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Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

by Caitlin Saniga

Feta-dill chicken salad in pita pockets

Faithful, long-time blog readers may recall a certain $6 Snack post I wrote that featured hummus from Aladdin’s in Akron, Ohio. Hummus is my favorite appetizer to order whenever I’m home and in the Aladdin’s neighborhood. But the chicken salad pocket is my favorite entree. It has a distinctly Mediterranean taste to it — from what I guess to be feta, lemon and tahini. Toasted almonds are nice touch, too. Here’s my attempt at recreating the chicken salad, and I think it’s a close match.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Gingery heirloom tomato salad with watermelon, mozzarella and arugula

This is an upscale restaurant-quality dish, made especially wonderful by the umami ginger dressing. You’ll have fun creating new flavor combos with each bite and want to lick the plate clean when you’re done.


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by Sarah Steimer

I could see this sandwich at a cool, modern diner. It has all the American classics - green beans, hard-boiled eggs, creamy dressing - all thrown up in the air and tossed in a brand-new way.

I could see this sandwich at a funky, updated diner. It has all the American classics — green beans, hard-boiled eggs, creamy dressing — all redone in a modern fashion.


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by Sarah Steimer

I've had a few friends day they're not big fans of mayonnaise (hey, I'll freely admit I like a good mayo), so I've been keeping an eye out for a good mayo-free egg salad.

I’ve had a few friends say they’re not big fans of mayonnaise (hey, I’ll freely admit I like a good mayo), so I’ve been keeping an eye out for a good mayo-free egg salad. Nailed it on my first try!


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by Caitlin Saniga

Use herbs to the max in this recipe. I chopped up about a cup of parsley, basil and chives for each serving.

My recommendation: Use herbs to the max in this recipe. I chopped up about a cup of parsley, basil and chives for each serving. My plate probably had 1-2 servings of vegetables by the time I tossed everything together.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Thai coconut-cashew rice with bits of roasted pineapple

My family spent a couple of weeks in Thailand visiting my aunt and uncle when I was a freshman in high school, and since then that time has come to be known as The Trip of a Lifetime. I think Grandma may have even used that as the title of her photo journal of the trip. Point is: I’ve never been on a vacation like that one. We rode on more than 10 forms of transportation (airplane, speedboat, tuk-tuk, elephant … ); watched the sunrise from a small, remote island; toured temples of gold, emerald and broken china; and we ate some amazing food. Most notable, perhaps, was the availability of fresh fruit in Thailand. I drank a fruit smoothie with almost every meal, and we’d stop at roadside food vendors for small plastic bags of fresh pineapple or melon on long skewers. One of my favorite Thai dinners was a rice dish that included cashews, vegetables and sometimes chicken. It was simple, filling and not at all spicy, which was important at the time. When I prepare this dish, I’m reminded of some of my favorite food memories of Thailand.

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by Sarah Steimer

This spread is fantastic. Bill and I actually used the leftovers on a fresh baguette, along with a few thin shavings of Parmesan.

This spread is fantastic. Bill and I actually used the leftovers on a fresh baguette, along with a few thin shavings of Parmesan.


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by Caitlin Saniga

Eggs Benedict bread pudding

I served this casserole for a brunch with friends, but it would be a perfect make-ahead dish for Easter morning. Just be sure to prepare the hollandaise sauce right before serving. If the sauce gets too thick, add about 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time until it thins to the desired consistency.

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by Sarah Steimer

This open-face sandwich is my riff on the “Train to Tuscany” at Publican Quality Meats here in Chicago. I love Publican Quality and have been absolutely nuts about the place since my first visit a year ago. The store is one part market, one part butcher and one part cafe. I always leave so inspired and want to copy everything, from the sandwiches down to the table settings.

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by Caitlin Saniga

The most beautiful colors

Someone recently told me that his guiding principle for cooking is: “Cook with color.” I love that idea! (My favorite color is rainbow.) And this dish, to me, is what that motto is about. I picked beautiful, colorful ingredients and put them together in a bowl. The greens I chose provided a variegated base of pale green, grass green and pinky-purple. The pistachios added bright green, brown and more hints of purple. The pomegranate seeds (which have always reminded me of rubies) added a pop of deep red. And last but not least, the blood orange dressing was the most beautiful rosy gold color. Together, it’s a feast for your senses!

If you haven't worked with blood oranges before, like I hadn't, it's good to know that the coloration of the flesh and juice can vary greatly between fruits. The inside of the oranges I chose looked similar to the color of grapefruit with streaks of crimson. The juice was a deep pink color. Other blood oranges can be solid pink, to solid red to almost black. And the flavor tends to be florally sweet, with a hint of grapefruitlike bitterness.

If you haven’t worked with blood oranges before, like I hadn’t, it’s good to know that the coloration of the flesh and juice can vary greatly between fruits. The inside of the oranges I chose looked similar to the color of grapefruit with streaks of crimson. The juice was a deep pink color. Other blood oranges can be solid pink, to solid red, to almost black. And the flavor tends to be florally sweet, with a hint of grapefruitlike bitterness.

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice (from one large orange)
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad:

  • 12 ounces torn greens (I used frisee, arugula and radicchio.)
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded (See a video I made on prepping pomegranates.)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (I used the roasted and salted type.)
The pomegranate I chose seemed almost perfect. The seeds were large and sweet and deep red. Some tips I picked up in the process: Look for a pomegranate with deep red, smooth skin (not pink) and no bruises or soft spots. And if you find one like this, use it within a day or two of purchasing.

The pomegranate I chose seemed almost perfect. The seeds were large and sweet and deep red. Some tips I picked up in the process: Look for a pomegranate with red, smooth skin (not pink) and no bruises or soft spots. And if you find one like this, use it within a day or two of purchasing.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium bowl.

Toss the torn greens in the vinaigrette, and divide the mixture among salad bowls. Top with pomegranate seeds and pistachios, and serve immediately to avoid wilting. If serving later, seal the vinaigrette in and airtight container and store in the fridge, separate from the greens and toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

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