a little extra of the vinaigrette and poured the whole salad over some baby spinach. Served here with some brown rice and grilled chicken.

Good weather news is on the horizon! This week is supposed to be in the mid 60s and 70s! Fabulous!!! That is my favorite. I am predicting more salads in my very near future.

Also, for all of you wonderfully thoughtful people out there who love my sister's photography so much, first of all thank you! I mentioned this suggestion to her this weekend and she seemed interested. Let's all keep out fingers crossed and hope that she decides to.


  1. I've never had grapes in a salad before (that wasn't a fruit salad, of course) so this sounds very interesting. I'm not familiar with honey mayo though?

    Which pictures did your sister take? All of these look lovely.

  2. I definitely am a fan of mixing fruits into an otherwise savory dish like chicken salad. Of course I cannot take credit for all the wonders that this salad packs, that is all my grandma's doing, but I incorporate strawberries, cherries, blueberries, orange segments, you name it into salsas, sauces for chicken or pork, salad toppings, or marinades. One of my favorites that I like to pull out is a cherry and parmesan salsa over chicken or pork loin. Yumm!

    Honey mayo is just the dressing we like to dress our chicken salad with; it is sweeter than a straight mayo base or even curried chicken salad. Basically just mix honey, mayo (or plain yogurt if you are like me and am not the biggest fan of mayo), thin with a little vinegar or milk, and season to taste and you're golden.

    My sister is responsible for the photographs taken earlier in the year - the ones for this blog post were taken by yours truly. Not great ones, I will admit, but they get the job done. It really is a luxury to have her take pictures for my blog because she makes the food look simple beautiful, too good to eat. Almost. I should be cooking at home again soon and will have to pleasure of her photographing my dishes again.

  3. I really like the color scheme on this blog! Random, but :). All of your food looks great as well.

  4. Thank you so much for the wonderfully nice comment, I really apprecaite that. I love bright, happy colors and wanted to reflect that in the color scheme for my food blog. I try to post at least twice a week so I hope you stop by again soon!

  5. Mmm, you make the simplest foods look good. I wish I had more time to run to the Whole Foods Mart around here.

  6. I buy all my ingredients from our regular small college kid Kroger, which just goes to prove that you really can make some extraordinary from regular everyday ingredients. Just today I made a burrito with poached chicken, homemade salsa guacamole, and sauteed black beans. Yummy! (pictures are to come)