Friday, September 12, 2008

Soyrizo Taco Salad

Since it's been the season for salads there is another one I've made frequently because it's been popular with the whole family. Trader Joe's now carries their own version of soyrizo and I've used it to make this taco salad. It goes together very quickly - you can have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes, especially if you have shredded cheese on hand.

Soyrizo Taco Salad

1 large head green leaf lettuce, cut into thin ribbons
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained (I've been using Westbrae organic sweet white corn - it's really good)
1 avocado, diced
1 small can sliced black olives
shredded cheese (I like the Mexican cheese blend from Costco)
1 package soyrizo, crumbled and browned
crushed tortilla chips (it's a great way to use up the bottom of the chip bag)
diced red onion (optional)

Dressing: equal parts pico de gallo and ranch dressing mixed together

While the soyrizo browns I wash, cut and spin dry the lettuce. Toss everything except the dressing into the bowl - once the soyrizo is ready mix everthing together with the dressing. Fast, simple and very good. For a vegan version use Follow Your Heart cheddar or omit the cheese and add more avocado. If you use a gluten free ranch dressing the recipe is GF.

Tonight is the first home game for the high school football team and I'm signed up to work the concession stand (senior class fundraiser). Hot dogs, nachos and instant hot cocoa - such fun.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Arugula salad with manchego, walnuts and dates

It has happened again. Life getting in the way of cooking. No one is home anymore - dinners have been haphazard (quesadillas at 9 pm) or takeout. It is our last year with a kid in school (K-12 anyway...) so I've volunteered for a ridiculous amount of stuff - sort of the last hurrah. Hubby has sort of given up on his gluten free eating - he was at it for a few months but didn't notice any difference other than some extra pounds (presumably from all my attempts at gluten free baking???). Since he was doing it for personal reasons and not medical reasons it wasn't a big deal to stop - but it certainly gave us an even greater respect and admiration for our friends who deal with multiple food allergies and sensitivities who can't just make that choice!

One thing I've made several times in the past weeks has been this salad. It is my take on the compressed manchego salad we had at Uva Bar in downtown Disney. It goes together quickly and it's a great combination of flavors. All of these amounts are flexible - use as much or as little as you like -

Arugula Salad with Manchego, Walnuts and Dates

1 bag prewashed arugula (I get it from Trader Joe's)
5 large dates, pitted and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 large apple (I like pink lady apples) cut into thin matchsticks
Coarsely grated manchego cheese - as much as you like
I toss this all together and drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.