: Creamy Chicken and Cantaloupe Salad

curried chicken and cantaloupe salad

There was a sale on cantaloupe down the street at the Farm market.

This is a refreshing salad with layer upon layer of contrasting tastes;   musky, sharp, and a little sweet. The curry is subtle. If you add a bit more heat with cracked black pepper when serving, it’s really, really nice.

Have you ever tried fresh cracked pepper on fruits? It’s quite nice on melons and strawberries. Melon, feta, and black pepper is a wonderful taste combination.

This will be my last summer salad this year. It will soon be time to make pumpkin pies, apple butter, and all those comforting and spicy Autumnal  foods.

Ingredients:

3 cups chopped cooked chicken.

1 granny smith apple, chopped, peel on

½ English cucumber, chopped, peel on

¼ cup diced red onion

½ cup chopped celery

½  cup sliced green onions

½  cup blanched cashews, coarsely chopped

½ cup plain yogurt

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tsp madras curry powder

1 tsp salt

Juice of half a lime

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 smallish cantaloupe, chopped

Lettuce leaves

Method:

Blanch cashews by placing them in a wide pan of boiling water for no more than 1 minute. Drain in colander and set on paper towel to cool. Once cool, coarsely chop (basically cut them in half, no smaller, as you want to bite into the cashew and know that it’s a cashew).

Mix everything, except lettuce. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve on top of lettuce leaves and top with cracked black pepper (optional).

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This would easily serve a dozen people as a small side salad (as in, a scoop at a potluck).

This is lovely for a summer side salad. Or make it a family meal by mixing in some prepared couscous or a small pasta. If eaten as a meal this way, it would serve 6-8.

: Creamy Potato Salad

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Potato Salad has been my favorite summer side dish since I was a kid.

I never met a starchy vegetable I didn’t like. Potatoes are the most versatile and satisfying staple in my kitchen. We like them baked, roasted, fried, and mashed…but for me, nothing beats a potato salad, eaten al fresco, on a nice summer’s day.

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If you are travelling with that potato salad, or if especially hot outside, consider swapping the mayo for Greek yogurt. Its just as creamy if you add a splash of olive oil with it.

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Ingredients:

3 pounds potatoes, peeled and boiled

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/3 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup celery, diced

1/4 tsp ground paprika

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp honey

1 tsp balsamic vinegar.

1 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Method:

Boil. rinse, and cool potatoes. While cooling, prepare other ingredients. Prepare dressing by mixing mayo, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, and all other spices in a bowl. In a very large bowl, place in the cooled chopped potatoes, and all other prepared veggies. Add the dressing and toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

This will feed a large family gathering, as a side dish.

: A Beautiful Salad

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As I have stated before, we are blessed to have such great produce in the Annapolis Valley.

It’s abundant, and it’s cheap. AND our growing season starts earlier than the rest of Atlantic Canada.

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Grocers offer some of the  local produce but the best places to get is at one of the many farmer’s markets here. Our favorite is the Wolfville’s Farmers Market. It’s packed full of farmers and artisans selling their wares. Ethnic foods are becoming more available, which is exciting to see. Already there are stalls representing Indian, Japanese, Turkish, and Moroccan foods.

And the vendors are so friendly! If you are ever passing through Wolfville, consider checking it out…

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photo credit to Wolfville Farmer’s Market webpage.

While we were there, we found a pretty bag of delicate lettuces. Much like a spring mix. But there was also nasturtiums  and pansies inside. I crossed my fingers all the way home that this masterpiece of produce wouldn’t wilt.

It was the most beautiful salad I had ever thrown together! I won’t tell you how many photos I took of it, because it’s embarrassing.

When you have a ‘showy’ salad like this, consider keeping the dressing simple. Here is one that I like to use:

1/4 tsp garlic puree

2 tsp creamy dijon mustard

2 tsp liquid honey

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

100 ml virgin olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together. Add one at a time, from thick to thin consistency (start with garlic puree).

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: simple mango salad

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If you could put happiness in a bowl, this would be it.

This is my favorite salad.The aroma of the fresh lime and cilantro transports me right back to the tropics.

This is a very simple salad and it’s sure to impress and maybe even surprise your guests. It has few ingredients and you can make it in under 30 minutes. It has a hint of Asian taste to it, with help from Thai fish sauce. The pungent zing from the red onion compliment the musky sweetness of the mango.

It’s a great side salad whenever you are having meat, because the fruit will help aid digestion.

It’s such a delicious salad, but don’t just take my word for it…give it a try!

DSC_0762 (2)Ingredients:

1/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

2 unripe mangoes, peeled, and julienned

1 cup red onion, diced

1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander

1/3 cup chopped mint

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Mix together in a bowl and pour on dressing. Serves as a side, for up to 6 people.

Dressing (whisk together):

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili sauce or hot pepper sauce